CAR_Public/090320.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, March 20, 2009, Vol. 11, No. 56

                           Headlines

21 CLUB: Employees Files N.Y. Litigation Over "Stolen" Tips
BARRICK GOLD: Reaches $24M Settlement in N.Y. Shareholders' Suit
CB RICHARD: Employees File Wisconsin Suit Over Unpaid Overtime
GEVITY HR: Faces Suit in Fla. Over TriNet Group Merger Agreement
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: Pa. Judge Denies Bid to Junk Antitrust Case

HARTFORD FINANCIAL: Court OKs Accident Victims' Suit to Proceed
HOLIDAY GROUP: Announces March 26, 2009 Webinar on RCI Lawsuit
INTEL CORP: Calif. Court Certifies Class in "Chapman" Litigation
KNAUF GIPS: Faces Litigation in Louisiana Over Imported Drywalls
METROPOLITAN LIFE: N.J. Court Revives Consumer Fraud Litigation

NEW YORK: Fan Sues Giants, Jets Over "Personal Seat Licenses"
PETLAND INC: Faces Lawsuit in Arizona Over Puppies Being Sold
PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Fraud Suit in New Jersey
REFCO INC: Mayer Brown Dismissed From N.Y. Securities Fraud Case
TREE.COM INC: "Garcia" Suit Over FCRA Breach Pending Arbitration

TREE.COM INC: Mortgage Store's Suit v. HLC Remains in Discovery
TREE.COM INC: No Trial Date Yet for Motions in "Boschma" Lawsuit
TREE.COM INC: No Trial Date Yet for "Gaines" Suit Over TrueCost
TREE.COM INC: "Schnee" Litigation v. Units Remains in Discovery
TRI-S SECURITY: Reaches Conditional Settlement of IPO Litigation

VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: Claims of 33 Shareholders Dismissed in N.Y.
WOLTERS KLUWER: Court Grants Final OK to Medi-Span's Amended AWP


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

OPPENHEIMER CALIFORNIA: Coughlin Stoia Files Securities Lawsuit


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cases Still Ongoing v. Morton Int'l. in La.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Assurant Reserves $30.3M for A&E, Liability
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Westinghouse, Units Facing Exposure Actions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court to Set Quigley Hearing After March 16
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: American Optical Has 104T Claims at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pfizer Facing Gibsonburg Lime Injury Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACE Records $1.369B Net Reserves at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACE Limited Records 1,198 Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Belden Inc. Has 130 Injury Cases at Feb. 9
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Domtar Ind. Still Has Injury Cases in U.S.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Split Rulings Issued in Price Pfister Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal Court Upholds Ruling in Pierce Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OneBeacon Cites $1.098B Reserves at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OneBeacon Has 474 Policyholders at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Selective Insurance Has 2,037 Claims in '08

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allegheny Faces 853 W.Va. Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W. R. Grace's Libby Liability Totals $48.4M
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W. R. Grace Expends $29.7Mil for Libby Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace's Lawsuit in N.J. Stayed on Dec. 2008
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W. R. Grace Still Has Damage, Injury Suits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Records 465 Damage Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Maintains $916Mil Coverage at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W. R.'s Grace Amended Plan Filed on Feb. 27
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MetLife Unit Records 74,027 Claims at 2008
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ingersoll-Rand Has 63,308 Claims at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Trane Still Engaged in Coverage Litigation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ingersoll-Rand Reports $1.195B Liability
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PICO Makes $500T Claims Reserve at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Markel Has $168.2MM Net Reserves at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Baldor Continues to Face Exposure Lawsuits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Georgia-Pacific Still Facing Injury Actions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Joy Global Still Facing Liability Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PMA Cites $29.5MM Gross Reserves at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hexion Still Involved in Liability Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Standard Motor Faces 3,650 Cases at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: State Auto Fin'l. Reserves $3.4M for Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Houston Wire Faces Injury Suits in 3 States
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 27 New Suits Filed in Madison on March 2-6
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DuPont Motion in Whisnant OK'd on March 12
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bush Action v. 37 Firms Filed in Tex. Court

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fortier Widow to Get $2.6MM in Compensation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Baron & Budd Resolves 6 Injury Suits in Pa.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleanup at Ark. Courthouse to Cost $20,842
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Inland Worker Sues 21 Firms in Hammond
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asarco's Policies Exclude Asbestosis Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Plumber to Gain GBP145T in Compensation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Electrician's Death Linked to Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 2 Maryland Schools Resolve AHERA Breaches
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Segarra Seeks "Fee for Searching Records"
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Taylor's Suit v. 57 Firms Filed on March 2

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NHS Managers Suspended Over Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Probe Ongoing at Ash Grove Cement in Mont.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scottish Lawyer Lauds Parliament's New Law
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Parker's Family to Continue Bid for Payout
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Central Point Local Files Suit for Exposure

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congress Panel to Probe Smithsonian Hazards
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 3 McDonald, Pa., Locals Charged With Arson
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dispute Ongoing on Release of X-ray Reports
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell, Chrysler Bid for Autopsy Denied


                           *********

21 CLUB: Employees Files N.Y. Litigation Over "Stolen" Tips
-----------------------------------------------------------
Several employees of New York's 21 Club claim in a lawsuit that
the restaurant has been stealing a portion of their tips for
years, The New York Times reports.

The class-action lawsuit was filed on March 17, 2009 in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York.  It claims
the popular restaurant charges a 21.75 percent gratuity for
private dining and banquet services, but pays only 18 percent of
the bill collected to staff members, according to The New York
Times.

Attorney D. Maimon Kirschenbaum, Esq., an attorney for the
plaintiffs, told The New York Times that the amount of money
withheld by the restaurant during the past six years -- as far
back as the suit can go under the statute of limitations --
could exceed $1 million.


BARRICK GOLD: Reaches $24M Settlement in N.Y. Shareholders' Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Barrick Gold Corp. settled for $24 million a class-action
investor lawsuit alleging that the gold miner misled
shareholders about the company's performance in 2002, Cameron
French of Reuters reports.

Investors filed the lawsuit in 2003, alleging that the gold
producer did not adequately disclose the impact of higher mining
costs, lower production, and its forward selling of gold,
factors they said led to a sharp fall in the company's shares in
late 2002, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported that named in the lawsuit were the company,
former Barrick chief executive Randall Oliphant, former chief
operating officer John Carrington, and current chief financial
officer Jamie Sokalsky.

Company spokesman Vince Borg told Reuters that the settlement
will go before a New York district court judge on March 31, 2009
to be finalized.


CB RICHARD: Employees File Wisconsin Suit Over Unpaid Overtime
---------------------------------------------------------------
CB Richard Ellis, Inc. faces a purported class-action lawsuit
over unpaid overtime that was filed by a maintenance worker in
its Milwaukee property management division, The Business Journal
of Milwaukee reports.

The CBRE worker, John Rulli, has hired Milwaukee's Cross Law
Firm SC to represent him in the lawsuit filed on March 13, 2009
in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Wisconsin.

Mr. Rulli, who lives in Muskego, has filed the suit individually
and on behalf of similarly employed maintenance workers of CBRE
throughout the nation, Nola Hitchcock Cross, managing partner
Cross Law tells The Business Journal of Milwaukee.

He is seeking back wages because the company forces hourly
employees to carry BlackBerry telecommunications devices to stay
in touch during off hours.

The lawsuit doesn't mention a specific amount of money involved
in the suit, according to The Business Journal of Milwaukee
report.

The suit is "Rulli v. CB Richard Ellis Inc., Case No. 2:09-cv-
00289-PJG," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Wisconsin, Judge Patricia J Gorence, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

          Nola J. Hitchcock Cross, Esq.
          (njhcross@crosslawfirm.com)
          Cross Law Firm SC
          845 N 11th St
          Milwaukee, WI 53233
          Phone: 414-224-0000
          Fax: 414-279-7055


GEVITY HR: Faces Suit in Fla. Over TriNet Group Merger Agreement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gevity HR, Inc. is facing a purported class-action lawsuit in
Manatee County Circuit Court in Florida alleging that the
professional employer organization breached fiduciary duties to
shareholders in its merger agreement with human resources
provider TriNet Group, Inc., Tampa Bay Business Journal

Filed March 13, 2009 the putative class-action lawsuit names
Gevity, each of its directors and TriNet of San Leandro, Calif.,
claiming the merger agreement contained "preclusive deal
protection measures and allegedly unfair merger consideration,"
according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents
filed by Gevity.

Court records show the plaintiff Judy Crump is represented by
William J. Schifino, Esq.

In the transaction announced March 5, 2009, TriNet agreed to pay
$4 a share in cash for outstanding common stock of Gevity, which
was valued around $98 million.  The transaction represented a
premium of about 97 percent above the stock's March 4 closing
price, a release from Gevity said.

The complaint seeks an unspecified award of monetary damages and
recovery of costs incurred by the plaintiff, according to the
SEC documents, copies of which were obtained by Tampa Bay
Business Journal.

The acquisition, which the boards of directors of both companies
approved unanimously, is expected to take place in the second
quarter, pending regulatory approval and the approval of Gevity
stockholders, according to Tampa Bay Business Journal.


GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: Pa. Judge Denies Bid to Junk Antitrust Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Mary A. McLaughlin of the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied a motion that sought for
the dismissal of an antitrust class action lawsuit against
GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Biovail Corp., Ben Hallman of The Am Law
Daily reports.

In a ruling issued last week, Judge McLaughlin refused to
dismiss monopolization claims against GSK and also allowed two
of three claims to continue against Biovail, the Canadian
company that GSK partnered with to market an extended release
version of the popular antidepressant, according to The Am Law
Daily report.

Judge McLaughlin wrote in her ruling, "The plaintiffs have
adequately alleged a conspiracy between GSK and Biovail to
maintain GSK's monopoly over the American market for Wellbutrin
XL."

The lawsuit generally accused the pharmaceutical companies of
colluding to delay generic versions of the drug Wellbutrin from
coming to market.  It was brought by direct purchasers who claim
that GSK concocted a plan to keep Wellbutrin prices high by
making fraudulent assertions to the Patent and Trademark Office
and by engaging in "sham" patent litigation against generic drug
manufacturers, reports The Am Law Daily.

The Am Law Daily reported that the plaintiffs' lawyers, led by
Thomas Sobol, Esq., and David Nalven, Esq., of Hagens Berman
Sobol Shapiro, argued that GSK and Biovail conspired to delay
generic manufacturers from marketing competing versions of the
drug, costing consumers $37 million per month for four months.

Attorneys for GSK (Arthur Makadon, Esq.,of Ballard Spahr Andrews
& Ingersoll) and Biovail (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Sean Royall,
Esq.) argued in their motion to dismiss that the plaintiffs
failed to show any illegal conspiracy because GSK and Biovail
could be viewed to have conducted "merely parallel" independent
actions, The Am Law Daily reported.

Judge McLaughlin disagreed, saying the plaintiffs had
specifically alleged "joint action" by GSK and Biovail.  She
did, however, grant Biovail's motion to dismiss one of the
monopolization claims, reports The Am Law Daily.


HARTFORD FINANCIAL: Court OKs Accident Victims' Suit to Proceed
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut allowed
a lawsuit that accuses The Hartford Financial Services Group,
Inc. of fraudulently keeping millions in settlement money that
should have gone to accident victims to proceed as a nationwide
class-action suit, Diane Levick of The Hartford Courant reports.

In a ruling issued last week, Judge Janet C. Hall stated that
the case could proceed as a class action under alleged fraud and
federal racketeering violations, but not on unjust enrichment
and breach of contract claims, according The Hartford Courant
report.

The certified class involves people who entered into structured
settlements with The Hartford from 1997 and that included
annuities from Hartford Life.

The case -- filed back in 2005 – was brought on behalf of three
people in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma, who had been injured
in motor vehicle accidents by people insured by companies that
are part of The Hartford Financial Services Group, reports The
Hartford Courant.

It involves "structured settlements," which resolve personal
injury and workers' compensation claims and often use annuities
to provide the payments.

The suit alleges that the company gave people written statements
of the cost or value of their settlement or annuity without
indicating the company would take at least 15 percent of the
amount for various fees, taxes, and profit, The Hartford Courant
reported.

The Hartford figured it could benefit by having its Hartford
Life division provide the annuities for such settlements.  The
company started a program in 1997 using selected brokers to
ensure the annuities for settlements that would be procured from
Hartford Life instead of competitors, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs alleged that the company "has profited enormously
from its uniform policy, pattern and practice to deceive
claimants and their representatives."  They believe that there
are more than 9,400 people affected by the company's actions,
reports The Hartford Courant.


HOLIDAY GROUP: Announces March 26, 2009 Webinar on RCI Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
     SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- March 18, 2009 -- (PRLEAP.COM) --
Holiday Resales, a division of Holiday Group, has announced its
next webinar, "RCI Class Action Lawsuit Proposed Settlement:
What Does This Mean to You?"  The virtual seminar will take
place on Thursday, March 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. PDT.

     The webinar is free and open to the public.  Please visit
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/204121988 for information
on registration, or email to webinars@holidaygroup.com.

     In 2006, two class action lawsuits were filed against RCI
on behalf of members to address complaints regarding the renting
of deposited weeks. While the lawsuits are now nearing a
conclusion, some members still have questions as to how the
proposed settlement will affect their timeshare exchanges.
Holiday's upcoming webinar will examine this and other related
issues in depth.

     Web seminars, popularly referred to as webinars, are a
convenient alternative to traditional seminars, allowing people
to participate via their computers from home or work.  Attendees
see and hear the live seminar, and can even interact with
questions or comments of their own.  Visit
http://www.holidaygroup.com/webinarfor more information about
Holiday's popular webinar series.

     The webinar will feature guest speakers Ray Jacobs and Shep
Altshuler, founders of TimeSharing Today magazine
(http://www.tstoday.com). "The class action lawsuit filed
against RCI by timeshare owners is an effort to limit RCI's
practice of renting deposited weeks to the general public
instead of holding them for exchange to its members," said
Jacobs.

Holiday's Director of Sales, Gail Bennett, will host the
webinar.  "Consumers have a right to voice their opinion, band
together, and make a statement," Bennett said.  "I think a lot
of folks are curious as to how the proposed settlement will
affect them, both now and in the future. This webinar will
address those concerns."

Topics to be covered in the webinar include:

-Background of the RCI Class Action lawsuit
-Terms of the proposed settlement
-Should you opt-out of the lawsuit?
-Can you still file an objection?
-TimeSharing Today's proposed objection

     "There are many advantages to joining the TimeSharing Today
family of subscribers," Altshuler noted.  "What we'll be sharing
in this webinar about the RCI lawsuit is just one example of
that.  Information published in TimeSharing Today magazine
enables owners to make independent and informed decisions about
important timeshare issues that affect them."

     Holiday's webinars offer real-world knowledge about
timesharing in a no-pressure, consumer friendly environment.
The "RCI Lawsuit" webinar will last about 30 minutes and then be
followed by an open question and answer session.

     "We are very excited to have TimeSharing Today's Ray and
Shep share what they know about this issue, and help bring some
clarity to it," said Bennett.  Exchanges are one of the key
values of timeshare ownership, so anyone interested in this
subject won't want to miss the webinar."

Related Information
Date: Thursday, March 26, 2009
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. PDT
Webinar registration:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/204121988
e-mail: webinars@holidaygroup.com
Webinar home page: http://www.holidaygroup.com/webinar


INTEL CORP: Calif. Court Certifies Class in "Chapman" Litigation
----------------------------------------------------------------
     Thu., 19 March 2009 00:04:37 GMT -- Market Wire -- SANTA
CLARA, Calif. -- 03/18/09 -- In the case entitled, "Clark
Chapman, and Diem Phuong Dang v. Intel Corporation, Case no.
107CVO82329," filed in Superior Court of California, County of
Santa Clara, Intel employees holding the job titles of Systems
Integrators and Graphics System Validation Engineers have been
granted class certification status.

     Although not a ruling on the merits of the case, plaintiffs
are one step closer to potentially obtaining, among other
things, back overtime pay and related penalties.

     In its ruling, the court denied class certification for
System Validation Engineers because neither of the named
plaintiffs held that job title, but the court did give
plaintiffs an opportunity to amend their request for
certification of that class if they could find an adequate class
representative who held that job title.

     California labor law attorneys, The Thierman Law Firm, Eric
Epstein, APC and United Employees Law Group, PC represent the
California Intel employees in the above case holding the job
titles of Systems Integrators and Graphics System Validation
Engineers.  Walter Haines of United Employees Law Group
commented, "This is a significant step for California
information technology employees who may have been misclassified
as not entitled to California overtime pay and who may have
suffered by working long hours without additional pay."

     Intel denies plaintiffs' allegations.  Intel is the world's
largest semiconductor chip maker, developing advanced digital
technology platforms for the computing and communications
industries.

     United Employees Law Group, PC located in Long Beach,
California is a California class action law firm experienced in
labor law with an emphasis in employee overtime pay issues.

For more details, contact:

          Walter Haines, Esq.
          United Employees Law Group, PC
          110 Pine Avenue, Ste. 725
          Long Beach, CA 90802
          Phone: 888-474-7242
          e-mail: info@california-labor-law-attorney.com


KNAUF GIPS: Faces Litigation in Louisiana Over Imported Drywalls
---------------------------------------------------------------
Knauf Gips KG, along with several others, is facing a purported
class-action lawsuit in Louisiana over contaminated drywalls
imported from China, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Previously, homeowners in Florida raised health concerns about
the imported construction material, according to the Wall Street
Journal report.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Louisiana on March 3, 2009 by Jill M. Donaldson and
John Oertling.

Aside from Knauf Gips, other entities named as defendants in the
suit are:

       -- Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co., Ltd.,
       -- Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd.,
       -- USG Corp.,
       -- L&W Supply Corp.,
       -- Interior Exterior Building Supply,
       -- Independent Builders Supply Association, Inc., and
       -- Rothchilt International Limited.

The plaintiffs claim that the wall board in their house smells
and is causing respiratory problems and corroding electrical
equipment.  The couple has temporarily moved out of their home,
reports The Wall Street Journal.

The suit is "Donaldson et al v. Knauf Gips KG et al., Case No.
2:09-cv-02981-JCZ-JCW," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Louisiana, Judge Jay C. Zainey, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

          Daniel E. Becnel, III (becketbec@aol.com)
          Becnel Law Firm, LLC
          425 W. Airline Highway
          Suite B
          LaPlace, LA 70068
          Phone: 985-651-6101


METROPOLITAN LIFE: N.J. Court Revives Consumer Fraud Litigation
---------------------------------------------------------------
A New Jersey appellate court resuscitated a consumer fraud suit
filed against Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. that had been
dismissed by a lower court, Martin C. Daks of NJBIZ reports.

