/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/110128.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, January 28, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 20


A&T MOBILITY: 9th Cir. Orders Review on Gross Receipts Surcharge
BEDFORD, TN: Seeks Dismissal of Class Action Over Bail System
CABLE ONE: Faces Class Action for Charging Cable Box Rent Fees
CARE INVESTMENT: Resolves "Briarwood" IPO Class Action Lawsuit
COINSTAR INC: Accused in Wash. Suit of Misleading Shareholders

DECHERT LLP: Judge OKs Final Meal-Break Class Action Settlement
DRUG STORES: W.Va. Attorney General's Suit Not a Class Action
FAMILY DOLLAR: Recalls 67,000 Remote-Controlled Toy Tanks
FRONTPOINT PARTNERS: Faces Class Action for HGSI Insider Trading
HOLIDAY SHORES: Heartland Seeks Discovery Stay in Atrazine Suit

HSBC CARD: Sued in N.J. Over Fraudulent Business Practices
KANG SHENG: Recalls 1,440 Butterfly Push Toy
LEHIGH VALLEY: Judge Allows Overtime Class Action to Proceed
LEXISNEXIS: Sued for Charging "Unsconscionable" E-Filing Fees
RIDGELAND, SC: iTraffic Seeks Dismissal of Traffic Camera Suit

STEELCASE INC: Recalls 165,000 Cachet Swivel Chairs
STEWART INFORMATION: Delivers 660,000 Shares Under Suit Settlement
TIGRENT INC: Parties Settle Lawsuit in Canada for C$250,000
TOYOTA MOTOR: Plaintiffs Fight Bid to Dismiss Brake Class Action
UNITED STATES: Black Farmers Raise Pigford Settlement Concerns

WASHINGTON: Sued for Scrapping Food Assistance Program

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dorset Doctor's Death Linked to Hazard Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: PADEP Urges Cleanup at Jeannette Glass Facility
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Illegal Landfill at Lymington May Have Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup at Parker Sites to Cost $20T-$90T
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Northamptonshire Trust Fined for Safety Breach

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Flood Victims Could Be Exposed to Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: $8.4T Fine for LaFranchi over Cleanup Breaches
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kainer Estate Sues 29 Firms in St. Clair Cty.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Packer Case v. 91 Firms Filed Dec. 17 in W.Va.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Peirce Firm Seeks Review of Fraud Claim Ruling

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Steers Clear From Hoelzer Settlement Feud
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sufferers in N. Ireland Could Get Compensation
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wrexham Nightclub Owner Admits to Safety Breach
ASBESTOS UPDATE: AirQuest Awarded Contract for Services in Fla.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pfizer, Quigley Nearing Claims Settlement Deal

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Worcestershire Council to Allay Asbestos Fears
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Melrose Park Resident Sentenced for Tax Fraud
ASBESTOS UPDATE: H Cope and Sons to Pay GBP12T for Worker's Fall
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Case v. Coralville Businessman Filed on Dec. 28
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ASIC Seeks Leave to Appeal James Hardie Ruling

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup at Coolidge Elementary to Cost $92,007
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rochdale Council Blocks Homes Plan on T&N Site
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup at Sulphur Springs Schools Costs $230T
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Caterpillar UK Awards Payout to Aspin's Family
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement at La Cruces Museum to Cost $156,400

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2 Union Pacific Workers File Suit in St. Clair
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Veterans Court Affirms Ruling in Reeves Action
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio Appeals Court Issues Ruling in Rossi Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Affirms Board's Decision in Martin Action
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Court Sets Aside Ruling in Casher Claim


A&T MOBILITY: 9th Cir. Orders Review on Gross Receipts Surcharge
Tim Hull at Courthouse News Service reports that the United States
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asked the state Supreme
Court in Washington to rule on whether cellular phone dealers can
recoup state business and occupation taxes through a surcharge on
gross receipts, as long as they disclose the fee.

The question, filed Monday, relates to a proposed class action
against AT&T's Cingular Wireless, in which Washington residents
Jared Peck and James Bowden claim that the company's billing
practices violate state law.

Cingular mentions in its one-page Wireless Service Agreement that
it charges various fees meant to recover state and federal telecom
regulation taxes, "a gross receipts surcharge, and state and
federal universal service charges," according to the order.  The
company also admits among other terms on its website that it
collects "applicable taxes and governmental fees, whether assessed
directly upon you or upon Cingular."  Cingular's plan price does
not include Washington's business and occupation tax, however,
which showed up on the plaintiffs' bills as a "State B & O
Surcharge" ranging from 5 cents to 44 cents per month.

Mr. Peck sued the company in Washington state court, and Cingular
removed the case to federal court.  Mr. Peck appealed, and the
case was sent back to state court on federal preemption grounds.

There, Mr. Bowden joined the suit and sought class certification
before Cingular removed the case again to federal court.  The
district court then granted Cingular summary judgment, finding
that, based on a similar case that is also pending before the 9th
Circuit, Cingular's practices did not violate state law.

But on Monday the three-judge appeals panel found that the two
cases were not similar enough to decide the present issue.

"Considering the substantial factual differences between the
present case and Washington case law, it is not clear how the
Washington Supreme Court would rule on this issue," Judge Pamela
Ann Rymer wrote for the panel.

The panel sent the following certified question to the court for
review: "Under Revised Code of Washington section 82.04.500, may a
seller recoup its business and occupation taxes where, prior to
the sale of a monthly service contract, the seller discloses that
in addition to the monthly service fee, it collects a surcharge to
cover gross receipts taxes?"

A copy of the Order Certifying a Question to the Supreme Court of
Washington in Peck, et al. v. AT&T Mobility, et al., No. 09-36113
(9th Cir.), is available at http://is.gd/tJ4xbS

Plaintiff-Appellant James Bowden is represented by:

          Daniel F. Johnson, Esq.
          1111 Third Avenue, Suite 2230
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: (206) 652-8660

The Defendants-Appellees are represented by:

          Leonard J.  Feldman, Esq.
          600 University Street, Suite 3600
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: (206) 624-0900

BEDFORD, TN: Seeks Dismissal of Class Action Over Bail System
Brian Mosely, writing for Shelbyville Times-Gazette, reports
attorneys for the county are denying the claims of a class action
lawsuit and are asking a federal judge to dismiss it.

In December, Ricky Robertson sued Bedford County, Deputy Kevin
Roddy and John Does over alleged violations of the 4th, 8th and
14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

He claimed in the suit that he was severely beaten at the jail and
that the rights of thousands of others have been violated by the
local bail bonding system.

But in papers filed in federal court, attorneys stated that
Mr. Robertson failed to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted and that the statute of limitations has expired in the

Mr. Robertson claimed in the class action part of his suit that he
and countless others have had their due process rights violated
because bail amounts in Bedford County are set in "an arbitrary

But attorney Michael T. Schmitt, representing the county, states
that Mr. Robertson "lacks standing to bring claims on behalf of
individuals other than himself."

Mr. Schmitt also states that Mr. Robertson's bail was not
excessive nor did it violate any laws, his arrest and detention
was based on probable cause, any use of force was not excessive,
no policy led to any alleged violation of his rights, he was not
denied adequate medical care as a pretrial detainee and that Mr.
Robertson was not denied due process of law.

U.S. District Judge Harry S Mattice Jr. has set a scheduling date
of Feb. 10 in the case.

Beating denied

According to jail records, Mr. Robertson was arrested on Nov. 28,
2009 for disorderly conduct and public intoxication and was
released on $1,500 bond.

He claims in the suit that he was in a verbal altercation with his
son-in-law, who was on the phone with someone about him owing back
child support.  The person on the other end of the phone
conversation called police upon hearing the argument between
Mr. Robertson and the son-in-law.

Deputies arrived at Mr. Robertson's house and he allowed them in
and both men were questioned.  The suit claims that a few minutes
after Mr. Roddy and other deputies "stepped outside to confer
among themselves," they asked Mr. Robertson to step outside, at
which point he was arrested for public intoxication.

Mr. Robertson claims that Mr. Roddy and/or the unknown deputies
took him from the patrol car and forcefully pushed him into jail
by lifting his handcuffed hands high above his shoulders from the
back when they arrived.

The suit claims that the more Mr. Robertson protested about the
pain, the higher they lifted his handcuffed hands, and that he was
beaten into unconsciousness after he slammed his wallet down in
front of the booking officer.

Mr. Robertson also claims that the deputies who did not
participate in the alleged beating watched and did nothing to stop
it, and when he woke up and asked for medical treatment, the
deputies refused and laughed at him.

He claimed that a bail bondsman took him to the hospital after
seeing the results of the alleged beating and that X-rays were
allegedly taken, as well as color photos by hospital staff.

The suit alleges that the staff at the hospital called the
sheriff's department to report the alleged beating, but was told
that Mr. Robertson could complain about it to the judge at his
next court hearing.

Mr. Robertson also claims he was intimidated by "certain unknown
deputies" after making inquiries with several attorneys in the
Bedford County area and that he suffered a number of ailments as a
result of the alleged beating, as well as medical expenses

His suit claims that his bail was set "based on some rule of thumb
or preset bail list" and that the county's monetary bail
requirement is a violation of due process.

Mr. Robertson says that the system "serves to enrich bail bondsman
who are practically guaranteed a steady stream of relatively risk-
free revenue through the process of requiring all detainees to
post bonds for monetary bail."

He is demanding two permanent injunctions -- one requiring
training on the appropriate use of force against inmates and on
probable cause for public intoxication, and the other requiring
the setting of bail "in a consistent manner that comports with the
requirements of due process."

Mr. Schmitt stated on behalf of the county that alternate defenses
in the case are the Doctrine of Qualified Immunity, the Tennessee
Governmental Tort Liability Act and that Robertson was provided a
bond hearing within 48 hours.  Mr. Schmitt also asks that the suit
either be dismissed or set for a jury trial.

CABLE ONE: Faces Class Action for Charging Cable Box Rent Fees
Doug Walker, writing for WLOX, reports attorney Stephen Mullins
says he's suing Cable One on behalf of thousands of South
Mississippians who use a cable box required to receive dozens of
additional channels.

Mr. Mullins lawsuit alleges Cable One is violating anti-trust law
by forcing customers to rent the box each month.

"You're paying a flat fee for all these channels that you're
getting, so why should you have to pay additional money for a box
to get the services of the station that you're already paying

In court papers, Cable One has denied that, saying customers do
have a choice.  Mr. Mullins maintains there is no real choice.  He
says Cable One tells customers who want more channels, they must
rent the box.

"We've recently, I think a week or so ago, had people call in just
to see what their response was and they were told specifically
they had to have a box," Mr. Mullins said.  "They say in this
lawsuit that is not what they are doing, but we have dozens and
dozens and dozens of customers that are telling us otherwise."

The lawsuit also alleges because customers can't buy cable boxes
outright from Cable One or any other source, the company has a
monopoly that harms customers.

Mr. Mullins also says the cable boxes are out of date.

"My problem with this is that essentially this is a 1980s
technology.  A lot of these boxes look like they've been around
since the 80s, that they are still using and charging people for
solely for profit."

Attempts to contact local Cable One officials for comment on this
lawsuit have been unsuccessful.  However, in court papers filed by
the cable giant asking for the case to be dismissed, Cable One
denies any wrong doing.

No court date has been set at this time on either the actual
lawsuit, or the request by Cable One to drop the case.

CARE INVESTMENT: Resolves "Briarwood" IPO Class Action Lawsuit
Care Investment Trust Inc., a real estate investment and finance
company that invests in healthcare-related real estate, disclosed
in a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on
Jan. 24, 2010, that the class action lawsuit filed against the
Company in 2007 in connection with its IPO (Briarwood v. Care) has
been fully and finally resolved.

Salvatore (Torey) V. Riso, President and Chief Executive Officer,
said "We are pleased this lawsuit has been resolved in full so
that the Company can continue to focus on its future growth."

