CAR_Public/111223.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, December 23, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 254

                             Headlines

BARNES & NOBLE: Date to Seek Dismissal of eBooks Suit Extended
BARNES & NOBLE: Final Hearing on "Minor" Suit Deal on March 1
BARNES & NOBLE: "Strugala" Suit Remains Pending in New York
CAREONE: Public Citizen Opposes Class Action Settlement
CASEY'S GENERAL STORES: Still Defends "Hot Fuel" Class Suits

CITIBANK INC: Sued in Calif. Over Collection of Overdraft Fees
CPI INTERNATIONAL: Awaits Final Okay of Merger-Related Suit Deal
CREIG NORTHROP: Faces Class Action Over Mortgage Fraud
DE BEERS: Court Affirms 2006 Antitrust Class Action Settlement
FINISAR CORP: Appeal From Securities Suit Dismissal Pending

FINISAR CORP: Defends Suit Over March 8 Earnings Announcement
GENESCO INC: Defends Calif. Labor Code-Violation Suit vs. Unit
GENESCO INC: Settles Two Song-Beverly Act Violation Suits
LOUISIANA CITIZENS: Court Reinstates $92.8-Mil. Claims Judgment
MERICLE CONSTRUCTION: Juveniles to Get Portion of Settlement

MYSPACE: Confirms Request for SEC Racketeering Violation Probe
NATURALIZER: Recalls 6,800 Women's Dress Shoes Due to Fall Hazard
O'FALLON: Faces Class Action Over Excessive Towing Fees
OPFM CORP: Couple Ordered to Pay Restitution in Class Action
PACIFIC SUNWEAR: Awaits Ruling in Coordinated Wage and Hour Suit

PAMPERED CHEF: Recalls 20,000 Ice Cream Dippers
RCMP: May Face Class Action Over Sexual Harassment
SAIC INC: Facing Class Suits Over Loss of Computer Backup Tapes
SHAKE-N-GO: Sued in N.Y. Over False Claims on Hair Extensions
SMITH & WESSON: Appeal From Class Suit Dismissal Remains Pending

SOUTHSTAR ENERGY: Settles Class Action Over Price Plans
STUBHUB INC: Sued for Violating California Ticket Resale Law
TALBOTS INC: Awaits Order on Bid to Dismiss "Washtenaw" Complaint
TIVO INC: Appeal in Consolidated IPO Class Suit Remains Pending
UNITED STATES: Immigration Detainees Get Class-Action Status

USP LABS: Faces Class Action for Selling Adulterated Drugs
WALGREEN CO: Faces Class Action Over Illegal Health Record Fees
WAL-MART STORES: Defends New Gender Discrimination Suit in Texas
WAL-MART STORES: Petition in "Braun/Hummel" Suit Remains Pending
WAL-MART: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Overtime Wages

WARNER MUSIC: Digital Music Pricing Suit Remains Pending in N.Y.
WESTPAC BANKING: To Defend Class Action Over Late Payment Fees
WILL COUNTY: Sued Over Time-Consuming Security Lines
ZALE CORP: Plaintiffs' Appeal in Consolidated Suit Pending

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Red Cross Will Decide on Chadha in January
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Reports Hike in Mesothelioma Cases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-James Hardie Units Pay AU$300,000 to Ex-Worker
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Crowder to Return Campaign Donations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Replaced After Receiving Contributions

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Red Flagged Abatement Co. Violates Again
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Law Firm Sends Warning to Mechanics
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Violations Listed in Central Bank Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pay-outs to Pleural Plaques Victims Restored
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Namibia Capital's Water Supply Pipes Contaminated

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contaminants Raise Costs to Landmark Renovation
ASBESTOS UPDATE: A.W. Chesterton et al. Facing Lawsuit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Legal Win Saves 20T Future Claims v James Hardie
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Stages Protest Against UBS Contractor
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Found to Violate Own Rules to Save Money

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harper's Avid Support to Chrysotile Trade Noted
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sea-Land Service to Pay $1.45M to Former Crew
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Affordable Hazards Gets Decorah School Project
ASBESTOS UPDATE: East Providence School Project Waits Cash Release
ASBESTOS UPDATE: England, Wales Snubs Pleural Plaques Payout Issue

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement, Renovation Affect School Opening Date
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Madison Court Told to Reform Docket System
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Announces 2012 Annual Conference Honorees
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Questions Use of "Wet Method" in Joplin Ops
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Signs at Waterfront Apts Abatement Alarm Tenants

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Children of Mesothelioma Victim Seek Justice
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Employee Fined CA$1,000 Over Work Safety Protocol
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Avondale Shipyards et al. Face Mesothelioma Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Modified Cold Virus Helps Fight Mesothelioma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: High Level of HazMat Found at NYFD Lackawanna HQ

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Garbage Tycoon Blames Violation to Bad Employees
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Drax Power Station Crew Dies of Mesothelioma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazmat Find Delays Work At Paramount Blvd Bridge
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Eternit Case to Close on EUR18 Million Settlement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Wet" Demolition Method May Have Exposed Workers

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Former Worker at SGIO Diagnosed with Mesothelioma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Coroner Passes Final Verdict On Misdiagnosed Man
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Calls Out to Husband's Former Co-Workers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fiber Exposure of 16 Hours Could Be Fatal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Eagle Recycling Faces $600,000 Fine

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lawyers Slam ATRF Report on Steep Settlements
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Children of Former Employee Sue Chevron USA
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Historic Niagara and Contractor Co Plead Guilty
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3M, AO Smith Directed to Pay Document Costs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ala. Ct. Says Suit Can Proceed Despite Bankruptcy

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Directs Georgia-Pacific to Produce Docs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Ct. Allows Disclosure of Doctors' Reports
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Del. Ct. Remands Suit for Award Determination
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cabot Reserves $11MM at Sept. 30 for Liabilities
ASBESTOS UPDATE: JC Penney Estimates $27MM Liabilities at Oct. 29

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Met-Pro Has 137 Pending Cases at Dec. 8
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mangis's Claims vs. Copart Voluntarily Dismissed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harbinger Group Still Faces Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rentech Estimates Liability at East Dubuque Site
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 90 Cases vs. LaBour Pump Remain Open at Sept. 30

ASBESTOS UPDATE: American Locker Still Party to 39 Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Andrea Electronics Still Defends "Edwards" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Colonial Unit Still Faces Asbestos-Related Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Discovery Ongoing in "Jansen" Suit vs. Chase
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposure Suits vs. Kaanapali Land Still Pending

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Imperial Industries Still Faces Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: IntriCon Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Katy Asked to Indemnify Sterling in 2,915 Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Katy Still Defends 11 Exposure Suits in Alabama
ASBESTOS UPDATE: McJunkin Faces 989 Exposure Claims at Sept. 30

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pacific Office Posts $600,000 ARO at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Continues to Defend 300 Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Personal Injury Suits vs. Global Power Pending
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rockwell Automation Still Defends Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Scott" Suit vs. Chase Corp. Remains Inactive

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Two Exposure Suits vs. Thermon Group Pending
ASBESTOS UPDATE: WABTEC and Units Still Face Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Magnetek Continues to Pursue Dismissal of Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tyco Int'l. Defends 4,500 Suits at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tyco Records $82MM Net Liability at Sept. 30

ASBESTOS UPDATE: ITT to Indemnify Xylem for Potential Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Maremont Pegs Pending & Future Claims at $73MM
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meritor's Pegs Rockwell-Related Claims at $19MM
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meritor's Appeal From $4.5MM Damages Pending
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ashland & Hercules Still Exposed to PI Suits

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 11,700 Cases Pending v. Mallinckrodt at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rock-Tenn Still Asserts Asbestos Is Contained
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Scotts Miracle-Gro Still Exposed to PI Suits




                          *********

BARNES & NOBLE: Date to Seek Dismissal of eBooks Suit Extended
--------------------------------------------------------------
Barnes & Noble, Inc.'s date to file a motion to dismiss a
complaint alleging horizontal price fixing of eBooks has been
extended until after a consolidated amended complaint is filed,
according to the Company's December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
October 29, 2011.

On August 12, 2011, a purported class action complaint captioned
Rhonda Burstein v. Hachette Book Group, Inc., et al., was filed
against Hachette Book Group, Inc., Harper Collins Publishers,
Inc., Macmillan Publishers, Inc., Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Simon
& Schuster, Inc., Random House, Inc., (collectively, the Publisher
Defendants) and Apple, Inc., Amazon.Com, Inc., and Barnes & Noble,
Inc. (collectively with the Publisher Defendants, the Defendants)
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of purchasers of eBooks of Publisher Defendants
through Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other eBook retailers.
The complaint generally alleges a horizontal price fixing and a
vertical conspiracy among the Defendants to restrain trade in the
consumer retail market of eBooks in the United States in violation
of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1 and Section 2
of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 2.  The complaint generally
seeks treble damages in an undetermined amount sustained pursuant
to Section 4 of the Clayton Act 15 U.S.C. Section 15, costs and
fees, and injunctive relief.  Other complaints have been filed
against the Publisher Defendants, Apple and/or Amazon that do not
name the Company as a defendant resulting in a petition to the
U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL Panel) to
coordinate these cases, including the Burstein action, and
consolidate them for pretrial purposes in the Southern District of
New York or the Northern District of California.  The MDL Panel
held a hearing on December 1, 2011.  The Company's date to file a
motion to dismiss the Complaint has been extended until after a
consolidated amended complaint is filed in the jurisdiction chosen
by the MDL Panel.  The Company denies liability and intends to
vigorously defend its interests.


BARNES & NOBLE: Final Hearing on "Minor" Suit Deal on March 1
-------------------------------------------------------------
A hearing to consider final approval of a settlement of a lawsuit
captioned Minor v. Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc. et al., is set
for March 1, 2012, according to Barnes & Noble, Inc.'s  December
8, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended October 29, 2011.

On May 1, 2009, a purported class action complaint captioned Minor
v. Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc. et al., was filed against B&N
Booksellers, Inc. (B&N Booksellers) in the Superior Court for the
State of California alleging wage payments by instruments in a
form that did not comply with the requirements of the California
Labor Code, allegedly resulting in impermissible wage payment
reductions and calling for imposition of statutory penalties.  The
complaint also alleges a violation of the California Labor Code's
Private Attorneys General Act and seeks restitution of such
allegedly unpaid wages under California's unfair competition law,
and an injunction compelling compliance with the California Labor
Code.  The complaint alleges two subclasses of 500 and 200
employees, respectively (there may be overlap among the
subclasses), but contains no allegations concerning the number of
alleged violations or the amount of recovery sought on behalf of
the purported class.  On June 3, 2009, B&N Booksellers filed an
answer denying all claims.  Discovery concerning purported class
member payroll checks and related information is ongoing.  On
August 19, 2010, B&N Booksellers filed a motion to dismiss the
case for lack of a class representative when the named plaintiff
advised she did not wish to continue to serve in that role.  On
October 15, 2010, the Court issued an order denying B&N
Bookseller's motion to dismiss.  The Court further ruled that Ms.
Minor could not serve as a class representative.  The Court also
granted Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Further Responses to
previously-served discovery seeking contact information for the
putative class.  B&N Booksellers provided that information on
October 15, 2010.

The previously scheduled Case Management Conference was continued
to January 27, 2011.  Plaintiff's counsel filed an amended
complaint on January 26, 2011, adding two new named Plaintiffs,
Jacob Allum and Cesar Caminiero.  At the Case Management
Conference held on January 27, 2011, the Court ordered the parties
to complete mediation by May 6, 2011.  The parties held a
mediation on April 11, 2011.  The parties have reached a tentative
settlement of this matter.  On August 29, 2011, the Court
continued a hearing to consider granting preliminary approval of
the settlement.  On November 10, 2011, the parties appeared before
the Court for the hearing on preliminary approval.  At the Court's
request, the parties subsequently submitted supplemental papers to
address outstanding issues raised by the Court at the hearing.
The Court granted preliminary approval of the settlement on
November 22, 2011, and set March 1, 2012, for the final approval
hearing.


BARNES & NOBLE: "Strugala" Suit Remains Pending in New York
-----------------------------------------------------------
The putative shareholder class action lawsuit captioned Stephen
Strugala v. Leonard Riggio, et al., remains pending in New York,
according to Barnes & Noble, Inc.'s December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended October 29, 2011.

On December 21, 2010, a complaint captioned Stephen Strugala v.
Leonard Riggio, et al., was filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against the Company's
current directors and former directors Lawrence Zilavy and Michael
Del Giudice.  The complaint is purportedly brought both directly,
on behalf of a putative class of shareholders, and derivatively,
on behalf of the Company.  The complaint generally alleges
breaches of fiduciary duties, waste and unjust enrichment in
connection with the Company's acquisition of Barnes & Noble
College Booksellers, the adoption of the Shareholder Rights Plan,
and other unspecified instances of alleged mismanagement and
alleged wrongful conduct.  The complaint also generally alleges
violations of Section 14(a) of the 1934 Act in connection with the
issuance of various proxy statements by the Company.  The
complaint generally seeks declaratory and equitable relief,
including injunctive relief, and costs and fees.

On January 19, 2011, the Court granted the parties' Stipulation
and Order.  On February 18, 2011, the plaintiff filed a Notice of
Voluntary Dismissal of Claim, dismissing without prejudice his
putative class claim for violations of Section 14(a) of the 1934
Act.  On March 8, 2011, defendants filed a motion to dismiss all
claims in the litigation.  On October 4, 2011, the Court granted
defendants' motion to dismiss, but also granted plaintiff leave to
replead within 30 days.  On November 3, 2011, plaintiff requested
a pre-motion conference with the Court to discuss an anticipated
motion to substitute a new plaintiff, Ms. Whitney Parker, for Mr.
Strugala.  The Court has scheduled that pre-motion conference for
December 9, 2011.


CAREONE: Public Citizen Opposes Class Action Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------
Truman Lewis, writing for ConsumerAffairs.com, reports that a
proposed class-action settlement between a debt-adjustment law
firm and its clients should be rejected, Public Citizen said in a
brief filed in Tampa on behalf of an objecting class member.