Previously, the CourtHouse News Service previously reported
Metropolitan Life was facing a class-action complaint filed in
the Superior Court of New Jersey alleging it defrauds customers
by secretly applying smokers' rates to children who don't smoke,
claiming that they will become smokers by the time they are
adults (Class Action Reporter, May 15, 2008).

A Middlesex County Superior Court judge dismissed the suit,
saying that the plaintiff had failed to establish an
"ascertainable loss" under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act,
according to the NJBIZ report.

                         Case Background

This class action is brought on behalf of all New Jersey
residents who, from Jan. 1, 1998, to the date of the complaint,
purchased from MetLife in the State of New Jersey permanent life
insurance policies on the lives of insureds who at the time of
purchase were non-smoking juveniles (that is, under 18 years of
age) as stated in the policy contract, application and
illustration provided at the time of application or policy
delivery, who attained or will attain age 18 after Jan. 1, 1998,
and whose policies are currently in-force or were in-force after
the first payment of policy premiums (Class Action Reporter, May
15, 2008).

The plaintiffs claim that MetLife conceals this deceitful
policy, which violates underwriting guidelines.

They claim MetLife's "'juvenile standard' or 'standard' rate
and/or risk class is a blend of smoking and nonsmoking mortality
experience.  MetLife never disclosed this information to
policyholders, defendant's own sales agents, or persons other
than those MetLife actuaries and home office personnel involved
in pricing MetLife's insurance policies."

The plaintiffs ask the court for:

     -- an order certifying a plaintiff under R. 4:32, and
        designating named plaintiff Cindy J. Bethea as class
        representative and her counsel as counsel for the class;

     -- compensatory damages;

     -- treble damages under NJSA 56:8-19;

     -- imposition of a constructive trust, an injunction
        barring defendant from perpetuating its wrongful
        practices in the future, and such other equitable
        relief as the court deems just and proper;

     -- attorneys' fees, pursuant to NJSA 56:8-19, and costs of
        suit;

     -- pre-judgment and post-judgment interest; and

     -- such other relief as the court deems equitable and just.

The suit is "Cindy J. Bethea et al. v. Metropolitan Life
Insurance company, Case No. L-3499-08," filed in the Superior
Court of New Jersey.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Bruce D. Greenberg, Esq.
          Jason E. Macias, Esq.
          Lite DePalma Greenberg & Rivas, LLC
          Newark, New Jersey 07302-5003
          Phone: 973-623-3000
          Fax: 973-623-0858


NEW YORK: Fan Sues Giants, Jets Over "Personal Seat Licenses"
-------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Giants and Jets are facing a purported class-action
lawsuit by a fan who claims the football teams are illegally
forcing thousands of season-ticket holders to buy so-called
personal seat licenses (PSLs) to finance a new $1.6-billion
stadium, Erik Larson of Bloomberg News reports.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for District of
New Jersey on March 16, 2009.  It specifically names as
defendants:

       -- New York Football Giants, Inc.,
       -- Giants Stadium LLC,
       -- New York Jets LLC,
       -- Jets Stadium Development LLC, and
       -- New Meadowlands Stadium Company, LLC

It alleges that the teams are violating competition law by
requiring at least 45,000 season-ticket holders to make one-time
payments of $1,000 to $25,000 for permanent licenses to buy
future season tickets, according to Bloomberg News.

The teams allegedly plan to confiscate the PSLs if fans stop
buying season tickets after the National Football League arena
opens in 2010, reports Bloomberg News.

The Jets and Giants "fixed the prices for PSLs and 2010 season
tickets at artificial, supra-competitive prices that were
established by defendants to maximize near-term revenue and
profits," Harold Oshinsky, a retired fan who has held Giants
season tickets for 30 years, said in the 76-page complaint, a
copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg News reported that the football teams are four months
ahead of schedule on the new arena, situated next to the current
stadium that the teams share in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The PSLs were used as a last resort to raise money for the
82,500-seat stadium, Giants co-owner John Mara said in a
statement last year.

The case is "Oshinsky v. New York Football Giants Inc., Case No.
2:09-cv-01186, filed in the U.S. District Court for District of
New Jersey, Judge Katharine S. Hayden, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          James V. Bashian, Esq. (jbashian@bashianlaw.com)
          Law Office of James V. Bashian, PC
          70 Adams Street, 4th Floor
          Hoboken, NJ 07030
          Phone: (973) 227-6330

               - and -

          Andrew D. Friedman, Esq. (afriedman@gbgfriedman.com)
          Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP
          430 Park Avenue
          Suite 702
          New York, NY 10022
          Phone: (212) 308-6300
          Fax: 212 308-6570


PETLAND INC: Faces Lawsuit in Arizona Over Puppies Being Sold
-------------------------------------------------------------
Petland, Inc. and Hunte Corp. are facing a purported class-
action lawsuit in Arizona that accuses them of operating "puppy
mills," Greg Grisolano of The Joplin Globe reports.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Arizona on March 16, 2009 by several pet owners namely JoDell
Martinelli, Stephanie Booth, Melia Perry, Abbigail King, Nicole
Kersanty and Ruth Ross.

The Humane Society of the United States and the pet owners who
purchased their animals from Petland allege that the company
conspired to sell sick puppies bred in filthy conditions,
according to The Joplin Globe report.

The suit seeks class-action status.  It challenges the
companies' conduct under federal racketeering statutes and
consumer-protection laws in 20 states.

In addition, the suit accuses Hunte of selling to Petland
puppies that were "whelped at puppy mills," reports The Joplin
Globe.

The suit is "Martinelli et al v. Petland, Inc. et al., Case No.
2:09-cv-00529-DGC," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Arizona, Judge David G. Campbell, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

          Donald Andrew St. John (andy@hbsslaw.com)
          Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
          2425 E Camelback Rd
          Ste 650
          Phoenix, AZ 85016
          Phone: 602-840-5900
          Fax: 602-840-3012


PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Fraud Suit in New Jersey
---------------------------------------------------------------
Prudential Financial, Inc. and several of its executives are
facing a purported class-action lawsuit in New Jersey, alleging
that the insurer violated federal securities laws in a June 2008
public offering of junior subordinated notes, Darla Mercado of
Investment News reports.

The suit was filed by Karen M. Bauer in the U.S. District Court
for the District of New Jersey on March 12, 2009.  It is
claiming that the registration statement and prospectus for the
$920 million offering of the 9% junior subordinated notes failed
to disclose that Prudential's asset-backed securities — which
were collateralized with subprime mortgages — were more toxic
than the company originally let on, according to the Investment
News report.

Investment News reported that among the executives named in the
suit are Arthur F. Ryan, Prudential's chairman and chief
executive; Richard J. Carbone, senior vice president and finance
chief; and Peter B. Sayre, the company's controller.

The suit also named as defendants offering underwriters RBC
Capital Markets Corp. in Minneapolis; UBS Securities LLC of
Stamford, Conn.; Wachovia Capital Markets LLC in Charlotte,
N.C.; as well as Banc of America Securities LLC, Citigroup
Global Markets Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., Merrill Lynch
& Co. Inc. and Morgan Stanley, all of New York, reports
Investment News.

According to the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by
Investment News, the company's goodwill associated with some
subsidiaries was also impaired to a greater extent than
originally revealed.

In addition, Ms. Bauer also alleged that the defendants failed
to properly record losses for these toxic assets and that the
company's internal controls were inadequate.

Although the original offering sold off 36.8 million shares of
the notes at $25 a share, the price of the securities ultimately
took a dive when the insurer announced large writedowns related
to its subprime exposure.

Ms. Bauer and the rest of the class, represented by Bensalem,
Pa., lawyer Howard G. Smith, Esq., are seeking compensatory
damages, coverage of legal fees and any other relief deemed
equitable by the court.  The plaintiffs are also seeking a trial
jury, according to the Investment News report.

The suit is "Bauer v. Prudential Financial, Inc. et al., Case
No. 2:09-cv-01120-jll-ccc," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the District of New Jersey, Judge Jose L. Linares, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

          Peter S. Pearlman, Esq. (psp@njlawfirm.com)
          Cohn, Lifland, Pearlman, Herrmann & Knopf, LLP
          Park 80 Plaza West One
          Saddle Brook, NJ 07663
          Phone: (201) 845-9600


REFCO INC: Mayer Brown Dismissed From N.Y. Securities Fraud Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Gerald Lynch of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York dismissed Mayer Brown LLP and a firm
partner from a proposed securities class-action suit stemming
from the collapse of Refco, Inc., saying outside counsel could
not be held liable for the alleged multimillion-dollar fraud
scheme that felled the defunct brokerage firm, Law360 reports.

In a ruling issued on March 17, 2009, Judge Lynch granted
motions by Mayer Brown and partner Joseph P. Collins to dismiss
them as defendants in the case, according to the Law360 report.


TREE.COM INC: "Garcia" Suit Over FCRA Breach Pending Arbitration
----------------------------------------------------------------
The putative class-action suit styled, "Marvin Garcia v.
LendingTree, LLC, No. 08 Civ. 4551 (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y.)"
is pending arbitration, according to Tree.com, Inc.'s Feb. 26,
2009 Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Tree.com is the parent of LendingTree, LLC, which was acquired
by IAC/InterActiveCorp in 2003.

On July 29, 2008, Marvin Garcia filed this putative class-action
suit against LendingTree in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California.

Plaintiff previously sued LendingTree in the Southern District
of New York (Marvin Garcia v. LendingTree, LLC, No. 08 Civ. 4551
(U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y.)), but on July 28, 2008, Plaintiff
voluntarily dismissed that action and subsequently filed the
present suit in federal court in California.

The case arises out of LendingTree's April 21, 2008 announcement
that unauthorized persons had gained access to non-public
information relating to its customers.

Plaintiff alleges that LendingTree is a "consumer reporting
agency" within the meaning of the federal Fair Credit Reporting
Act ("FCRA").  According to Plaintiff, LendingTree has
intentionally violated the FCRA by failing to maintain
reasonable procedures designed to limit the furnishing of
consumer reports.  Plaintiff also alleges LendingTree
negligently violated the FCRA by failing to maintain reasonable
procedures to protect Plaintiff's personal and financial
information.

Plaintiff also asserts claims against LendingTree, for
negligence, breach of implied contract, invasion of privacy,
misappropriation of confidential information in violation of
California statute, and violation of California's Business &
Professions Code Section 17200 (the "UCL").

Plaintiff purports to represent all similarly situated persons,
and seeks damages, attorneys' fees and injunctive relief.

On June 11, 2008, the plaintiffs in the Spinozzi and Carson
cases filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation (the "MDL Panel"), requesting that it: (1) exercise
jurisdiction over all actions arising out of LendingTree's April
21, 2008 announcement that unauthorized persons had gained
access to non-public information relating to its customers; and
(2) consolidate all such cases and transfer them to the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.  On
July 3, 2008, LendingTree joined the Spinozzi and Carson
plaintiffs in support of this motion.

On Sept. 12, 2008, LendingTree moved to dismiss the case or
transfer it to the Western District of North Carolina in
Charlotte to be consolidated with the Spinozzi, Carson and
Mitchell cases.  While this motion was pending, on Oct. 7, 2008,
the MDL Panel granted the motion before it, transferring the
Garcia lawsuit to the Western District of North Carolina.

On Feb. 5, 2009, a hearing was held on LendingTree's September
2008 motion to dismiss and to compel arbitration.  At the
hearing, the court granted LendingTree's motion, ordering the
Plaintiff to arbitration and staying the litigation pending
outcome of the arbitration proceeding.

Tree.com, Inc. -- http://www.tree.com/-- through its various
subsidiaries, operates a lending business (the Lending Business)
and a real estate business (the Real Estate Business).  The
Lending Business consists of online networks, principally
LendingTree.com and GetSmart.com, as well as call centers, which
match consumers with lenders and loan brokers.  In addition, the
Lending Business originates, processes, approves and funds
various types of residential real estate loans under two brand
names, LendingTree Loans and HomeLoanCenter.com, and offers
residential mortgage loan settlement services under the name
LendingTree Settlement Services.  The Real Estate Business
consists of an Internet-enabled national residential real estate
brokerage that operates offices in 14 markets under the brand
name RealEstate.com, REALTORS.


TREE.COM INC: Mortgage Store's Suit v. HLC Remains in Discovery
---------------------------------------------------------------
The putative class-action suit filed by The Mortgage Store, Inc.
and Castleview Home Loans, Inc. against a Tree.com, Inc.
subsidiary, Home Loan Center, Inc., remains in discovery.

HLC operates primarily under the brand name "LendingTree
Loans(R)."

The suit styled, "Mortgage Store, Inc. v. LendingTree Loans d/b/
a Home Loan Center, Inc., No. 06CC00250 (Cal. Super. Ct., Orange
Cty.)," was filed on Nov. 30, 2006, in the California Superior
Court for Orange County.

Plaintiffs, two former Network Lenders, allege that HLC
interfered with LendingTree's contracts with Network Lenders by
taking referrals from LendingTree.

The complaint is largely based upon the factual allegations made
in the Schnee complaint that they used the LendingTree.com
website to find potential lenders and without their knowledge
were referred to LendingTree's direct lender, HLC; that Lending
Tree, LLC and HLC did not adequately disclose the relationship
between them; and that HLC charged Plaintiffs higher rates and
fees than they otherwise would have been charged.

Based upon these factual allegations, Plaintiffs assert claims
for intentional interference with contractual relations,
intentional interference with prospective economic advantage,
and violation of the California Business & Professions Code
Section 17200 (the "UCL") and California Business and
Professions Code Section 17500.

Plaintiffs purport to represent all Network Lenders from Dec.
14, 2004 to date, and seek damages, restitution, attorneys'
fees, and punitive damages.

On Feb. 8, 2007, HLC filed a demurrer and a motion to strike
portions of Plaintiffs' complaint.  On March 15, 2007, the court
overruled the demurrer but granted the motion to strike in part,
striking the portion of the complaint that sought restitution
and disgorgement of all profits made by HLC from Dec. 14, 2004
to date.

In September 2008, plaintiffs filed a motion to have the
discovery in this action consolidated with that in "Schnee v.
LendingTree, LLC."  The motion was denied.

The case remains in discovery.  Plaintiffs have not yet filed a
motion for class certification.  No trial date has been set,
according to the company's Feb. 26, 2009 Form 10-K filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Tree.com, Inc. -- http://www.tree.com/-- through its various
subsidiaries, operates a lending business (the Lending Business)
and a real estate business (the Real Estate Business).  The
Lending Business consists of online networks, principally
LendingTree.com and GetSmart.com, as well as call centers, which
match consumers with lenders and loan brokers.  In addition, the
Lending Business originates, processes, approves and funds
various types of residential real estate loans under two brand
names, LendingTree Loans and HomeLoanCenter.com, and offers
residential mortgage loan settlement services under the name
LendingTree Settlement Services.  The Real Estate Business
consists of an Internet-enabled national residential real estate
brokerage that operates offices in 14 markets under the brand
name RealEstate.com, REALTORS.


TREE.COM INC: No Trial Date Yet for Motions in "Boschma" Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
No trial date has been set yet for the motions to dismiss and to
strike the third amended complaint in the putative class-action
suit styled, "Boschma v. Home Loan Center, Inc., No. SACV07-613
(U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal.)."

HLC is a subsidiary of the company that operates primarily under
the brand name "LendingTree Loans(R)."

On May 25, 2007, Clarence and Shirley Boschma filed this
putative class action against HLC in the U.S. District Court for
the Central District of California.

Plaintiffs allege that HLC sold them an option "ARM"
(adjustable-rate mortgage) loan but failed to disclose in a
clear and conspicuous manner, among other things, that the
interest rate was not fixed, that negative amortization could
occur and that the loan had a prepayment penalty.

Based upon these factual allegations, Plaintiffs assert
violations of the federal Truth in Lending Act (the "TILA"),
violations of the California Business & Professions Code Section
17200 (the "UCL"), breach of contract, breach of the covenant of
good faith and fair dealing and violations of California's
Consumer Legal Remedies Act (the "CLRA").

Plaintiffs purport to represent a class of all individuals who
between June 1, 2003 and May 31, 2007 obtained through HLC an
option ARM loan on their primary residence located in
California, and seek rescission, damages, attorneys' fees and
injunctive relief.  On Aug. 10, 2007, Plaintiffs filed a first
amended complaint that dropped their CLRA claim.

On Sept. 11, 2007, HLC filed a motion to dismiss and a motion to
strike the amended complaint.  In its motion to dismiss, HLC
argued that Plaintiffs' UCL claim should be dismissed because
they fail to properly allege that they or the putative class
members suffered injury as a result of HLC's alleged
misrepresentations.  The motion to dismiss also requests
dismissal of Plaintiffs' claims for breach of contract and for
breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
HLC's motion to strike requests that the court strike
Plaintiffs' demand for class-wide rescission under the TILA and
demand for disgorgement the UCL.  Plaintiffs opposed both
motions.  On May 27, 2008, the court granted HLC's motion to
dismiss, denied HLC's motion to strike as moot, and granted
Plaintiffs leave to file a second amended complaint.

On June 16, 2008, Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint,
which added a claim for fraudulent omissions.  In response, HLC
raised the issue that the class representatives had no standing
to assert any claims for rescission under the TILA based on the
fact that they had since refinanced their loan.

On July 24, 2008, Plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint.
In response, on Sept. 8, 2008, HLC filed a motion to dismiss and
a motion to strike.

The parties have agreed not to conduct discovery until after the
court rules on HLC's motions.  The court has taken the HLC's
motions to dismiss and strike under submission.  Plaintiffs have
not yet filed a motion for class certification.  No trial date
has been set, according to the company's Feb. 26, 2009 Form 10-K
filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Tree.com, Inc. -- http://www.tree.com/-- through its various
subsidiaries, operates a lending business (the Lending Business)
and a real estate business (the Real Estate Business).  The
Lending Business consists of online networks, principally
LendingTree.com and GetSmart.com, as well as call centers, which
match consumers with lenders and loan brokers.  In addition, the
Lending Business originates, processes, approves and funds
various types of residential real estate loans under two brand
names, LendingTree Loans and HomeLoanCenter.com, and offers
residential mortgage loan settlement services under the name
LendingTree Settlement Services.  The Real Estate Business
consists of an Internet-enabled national residential real estate
brokerage that operates offices in 14 markets under the brand
name RealEstate.com, REALTORS.


TREE.COM INC: No Trial Date Yet for "Gaines" Suit Over TrueCost
---------------------------------------------------------------
No trial date has been set yet for the putative class-action
suit filed by Joanne Gaines and Johnnie Cave against Home Loan
Center, Inc., and LendingTree, LLC, in the U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California.