As reported by the Class Action Reporter on June 25, 2008, the
suit was filed on Sept. 18, 2007, alleging that the registration
statement relating to the initial public offering of shares of
Care Investment Trust's common stock, filed on June 21, 2007,
failed to disclose that certain of the assets in the contributed
portfolio were materially impaired and overvalued and that Care
was experiencing increasing difficulty in securing its warehouse
financing lines.  On Jan. 18, 2008, the court entered an order
appointing co-lead plaintiffs and co-lead counsel.  On Feb. 19,
2008, the co-lead plaintiffs filed an amended complaint citing
additional evidentiary support for the allegations asserted in the
complaint.  The company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on
April 22, 2008.  The suit is "Briarwood Investments, Inc., et al.
v. Care Investment Trust Inc., et al., Case No. 07-CV-08159,"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York, Judge Louis L. Stanton, presiding.

COINSTAR INC: Accused in Wash. Suit of Misleading Shareholders
Courthouse News Service reports that Coinstar's CEO, CFO and COO
inflated the company's share price through false and misleading
statements, and the price dropped 27 percent in a day when the
truth came out, shareholders say in Federal Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Packer v. Coinstar Inc., et al.,
Case No. 11-cv-00133 (W.D. Wash.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Steve W. Berman, Esq.
          Karl P. Barth, Esq.
          1918 Eighth Avenue, Suite 3300
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: (206) 623-7292

               - and -

          Kim Miller, Esq.
          KAHN SWICK & FOTI, LLC
          500 Fifth Avenue, Ste. 1810
          New York, NY 10110
          Telephone: (212) 696-3730
          E-mail: kim.miller@ksfcounsel.com

               - and -

          Lewis Kahn, Esq.
          KAHN SWICK & FOTI, LLC
          206 Covington Street
          Madisonville, LA 70447
          Telephone: (504) 455-1400
          E-mail: lewis.kahn@ksfcounsel.com

                    Goldfarb Branham Joins Fray

Goldfarb Branham LLP is investigating whether certain officers and
directors of Coinstar, Inc. violated shareholder protection laws
between October 28, 2010 and January 13, 2011.  Shareholders -- or
anyone with knowledge of Coinstar's conduct during this time
period -- are encouraged to contact:

          Hamilton Lindley, Esq.
          Telephone: 214-583-2233
          Toll Free: 877-583-2855
          Facsimile: 214-583-2234
          E-mail: hlindley@goldfarbbranham.com
          Web site: http://www.goldfarbbranham.com/

"The class action states that the company failed to disclose
important information about (1) poor inventory management; (2)
lower sales of Blu-ray DVDs; (3) the 28-day delay imposed by movie
studios was adversely affecting the company; (4) and online video
streaming was affecting the company worse than the company had
indicated," said securities lawyer Hamilton Lindley.  "When
defendants reported the results for the fourth quarter, the stock
plummeted 30% in one day."

Goldfarb Branham's lawyers have significant experience
representing individual and institutional investors in over
100 shareholder class action cases.

DECHERT LLP: Judge OKs Final Meal-Break Class Action Settlement
Kate Moser, writing or The Recorder, reports San Francisco
Superior Court Judge Peter Busch approved a final settlement on
Jan. 24 in a class action that accused Dechert of having workers
sign waivers in order to work through meal breaks.

Dechert's payout to class members is around $429,000.

According to lawyers for the class, nonexempt workers at Dechert
were often required or permitted to sign a "Meal Break Waiver"
form when they worked more than six or 12 hours in a day.

Dechert's lawyer, Fenwick & West partner Victor Schachter,
referred a request for comment to his client.  A call to Jerome
Hoffman, the Dechert of counsel who managed the case from
Philadelphia, was routed to a firm spokeswoman, who declined to

A former administrative assistant in the Palo Alto office of what
was then Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly filed the class action after
the firm terminated her in 2005.

The class lawyers, San Francisco attorney Jessica Christensen and
Alan Bayer and Heather Borlase of Bayer & Borlase, argued that the
waivers themselves provided "irrefutable evidence" that Dechert
knew the employees were working when they should have been taking
meal periods, as mandated by state statutes, and that the firm
authorized them to do so.

"As a large law firm, defendant is capable of maintaining staffing
level sufficient to permit its non-exempt employees to take
30-minute uninterrupted meal periods," the lawyers wrote in a
second-amended complaint, filed in October.

The lawyers acknowledged Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior
Court (Hohnbaum), S166350, the big employment case -- currently
under review by the Supreme Court -- that says employers have to
provide workers with state-mandated meal and rest breaks but don't
have to make sure they take the breaks.  But the class action
lawyers argued that even if the Supreme Court upholds the case,
nothing would prohibit the plaintiffs' claims in the Dechert class

The case is Shreve v. Dechert, 08-479951.

DRUG STORES: W.Va. Attorney General's Suit Not a Class Action
John O'Brien, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that calling
some of its arguments "weak" and "absurd," West Virginia Attorney
General Darrell McGraw has responded to a group of pharmacies that
claims his lawsuit against it is a class action.

Mr. McGraw submitted his response brief on Jan. 20 to the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which is weighing the
appeal of six prescription drug retailers that feel McGraw's case
should be heard in federal court because it is a class action.  A
lower court ruled against them, remanding the case to Boone County
Circuit Court.

The pharmacies -- Kmart, Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, CVS and
Walgreen -- allegedly did not pass savings on generic prescription
drugs on to consumers.

"Acting under the State's parens patriae authority to protect its
sovereign and quasi-sovereign interests in enforcing its own laws,
the state of West Virginia, by its Attorney General, is the real
party in interest in this case," Mr. McGraw wrote.

Mr. McGraw noted that the defendants have abandoned their three
previous arguments for federal jurisdiction.

"This case was not filed under West Virginia Rule 23, and
therefore it is not a class action," Mr. McGraw wrote.  "Nor was
this matter filed 'as a class action.'

"Rather, it was filed in the sovereign interest to carry out what
the district court correctly described as the Attorney General's
'freestanding consumer-protection duty' and his 'broad powers to
implement the (West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act)
and protect and promote consumer welfare in the process.'"

In its appeal brief, the group of pharmacies claims Mr. McGraw's
lawsuit satisfies the jurisdictional requirements of the federal
Class Action Fairness Act.

"The AG's allegations make abundantly clear that more than $5
million and the interests of more than 100 persons are at issue.
If the rightful interests of the West Virginia consumers on whose
behalf the AG has brought suit are recognized, there also is
undeniably minimal diversity between at least some plaintiffs (who
are West Virginia citizens) and all defendants (as none of the
defendants reside in or is a citizen of West Virginia."

The pharmacies add that any consumer who was allegedly overcharged
is a real party in interest to the case.

Mr. McGraw hired two private firms -- Bailey & Glasser and
DiTrapano Barrett & DiPiero -- to pursue the case, and another one
against Rite Aid.  The two firms have contributed more than
$60,000 to Mr. McGraw's campaign fund over the years, including
$11,800 for his 2008 race against Republican Dan Greear.

Bailey & Glasser brought similar lawsuits in Michigan and
Minnesota.  The Michigan suits were dismissed by a state judge
because the only specific pricing information was obtained by a
West Virginia whistleblower who worked at Kroger.

The Minnesota lawsuit, brought on behalf of unions that provide
health care for their members, was initially dismissed in November
2009 by U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum, who had harsh words
for the plaintiffs attorneys.

Mr. Rosenbaum was peeved that the complaint, filed against 13
defendants, only contained specific pricing information about two
of them.

"(T)his Complaint utterly fails to state a cause of action on any
basis.  There are no, none, factual allegations touching any
defendant other than CVS and Walgreen's," Mr. Rosenbaum said
Nov. 20, 2009.

"There being no facts from which a fact finder could infer any
liability concerning (the other defendants), and you asked me to
sustain a complaint based upon that.  It's not only laughable,
it's absolutely reprehensible."

The pharmacies brought up Mr. McGraw's use of outside counsel in
their appeal brief.

"First, and at the outset, the defendants' premise -- that the
State's use of outside counsel somehow affects the jurisdictional
analysis -- is absurd," Mr. McGraw wrote.  "The text of the
statute makes no distinction between state enforcement actions
brought exclusively by state attorneys general and actions brought
by attorneys general with the support of private counsel."

FAMILY DOLLAR: Recalls 67,000 Remote-Controlled Toy Tanks
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Family Dollar Services Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., announced a
voluntary recall of about 67,000 Remote-controlled toy tanks.
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
otherwise instructed.

The tank's controller can overheat and melt, posing a burn hazard
to consumers.

Family Dollar has received five reports of the controllers
overheating and melting. No injuries have been reported.

The recalled product involves the Authentic Heroes Target Practice
Tank play set, a remote-controlled green toy tank attached by a
cable to a grey battery-powered controller.  The controller
requires three AAA batteries to power the tank to move forward and
backward and the tank turret to rotate and shoot projectiles. The
controller is marked "Target Practice Tank Play Set."  Pictures of
the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
family dollar stores nationwide from September 2010 through
December 2010 for about $5.

Consumers should take the toy away from children, remove batteries
and return the toy to a Family Dollar store for a full refund.

For additional information, contact Family Dollar at (800) 547-
0359 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through
Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at

FRONTPOINT PARTNERS: Faces Class Action for HGSI Insider Trading
Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP has filed a class action alleging
securities fraud and insider trading against FrontPoint Partners,
LLC, Yves Benhamou, Joseph F. "Chip" Skowron and certain
FrontPoint investment advisors and hedge funds.  The Complaint was
filed in the United States District Court for the District of
Connecticut, on January 4, 2011, on behalf of all persons and
entities that purchased shares of Human Genome Sciences, Inc.,
from December 7, 2007 through January 22, 2008.  To our knowledge
the class action filed by Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP is the only
such action that has been filed concerning this matter.
FrontPoint has liquidated the hedge fund defendants and
distributed most of their assets to the investors in those hedge
funds.  To protect the interests of the members of the class,
Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP is currently seeking a temporary
restraining order and a preliminary injunction to prevent further
distribution of monies from the FrontPoint hedge funds.  The
case is entitled Brodzinsky v. FrontPoint Partners, LLC, C.A. No.

If you are interested in serving as a lead plaintiff in this
action, or if you have any questions regarding this case or would
like to obtain a copy of the complaint in this action, please call
attorneys Ian McLoughlin or Michelle Blauner of Shapiro Haber &
Urmy LLP at (800) 287-8119 or (617) 439-3939.  You may also
contact us via our Web site http://www.shulaw.com/or
e-mail cases@shulaw.com

The deadline for lead plaintiff applications is March 22, 2011.
More information about Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP and its experience
and qualifications is available on the firm's Web site at

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, six
healthcare-related hedge funds managed by FrontPoint Partners LLC
sold 6,164,500 shares of HGSI common stock while their portfolio
manager, Joseph F. "Chip" Skowron, was in possession of material
negative non-public information concerning HGSI's clinical trial
for the drug Albumin Interferon Alfa 2-a.  The Complaint alleges
that Skowron's information came from Yves Benhamou, M.D., one of
five members of a Steering Committee overseeing the Albuferon
trial.  On January 23, 2008, HGSI publicly disclosed the negative
information regarding the Albuferon trial, causing the price of
HGSI stock to fall $4.40 per share to $5.62 per share, a 44%
decline.  Accordingly, the Hedge Funds avoided just over $30
million in losses as a result of their unlawful sales of HGSI
stock while in possession of material adverse information
regarding HGSI.  Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP seeks to recover that
$30 million for the class of purchasers of HGSI stock during the
Class Period.

If you purchased shares of Human Genome Sciences, Inc., from
December 7, 2007 through January 22, 2008, you are a member of the
putative class in this action and Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP
welcomes the opportunity to discuss this matter with you.  Please
call us at (800) 287-8119 or (617) 439-3939 or e-mail

HOLIDAY SHORES: Heartland Seeks Discovery Stay in Atrazine Suit
Amelia Flood, writing for The Madison St. Clair Record, reports a
non-party to a proposed class action over the weed killer atrazine
is asking to stop discovery in the Madison County suit while it
appeals to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The Heartland Institute filed its motion seeking the discovery
stay on Jan. 21.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge is set to hear it
Feb. 18.

The Fifth District Appellate Court denied Heartland's discovery
stay appeal on Jan. 13.

According to Heartland Institute's motion, it is now seeking to
appeal to the Illinois State Supreme Court.

But it wants a halt to discovery in the Madison County suit first.