A class of more than 120,000 people alleges that the law firm and
an affiliated credit counseling company, CareOne, offered to help
consumers settle their debts with their creditors but instead took
large fees from the consumers.

"I entered the debt management program at CareOne for the express
purpose of lowering my interest rate and consolidating my
payments.  My cards were not late, my credit is in good standing,"
Teresa of Illinois told ConsumerAffairs.com.  "CareOne didn't send
my payment in a timely manner to my Citi accounts and after 3
months of 're-negotiating, Citi has now dropped those accounts
from my consolidation, leaving me with late fees, a penalty 29%
interest and late payments."

Additionally, the law firms are alleged to have misrepresented
their debt-settlement services, failed to assist their clients and
discouraged their clients from responding to creditors even when
the consumers were sued.

Often in settlements in cases against debt-adjustment firms, the
plaintiffs recover most or all of the money they paid to the debt
adjustor.  But under the proposed settlement, wronged members of
the class would give up their right to take legal action against
the defendants but get nothing in return.

The defendant law firms and affiliated credit counseling company
would make a payment to the American Bar Foundation ($100,000), to
the settling attorneys (up to $300,000) and to the named plaintiff
in the class action ($5,000), and would be responsible for the
costs of administering the settlement.

The more than 120,000 other consumers in the class would be forced
to surrender any claims that they have against the defendants but
not get a penny.

"The release under the proposed settlement is of staggering
breadth," said Michael Kirkpatrick, the Public Citizen attorney
representing a member of the class who objects to the proposed
settlement.  "The release sweeps far beyond the conduct at issue
in this lawsuit to grant defendants blanket immunity for any type
of claim.  The settlement is unfair because in exchange for giving
up their legal rights, class members get nothing in return.  A
settlement that provides no value to the class should be
rejected."

"Class counsel and the representative plaintiff should not be
rewarded for selling out the class," said Scott Michelman, another
Public Citizen attorney working on the case.

In addition to the problem of class members getting nothing in
this settlement, Public Citizen argues that the proposed payment
to the American Bar Foundation is improper because the foundation
has no connection to the interests of the class and so would not
benefit class members even indirectly.

The defendant law firm involved in the settlement is Persels &
Associates, LLC; also named as defendants are its associated and
predecessor entities Ruther & Associates, LLC and Legal Advice
Line, LCC, along with Persels & Associates attorneys Jimmy M.
Persels, Neil Ruther, Robyn R. Freedman.  The other defendant is
an affiliated debt management company, CareOne Services, Inc.


CASEY'S GENERAL STORES: Still Defends "Hot Fuel" Class Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
Casey's General Stores, Inc. is named as a defendant in four
lawsuits ("hot fuel" cases) brought in the federal courts in
Kansas and Missouri against a variety of gasoline retailers.  The
complaints generally allege that the Company, along with numerous
other retailers, has misrepresented gasoline volumes dispensed at
its pumps by failing to compensate for expansion that occurs when
fuel is sold at temperatures above 60 F.  Fuel is measured at 60 F
in wholesale purchase transactions and computation of motor fuel
taxes in Kansas and Missouri.  The complaints all seek
certification as class actions on behalf of gasoline consumers
within those two states, and one of the complaints also seeks
certification for a class consisting of gasoline consumers in all
states.  The actions generally seek recovery for alleged
violations of state consumer protection or unfair merchandising
practices statutes, negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation,
unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy, and violation of the duty of
good faith and fair dealing; several seek injunctive relief and
punitive damages.  The amounts sought are not quantified.

These actions are among a total of 45 similar lawsuits that have
been filed since November 2006 in 27 jurisdictions, including 25
states, the District of Columbia, and Guam against a wide range of
defendants that produce, refine, distribute and/or market gasoline
products in the United States.  On June 18, 2007, the Federal
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all of the
pending hot fuel cases (officially, the "Motor Fuel Temperature
Sales Practices Litigation") be transferred to the U.S. District
Court for the District of Kansas in Kansas City, Kansas, for
coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings, including
rulings on discovery matters, various pretrial motions, and class
certification.  Discovery efforts by both sides were substantially
completed during the ensuing months, and the plaintiffs filed
motions for class certification in each of the pending lawsuits.

In a Memorandum and Order entered on May 28, 2010, the Court ruled
on the Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification in two cases
originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Kansas, American Fiber & Cabling, LLC v. BP West Coast Products,
LLC, et. al., Case No. 07-2053, and Wilson v. Ampride, Inc., et.
al., Case No. 06-2582, in which the Company is a named Defendant.
The Court determined that it could not certify a class as to
claims against the Company in the American Fiber & Cabling case,
having decided that the named Plaintiff had no standing to assert
such claims.  However, in the Wilson case the Court certified a
class as to the liability and injunctive aspects of the
Plaintiff's claims for unjust enrichment and violation of the
Kansas Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) against the Company and
several other Defendants.  With respect to claims for unjust
enrichment, the class certified consists of all individuals and
entities (except employees or affiliates of the Defendants) that,
at any time between January 1, 2001, and the present, purchased
motor fuel at retail at a temperature greater than 60 F, in the
state of Kansas, from a gas station owned, operated, or controlled
by one or more of the Defendants.  As to claims for violation of
the KCPA, the class certified is limited to all individuals, sole
proprietors and family partnerships (excluding employees or
affiliates of Defendants) that made such purchases.

The Court also ordered the parties to show cause in writing why
the Wilson case and the American Fiber & Cabling case should not
be consolidated for all purposes.  The matter is now under
consideration by the Court.  The court has scheduled the trial to
commence on May 17, 2012.

No further updates were reported in the Company's December 8,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended October 31, 2011.

The Company says its management cannot estimate or quantify the
relief sought nor the amount of possible loss or potential range
of loss related to these actions.  Management does not believe the
Company is liable to the Plaintiffs for the conduct complained of,
and intends to contest the matter vigorously.


CITIBANK INC: Sued in Calif. Over Collection of Overdraft Fees
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ronald S. Arendas, as an individual and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Citibank Inc., Citibank (West) FSB,
Citibank, N.A. and Citibank FSB, and Does 1 through 125, Case No.
4:11-cv-06462 (N.D. Calif., December 19, 2011) is a civil action
seeking monetary damages, restitution and declaratory relief from
Citibank, N.A., arising from its unfair and unconscionable
assessment and collection of overdraft fees in violation of its
contractual terms with the customers in which the contract
affirmatively states: "That there is no Citibank fee charged for
POS transactions."

The Plaintiff alleges that Citibank imposed on customers overdraft
fees in certain prescribed circumstances known only to Citibank,
charging its customers an overdraft fee of as much as $34 per
transaction -- even when the transaction was for only a few
dollars.  He accuses Citibank of intentionally designing this
automatic, fee-based overdraft scheme to maximize overdraft fee
revenue.  He adds that Citibank misled customers to believe that,
if a debit card transaction was approved, no overdraft fees would
be due, and that Citibank never obtained the agreement of its
customers to the imposition of overdraft fees in the context of
debit card transactions.

Mr. Arendas is a citizen of the state of California.

Citibank, a national bank, provides retail banking services to
millions of consumers, including Plaintiff and members of the
putative Class, which include the issuance of debit cards for use
by its customers in conjunction with their checking accounts.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Richard D. McCune, Esq.
          Kristy M. Arevalo, Esq.
          Jae (Eddie) K. Kim, Esq.
          MCCUNEWRIGHT, LLP
          2068 Orange Tree Lane, Suite 216
          Redlands, CA
          Telephone: (909) 557-1250
          Facsimile: (909) 557-1275
          E-mail: rdm@mccunewright.com
                  kma@mccunewright.com
                  jkk@mccunewright.com

               - and -

          Michael W. Sobol, Esq.
          Roger N. Heller, Esq.
          Jordan Elias, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN L.L.P.
          Embarcadero Center West
          275 Battery Street, 30th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 956-1000
          Facsimile: (415) 956-1008
          E-mail: msobol@lchb.com
                  rheller@lchb.com
                  jelias@lchb.com

               - and -

          Aaron S. Podhurst, Esq.
          Robert C. Josefsberg, Esq.
          Steven C. Marks, Esq.
          Peter Prieto, Esq.
          Stephen F. Rosenthal, Esq.
          John Gravante, III, Esq.
          PODHURST ORSECK, P.A.
          City National Bank Building
          25 W. Flagler Street, Suite 800
          Miami, FL 33130-1780
          Telephone: (305) 358-2800
          Facsimile: (305) 358-2382
          E-mail: apodhurst@podhurst.com
                  rjosefsberg@podhurst.com
                  smarks@podhurst.com
                  pprieto@podhurst.com
                  srosenthal@podhurst.com
                  jgravante@podhurst.com

               - and -

          Robert C. Gilbert, Esq.
          Stuart Z. Grossman, Esq.
          David Buckner, Esq.
          Seth E. Miles, Esq.
          GROSSMAN ROTH, P.A.
          2525 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Eleventh Floor
          Coral Gables, FL 33134
          Telephone: (305) 442-8666
          Facsimile: (305) 779-9596
          E-mail: rcg@grossmanroth.com
                  szg@grossmanroth.com
                  dbu@grossmanroth.com
                  sem@grossmanroth.com

               - and -

          Ted E. Trief, Esq.
          Barbara E. Oik, Esq.
          TRIEF & OLK
          150 E. 58th Street, 34th Floor
          New York, NY 10155
          Telephone: (212) 486-6060
          Facsimile: (212) 317-2946
          E-mail: ttrief@triefandolk.com
                  bolk@triefandolk.com

               - and -

          Bruce S. Rogow, Esq.
          BRUCE S. ROGOW, P.A.
          Broward Financial Center
          500 East Broward Boulevard, Suite 1930
          Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394
          Telephone: (954) 767-8909
          Facsimile: (954) 764-1530
          E-mail: brogow@rogowlaw.com

               - and -

          E. Adam Webb, Esq.
          Matthew C. Klase, Esq.
          G. Franklin Lemond, Jr., Esq.
          WEBB, KLASE & LEMOND, L.L.C.
          1900 The Exchange, S.E., Suite 480
          Atlanta, GA 30339
          Telephone: (770) 444-9325
          Facsimile: (770) 444-0271
          E-mail: Adam@WebbLLC.com
                  Matt@WebbLLC.com
                  FLemond@WebbLLC.com

               - and -

          David S. Stellings, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN L.L.P.
          250 Hudson Street, 8th Floor
          New York, NY 10013
          Telephone: (212) 355-9500
          Facsimile: (212) 355-9592
          E-mail: dstellings@lchb.com

               - and -

          Russell W. Budd, Esq.
          Bruce W. Steckler, Esq.
          Mazin A. Sbaiti, Esq.
          BARON & BUDD, P.C.
          3102 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 1100
          Dallas, TX 75219
          Telephone: (214) 521-3605
          Facsimile: (214) 520-1181
          E-mail: rbudd@baronbudd.com
                  bsteckler@baronbudd.com
                  msbaiti@baronbudd.com

               - and -

          Ruben Honik, Esq.
          Kenneth J. Grunfeld, Esq.
          GOLOMB & HONIK, P.C.
          1515 Market Street, Suite 1100
          Philadelphia, PA 19102
          Telephone: (215) 985-9177
          Facsimile: (215) 985-4169
          E-mail: rhonik@golombhonik.com
                  kgrunfeld@golombhonik.com


CPI INTERNATIONAL: Awaits Final Okay of Merger-Related Suit Deal
----------------------------------------------------------------
CPI International Holding Corp. is awaiting final approval of its
settlement of a merger-related class action lawsuit, according to
the Company's December 8, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended September
30, 2011.

On February 11, 2011, CPI International LLC (formerly, CPI
International, Inc., "Predecessor"), then a Delaware corporation
and publicly traded company, completed its merger with Catalyst
Acquisition, Inc. ("Merger Sub"), a Delaware corporation and
wholly owned subsidiary of CPII (formerly, CPI International
Acquisition, Inc.), a Delaware corporation, whereby Merger Sub
merged with and into Predecessor (the "Merger"), with Predecessor
continuing as the surviving corporation and a wholly owned
subsidiary of CPII.  The Merger was effected pursuant to the
Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of November 24, 2010, among
Predecessor, CPII and Merger Sub (the "Merger Agreement").
Immediately following the consummation of the Merger and related
transactions, Predecessor was converted into a limited liability
company and liquidated, and CPI International Acquisition, Inc.
changed its name to CPI International, Inc.

On July 1, 2010, a putative stockholder class action complaint was
filed against Predecessor, the members of Predecessor's board of
directors, and Comtech in the California Superior Court for the
County of Santa Clara, entitled Continuum Capital v. Michael
Targoff, et al. (Case No. 110CV175940).  The lawsuit concerned the
proposed merger between Predecessor and Comtech, and generally
asserted claims alleging, among other things, that each member of
Predecessor's board of directors breached his fiduciary duties by
agreeing to the terms of the previously proposed merger and by
failing to provide stockholders with allegedly material
information related to the proposed merger, and that Comtech aided
and abetted the breaches of fiduciary duty allegedly committed by
the members of Predecessor's board of directors.  The lawsuit
sought, among other things, class action certification and
monetary relief.  On July 28, 2010, the plaintiff filed an amended
complaint, making generally the same claims against the same
defendants, and seeking the same relief.  In addition, the amended
complaint generally alleged that the consideration that would have
been paid to Predecessor's stockholders under the terms of the
proposed merger was inadequate.  On September 7, 2010, Predecessor
terminated the Comtech sale agreement.  On November 24, 2010,
Predecessor entered in an agreement and plan of merger with CPII
and Merger Sub, which are affiliates of the Veritas Fund.  On
December 15, 2010, the plaintiff filed a second amended complaint,
which removed Comtech as a defendant, added allegations related to
the Merger and to Veritas Capital, and added a claim for
attorneys' fees.  On December 23, 2010, after Predecessor filed
its preliminary proxy statement relating to a special meeting in
connection with the approval of the Merger, the plaintiff filed a
third amended complaint, adding allegations related to the
disclosures in the preliminary proxy statement.  The third amended
complaint sought, among other things, class action certification
and monetary relief.