Tree.com is the parent of LendingTree and HLC.

The suit styled, "Gaines v. Home Loan Center, Inc., No. SACV08-
667 (U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal.)," was filed on June 13, 2008, in
the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Plaintiffs allege, in essence, that (1) HLC failed to disclose
that the bundled amount for certain loan closing services
(called the "TrueCost") that HLC charged to Plaintiffs was
greater than HLC's actual costs for those services; (2) HLC's
option "ARM" (adjustable-rate mortgage) note failed to tell
Plaintiffs that the stated interest rate and payment amounts
would change after the first month and that the payment amount
stated in the note was not sufficient to pay interest charges,
resulting in negative amortization; and (3) HLC misrepresented
that Plaintiffs would have to obtain a home equity line of
credit in order to obtain a low interest rate on their option
ARM loans.

Based upon these factual allegations, Plaintiffs assert
violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act, the  federal Truth in Lending Act (the
"TILA"), the California Business & Professions Code Section
17200 (the "UCL"), California Business and Professions Code
Section 17500, California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act (the
"CLRA"), breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, conversion, and
money had and received.

Plaintiffs purport to represent all HLC customers who, since
Dec. 14, 2004 (1) were charged by HLC and paid an amount that
exceeded HLC's actual costs for those services; and/or (2)
entered into option ARM loan agreements with HLC; and/or (3)
were misled into taking out a home equity line of credit along
with their option ARM mortgage.

Plaintiffs seek restitution, disgorgement, damages, attorneys'
fees and injunctive relief.

On July 28, 2008, HLC filed a motion to dismiss.  The court
issued an order taking HLC's motion to dismiss under submission
and cancelled a scheduled Oct. 6, 2008 hearing.  HLC has
objected to served discovery and awaits the court's scheduling
order.

Plaintiffs have not yet filed a motion for class certification.
No trial date has been set, according to the company's Feb. 26,
2009 Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Tree.com, Inc. -- http://www.tree.com/-- through its various
subsidiaries, operates a lending business (the Lending Business)
and a real estate business (the Real Estate Business).  The
Lending Business consists of online networks, principally
LendingTree.com and GetSmart.com, as well as call centers, which
match consumers with lenders and loan brokers.  In addition, the
Lending Business originates, processes, approves and funds
various types of residential real estate loans under two brand
names, LendingTree Loans and HomeLoanCenter.com, and offers
residential mortgage loan settlement services under the name
LendingTree Settlement Services.  The Real Estate Business
consists of an Internet-enabled national residential real estate
brokerage that operates offices in 14 markets under the brand
name RealEstate.com, REALTORS.


TREE.COM INC: "Schnee" Litigation v. Units Remains in Discovery
---------------------------------------------------------------
The putative class-action suit styled, "Schnee v. LendingTree,
LLC and Home Loan Center, Inc., No. 06CC00211 (Cal. Super. Ct.,
Orange Cty.)," remains in discovery.

Tree.com, Inc. is the parent of LendingTree and HLC.

On Oct. 11, 2006, four individual plaintiffs filed this putative
class action against LendingTree and HLC in the California
Superior Court for Orange County.

Plaintiffs allege that they used the LendingTree.com website to
find potential lenders and without their knowledge were referred
to LendingTree's direct lender, HLC; that Lending Tree, LLC and
HLC did not adequately disclose the relationship between them;
and that HLC charged Plaintiffs higher rates and fees than they
otherwise would have been charged.

Based upon these allegations, Plaintiffs assert that LendingTree
and HLC violated the California Business & Professions Code
Section 17200 (the "UCL"), California Business and Professions
Code Section 17500, and California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act
(the "CLRA").

Plaintiffs purport to represent a nationwide class of consumers
who sought lender referrals from LendingTree and obtained loans
from HLC since Dec. 1, 2004.

Plaintiffs seek damages, restitution, attorneys' fees and
injunctive relief.

On Nov. 27, 2006, LendingTree and HLC filed demurrers and a
motion to strike portions of the complaint, arguing, among other
things, that the complaint did not adequately allege that the
named class representatives read and relied upon the allegedly
deceptive representations on LendingTree's website.  On Jan. 25,
2007, the court sustained the demurrers and granted the motion
to strike on the reliance issue, but otherwise overruled the
demurrers and denied the motion to strike.  On Feb. 14, 2007,
Plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint.

On March 12, 2007, LendingTree and HLC filed demurrers and a
motion to strike portions of the first amended complaint.  On
May 17, 2007, the court overruled the demurrers and denied the
motion to strike.  On June 11, 2007, LendingTree and HLC filed
an answer to the first amended complaint.

On July 28, 2008, LendingTree and HLC filed a motion for summary
judgment.  On Sept. 2, 2008, a Second Amended Complaint was
filed, adding a new named plaintiff and naming Tree.com, Inc.
and LendingTree's former parent, IAC/InterActiveCorp, as
defendants.  On Nov. 19, 2008 a Third Amended complaint was
filed and the Answer was filed Dec. 22, 2008.

The case remains in discovery.  Plaintiffs have not yet filed a
motion for class certification.  No trial date has been set,
according to the company's Feb. 26, 2009 Form 10-K filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Tree.com, Inc. -- http://www.tree.com/-- through its various
subsidiaries, operates a lending business (the Lending Business)
and a real estate business (the Real Estate Business).  The
Lending Business consists of online networks, principally
LendingTree.com and GetSmart.com, as well as call centers, which
match consumers with lenders and loan brokers.  In addition, the
Lending Business originates, processes, approves and funds
various types of residential real estate loans under two brand
names, LendingTree Loans and HomeLoanCenter.com, and offers
residential mortgage loan settlement services under the name
LendingTree Settlement Services.  The Real Estate Business
consists of an Internet-enabled national residential real estate
brokerage that operates offices in 14 markets under the brand
name RealEstate.com, REALTORS.


TRI-S SECURITY: Reaches Conditional Settlement of IPO Litigation
----------------------------------------------------------------
     ATLANTA, March 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Tri-S Security
Corp. (Nasdaq: TRIS), (the "Company") a provider of security
services and equipment for government and private entities, is
pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a Joint
Stipulation of Settlement and Release (the "Settlement
Agreement") with respect to the previously-disclosed class
action complaint filed against the Company, its Chief Executive
Officer, its former Chief Financial Officer and the lead
underwriters in its initial public offering, alleging, among
other things, certain violations of the Securities Act of 1933
in connection with its initial public offering.

     Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement and the court's
order granting preliminary approval of the Settlement Agreement,
the Company (on behalf of all defendants) shall make a cash
settlement payment of $1 million no later than March 20, 2009,
in return for a release and dismissal with prejudice of all
claims against the Company and the other defendants.  The
Company's insurance carrier and insurance broker have jointly
agreed to fund the entirety of the cash settlement payment.

     The Settlement Agreement is subject to the satisfaction of
certain conditions, including, without limitation, the entry by
the court of a final order approving the Settlement Agreement.
If such final approval is not obtained, then the Settlement
Agreement will become null and void.

     "We are particularly pleased that we have been able to
reach a settlement regarding this matter, thus enabling us to
fully concentrate on running the business for the advantage of
all our stakeholders," said Ron Farrell, Chairman and CEO of the
Company.

Based in Atlanta, GA, Tri-S Security Corp. (NASDAQ: TRIS) is a
provider of security services and equipment for government and
private entities.  Security services include uniformed guards,
personnel protection, access control, crowd control and the
prevention of sabotage, terrorist and criminal activities.  Tri-
S Security assumes responsibility for the marketing,
infrastructure and overall operational performance for its
subsidiaries.  Tri-S Security's management leverages highly
trained government officers, experienced industry leaders,
proven financial executives and infrastructure experts to
consolidate the fragmented security industry into one efficient
and effective security force.


VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: Claims of 33 Shareholders Dismissed in N.Y.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Richard J. Holwell of the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York dismissed without prejudice the
claims brought by 33 individual shareholders in a long-standing
securities fraud class-action lawsuit against two former
executives of Vivendi Universal SA, saying they failed to serve
one of the defendants on time, Law360 reports.

In a ruling issed on March 16, 2009, Judge Holwell approved
former Vivendi Chief Financial Officer Guillaume Hannezo's
motion to dismiss the shareholders' claims, according to the
Law360 report.


WOLTERS KLUWER: Court Grants Final OK to Medi-Span's Amended AWP
----------------------------------------------------------------
     Wed, 18 Mar 2009 14:16:37 GMT -- INDIANAPOLIS - (Business
Wire) Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of
information for healthcare professionals, announced that the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
has granted final approval to the amended settlement between
Medi-Span and the plaintiffs who filed a class action lawsuit
against them in May of 2007.

     The plaintiffs alleged that Wolters Kluwer Health's Medi-
Span negligently published Average Wholesale Price (AWP)
information that had been wrongfully inflated by First DataBank,
Inc., a prior owner of Medi-Span.  Wolters Kluwer Health
continues to deny the plaintiffs' allegations and any liability
based on those allegations.  In addition to other provisions,
Wolters Kluwer Health has agreed to the following terms as a
part of the amended settlement:

       -- Adjust to 1.20 the mark-up factor applied to Wholesale
          Acquisition Cost (WAC) to determine the AWP that Medi-
          Span publishes for the 1,442 NDCs that were identified
          in the plaintiff's complaint and that currently have
          an AWP that is based on a markup factor in excess of
          1.20.

       -- This adjustment will take place no earlier than one
          hundred eighty (180) days from March 17, 2009.

     Independent of the amended settlement, Wolters Kluwer
Health's Medi-Span has decided to implement editorial policy
changes which will apply the same adjustments required by the
settlement to all other NDCs in the Medi-Span files whose AWP is
determined by a markup factor to the product's WAC or Direct
Price (DP) in excess of 1.20.  In addition, Medi-Span will
discontinue publishing current AWPs for all products in the
Medi-Span files within approximately 2 years of March 17, 2009.

     Wolters Kluwer Health remains committed to providing the
industry with content that is accurate, current and meets
business needs.  Medi-Span's content continues to be maintained
according to editorial policies grounded in integrity and guided
by clinical experience.

Medi-Span is part of Wolters Kluwer Health --
http://www.wolterskluwer.com-- a leading provider of
information and business intelligence for students,
professionals and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied
health, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry.  Wolters
Kluwer Health is a division of Wolters Kluwer, a leading global
information services and publishing company.  The company
provides products and services for professionals in the health,
tax, accounting, corporate, financial services, legal, and
regulatory sectors.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

OPPENHEIMER CALIFORNIA: Coughlin Stoia Files Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
     March 18, 2009 03:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time -- SAN DIEGO
-- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
(Coughlin Stoia)(http://www.csgrr.com/cases/oppenheimercalmuni/)
announced that a class action has been commenced in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California on
behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or held shares
of the Oppenheimer California Municipal Fund ("California Fund"
or the "Fund") (NASDAQ:OPCAX), (NASDAQ:OCABX), (NASDAQ:OCACX)
offered by OppenheimerFunds, Inc. ("OppenheimerFunds") in
connection with its September 27, 2006, March 8, 2007 and
October 31, 2007 offerings (the "Offerings").

     The complaint charges the California Fund, OppenheimerFunds
and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the
Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.

     The California Fund is a mutual fund that seeks as high a
level of current interest income exempt from federal and
California income taxes for individual investors as is
consistent with preservation of capital.

     The complaint alleges that while the California Fund
promoted itself as focusing on capital preservation and being
safer than a high yield municipal bond fund, the Fund altered
its investment style and began to significantly increase its
risk in the hopes of seeking higher returns.  Defendants
concealed that the California Fund had increased its exposure in
these excessively risky bets, such that investors remained
unaware of these additional risk exposures.  Then, beginning in
late September 2008 and continuing through February 2009, the
Fund began to acknowledge the serious deterioration in its
portfolio. As a result of these disclosures, the price of the
Fund's shares collapsed.

     According to the complaint, the true facts which were
omitted from the Registration Statements/Prospectuses issued in
connection with the Offerings were as follows:

       -- the Fund was no longer adhering to its objective of
          preserving capital, but in an effort to achieve
          greater yields was pursuing riskier instruments;

       -- the extent of the Fund's liquidity risk due to the
          illiquid nature of a large portion of the Fund's
          portfolios;

       -- the extent to which the Fund's portfolio contained
          unrated securities;

       -- the Fund's internal controls were inadequate to
          prevent defendants from taking on excessive risk or to
          prevent them from improperly evaluating the credit
          quality of unrated securities; and

       -- the extent of the Fund's leverage exposure was
          misstated.

     Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all persons
or entities who purchased or held shares of the California Fund
in connection with the September 27, 2006, March 8, 2007 and
October 31, 2007 offerings (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/oppenheimercalmuni


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cases Still Ongoing v. Morton Int'l. in La.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rohm and Haas Company's subsidiary, Morton International, Inc.,
still has pending suits related to employee exposure to asbestos
at a manufacturing facility in Weeks Island, La., with more
suits expected.

The Company expects that most of these cases will be dismissed
because they are barred under workers' compensation laws.
However, cases involving asbestos-caused malignancies may not be
barred under Louisiana law.

Subsequent to the Morton acquisition, the Company commissioned
medical studies to estimate possible future claims and recorded
accruals based on the results.

Morton has also been sued in connection with asbestos-related
matters in the former Friction Division of the former Thiokol
Corporation, which merged with Morton in 1982. Settlement
amounts to date have been minimal and many cases have closed
with no payment.

The Company estimates that all costs associated with future
Friction Division claims, including defense costs, will be well
below the Company's insurance limits.

As a result of the bankruptcy of asbestos producers, plaintiffs'
attorneys have focused on peripheral defendants, including the
Company, which had asbestos on its premises. Historically, these
premises cases have been dismissed or settled for minimal
amounts because of the minimal likelihood of exposure at the
Company's facilities.

The Company has reserved amounts for premises asbestos cases
that it currently believes are probable and estimable.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Rohm and Haas Company is a global
specialty materials company. The Company reported sales of
US$9.6 billion in 2008 on global businesses including electronic
materials, specialty materials and salt.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Assurant Reserves $30.3M for A&E, Liability
----------------------------------------------------------------
Assurant, Inc. carries case reserves and IBNR (incurred but not
reported) reserves for asbestos, environmental, and general
liability claims totaling US$30.3 million (net of reinsurance)
and US$32 million (before reinsurance) at Dec. 31, 2008.

The Company's property and warranty line of business includes
exposure to asbestos, environmental and other general liability
claims arising from its participation in various reinsurance
pools from 1971 through 1985. This exposure arose from a short
duration contract that the Company discontinued writing many
years ago.

Headquartered in New York, Assurant, Inc. provides specialized
insurance products and related services in North America and
selected other international markets. The Company has four
operating segments: Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty
Property, Assurant Health, and Assurant Employee Benefits.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Westinghouse, Units Facing Exposure Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (d/b/a Wabtec)
and certain of its affiliates continue to face claims asserted
by persons alleging bodily injury as a result of exposure to
asbestos-containing products in various jurisdictions across the
United States.

Most of these claims have been made against the Company's wholly
owned subsidiary, Railroad Friction Products Corporation (RFPC),
and are based on a product sold by RFPC prior to the time that
the Company acquired any interest in RFPC.

Most of these claims, including all of the RFPC claims, are
submitted to insurance carriers for defense and indemnity or to
non-affiliated companies that retain the liabilities for the
asbestos-containing products at issue.

More specifically, as to RFPC, Management's belief that any
losses due to asbestos-related cases would not be material is
also based on the fact that RFPC owns insurance which provides
coverage for asbestos-related bodily injury claims. To date,
RFPC's insurers have provided RFPC with defense and indemnity in
these actions.

As to the Company and its divisions, Management's belief that
asbestos-related cases will not have a material impact is also
based on its position that it has no legal liability for
asbestos-related bodily injury claims, and that the former
owners of the Company's assets retained asbestos liabilities for
the products at issue.

To date, the Company has been able to successfully defend itself
on this basis, including two arbitration decisions and a
judicial opinion, all of which confirmed the Company's position
that it did not assume any asbestos liabilities from the former
owners of certain Company assets.

Headquartered in Wilmerding, Pa., Westinghouse Air Brake
Technologies Corporation provides equipment and services for the
global rail industry. Its products can be found on U.S.
locomotives, freight cars, subway cars and buses. In 2008, the
Company had sales of about US$1.6 billion and net income of
about US$130.6 million.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court to Set Quigley Hearing After March 16
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
has scheduled a confirmation hearing of Quigley Company, Inc.'s
(a Pfizer Inc. subsidiary) Plan of Reorganization to be held
sometime after March 16, 2009.

After that time, the Bankruptcy Court will consider any
objections to the plan's confirmation and determine whether to
approve the plan.

If approved by the claimants and the courts, the amended
reorganization plan will result in a permanent injunction
directing all pending and future claims alleging personal injury
from exposure to Quigley products to a Trust.

Quigley was acquired by the Company in 1968 and sold small
amounts of products containing asbestos until the early 1970s.
In September 2004, the Company and Quigley took steps that were
intended to resolve all pending and future claims against the
Company and Quigley in which the claimants allege personal
injury from exposure to Quigley products containing asbestos,
silica or mixed dust.

The Company recorded a charge of US$369 million before-tax
(US$229 million after-tax) in the third quarter of 2004 in
connection with these matters.

In September 2004, Quigley filed a petition in the Bankruptcy
Court seeking reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code. In March 2005, Quigley filed a reorganization
plan in the Bankruptcy Court that needed the approval of both
the Bankruptcy Court and the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York after receipt of the vote of 75
percent of the claimants.

In connection with that filing, the Company entered into
settlement agreements with lawyers representing more than 80
percent of the individuals with claims related to Quigley
products against Quigley and the Company. The agreements provide
for a total of US$430 million in payments, of which US$215
million became due in December 2005 and is being paid to
claimants upon receipt by the Company of certain required
documentation from each of the claimants.

The reorganization plan provided for the establishment of a
Trust for the payment of all remaining pending claims as well as
any future claims alleging injury from exposure to Quigley
products.

As certified by the balloting agent in May 2006, more than 75
percent of Quigley's claimants holding claims that represented
more than two-thirds in value of claims against Quigley voted to
accept Quigley's plan of reorganization. In August 2006, in
reviewing the voting tabulation methodology, the Bankruptcy
Court ruled that certain votes that accepted the plan were not
predicated upon the actual value of the claim. As a result, the
reorganization plan was not accepted.

In June 2007, Quigley filed an amended plan of reorganization
that is intended to address the Bankruptcy Court's concerns
regarding the voting tabulation methodology. In February 2008,
the Bankruptcy Court authorized Quigley to solicit its amended
reorganization plan for acceptance by claimants.