"This stay is warranted because without one, Heartland will be
required to produce the protected information; thus any First
Amendment privileges Heartland possesses will be destroyed," the
motion alleges.

Heartland has been fighting discovery requests made by lead
plaintiff Holidays Shores Sanitary District since June 2010.

Holiday Shores is seeking documents from the institute in its
fight with Syngenta Crop Protection Inc., the primary maker of

Holiday Shores proposes to lead a series of class actions against
the makers and distributors of the herbicide atrazine.

The classes in the suits, if certified, would include Illinois
municipalities and water providers.

The plaintiffs contend that atrazine runs off farm fields into
their drinking water supplies and that they must remediate it.

The 2004 suits sparked a nearly identical federal class action
that could include water providers in multiple states last year.

That case is led by the city of Greenville.

It is pending in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of

The Holiday Shores suit is currently in the discovery phase.

Discovery hit a snag last year when Holiday Shores subpoenaed a
number of non-parties to the suit including Heartland.

Over the course of several hearings, Madison County Circuit Judge
Barbara Crowder attempted to balance Holiday Shores' discovery
interests with First Amendment right to association privileges
claimed by the non-parties and Syngenta.

Eventually, Holiday Shores, Syngenta and Heartland asked Crowder
to certify questions for appeal in October 2010.

But a move to clarify a September 2010 discovery order that set
the appeals in place filed by Dr. Don Coursey of the University of
Chicago, another third party in the case, is also pending.

Judge Mudge took over the case from Crowder when she became
Madison County's asbestos judge last year.

Steven Tillery, Christie Deaton and others represent Holiday
Shores.  They also represent Greenville in the federal suit.

Kurtis Reeg represents Syngenta.  Mr. Reeg is also one of
Syngenta's defense team members in the federal suit.

C. Raymond Bell represents Heartland.

The Syngenta case is Madison case number 04-L-710.

The atrazine class actions are Madison case numbers 04-L-708 to

HSBC CARD: Sued in N.J. Over Fraudulent Business Practices
Chris Fry at Courthouse News Service reports that one of the
nation's biggest credit-card companies has found a new trick to
squeeze money of out its customers, according to a federal class
action.  The class claims that HSBC Card Services makes settlement
agreements with debtors' attorneys, then "accepts all but the
remaining few payments" from the debtor and "unilaterally and
without cause refuses to accept the remaining payment and instead
deems the settlement null and void."

Lead plaintiff Chastity Bradley claims that HSBC's "mistreatment
of plaintiff and the class was in fact indiscriminate, occurring
in the regular course of defendant's debt collection attempts
whereby plaintiff was treated in the same general manner as it
treats other consumers who are the objects of its collection

Ms. Bradley says that in January 2010, through her attorney, she
entered into a debt settlement agreement with HSBC for a past due
credit account with a balance of $481.  She says the bank promised
that the account "would be settled and closed" after they received
all her payments.

Ms. Bradley says HSBC accepted and deposited all her payments on
the settlement except the final one, which it returned "without
explanation and insisted upon collection of the full balance due,
in total disregard of the settlement agreement."

The class claims that HSBC defrauds customers and breaches
contract by its calculated policy of accepting "all but the final
payment and proceed[ing] to declare the settlement void."

She seeks punitive damages for the class.

A copy of the Complaint in Bradley v. HSBC Card Services, Inc.,
Case No. 11-cv-_____, docketed as Doc. 3266 in Case No. 33-av-
00001 on Jan. 21, 2011 (D. N.J.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Bruce K. Warren, Esq.
          Brent F. Vullings, Esq.
          93 Old York Road, Suite 333
          Jenkintown, PA 19046
          Telephone: 215-745-9800

KANG SHENG: Recalls 1,440 Butterfly Push Toy
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Kang Sheng Group, of Lexington, N.C., announced a voluntary recall
of about 1,440 Butterfly Push Toy. Consumers should stop using
recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The plastic balls on the butterfly's wings can break, causing
small metal balls inside to come free.  These metal balls pose
choking and aspiration hazards to young children.

No injuries or incidents have been reported.

This recall involves a plastic toy.  It has a 21-inch long handle
hooked like a cane. At the end of the handle is a butterfly with
two movable 1 1/2-inch balls in each wing.  The toy comes in
various colors and makes noise when it moves.  The item number
L185819 is on a sticker on the package.  Pictures of the recalled
products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in Hong Kong and sold
through Flea markets in North Carolina and South Carolina from May
2010 through October 2010 for about $2.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from
young children and return them to the place of purchase or contact
Kang Sheng Group to receive a full refund or replacement.  For
additional information, contact Kang Sheng Group toll-free at
(877) 485-7285 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, or
e-mail the firm at ks9761@yahoo.com

LEHIGH VALLEY: Judge Allows Overtime Class Action to Proceed
WFMZ reports a lawsuit filed against the Lehigh Valley Health
Network is now a class-action case.

A federal judge has granted Joni Wright's request for collective

Mr. Wright, a registered nurse for LVHN, sued the health network
last year.  She claims she was regularly made to work overtime
without compensation.

LVHN said it is reviewing the decision and evaluating its options,
including the possibility of seeking a review of the decision.

LEXISNEXIS: Sued for Charging "Unsconscionable" E-Filing Fees
Cameron Langford at Courthouse News Service reports that
LexisNexis has been charging litigants "unconscionable" rates to
file online documents in Texas federal courts, creating a poll
tax-like situation that creates an unconstitutional barrier to
open courts, a class action claims in Bexar County Court.  The
company, and its Netherlands-based parent, Reed Elsevier, faces
similar lawsuits in Georgia and Texas federal court.

Lead plaintiff Karen McPeters says she was affected by the
LexisNexis' deceptive practices when the discrimination case she
filed against Montgomery County, Texas, was transferred to that
county's court, where electronic filing is mandatory, in September

LexisNexis unlawfully conceals that it charges "nearly $16 for
every piece of paper filed" online in Montgomery County District
Court, according to the complaint.

"On January 27, 2009, the Montgomery County District Clerk
notified counsel for Plaintiff McPeters that the case was
designated as an e-file case," according to the complaint.  "The
clerk stated that e-filing was mandatory, and that all pleadings
would have to be filed with LexisNexis.  Counsel was told that
LexisNexis charged litigants for E-filing and that plaintiff
McPeters would have to pay those charges."

Since neither Montgomery County nor LexisNexis provides litigants
with a list of charges levied by Reed Elsevier -- the Netherlands-
based parent company of LexisNexis -- Ms. McPeters says that she
only leaned about the rates when the company first billed her
counsel on March 6, 2009.

"LexisNexis' charges are unconscionable and excessive as compared
to (1) the cost of filing under the Texas Rules of Civil
Procedure, and (2) the charges of other providers of E-filing
services (Texas On-Line)," the class claims.  "Approximately 252
counties in Texas do not charge to file a paper copy of a motion
or pleading in their district courts, other than filing fees at
the time of filing the lawsuit.

"Texas On-Line charges $7.24 to E-file a document and shows the
charge at the time of filing," the complaint continues.

"LexisNexis charges $15.98 (including tax) to e-file a document in
the two counties that it services and does not disclose its
charges at the time of filing.  It charges $7 for filing and
$8 for service; service is mandatory."

E-filing through LexisNexis is also mandatory in one or more of
the courts in Jefferson County, Texas, according to the complaint.

Ms. McPeters claims that LexisNexis' fees for filing in Montgomery
County District Court also violate Texas state law by duplicating
"part of the fees charged by the district clerk when each lawsuit
is filed."

In addition to charging burdensome fees, Ms. McPeters says
LexisNexis "made unlawful threats for collection including a
threat to report each nonpaying litigant to the Texas State Bar
and to the judge presiding in the case."

The company also lied about being an agent of the Montgomery
County District Clerk, Ms. McPeters says.

"In fact, LexisNexis stated, 'LexisNexis has been acting in
furtherance of official duties,'" according to the complaint.
"The Montgomery County District Clerk denied that claim on Aug. 3,
2010 when it argued to the Ninth Court of Appeals that LexisNexis'
charges were not court costs but were actually convenience fees."

The complaint continues: "LexisNexis claims to act as the official
agent of a district clerk with authority to regulate access to
Texas courts.  The Texas Supreme Court never agreed."

In addition to charging fees that unreasonably obstruct court
access, Ms. McPeters says Texas Supreme Court precedent shows that
the charges simply duplicate ones already levied by the services
of the court's clerk.

LexisNexis gained its unfair hold over the Texas courts in 2003
when U.S. District Judge Frederick Edwards signed an order
mandating E-filing through LexisNexis for all lawsuits in his
court in Montgomery County, according to the complaint.  The only
cases exempt from the order -- and LexisNexis' fees -- are those
brought by the Texas or Child Protective Services, as well as
adoption, new divorce and annulment cases.

While the Texas Supreme Court agreed that Montgomery County could
establish an electronic system, it never authorized the mandatory
fees, Ms. McPeters says.

The complaint states that LexisNexis has defended its practice by
pointing out that litigants have the option of bringing uploading
documents themselves through a free computer terminal in the
clerk's office.

"The terminal, however, is no solution for out-of-county litigants
and those who seek to file by mail under the Texas Rules of Civil
Procedure," according to the complaint.  "One cannot reasonably
require a litigant to drive to the courthouse each time he or she
wishes to file a document."

In any case, Ms. McPeters says that "free" computer requires users
to subscribe to LexisNexis, according to the complaint.

Montgomery County's district clerk will also not take any action
on documents that are mailed or handed to her to file, according
to a similar lawsuit in Houston federal court.  Instead, she mails
them back to the litigants without filing them and provides
instructions on how to file through LexisNexis.

LexisNexis has also allegedly pointed out that Judge Edwards' 2003
gives litigants the option to file a motion to file documents
conventionally in his court, but "the order is not accessible
online, through the District Clerk, LexisNexis, or the web page of
any district court," Ms. McPeters claims.

"The order actually allows a party to ask for permission to file a
document by traditional means only when a transmission error or
other technical problem has occurred when attempting electronic
filing," according to the complaint.  "There is actually no
alternative to enduring the avalanche of charges from LexisNexis
in a case assigned to the 9th District Court in Montgomery
County," Ms. McPeters claims, referring to the Edwards' court.

LexisNexis' attempts to charge and collect filing fees from
litigants in the 9th Montgomery County District Court, and its
failure to disclose charges and threats of unlawful collection
measures, violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices - Consumer
Protection Act, Ms. McPeters says.

LexisNexis is also violating the Consumer Protection Act by
passing off its goods or services as those of the Montgomery
County District Clerk, and causing confusion about its affiliation
with the clerk, according to the complaint.

Ms. McPeters continues that LexisNexis knowingly violated the
Texas Consumer Protection Act because it "knew or should have
known that permissible fees and charges are set forth in the Texas
Government Code and Local Government Code.  LexisNexis knew, or
should have known, that court filing fees are set by the state
legislature, because court filing fee information is codified in
Vernon's Texas Codes."

When the Texas Legislature considered electronic filing in 1987,
"it made no provision for additional mandatory filing fees or
unregulated charges as a condition for access to any court,"
Ms. McPeters says.

Ms. McPeters says more than 16,000 Montgomery County litigants
have been subjected to LexisNexis illegal filing fees since 2000.

"LexisNexis charges are an unconstitutional barrier to open courts
according to authority from both the Texas Supreme Court and the
Texas Attorney General," according to the complaint.  "There is no
precedent for this barrier.  The charges are like a poll tax.
Minorities, the poor, elderly and the less educated are likely to
be denied their day in court.  Is it reasonable to require them to
be computer literate? Payment for justice is now a fact of life,
but should it be?"

Ms. McPeters seeks treble treble damages.

A copy of the Complaint in McPeters v. LexisNexis, Case No.
2011CI-01119 (Tex. Dist. Ct., Bexar Cty.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert L. Mays, Jr., Esq.
          8626 Tesoro Drive, Suite 820
          San Antonio, TX 78217
          Telephone: 210-657-7772

RIDGELAND, SC: iTraffic Seeks Dismissal of Traffic Camera Suit
Patrick Donohue, writing for The Beaufort Gazette, reports the
attorney for iTraffic, the company that helped launch Ridgeland's
camera system on Interstate 95, has requested that a lawsuit
against the town and the company be dismissed because the drivers
who sued have paid their fines.