Predecessor believes the action is without merit; however, to
avoid the cost and uncertainty of litigation and to complete the
proposed Merger without delay, the defendants entered into a
Memorandum of Understanding concerning settlement with the
plaintiff, followed by a Stipulation of Settlement dated as of
March 29, 2011 ("Stipulation").  The settlement and any attorneys'
fees award are subject to Court approval.

On October 7, 2011, the Court preliminarily approved the
settlement, directed that notice be mailed to settlement class
members, and scheduled a final approval hearing for December 16,
2011. Pursuant to the Stipulation and upon final Court approval,
among other things, the defendants will receive a release of
claims and the plaintiff will dismiss the third amended complaint
with prejudice in exchange for, among other agreements, an
agreement by Predecessor to make certain additional disclosures
concerning the Merger, which disclosures were included in a
definitive proxy statement filed by Predecessor on January 11,
2011.  The Stipulation also provides that, upon final Court
approval and dismissal of the action, Predecessor, its insurers or
its successor in interest will cause to be paid to the plaintiff's
counsel approximately $0.6 million in full settlement of any claim
for attorneys' fees and all expenses.  The Company expects $0.4
million of this payment to be borne by its insurers.  The $0.6
million full settlement and the $0.4 million insurance
reimbursement are included in accrued liabilities and prepaid and
other current assets, respectively, in the accompanying
consolidated balance sheet as of September 30, 2011.


CREIG NORTHROP: Faces Class Action Over Mortgage Fraud
------------------------------------------------------
Jamie Smith Hopkins, writing for The Baltimore Sun, reports that
several Baltimore-area homeowners are suing the largest
residential real estate team in the state, alleging a "scheme of
fraud and misrepresentations" involving home purchases, sales and
financing.

The suit, a proposed class action, names the Creig Northrop Team,
Long & Foster and several mortgage firms -- including Long &
Foster's Prosperity Mortgage Co. -- as defendants.

A similar lawsuit brought against the Northrop team by a Howard
County couple was settled in March.

The new suit was filed Dec. 9. It alleges that the defendants used
a complex scheme to get clients to buy new homes without first
selling their old ones, requiring two new loans rather than one
and netting more fees and commissions for the companies.  The
defendants fabricated documents to make these deals possible, the
lawsuit also alleges.

A Long & Foster spokeswoman said on Dec. 19 that the company could
not comment on pending litigation.  Creig Northrop said he had not
been served with the lawsuit and had no idea he was being sued
until he was asked for comment Dec. 19.

Northrop's team -- which has offices in Howard, Carroll and
Montgomery counties and is part of Long & Foster -- handled a
higher volume of home purchase and sale transactions than any
other real estate team in the country last year, according to a
ranking prepared for industry analyst REAL Trends.

In the complaint, lawyers for Frank and Catherine Larocca of Mount
Airy, Mehdi Nafisi and Forough Iranpour of Clarksville, and
Kenneth and Angela Pfeifer of Sykesville say each couple went to
the Northrop team for help selling their homes and buying new
ones.

The homeowners were seeking to move in 2006 and 2007, a period
when sales activity was falling off.  But agents with the team
persuaded them to sign contracts for new homes without
contingencies that would have allowed them to back out if they
couldn't sell their old homes, according to the complaint.  The
agents told each couple that they could finance the down payment
on the new home by taking out a "bridge loan," the lawsuit
alleges.

"No such bridge loans were actually available to the Plaintiffs,
and the Defendants knew this fact," the lawsuit alleges.

Instead, Prosperity Mortgage put together applications for a home
equity line of credit on the old homes and sent the applications
to a competing mortgage company without the homeowners' knowledge,
the lawsuit alleges.  The Northrop team delayed listing the
homeowners' current homes for sale until after the line of credit
was approved because they wouldn't have qualified if it were clear
they were trying to sell, according to the lawsuit.

Then Prosperity Mortgage processed applications for mortgages on
the new homes, the lawsuit says.  To get the homeowners to qualify
despite a now-high debt load, Prosperity Mortgage manufactured
fake leases to make it appear that the old homes were being rented
out, the lawsuit alleges.  The homeowners were unaware of these
maneuvers, according to the complaint.

"Defendants forged the Plaintiffs' signatures," the lawsuit
alleges.

These deals, according to the complaint, left each couple with
three loans -- mortgages on both homes plus the equity line of
credit.  They were not able to easily sell their original homes
for the amount the Northrop team led them to believe they could,
and their agents "pressured" them to lower their asking prices,
"typically well below the market values initially provided to the
Plaintiffs by the Defendants," the lawsuit alleges.

In the earlier lawsuit that settled in March, a Fulton couple said
they were victimized by a similar buy-now-sell-later scheme. G.
Russell Donaldson, who represented them and is one of the
attorneys involved in the new suit, said the settlement terms were
confidential.


DE BEERS: Court Affirms 2006 Antitrust Class Action Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rob Bates, writing for JCK, reports that on Dec. 20, the En Banc
Panel of the Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit affirmed the
$300 million De Beers settlement reached in 2006.  The panel's
decision overturns an earlier court ruling that put the settlement
in limbo.

The only remaining option for the objectors, Jewelers Vigilance
Committee president and CEO Cecilia Gardner tells JCK, is to ask
for a rehearing, or appeal to the Supreme Court.  But one
objecting lawyer says that isn't likely.

"As the court recognized, this was a tremendous victory for all
purchasers of diamonds," says New York University professor Samuel
Issacharoff, one of the appellant attorneys.  "I think this
litigation is finally behind us all."

Class action attorney Jared Stamell agrees that "based on this
decision, we expect no further litigation."

"I'm glad this is finally affirmed," he says.  "We can begin now
to put the machinery of distributing money into place.  We hope to
complete this in a manner of months."

He noted that the original $300 million has been sitting in escrow
for six years and has gained interest.

"[Class members] will get a little more money with the interest,"
he says.  "But with interest rates so low, I don't know."

Ms. Gardner cautions that any payouts likely won't be a big sum
for most class members in the jewelry business -- "enough to take
your staff out to lunch," she says.

She adds that the period of time to file claims has expired.


FINISAR CORP: Appeal From Securities Suit Dismissal Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------
An appeal from a final judgment approving a settlement and
dismissing a securities class action lawsuit remains pending,
according to Finisar Corporation's December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended October 30, 2011.

A securities class action lawsuit was filed on November 30, 2001,
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, purportedly on behalf of all persons who purchased the
Company's common stock from November 17, 1999, through
December 6, 2000.  The complaint named as defendants the Company,
Jerry S. Rawls, its Chairman of the Board and formerly its
President and Chief Executive Officer, Frank H. Levinson, its
former Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical Officer, Stephen
K. Workman, its former Senior Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer, and an investment banking firm that served as an
underwriter for the Company's initial public offering in November
1999 and a secondary offering in April 2000.  The complaint, as
subsequently amended, alleges violations of Sections 11 and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, on the grounds that the
prospectuses incorporated in the registration statements for the
offerings failed to disclose, among other things, that (i) the
underwriter had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed
commissions from certain investors in exchange for which the
underwriter allocated to those investors material portions of the
shares of the Company's stock sold in the offerings and (ii) the
underwriter had entered into agreements with customers whereby the
underwriter agreed to allocate shares of the Company's stock sold
in the offerings to those customers in exchange for which the
customers agreed to purchase additional shares of the Company's
stock in the after market at pre-determined prices.  No specific
damages are claimed.  Similar allegations have been made in
lawsuits relating to more than 300 other initial public offerings
conducted in 1999 and 2000, which were consolidated for pretrial
purposes.  In October 2002, all claims against the individual
defendants were dismissed without prejudice.  On February 19,
2003, the Court denied defendants' motion to dismiss the
complaint.

In February 2009, the parties reached an understanding regarding
the principal elements of a settlement, subject to formal
documentation and Court approval.  Under the settlement, the
underwriter defendants will pay a total of $486 million, and the
issuer defendants and their insurers will pay a total of $100
million to settle all of the cases.  On August 25, 2009, the
Company funded approximately $327,000 with respect to its pro rata
share of the issuers' contribution to the settlement and certain
costs.  This amount was accrued in the Company's consolidated
financial statements during the first quarter of fiscal 2010.  On
October 2, 2009, the Court granted approval of the settlement and
on November 19, 2009, the Court entered final judgment.  The
judgment has been appealed by certain individual class members.


FINISAR CORP: Defends Suit Over March 8 Earnings Announcement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Finisar Corporation continues to defend a consolidated securities
class action arising from its March 8, 2011 earnings announcement,
according to the Company's December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
October 30, 2011.

Several securities class action lawsuits related to the Company's
March 8, 2011 earnings announcement alleging claims under Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 have been
filed on behalf of a purported class of persons who purchased
stock between December 1 or 2, 2010, through March 8, 2011.  The
named defendants are the Company and its Chairman of the Board,
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.  To date, no
specific amount of damages has been alleged.  The cases have been
consolidated and lead plaintiffs have been appointed to file a
consolidated complaint.


GENESCO INC: Defends Calif. Labor Code-Violation Suit vs. Unit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Genesco Inc. continues to defend its subsidiary against a class
action lawsuit alleging various violations of the California Labor
Code, according to the Company's December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended October 29, 2011.

On June 22, 2011, the Company removed to the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of California the case Overton v. Hat
World, Inc., a putative class action against its subsidiary, Hat
World, Inc., alleging various violations of the California Labor
Code, including failure to comply with certain itemized wage
statement requirements, failure to reimburse expenses, forced
patronization, and failure to provide adequate seats to employees.
The plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, reimbursement of allegedly
unpaid business expenses, statutory penalties, restitution,
interest, and attorney fees.  The Company says it intends to
defend the action.


GENESCO INC: Settles Two Song-Beverly Act Violation Suits
---------------------------------------------------------
Genesco Inc. has reached an agreement in principle to settle two
class action lawsuits alleging that its retail stores violated the
California Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971, according to the
Company's December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
October 29, 2011.

On March 3, 2011, there was filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of California a putative class action styled
Fraser v. Genesco Inc.  On March 4, 2011, there was filed in the
Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco a
putative class action styled Pabst v. Genesco Inc. et al.  The
Pabst action was removed to the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California on April 1, 2011.  Both complaints
allege that the Company's retail stores in California violated the
California Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971 and other
California law through customer information collection practices,
and both seek civil penalties, damages, restitution, injunctive
and declaratory relief, attorneys' fees, and other relief.  The
Company and plaintiffs' counsel have reached an agreement in
principle to settle both actions, subject to documentation and
court approval.  The Company expects that the proposed settlement
will not have a material effect on its financial condition or
results of operations.


LOUISIANA CITIZENS: Court Reinstates $92.8-Mil. Claims Judgment
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Mowbray, writing for The Times-Picayune, reports that a
divided Louisiana Supreme Court reinstated a $92.8 million lower
court judgment by a 4-3 vote on Dec. 16 against Louisiana Citizens
Property Insurance Corp. for slow adjustment of claims after
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, likely becoming the largest insurance
verdict after the 2005 hurricanes.

The Louisiana Supreme Court agreed with the lower court ruling
that Citizens Insurance was too slow in paying claims after
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, in violation of state law.

In the original March 2009 judgment, Judge Henry Sullivan of the
24th Judicial District Court in Jefferson Parish awarded 18,573
homeowners in the class-action case, Geraldine R. Oubre et al. v.
Louisiana Citizens Fair Plan, $5,000 each because Citizens' own
records proved that the state-sponsored insurer of last resort
waited more than 30 days to begin adjusting hurricane claims,
violating state law.

While the case was on appeal, another $11 million in interest was
added to the judgment, bringing the total to about $103.8 million.
"We're very pleased for our clients," said plaintiff attorney Fred
Herman.  "It demonstrates the utter and abject failure of Citizens
to perform their statutory and contractual obligations to their
insureds."

Because the law dealing with the timely adjustment of claims does
not provide for attorneys' fees, they will have to come out of the
settlement and will probably be about one-third of the ultimate
award, leaving about $69.2 million for claimants.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon blasted the ruling, saying that
it was unfair that Citizens will have to pay when class actions in
federal court against big insurers didn't survive because the
rules are tougher.  "I think it's unconscionable.  It's legally
and morally deficient," Mr. Donelon said.

Mr. Donelon was set to hold a news conference on Dec. 20 in Baton
Rouge to expand what he sees as the legal flaws in the case.  He
said he also plans to reintroduce legislation next spring that
would ban the filing of class actions against Louisiana Citizens
Louisiana Citizens' chief executive, Richard Robertson, said the
Citizens board will consider its options at its next meeting on
Jan. 12.  It will likely ask for the state supreme court to
reconsider the case, and it could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to
review the case.

"We are at this point looking at our options," said Mr. Robertson,
who began working at Citizens in 2010 after the case began.

Risk of assessments

The Supreme Court opinion is great news for Citizens
policyholders, many of whom had to wait for months to begin the
adjustment process while their damage festered, but it creates the
risk that all owners of insured property in Louisiana could have
to chip in to cover the cost of future hurricanes.

As the state-sponsored insurer of last resort, Louisiana Citizens
has the power to tack assessments onto all property insurance
bills if it doesn't have enough money on hand to pay claims, and
it did so after Hurricane Katrina.  Those obligations are then
transferred from property owners to taxpayers at large, because
the state allows people to take a credit on their income taxes for
Citizens assessments.

Mr. Donelon said the authority that allowed Citizens to assess
property owners around the state from Katrina and Rita has now
expired, so no assessments will be levied.  And Citizens probably
does have enough cash on hand to pay the judgment.