According to the official report filed with the court by the
balloting agent in July 2008, the requisite number of votes was
cast in favor of the amended plan of reorganization.

Under the amended reorganization plan (as under the original
reorganization plan), the Company will contribute to the Trust
US$405 million through a note as well as about US$100 million in
cash and insurance, and will forgive a US$30 million secured
loan to Quigley. In addition, the Company entered into an
agreement with the representative of future claimants that
provides for the contribution to the Trust of an additional
amount with a present value of US$88.4 million.

In a separately negotiated transaction with an insurance company
in August 2004, the Company agreed to a settlement related to
certain insurance coverage which provides for payments to the
Company over a 10-year period of amounts totaling US$405
million.

Headquartered in New York, Pfizer Inc. discovers, develops,
manufactures and markets safe and effective medicines; explores
ideas that advance the frontiers of science and medicine; and
supports programs dedicated to illness prevention, health and
wellness, and increased access to quality healthcare.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: American Optical Has 104T Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pfizer Inc. says that, as of Dec. 31, 2008, about 104,000 claims
naming American Optical Corporation and numerous other
defendants were pending in various federal and state courts
seeking damages for alleged personal injury from exposure to
asbestos and other hazardous materials.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, about 106,000 claims naming American
Optical Corporation and numerous other defendants were pending
in various federal and state courts. (Class Action Reporter,
March 28, 2008)

Between 1967 and 1982, Warner-Lambert Company owned American
Optical, which manufactured and sold respiratory protective
devices and asbestos safety clothing. In connection with the
sale of American Optical in 1982, Warner-Lambert agreed to
indemnify the purchaser for certain liabilities, including
certain asbestos-related and other claims.

The Company is actively engaged in the defense of, and will
continue to explore various means to resolve, these claims.
Several of the insurance carriers that provided coverage for the
American Optical asbestos and other allegedly hazardous
materials claims have denied coverage.

Headquartered in New York, Pfizer Inc. discovers, develops,
manufactures and markets safe and effective medicines; explores
ideas that advance the frontiers of science and medicine; and
supports programs dedicated to illness prevention, health and
wellness, and increased access to quality healthcare.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pfizer Facing Gibsonburg Lime Injury Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pfizer Inc. faces lawsuits in federal and state courts seeking
damages for alleged personal injury from exposure to products
containing asbestos and other allegedly hazardous materials sold
by Gibsonburg Lime Products Company.

Gibsonburg was acquired by the Company in the 1960s and sold
small amounts of products containing asbestos until the early
1970s.

There also are a small number of lawsuits pending in various
federal and state courts seeking damages for alleged exposure to
asbestos in facilities owned or formerly owned by the Company or
its subsidiaries.

Headquartered in New York, Pfizer Inc. discovers, develops,
manufactures and markets safe and effective medicines; explores
ideas that advance the frontiers of science and medicine; and
supports programs dedicated to illness prevention, health and
wellness, and increased access to quality healthcare.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACE Records $1.369B Net Reserves at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
ACE Limited's net asbestos-related reserves were US$1.369
billion at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with US$1.482 billion at Dec.
31, 2007.

The Company's gross asbestos-related reserves were US$2.629
billion at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with US$2.942 billion at Dec.
31, 2007.

The Company's exposure to asbestos and environmental claims
principally arises out of liabilities acquired when it purchased
Westchester Specialty in 1998 and the P&C business of CIGNA in
1999, with the larger exposure contained within the liabilities
acquired in the CIGNA transaction.

The A&E net loss reserves including allocated and unallocated
loss expense reserves and provision for uncollectible
reinsurance at Dec. 31, 2008, of US$1.683 billion are comprised
of US$1.29 billion in reserves held by Brandywine run-off
companies, US$122 million of reserves held by Westchester
Specialty, US$154 million of reserves held by ACE Bermuda and
US$117 million of reserves held by Insurance – Overseas General.

For asbestos, the Company faces claims relating to policies
issued to manufacturers, distributors, installers, and other
parties in the chain of commerce for asbestos and products
containing asbestos.

Claims can be filed by individual claimants or groups of
claimants with the potential for hundreds of individual
claimants at one time. Claimants will generally allege damages
across an extended time period which may coincide with multiple
policies for a single insured.

Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, ACE Limited is a global
insurance and reinsurance organization, with operating
subsidiaries in more than 50 countries serving the needs of
commercial and individual customers in more than 140 countries.
The Company serves the property and casualty (P&C) insurance
needs of businesses. At Dec. 31, 2008, the Company had total
assets of about US$72 billion and shareholders' equity of about
US$14 billion.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACE Limited Records 1,198 Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
ACE Limited recorded 1,198 open asbestos claims for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2008, compared with 1,169 claims for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2007.

During the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, the Company recorded 75
newly reported claims and 46 claims closed or otherwise
disposed. During the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company
recorded 87 newly reported claims and 309 claims closed or
otherwise disposed.

Closed or otherwise disposed claims were significantly higher in
2007, compared with 2008, following a review in 2007 of inactive
files that revealed that payment was no longer sought on the
files, therefore, the files were closed.

Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, ACE Limited is a global
insurance and reinsurance organization, with operating
subsidiaries in more than 50 countries serving the needs of
commercial and individual customers in more than 140 countries.
The Company serves the property and casualty (P&C) insurance
needs of businesses. At Dec. 31, 2008, the Company had total
assets of about US$72 billion and shareholders' equity of about
US$14 billion.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Belden Inc. Has 130 Injury Cases at Feb. 9
----------------------------------------------------------------
Belden Inc., at Feb. 9, 2009, was aware of 130 asbestos-related
personal injury cases, in which it is one of many defendants,
according to the Company's 2008 annual report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

These proceedings include personal injury cases, about 125 of
which the Company was aware at Oct. 29, 2008, in which the
Company is one of many defendants. (Class Action Reporter, Nov.
21, 2008)

Electricians have filed a majority of these cases, primarily in
New Jersey and Pennsylvania, generally seeking compensatory,
special and punitive damages. Typically in these cases, the
claimant alleges injury from alleged exposure to heat-resistant
asbestos fiber.

The Company's alleged predecessors had a small number of
products that contained the fiber, but ceased production of
those products more than 20 years ago.

Through Feb. 9, 2009, the Company has been dismissed, or reached
agreement to be dismissed, in about 262 similar cases without
any going to trial, and with only 29 of these involving any
payment to the claimant.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Belden Inc. designs, manufactures
and markets signal transmission solutions, including cable,
connectivity and active components for mission-critical
applications in markets ranging from industrial automation to
data centers, broadcast studios, and aerospace.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Domtar Ind. Still Has Injury Cases in U.S.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Domtar Corporation says that various asbestos-related personal
injury claims are pending in U.S. state and federal courts
against Domtar Industries Inc. and certain other affiliates of
the Company.

These claims are filed in connection with alleged exposure by
people to products or premises containing asbestos, according to
the Company's 2008 annual report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, the Company had a provision of US$99
million for environmental expenditures, including certain asset
retirement obligations (such as for land fill capping and
asbestos removal) (US$119 million as of Dec. 30, 2007).

Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Domtar Corporation
manufactures and markets freesheet paper in North America. The
Company also manufactures papergrade, fluff and specialty pulp.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Split Rulings Issued in Price Pfister Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3, California,
issues split rulings in an asbestos-related case styled "Price
Pfister, Inc., Plaintiff and Appellant v. TriMas Corporation,
Defendant and Appellant."

Judges Richard D. Fybel, Kathleen O'Leary, and Eileen C. Moore
entered judgment on Case No. G039081 on Feb. 3, 2009.

In 1910, Emil Price and William Pfister founded the Price
Pfister Company and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Norris
Industries, Inc. In 1979, Price-Pfister Brass Mfg. Co. merged
into its parent corporation, Norris Industries, Inc.

On Dec. 8, 1981, Norind Holdings, Inc. acquired Norris
Industries, Inc.; Norris Industries, Inc. became Norind Holding,
Inc.'s wholly owned subsidiary. On Dec. 29, 1981, Norind
Holdings, Inc. changed its corporate name to Norris-NI
Industries, Inc.

On Oct. 4, 1982, NI Industries, Inc. was operated as a wholly
owned subsidiary of Norris-NI Industries, Inc. On Dec. 31, 1982,
Norris-NI Industries, Inc. "acquired certain assets and
liabilities of its [other] wholly owned subsidiary, Norris
Industries, Inc., a California corporation including, but not
limited to, the assets and liabilities of the Price Pfister
Division of Norris Industries, Inc."

On Jan. 31, 1983, Norris-NI Industries, Inc. "merged its wholly
owned subsidiary, NI Industries, Inc., into itself and changed
its corporate name to NI Industries, Inc." In May 1983, Price
Pfister was incorporated in Delaware as Price Pfister, NI
Industries, Inc., and later changed its corporate name to Price
Pfister, Inc.

On June 24, 1983, NI Industries, Inc., and Price Pfister entered
into an agreement.

In 2005, Price Pfister filed a complaint against TriMas (as
successor in interest to NI Industries, Inc.) and Metaldyne
Corporation (TriMas' immediate predecessor in interest) for
express indemnity, breach of contract, implied
indemnity/equitable indemnity, unjust enrichment, and
declaratory relief.

The complaint stated that, beginning in October 2000, Price
Pfister has been sued in 11 product liability cases in
California, "alleging injury from 'Price Pfister' products,
which allegedly incorporated asbestos-containing gaskets,
washers, and/or packings."

In February 2006, Price Pfister filed a motion for summary
judgment. TriMas filed a motion for summary judgment or, in the
alternative, summary adjudication challenging Price Pfister's
claim for implied indemnity/equitable indemnity on the ground
the Agreement prohibited Price Pfister from pursuing that claim.

In June 2006, the trial court denied Price Pfister's motion for
summary judgment. In November 2006, Price Pfister filed a first
amended complaint against TriMas.

Following a bench trial, the court rendered a tentative decision
which became the court's final statement of decision. Price
Pfister and TriMas have each appealed from the judgment. TriMas
filed a motion for sanctions, which the Appeals Court denied.
Price Pfister filed a cross-motion for sanctions, but shortly
thereafter withdrew it.

The Appeals Court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The
Appeals Court affirmed the portion of the judgment in which the
trial court interpreted the indemnity provision to apply to (1)
products manufactured by NI Industries, Inc., not to products
manufactured by NI Industries, Inc.'s predecessors in interest
and (2) actual occurrences of death, personal injury and/or
property damage caused by a NI Industries, Inc., manufactured
product.

The Appeals Court reversed the portion of the judgment denying
Price Pfister defense costs with directions to the trial court
to determine whether, in any of the 11 cases filed against Price
Pfister, the duty to defend had been triggered, and whether
Price Pfister is entitled to recover attorney fees and/or costs
under Price Pfister's claims for express indemnity and breach of
contract.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal Court Upholds Ruling in Pierce Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims affirmed the Board
of Veterans' Appeals ruling, which denied Jerry D. Pierce
entitlement to benefits for chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease, asbestosis, sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus, and a
pancreatic condition.

The case is styled Jerry D. Pierce, Appellant v. Eric K.
Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Appellee.

Judge Lawrence B. Hagel entered judgment in Case No. 06-1361 on
Feb. 3, 2009.

Mr. Pierce served in the U.S. Navy from June 1959 until October
1963. While stationed onboard a ship in March 1962, he was
burned by steam escaping from a boiler. He had burns on about 15
percent of his body and suffered from first and second degree
burns on his face, neck, and upper body.

In August 2002, Mr. Pierce applied for VA benefits for
respiratory conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease and asbestosis, and for sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus,
and a pancreatic condition as secondary to his respiratory
conditions.

Mr. Pierce asserted that his respiratory problems were caused
when he inhaled steam escaping from the boiler during the March
1962 incident and from exposure to asbestos on his ship.

In June 2003, a VA regional office provided a physical
examination in connection with Mr. Pierce's claims. In August
2003, the regional office denied Mr. Pierce entitlement to
service connection for all of his claimed conditions.

In September 2004, the VA examiner opined that there was "little
to suggest" that Mr. Pierce currently had asbestosis. The
examiner also stated that Mr. Pierce's chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease was consistent with lung disease caused by
smoking, of which he had a long history.

On July 25, 2005, VA sent a letter to Mr. Pierce informing him
that he could request a hearing before the Board. In October
2005, Mr. Pierce sent a letter requesting that his case remain
at the Board. In December 2005, Mr. Pierce's service office
representative submitted a brief to the Board on Mr. Pierce's
behalf.

In January 2006, the Board issued the decision on appeal,
denying entitlement to disability compensation for a lung
disease to include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and
asbestosis. The Board also denied benefits for sleep apnea,
diabetes mellitus, and a pancreatic condition as secondary to
the lung conditions.

Mr. Pierce appealed. He asserted that his claims for service
connection for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and
asbestosis were supported by medical evidence.

The Jan. 11, 2006 Board decision was affirmed.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OneBeacon Cites $1.098B Reserves at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd., as of Dec. 31, 2008, had
established gross loss and loss adjustment expense reserves for
asbestos claims of US$1.098 billion.

About 99 percent of these loss and LAE reserves are covered
under reinsurance arrangements. The Company's net loss and LAE
reserves for asbestos claims, after giving effect to third party
reinsurance other than the NICO Cover, was US$741.5 million at
Dec. 31, 2008.

The Company's net loss and LAE reserves for asbestos claims,
after giving effect to both third party reinsurance and the NICO
Cover, was US$6.5 million at Dec. 31, 2008.

The Company also incurred asbestos and environmental losses via
its participation in industry pools and associations. The most
significant of these pools was Excess Casualty Reinsurance
Association, or ECRA, which provided excess liability
reinsurance to U.S. insurers from 1950 until the early 1980s.

ECRA incurred significant liabilities for A&E, of which the
Company bears about a 4.7 percent share at both Dec. 31, 2008
and Dec. 31, 2007, or US$40 million at Dec. 31, 2008 and US$59.5
million at Dec. 31, 2007.

Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minn., OneBeacon Insurance Group,
Ltd. OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd. is a property and casualty
insurance writer that provides specialty insurance products and
segmented commercial and personal insurance products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OneBeacon Has 474 Policyholders at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd., at Dec. 31, 2008, had 474
policyholders who have asbestos-related claims against the
Company, according to the Company's 2008 annual report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At Dec. 31, 2007, the Company had 491 policyholders who had
asbestos-related claims against it.

Since the 1990s, the Company has experienced an influx of claims
from commercial insureds, including many non-Fortune 500-sized
accounts written during the 1970s and 1980s, which are named as
defendants in asbestos lawsuits.

As a number of large well-known manufacturers of asbestos and
asbestos-containing products have gone into bankruptcy,
plaintiffs have sought recoveries from peripheral defendants,
such as installers, transporters or sellers of such products, or
from owners of premises on which the plaintiffs' exposure to
asbestos allegedly occurred.

In 2008, 80 new insureds with such peripheral involvement
presented asbestos claims under prior policies the Company had
written.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, there were about 242 active claims by
insureds against the Company without product liability coverage
asserting operations or premises coverage, which may not be
subject to aggregate limits under the policies.

The Company has ceded estimated incurred losses of about US$2.2
billion to the NICO Cover at Dec. 31, 2008. Since entering into
the NICO Cover, US$44.7 million of the US$2.2 billion of
utilized coverage relates to uncollected amounts from third
party reinsurers through Dec. 31, 2008. Net losses paid totaled
US$1.1 billion as of Dec. 31, 2008, with US$108.5 million paid
in 2008.

During the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, the Company recorded 80
accounts reporting asbestos claims opened and 97 accounts
reporting asbestos claims closed. During the year ended Dec. 31,
2007, the Company recorded 102 accounts reporting asbestos
claims opened and 153 accounts reporting asbestos claims closed.

Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minn., OneBeacon Insurance Group,
Ltd. OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd. is a property and casualty
insurance writer that provides specialty insurance products and
segmented commercial and personal insurance products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Selective Insurance Has 2,037 Claims in '08
----------------------------------------------------------------
Selective Insurance Group, Inc. had 2,037 asbestos-related
claims at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with 2,177 claims at Dec. 31,
2007, according to the Company's 2008 annual report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At Dec. 31, 2008, the Company noted 124 claims received during
year and 264 claims closed during year. The average gross loss
settlement on closed claims was US$32,000, the gross amount paid
to administer closed claims was US$110,582,000, and the net
survival ratio was 15.

At Dec. 31, 2008, the Company noted 114 claims received during
year and 210 claims closed during year. The average gross loss
settlement on closed claims was US$81,000, the gross amount paid
to administer closed claims was US$51,868,000, and the net
survival ratio was 16.

Asbestos claims constituted 86 percent of the Company's 2,362
environmental claims at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with 89 percent
of its 2,448 outstanding environmental claims at Dec. 31, 2007.

Included in the Company's loss and loss expense reserves are
amounts for environmental claims, both asbestos and non-
asbestos. Carried net loss and loss expense reserves for
environmental claims were US$44.1 million as of Dec. 31, 2008
and US$51.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2007.

The Company's asbestos and non-asbestos environmental claims
have arisen primarily from insured exposures in municipal
government, small commercial risks, and homeowners policies.

Headquartered in Branchville, N.J., Selective Insurance Group,
Inc. offers property and casualty insurance products and
diversified insurance services and products. The Company has
three operating segments: Insurance Operations, Investments, and
Diversified Insurance Services.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allegheny Faces 853 W.Va. Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Allegheny Energy, Inc., as of Dec. 31, 2008, faced 853 asbestos
exposure claims in West Virginia and five exposure claims in
Pennsylvania, according to the Company's annual report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 2, 2009.

As of Sept. 30, 2008, the Company faced 845 asbestos exposure
claims in West Virginia and five claims in Pennsylvania. (Class
Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

Allegheny's Distribution Companies (Monongahela Power Company,
The Potomac Edison Company, and West Penn Power Company) have
been named as defendants, along with multiple other defendants,
in pending asbestos cases alleging bodily injury involving
multiple plaintiffs and multiple sites.

These suits have been brought mostly by seasonal contractors'
employees and do not involve allegations of the manufacture,
sale or distribution of asbestos-containing products by the
Company. These asbestos suits arise out of historical operations
and are related to the installation and removal of asbestos-
containing materials at the Company's generation facilities.

The Company's historical operations were insured by various
foreign and domestic insurers, including Lloyd's of London.
Asbestos-related litigation expenses have to date been
reimbursed in full by recoveries from these historical insurers.
Certain insurers, however, have contested their obligations to
pay for the future defense and settlement costs relating to the
asbestos suits.