By doing that, the drivers admitted guilt and have lost their
right to sue, the attorney claims.

The class-action suit, filed Dec. 20 in federal court by two
Florida residents and a South Carolina resident, alleges various
aspects of Ridgeland's use of automated cameras to ticket speeders
on its stretch of I-95 are unconstitutional.  Columbia attorney
Pete Strom filed the suit on behalf of the three drivers and
"several thousand" others who have been mailed tickets by the town
since the system was put in place in August.

In a response, Morgan Templeton of Charleston, the attorney for
iTraffic, asked federal Judge Sol Blatt to dismiss the lawsuit,
which also names Ridgeland's police force and other town

"The plaintiffs are not arguing that they did not commit a crime,"
Templeton wrote in the 12-page filing.  "Rather, they are
complaining that they got caught.  In fact, the plaintiffs have
conceded that they were speeding by virtue of the fact that they
have paid the tickets.

"It would be inconsistent for them to now come to this court and
maintain their innocence in this action and seek to recover
damages for criminal activity."

Mr. Templeton's motion did not specifically address Strom's
accusation that using "unauthorized mail service" to deliver
tickets to offending drivers -- many of whom live outside
Ridgeland's jurisdiction -- amounts to an illegal arrest.

However, Mr. Templeton rejected the assertion that town and
iTraffic officials conspired to deprive drivers of due process.
Judge Blatt has yet to rule on Mr. Templeton's motion, according
to court records.

Ridgeland attorneys have not responded to Mr. Strom's initial
filing, which asks that the town refund all fines and that it stop
issuing tickets using the camera system.

Attempts Tuesday to reach Mr. Strom were unsuccessful.

STEELCASE INC: Recalls 165,000 Cachet Swivel Chairs
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Steelcase Inc., of Grand Rapids, Mich., announced a voluntary
recall of about 165,000 cachet swivel chairs.  Consumers should
stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise

The front seat support part of the chair can crack and fail,
posing a fall hazard to consumers.

The firm has received one report of a chair support failure
resulting in a back injury.

This recall involves all Steelcase Cachet swivel chairs with model
number 487 manufactured between May 2002 and October 15, 2009.
The chairs have a plastic slotted seat and back design and some
were sold with back and seat cushions.  The model number and
manufacture date are printed on a label on the underside of the
base of the chair.  Pictures of the recalled products are
available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in the United States and
sold through authorized Steelcase dealers and retail outlets
including Healthy Back Store, CSN, Home Office Solutions, Office &
Company and Sam Flax stores nationwide and online at
http://www.store.steelcase.com/between May 2002 and November 2009
for up to $600.

Steelcase will replace chairs for individual consumers who
purchased chairs online or from retail outlets listed above.  For
all commercial customers who purchase chairs in quantity,
Steelcase will replace the chair support parts.  Chairs should be
inspected for cracks in the front seat support according to the
instructions posted at http://recall.steelcase.com/ If any cracks
are identified, consumers should immediately stop using the chairs
and contact Steelcase.  Even if no cracks are identified,
consumers should contact Steelcase to arrange for the replacement
process and periodically check for cracks until the chair supports
are replaced.  For additional information, contact Steelcase toll-
free at (800) 391-7194 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern
Time, Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site at
http://recall.steelcase.com/ Consumers can also email the firm at

STEWART INFORMATION: Delivers 660,000 Shares Under Suit Settlement
On January 18, 2011, Stewart Information Services Corporation
delivered 660,000 shares of its common stock, $1.00 per share par
value, that were previously authorized to be issued to Gilardi &
Co. LLC in connection with the settlement of four "wage and hour"
class action lawsuits filed in California state and federal courts
against its subsidiary, Stewart Title of California, Inc.  The
shares of common stock were issued without registration under the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or state securities laws, in
reliance on the exemptions provided by Section 4(2) of the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended, according to a Jan. 24, 2010
Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

TIGRENT INC: Parties Settle Lawsuit in Canada for C$250,000
On January 20, 2011, Tigrent, Inc., and its subsidiary Whitney
Canada, Inc., entered into a Settlement Agreement which, subject
to final Court approval, will settle all claims brought by the
plaintiff class against the Tigrent Entities arising in the
litigation case pending in the Superior Court for Province of
Quebec, District of Hull (Canada), captioned David Brown versus
Marc Jemus, Francois Roy, Robert Primeau et al. (originally filed
in 2006).  In connection with the settlement, the Tigrent Entities
did not admit any liability in the case.

As previously reported by the Class Action Reporter, on Jan. 11,
2007, Whitney Canada, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the
Company, and Whitney Information Network received notice of an
Amended Motion for Authorization to Institute a Class Action in
the Province of Quebec, Canada on behalf of all persons who are
alleged to have made various real estate investments at the
alleged inducement of, or through, Marc Jemus, Francois Roy,
Robert Primeau and/or their companies, and/or B2B Trust, and/or
Whitney Canada, Inc., and/or Jean Lafreniere and/or the Company.
The complaint filed in Superior Court for the Province of Quebec,
District of Hull (Canada), seeks repayment of $39,235 to the
petitioner; unspecified payment to each member of the class of an
amount corresponding to their lost investments; payment of $10,000
to each member of the class as general damages; recovery of costs
and other litigation expenses; and unspecified equitable relief.
On October 19 to 20, 2009, WIN argued its motions to dismiss for
lack of jurisdiction and challenging the authorization of the
class claims against WIN.  On November 3, 2009, the Canadian Court
denied the Company's motion for lack of jurisdiction.  On
August 19, 2010, the Canadian Court denied the petitioner's Re-re-
Amended Motion for Authorization to Institute a Class action
against the Company, but granted the motion against, Whitney
Canada, Inc.  On September 17, 2010, the petitioner filed a notice
of appeal with respect to the Canadian Court's denial of the
petitioner's Re-re-Amended Motion for Authorization to Institute a
Class action against the Company.

Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the plaintiff
class, including the named plaintiffs and any other class member
who does not opt out of the settlement in accordance with
procedures applicable to settlements of class action litigation
under the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure, have agreed to grant a
full general release of all claims they had or could have brought
against the Tigrent Entities in the litigation in exchange for
aggregate payments of C$250,000 to be deposited into a trust
account controlled by the attorneys for the plaintiffs from which
the attorneys' costs will be paid with any balance being available
for distribution to members of the plaintiff class who do not opt
out of the settlement.  Of the total settlement amount, C$50,000
is to be paid into the trust account within five days of the
Settlement Agreement, and the remaining C$200,000 is to be paid
into the trust account no later than March 18, 2011.  The class
action litigation against the other defendants in the litigation
not affiliated with Tigrent remains pending and unsettled.

The settlement and the Settlement Agreement remain subject to
approval by the Court. In addition, if more than seven members of
the plaintiff class opt out of the settlement, the Tigrent
Entities can terminate the Settlement Agreement in their
discretion if they determine that the remaining financial exposure
is financially significant to them.  If the Court does not approve
the settlement or the Tigrent Entities elect to terminate the
Settlement Agreement, then the settlement and the Settlement
Agreement will be void and the funds deposited into the trust
account will be returned to the Tigrent Entities, the Company
disclosed in a January 24, 2011, Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

TOYOTA MOTOR: Plaintiffs Fight Bid to Dismiss Brake Class Action
Westlaw Journal Automotive reports class-action plaintiffs who
charge that Toyota hybrids contain defective braking systems have
asked a California federal court to deny the automaker's motion to
dismiss, arguing they have stated valid claims under the state's
consumer-protection, unfair-competition and warranty laws.

The eight named plaintiffs allege Toyota violated California's
Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civ. Code Sec. 1770(a), which
prohibits "unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive
acts or practices in transactions for the sale or lease of goods
to consumers."

They also claim the company's actions violated the state's unfair-
competition law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Sec. 17200, which bars
unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business practices.

The allegedly defective hybrids are the 2004-2009 Toyota Prius,
2006-2010 Toyota Highlander, 2006-2008 Lexus RX 400h and 2010
Lexus RX 450h.

The class-action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California says the electronic unit that
controls the brakes is improperly programmed to engage the anti-
lock braking system when the ABS is not needed.

This "dangerously extends the amount of time and distance needed
to stop the Toyota Hybrid vehicles," the plaintiffs say.

Toyota was aware of the problem as early as 2004 but failed to
disclose it or fix the defect, the suit says.

"Defendants distributed misleading marketing materials for each
Toyota Hybrid vehicle that touted the safety and functionality of
the braking systems of the Toyota Hybrid vehicles," the plaintiffs

Toyota wants the court to dismiss the complaint or to strike the
class allegations.

In opposition, the plaintiffs assert they have actionable claims
under the CLRA and unfair-competition law.

The statutes require plaintiffs to allege an omission that is
contrary to a defendant's actual representation or an omission of
a fact that the defendant was required to disclose.

The plaintiffs say they have alleged both.

Warranty claims

Toyota contends the plaintiffs lack the requisite privity to
assert a claim for implied warranty of merchantability under the
state's Song-Beverly Warranty Act, Cal. Civ. Code Sec. 1792.

The plaintiffs counter that privity is not an element of a Song-
Beverly claim.  In support they cite In re NVIDIA GPU Litigation,
No. C-08-04312 (N.D. Cal. 2009), which held that "the plain
language of the Song-Beverly Act does not require vertical,
contractual privity between a manufacturer and a consumer."

The plaintiffs' attorneys are Paul R. Kiesel, Kiesel, Boucher &
Larson, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Paul O. Paradis, Michael A.
Schwartz, Gina M. Tufaro, Justin B. Shane and Alexandra L. Sims,
Horwitz, Horwitz & Paradis, New York.

In re Toyota Motor Corp. Hybrid Brakes Marketing, Sales Practices
and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2152 and No. 2:10-946,
opposition to dismissal filed (C.D. Cal., W. Div. Nov. 29, 2010).

UNITED STATES: Black Farmers Raise Pigford Settlement Concerns
Terry Lewis, writing for Albany Herald, reports that in April of
1999, Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia approved a settlement agreement and consent
decree in Pigford v. Glickman, a class action discrimination suit
between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and black farmers.

The suit claimed that the agency had discriminated against black
farmers on the basis of race and failed to investigate or properly
respond to complaints from 1983 to 1997.

According to a report from the Congressional Research Service,
"For many years, black farmers had complained that they were not
receiving fair treatment when they applied to local county
committees (which make the decisions) for farm loans or
assistance.  These farmers alleged that they were being denied
USDA farm loans or forced to wait longer for loan approval than
were non-minority farmers."

"Many black farmers contended that they were facing foreclosure
and financial ruin because the USDA denied them timely loans and
debt restructuring."

To date, more than $1 billion has been paid in $50,000 increments
to more than 13,000 black farmers.  The rub is, according to Buena
Vista farmer Eddie Slaughter, many of the recipients of the
settlement money are not farmers at all.

According to a July 2010 report by Kate Pickert in Time.com, the
largest single settlement under Pigford went to Shirley and
Charles Sherrod, who were awarded $150,000 each for pain and
suffering and $13 million for the defunct New Communities Inc.

"They are paying non-farmers while the bona fide black farmers are
the ones who suffered the injustice," Slaughter, who was one of
157 farmers who brought the original suit in 1997, said.  "The
problem is there is so much money that the lawyers got involved,
telling people how to fill out the claims and how to get around
not having a farm ID number.

"I know people who have gotten this money and they are not
farmers.  A lot of black folks look at it as reparations.  But
this is supposed to be about saving black farms, not reparations.
If they want reparations, let them file their own lawsuit."

"Pigford turned into 'The Trail of Tears' for black farmers," said
Obie Beal, another of the original 157 farmers.  "I haven't gotten
a dime from the settlement.  In fact, I've spent over $25,000 of
my own money trying to get justice."

Of the five farmers The Herald spoke to on Jan. 24, Mr. Slaughter
is the only one to have received a $50,000 check from the
settlement.  Mr. Slaughter said that his claim was later denied
and he is currently paying back the government $238 a month from
his Social Security check.