But Mr. Donelon said the cost of the judgment is real. If Citizens
uses most of its free cash to satisfy the judgment, it won't be
able to afford to buy reinsurance, or coverage to cover a portion
of any catastrophe claims, with a low deductible, increasing the
risk of assessments if a hurricane were to strike next season.
"We would have no virtually no money for the coming hurricane
season," he said.

Meanwhile, Citizens faces other class actions that could
ultimately cost the insurer money.

One is "legitimate" in Mr. Donelon's view; it deals with the
proper disclosure of charges on Citizens policy materials.

Another is Toni Swain Orrill et al. v. Louisiana Citizens Fair
Plan et., a class action unfolding in Orleans Parish court that
deals with timely adjustment issues similar to the Oubre case.
Citizens tried to settle that case in fall 2008 for $35 million,
and it said that it believed the deal would encompass the claims
in the rival Oubre case.  But a state appeals court threw out the
Orrill settlement in April 2010, saying that the parties had made
an improper "end run" around the other case to try to settle it on
the cheap.

The controversy between the Oubre and Orrill cases became so
heated that, in December 2008, an attorney for the Orrill case and
Oubre attorney J. Robert Ates got into a brawl in court.

Meanwhile, the costs of the Oubre case could grow.  Judge Sullivan
has before him a motion from the Oubre case to compensate another
7,000 to 10,000 homeowners who say that Citizens initiated the
adjustment of hurricane claims too slowly.  That motion had been
put on hold, but now that the Supreme Court has rendered its
opinion, it could be reactivated.

If Judge Sullivan were to find in that those other Oubre claims
also were adjusted too slowly, Citizens could have to pay another
$35 million to $50 million.

But Mr. Herman said he doesn't feel sorry for Citizens, because
the company had an opportunity to settle the case for less money,
and failed to do so.

While the Oubre case was pending in spring 2009, attorneys for
Citizens and the plaintiffs met with a mediator and came up with a
proposed $50 million settlement.  The agreement would have settled
all claims dealing with the timeliness of adjustments for $50
million, including attorneys' fees, to be collected over time on a
payment plan, with provisions to extend the time period if
Citizens faced claims from another hurricane.

Although attorneys for Citizens recommended taking the deal, the
Citizens board refused to act on it, exposing the insurer to the
risk of a judgment.  At the time, Mr. Donelon and the Citizens
board said they believed they could resolve the timeliness of
adjustment claims through the rival Orrill case in Orleans Parish.
Instead, when the Orrill deal was thrown out April 2010, Citizens
was left with potential exposure in both the Oubre and Orrill
cases.

"It's incredible to me that they could be so callous, so devoid of
analysis and property valuation to turn their backs on what their
lawyers and their executives at the time had recommended to them.
Those are the types of things that people need to understand when
they're re-electing them," Mr. Herman said.

The Citizens board is made up of a representative of the state
insurance commissioner, the state treasurer, the chairman of the
House committee on insurance and the chairman of the Senate
committee on insurance, plus appointees by the Governor and
insurance commissioner from various insurance trade groups.

Mr. Donelon said he doesn't remember the details of the mediation,
but it didn't strike him as a good deal. Citizens would have had
to pay $50 million in Oubre, plus the $18 million that the Orrill
case had been whittled down to at the time.

"I don't remember the details of the outcome of that mediation,
but I am convinced that it never could have been settled for less
than $80 or $90 million," Mr. Donelon said.

The Supreme Court opinion was written by Justice Jeannette The
riot Knoll.  In separate opinions, justices Jeffrey Victory, John
Weimer and Greg Guidry dissented.

When the Oubre judgment is finalized, it will become the largest
insurance award by a court after Hurricane Katrina.  Until now,
that distinction had been held by Robert Fresh Market, which won
$21 million plus interest from Lafayette Insurance Co. in June
2008.


MERICLE CONSTRUCTION: Juveniles to Get Portion of Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
Zack Needles, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports that
the largest single portion of the $17.75 million settlement
developer Robert K. Mericle agreed to on Dec. 16 will be reserved
for juvenile victims who suffered physical or psychological harm
as the result of being sent to detention centers by former Luzerne
County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr.

Mr. Mericle, the builder of two juvenile detention facilities who
allegedly paid millions in "finder's fees" to Judge Ciavarella and
former Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Conahan, has agreed to
settle his portion of a civil suit brought by a class of juvenile
plaintiffs for $17.75 million, with the possibility of an
additional $1.75 million.

Under the settlement, up to 30% of that initial $17.75 million --
about $5.3 million -- will go toward attorney fees.

After that, more than $8 million -- plus any money left over after
the rest of the payments are allocated -- will be reserved for
class members with "unique specified situations," such as physical
injury or illness, psychological harm or suicide.

Those payments will be made in addition to money allocated to
juvenile class members according to which facilities Judge
Ciavarella sent them to.

Class members whom Judge Judge Ciavarella sent to either of the
two Mericle-built facilities -- PA Child Care and Western PA Child
Care -- will each receive $5,000, while those who were sent to
other facilities will receive $1,000 each and those who were never
detained will receive $500 each.

The class action stems from the "kids-for-cash" scandal in Luzerne
County.

Mr. Mericle's attorneys, along with counsel for the plaintiffs,
filed the settlement agreement in the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Pennsylvania on Dec. 16.

It now awaits approval by a judge.

Under the agreement in Wallace v. Powell, according to court
documents, Mr. Mericle and his company, Mericle Construction Inc.,
would pay $17.75 million into the settlement fund with no
admission of liability, resolving all claims against them.

The settlement provides for an additional $1.75 million payment to
the plaintiffs if Mericle is successful in a separate suit against
his insurer, according to court documents.

After attorney fees, according to the settlement, class members
who appeared before Judge Ciavarella but were not sent to a
juvenile detention facility between Jan. 1, 2003, and May 28,
2008, will receive $500 from the $410,000 "Probation Benefit
Fund."

Each class member whom Judge Ciavarella sent to a detention
facility other than PA Child Care or Western PA Child Care during
that period will receive $1,000 from the $820,000 "Non-PACC/WPACC
Benefit Fund."

Class members whom Judge Ciavarella sent to either PA Child Care
or Western PA Child Care will receive $5,000 from the $3.65
million "PACC/WPACC Benefit Fund."

Meanwhile, class members who are parents or guardians of juveniles
that either had to make payments to or had wages garnished by
Luzerne County as a result of Judge Ciavarella's adjudications
will be reimbursed those amounts from the $500,000 "Parent and/or
Natural Guardian Benefit Fund."

Under the settlement, leftover money from any of those funds will
be transferred to the "Enhanced Benefit Fund," which will go
toward juveniles "with specified unique situations."

That fund will be at least $8.035 million.

Under the settlement, the factors for determining whether a class
member is eligible to receive payment from the Enhanced Benefit
Fund include age, number of juvenile petitions and number of days
spent at PA Child Care, Western PA Child Care or another detention
facility.

Class members who became physically injured or ill, as well as
those who suffered psychological harm or educational difficulties
as a result of detainment ordered by Judge Ciavarella, may also be
eligible for payment from the Enhanced Benefit Fund.

Situations where a juvenile committed suicide as a result of
detainment ordered by Judge Ciavarella may also warrant payment
from the Enhanced Benefit Fund.

The payments will be managed by a claims committee consisting of
one attorney each from four of the firms representing plaintiffs
in the class action: Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller,
Anapol Schwartz and the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, along
with Pittsburgh-based Caroselli Beachler McTiernan & Conboy.

With Mr. Mericle out, the remaining defendants in the suit are
Judge Ciavarella and Judge Conahan, as well as Robert Powell, the
former co-owner of PA Child Care who admitted to paying millions
in kickbacks to the two judges.

Additional defendants include the two detention facilities -- PA
Child Care and Western PA Child Care -- as well as Mid-Atlantic
Youth Services, the company that operated the facilities, and
Sandra Brulo, the former deputy director of forensic programs of
the county's department of probation.

The consolidated suits in Wallace allege that Judge Conahan and
Judge Ciavarella conspired with the other defendants and used
their influence as judicial officers to select PA Child Care and
Western PA Child Care as detention facilities, and that they
intentionally filled those facilities with juveniles to earn the
conspirators excessive profits.

According to the complaint, one juvenile plaintiff, B.W., was 14
years old when she was charged with multiple criminal offenses
including making terroristic threats after an argument on Myspace.

Before she appeared in Judge Ciavarella's courtroom, B.W. was told
that if she admitted guilt she would receive only three to six
months of probation, according to the complaint.

But the complaint alleged that at the adjudication hearing, Judge
Ciavarella instead ordered that she be removed from the courtroom
in shackles and incarcerated pending a psychological evaluation.

When B.W.'s mother, plaintiff Florence Wallace, protested, Judge
Ciavarella told her to "shut up or be held in contempt."

B.W. was initially held at a juvenile detention facility called
Camp Adams because there were no beds available at PA Child Care,
according to the complaint.

The complaint alleged that B.W. was eventually transferred to PA
Child Care, unnecessarily delaying her psychological evaluation.

In February, a federal jury in Scranton found Judge Ciavarella
guilty of 12 of the 39 counts of corruption filed against him,
including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, honest services
mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy and a host of tax fraud
charges.  He is now serving 28 years in an Illinois federal
prison.

During his sentencing hearing in August, Judge Ciavarella refused
to apologize for his behavior as a juvenile judge.

"My courtroom was always conducted in a fair manner," he said,
adding that he "didn't do anything different than any other judge"
in Luzerne County.

Judge Conahan pleaded guilty in 2010 to one count of racketeering
and is currently serving a 17.5-year federal prison sentence in
Florida.

In a June 2009 plea agreement, Powell pleaded guilty to failing to
report a felony to federal authorities and with being an accessory
after the fact to a tax conspiracy, but alleged his involvement in
the scheme escalated as the judges forced his hand.

On Dec. 27, he will begin serving an 18-month sentence in a
federal prison in Florida.

Mr. Mericle has also entered a guilty plea but has yet to be
sentenced.

Eric Kraeutler of Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Philadelphia, lead
counsel for Mr. Mericle in the civil suit, said in a press release
issued Dec. 16 that he and his client were pleased to bring their
involvement in the litigation to an end.

Marsha Levick, deputy director and chief counsel of the Juvenile
Law Center, was quoted in the release as saying Mr. Mericle
"approached the settlement process in an open and honest way and
we are pleased that this settlement will address the needs of the
children affected by this matter."

Daniel Segal of Hangley Aronchick said in a statement that he and
his clients are "very pleased with the Mericle settlement and
delighted that it will address the needs of the children affected
by this matter."


MYSPACE: Confirms Request for SEC Racketeering Violation Probe
--------------------------------------------------------------
MySpace Founder Brad Greenspan confirmed on Dec. 20 that on
December 16, 2011, in the wake of the resignation by The New York
Times Company CEO Janet L. Robinson, 61, president and chief
executive officer since 2004, a formal complaint and request for a
full investigation was made in November to the Board of Directors.
In addition, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has
confirmed to the MySpace Founder the agency has received evidence
submitted on November 23, 2011 and forwarded such complaint to the
Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) to review
potential violations by the NYT CEO or other executives of
Sarbanes Oxley Statue 802 and/or Federal Racketeering Violations
including Obstruction of Justice under File # HO-00178048-HO.

Mr. Greenspan is also the largest shareholder in Brown v. Brewer a
current 6 year Class Action Federal Securities Fraud and Antitrust
case against News Corp and Intermix related to the 2005
Acquisition of Myspace.com.  The Class Action case 2:06-cv-03731
is ongoing in Federal Central District in Los Angeles before the
Honorable Judge George King.  Most recently, Mr. Greenspan has
filed for 25+ summary judgment counts on behalf of the Class of
over 5000 public shareholders after winning an initial Summary
Judgment ruling in June 2010.  The MySpace Founder has also filed
a Rule 701 Damage Valuation that establishes damages of over $32
billion dollars for Security Fraud and over $96 billion with
antitrust claims including both a Clayton Act Section Eight
Violation for Interlocking Directors and 2 Sherman Act Violation
claims.

"Its incredibly important to have publicly traded media companies
follow Federal laws including Sarbanes-Oxley statues," said the
MySpace Founder "Equally important is an unfettered and
uncorrupted free press in America that does not collude against
Whistleblowers.  I am hopeful and fully expect the Directors of
the New York Times to report out on their internal investigation
into the matter including working with the SEC if appropriate to
bring to light any corruption or improper arrangements with other
media companies which may have existed under the former CEO Janet
Robinson."

According to court documents, the MySpace Founder initiated
contact with both The New York Times Company Directors and SEC
providing significant evidence of an unusual suppression of
certain story topics including cutting off coverage of the Brown
v. Brewer Federal Class Action case after the New York Times
Newspaper reported out on the case in July 2010 after an article
was written by Gretchen Morgenson titled "Bidder Beware" covering
Judge King's June 2010 Summary Judgment.  The New York Times also
refused to contact The MySpace Founder after being supplied
evidence that Mr. Greenspan was a victim of Computer
Hacking/Intrusion by News Corporation which can be viewed in the
pleadings before Judge King including the Motion of Summary
Judgment, Motion for 60(b) Fraud upon the Court, & Motion for
Intervention viewable at below link:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/74858285/December-5-2011-Motion-
Approval-96-Billion-Damage-Report-Consideration-on-60b4-Motion-
Void

The latest Brown v. Brewer Court docket can be seen here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/75578171/News-Corp-AntiTrustSecurities-
Fraud-Docket-RPT-12-8-11-California-Central-District

The Rule 701 Damage Valuation Report can be viewed at below link:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/74858285/December-5-2011-Motion-
Approval-96-Billion-Damage-Report-Consideration-on-60b4-Motion-
Void

Judge George King's June 2010 Summary Judgment Ruling can be
viewed at below link:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/33263784/2010-6-17-Federal-Judge-George-
King-Rules-against-defendants-who-sold-Myspace-to-fox

                 About The New York Times Company

The New York Times Company is a media company with 2010 revenues
of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International
Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers and
more than 50 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, BostonGlobe.com,
Boston.com and About.com.