The Company is currently involved in three asbestos and
environmental insurance-related actions. These actions are:

-- Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London et al. v.
   Allegheny Energy, Inc. et al., Case No. 21-C-03-16733
   (Washington County, Md.),

-- Monongahela Power Company et al. v. Certain
   Underwriters at Lloyd’s London and London Market
   Companies, et al., Civil Action No. 03-C-281
   (Monongalia County, W.Va.) and

-- Allegheny Energy, Inc. et al. v. Liberty Mutual
   Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 07-3168-BLS
   (Suffolk Superior Court, Mass.).

The Company and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company have resolved
their dispute and, therefore, Civil Action No. 07-3168-BLS will
be voluntarily dismissed. The parties in the remaining actions
are seeking a declaration of coverage under the policies for
asbestos-related and environmental claims.

Headquartered in Greensburg, Pa., Allegheny Energy, Inc. is an
integrated energy business that owns and operates electric
generation facilities and delivers electric services to
customers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.
The Company has two business segments: Delivery and Services
segment and Generation and Marketing.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W. R. Grace's Libby Liability Totals $48.4M
----------------------------------------------------------------
W. R. Grace & Co.'s total estimated liability for asbestos
remediation over its former vermiculite operations in Libby,
Mont., was US$48.4 million, excluding interest at Dec. 31, 2008,
compared with US$296.9 million, excluding interest, at Dec. 31,
2007.

The estimated obligation as of each date does not include the
cost to remediate the Company-owned Libby vermiculite mine,
which is not currently estimable.

The Company's total estimated liability for asbestos remediation
related to Libby, including the cost of remediation at
vermiculite processing sites outside of Libby, was US$50.4
million at Sept. 30, 2008. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 21,
2008)

As a result of a 2002 U.S. District Court ruling, the Company is
required to reimburse the United States Government for US$54.5
million (plus interest) in costs expended through December 2001,
and for all appropriate future costs to complete asbestos-
related remediation relating to the Company's former vermiculite
mining and processing activities in the Libby area.

These costs include cleaning and demolition of contaminated
buildings, excavation and removal of contaminated soil, health
screening of Libby residents and former mine workers, and
investigation and monitoring costs.

In June 2008, the Bankruptcy Court approved an agreement (EPA
Cost Recovery Agreement), between the Company and the U.S.
Department of Justice to settle the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's cost recovery claims for all past and future
remediation costs with respect to the Company's former Libby
operations, except for those relating to the Company-owned Libby
vermiculite mine, for a payment by the Company of US$250
million.

In addition, EPA has agreed to take no action against the
Company with respect to the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site.
During 2008, the Company paid US$250 million plus accrued
interest of about US$2 million in satisfaction of its
obligations under the EPA Cost Recovery Agreement.

Headquartered in Columbia, Md., W. R. Grace & Co. supplies
catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts
for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and
specialty materials for industrial applications; sealants and
coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty
chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and
residential construction.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W. R. Grace Expends $29.7Mil for Libby Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Total expense for W. R. Grace & Co. and certain of its current
and former employees over a lawsuit concerning criminal
activities at the Company's former vermiculite mine in Libby,
Mont., was US$29.7 million at Dec. 31, 2008, US$19 million at
Dec. 31, 2007, and US$52.7 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

Cumulative expenses to address this matter were US$121.4 million
through Dec. 31, 2008.

Total expense over the Libby suit US$16.6 million for the nine
months ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$11.2 million for
the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007. (Class Action Reporter,
Nov. 21, 2008)

In February 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the
unsealing of a grand jury indictment against the Company and
seven former senior level employees (one of whom is now
deceased) (United States of America v. W. R. Grace & Co. et al)
relating to vermiculite mining and processing activities in
Libby.

The indictment accuses the defendants of (1) conspiracy to
violate environmental laws and obstruct federal agency
proceedings; (2) violations of the federal Clean Air Act; and
(3) obstruction of justice.

The Company purchased the Libby mine in 1963 and operated it
until 1990; vermiculite processing activities continued until
1992. The grand jury charges that the conspiracy took place from
1976 to 2002.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Company could
be subject to fines in an amount equal to twice the after-tax
profit earned from its Libby operations or twice the alleged
loss suffered by victims, plus additional amounts for
restitution to victims. The indictment alleges that those after-
tax profits were US$140 million.

The Company has categorically denied any criminal wrongdoing.
The trial began Feb. 19, 2009 and is expected to last three to
four months. Under instructions issued by the U.S. District
Court for the District of Montana, the Company is prohibited
from making any public comments about the proceeding.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court previously granted the Company's
request to advance legal and defense costs to the employees
involved in this case, subject to a reimbursement obligation if
it is later determined that the employees did not meet the
standards for indemnification set forth under the appropriate
state corporate law.

The Company expects legal fees for this matter to be in the
range of US$19 million to US$21 million per quarter from January
2009 through the end of the trial.

Headquartered in Columbia, Md., W. R. Grace & Co. supplies
catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts
for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and
specialty materials for industrial applications; sealants and
coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty
chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and
residential construction.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace's Lawsuit in N.J. Stayed on Dec. 2008
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, in
December 2008, ordered a lawsuit against W. R. Grace & Co.
stayed and administratively terminated.

To the extent this lawsuit proceeds against the two former Grace
employees, the Company may have an indemnification obligation.

In 2005, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
filed a lawsuit against the Company and two former employees,
which was removed at the Company's request to the District Court
(N.J. Dept. of Environmental Protection v. W.R. Grace & Co. et
al.).

The suit seeks civil penalties for alleged misrepresentations
and false statements made in a Preliminary Assessment/Site
Investigation Report and Negative Declarations submitted by the
Company to the NJDEP in 1995 under the New Jersey Industrial
Site Recovery Act.

The Company submitted the report, which was prepared by an
independent environmental consultant, in connection with the
closing of the Company's former vermiculite expansion plant in
Hamilton Township, N.J. In 2005, the Bankruptcy Court stayed
this lawsuit.

In April 2008, the Bankruptcy Court issued an opinion stating
that the action filed by New Jersey was in violation of the
automatic stay and enjoined further pursuit of all claims in the
lawsuit and New Jersey appealed this order to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit.

In April 2007, New Jersey filed a motion for leave to file a
late proof of claim in the amount of US$31 million with respect
to substantially the same claims set forth in the lawsuit. In
August 2007, the Bankruptcy Court denied this motion and the
Delaware District Court affirmed this ruling on appeal in March
2008. In April 2008, New Jersey appealed this ruling to the
Third Circuit.

Headquartered in Columbia, Md., W. R. Grace & Co. supplies
catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts
for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and
specialty materials for industrial applications; sealants and
coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty
chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and
residential construction.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W. R. Grace Still Has Damage, Injury Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
W. R. Grace & Co. is still a defendant in property damage and
personal injury lawsuits relating to previously sold asbestos-
containing products.

As of the April 2, 2001 bankruptcy Filing Date, the Company was
a defendant in 65,656 asbestos-related lawsuits, 17 involving
claims for property damage (one of which has since been
dismissed), and the remainder involving 129,191 claims for
personal injury. Due to the Filing, holders of asbestos-related
claims are stayed from continuing to prosecute pending
litigation and from commencing new lawsuits against the Debtors.

The Personal Injury and Property Damage Committees, representing
the interests of property damage and personal injury claimants,
respectively, and the legal representative of future asbestos
claimants (FCR), representing the interests of future personal
injury claimants, have been appointed in the Chapter 11 Cases.

The Company's obligations with respect to present and future
claims will be determined through the Chapter 11 process.

Cumulatively through the Filing Date, 16,354 asbestos personal
injury lawsuits involving 35,720 PI Claims were dismissed
without payment of any damages or settlement amounts (primarily
on the basis that Grace products were not involved) and 55,489
lawsuits involving 163,698 PI Claims were disposed of (through
settlements and judgments) for a total of US$645.6 million.

As of the Filing Date, 129,191 PI claims for personal injury
were pending against the Company.

The Bankruptcy Court has entered a case management order for
estimating liability for pending and future PI Claims. A trial
for estimating liability for PI Claims began in January 2008 but
was suspended in April 2008 as a result of the PI Settlement.

Headquartered in Columbia, Md., W. R. Grace & Co. supplies
catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts
for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and
specialty materials for industrial applications; sealants and
coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty
chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and
residential construction.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Records 465 Damage Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Following the reclassification, withdrawal or expungement of
claims, W. R. Grace & Co., as of Dec. 31, 2008, said that about
465 asbestos-related Property Damage Claims, subject to a March
31, 2003 bar date, remain outstanding.

The Bankruptcy Court has approved settlement agreements covering
about 375 of those claims for an aggregate allowed amount of
US$93 million.

The plaintiffs in asbestos property damage lawsuits generally
seek to have the defendants pay for the cost of removing,
containing or repairing the asbestos-containing materials in the
affected buildings.

Out of 380 asbestos property damage cases (which involved
thousands of buildings) filed prior to the April 2, 2001
bankruptcy Filing Date, 140 were dismissed without payment of
any damages or settlement amounts; judgments after trial were
entered in favor of the Company in nine cases (excluding cases
settled following appeals of judgments in favor of the Company);
judgments after trial were entered in favor of the plaintiffs in
eight cases (one of which is on appeal) for a total of US$86.1
million; 207 property damage cases were settled for a total of
US$696.8 million; and 16 cases remain outstanding (including the
one on appeal).

Of the 16 remaining cases, eight relate to the Company's
Zonolite Attic Insulation (ZAI) product and eight relate to a
number of former asbestos-containing products (two of which also
are alleged to involve ZAI). About 4,300 additional PD claims
were filed prior to the March 31, 2003 claims bar date
established by the Bankruptcy Court.

Eight of the ZAI cases were filed as purported class action
lawsuits in 2000 and 2001. In addition, 10 lawsuits were filed
as purported class actions in 2004 and 2005 with respect to
persons and homes in Canada.

These cases seek damages and equitable relief, including the
removal, replacement and disposal of all such insulation. The
plaintiffs assert that this product is in millions of homes and
that the cost of removal could be several thousand dollars per
home. As a result of the Filing, the eight U.S. cases have been
stayed.

The plaintiffs in the ZAI lawsuits (and the U.S. government in
the Montana criminal proceeding) dispute the Company's position
on the safety of ZAI.

In October 2004, the Bankruptcy Court held a hearing on motions
filed by the parties to address a number of important legal and
factual issues regarding the ZAI claims. In December 2006, the
Bankruptcy Court issued an opinion and order holding that,
although ZAI is contaminated with asbestos and can release
asbestos fibers when disturbed, there is no unreasonable risk of
harm from ZAI.

The ZAI claimants sought an interlocutory appeal of the opinion
and order with the U.S. District Court for the District of
Delaware, but that request was denied. In the event the Joint
Plan is not confirmed, the ZAI claimants have reserved their
right to appeal such opinion and order if and when it becomes a
final order.

At the Debtors' request, in July 2008, the Bankruptcy Court
established a bar date for U.S. ZAI PD Claims and approved a
related notice program that required any person with a U.S. ZAI
PD Claim to submit an individual proof of claim no later than
Oct. 31, 2008.

About 16,200 U.S. ZAI PD Claims were filed prior to the Oct. 31,
2008 claims bar date and, as of Dec. 31, 2008 an additional
1,755 U.S. ZAI PD Claims were filed. On Oct. 17, 2008, the
Ontario Superior Court of Justice, in the Grace Canada, Inc.
proceeding pending under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement
Act, approved the Minutes of Settlement that would settle all
Canadian ZAI PD Claims on the terms of the Joint Plan. On Oct.
20, 2008, the Bankruptcy Court established Aug. 31, 2009 as the
bar date for Canadian ZAI PD Claims.

On Nov. 21, 2008, the Debtors, the Putative Class Counsel to the
U.S. ZAI property damage claimants, the PD FCR, and the Equity
Committee reached an agreement in principle designed to resolve
all present and future U.S. ZAI PD Claims.

Headquartered in Columbia, Md., W. R. Grace & Co. supplies
catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts
for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and
specialty materials for industrial applications; sealants and
coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty
chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and
residential construction.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Maintains $916Mil Coverage at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
W. R. Grace & Co. says that, as of Dec. 31, 2008, there remains
about US$916 million of asbestos-related excess coverage from 53
presently solvent insurers.

The Company holds insurance policies that provide coverage for
1962 to 1985 with respect to asbestos-related lawsuits and
claims. For the most part, coverage for years 1962 through 1972
has been exhausted, leaving coverage for years 1973 through 1985
available for pending and future asbestos claims. Since 1985,
insurance coverage for asbestos-related liabilities has not been
commercially available to the Company.

The Company has entered into settlement agreements with various
excess insurance carriers. These settlements involve amounts
paid and to be paid to the Company. The unpaid maximum aggregate
amount available under these settlement agreements is about
US$433 million.

Presently, the Company has no agreements in place with insurers
with respect to about US$483 million of excess coverage. Those
policies are at layers of coverage that have not yet been
triggered, but certain layers would be triggered if the Prior
Plan were approved at the recorded asbestos-related liability of
US$1.7 billion.

In addition, the Company has US$253 million of excess coverage
with insolvent or non-paying insurance carriers. Non-paying
carriers are those that, although technically solvent, are not
currently meeting their obligations to pay claims. The Company
has filed and continues to file claims in the insolvency
proceedings of these carriers.

In November 2006, the Company entered into a settlement
agreement with an underwriter of a portion of its excess
insurance coverage. The insurer paid a settlement amount of
US$90 million directly to an escrow account for the benefit of
the holders of claims for which the Company was provided
coverage under the affected policies.

The escrow account balance was US$97.1 million at Dec. 31, 2008
and US$94.8 million at Dec. 31, 2007. Funds will be distributed
from this account directly to claimants at the direction of the
escrow agent under the terms of a confirmed plan of
reorganization or as otherwise ordered by the Bankruptcy Court.

The settlement agreement provides that unless the Company
confirms a plan of reorganization by Dec. 31, 2008, at the
option of the insurer, exercisable at any time prior to April
30, 2009, the escrow amount with interest must be returned to
the insurer.

The Company estimates that eligible claims would have to exceed
US$4 billion to access total coverage. The Company further
estimates that, assuming the resolution value of asbestos-
related claims is equal to the recorded liability of US$1.7
billion (which should fund claim payments in excess of US$2
billion), it should be entitled to about US$500 million of
insurance recovery, including the escrow.

Headquartered in Columbia, Md., W. R. Grace & Co. supplies
catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts
for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and
specialty materials for industrial applications; sealants and
coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty
chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and
residential construction.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W. R.'s Grace Amended Plan Filed on Feb. 27
----------------------------------------------------------------
W. R. Grace & Co. and its debtor subsidiaries, on Feb. 27, 2009,
filed a proposed amended joint plan of reorganization, a
proposed disclosure statement in support of the Joint Plan and
certain proforma and prospective financial information with the
Delaware Bankruptcy Court, according to a Company report, on
Form 8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on
Feb. 27, 2009.

The Disclosure Statement and proforma and prospective financial
information have been prepared in accordance with Section 1125
of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and Rule 3016 of the Federal Rules
of Bankruptcy Procedure.

The Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants,
the legal representative of future asbestos personal injury
claimants and the Official Committee of Equity Security Holders
are joint proponents of the Joint Plan. However, the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors, the Official Committee of
Asbestos Property Damage Claimants and the legal representative
of future asbestos property damage claimants are not proponents
of the Joint Plan.

The Joint Plan and the Disclosure Statement and the exhibits
thereto amend the proposed Joint Plan of Reorganization and
Disclosure Statement filed by the Debtors and the Joint
Proponents on Sept. 19, 2008 and previously amended on Dec. 18,
2008 and Feb. 3, 2009.

Headquartered in Columbia, Md., W. R. Grace & Co. supplies
catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts
for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and
specialty materials for industrial applications; sealants and
coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty
chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and
residential construction.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MetLife Unit Records 74,027 Claims at 2008
----------------------------------------------------------------
MetLife, Inc.'s subsidiary, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company,
recorded 74,027 asbestos personal injury claims at Dec. 31,
2008, compared with 79,717 claims at Dec. 31, 2007, according to
the Company's annual report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on March 2, 2009.

At Dec. 31, 2008, MLIC recorded 5,063 new claims during the year
and made settlement payments of US$99 million during the year.
At Dec. 31, 2007, MLIC recorded 7,161 new claims during the year
and made settlement payments of US$28.2 million during the year.

MLIC is and has been a defendant in a large number of asbestos-
related suits filed primarily in state courts. These suits
principally allege that the plaintiff or plaintiffs suffered
personal injury resulting from exposure to asbestos and seek
both actual and punitive damages.

The lawsuits principally have focused on allegations with
respect to certain research, publication and other activities of
one or more of MLIC's employees during the period from the 1920s
through about the 1950s and allege that MLIC learned or should
have learned of certain health risks posed by asbestos and
improperly publicized or failed to disclose those health risks.

Claims asserted against MLIC have included negligence,
intentional tort and conspiracy concerning the health risks
associated with asbestos. During the course of the litigation,
certain trial courts have granted motions dismissing claims
against MLIC, while other trial courts have denied MLIC's
motions to dismiss.

During 1998, MLIC paid US$878 million in premiums for excess
insurance policies for asbestos-related claims. The excess
insurance policies for asbestos-related claims provided for
recovery of losses up to US$1.5 billion in excess of a US$400
million self-insured retention. The Company's initial option to
commute the excess insurance policies for asbestos-related
claims would have arisen at the end of 2008.

On Sept. 29, 2008, MLIC entered into agreements commuting the
excess insurance policies as of Sept. 30, 2008. As a result of
the commutation of the policies, MLIC received cash and
securities totaling US$632 million.

Of this total, MLIC received US$115 million in fixed maturity
securities on Sept. 26, 2008, US$200 million in cash on Oct. 29,
2008, and US$317 million in cash on Jan. 29, 2009. MLIC
recognized a loss on commutation of the policies in the amount
of US$35.3 million during 2008.

Headquartered in New York, MetLife, Inc. provides individual
insurance, employee benefits and financial services with
operations throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe,
and Asia Pacific. The Company also offers life insurance,
annuities, automobile and homeowners insurance, retail banking
and other financial services to individuals, as well as group
insurance and retirement & savings products and services to
corporations and other institutions.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ingersoll-Rand Has 63,308 Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ingersoll-Rand Company Limited recorded 63,308 open asbestos
claims of its legacy businesses at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with
100,623 claims at Dec. 31, 2007.

At Dec. 31, 2008, the Company had 4,567 new claims filed; 3,693
claims settled; and 38,189 claims dismissed. At Dec. 31, 2007,
the Company had 5,398 new claims filed; 5,005 claims settled;
and 1,479 claims dismissed.