None of the five farmers said he received promised debt relief.

Joe Leonard Jr., USDA assistant secretary for civil rights, was
out of the office and unavailable for comment on Jan. 25.

Alarmed by what they regarded as rampant fraud, Mr. Slaughter,
Mr. Beal and four other black farmers met with Rep. Sanford Bishop
Jr., D-Albany, in his Columbus office on Dec. 30, 2008, to voice
their concerns.

"We asked him several times about this fraud," Slaughter said in a
video interview with Lee Stranahan.  "We asked, why don't you have
them tell you how many of these people who are getting this money
have an actual farm ID number and are actual farmers?

"(Bishop responded) 'no, no, no, man, they'll shut this thing

Mr. Stranahan's video is posted on TheHuffingtonPost.com and on
Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com Web site, which also
originated the video footage of a Coffee County NAACP meeting that
resulted last year in the forced resignation of Shirley Sherrod as
USDA Georgia Rural Development Director.

The initial clip on BigGovernment.com showed Sherrod admitting
that she refused to give her full effort for a white farmer, but
the full video of her speech showed the incident was a turning
point for her on race relations and that she went back to the
farmer and helped him with his problems.  The farmer confirmed
that Sherrod had been instrumental in keeping his family on its

The USDA offered Mr. Sherrod another job with the agency after the
full unedited video was made public, but she declined the offer.

Mr. Bishop last week confirmed meeting with the farmers, but when
asked if he warned the farmers about shutting down the program,
the congressman answered, "Absolutely not."

But Willie Head of Pavo and Lucious Abrams of Waynesboro support
Mr. Slaughter's story of the meeting.

"I can verify he (Bishop) said every word of that," Mr. Head said.
"I was sitting right across the desk from him when he said it."

Mr. Abrams, a county commissioner for Burke County, agreed.

"He (Bishop) absolutely said it," MR. Abrams said.  "We all heard
it.  But I'll tell you this, we were better off before we filed
the lawsuit.  (The USDA) has taken discrimination and turned it
into persecution."

Mr. Bishop did not address the farmers' allegations, but instead
issued a statement.

"The Pigford-Cobell legislation signed into law last month
included unprecedented safeguards to address any issues of fraud
or abuse of funds awarded to compensate victims of discrimination
in the Pigford settlement," Mr. Bishop said.  "I am confident that
the USDA will use these tools as Congress intended to ensure that
taxpayer dollars awarded in the settlement only go to deserving
individuals, and I will work with the USDA to ensure that the
program meets this high standard."

WASHINGTON: Sued for Scrapping Food Assistance Program
June Williams at Courthouse News Service reports that the state of
Washington killed food stamps for legal immigrants but not for
U.S. citizens, violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th
Amendment, a class action claims in Federal Court.  The state
killed its Food Assistance Program for Legal Immigrants, effective
Feb. 1, to save $7 million.

But "Saving money is not adequate justification to discriminate
against plaintiff and class members in violation of the Equal
Protection Clause," says lead plaintiff Monica Navarro Pimentel.

Ms. Navarro says she can't supply an "adequate and nutritious
diet" for her family without food stamps.

"Plaintiff Navarro Pimentel is indigent.  At the time this dispute
arose, plaintiff Navarro Pimentel and her household were receiving
$647 in Basic Food benefits each month," according to the
complaint.  "This included $341 each month in federal Basic Food
benefits and $306 each month in state-funded Basic Food benefits
through the Food Assistance Program based on the Department's
determination that she (1) was a Washington State resident; (2)
met the immigrant eligibility requirements under WAC 388-424-0025;
and (3) met the eligibility rules for the federally-funded Basic
Food program, except for those rules related to alien status.
Ms. Navarro Pimentel relies upon her federal and state-funded
Basic Food benefits to purchase a nutritious diet.

"On January 18, 2011, DSHS [Department of Social and Health
Services] sent notice to plaintiff Navarro Pimentel and
approximately 10,350 Basic Food households who were receiving
state-funded Basic Food benefits through the Food Assistance
Program for Legal Immigrants (FAP) authorized by RCW 74.08A.120
and WAC 388-400-0045.  These notices stated that the Food
Assistance Program for Legal Immigrants was ending January 31,
2011 because of state budget cuts.  It also stated that recipients
did not have administrative hearing rights when a program ends.

"These notices listed the members of the assistance unit or
household who according to DSHS had been receiving FAP benefits
and set forth the amount of monthly Basic Food benefits that the
household would receive when these benefits terminated on January
31, 2011 because of the elimination of the state-funded Food
Assistance Program for Legal Immigrants.

"These notices failed to adequately explain why ineligible
household members did not meet the citizenship or alien status
requirements for federal Basic Food benefits set forth in WAC 388-
424-0020 or indicate what information or verification the
Department relied upon in reaching this determination.

"These notices also failed to adequately show how the Department
prorated any ineligible member's income or allowable expenses in
accordance with WAC 388-450-0140 or otherwise adequately set forth
the income, deduction, and expense figures used by the Department
so that Plaintiff and subclass members could review the
computation of their federal, Basic Food benefits.

"These notices also failed to set forth all the rules that the
Department relied upon in reducing or terminating Plaintiff's and
subclass members' Basic Food benefits."

In 1996, Congress terminated the eligibility of most legal
immigrants for food stamps but granted states the authority to
provide benefits.  Washington started a food assistance program
for legal immigrants in 1997 using state funds.

"On January 12, 2011, DSHS headquarters notified its regional
administrators that the Food Assistance Program for Legal
Immigrants was being eliminated effective January 31, 2011 as a
result of budget reductions.  It informed them that change or
termination letters would go to more than 10,350 Basic Food
households who had members who would no longer be eligible for
these benefits and set forth the reason code text that would be
included in these letters.  The letter also indicated that
households would not have administrative hearing rights to contest
the elimination of FAP," the complaint state.

The defendant is Secretary of Social and Health Services Susan
Dreyfus.  The class wants to enjoin the termination or reduction
of the Basic Food benefits until they are given adequate notice
and wants DSHS to restore any benefits that were unlawfully
withheld before service of adequate notice.

A copy of the Complaint in Navarro Pimentel v. Dreyfus, Case No.
11-cv-00119 (W.D. Wash.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Gregory D. Provenzano, Esq.
          Amy L. Crewdson, Esq.
          711 Capitol Way S., #304
          Olympia, WA 98501
          Telephone: (360) 943-6260

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dorset Doctor's Death Linked to Hazard Exposure
According to ThisIsDorset.com, the death of 78-year-old Dr.
Richard Pengelly Ashfield, a doctor from Dorset, England, was
related to exposure to asbestos, Asbestos.Net reports.

Dr. Ashfield, who worked in a number of hospitals from the 1960s
until his retirement in 1995, passed away from mesothelioma in
June 2010 from sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

As part of the autopsy process, coroner Michael Johnston factored
in conversations he had with Dr. Ashfield's daughter in which she
remembered her father talking about asbestos dust he would
regularly encounter while working at London's Westminster
Hospital.  Mr. Johnston said that Dr. Ashfield had likely been
describing old underground passageways used by hospital workers
that contained flaking asbestos on the walls.

Dr. Ashfield worked at a number of London-area hospitals between
1962 and 1968, and he is not the first doctor from that time
period who worked in that area and eventually was diagnosed and
killed by mesothelioma.

Doctors John Brian Chapman and James Emerson both died of
mesothelioma decades after working in London's Middlesex Hospital
during the 1960s.

While Dr. Emerson's family successfully launched a lawsuit that
won them GBP1.15 million in damages, Dr. Chapman's family -- as
well as the family of Dr. Ashfield -- chose not to pursue damages.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: PADEP Urges Cleanup at Jeannette Glass Facility
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has
ordered Abe Zion of New York, who owns the former Jeannette Glass
Co. factory, to tear down the abandoned buildings and clean up the
site because of the presence of asbestos and other hazardous
wastes, the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review reports.

On Jan. 19, 2011, PADEP issued the enforcement order against Mr.
Zion of New York for the site, which encompasses more than 13
acres in the heart of the city.  Regional manager of the Waste
Management Program, Michael Forbeck, said, "Due to the
deteriorating condition of many of the structures at the site,
they will need to be razed and subsequently disposed of as
construction and demolition waste."

In addition to asbestos, PADEP inspectors found high levels of
arsenic and lead; leaking electrical transformers containing PCBs,
or polychlorinated biphenyls, which can pose a health risk; and
abandoned industrial batteries, according to the order.

Mr. Zion and PADEP have been at odds since 1989, when the state
first ordered him to clean up the site.  He partially complied
with the order.  But in 2010, inspectors found high levels of
arsenic along the perimeter of the plant, only 20 feet from homes.
In June 2010, Mr. Zion refused to permit PADEP inspectors onto the
site to take air, soil and water samples.  They returned in
October 2010 with search warrants to inspect the site.  Officials
found demolition and municipal waste along with ignitable
solvents, such as acetone, solvent-based paints and barium
carbonate, according to the order.

Mr. Zion can appeal the order to the Environmental Hearing Board,
which could drag out the process.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Illegal Landfill at Lymington May Have Asbestos
Experts will investigate the disposal of waste at an illegal
landfill at the New Forest National Park in Lymington, England,
for the presence of asbestos, the Mesothelioma & Asbestos
Awareness Center reports.

Experts will spend a minimum of three months testing soil to
determine whether the buried waste is hazardous to human health
and the environment.  The GBP21,000 project is scheduled to begin
in February 2011.

The 58-year-old landowner, Kenneth Lovett, was fined over GBP3,000
three months ago for failing to clear thousands of cubic meters of
waste material from land adjoining his home.  Mr. Lovett
reportedly used the waste to raise the level of the land and
prevent it flooding.  Experts fear that said material could
produce methane, which could seep into surrounding homes and
causing an explosion.

Mr. Lovett said that the buried waste included concrete, tires and
bricks, but nothing hazardous, yet an initial analysis conducted
by the URS Corporation on behalf of the Environment Agency
reported that lead, aluminum and zinc were found at the site.
Additionally, and 18-page report submitted in the summer suggested
that asbestos could also be found.

The National Park Authority will take out an injunction against
Mr. Lovett if he continues to ignore enforcement orders.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup at Parker Sites to Cost $20T-$90T
At the Jan. 4, 2011 work session, Community Development Director
Guy Gorman said a partial asbestos abatement of Parker, Ariz.,
town buildings could cost from US$15,000 to US$20,000 and a full
abatement could go US$20,000 to US$90,000, the Parker Pioneer

Mr. Gorman explained to the Parker Town Council the process of
abating asbestos in town buildings at a work session.  The town
received a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of
US$236,000 nearly two years ago to bring town offices in
compliance with handicapped accessibility.  The CDBG funds are
from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Back in October 2011, Mr. Gorman told the council a small amount
of asbestos was found in the town hall, library and senior center.
The town applied for a grant from Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality and received US$56,000.  Mr. Gorman told the
council there was a US$6,000 application fee, so the grant was
US$50,000.  The ADEQ funding will be used for the
removal/abatement of asbestos.

Howard Lange, of EMC Labs of Phoenix, did the asbestos evaluation;
more than 300 samples were taken from the three buildings.

Mr. Gorman described the senior center with one small room having
asbestos tile, and removal would be easy.  In town hall, a wall
adjacent to the police station has asbestos, as well as the under
the floor tile in the station.  The library had the most asbestos
in the "popcorn" ceiling tile.

It was hoped the abatement could start in March 2011 and finish at
the end of April 2011.  Mayor Steve Madoneczky asked Town Manager
Lori Wedemeyer if the abatement was to cost US$90,000 and they
have US$50,000 from ADEQ, where would the US$40,000 come from.
She said it would come from the contingency fund.

Mr. Gorman added that Arizona Department of Housing has granted a
one year extension on the CDBG funds.  After the removal of the
asbestos, the town would have to consider the costs of replacing
carpet, drywall and painting.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Northamptonshire Trust Fined for Safety Breach
The Health and Safety Executive on Jan. 19, 2011, prosecuted
Northamptonshire NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust, NUTEC Security
Systems Ltd., company director Paul Beeby and at Wellingborough
Magistrates' Court following an asbestos incident at Isebrook
Hospital, Wellingborough, in 2008, according to an HSE press
release dated Jan. 19, 2011.