                       About Brad Greenspan

Brad Greenspan is an Internet entrepreneur and investor.  He is
the Founder of MySpace and he is regarded as one of the pioneers
of the social networking sector.  Mr. Greenspan's portfolio of
start up and early stage companies has covered a broad range of
sectors including: Big Fish Games (gaming), Borba Corporation
(neutracuticals), Fluid Music (music), Draths (clean
technology),BroadwebAsia, (Asian focused online entertainment),
and Live Universe (online entertainment).


NATURALIZER: Recalls 6,800 Women's Dress Shoes Due to Fall Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in
cooperation with retailer, Naturalizer, of St. Louis, Missouri,
and distributor, Brown Shoe Company, Inc., of St. Louis, Missouri,
announced a voluntary recall of about 6,100 pairs of Naturalizer
"Dare" Women's Dress Shoes in the United States and 700 pairs in
Canada.  Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately
unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt
to resell a recalled consumer product.

The heels of the shoes can lean to either side, posing a fall
hazard when worn by consumers.

The firm has received one report of a consumer in Canada who
received a minor leg injury when she fell while wearing the shoes.

This recall involves women's faux patent leather dress shoes with
the style name "Dare."  They have a three-inch heel, open toes and
a decorative faux patent leather bow across the front.  The shoes
were sold in sizes 5M to 10M, 11M, 7W to 9W and in gray, nude,
scarlet and black colors.  "Naturalizer" is printed inside and on
the bottom of the shoe.  The following stock numbers are printed
inside the shoes below the size number: A3279S1020 Dare (gray),
A3279S1250 Dare (nude), A3279S1600 Dare (scarlet) and A3279S2001
Dare (black).  Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12061.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively by Naturalizer stores nationwide from July 2011
through November 2011 for between $25 and $50.

Consumers should immediately stop wearing the shoes and return
them to any Naturalizer store for a full refund.  For additional
information, contact the firm toll-free at (888) 443-2019 anytime,
visit the firm's Web site at http://www.naturalizer.com/,or e-
mail the firm at NaturalizerDare@BrownShoe.com


O'FALLON: Faces Class Action Over Excessive Towing Fees
-------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Holleran, writing for The Madison St. Clair Record, reports
that a putative class action lawsuit has been filed against
O'Fallon, alleging the city overcharged for towing fees after
arresting drivers accused of driving under the influence.

Rogelio Saladrigas alleges the city charged him hundreds of
dollars in fees to retrieve his towed vehicle.  Mr. Saladrigas was
accused of driving under the influence and claims he was forced to
pay excessive fees because of his citations.  However, if a car is
towed under any other circumstances, the cities charge "a fraction
of that amount," according to the complaint filed Dec. 6 in St.
Clair County Circuit Court.

On the same day in Madison County Circuit Court, four other
plaintiffs filed nearly identical lawsuits against the cities of
Edwardsville, Collinsville, Granite City and Alton.

In his complaint, Mr. Saladrigas claims he was cited and arrested
on Oct. 8.  As a result, his car was towed.  When Mr. Saladrigas
attempted to reclaim his vehicle from O'Fallon, he was required to
pay a level one administrative fee to O'Fallon of $500, the suit
states.  After paying the fee, Mr. Saladrigas was given a receipt,
which he was then allowed to use to retrieve his vehicle, the
complaint says.

"The fees required under the above ordinances have no rational
basis in accomplishing the means as stated by the ordinance," Mr.
Saladrigas's suit states.  "There is no rational justification for
imposing $500 administrative fee upon a motorist to merely issue
that person a receipt stating they have paid $500."

In his complaint, Mr. Saladrigas is seeking a refund for the
administrative fee he was forced to pay, plus costs and other
relief the court deems just.

Eric D. Holland and Steven L. Groves of Holland, Groves, Schneller
and Stolze in St. Louis and Brian L. Polinske of Polinske and
Associates in Edwardsville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case numbers: 11-L-666.


OPFM CORP: Couple Ordered to Pay Restitution in Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Larry Alexander, writing for Lancaster Online, reports that
a Lancaster County couple is among eight mortgage consultants
ordered to pay restitution as a result of a $28 million class
action lawsuit.

Cheryl Ann and Kenneth Roger Bennetch of 180 N. Cocalico Road,
Denver, were among the employees of the former OPFM Corp., a Berks
County-based financial consulting firm that the Pennsylvania
Attorney General's office said was engaged in a Ponzi-style scheme
that bilked borrowers and investors of about $36 million.

These acts allegedly included creating false monthly statements,
making false promises and blocking documents, sent by other
companies, that might have tipped off customers that something was
amiss.

Following a lengthy nonjury trial in Berks County, a judgment for
restitution in the amount of $241,163 was entered against Cheryl
Bennetch, who served as bookkeeper and office manager, and a
judgment of $257,628 was filed against Kenneth Bennetch.

Other individuals and restitution judgments were:

    * Jacquelyn Hepford-Rennie, of Lansdale, Montgomery County,
      $455,762.

    * Julie Ann Musser, of Sinking Springs, Berks County,
      $214,566.

    * Susan Louise Hunt, of Reading, $195,331.

    * Amy Lou Styer, of Birdsboro, Berks County, $127,697.

All also are banned from working in the mortgage or financial
investment field through Aug. 29, 2013.

OPFM company president Wesley Snyder and his wife, Sydney, were
ordered to pay $28,675,731 in restitution.  Mr. Snyder is serving
a prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of mail
fraud.

The mortgage consultants, said the court ruling favoring the
victims, failed to properly inform consumers of the possible risks
in this scheme.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Snyder and his co-defendants
encouraged customers to borrow more than was necessary to purchase
their homes or refinance their mortgages.

Consumers agreed to the larger loans based on the promise that the
surplus borrowings would be invested by Snyder in order to reduce
their interest rates and/or pay off their loans earlier than
scheduled.

However, the attorney generals office said much of the money
supported company operating expenses and concealed millions of
dollars in losses of Snyder's other enterprises.


PACIFIC SUNWEAR: Awaits Ruling in Coordinated Wage and Hour Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. is awaiting a court decision
on its motion for judgment on the pleadings with respect to
several causes of action in each of the three wage and hour
lawsuits pending in California, according to the Company's
December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended October 29, 2011.

On January 13, 2011, the plaintiff in Charles Pfeiffer,
individually and on behalf of other aggrieved employees vs.
Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. and Pacific Sunwear Stores
Corp., Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, Case No.
1100527, filed a lawsuit against the Company alleging violations
of California's wage and hour, overtime, meal break and rest break
rules and regulations, among other things.  The complaint seeks an
unspecified amount of damages and penalties.  The Company has
filed an answer denying all allegations regarding the plaintiff's
claims and asserting various defenses.  As the ultimate outcome of
this matter is uncertain, no amounts have been accrued by the
Company as of the date of this report.  Depending on the actual
outcome of this case, provisions could be recorded in the future
which may have an adverse effect on the Company's operating
results and cash flows.

On March 21, 2011, the plaintiff in Phillip Gleason, on behalf of
himself and others similarly situated vs. Pacific Sunwear of
California, Inc., Superior Court of California, County of Los
Angeles, Case No. 457654, filed a putative class action lawsuit
against the Company alleging violations of California's wage and
hour, overtime, meal break and rest break rules and regulations,
among other things.  The complaint seeks class certification, the
appointment of the plaintiff as class representative, and an
unspecified amount of damages and penalties.  The Company has
filed an answer denying all allegations regarding the plaintiff's
claims and asserting various defenses.  As the ultimate outcome of
this matter is uncertain, no amounts have been accrued by the
Company as of the date of this report.  Depending on the actual
outcome of this case, provisions could be recorded in the future
which may have an adverse effect on the Company's operating
results and cash flows.

On March 18, 2011, the plaintiff in Tamara Beeney, individually
and on behalf of other members of the general public similarly
situated vs. Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. and Pacific
Sunwear Stores Corporation, Superior Court of California, County
of Orange, Case No. 30-2011-00459346-CU-OE-CXC, filed a putative
class action lawsuit against the Company alleging violations of
California's wage and hour, overtime, meal break and rest break
rules and regulations, among other things.  The complaint seeks
class certification, the appointment of the plaintiff as class
representative, and an unspecified amount of damages and
penalties.  The Company has filed an answer denying all
allegations regarding the plaintiff's claims and asserting various
defenses.  As the ultimate outcome of this matter is uncertain, no
amounts have been accrued by the Company as of the date of this
report.  Depending on the actual outcome of this case, provisions
could be recorded in the future which may have an adverse effect
on the Company's operating results and cash flows.

Since the allegations in both all three of the cases are
substantially similar, the Company filed a motion to coordinate
the cases in the Los Angeles Superior Court on April 20, 2011.
That motion was granted on June 15, 2011.  On October 14, 2011,
the Company filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings with
respect to several causes of action in each of the cases.  A
hearing on such motion was scheduled for December 9, 2011.


PAMPERED CHEF: Recalls 20,000 Ice Cream Dippers
-----------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
distributor, The Pampered Chef, of Addison, Illinois, and
manufacturer, The Zeroll Company, of Fort Pierce, Florida,
announced a voluntary recall of about 20,000 ice cream dippers.
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

When the liquid-filled ice cream scoop is exposed to warm water,
the cap and seal at the end of the scoop handle can fly off with
substantial force, posing an impact injury hazard to nearby
consumers.

The Pampered Chef has received 16 reports including damage to
kitchen items and six reports of personal injuries including
lacerations, bruises and redness caused by caps coming off the
base of the handle.

The dippers are metallic gray aluminum with a plastic dome-shaped
cap on the base of the handle.  "Pampered Chef" is imprinted in
the cap.  The ice cream dippers measure around seven inches in
length.  A non-toxic liquid is sealed inside the handle of the
product which conducts the heat of your hand to more easily scoop
hard ice cream.  Picture of the recalled products is available at:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12062.html

The recalled products were manufactured in the United States of
America and sold by Pampered Chef consultants and online at
http://www.pamperedchef.com/from July 2010 through September 2010
for about $15.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ice cream
dippers and contact The Pampered Chef for instructions on
obtaining a replacement or refund.  Consumers can also contact
their Pampered Chef consultant for replacement and refund
information.  For additional information, contact The Pampered
Chef toll-free at (877) 917-2433 between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Central Time Monday through Friday and between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30
p.m. Central Time on Saturday or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.pamperedchef.com/recall/custinfo collection.jsp.
Consumers can also e-mail The Pampered Chef at
productalert@pamperedchef.com


RCMP: May Face Class Action Over Sexual Harassment
--------------------------------------------------
CBC News reports that A Thunder Bay, Ont. lawyer says he's close
to filing a class-action lawsuit against the RCMP on behalf of
current and former members who allege they've been victims of
harassment and bullying by colleagues.

Alexander Zaitzeff says a team of lawyers is working full time to
prepare the lawsuit, and a statement of claim could be filed as
early as Dec. 20.

"My firm has been taking calls from across Canada . . . from
members that have had a lifetime of harassment, bullying, and
gender-based discrimination in the RCMP," said Mr. Zaitzeff,
speaking publicly for the first time about the suit.

He said the calls started with Thunder Bay resident Heli Kijanen,
a former RCMP constable who contacted him after watching other
women tell their stories on CBC News.

"The types of harassment range anywhere from plain and ordinary
bullying, if there's such a thing, all the way to sexual assault."
Mr. Zaitzeff said.

He has teamed up with a Vancouver lawyer to lead the lawsuit,
which will name Attorney-General Rob Nicholson as the defendant.

Mr. Zaitzeff wouldn't reveal how many women have signed on to the
action so far but said the number grows daily and there could be
hundreds in the end.  Damages sought in the action could add up to
hundreds of millions of dollars, he said.

"They want to see fairness in the workplace.  They hope for
redress."

Current and former Mounties began coming forward after Cpl.
Catherine Galliford, a B.C. Mountie, told CBC News in early
November that she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after
years of sexual harassment.


SAIC INC: Facing Class Suits Over Loss of Computer Backup Tapes
---------------------------------------------------------------
SAIC, Inc. is facing four purported class action lawsuits
following the theft of computer backup tapes from a vehicle of an
employee, according to the Company's December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended October 31, 2011.

The Company is a defendant in the following four purported class
action lawsuits filed in October through December 2011:
Richardson, et al. v. TRICARE Management Activity (TRICARE),
Science Applications International Corporation, the U.S.
Department of Defense, et al. in U.S. District Court in the
District of Columbia; Adcock, et al. v. Science Applications
International Corporation in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Florida; Arrellano, et al. v. Science
Applications International Corporation in the U.S. District Court
for the Western District of Texas; and Biggerman, et al. v.
TRICARE, Science Applications International Corporation, U.S.
Department of Defense, et al. in U.S. District Court in the
District of Columbia.  The lawsuits were filed following the theft
of computer backup tapes from a vehicle of a Company employee.
The employee was transporting the backup tapes between federal
facilities under an IT services contract the Company was
performing in support of TRICARE, the health care program for
members of the military, retirees and their families.  The tapes
contained personally identifiable and protected health information
of approximately five million military clinic and hospital
patients.  There is no evidence that any of the data on the backup
tapes has actually been accessed or viewed by an unauthorized
person.  In order for an unauthorized person to access or view the
data on the backup tapes, it would require knowledge of and access
to specific hardware and software and knowledge of the system and
data structure.  The Company has notified potentially impacted
persons by letter and is offering one year of credit monitoring
services to those who request these services and in certain
circumstances, one year of identity restoration services.

The complaints in the four lawsuits vary in their allegations and
causes of action against the Company and include allegations of
negligence, breach of contract, implied breach of contract,
invasion of privacy by public disclosure of private facts and
statutory violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Federal
Administrative Procedure Act and the Privacy Act of 1974.  The
complaints seek monetary relief, including unspecified actual
damages, punitive damages, statutory damages of up to $1,000 for
each class member and attorney's fees, as well as injunctive and
declaratory relief.  In the case filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Florida, the Company filed a motion
to dismiss the lawsuit, which is pending before the court.  The
Company currently intends to file motions to dismiss the other
three lawsuits.