Certain wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company are named as
defendants in asbestos-related lawsuits in state and federal
courts. In virtually all of the suits, a large number of other
companies have also been named as defendants. Most of those
claims has been filed against either Ingersoll-Rand Company (IR-
New Jersey) or Trane Inc. and generally allege injury caused by
exposure to asbestos contained in certain historical products
sold by IR-New Jersey or Trane, primarily pumps, boilers and
railroad brake shoes.

From receipt of its first asbestos claims more than 25 years ago
to Dec. 31, 2008, the Company has resolved (by settlement or
dismissal) about 253,000 claims arising from the legacy
Ingersoll Rand businesses. The total amount of all settlements
paid by the Company (excluding insurance recoveries) and by its
insurance carriers is US$351 million, for an average payment per
resolved claim of US$1,387. The average payment per claim
resolved during the year ended Dec. 31, 2008 was US$952.

From receipt of the first asbestos claim more than 20 years ago
through Dec. 31, 2008, the Company has resolved about 74,000 (by
settlement or dismissal) claims arising from the legacy Trane
business. The Company and its insurance carriers have paid
settlements of about US$125.4 million on these claims, which
represent an average payment per resolved claim of US$1,694.

There were 98,339 open claims pending against Trane at Dec. 31,
2008, compared with 105,023 claims at Dec. 31, 2007.

At Dec. 31, 2008, Trane had 3,626 new claims filed; 600 claims
settled; and 9,710 claims dismissed. At Dec. 31, 2007, Trane had
3,019 claims filed; 740 claims settled; and 1,826 claims
dismissed.

At December 31, 2008, over 90 percent of the open claims against
the Company are non-malignancy claims, many of which have been
placed on inactive or deferral dockets and the vast majority of
which have little or no settlement value against the Company,
particularly in light of recent changes in the legal and
judicial treatment of such claims.

Headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, Ingersoll-Rand Company
Limited provides products, services and solutions to improve air
in homes and buildings, transport and protect food and
perishables, secure homes and commercial properties, and
increase industrial productivity and efficiency. The Company's
businesses consist of Air Conditioning Systems and Services,
Climate Control Technologies, Industrial Technologies and
Security Technologies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Trane Still Engaged in Coverage Litigation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ingersoll-Rand Company Limited's subsidiary, Trane Inc.,
continues to be in litigation against certain carriers whose
policies it believes provide coverage for asbestos claims.

The insurance carriers named in this suit have challenged
Trane's right to recovery. Trane filed the action in April 1999
in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, against
various primary and lower layer excess insurance carriers,
seeking coverage for environmental claims (NJ Litigation).

The NJ Litigation was later expanded to also seek coverage for
asbestos-related liabilities from 21 primary and lower layer
excess carriers and underwriting syndicates. The environmental
claims against most of the insurers in the NJ Litigation have
been settled.

On Sept. 19, 2005, the court granted Trane's motion to add
claims for insurance coverage for asbestos-related liabilities
against 16 additional insurers and 117 new insurance policies to
the NJ Litigation. The court also required the parties to submit
all contested matters to mediation. Trane engaged in its first
mediation session with the NJ Litigation defendants on Jan. 18,
2006 and has engaged in active discussions since that time.

Trane has now settled with a substantial number of its insurers,
collectively accounting for about 80 percent of its recorded
asbestos-related liability insurance receivable as of Jan. 31,
2009.

More specifically, effective Aug. 26, 2008, Trane entered into a
coverage-in-place agreement with the following five insurance
companies or groups: 1) Hartford; 2) Travelers; 3) Allstate
(solely in its capacity as successor-in-interest to Northbrook
Excess & Surplus Insurance Company); 4) Dairyland Insurance
Company; and 5) AIG.

The August 26 Agreement provides for the reimbursement by the
insurer signatories of a portion of Trane's costs for asbestos
bodily injury claims under specified terms and conditions and in
exchange for certain releases and indemnifications from Trane.
In addition, on Sept. 12, 2008, Trane entered into a settlement
agreement with Mt. McKinley Insurance Company and Everest
Reinsurance Company, both members of the Everest Re group,
resolving all claims in the NJ Litigation involving policies
issued by those companies.

The Everest Re Agreement contains elements, including policy
buy-outs and partial buy-outs in exchange for a cash payment
along with coverage-in-place features similar to those contained
in the August 26 Agreement, in exchange for certain releases and
indemnifications by Trane.

More recently, on Jan. 26, 2009, Trane entered into a coverage-
in-place agreement with Columbia Casualty Company, Continental
Casualty Company, and Continental Insurance Company in its own
capacity and as successor-in-interest to Harbor Insurance
Company and London Guarantee & Accident Company of New York. The
CNA Agreement provides for the reimbursement by the insurer
signatories of a portion of Trane's costs for indemnification
from Trane.

Trane remains in settlement negotiations with the insurer
defendants in the NJ Litigation not encompassed within the
August 26 Agreement, Everest Re Agreement, and the CNA
Agreement.

Once concluded, the Company said it believes NJ Litigation will
resolve coverage issues with respect to about 95 percent of
Trane's recorded insurance receivable in connection with
asbestos-related liabilities.

Headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, Ingersoll-Rand Company
Limited provides products, services and solutions to improve air
in homes and buildings, transport and protect food and
perishables, secure homes and commercial properties, and
increase industrial productivity and efficiency. The Company's
businesses consist of Air Conditioning Systems and Services,
Climate Control Technologies, Industrial Technologies and
Security Technologies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ingersoll-Rand Reports $1.195B Liability
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ingersoll-Rand Company Limited's liability for asbestos-related
matters totaled US$1.195 billion at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with
US$754.9 million.

The Company's asset for probable asbestos-related insurance
recoveries totaled US$423.8 million at Dec. 31, 2008, compared
with US$249.8 million at Dec. 31, 2007.

Headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, Ingersoll-Rand Company
Limited provides products, services and solutions to improve air
in homes and buildings, transport and protect food and
perishables, secure homes and commercial properties, and
increase industrial productivity and efficiency. The Company's
businesses consist of Air Conditioning Systems and Services,
Climate Control Technologies, Industrial Technologies and
Security Technologies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PICO Makes $500T Claims Reserve at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
PICO Holdings, Inc.'s insurance subsidiary, Citation Insurance
Company, created a new reserve of US$500,000 for asbestos claims
during 2008, according to the Company's annual report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 2, 2009.

Citation did not previously have a separate reserve for asbestos
claims, but an increasing number of asbestos claims have been
received in recent years.

Typically, the asbestos claims are shared among a number of
workers' compensation carriers, and Citation's share of total
settlements is less than 10 percent.


COMPANY PROFILE:
PICO Holdings, Inc.
875 Prospect Street, Suite 301
La Jolla, Calif. 92037
Tel. No.: (858) 456-6022

Description:
PICO Holdings, Inc. invests in undervalued businesses and has
assets various industries. Among the Company's investments are
Vidler Water Company and Nevada Land & Resource. The Company's
insurance subsidiaries, Citation Insurance Company and
Physicians Insurance Company of Ohio, are running off their
historical property/casualty, workers' compensation, and medical
professional liability insurance loss reserves.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Markel Has $168.2MM Net Reserves at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Markel Corporation's asbestos-related reserves, at Dec. 31,
2008, were US$168.2 million on a net basis and US$304.7 million
on a gross basis, according to the Company's annual report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 2, 2009.

Net reserves for reported claims (US$129.4 million) and net
incurred but not reported reserves (US$108.9 million) were
recorded for asbestos and environmental exposures at Dec. 31,
2008.

Inception-to-date net paid losses and loss adjustment expenses
for A&E related exposures totaled US$331.7 million at Dec. 31,
2008, which includes US$56.9 million of litigation-related
expense.

The favorable development on prior years' loss reserves in 2008
was partially offset by US$24.9 million of adverse development
on prior years' loss reserves on asbestos and environmental
exposures and related reinsurance bad debt.

Headquartered in Glen Allen, Va., Markel Corporation markets and
underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to niche
markets. The Company has three segments: the Excess and Surplus
Lines, the Specialty Admitted and the London markets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Baldor Continues to Face Exposure Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Baldor Electric Company continues to be a defendant in lawsuits
alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos
that was allegedly used in certain components of its products
many years ago, according to the Company's annual report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 4, 2009.

Currently, there are hundreds of claimants in lawsuits that name
the Company as a defendant, together with hundreds of other
companies. The great bulk of the complaints do not identify any
of the Company's products or specify which of these claimants,
if any, were exposed to asbestos attributable to the Company's
products.

Past experience has shown that most of the claimants will never
identify any of the Company's products.

Headquartered in Fort Smith, Ark., Baldor Electric Company
markets, designs, and manufactures industrial electric motors,
mechanical power transmission products, drives, and generators,
currently supplying over 9,500 customers in more than 160
industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Georgia-Pacific Still Facing Injury Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
BlueLinx Holdings Inc. says that Georgia-Pacific Corporation
faces suits brought in various courts around the nation by
plaintiffs who allege that they have suffered personal injury as
a result of exposure to products containing asbestos.

These suits allege lung and other diseases based on alleged
exposure to products previously manufactured by Georgia-Pacific.

The Company was created on March 8, 2004 as a Georgia
corporation named ABP Distribution Holdings Inc. ABP was owned
by Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., a private, New York-based
investment firm, and members of the Company's management team.
Before May 7, 2004, certain of the Company's assets were owned
by the distribution division of Georgia-Pacific.

It could be possible that circumstances may arise under which
asbestos-related claims against Georgia-Pacific could cause the
Company to incur substantial costs, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on March 6, 2009.

Headquartered in Atlanta, BlueLinx Holdings Inc., operating
through its wholly owned subsidiary, BlueLinx Corporation,
distributes building products in the United States. As of Jan.
3, 2009, the Company distributed more than 10,000 products to
about 11,500 customers through more than 70 warehouses and
third-party operated warehouses.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Joy Global Still Facing Liability Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Joy Global Inc. and its subsidiaries continue to be involved in
various unresolved legal matters that arise in the normal course
of operations, the most prevalent of which relate to product
liability (including asbestos-related and silicosis liability),
employment and commercial matters.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on March 9, 2009.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Joy Global Inc. manufactures and
services high-productivity mining equipment for the extraction
of coal and other minerals and ores. The Company's equipment is
used in mining regions throughout the world to mine coal,
copper, iron ore, oil sands and other minerals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PMA Cites $29.5MM Gross Reserves at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
PMA Capital Corporation's gross reserves for asbestos-related
losses were US$29.5 million at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with
US$25.7 million at Dec. 31, 2007, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on March 10, 2009.

The Company's reserves for asbestos-related losses, net of
reinsurance, were US$11.4 million at Dec. 31, 2008, compared
with US$10.8 million at Dec. 31, 2007.

Discontinued operations' gross reserves for asbestos-related
losses were US$7.9 million at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with
US$7.5 million at Dec. 31, 2007.

Discontinued operations' reserves for asbestos-related losses,
net of reinsurance, were US$1.3 million at Dec. 31, 2008,
compared with US$1.6 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

Headquartered in Blue Bell, Pa., PMA Capital Corporation is a
holding company whose operating subsidiaries provide insurance
and fee-based services. The Company's insurance products include
workers' compensation and other commercial property and casualty
lines of insurance, which are marketed primarily in the eastern
part of the United States.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hexion Still Involved in Liability Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hexion Specialty Chemicals, Inc. continues to be involved in
asbestos-related product liability actions, according to the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on March 11, 2009.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Hexion Specialty Chemicals,
Inc. produces thermosetting resins, or thermosets. Thermosets
are used in paints, coatings, glues and other adhesives produced
for consumer or industrial uses.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Standard Motor Faces 3,650 Cases at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard Motor Corporation says that, at Dec. 31, 2008, about
3,650 asbestos-related cases were outstanding for which it was
responsible for related liabilities, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on March 12, 2009.

At Sept. 30, 2008, the Company had about 3,620 asbestos-related
cases outstanding for which it was responsible for related
liabilities. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 14, 2008)

In 1986, the Company acquired a brake business, which it
subsequently sold in March 1998. When it acquired this brake
business, the Company assumed future liabilities relating to any
alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured by
the seller of the acquired brake business.

In accordance with the related purchase agreement, the Company
agreed to assume the liabilities for all new claims filed after
Sept. 1, 2001. Since inception in September 2001 through Dec.
31, 2008, the amounts paid for settled claims are about US$7.1
million.

The Company recorded an after-tax gain charge of US$1.8 million
for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008 and US$3.2 million for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2007 as loss from discontinued operation to
account for legal expenses and potential costs associated with
its asbestos-related liability.

The Company is responsible for certain future liabilities
relating to alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products. In
accordance with its accounting policy, the Company's actuarial
study as of Aug. 31, 2008 estimated an undiscounted liability
for settlement payments, excluding legal costs, ranging from
US$25.3 million to US$69.2 million for the period through 2059.

As a result, in 2008 an incremental US$2.1 million provision in
the Company's discontinued operation was added to the asbestos
accrual increasing the reserve to about US$25.3 million as of
that date.

Headquartered in Long Island City, N.Y., Standard Motor
Products, Inc. manufactures engine management and air-
conditioning replacement parts for the automotive aftermarket.
Products include ignition and electrical parts, emission and
engine controls, voltage regulators, sensors, ignition wires,
and distributor caps and rotors.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: State Auto Fin'l. Reserves $3.4M for Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
State Auto Financial Corporation's asbestos reserves were US$3.4
million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2008, according to
the Company's annual report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on March 13, 2009.

Asbestos reserves increased US$200,000 from 2007.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, State Auto Financial
Corporation writes both personal and business lines of
insurance. The Company owns State Auto P&C, Milbank, Farmers, SA
Ohio, and SA National, each of which is a property and casualty
insurance company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Houston Wire Faces Injury Suits in 3 States
----------------------------------------------------------------
Houston Wire & Cable Company, along with many other defendants,
faces asbestos lawsuits in the state courts of Minnesota, North
Dakota and South Dakota, according to the Company's annual
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on
March 16, 2009.

The suits allege that certain wire and cable, which may have
contained asbestos, caused injury to the plaintiffs who were
exposed to this wire and cable. These lawsuits are individual
personal injury suits that seek unspecified amounts of money
damages as the sole remedy.

It is not clear whether the alleged injuries occurred as a
result of the wire and cable in question or whether the Company,
in fact, distributed the wire and cable alleged to have caused
any injuries. The Company maintains general liability insurance
that has applied to these claims.

To date, all costs associated with these claims have been
covered by the applicable insurance policies and all defense of
these claims has been handled by the applicable insurance
companies.

In addition, the Company did not manufacture any of the wire and
cable at issue, and it would rely on any warranties from the
manufacturers of such cable if it were determined that any of
the wire or cable that the Company distributed contained
asbestos which caused injury to any of these plaintiffs.

In connection with ALLTEL Corporation's sale of the Company in
1997, ALLTEL provided indemnities with respect to costs and
damages associated with these claims.

Headquartered in Houston, Houston Wire & Cable Company
distributes specialty wire and cable and related services to the
U.S. electrical distribution market. During 2008, the Company
served about 3,200 customers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 27 New Suits Filed in Madison on March 2-6
----------------------------------------------------------------
During the week of March 2, 2009 through March 6, 2009, a total
of 27 new asbestos-related lawsuits were filed in Madison County
Circuit Court, Ill., The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

These claims are:

-- (Case No. 09-L-0190) John Bunting of Illinois claims
   mesothelioma on behalf of his recently deceased father,
   Robert Bunting, who worked as a street car conductor, cable
   splicer and supply room clerk. Amy E. Garrett, Esq., of
   SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represents John Bunting.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0215) Frank Carrier of Indiana claims
   mesothelioma on behalf of his deceased wife, Nancy Carrier,
   who worked as a production worker. Timothy F. Thompson Jr.,
   Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represents Mr.
   Carrier.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0226) Charles R. Chew Jr. and Frances Chew of
   New York claim Mr. Chew developed mesothelioma after his work
   as a laborer, boiler worker, and night watchman. Randy L.
   Gori, Esq., and Barry Julian, Esq., of Gori, Julian and
   Associates in Alton, Ill., represent the Chews.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0214) Thomas Clark of Illinois claims
   mesothelioma on behalf of his recently deceased father, Frank
   J. Clark, who worked as an electrician. Elizabeth V. Heller,
   Esq., and Robert Rowland, Esq., of Goldenberg, Heller,
   Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville, Ill., represent Thomas
   Clark.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0218) William and Sharon Dillon of Indiana
   claim Mr. Dillon developed mesothelioma after his work as a
   laborer, conveyor leader, warehouse and stockroom worker and
   metal lathe worker. Randy L. Gori, Esq., and Barry Julian,
   Esq., of Gori, Julian and Associates in Alton, Ill.,
   represent the Dillons.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0225) Lucy G. Fabrizius of Kansas claims
   mesothelioma on behalf of her deceased husband, Kenneth G.
   Fabrizius, who worked as a grinder, welder, farmer, and
   cattler. Elizabeth V. Heller, Esq., and Robert Rowland, Esq.,
   of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville,
   Ill., represent Mrs. Fabrizius.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0222) Ruth Geiger of Ohio claims mesothelioma
   on behalf of her deceased husband, Charles Geiger, who worked
   as a superintendent of street, water, sewer and cemetery and
   as a laborer in the construction industry. G. Michael
   Stewart, Esq., and Jill Price, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East
   Alton, Ill., represent Mrs. Geiger.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0192) Carol Grass of Washington claims
   mesothelioma on behalf of her deceased father, Stephen Major,
   who worked from as a drywall installer, floorer, sewer and
   plumber. Robert Phillips, Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq.,
   of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent Mrs. Grass.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0209) Ronald Haug of Minnesota, a cook, truck
   driver and press operator, claims mesothelioma. He was also
   exposed to asbestos fibers through a family member, Marlis
   Haug, who worked as a laborer. Robert Phillips, Esq., and
   Perry J. Browder, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.,
   represent Mr. Haug.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0191) Linda Herzing of Illinois claims lung
   cancer on behalf of her deceased husband, Willard Herzing,
   who worked as a core helper, core maker, core finisher and
   boiler tender. Amy E. Garrett, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East
   Alton, Ill., represents Mrs. Herzing.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0201) Robert and Evelyn Heward of Michigan
   claim Mr. Heward developed mesothelioma after his work as a
   laborer and security guard. Randy L. Gori, Esq., and Barry
   Julian, Esq., of Gori, Julian and Associates in Alton, Ill.,
   represent the Hewards.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0205) Andrea Huston claims mesothelioma on
   behalf of her deceased father, Andrew Balzano, who worked
   from as a laborer. Robert Phillips, Esq., and Perry J.
   Browder, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.,
   represent Mrs. Huston.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0195) Diana Jones of Kentucky, a nurses' aide,
   assembly line worker, seamstress, sewing machine operator and
   physician's assistant, claims mesothelioma. Robert Phillips,
   Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East
   Alton, Ill., represent Ms. Jones.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0206) Jewell Jones claims mesothelioma on
   behalf of his deceased mother, Gertie Jones, who worked as a
   nurses' aide. Mrs. Jones was also exposed to asbestos through
   her family member, Herschel Jones, who worked as a coal
   miner. Robert Phillips, Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq., of
   SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent Jewell Jones.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0223) Victoria Martinez of Colorado, a
   manufacturer and clerical worker, claims mesothelioma. She
   was also exposed to asbestos through her husband, who worked
   for the railroad. G. Michael Stewart, Esq., and Jill Price,
   Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent Mrs.
   Martinez.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0196) Thomas and Kathryn Mershon of Ohio claim
   Mr. Mershon developed mesothelioma after his work as a
   laborer, mechanic and manager. Shane F. Hampton, Esq., Paul
   M. Dix, Esq., and Courtney Harashe, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in
   East Alton, Ill., represent the Mershons.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0200) Elaine McCann of Washington claims
   mesothelioma. She was exposed to asbestos through her father,
   Benjamin Walker, who worked as a welder and mechanic and
   through her husband, Tom McCann, who worked in the automobile
   industry. Brian J. Cooke, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East
   Alton, Ill., represents Mrs. McCann.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0207) Connie Montana claims mesothelioma on
   behalf of her deceased husband, Gustavo Montana, who worked
   as a welder, tool maker and jig fixture maker. Robert
   Phillips, Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq., of SimmonsCooper
   in East Alton, Ill., represent Mrs. Montana.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0197) Susan and Brocton Norman of Oregon claim
   Mrs. Brocton developed mesothelioma after her work as a
   secretary and nurse. She was also exposed to asbestos through
   her father, who worked as a longshoreman. Shane F. Hampton,
   Esq., Paul M. Dix, Esq., and Courney Harashe, Esq., of
   SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent the Normans.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0227) Kimberly Parks of Missouri, a laborer,
   claims mesothelioma. She was also exposed to asbestos fibers
   through several of her relatives, including her father, who
   worked as a printer; her grandfather, who worked as a
   carpenter; her cousin, who worked as an electrician; and her
   uncle. Randy L. Gori, Esq., and Barry Julian, Esq., of Gori,
   Julian and Associates in Alton, Ill., represent Ms. Parks.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0204) James K. Richardson claims lung cancer
   on behalf of his deceased father, James A. Richardson, who
   worked from 1968 until 1990 as a laborer and heavy equipment
   operator at various locations. Robert Phillips, Esq., and
   Perry J. Browder, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.,
   represent Mr. Richardson.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0194) Francis Russo of New Hampshire, a
   construction worker and mason, claims lung cancer. Robert
   Phillips, Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq., of SimmonsCooper
   in East Alton, Ill., represent Mr. Russo.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0221) Cora Smith of Florida claims
   mesothelioma on behalf of her deceased husband, Donald Mark
   Smith, who worked as an electrician. G. Michael Stewart,
   Esq., and Jill Price, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton,
   Ill., represent Mrs. Smith.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0202) Mary Beth Smith of Ohio claims
   mesothelioma on behalf of her deceased husband, Robert M.
   Smith, who worked as a boiler worker, hose maker and laborer.
   Randy L. Gori, Esq., and Barry Julian, Esq., of Gori, Julian
   and Associates in Alton, Ill., represent Mrs. Smith.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0208) Donald Winnings of Indiana, a carpenter,
   heavy equipment operator and welder claims lung cancer.
   Robert Phillips, Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq., of
   SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent Mr. Winnings.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0224) Pamela and William Wright of Illinois
   claim Mrs. Wright developed mesothelioma after her work as a
   teacher and through her father, who worked as a carpenter and
   laborer. Shane F. Hampton, Esq., Paul M. Dix, Esq., and
   Courtney Harashe, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.,
   represent the Wrights.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0193) Eugene Zweigle of Massachusetts, a
   carpenter, patent maker and maintenance worker at various
   locations claims mesothelioma. Robert Phillips, Esq., and
   Perry J. Browder, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.,
   represents Mr. Zweigle.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DuPont Motion in Whisnant OK'd on March 12
----------------------------------------------------------------
An order approving a motion for continuance filed by E. I. du
Pont de Nemours and Company was filed on March 12, 2009 in
Jefferson County District Court, Tex., The Southeast Texas
Record reports.

In February 2009, DuPont petitioned the Supreme Court of Texas
to enforce a civil jury verdict in the Company's favor after
being shut down by a district court and an appeals court.

The retrial of Willis Whisnant Jr. et al vs. DuPont was first
set to begin on Feb. 9, 2009 but was reset and slated for April
2009. Now, the new trial has been put on hold indefinitely while
the Supreme Court examines the case.

DuPont filed a motion for continuance on Feb. 18, asking 172nd
District Judge Donald Floyd to indefinitely approve its motion
while the Supreme Court evaluated the case.

In 2008, DuPont's attorneys convinced a Jefferson County jury
that the Company was not responsible for former contractor
Whisnant's mesothelioma. A few months later, Judge Floyd granted
Mr. Whisnant's motion for a new trial and set the date for Feb.
9, 2009.

DuPont attorneys appealed the judge's ruling, and on July 24,
2008, the Texas Ninth District Court of Appeals denied the
Company's writ of mandamus.

DuPont then filed a petition for writ of mandamus in Texas'
Supreme Court.

The trial of the case styled Whisnant et al vs. DuPont (Case No.
E159-183-Q) was held in February 2008 and March 2008.

The plaintiffs claimed that Mr. Whisnant contracted mesothelioma
and died because of his exposure to asbestos at DuPont's Sabine
River Works. Mr. Whisnant was a former B.F. Shaw pipe fitter who
worked at DuPont back in 1966 as an independent contractor.

Jurors found no negligence on the part of DuPont and awarded
nothing to Mr. Whisnant's family.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bush Action v. 37 Firms Filed in Tex. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Joyce Bush, on behalf of her late husband Donnie Ray Bush, on
March 13, 2009, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit against 37
defendant corporations in the Marshall Division of the Eastern
District of Texas, The Southeast Texas Record reports.

Mrs. Bush claims her husband died on March 25, 2007, from lung
cancer after 25 years of work-related asbestos exposure.

Defendants include: A.W. Chesterton Co., CertainTeed Corp.,
Crown Cork and Seal Co., Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., Garlock
Sealing Technologies, General Electric Co., Georgia Pacific,
H.B. Fuller Co., Honeywell International Inc., IMO Industries,
Ingersoll-Rand Co., John Crane Co., McMaster-Carr Supply Co.,
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Owens-Illinois, Parker Seal
Group, SEPCO, J. Graves Insulation Co., Tuthill Corp., Union
Carbide, Uniroyal Holding, Viacom, Vulcan Iron Works, Zurn
Industries, Conoco Philips Co., Chevron Phillips and the Dow
Chemical Co.

According to the suit, Mr. Bush worked from 1967 to 1992 as a
heavy equipment operator for Job Corp., on a drilling rig for
East Texas Drilling, as a heavy equipment operator for John
Wadell Construction, a furnace worker for LeTourneau, Inc., a
carpenter for Roscoe Adams Carpet Service, in maintenance for
DRECO and as a furnace worker for Norris Industries.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants manufactured, distributed,
and supplied asbestos, asbestos fibers and asbestos-containing
products in which Mr. Bush was exposed.

Mrs. Bush brings a survival claim seeking damages for the
deceased's conscious pain and suffering, mental anguish,
medical, funeral, and burial expenses. The lawsuit also seeks
damages for loss of income, impairment, and loss of enjoyment of
life.

Mrs. Bush requests a trial by jury and is represented by
Marshall attorneys D. Scott Carlile, Esq., and Paul W. Turner,
Esq., of The Carlile Law Firm LLP.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over Case No.
2:09cv074 and has referred the case to Magistrate Judge Charles
Everingham for pretrial proceedings.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fortier Widow to Get $2.6MM in Compensation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Port Orange, Fla., resident, Gail Fortier, has won nearly US$2.6
million in asbestos-related compensation after a trial that
concluded on March 12, 2009, in which she fought for the
wrongful death of her husband, former U.S. Navy firefighter
David Fortier, Asbestos.com reports.

Mrs. Fortier will receive US$2,595,000 from Allis-Chalmers Corp.
Mr. Fortier died at the age of 59 as a result of mesothelioma.

Mr. Fortier worked on the USS Forrestal aircraft carrier as a
fireman for the majority of his service in the U.S. Navy, which
lasted from 1969 to 1972. The USS Forrestal was constructed at
Newport News Shipbuilding, a shipyard known to have used
asbestos-contaminated materials in the creation of ships and
vessels in Virginia.

According to Mrs. Fortier's attorney, Mr. Fortier worked on
pumps and other equipment heavily insulated with asbestos while
serving on the ship. The products were manufactured by Allis-
Chalmers.

Mr. Fortier was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2006 and
filed a lawsuit in December 2006. He died on June 20, 2008.

The six-person jury deliberated for less than a day and a half
after the two-month trial concluded. The trial took place before
Judge David Tobin in Connecticut and is the first asbestos-
related case to go to verdict in Connecticut in 20 years.

The Fortiers used to reside in Connecticut.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Baron & Budd Resolves 6 Injury Suits in Pa.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C. announced that lawsuits
brought by the families of six Pennsylvania men who died of
malignant mesothelioma were successfully resolved this past
week, according to a Baron & Budd press release dated March 16,
2009.

The deceased men (an electrician, a carpenter, a pipefitter, a
maintenance worker, a weekend home remodeler, and a Navy sailor)
had all been the victims of occupational asbestos exposure.

Three of the cases settled before verdict for more than US$1
million each. The remaining three cases were tried to verdict
against Ericsson Inc., Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Melrath
Gasket Inc.

In what is believed to be the nation's first asbestos verdict
against a wiring manufacturer, an electrician was exposed to
asbestos in the lining of certain Anaconda electrical wiring
that he used while working at a printing company.

The six Philadelphia cases involved:

-- An electrician who was exposed to asbestos in the lining of
certain Ericsson, Inc. "Anaconda brand" electrical wiring.

-- A professional carpenter and remodeler who was exposed to
Georgia-Pacific asbestos-containing joint compound.

-- A weekend and evenings home remodeler who was exposed to
Georgia-Pacific asbestos-containing joint compound.

-- A maintenance worker who was exposed to asbestos fireproofing
and gaskets in boilers made by Kewanee, now known as Oakfabco;

-- A pipefitter who for many years was exposed to asbestos-
containing pipe insulation and asbestos gaskets used to join
hundreds of miles of pipe at a large chemical plant.; and

-- A Navy sailor who was exposed to asbestos-containing gaskets
made by Crane Co.

Baron & Budd attorneys John Langdoc, Esq., Eric Brown, Esq., and
Chris Norris, Esq., represented the families at trial.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleanup at Ark. Courthouse to Cost $20,842
----------------------------------------------------------------
Washington County, Ark., on March 16, 2009, awarded Snyder
Environmental & Construction a US$20,842 bid to remove asbestos
from the 1905 historic courthouse in Fayetteville, Ark., The
Morning News reports.

Snyder is a certified asbestos remover and estimated that the
job will take one month.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Inland Worker Sues 21 Firms in Hammond
----------------------------------------------------------------
James H. Johnson, a former Inland Steel worker, filed an
asbestos-related lawsuit against 21 companies in federal court
in Hammond, Ind., Trading Markets reports.

The lawsuit claims Mr. Johnson worked near the allegedly harmful
products in 34 years at the East Chicago, Ind., steel plant.
Inland Steel is defunct, and the companies named in the suit all
are based outside Indiana.

The suit accuses the companies of negligently manufacturing and
selling products that exposed Mr. Johnson to asbestos dust or
fibers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asarco's Policies Exclude Asbestosis Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge J. Manuel Banales of the 105th Judicial District Court of
Nueces County, Tex., ruled that Asarco LLC's insurance policies
exclude only asbestosis claims and not other asbestos-related
diseases, Reuters reports.

The ruling paves the way for Asarco to seek US$60 million in
insurance coverage.

Asarco filed for bankruptcy in 2005 after it was sued for US$1
billion over environmental cleanup and asbestos claims.

In a motion filed with the Court in April 2008, Asarco had asked
Judge Manuel Banales to hold that the "asbestosis exclusion" in
its insurance policies with Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. should
refer to only claims arising out of the specific disease and to
none of the many other conditions caused by exposure to
asbestos.

Asarco's lead counsel, Rhonda Orin, said, "The ruling will
affect more than 100,000 claimants." She added, "It's a partial
summary judgment -- meaning the case isn't over, but this issue
is over. It is now the law of the case."

The Company bought three excess insurance policies from
Fireman's Fund Insurance in the 1980s. All three policies
excluded claims arising out of asbestosis and silicosis.

In a response to Asarco's motion, Fireman's Fund had said the
move boiled down to a "disingenuous attempt" by Asarco to obtain
a potential US$60 million windfall for claims that were meant to
be excluded from coverage.

Earlier this month, India's Sterlite Industries agreed to pay
US$1.7 billion in cash and notes to buy Asarco.

Case No. 01-2680-D is styled Asarco LLC et al vs. Fireman's Fund
Insurance Co et al, 105th Judicial District Court, Nueces
County, Tex.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Plumber to Gain GBP145T in Compensation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Colin Gardner, who worked as an apprentice plumber for C Watson
and Sons between 1957 and 1961, has been successful in his bid
to win GBP145,000 in compensation, Russell Jones & Walker
Solicitors reports.

Mr. Gardner was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2007. He
developed the condition as a result of having been exposed to
asbestos at C Watson and Sons.

Judge Sir Robert Nelson ruled that Royal and Sun Alliance
Insurance, which provided cover for the firm during the period
in question, should pay out GBP145,000.

Moreover, Royal and Sun was ordered to cover Mr. Gardner's legal
costs, which are thought to be more than GBP40,000.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Electrician's Death Linked to Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard that the death of 76-year-old John Scott, a
retired electrician from Sellafield, England, was linked to
exposure to asbestos, the North-West Evening Mail reports.

Mr. Scott died died at the West Cumberland Hospital on June 27,
2008 from the industrial disease mesothelioma. He had worked at
Sellafield from 1958 to 1993.

Fellow worker Alan Cathrall told the inquest how they had been
exposed to the substance. He said, "Asbestos dust fell like snow
inside the reactor building when lagging was removed."

West Cumbria coroner John Taylor ruled that Mr. Scott died from
industrial disease.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 2 Maryland Schools Resolve AHERA Breaches
----------------------------------------------------------------
The mid-Atlantic office of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, on March 12, 2009, announced that the owners of the
school buildings for the Grace Cooperative Nursery in Aberdeen,
Md., and the Maryland School for the Blind in Baltimore, have
settled violations of a federal law on the management of
asbestos materials in school buildings, according to an EPA
press release dated March 12, 2009.

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires
owners and operators of buildings in which private non-profit
schools are operated to develop a management plan for asbestos-
containing materials, detailing procedures to prevent asbestos
releases.

The management plan must be available at the school, with annual
notification to parent, teacher and employee organizations of
the plan and any asbestos abatement activities. Schools must
train personnel on AHERA compliance, and conduct inspections and
periodic surveillance of asbestos-containing materials.

The settlements announced on March 12, 2009 resolved alleged
AHERA violations at the schools for which EPA assessed
penalties. The school building owners, Grace United Methodist
Church and Maryland School for the Blind, have certified that
non-penalty AHERA violations also discovered at the respective
schools have been corrected.

Consistent with the law, EPA has reduced potential penalties
because of the expenditures for AHERA compliance. As part of the
settlements, neither Grace United Methodist Church nor Maryland
School for the Blind admitted nor denied the alleged violations,
but have certified compliance with applicable AHERA
requirements.

At the Maryland School for the Blind, a 2007 inspection,
conducted by the Maryland Department of the Environment,
resulted in several findings of violations, including three that
involved the assessment of penalties: failing to reinspect all
areas containing asbestos in each school building at least once
every three years, failing to annually notify in writing parent,
teacher, and employee organizations of the availability of the
asbestos management plan, and failing to include the school's
Russo Art Center in the school management plan.

Penalty: none after the expenditure of US$7,089 in AHERA
compliance costs.

At the Grace Cooperative Nursery School, an inspection conducted
in 2007 by the Maryland Department of the Environment, resulted
in several findings of violations, including two that involved
the assessment of penalties: failing to reinspect all areas
containing asbestos in each school building at least once every
three years, and failing to include pertinent information in the
required asbestos management plan such as a plan for
reinspection and recommendations to the local environmental
agency regarding emergency response actions.

Penalty: US$4,525 after the expenditure of US$1,000 in AHERA
compliance costs.

The settlements are part of EPA's ongoing efforts to work
throughout the mid-Atlantic states to reduce asbestos hazards in
schools. EPA offers compliance assistance for public, private,
charter and parochial schools, and has conducted outreach at
educational conferences.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Segarra Seeks "Fee for Searching Records"
----------------------------------------------------------------
Radiologist Jay Segarra, on March 4, 2009, requested a "fee for
searching his records" as he attempts to comply with U.S.
District Judge Eduardo Robreno of Philadelphia's order.

Mr. Segarra also asked for 120 days to comply, rather than 20
days. Judge Robreno, responsible for about 90,000 asbestos suits
from around the nation, stripped Mr. Segarra of doctor-patient
privilege in February.

Judge Robreno wrote, "Doctor Segarra was not consulted by the
plaintiffs in order to provide treatment. Rather, he was
consulted by plaintiffs to provide a diagnosis, which would be
relied upon by the individual plaintiffs to support a personal
injury claim."

Judge Robreno refused to define Mr. Segarra as a health care
provider for purposes of federal law that protects privacy of
patient records. The judge refused to define Mr. Segarra as a
non-testifying expert, safe from subpoena.

Judge Robreno ordered Segarra "to produce all information
relating to diagnosing reports or opinions for plaintiffs with
claims currently pending" before the judge.

Mr. Segarra's lawyer, Matthew Mestayer, Esq., of Biloxi, Miss.,
responded that Mr. Segarra doesn't know their names. Mr.
Mestayer wrote, "Dr. Segarra must be provided with a list of the
names of plaintiffs who have claims currently pending."

While targets of asbestos suits seek to hold Mr. Segarra
accountable in Judge Robreno's court, one target seeks
accountability in federal court at Jackson, Miss.