The parties were fined after potentially dangerous asbestos fibers
were released in the county hospital.  The court heard that the
Trust employed NUTEC to upgrade security at Isebrook Hospital
between April 21, 2008 and June 9, 2008.  During the work,
engineers ran cables through false ceilings and partition walls in
public areas of the hospital.  The work resulted in asbestos
fibers being released into the hospital, which had remained open
to the public and staff alike.

HSE's investigation found that the Trust did not ensure that the
contractor had received information on asbestos in the building or
planned the project management of the work correctly.

The investigation also found that NUTEC had assumed areas of the
hospital did not contain asbestos and that Mr. Beeby had not
ensured his surveys were sufficient to identify the presence of

The court was told that as a director of the company and the
person undertaking the surveys, Mr. Beeby should have ensured he
had accessed all areas where his employees were going to be
working and as such had not informed engineers adequately of the
potential risks they faced.

Northamptonshire NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust pleaded guilty to
breaching Regulation 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations
2006 and Regulation 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at
Work Regulations 1999.  It was fined a total of GBP4,000 and
ordered to pay costs of GBP1,755.

NUTEC Security Systems Ltd., of Quarry Park Close, Northampton,
England, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 5(a), 10 (1)(a)
and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.  The company
was fined a total of GBP4,200 and ordered to pay costs of

Paul Beeby, of The Avenue, Flore, pleaded guilty to breaching
Regulation 5(a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.  He
was fined GBP1,200 and also ordered to pay GBP1,755 costs.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Flood Victims Could Be Exposed to Asbestos
Flood victims in Queensland, Australia, may be exposing themselves
to unseen dangers like asbestos as they go about cleaning up and
repairing their homes, ABC News reports.

Many residents have started ripping out water-damaged walls and
sheeting, which may contain asbestos.  Queensland Government
officials are warning people to take precautions and get experts
to assess and remove the material safely.

An asbestos researcher at the Wesley Institute in Brisbane, Dr.
Roger Allen, says in most cases renovations should be delayed.
But he says if people cannot wait, they should take precautions.

But the advice from the Queensland manager of Archicentre, the
building advisory service of the Australian Institute of
Architects, is very different.  Ian Agnew says people should call
the experts rather than handle the toxic material on their own.

Asbestos-removal experts, like most tradespeople in Queensland,
will be in high demand over the next few weeks and even months.
There are 300 asbestos-removal businesses listed in the Yellow
Pages for the entire state.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: $8.4T Fine for LaFranchi over Cleanup Breaches
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an
US$8,400 penalty to Ronald Charles LaFranchi, of Coquille, Ore.,
for allowing unlicensed workers to conduct an asbestos removal
project on a residential structure he owns and uses as a business
office in Sutherlin, according to an Oregon DEQ press release
dated Jan. 18, 2011.

On Aug. 13, 2010, Mr. LaFranchi assisted two workers in cutting
and removing about 600 square feet of asbestos-containing vinyl
asbestos tile from the interior of the structure Mr. LaFranchi
owns at 551 W. Central Ave. in Sutherlin as an office for Ron's
Oil Company.  Neither Mr. LaFranchi nor the two other workers were
licensed or certified by the state to perform asbestos abatement
projects, and thus DEQ levied the US$8,400 penalty.

As Mr. LaFranchi and the workers removed the tile, the material
broke into numerous smaller pieces.  This likely caused release of
asbestos fibers into the atmosphere.

DEQ also noted that after the tile was removed, the workers
transported the unpackaged material to the Roseburg Landfill.  A
landfill employee informed them that the material likely contained
asbestos and thus could not be accepted by the landfill.

The workers drove the material back to the structure in Sutherlin
and stored it in a garage on the property.  These actions likely
caused the further release of asbestos fibers into the

As owner of the residential structure where the asbestos abatement
project took place, Mr. LaFranchi was responsible for ensuring
that all asbestos was properly handled and disposed of.  DEQ cited
Mr. LaFranchi for openly accumulating asbestos-containing waste
material on the property, but did not issue a formal penalty for
this violation.

Mr. LaFranchi has appealed the penalty and plans to meet with DEQ
to discuss the matter further.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kainer Estate Sues 29 Firms in St. Clair Cty.
The heirs of Emil T. Kainer, on Nov. 18, 2010, filed an asbestos
lawsuit against 29 defendant corporations in St. Clair County
Circuit Court, Ill., The Madison/St. Clair Record reports.

Dorothy L. Kainer, Kimberly M. Kainer and Lisa K. Foreman filed
the lawsuit on Mr. Kanier's behalf.  They will be represented by
Michael J. O'Malley, Esq., of Carey, Danis and Lowe in Belleville
and by Jeffrey J. Lowe, Esq., of Carey, Danis and Lowe in St.
Louis.  Devin C. McNulty, Esq., of Williams, Kherkher, Hart and
Boundas in Houston will serve of counsel.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege the defendant companies
caused Mr. Kainer to develop mesothelioma after his exposure to
asbestos-containing products throughout his career.  He worked as
an electrician from 1953 until 1996 and served in the U.S. Army.

In their five-count complaint, the plaintiffs in Case No. 10-L-605
seek a judgment of more than US$100,000, compensatory damages of
more than US$100,000 and punitive and exemplary damages of more
than US$50,000.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Packer Case v. 91 Firms Filed Dec. 17 in W.Va.
On Dec. 17, 2010, an asbestos lawsuit styled Richard Packer and
Janet Packer, his wife vs. Accent Bearings Co., Inc.; American
Standard, Inc.; American Insulated Wire Co. et al., was filed in
Kanawha County Circuit Court, W.Va., The West Virginia Record

Mr. Packer claims the 91 defendants are responsible for exposing
him to asbestos.  The couple is seeking compensatory and punitive

Browyn I. Rinehart, Esq., and Patrick J. Timmins, Esq., represent
the Packers.  Case No. 10-C-2267 is assigned to a visiting judge.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Peirce Firm Seeks Review of Fraud Claim Ruling
Peirce, Raimond & Coulter, a law firm from Pittsburgh accused of
conspiring to fabricate asbestos claims, seeks a full panel of
appellate judges to review a ruling that reinstated the fraud case
against it, The Madison/St. Clair Record reports.

Peirce submitted its petition for a rehearing by the entire roster
of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  A
December 2010 decision by three Fourth Circuit judges said CSX
Transportation did not miss the statute of limitations when it
filed the fraud lawsuit.

Those judges were Allyson Davis, Steven Agee and Andre Davis.  The
Fourth Circuit has 15 judges.

The Peirce firm says the December 2010 decision flies in the face
of precedents established by the U.S. Supreme Court.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Steers Clear From Hoelzer Settlement Feud
Texas Supreme Court justices chose to stay out of a long running
family feud over US$150,000 from the settlement of an asbestos
suit in federal court at Beaumont, Tex., The Southeast Texas
Record reports.

On Jan. 7, 2011, the judges denied rehearing of a petition to
review the removal of Richard Hoelzer as independent executor of
the estate of his father, Carl Hoelzer.

Judge Alfred Gerson of Jefferson County Court at Law No. 1 removed
Hoelzer, and Ninth District appeals judges in Beaumont affirmed
the removal in April 2010.

The Supreme Court denied Richard Hoelzer's petition for review on
Oct. 15, 2010 and his plea for a second chance did not sway them.
Carl Hoelzer died in 1987, after executing a will that named wife
Lillian Hoelzer as independent executor and sole beneficiary.

Lillian Hoelzer filed an asbestos suit in federal court, and
settled with various defendants.  Carl Hoelzer's children,
stepchildren of Lillian Hoelzer, intervened as wrongful death
beneficiaries.  In 1993, they filed a petition in probate court to
remove Lillian Hoelzer as executor.  They alleged she breached her
fiduciary duty and embezzled proceeds of the estate.  A judge
denied their petition for lack of standing, and Ninth District
judges dismissed their appeal.

Then they sued Lillian Hoelzer in Orange County district court,
alleging breach of fiduciary duty by embezzlement, self-dealing,
misapplication of funds and gross misconduct.  A judge granted
summary judgment, and Ninth District judges affirmed the judgment.
Lillian Hoelzer died in 2007, and under the terms of Carl
Hoelzer's will, his son Richard Hoelzer succeeded her as executor.

Richard Hoelzer filed a verified claim against the estate for
himself and three siblings, requesting reimbursement of US$150,000
Lillian Hoelzer received from the asbestos litigation.

Clyde Hebert, Lillian Hoelzer's son, moved to remove and
disqualify Richard Hoelzer as executor.  Mr. Hebert asserted
sufficient grounds to support a belief that once the settlements
are paid to the estate, Richard Hoelzer would pay himself and his
siblings the full amount.  He argued that according to courts,
Richard Hoelzer and his siblings were not creditors of the estate
and the claim was time barred.  He filed an inventory that did not
include the US$150,000 claim.

Judge Gerson set a hearing, and on the hearing date Richard
Hoelzer moved to continue it.  He claimed he needed vital
documents from lawyers who settled the asbestos case.  Judge
Gerson denied the motion, held the hearing, declared Richard
unsuitable as executor, and removed him.

On appeal, Richard Hoelzer argued there was insufficient evidence
to warrant removal.  He argued the statute of limitations hadn't
run because no one filed a final accounting.  He claimed he didn't
receive 45 days' notice of the hearing, and pleaded that Judge
Gerson should have continued it.  Mr. Hebert answered that payment
of the claim would be a misapplication of property.  He claimed
Richard Hoelzer tried to gain funds that prior judgment resolved
against him.

Ninth District judges affirmed Judge Gerson, finding he didn't
have to determine the merits of Richard Hoelzer's claim to future

Justice David Gaultney wrote found probate law didn't require 45
days' notice of the hearing.  He wrote that Richard Hoelzer didn't
promptly bring the discovery issue to Judge Gerson's attention.

Justices Charles Kreger and Hollis Horton joined the opinion.
Bruce Gregory, Esq., represented Mr. Hebert.  Roxie Lormand, Esq.,
represented Richard Hoelzer.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sufferers in N. Ireland Could Get Compensation
Sufferers of some asbestos-related conditions in Northern Ireland,
United Kingdom, are a step closer to accessing compensation
following a Jan. 17, 2011 debate in the Assembly, 4NI.co.uk

Northern Ireland Finance Minister Sammy Wilson believes the
proposed legislation is vital in providing assistance to those who
have suffered wrong, mostly those who had worked in the
construction or engineering sectors.

During the 2nd Stage of the Bill, Mr. Wilson told the Assembly
that bringing forward the legislation was the right thing to do.
He said, "I believe this Bill seeks to support a fundamental
principle of our justice system, namely access to justice for
those who have suffered wrong.

"There was a time when asbestos was regarded as a miracle mineral,
however with time it was discovered that asbestos could cause a
number of different conditions some of which are fatal.

"Having consulted on this proposed legislation I believe that
Northern Ireland should follow Scotland and restore pleural
plaques as an actionable condition.

"This Bill is vitally important and aims to ensure the continued
availability of a method of redress for ordinary working men and
women," he said.

The Department of Finance and Personnel carried out a public
consultation following a House of Lords decision in October 2007
that pleural plaques did not constitute actionable or
"compensatable" damage for the purpose of the law of negligence.

Following the consultation the Finance Minister concluded that the
reinstatement of the right to claim compensation in negligence is
just and fair and will ensure that people in Northern Ireland have
the same rights and protections as people in Scotland.

The Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) Bill aims to deal with
certain asbestos-related conditions namely pleural plaques,
pleural thickening and asbestosis.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wrexham Nightclub Owner Admits to Safety Breach
Michael Campbell Murton, the owner of the former Scotts Nightclub
in Wrexham, Wales, on Jan. 14, 2011, admitted stripping out
asbestos without proper safeguards sparking a health scare, the
Daily Post reports.

The former Scotts Nightclub had to be cordoned off in February
2010 while tests were carried out by experts.  On Jan. 14, 2011,
Wrexham magistrates sitting at Mold heard Mr. Murton admit a raft
of offenses over carrying out refurbishments without the necessary
safeguards to prevent asbestos escaping from the building.