The Company has been informed that the Office of Civil Rights
(OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is
investigating the incident.  OCR is the division of HHS charged
with enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act of 1996, as amended (HIPAA) and the privacy,
security and data breach rules which implement HIPAA (HIPAA
Rules).  OCR may, among other things, require a corrective action
plan and impose civil monetary penalties against the data owner
(Department of Defense) and, in certain situations, against the
data owners' contractors, such as the Company.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend itself against
the claims made in the class action lawsuits.  The Company is
cooperating with TRICARE in responding to the OCR investigation.
At this time, the Company believes that a loss related to these
lawsuits or the OCR investigation is reasonably possible, but the
Company cannot reasonably estimate the range of potential loss
that may result from these lawsuits or the investigation in light
of the fact that these proceedings are in their early stages.  As
the proceedings progress, many factors will affect the ultimate
amount of the potential loss if the Company is not successful in
its defense in these proceedings, including the outcome of the
Company's motions to dismiss, the results of discovery, if any,
the outcome of any pretrial motions, the court's rulings on
certain legal issues and OCR's review of compliance with HIPAA and
the HIPAA Rules.  An adverse outcome in these proceedings could
have a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated
financial position, results of operations and cash flows.


SHAKE-N-GO: Sued in N.Y. Over False Claims on Hair Extensions
-------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action claims Shake-
N-Go Fashion's hair extensions labeled as "100% human hair" "are
not made entirely, if at all, of human hair."

A copy of the Complaint in dela Cruz v. Shake-N-Go Fashion, Inc.,
Index No. 21758/2011E (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Bronx Cty.), is available
at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/20/Wigged.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Catherine E. Anderson, Esq.
          Oren Giskan, Esq.
          GISKAN SOLOTAROFF ANDERSON & STEWART LLP
          11 Broadway, Suite 2150
          New York, NY 10004
          Telephone: (212) 847-8315

               - and -

          Chinsok (Young) Kim, Esq.
          THE LAW OFFICES OF CHINSOK KIM
          163-10 Northern Boulevard, Suite 303
          Flushing, NY 11358
          Telephone: (718) 886-7811


SMITH & WESSON: Appeal From Class Suit Dismissal Remains Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal from the dismissal of a consolidated securities class
action lawsuit remains pending, according to Smith & Wesson
Holding Corporation's December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
October 31, 2011.

The case known as In re Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. Securities
Litigation is a consolidation of the following three cases:
William Hwang v. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., et al.; Joe
Cranford v. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., et al.; and Joanne
Trudelle v. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., et al.  It was filed in
the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
(Springfield), and is a purported securities class action lawsuit
brought individually and on behalf of all persons who purchased
the securities of the Company between June 15, 2007, and December
6, 2007.  The putative plaintiffs seek unspecified damages against
the Company, certain of its officers, and the Company's directors
for alleged violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange
Act.  The Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System was
appointed Lead Plaintiff of the putative class.  On May 30, 2008,
Lead Plaintiff filed a Consolidated Class Action Complaint seeking
unspecified damages against the Company and several officers and
directors for alleged violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Exchange Act.  On August 28, 2008, the Company and the named
officers and directors moved to dismiss the Consolidated Amended
Complaint because it failed to state a claim under the federal
securities laws and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995.  The putative class Lead Plaintiff submitted its
Opposition to the Company's motion on October 28, 2008.  On March
26, 2009, the Company's motion was granted as to Mr. Monheit and
denied as to the remaining defendants.  On May 11, 2010, the court
certified the consolidated action as consisting of a class of
persons who purchased securities of the Company between June 15,
2007, and December 6, 2007, and suffered damage as a result.
Court scheduled discovery concerning the facts of this action
ended on May 28, 2010.  Examination of any experts put forth by
the parties ended on October 1, 2010.  On October 29, 2010, the
Company moved for summary disposition of the case.  Lead Plaintiff
opposed the Company's motion on November 22, 2010, and cross-moved
for partial summary judgment.  A hearing of this matter was held
for December 20, 2010.

On March 25, 2011, the court granted the Company's Motion for
Summary Judgment as to all remaining defendants, and dismissed the
consolidated actions with prejudice.  The Lead Plaintiff filed its
Notice of Appeal of that dismissal on April 21, 2011.  The Lead
Plaintiff has not appealed Mr. Monheit's dismissal and the time
for such an appeal has now past.  The Lead Plaintiff filed its
Appellant Brief on July 5, 2011.  The Company filed its Opposition
to Appellant's Brief on August 22, 2011.

On November 7, 2011, an appellate argument was heard before the
First Circuit Court of Appeals.  No decision has been issued.


SOUTHSTAR ENERGY: Settles Class Action Over Price Plans
-------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs Charles Ellison and Susan Bresler have reached an
agreement with SouthStar Energy Services d/b/a Georgia Natural Gas
(GNG) to settle a 2008 class action lawsuit filed in the Superior
Court of Fulton County on behalf of themselves and current and
former GNG customers.  The settlement addresses issues related to
specific price plans offered by GNG in 2006.  The settlement
agreement was preliminarily approved by the Court on Dec. 20.
Affected GNG customers will receive information regarding their
rights under the settlement.  Qualified customers will receive a
credit or payment of between $5 and $22.83 based on the price plan
they were on, the length of time they were on the plan and whether
they have outstanding balances on their GNG account.  "We believe
that this settlement is very good for Georgia consumers, and we
worked very hard to ensure that the claims process is as simple as
possible," said Jason R. Doss and Anne Lewis, lead counsel for the
plaintiffs.  While GNG expressly denies that it violated any
Georgia law or regulation, GNG lead counsel Robert B. Remar said
the company has agreed to the settlement in order to avoid the
further expense and inconvenience of litigation.  "GNG remains
committed to providing its customers with safe, reliable natural
gas service," said Mr. Remar.  Mr. Doss is with The Doss Firm,
LLC, and Lewis is with Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP.
Mr. Remar is with Rogers & Hardin LLP.


STUBHUB INC: Sued for Violating California Ticket Resale Law
------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Reynolds at Courthouse News Service reports that a New Jersey
man filed a $5 million class action against StubHub, claiming he
was denied admission to a Stone Temple Pilots show after buying a
ticket through the online retailer's Web site.

In his federal complaint, Joseph Fabozzi claims the San Francisco-
based company violated California ticket resale law.  He say he
paid about $50 for his ticket and traveled to the Stone Pony in
Asbury Park, N.J., to find that his ticket had been used by
another fan.

"Even though StubHub makes numerous 'guarantees' on its Web site
that a ticket purchased by a buyer will be 'authentic' and 'valid
for entry,' in reality, StubHub does not guarantee the fact that a
ticket will be 'authentic' and 'valid for entry' at all," the
complaint states.

It continues: "The fine print in StubHub's FanProtect Guarantee
reveals that StubHub does not guarantee that the tickets sold on
its Web site will be 'authentic' and 'valid for entry' -- StubHub
only guarantees that if a ticket is not honored by the venue,
StubHub will refund the buyer cost of the ticket(s), including
service fees and shipping and handling charges."

Mr. Fabozzi says he paid $40 to an "unknown seller" through
StubHub's online marketplace, plus almost $10 in fees.

"On July 26, 2011, the plaintiff traveled to the Stone Pony and
presented the ticket he purchased on StubHub to a ticket agent.
However, the plaintiff was refused entry into concert because the
ticket had already been used by another patron.

"The plaintiff called StubHub while at the Stone Pony.  StubHub
advised the plaintiff that they could not provide him with another
ticket to the event because they did not have any additional
tickets to the event.

"Subsequent to July 26, 2011, StubHub refunded the $49.95 that the
plaintiff paid for the ticket," the complaint states.

But Mr. Fabozzi says that class members are "entitled to damages
equal to two times the contracted price of the ticket, in addition
to any sum expended by them in nonrefundable expenses for
attending or attempting to attend the event in good faith reliance
on seat or space availability, and reasonable attorney's fees and
court costs."

He seeks damages for violations of the California Business and
Professions Code.

A copy of the Complaint in Fabozzi v. StubHub, Inc., Case No. 11-
cv-06387 (N.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/20/StubHub.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Randall S. Newman, Esq.
          RANDALL S. NEWMAN, P.C.
          37 Wall Street, Penthouse D
          New York, NY 10005
          Telephone: (212) 797-3737
          E-mail: rsn@randallnewman.net


TALBOTS INC: Awaits Order on Bid to Dismiss "Washtenaw" Complaint
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Talbots, Inc. is awaiting a court decision on its and other
defendants' motion to dismiss an amended complaint in the putative
class action lawsuit commenced by Washtenaw County Employees'
Retirement System, according to the Company's
December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended October 29, 2011.

On February 3, 2011, a purported Talbots shareholder filed a
putative class action captioned Washtenaw County Employees'
Retirement System v. The Talbots, Inc. et al., Case No. 1:11-cv-
10186-NMG, in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts against Talbots and certain of its officers.  The
complaint, purportedly brought on behalf of all purchasers of
Talbots common stock from December 8, 2009, through and including
January 11, 2011, asserted claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder and sought, among other things, damages and costs and
expenses.  On July 27, 2011, the lead plaintiff filed an amended
complaint which continues to assert claims under Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) alleging certain false and misleading statements and
alleged omissions related to Talbots' financial condition,
inventory management and business prospects.  The amended
complaint alleges that these actions artificially inflated the
market price of Talbots common stock during the class period, thus
purportedly harming investors.  On October 17, 2011, the Company
and the remaining defendants filed a motion to dismiss all of the
claims asserted in the amended complaint pursuant to Rules 9(b)
and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

The Company believes that these claims are without merit and
intends to defend against them vigorously.  At this time, the
Company cannot reasonably predict the outcome of these proceedings
or an estimate of damages, if any.


TIVO INC: Appeal in Consolidated IPO Class Suit Remains Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal relating to a settlement agreement in the consolidated
securities class action lawsuit involving TiVo Inc. remains
pending, according to the Company's December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended October 31, 2011.

On June 12, 2001, the Company and certain of its officers and
directors ("TiVo defendants") were originally named as defendants
in a consolidated securities class action lawsuit filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.  This action, which is captioned Wercberger v. TiVo et al.,
also names several of the underwriters involved in the Company's
initial public offering ("IPO") as defendants.  This class action
is brought on behalf of a purported class of purchasers of the
Company's common stock from the time of the Company's IPO (October
31, 1999) through December 6, 2000.  The central allegation in
this action is that the underwriters in the Company's IPO
solicited and received undisclosed commissions from, and entered
into undisclosed arrangements with, certain investors who
purchased the Company's stock in the IPO and the after-market, and
that the TiVo defendants violated the federal securities laws by
failing to disclose in the IPO prospectus that the underwriters
had engaged in these allegedly undisclosed arrangements.  More
than 300 issuers have been named in similar lawsuits.  In February
2003, after the issuer defendants (including the TiVo defendants)
filed an omnibus motion to dismiss, the Court dismissed the
Section 10(b) claim as to the Company, but denied the motion to
dismiss the Section 11 claim as to the Company and virtually all
of the other issuer defendants.  On October 8, 2002, the Company's
executive officers who were named as defendants in this action
were dismissed without prejudice.  On June 26, 2003, the
plaintiffs in the lawsuit announced a proposed settlement with the
Company and the other issuer defendants.  This proposed settlement
was terminated on June 25, 2007, following the ruling by the
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on December
5, 2006, reversing the District Court's granting of class
certification in the six focus cases currently being litigated in
this proceeding.  The proposed settlement had provided that the
insurers of all settling issuers would guarantee that the
plaintiffs recover damages from non-settling defendants, including
the investment banks who acted as underwriters in those offerings.

On August 14, 2007, the plaintiffs filed Amended Master
Allegations.  On September 27, 2007, the Plaintiffs filed a Motion
for Class Certification, which was subsequently withdrawn without
prejudice by the plaintiffs.  Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss
the focus cases on November 9, 2007.  On March 26, 2008, the Court
ruled on the Motion to Dismiss, holding that the plaintiffs had
adequately pleaded their Section 10(b) claims against the Issuer
Defendants and the Underwriter Defendants in the focus cases.  As
to the Section 11 claim, the Court dismissed the claims brought by
those plaintiffs who sold their securities for a price in excess
of the initial offering price, on the grounds that they could not
show cognizable damages, and by those who purchased outside the
previously certified class period, on the grounds that those
claims were time barred.  This ruling, while not binding on the
Company's case, provides guidance to all of the parties involved
in this litigation.  On April 2, 2009, the parties lodged with the
Court a motion for preliminary approval of a proposed settlement
between all parties to the consolidated action, including the
Company and its former officers and directors, as well as numerous
other companies and their officers and directors.  Any direct
financial impact of the proposed settlement is expected to be
borne by the Company's insurers.  The proposed settlement also
provides for full releases for the defendants, including the
Company and its former officers and directors.  On June 12, 2009,
the Federal District Court granted preliminary approval of the
proposed settlement.  On September 10, 2009, the Federal District
Court held the fairness hearing for final approval of the
settlement.  On October 6, 2009, the District Court issued an
order granting class certification and final approval of the
settlement.  Several individuals or groups of individuals have
filed petitions to appeal and/or notices of appeal with the United
States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

On May 17, 2011, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the
appeals of all but one objector to the settlement, whose matter
was remanded to the District Court.  On August 25, 2011, the
District Court held on remand that the remaining objector was not
a member of the settlement class.  On September 23, 2011, the
remaining objector appealed the District Court's August 25, 2011
ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Company says there can be no assurance that the District
Court's approval of the settlement and exclusion of the remaining
objector from the class will not be overturned by the Second
Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Company may incur expenses in
connection with this litigation that may become material in the
future.  No loss is considered probable or estimable at this time.