National Services Industries sued Mr. Segarra in February 2009,
claiming he led a conspiracy to supply asbestos lawyers with
phony X-ray reports. NSI seeks damages from Mr. Segarra and
others, claiming it lost US$80 million to the conspiracy.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Taylor's Suit v. 57 Firms Filed on March 2
----------------------------------------------------------------
The family of Gerald C. Taylor Sr., of Nederland, Tex., filed an
asbestos-related lawsuit against 57 defendant corporations in
Jefferson County District Court on March 2, 2009, The Southeast
Texas Record reports.

On behalf of herself and Florenda Gale Gonzales and Gerald C.
Taylor Jr., Delores Del Taylor claims Gerald C. Taylor Sr. died
from asbestos disease on June 6, 2006.

Gerald C. Taylor Sr. worked as a boilermaker, heavy equipment
operator, sandblaster, shipfitter and lab technician in Port
Neches, Tex., at Uniroyal, Texas US Chemical, Texaco Butadiene,
Synpol, Texaco, Neches Butane, Uniroyal Goodrich Tire and
Ameripol-Synpol as well as in Galveston, Tex., at the Todd
Shipyard. These companies are named as "premises defendants" in
the lawsuit.

Other defendant companies are generally the manufacturers and
marketers of the asbestos containing products or companies that
sold, supplied, installed and marketed the asbestos containing
products.

Defendants listed include American Petroleum Institute, Bechtel
Group Inc., CertainTeed Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Fluor
Corporation, Foster Wheeler Ltd., General Refractories, H.B.
Zachry Company, Holman Boiler Works Inc, Huntsman Corporation,
Michelin North America Inc., Owens-Illinois Inc., Superior
Boiler Works and Welding Limited, Trinity Construction
Enterprises Inc., Washington Group, and Zurn Industries.

Delores Del Taylor states Gerald C. Taylor Sr. was exposed to
asbestos fibers through thermal and electrical insulation
products, flooring materials, textiles, gaskets, wicking and
packing, mastics, cement products, coatings and asbestos mineral
used at his work places. She claims his disease was caused after
he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed
asbestos fibers.

Delores Del Taylor seeks punitive damages in excess of the
minimum jurisdictional limits of the court, plus pre- and post-
judgment interest, costs and other relief to which she is
entitled.

Glen W. Morgan, Esq., and Chris Portner, Esq., of Reaud, Morgan
and Quinn in Beaumont, Tex., represent Delores Del Taylor.

Case No. B183-414 has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson,
60th District Court.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NHS Managers Suspended Over Exposure Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Three unnamed senior managers of NHS Wales were suspended and an
investigation was launched over claims that hospital workers
were exposed to asbestos, the South Wales Echo reports.

Their suspension follows allegations that they took no action to
deal with asbestos despite warnings.

The managers all work for the newly formed Cwm Taf NHS Trust,
which runs hospitals in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil.

Health and Safety Executive officials say they are investigating
the asbestos scare which appears to center on the boiler-house,
laundry and service ducts of the old East Glamorgan Hospital
site in Church Village, Wales.

An HSE spokesman said, "We are currently inspecting Cwm Taf NHS
Trust over concerns raised on the management of asbestos at the
trust. As the inspection is currently ongoing it is not
appropriate to make any further comment at this stage."

A Cwm Taf sspokeswoman said, "The trust is able to confirm that
three managers have been suspended from duty while further
investigations are conducted."

It is understood the managers were suspended on March 11, 1009
and the HSE started their investigations on March 13, 2009.

Andrea Jones, a regional officer for Unite – which represents
the health workers who may have been exposed to asbestos – said,
"Concerns were raised two months ago by our members and we have
since taken legal advice and are now working with the trust to
resolve this issue. They are no longer working in the areas that
have been identified and the HSE is investigating."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Probe Ongoing at Ash Grove Cement in Mont.
----------------------------------------------------------------
An asbestos-related investigation is ongoing at the Ash Grove
Cement Co. operation near Helena, Mont., the Associated Press
reports.

Employees were told not to report for work until instructed to
do so.

In a statement released on March 16, 2009, the Company said that
what appears to be tremolite, a type of asbestos, has been
identified in one section of its limestone Quarry at Montana
City about seven miles south of Helena.

The Company said independent analysts had been called to examine
the material.

The Company said that manufacturing operations at Ash Grove's
Montana City kiln and quarry have been shut down for routine
maintenance since Jan. 31, 2009., according to the company. Ash
Grove said the shutdown is an ordinary part of the maintenance,
which occurs annually.

Based in Overland Park, Kans., Ash Grove operates cement plants
in nine states.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scottish Lawyer Lauds Parliament's New Law
----------------------------------------------------------------
An Ayrshire, Scotland, lawyer has welcomed the passing of a new
law by the Scottish Parliament which will mean that people
negligently exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with pleural
plaques will continue to be able to raise an action for damages,
The Open Press reports on March 16, 2009.

The Scottish Parliament has passed the Scottish Government's
Damages (Asbestos-related conditions) (Scotland) Bill, ensuring
that a contrary House of Lords judgment will not have effect in
Scotland.

Norman Geddes is senior partner at the Accident and Injury
Claims Centre and Frazer Coogans Solicitors in Ayr, Scotland.

In October 2007, Mr. Geddes expressed his disappointment at the
House of Lords judgment blocking compensation for pleural
plaques.

Mr. Geddes said at the time, "It is disappointing that the House
of Lords has ruled that people with pleural plaques shouldn't be
awarded compensation. The condition of pleural plaques, which
causes thickening of the lung membranes, clearly indicates the
presence of asbestos fibers in the lungs, and can lead to
clinical depression caused by anxiety over that asbestos, which
may in turn cause life-threatening illnesses to develop later.

"This judgment can only cause further anxiety for people who are
already living with the knowledge that their lungs have been
irreparably scarred by asbestos, but who have not yet developed
an even more serious condition. The Scottish Government must
enact legislation urgently to remedy this most unjust
situation."

For over two decades, it had been accepted that pleural plaques
constitute an injury for which damages are recoverable in civil
law. However, a series of cases were contested by insurers, and
on Oct. 17, 2007, the House of Lords ruled that pleural plaques
do not merit compensation in tort law. While restricted to
England and Wales and not binding in Scotland, the judgment
would be considered as highly persuasive by the Scottish courts.

In November 2007, the Scottish Government announced that it
intended to ensure that the judgment did not have effect in
Scotland. In June 2008, after a period of consultation, the
Scottish Government introduced the Damages (Asbestos-related
conditions) (Scotland) Bill, to ensure that - despite the House
of Lords judgment - pleural plaques and other asymptomatic
asbestos-related conditions remain actionable.

The Bill was scrutinized by the Justice Committee and, in
November 2008, was endorsed unanimously by the Scottish
Parliament. At that time, the Scottish Government agreed to
review the financial implications of the Bill and, after further
consultation and analysis, in February 2009 revised financial
estimates were presented to the Justice Committee.

Commenting on the passing of the new Bill, Minister for
Community Safety Fergus Ewing said, "Many Scots in the past
contributed to our nation's wealth, working in industries such
as ship building and construction. Some were not properly
protected against exposure to the potentially lethal substance
of asbestos.

"We have a moral duty to ensure that those who suffer the
effects of asbestos due to our industrial past should be able to
claim for damages.

"The Parliament has today agreed that the House of Lords
judgment which denied compensation for pleural plaques in
England should not have effect in Scotland. I welcome that
decision."

Mr. Geddes concluded, "The Scottish Parliament is to be
commended for this unprecedented initiative. The fact that party
politics were set aside to permit a unanimous endorsement of
this change in the law is notable and refreshing. Scots Law can
now continue to provide the protection to our citizens for which
it is renowned."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Parker's Family to Continue Bid for Payout
----------------------------------------------------------------
The family of Kelvin Parker, a local of Halesowen, England, who
died of exposure to asbestos, will continue his fight for
compensation against his former employers, TIS Modular
Structures, the Halesowen News reports.

Mr. Parker was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2007. He
died n November 2008 following chemotherapy in a bid to slow
down his illness.

The Parker family is now appealing for Mr. Parker's former
workmates to get in touch.

Mr. Parker came into contact with asbestos during the 1970s and
1980s while working for TIS on a long term contract at the Rover
Longbridge site fitting suspended ceilings.

An inquest into his death on March 11, 2009 held in Smethwick
saw Sandwell Coroner Robin Balmain returned a verdict of death
as a result of industrial disease.

Iain Shoolbred, of law firm Irwin Mitchell who is representing
Mr. Parker's family said, "During his work with TIS we know that
he was often exposed to asbestos. Mr Parker claimed that his
employers did not provide him or his workmates with masks,
ventilation equipment or any warning regarding the dangers of
asbestos when he worked for TIS at Rover's Longbridge site."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Central Point Local Files Suit for Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
An unnamed local of Central Point, Ore., charged that his work
for the City exposed him and other City work crew to asbestos,
Mesothelioma reports.

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division officers are
investigating charges that the deconstruction of a 100-year-old
house at 712 Manzanita Street, on the northwest side of the
City, created a health hazard for city workers.

The potential contamination of city employees was confirmed by
the state's Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) spokesperson,
Melanie Mesaros, who acknowledged that an investigation was in
progress based on samples taken from the site. Ms. Mesaros
expects results to be available within 14 days. Central Point
Public Works Director Bob Pierce concurs.

Mr. Pierce notes that the unnamed employee originally reported
the potential exposure to the state's Department of
Environmental Quality occupational health division a week after
the deconstruction (which occurred on Feb. 11, 2009) was
completed and the materials removed for disposal.

Ms. Mesaros said testing will be done on the site's ground to
determine if asbestos was present. According to other DEQ
officials, ground testing is adequate to determine whether
asbestos was present before and during demolition.

According to Mr. Pierce, the two-story house, which burned down
in 2005, was uninhabitable, and was thoroughly inspected by a
city official before the 20-minute deconstruction process began.
He added that little or no dust was observable during the
process, that all appropriate paperwork was filed with the court
and relevant agencies before the tear down commenced, and that
steps were taken beforehand to insure worker's were protected.

The Manzanita address was the first house to come down after the
city passed a set of ordinances in 2008 to eliminate 'blight,'
or uninhabitable and unusable buildings in residential and
commercial districts.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congress Panel to Probe Smithsonian Hazards
----------------------------------------------------------------
House Administration Committee Chairman Robert A. Brady (D-Pa.)
said on March 17, 2009 that he would hold a hearing to
investigate health-and-safety allegations over the handling of
asbestos at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., The
Washington Post reports.

Mr. Brady said the April 2009 hearing is meant to investigate
"dangerous workplace conditions" at the Smithsonian after The
Washington Post's article on March 15, 2009 about a worker who
contends that his work on asbestos-containing walls at the
National Air and Space Museum made him sick.

Museum lighting specialist Richard Pullman filed a federal
whistleblower claim on March 17, 2009 with the Office of Special
Counsel alleging that the institution retaliated by effectively
demoting him for reporting workplace-safety violations. The
Smithsonian denies retaliating but acknowledges that it did not
notify some workers of the asbestos.

Spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said that the museum is safe for
visitors and that tests show there is nothing harmful in the
air.

Mr. Pullman's diagnosis is of asbestosis. His workers'
compensation claim was denied, and he is appealing.

A 27-year employee at the Air and Space museum, the 53-year-old
Mr. Pullman said he learned one year ago that the compound used
to join walls at the Air and Space museum contained asbestos.

Mr. Brady, who leads the committee that oversees the
Smithsonian, criticized museum officials who acknowledged to The
Post that notification regarding asbestos had not been passed to
workers after a consultant's finding in 1992 that the walls
contained asbestos.

In the whistleblower filing, Mr. Pullman's attorneys also made a
fresh allegation of a workplace violation: that contractors on
Feb. 3, 2009 "tracked drywall dust and debris into museum
galleries visited by the public because the contractors were not
following the proper asbestos procedures."

Mr. Pullman's attorney David J. Marshall wrote in a letter to
the office, "The museum attempted to clean up the potential
asbestos release but its efforts were most likely not adequate
because NASM management insisted that cleanup work be completed
before the Museum opened at 10 a.m."

The Office of Special Counsel investigates retaliation against
workers for reporting wrongdoing.

Whistleblower cases in recent years generally have been
unsuccessful, said lawyer Tom Devine, Esq., of the Government
Accountability Office, which is urging the Obama administration
to support reforms proposed by Congress.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 3 McDonald, Pa., Locals Charged With Arson
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General charged two
McDonald, Pa., firefighters and another man for conspiring to
burn down a house for fire training purposes while knowing it
had asbestos, the Observer-Reporter reports.

The charges were filed against the three men on Feb. 20, 2009,
following a yearlong investigation into why a controlled burn
was allowed at 118 W. Lincoln Ave. in McDonald.

State investigators arrested Thomas Krenn, a 30-year veteran and
assistant chief of McDonald Volunteer Fire Department, Mark
Slack, a 20-year member and first assistant chief, and Dale
Csonka, a local businessman.

Mr. Krenn was charged with arson, causing or risking a
catastrophe, tampering with public records, unlawful conduct and
two counts each of conspiracy and unsworn falsification to
authorities.

Both Mr. Slack and Mr. Csonka face charges of arson, causing or
risking catastrophe, unlawful conduct and two counts of criminal
conspiracy.

Richard Bosco, a special agent for the state attorney general's
office, filed the charges through District Judge Valarie
Costanzo's office, and all three men were released on US$20,000
unsecured bond.

Brant T. Miller, Esq., a lawyer who represents the fire
department, said Mr. Krenn and Mr. Slack were placed on
administrative leave following the charges.

According to the criminal affidavit, Mr. Csonka owned the house
on West Lincoln Avenue and approached McDonald fire Chief Doug
Cooper about using it for training purposes. Mr. Cooper
forwarded the request to Mr. Krenn and Mr. Slack, who is also an
assistant general manager for Specialized Professional Services
Inc. of Washington, and tasked them with testing the structure
to find if it contained hazardous materials.

Mr. Slack asked Adam Lohr, a colleague at SPSI, to take samples
at the house so it could be approved by the state Department of
Environmental Protection. The results showed the building had a
material that contained asbestos.

After receiving the results in December 2007, Mr. Krenn, Mr.
Slack and Mr. Csonka met and discussed retesting the home and
agreed not to use samples from the exterior or siding, according
to the criminal affidavit. Mr. Krenn and Mr. Slack allegedly
instructed Mr. Lohr not to use the building's exterior or siding
when he took a second sample in January 2008.

The affidavit claims Mr. Krenn submitted a DEP burn permit
application that made no mention of asbestos. The following
month, the DEP and state fire academy granted permission to
proceed with the March 29, 2008 controlled burn of the house.

Mr. Cooper, several McDonald firefighters, Peters Township
firefighter Noel McMullen and numerous residents witnessed the
burning without knowing about the asbestos. Mr. Bosco wrote in
the affidavit that "the fire produced clouds of smoke and ash
debris that covered the surrounding area."

Two days later, the DEP's emergency response team came to the
house following reports of toxic smoke and collected samples
from the rubble. The DEP tested the material and returned
positive results for asbestos.

The attorney general's office reviewed the DEP permit
application and found inconsistencies. The DEP later told
investigators it would not have granted the permit had it known
about the problems with the application, the affidavit said.

The preliminary hearing for the three men is scheduled with Ms.
Costanzo for 1:30 p.m. on March 19, 2009.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dispute Ongoing on Release of X-ray Reports
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jackson, Miss., lawyer Marcy Croft, Esq., on March 12, 2009,
challenged the law firm of Motley Rice's standing to move for
clarification of an order that would compel radiologists to
produce X-ray reports, The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Ms. Croft represents General Electric Company.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno of Philadelphia, responsible
for about 90,000 asbestos suits from around the nation, signed
the order on Feb. 24, 2009.

Motley Rice moved for clarification on March 6, 2009, claiming
the radiologists qualified for privilege as non-testifying
consulting experts.

Ms. Croft replied that Judge Robreno has consistently ruled that
the privilege does not apply. She argued that Judge Robreno
should not even consider the motion.

Ms. Croft wrote, "Motley Rice continues to file motions that
fail to identify the plaintiffs for whom it allegedly asserts a
consulting expert privilege. Without this information, this law
firm lacks standing because a movant is required to identify the
specific parties on whose behalf a motion is filed. Standing is
a threshold question that cannot be waived."

Ms. Croft wrote that the contents of the motion revealed that
the firm itself was the movant. She said, "Motley Rice is not a
party to this litigation and has not moved the court for
permission to intervene."

Judge Robreno took charge of the national asbestos docket in
2008, by appointment of the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi
District Litigation. He set a series of settlement conferences
before various magistrates. He set hearings throughout April
2009 on qualifications of expert witnesses.

Judge Robreno also began enforcing a rule he inherited,
requiring each plaintiff to state a specific claim against each
defendant. The rule split the docket into roughly three million
claims.

Ms. Croft wrote earlier in 2009 that defendants received
responses or partial responses for about half the claims,
leaving a million and a half claims hanging by a thread.

Formal separation of valid claims from empty ones began on March
17, 2009, when lawyer David Lipman, Esq., of Coral Gables, Fla.,
moved to dismiss 29 of his cases.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell, Chrysler Bid for Autopsy Denied
----------------------------------------------------------------
An appeals court panel, on March 4, 2009, affirmed Superior
Court Judge Philip Paley's ruling, which denied Honeywell
International Inc. and Chrysler Motor Corp. the right to have an
autopsy performed on Harold St. John, who died of asbestos-
related lung cancer in February 2009, The Star-Ledger reports.

The family of the 67-year-old Mr. St. John opposes autopsies on
religious and moral grounds, according to their attorney, Moshe
Maimon, Esq., who said Mr. St. John also objected to autopsies
and that the family does not want his body disturbed.

The judges lifted an order they had placed on the St. John
family and the funeral director on March 4, 2009, the day of the
funeral. The order was served on the funeral director moments
before Mr. St. John was to be buried. Hours later, his family
was told his body had been returned to the funeral home.

Mr. St. John had worked in a family-owned auto repair shop in
the 1950s and 1960s. He later worked as a baggage handler for
United Airlines, retiring in 2001. He and his wife, Diana, moved
to Florida in 2002. He died on Feb. 28, two days before the
civil trial of his lawsuit was set to begin before Judge Paley.

Michael Palese, a spokesman for Chrysler, said, "We are
disappointed with the decision of the New Jersey (appeals
court). We are considering our legal options."

On March 12, 2009, Judge Paley, who held a three-day hearing
soliciting medical testimony at the request of the appeals
court, found the objections voiced by Mr. St. John and his
family against an autopsy take precedence over the need for the
corporations to obtain lung tissue from St. John to determine if
asbestos from their products caused his mesothelioma.


                            *********

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Wednesday's edition of the Class Action Reporter.  Submissions
via e-mail to carconf@beard.com are encouraged.

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

                            *********

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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2009.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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