The 35-year-old Mr. Murton, of Hillrest, Cleobury Road in Bewdley,
Kidderminster, had purchased the former nightclub.  It was being
gutted and renovated.  But works ongoing at the time were stopped
after concerns were raised.

The charges, brought by both the Health and Safety Executive and
the Environment Agency, centered on the escape of asbestos while
fire proofing material was removed from the premises.  No details
of the prosecution case were outlined in court.

But after Mr. Murton entered his guilty pleas the magistrates
agreed with prosecutor Simon Parrington the case should be sent to
the crown court for sentence.

Mr. Murton admitted 12 offenses under the Hazardous Waste
Regulations, the Environmental Protection Act and the Asbestos
Regulations.  He pleaded guilty to failing to prevent the exposure
of employees to asbestos fibers and failing to prevent the spread
of asbestos from the building.

Mr. Murton also admitted failing to carry out an assessment into
the presence of asbestos at the building and undertaking work with
asbestos when he was not the holder of an asbestos license.  And
he admitted failing to retain records of hazardous waste movement,
a waste transfer offence and mixed asbestos waste without a

In February 2011, a metal fence was erected around the nightclub
cordoning it off from the public.  Specialists were called in to
assess the danger from the toxic substance which led to Mr.
Murton's prosecution.

Wrexham County Borough Council environment chiefs took the
decision to shut the premises down and launch an investigation.
The premises are close to a local primary school -- St Mary's RC
School on Lea Road.  It is also across the road from shops.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: AirQuest Awarded Contract for Services in Fla.
AirQuest Environmental, Inc. has been awarded a Florida state
contact for asbestos consulting services on roadway projects in
five counties, stretching from Broward to St. Lucie counties,
according to an AirQuest Environmental, Inc. press release dated
Jan. 14, 2011.

This new FDOT award is in addition to a District VI project
awarded to the firm last summer.  Traci-Anne Boyle, president and
owner of the Fort Lauderdale-based consulting firm, said Florida
Department of Transportation (FDOT) District IV office selected
AirQuest to support its right-of-way expansion projects.

AirQuest's new three-year contract includes asbestos survey,
inspection, remediation planning, abatement oversight,
re-inspection and final clearance for roadway projects.  FDOT
District IV is responsible for planning, designing, building and
maintaining all state-owned roadways and bridges in Broward,
Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties.

AirQuest personnel have conducted hundreds of asbestos surveys and
designed and managed numerous abatement projects.  The firm's
asbestos personnel are certified under the Toxic Substances
Control Act (TSCA) and Title II/Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response
Act (AHERA).

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pfizer, Quigley Nearing Claims Settlement Deal
Pfizer Inc. and its bankrupt Quigley Co. unit are nearing a
settlement with a group of alleged asbestos victims as the
companies said the drugmaker may contribute hundreds of millions
more to cover asbestos claims, Business Insurance reports.

Edward Weisfelner, an attorney for the ad hoc committee of
asbestos claimants in Quigley's bankruptcy, told U.S. Bankruptcy
Judge Stuart M. Bernstein in Manhattan on Jan. 13, 2011 that the
details could not yet be disclosed and the deal may take another
10 to 14 days to complete.

Quigley, which made heat shields for the steel industry, was
bought by Pfizer in 1968 and filed for bankruptcy in 2004.

While the bankruptcy has been pending, creditors with alleged
asbestos-related health problems have been unable to sue New York-
based Pfizer and many have died, lawyers for the U.S. Trustee said
in their request to dismiss the case.  The U.S. Trustee is an arm
of the Justice Department that monitors bankruptcy cases.

In September 2010, Judge Bernstein denied Quigley permission to
exit bankruptcy under a fourth proposed Chapter 11 plan, saying
Pfizer had manipulated the bankruptcy process to benefit itself.

Judge Bernstein said the plan was filed in bad faith, citing
testimony that asbestos claims against Quigley could total US$4.45
billion over the next 42 years.

The case is In re Quigley Co., 04-15739, U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Worcestershire Council to Allay Asbestos Fears
The County Council in Worcestershire, England, has sought to allay
fears that pupils and residents are being endangered by asbestos
in a former Kidderminster school building, the Kidderminster
Shuttle reports.

According to a Worcestershire County Council spokesman, the
asbestos will be removed before the old Offmore Primary School
building is demolished and work starts on the new school.  He
added that the county council was always aware asbestos was sealed
in the building and there would be no health risk to residents or
pupils during its removal.

The spokesman explained that the county council had not been able
to carry out a detailed survey of the quantity of the asbestos
until the building had been fully vacated.  The removal work is
expected to take about five weeks and the council said it would be
working hard to minimize any disruption to the building schedule.

Meanwhile, pupils will use the temporary school, which has been
separated completely from the old building, including separate

The Worcestershire County Council spokesman said, "We were always
aware that there was asbestos sealed in the old Offmore Primary
building, as it is a very commonly used material in buildings of
this age.

"However, we were unable to carry out a detailed survey of the
quantity until the school had vacated the building.  This survey
has now been completed and we can begin removing the material,
which will be finished before the building can be demolished.  The
removal, which we expect to take around five weeks, will be
carried out by a contractor licensed by the Health and Safety

"It will be contained within the old school building and will not
pose any risk to anyone at the school or in the surrounding area.
We will be working closely with the building contractor to
minimize the impact of the removal work on the building schedule
and completion date."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Melrose Park Resident Sentenced for Tax Fraud
Michael J. Palmieri, a 55-year-old part-owner of a Melrose Park,
Ill. asbestos removal company was sentenced on Jan. 13, 2011 to
six months of home confinement for failing to report more than
US$500,000 in income on his taxes, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Mr. Palmieri could have faced two years in prison, but his
attorney argued for leniency because he could go blind if he does
not get special medical assistance for an eye disease.  He also
was sentenced to 3 years of probation.  He pleaded guilty in
October 2010 to one count of tax fraud.

As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Palmieri has already paid
US$458,000 in restitution and plans to pay an additional
US$215,000 soon, his lawyers said.

Prosecutors alleged that over a four-year period Mr. Palmieri
failed to report US$1.6 million in income.  He was also accused of
failing to pay the pension fund of the Laborers Union more than
US$205,000 and failing to pay withholding taxes and other taxes by
not reporting US$546,000 in wages of employees.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: H Cope and Sons to Pay GBP12T for Worker's Fall
H Cope and Sons Limited in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England, was
fined GBP12,000 after a certain Mr. Hope suffered life-changing
injuries when he fell from a garage roof, the Grimsby Telegraph

The Company admitted safety breaches before Grimsby magistrates on
Jan. 19, 2011.  Mr. Hope was demolishing a garage at Walmsgate
Place in Grimsby, part of a larger Shoreline Housing contract to
pull down 1,100 garages, on Jan. 13, 2009.

Mr. Hope, who was 38 at the time, was working with a colleague
named as Mr. Mitchell, pulling down asbestos cement sheets, known
as flashing.  The pair realized they were unable to remove them
from underneath, as they had been doing on other garages.

They climbed on top of the roof and Mr. Hope began to snap off the
4ft flashing, while balancing in the gutter and skip, the court
heard.  As he started to throw the sheets into the skip, he
slipped and fell 7ft through the roof on to a concrete surface,
the court was told.

Mr. Hope sustained multiple fractures to his right leg and
inspector David Bradley, prosecuting on behalf of the Health and
Safety Executive, said it was "pointing in the wrong direction."
Mr. Hope also had a broken wrist and had to have reconstructive
surgery, including four operations and a skin graft.

Mr. Bradley said he underwent physiotherapy and has not worked
since.  The court heard H Cope And Sons had put together a method
document, which stated a tower scaffold was needed to access the
flashing from inside the garage.  This was not provided.

There was also no supervisor or toilets on site and workers --
whose only experience was pulling down a bus stop and cleaning
bricks -- were using a bucket and baby wipes to clean themselves.

The Company was fined GBP12,000 as well as GBP3,570.80 costs and a
GBP15 Government-imposed victims' surcharge.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Case v. Coralville Businessman Filed on Dec. 28
According to a criminal complaint filed by Iowa Assistant Attorney
General Susan Krisko on Dec. 28, 2010, Randy P. Ward is being
accused of knowingly disposing of demolished materials that
contained asbestos, KCRG-TV NEWS reports.

Mr. Ward faces nine aggravated misdemeanor charges for violating
air quality standards which arose from an apartment complex
demolition in 2008.

Mr. Ward, who owns Randy's Carpet and Interiors in Coralville,
Iowa, is a member of Le Chateau Apartments LLC, which owned the Le
Chateau Apartments in Coralville in 2008.  The apartment complex
consisted of four, two-story buildings.  During the summer
flooding of 2008, the apartments were damaged and Ward had the
buildings demolished in September 2008 and October 2008.

According to Marion Burnside, a former coordinator of National
Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for the Iowa
Department of Natural Resources, Le Chateau hired Aspec
Environmental Testing, Inc. to inspect the presence of any
asbestos containing materials and also sent samples to the Iowa
Hygienic Laboratory for testing.  Both tests showed asbestos was
present in the site.

In October 2008, Mr. Burnside said he received a complaint about
the demolition and went to visit the site.  He observed the office
building and three of the four buildings had already been
demolished and the fourth was in the process of demolished.  He
said the debris from the already demolished buildings was still on

Mr. Burnside said he did not observe any practices being used to
prevent the discharge of dust emissions.  After speaking with a
worker on site, the worker told him he had no experience in
asbestos removal.

In a document filed to Johnson County court, Mr. Burnside wrote
after speaking with Ward, he told the DNR official he had "lost
enough money from the flood and he was going to leave the pile of
demolition debris where it was."

However, Mr. Ward later contacted three companies to dispose of
the debris, but did not clarify the materials contained asbestos.
None of the trucks used special signage during the loading or
unloading of the contaminated materials.

After verifying disposal records from the Iowa City landfill, Mr.
Burnside reported between Oct. 24, 2010 and Oct. 29, 2010 about
1,650 tons of debris, brought in over 330 truck loads was
deposited from the Le Chateau demolition site.

Mr. Ward made an initial appearance at the Johnson County
Courthouse on Jan. 11, 2011 and waived a preliminary hearing.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: ASIC Seeks Leave to Appeal James Hardie Ruling
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it will
seek to appeal a decision which overturned bans on seven former
directors of James Hardie Industries applying to the High Court
for special leave, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

In December 2010, the full bench of the New South Wales Court of
Appeal overturned a ruling that found the non-executive directors
misled the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) about the Company's
ability to fund asbestos claims.

In doing so the directors, including former chairwoman Meredith
Hellicar, were no longer banned from serving on Company boards
until 2014.

On Jan. 14, 2010, ASIC said it had filed applications in the High
Court for special leave to appeal the decision.  In a statement,
ASIC said the judgment by the NSW Court of Appeal raised several
issues of importance concerning ASIC's obligations in relation to
the civil penalty proceeding.

One of those was ASIC's decision not to call a partner for one of
James Hardie's main external legal advisers Allens Arthur
Robinson, David Robb, to give evidence during the proceedings.

In handing down the judgment on Dec. 17, 2011, Chief Justice James
Spigelman said Mr. Robb could have testified as to whether the
directors at a February board meeting agreed to sign off on the
misleading statement to the ASX.

If granted leave, ASIC will contend that the Court of Appeal erred
in describing the scope and content of its obligation and how that
view affected the outcome of the appeal.  Furthermore, ASIC will
seek to challenge some of the conclusions reached by the court in
assessing whether the James Hardie board approved the ASX
announcement, which was claimed to be misleading.

ASIC chairman Tony D'Aloisio said ASIC seeks to clarify the
content and scope of its obligation during the civil penalty

The directors whose appeals were successful were Ms. Hellicar and
former non-executive directors Michael Brown, Michael Gillfillan,
Martin Koffel, Dan O'Brien, Greg Terry, and Peter Willcox.