UNITED STATES: Immigration Detainees Get Class-Action Status
------------------------------------------------------------
A federal court in California has granted class-action status to a
group of unrepresented immigration detainees with mental
disabilities, an important step in helping ensure they get access
to legal counsel.

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed last year on
behalf of a group of detainees, including Jose Antonio Franco
Gonzales, a Mexican immigrant with moderate mental retardation who
was detained in federal immigration facilities for over four years
without a hearing.  Judge Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court for
the Central District of California found that the problems
identified in the lawsuit are systemic, and there is no mechanism
for evaluating whether immigration detainees with mental
disabilities are able to represent themselves.

Ahilan Arulanantham, deputy legal director of the ACLU of Southern
California, said: "The sad fact is that the government refuses to
systematically track the many detainees with mental disabilities
who are lost in immigration detention centers, unable to represent
themselves or even to understand why they're there.  [Tues]day's
ruling will allow us to shed light on this most vulnerable
population within our broken immigration detention system."

About 33,000 immigrants are detained daily and government
estimates indicate that over 1,000 of them have mental
disabilities.  The government has no procedure to resolve their
cases, including for individuals who are unable to understand the
proceedings against them due to severe mental disabilities.  The
ruling, which was unsealed by the judge on Dec. 20, applies to
cases in Arizona, California and Washington.

"Immigration detainees should not be languishing in custody merely
because they are unable to represent themselves," said Judy
Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights
Project.  "Thanks to this ruling, thousands of immigration
detainees with mental disabilities who have been forced to defend
themselves will finally have a chance to obtain their day in
court."

Public Counsel Law Center staff attorney Talia Inlender, who is
representing Mr. Franco in his immigration proceedings, said:
"Imagine being held in jail, sometimes for years, without even a
basic understanding of why you are there.  That's the reality for
too many immigrants with severe mental disabilities.  [Tues]day,
we move a step closer to providing these immigrants and their
families with the due process that our law requires and that our
conscience demands."

Michael H. Steinberg, of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, who argued the
motion before Judge Gee, said: "It is profoundly disturbing that
the government continues to pretend that this helpless population
needs no assistance.  With a class now certified, it will be much
more difficult for the Department of Justice and the Department of
Homeland Security to avoid what is clearly a problem that must be
addressed."

The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, the ACLU of Arizona,
the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and Mental Health Advocacy
Services have also been involved in the case and represent the
class.


USP LABS: Faces Class Action for Selling Adulterated Drugs
----------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action claims
USP Labs sells dangerous, illegal and adulterated drugs under the
names Jack3d and OxyElite Pro.  Similar class actions challenge
Maximum Human Performance dba Xero Limits drug Novatest, and LG
Sciences' Methyl 1-D.

A copy of the Complaint in Pacheco v. USPLabs, LLC, et al., Case
No. 11-cv-02015 (C.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/20/DietSuppLead.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Scott J. Ferrell, Esq.
          James B. Hardin, Esq.
          Ryan M. Ferrell, Esq.
          NEWPORT TRIAL GROUP
          895 Dove Street, Suite 425
          Newport Beach, CA 92660
          Telephone: (949) 706-6464
          E-mail: sferrell@trialnewport.com
                  jhardin@trialnewport.com
                  rferrell@trialnewport.com


WALGREEN CO: Faces Class Action Over Illegal Health Record Fees
---------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Harris at Courthouse News Service reports that Walgreens
charges an illegal $55 flat fee for copies of health-care provider
records, an unhappy customer claims in a class action.

A copy of the Complaint in Griggs v. Walgreen Co., Case No. 11L685
(Ill. Cir. Ct., St. Clair Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/20/Walgreen.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Corey D. Sullivan, Esq.
          John J. Carey, Esq.
          Francis J. "Casey" Flynn, Jr., Esq.
          Tifanny M. Yiatris, Esq.
          CAREY, DANIS & LOWE
          8235 Forsyth Boulevard, Suite 1100
          Saint Louis, MO 63105-1643
          Telephone: (314) 725-7700
          E-mail: csullivan@careydanis.com
                  jcrey@careydanis.com
                  casey@jefflowepc.com
                  tyiatras@careydanis.com


WAL-MART STORES: Defends New Gender Discrimination Suit in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is defending a new gender discrimination
lawsuit in Texas, according to the Company's December 8, 2011,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended October 31, 2011.

The Company is a defendant in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
USDC, Northern Dist. of CA, San Francisco Div., 6/19/01; 9th
Circuit Ct. of Appeals, San Francisco, CA, 8/26/04; US Supreme
Court, Washington DC, 8/25/10, which was commenced as a class-
action lawsuit in June 2001 in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California, asserting that the
Company had engaged in a pattern and practice of discriminating
against women in promotions, pay, training, and job assignments,
and seeking, among other things, injunctive relief, front pay,
back pay, punitive damages, and attorneys' fees.  On June 21,
2004, the district court issued an order granting in part and
denying in part the plaintiffs' motion for class certification.
As defined by the district court, the class included "[a]ll women
employed at any Wal-Mart domestic retail store at any time since
December 26, 1998, who have been or may be subjected to Wal-Mart's
challenged pay and management track promotions policies and
practices."  The Company appealed the order to the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals and subsequently to the United States Supreme
Court.  On June 20, 2011, the Supreme Court issued an opinion
decertifying the class and remanding the case to the district
court.  On October 27, 2011, the plaintiffs' attorneys filed an
amended complaint proposing a statewide class of current and
former female associates at the Company's retail facilities in
California.

On October 28, 2011, the plaintiffs' attorneys filed a complaint
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas entitled Odle v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., USDC, Northern Dist.
of TX, Dallas Div., 10/27/11, asserting that the Company had
engaged in a pattern and practice of discriminating against women
in promotions, training, and job assignments, and proposing a
class of current and former female associates at Texas retail
facilities.  While management cannot predict the ultimate outcome
of these matters, management does not believe the outcome will
have a material effect on the Company's financial condition or
results of operations.


WAL-MART STORES: Petition in "Braun/Hummel" Suit Remains Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.'s petition for allowance of appeal in the
"Braun/Hummel" class action lawsuit remains pending in
Pennsylvania, according to the Company's December 8, 2011, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended October 31, 2011.

The Company is a defendant in Braun/Hummel v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., Ct. of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, PA, 3/20/02 &
8/30/04; Superior Ct. of PA, Eastern Dist., Philadelphia, PA,
12/07/07; Supreme Court of PA, Harrisburg, PA, 10/09/11, a class
action lawsuit commenced in March 2002 in the Court of Common
Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The plaintiffs allege that
the Company failed to pay class members for all hours worked and
prevented class members from taking their full meal and rest
breaks.  On October 13, 2006, a jury awarded back-pay damages to
the plaintiffs of approximately $78 million on their claims for
off-the-clock work and missed rest breaks.  The jury found in
favor of the Company on the plaintiffs' meal-period claims.  On
November 14, 2007, the trial judge entered a final judgment in the
approximate amount of $188 million, which included the jury's
back-pay award plus statutory penalties, prejudgment interest and
attorneys' fees.  By operation of law, post-judgment interest
accrues on the judgment amount at the rate of six percent per
annum from the date of entry of the judgment, which was November
14, 2007, until the judgment is paid, unless the judgment is set
aside on appeal.  The Company believes it has substantial factual
and legal defenses to the claims at issue, and on December 7,
2007, the Company filed its Notice of Appeal.  The Company filed
its opening appellate brief on February 17, 2009, plaintiffs filed
their response brief on April 20, 2009, and the Company filed its
reply brief on June 5, 2009.  Oral argument was held before the
Superior Court of Appeals on August 19, 2009.

On June 10, 2011, the Superior Court of Appeals issued an opinion
upholding the trial court's certification of the class, the jury's
back pay award, and the awards of statutory penalties and
prejudgment interest, but reversing the award of attorneys' fees
and remanding it back to the trial court for a downward
adjustment.  On July 10, 2011, the Company filed an Application
for Rehearing En Banc with regard to the portions of the opinion
that held in favor of the plaintiffs, which was denied on
August 11, 2011.  On September 9, 2011, the Company filed a
Petition for Allowance of Appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court.  The plaintiffs filed a response on September 23, 2011, and
the Company filed a reply brief on September 30, 2011.

The Company believes it has substantial factual and legal defenses
to the claims at issue, and plans to continue pursuing appellate
review.


WAL-MART: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
-------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a Los Angeles Superior Court
class action claims Wal-Mart stiffs workers for overtime and for
regular hours and fails to itemize pay statements.


WARNER MUSIC: Digital Music Pricing Suit Remains Pending in N.Y.
----------------------------------------------------------------
On December 20, 2005, and February 3, 2006, the Attorney General
of the State of New York served Warner Music Group Corp. with
requests for information in connection with an industry-wide
investigation as to the pricing of digital music downloads.  On
February 28, 2006, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department
of Justice served the Company with a Civil Investigative Demand,
also seeking information relating to the pricing of digitally
downloaded music.  Both investigations were ultimately closed, but
subsequent to the announcements of the investigations, more than
thirty putative class action lawsuits were filed concerning the
pricing of digital music downloads.  The lawsuits were
consolidated in the Southern District of New York.  The
consolidated amended complaint, filed on April 13, 2007, alleges
conspiracy among record companies to delay the release of their
content for digital distribution, inflate their pricing of CDs and
fix prices for digital downloads.  The complaint seeks unspecified
compensatory, statutory and treble damages.  On October 9, 2008,
the District Court issued an order dismissing the case as to all
defendants, including the Company.  However, on January 12, 2010,
the Second Circuit vacated the judgment of the District Court and
remanded the case for further proceedings and on January 10, 2011,
the Supreme Court denied the defendants' petition for Certiorari.

Upon remand to the District Court, all defendants, including the
Company, filed a renewed motion to dismiss challenging, among
other things, plaintiffs' state law claims and standing to bring
certain claims.  The renewed motion was based mainly on arguments
made in defendants' original motion to dismiss, but not addressed
by the District Court.  On July 18, 2011, the District Court
granted defendants' motion in part, and denied it in part.  The
case will proceed into discovery, based on a schedule to be
determined by the District Court.

No further updates were reported in the Company's December 8,
2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended September 30, 2011.

The Company says it intends to defend against these lawsuits
vigorously, but is unable to predict the outcome of these
lawsuits.  Regardless of the merits of the claims, this and any
related litigation could continue to be costly, and divert the
time and resources of management.


WESTPAC BANKING: To Defend Class Action Over Late Payment Fees
--------------------------------------------------------------
Westpac Banking Corp. on Dec. 20 said it has received a legal
claim alleging that some of the fees it charged customers prior to
October 2009 were unlawful.

Australia's second-biggest bank by market value said it does not
accept the claims and intends to defend the proceedings.  It said
it received the statement of claim on Dec. 20 in proceedings that
commenced in Australia's Federal Court last month.

"The claim against Westpac is one of a series of class actions
against Australian banks announced by the litigation funding
company IMF (Australia) Ltd. in May 2010," the bank said in a
statement.

"Westpac does not accept the claims that are set out in the
Statement of Claim received [Tues]day, and intends to defend the
proceedings."

An Australian Federal Court judge earlier this month found late
payment fees charged by Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.
could be considered penalties, paving the way for customers to
pursue a possible class action against the bank and other lenders.

Attorneys representing about 34,000 ANZ customers have argued a
variety of exception fees charged by the bank were excessive and
should be repaid.


WILL COUNTY: Sued Over Time-Consuming Security Lines
----------------------------------------------------
Jack Bouboushian at Courthouse News Service reports that an out-
of-county attorney sick of watching members of the Will County Bar
stroll into a courthouse, while he and other nonmembers wait in
"long, time-consuming security lines with the general public,"
filed a federal class action against the Will County Sheriff and
the county Bar Association.

Gary Peterlin, of LaSalle County -- two counties west of Will --
says the defendant Will County Sherriff's Office recently began
requiring attorneys who are not a member of the Will County Bar
Association to "wait in long, time-consuming security lines with
the general public and pass through metal detection equipment
subjecting the attorneys to a search of their person and
belongings."

Mr. Peterlin, who says the new rule violates the Equal Protection
Clause of the 14th Amendment, seeks a return to better days.

For many years, lawyers could enter the Will County Courthouse
without going through security by displaying a card issued by the
Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, he says.

Now, alas, out-of-county attorneys must go through screening,
while Will County Bar Association members "have the freedom and
privilege to access the courthouse through a separate, exclusive
entrance and bypass security for no other reason than they have
paid expensive membership dues, a mandatory legal aid assessment
and an optional bar association identification care fee,"
Mr. Peterlin says.

One time, Mr. Peterlin says, after waiting in line, he was turned
away from the courthouse "because he had a mobile phone that
contained a camera component.  Upon his return, he proceeded in
the security line all over again."

Mr. Peterlin claims that he and several other attorneys "have been
forced to purchase membership in the Will County Bar Association,
an organization they would not otherwise join, to their expense
and financial detriment just for the privilege of bypassing the
security procedures of the Will County Courthouse."

Upon joining, he says, the Will County Bar Association told him
"that he could benefit from other privileges not conferred upon
the disfavored group of attorneys, including the ability to bring
recording devices, cell phones, and cameras into the courthouse."

Mr. Peterlin insists that "the distinctions between the two groups
of lawyers bear no rational relationship to promoting and securing
courthouse safety or any other legitimate governmental purpose,
leading the policies and procedures of the defendants to violate
the Equal Protection Clause."

He asks the court to enjoin the Will County Sheriff's Department
from enforcing the discriminatory policy.

Will County's seat is Joliet.

A copy of the Complaint in Peterlin v. Will County Sheriff's
Office, et al., Case No. 11-cv-8922 (N.D. Ill.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/20/WillCtyLawyer.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Morgan C. Pytynia-Klein, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF PETER F. FERRACUTI, P.C.
          110 East Main Street
          Ottawa, IL 61350
          Telephone: (815) 434-3535


ZALE CORP: Plaintiffs' Appeal in Consolidated Suit Pending
----------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs have appealed the dismissal of their consolidated class
action lawsuit against Zale Corporation, the Company disclosed on
its December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
October 31, 2011.