Former chief financial officer Phillip Morley had his appeal
dismissed while former general counsel Peter Shafron's appeal was
dismissed in part.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup at Coolidge Elementary to Cost $92,007
Asbestos uncovered in the south building of Coolidge Elementary
School in Enid, Okla., means an extra US$92,007 expense to work on
the building, the Enid News and Eagle reports.

The Enid Public Schools Board of Education at its Jan. 17, 2011
meeting approved a change to the contract with Henson Construction
Co. to remove the asbestos.

The change order is for removal of all existing gypsum board
ceilings and tile ceilings in the south building using proper
abatement procedures.  The removal will include all acoustical
ceiling spray under the insulation, as well as overspray and the
ceiling material it is sprayed on, in classroom and related areas.

Asbestos also was found on an abandoned boiler in the school's
mechanical room and on pipe insulation throughout the classrooms,
hallway and boiler room.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rochdale Council Blocks Homes Plan on T&N Site
The Rochdale Borough Council in Rochdale, Manchester, England, has
refused planning permission for 600 homes on the old Turner and
Newall site, which is a former asbestos factory, BBC News reports.

First submitted in 2005, the plan was to build new houses on the
old Turner and Newall site in Spodden Valley.  Peter Rawlinson,
Head of Planning at Rochdale Council, said there was not enough
detail about how the site could be developed safely.  A spokesman
for developers MMC Estates said a revised application would be
submitted to the council.

Local people fought the GBP100 million scheme fearing that
building work could release harmful asbestos fibers into the air.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup at Sulphur Springs Schools Costs $230T
Asbestos removal cost for the school in Sulphur Springs, Ohio,
which is estimated to have one percent asbestos, is estimated at
US$230,000, Mesothelioma.com reports.

With the construction of a new middle and intermediate school, the
old Whetstone, North Robinson and Sulphur Springs schools are no
longer needed.  However, the Colonel Crawford Board of Education
in Ohio does not think that in these times of economic restraint
it is appropriate to spend money razing buildings that aren't in
anyone's way.

An estimated US$200,000 is needed to raze Whetstone, US$200,000 to
demolish Sulphur Springs, and US$300,000 to tear down North
Robinson.  Plus, these figures do not include the cost of asbestos
removal, which is found in just about every school building
constructed prior to the 1980s.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Caterpillar UK Awards Payout to Aspin's Family
The family of Denis Aspin, a former assembler at a Caterpillar
UK factory, was awarded compensation after Mr. Aspin died from
mesothelioma, the Post Online reports.

Mr. Aspin from Earl Shilton, Leicester, England, was 64 years old
when he died from mesothelioma in November 2008.  He left behind
his wife, Diane, his daughter and four stepchildren.

Mr. Aspin was exposed to asbestos while working for Caterpillar
UK's Desford factory as an assembler from 1979 until 2008, when he
took voluntary redundancy.  He was never warned that asbestos was
being used nearby or of the dangers.

Mr. Aspin went to his GP in September 2008 after suffering from
breathlessness.  He was diagnosed with mesothelioma and underwent
surgery.  He died in November 2008 after returning to hospital for
a secondary operation.

Before his death he instructed law firm Thompsons Solicitors to
claim compensation from Caterpillar UK.  Following his death, his
wife continued his claim.  Thompsons were successful in securing
compensation from Caterpillar in an out of court settlement.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement at La Cruces Museum to Cost $156,400
It is estimated that lead and asbestos abatement at the future
site of Las Cruces, N.M.'s first ever "arts and science" complex
will cost US$156,400, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports.

A contract worth more than US$821,000, for the first phase of
construction of the city's Museum of Nature and Science, was
unanimously approved on Jan. 18, 2011 by the City Council.  Mayor
Ken Miyagishima was absent from the meeting, but all of the
remaining six council members voted to award the contract to
Wooten Construction Co., of Las Cruces.

Architectural design, exhibit construction and general
construction of the building, at 411 N. Main St., will be done by
Las Cruces businesses.  Eric Martin, city project management
administrator, said ASA Architects has a contract with the city
for architectural design of the proposed museum, and Highland
Enterprises, also of Las Cruces, has been hired to build exhibits.

Mr. Martin said money to pay for the first phase of museum
construction will come from grants the city has received.  The
phase will include the removal of asbestos and lead from the
building, which has twice served as banks.

The 8,900-square-foot building has been at its location for more
than 45 years.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2 Union Pacific Workers File Suit in St. Clair
Dale Chapman and Ron Mentel, two former Union Pacific Railroad
Company workers, sued their employer - one alleging he developed
multiple forms of cancer after his work for it and another saying
his work caused him to develop degeneration of his hands, wrists
and elbows, The Madison/St. Clair Record reports.

Mr. Chapman claims he worked for the railroad from 1973 until
2008.  During the course of his work, he was exposed to diesel
exhaust and asbestos, causing him to develop lung cancer,
according to the complaint filed on Dec. 22, 2010 in St. Clair
County Circuit Court.

Mr. Mentel claims he worked as an engineer in Union Pacific's
transportation department from July of 1974 through June of 2009.
During the course of his work, he was forced to work unsafely,
causing him to develop degeneration of his hands, wrists and
elbows and to endure carpal tunnel syndrome, according to his
complaint filed on Dec. 21, 2010 in St. Clair County Circuit

Because of his injuries, Mr. Mentel suffered pain and disability,
incurred medical costs, underwent surgery and lost his normal
life, the suit states.

In his complaint, Mr. Chapman seeks a judgment of more than
US$50,000, plus costs.  In his two-count complaint, Mr. Mentel
seeks a judgment of more than US$100,000, plus costs.

Both men will be represented by William P. Gavin, Esq., of Gavin
Law Firm in Belleville.  In addition, Mr. Mentel will be
represented by Paul W. Johnson, Esq., of The Law Office of Paul W.
Johnson in Belleville.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Veterans Court Affirms Ruling in Reeves Action
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims upheld the Sept. 18,
2008 ruling of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, which denied Dennis
Reeves entitlement to service connection for asbestosis.

The case is styled Dennis Reeves, Appellant v. Eric K. Shinseki,
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Appellee.

Judge William A. Moorman entered judgment in Case No. 08-3226 on
Nov. 23, 2010.

Mr. Reeves served in the U.S. Air Force from February 1961 to
December 1961 as an apprentice construction helper.  In December
1993, he requested VA compensation for disease and injury caused
by his exposure to asbestos and toxic chemicals.  In May 1994, he
submitted statements in support of his claim asserting he was
exposed to asbestos at Vandenburg Air Force Base (AFB) while
working in "all area[s] of civil engineering from upkeep of
property to roads and buildings."

Mr. Reeves also asserted that toxic chemicals, such as DDT, were
used daily at the golf course at Vandenburg AFB.  In August 1994,
a VA regional office (RO) denied Mr. Reeves' claim for entitlement
to service connection for a larynx growth secondary to asbestos
exposure and toxic chemicals.  In October 1994, Mr. Reeves filed a
Notice of Disagreement.

In May 1995, after the RO issued a Statement of the Case, Mr.
Reeves perfected his Substantive Appeal to the Board.  In March
1996, Mr. Reeves testified before a decision review officer.   The
Board remanded Mr. Reeves' claim for entitlement to service
connection for cancer of the larynx, secondary to asbestos
exposure in November 1996, July 1997, and February 1998.

In July 1999, the Board denied Mr. Reeves' claim for entitlement
to service connection for cancer of the larynx, secondary to
asbestos exposure, and remanded his claim for entitlement to
service connection for asbestosis.

In 2000, 2001, 2002, and January 2003, VA requested information
from the U.S. Air Force headquarters concerning any contact with
or exposure to asbestos Mr. Reeves may have had in the performance
of his duties as an apprentice construction worker.  In July 2005,
Mr. Reeves testified before the Board.  In September 2005, the
Board denied entitlement to service connection for asbestosis.

The parties filed a joint motion to remand (JMR) the Board's 2005
decision.  On Aug. 9, 2006, this Court granted the JMR.  In
February 2007, the Board again denied entitlement to service
connection for asbestosis.  In April 2008, the parties filed
another JMR, asserting that the Board did not adequately explain
its finding that the appellant was not entitled to a VA
examination or whether his current diagnosis of parenchymal
asbestosis was possibly connected to active service.

On May 1, 2008, this Court granted the JMR.  On Sept. 18, 2008,
the Board issued the decision here on appeal, denying Mr. Reeves'
claim for entitlement to service connection for asbestosis.  The
Board found that Mr. Reeves was not shown to have been exposed to
asbestos in service and his allegations of such exposure were not
credible.  Mr. Reeves' motion for oral argument was denied.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio Appeals Court Issues Ruling in Rossi Case
The Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga County,
issued rulings in an asbestos case styled Elise S. Rossi, as
Representative of the Estate of Robert A. Rossi, Plaintiff-
Appellee v. Consolidated Rail Corporation and American Premier
Underwriters, Inc., Defendants-Appellants.

Judges Melody J. Stewart, Kenneth A. Rocco, and Colleen Conway
Cooney entered judgment in Case No. 94628 on Nov. 24, 2010.  This
was an appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Consolidated Rail Corporation, appealed from an order denying its
motion for an administrative dismissal of asbestos-related claims
brought by Elise Rossi, the representative of the estate of Robert
Rossi, who died as this action was pending.  Mr. Rossi worked in
various capacities for the railroad and died of lung cancer that
he alleged had been caused by asbestos exposure during his

The issue on appeal was whether the estate made the required prima
facie showing that Mr. Rossi's alleged exposure to asbestos was a
substantial factor in the development of his lung cancer.  Mr.
Rossi admitted to having smoked one to two packs of cigarettes per
day for 48 years.

This cause was reversed and remanded for proceedings consistent
with this opinion.  It was ordered that a special mandate be sent
to the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to carry this
judgment into execution.

Patrick C. Booth, Esq., David A. Damico, Esq., Ira L. Podheiser,
Esq., of Burns White, LLC in Pittsburgh, represented appellants.

Christopher Murphy, Esq., Michael L. Torcello, Esq., of Doran &
Murphy, PLLC in Buffalo, N.Y., represented appellee.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Affirms Board's Decision in Martin Action
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims upheld an April 7,
2009 ruling of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, appeals which
denied Samuel Martin's claim for service connection for

The case is styled Samuel Martin, Appellant v. Eric K. Shinseki,
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Appellee.

Judge Alan G. Lance, Jr. entered judgment in Case No. 09-1515 on
Nov. 24, 2010.

Mr. Martin had active service in the U.S. Navy from July 1974
through July 1978.  He contended that he was exposed to asbestos
during his three years and eight months aboard the USS Mauna Kea.
His claim has a long procedural history including an October 2008
remand by the Board and a subsequent December 2008 VA medical

In the decision on appeal, the Board concluded that the evidence
did not demonstrate that Mr. Martin suffered from significant in-
service asbestos exposure and that the medical evidence was
against a finding that he had asbestosis.

After consideration of Mr. Martin's and the Secretary's briefs,
and a review of the record, the Board's April 7, 2009 decision was

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Court Sets Aside Ruling in Casher Claim
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims set aside an Oct.
15, 2008 ruling of the Board of Veterans' Appeals and remanded the
matter for further development and readjudication of the issue of
service connection for the cause of Charles Casher's death.

The case is styled Gloria P. Casher, Appellant v. Eric K.
Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Appellee.

Judge Robert N. Davis entered judgment in Case No. 08-3625 on
Nov. 30, 2010.

Gloria P. Casher, widow of U.S. Army veteran Charles Casher,
appealed the ruling that denied entitlement to service connection
for the cause of Mr. Casher's death.  The certificate of death for
Mr. Casher, who served in Vietnam, lists the cause of his death as
cardiac arrhythmia and the underlying cause of his death as
"chronic lung disease, asbestosis."

Mrs. Casher argued that VA failed to assist her and Mr. Casher in
developing her claim because it provided two inadequate medical
reports-a 1971 medical report used in determining whether service
connection for sarcoidosis was warranted and a 2007 report to
determine whether Mr. Casher's cause of death was connected to his

Mrs. Casher further argued that the 2007 examination was not
compliant with the Board's October 2006 remand order.  On remand,
Mrs. Casher will be free to submit additional evidence and
argument in support of her claim, and the Board is required to
consider any such evidence and argument.


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

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