In November 2009, the Company and four former officers, Neal L.
Goldberg, Rodney Carter, Mary E. Burton and Cynthia T. Gordon,
were named as defendants in two purported class-action lawsuits
filed in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas.  On August 9, 2010, the two lawsuits were
consolidated into one consolidated lawsuit, which alleged various
violations of securities laws arising from the financial statement
errors that led to the restatement completed by the Company as
part of its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended
July 31, 2009.  The lawsuit requests unspecified damages and
costs.

On August 1, 2011, the Court dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.
The plaintiffs have appealed the decision.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend the dismissal,
however, the Company cannot predict the outcome of the lawsuit and
cannot estimate the damages, if any, that the Company may incur in
connection with this matter.

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Red Cross Will Decide on Chadha in January
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma Center reports that amid mounting pressure, the
Canadian Red Cross likely will ask for the resignation of
executive board member Roshi Chadha next month because of her
strong link to the asbestos industry.

Chadha is an executive for Seja Trade Ltd, a shipping company that
exports raw asbestos from Quebec.  Seja Trade also is a subsidiary
of Balcorp., which is awaiting a controversial, $58 million
government loan guarantee to re-open an asbestos mine in Jeffrey.
The president of Balcorp is Baljit Chadha, the husband of Roshi.

"It's really hypocritical of her to be on the board of the Red
Cross, which is a wonderful organization.  If she doesn't resign,
they should remove her," anti-asbestos advocate Stacy Cattran told
The Mesothelioma Center.  "I think the Red Cross will do the right
thing."

The Red Cross is considered the world's leading humanitarian
organization, providing much-needed disaster relief both at home
and abroad, often to developing countries where the asbestos is
being shipped.

The Red Cross also has been assisting victims of mesothelioma in
Canada, including the father of Cattran, who died in 2008, just
three months after being diagnosed.  Her father died at age 72
after working much of his career as an electrician, where he was
exposed to asbestos for many years.

"Having someone on the board who supports the export of asbestos
just flays in the face of their mission," Cattran said.  "They
support saving lives, not ending them with asbestos."

Although the use of asbestos has been restricted dramatically in
both the United States and Canada, Balcorp is hoping to capitalize
on the growing demand for it in India and Asia.  The last two
asbestos mines in Canada were temporarily closed in November,
although Balcorp is making plans to reopen at least one of them
again.

Much of the asbestos production in the world now comes from
Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Brazil.  Canadian asbestos often has
been viewed as a higher quality than that coming from other
countries.

The mining of asbestos stopped in the United States in 2002, but
820 metric tons were imported in the first half of 2010, according
to the U.S. Geological Survey, and much of it came from Canada.

Cattran is a co-founder of Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims,
which joined with the U.S.-based Asbestos-Disease Awareness Group
to present an official Declaration to both President Barack Obama
and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to support a North America ban
on asbestos.

Christopher Hilton, a spokesman for the Canadian Red Cross, told
the Vancouver Sun that his organization will consider the concerns
raised by anti-asbestos activists at a board meeting in January.

"It's a matter for the board," Hilton said.  "I'm not going to
presuppose what the board is going to do."

According to the Sun, Chadha was elected to the Red Cross Board of
Directors in 2008.  She is one of four at-large members on the 16-
person board.  She also is on the board of directors for St.
Mary's Hospital Foundation and at McGill University Health Centre.

The asbestos issue in Canada generates considerable more debate
than it does in the United States, at least partially because the
Conservative Party has supported it with subsidies.  The Canadian
government also blocked the listing of chrysotile asbestos on the
Hazardous Materials list of the Rotterdam Convention this summer
in Geneva, Switzerland.

Putting asbestos on that list would have made it more difficult to
export, allowing importing counties to refuse acceptance of it if
they thought the asbestos could not be handled safely.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Reports Hike in Mesothelioma Cases
------------------------------------------------------------
The head of an Australian lobby group recently warned that the
number of victims of asbestos-related diseases within that country
could rise in coming years.  The same problem exists in the U.S.,
said New York mesothelioma lawyer Joseph W. Belluck.

Belluck is a partner with the New York personal injury law firm of
Belluck & Fox, LLP.  The firm represents victims of mesothelioma,
a fatal cancer that has been directly linked to asbestos exposure.

"The reality is that asbestos-related diseases such as
mesothelioma can take 20-40 years or longer to develop after the
victim's first exposure to this toxic mineral," Belluck said.

"Asbestos was widely used in the U.S. and around the globe in the
military, construction and manufacturing, and many current
mesothelioma sufferers may have been exposed during that period,"
he continued.

The head of Australia's Asbestos Disease Foundation, Barry Robson,
issued a warning against becoming "complacent" toward diseases
such as mesothelioma prior to the country's Asbestos Awareness
Day, according to Sydney's 9 News.

"Ask most Aussies and they'll tell you that asbestos-related
disease in this country must be on the decline," Robson said.
"Unfortunately, most Australians would be dead wrong."

Because the history of asbestos use in the U.S. is similar to that
of countries such as Australia, the same situation exists in this
country, Belluck said.

He pointed to a 2005 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.  The CDC found that more than 18,000
mesothelioma deaths had occurred in the U.S. between 1999 and 2005
-- a rate of roughly 3,000 per year.

The CDC noted that "the annual number of mesothelioma deaths is
still increasing, and future cases will continue to reflect the
extensive past use of asbestos."

"What's important to know is that if you or a family member has a
disease that was caused by asbestos exposure, you do have legal
options available to you," Belluck said.

Belluck said it is important for people to contact a New York
mesothelioma lawyer if they believe that they or a family member
has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Compensation is often available to victims of mesothelioma who
file claims, he said, and there are legal remedies to help
mesothelioma sufferers pay for their medical bills and treatments.

About Belluck & Fox

Belluck & Fox, LLP, is a nationally recognized law firm that
represents individuals with asbestos and mesothelioma claims, as
well as victims of crime, motorcycle crashes, lead paint and other
serious injuries.  The firm provides personalized and professional
representation and has won over $400 million in compensation for
clients and their families.

Partner Joseph W. Belluck is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is
listed in Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine's "Best
Lawyers in the New York Area" and in Super Lawyers.  Mr. Belluck
has won numerous cases involving injuries from asbestos, defective
medical products, tobacco and lead paint, including a recent
asbestos case that settled for more than $12 million.

Partner Jordan Fox is a well-known asbestos and mesothelioma
attorney who has been named to the Best Lawyers in America, New
York Magazine's "Best Lawyers in the New York Area" and to Super
Lawyers.  On two separate occasions his verdicts were featured as
the National Law Journal's Largest Verdict of the Year.  He
recently secured verdicts of $32 million and more than $19 million
on behalf of individuals who had contracted mesothelioma from
asbestos exposure.

In September, Belluck & Fox, LLP, won a coveted spot on a list of
America's best law firms, which was published jointly by U.S. News
& World Report and Best Lawyers magazine.  The listing showcased
8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of 81 major
practice areas.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-James Hardie Units Pay AU$300,000 to Ex-Worker
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Associated Press reports that a James Hardie
asbestos victim will receive more than AU$300,000 compensation,
after the High Court dismissed an appeal against the award.

In 2008, the Dust Diseases Tribunal ruled that John Booth was
exposed to white asbestos from brake pads while working as a
mechanic for two former James Hardie companies, now known as Amaca
Pty Ltd. and Amaba Pty Ltd.

Mr. Booth, 74, now suffers from malignant pleural mesothelioma.

He argued that Amaca and Amaba were responsible for his illness
because they failed to warn about the dangers of their brake
linings.

The Dust Diseases Tribunal awarded him compensation of AU$326,640.

Amaca and Amaba unsuccessfully appealed that decision in the NSW
Court of Appeal, before taking the case to the High Court.

The companies argued that because Mr. Booth had three brief
exposures to asbestos as a child it was not possible to pinpoint
the exposure that caused the mesothelioma.

However, the High Court ruled there was sufficient evidence to
uphold the original verdict that brake linings containing asbestos
manufactured by Amaca and Amaba caused Mr. Booth's illness.

The compensation will be taken from a Special Purpose Fund set up
by James Hardie in 2005 to cover asbestos claims against Amaca and
Amaba.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Crowder to Return Campaign Donations
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports on the Chicago Tribune News that a
judge says she'll return $30,000 in campaign donations that caused
her to be removed from her assignment hearing all of the asbestos
cases in her southwestern Illinois county.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder denies there's any
link between the contributions made by asbestos law firms and her
decisions as the asbestos judge.

But the Belleville News-Democrat reports -- http://bit.ly/rWhoS4
-- that Crowder acknowledged in a statement on Dec. 14 that the
"unfortunate timing could provoke some to suspect that something
inappropriate had occurred."

Judge Crowder was relieved of the asbestos cases on Dec. 13, and
her cases were given to Associate Judge Clarence Harrison.

The county's chief judge, Ann Callis, says she transferred the
cases away from Crowder, in consultation with circuit judges, "to
maintain the public trust in a fair and unbiased judiciary."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Replaced After Receiving Contributions
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Bersett at News-Democrat, reporting on BND.Com, relates
that Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder was dropped on
Dec. 13 from hearing all asbestos cases less than a week after her
campaign committee received $30,000 in contributions from three
metro-east asbestos law firms.

On Dec. 1, Crowder, the county's sole asbestos judge, signed a
preliminary order that gave the three firms the majority of the
trial slots for the 2013 asbestos docket.  Four days later, two
lawyers each from Gori, Julian and Associates and the Goldenberg,
Heller, Antognoli and Rowland law firms contributed $5,000 to
Friends of Barbara Crowder.  On Dec. 6, 10 lawyers from the
Simmons Law Firm each made $1,000 contributions, according to the
Illinois State Elections Board.

Crowder and Lawrence Taliana, her husband and campaign committee
chairman, could not be reached for comment.  Representatives of
the law firms, all of which represent plaintiffs in asbestos-
exposure cases, could not be reached for comment.

Chief Judge Ann Callis, in an order signed on Dec. 13, assigned
all asbestos cases to Associate Judge Clarence Harrison.

"A situation was brought to my attention, and following
consultation with the circuit judges we unanimously decided to
change some civil assignments to maintain the public trust in a
fair and unbiased judiciary," Callis said.

Callis would not comment further on the case or whether a
complaint has been filed with the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.
The board investigates cases of judicial misconduct, which become
public only when the board files a complaint with the Courts
Commission.

Ed Murnane, president of the Illinois Civil Justice Leage, a
business-backed interest group, said: "Without knowing all the
details, it is exactly the kind of conduct that causes citizens to
lose faith in the judicial system and their judges."

Mr. Murnane said plaintiff lawyers use the trial slots as a
national marketing tool.

"You can sell the fact to a prospective client that you already
have time in a courtroom," he said.

Madison County has repeatedly made the list of a pro-business
group's annual compilation of the nation's "Judicial Hellholes,"
mostly for accepting a high number of asbestos cases, many of
which, critics claim, are filed by plaintiffs with no connection
to Illinois.

Crowder has been reassigned to hear all chancery, miscellaneous
remedies and eminent domain cases.  She had been the asbestos
judge since July 2010 when she replaced former Circuit Judge
Daniel Stack in that role.

Judge Crowder, a Democrat, has been a circuit judge since 2006 and
is up for retention in November.

The Illinois Judicial Conduct Code does not explicitly prohibit
judges' campaign committees from accepting contributions from
legal firms.  The code does state, however, that judges should
conduct themselves "in a manner that promotes public confidence in
the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."

Mr. Murnane said common sense should have told Crowder that she
should not take contributions from asbestos plaintiff attorneys.

"The court of common sense, the court of fairness would suggest
this was a terrible blunder on the part of Judge Crowder," Murnane
said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Red Flagged Abatement Co. Violates Again
---------------------------------------------------------
Vivian Luk of The Province reports that a New Westminster resident
is angry that an asbestos-laden house was demolished near his
apartment with no apparent concern for public safety.

Randy Tkach said he woke up to the sounds of a house being torn
down on Nov. 30.  When he looked outside, he saw a man demolishing
a home with a backhoe.  Dust was shooting everywhere, there were
no barricades, and the man was working alone, said Tkach.

"It was just a guy with a machine, ripping a house apart," he
said.  "I immediately thought of a lot of things, particularly
asbestos."

Tkach, 35, said the house that was being demolished was built in
the 1950s or '60s and is surrounded by newer apartments,
commercial buildings and restaurants.  He said he notified
WorkSafe B.C., but by the time inspectors came the next day, the
construction worker had already demolished another house.

WorkSafe B.C. spokeswoman Megan Johnston said the work site, which
included three houses in the 300-block Ward Street was shut down.
One of four samples taken from the site tested positive for
asbestos.

The demolition contractor, Taha & Sons Site Services Ltd. based in
Richmond, was served orders to produce a safety assessment.

"The site's going to remain closed until the safety issue is
addressed," Johnston said.  "There has to be an acceptable
hazardous material survey before work can proceed, and this
employer has not provided that to WorkSafeBC."

Taha & Sons could not be reached for comment.  According to B.C.
Online, the company is "not in good standing."  Its last annual
report was filed in 2010.

In 2010, the operator of an asbestos and drywall removal company
was found in contempt for defying a court order to stop his
business.  WorkSafe B.C. found that Arthur Moore had employed 14-
year-old recovering addicts to demolish asbestos-laden houses
without protective gear.  Moore operated in Richmond, Surrey and
Delta.  WorkSafe B.C. lawyers are currently seeking a jail
sentence.

Asbestos was the biggest cause of work-related deaths in B.C. in
2009, according to WorkSafe B.C.  Mr. Tkach, a safety officer,
knows this well.

"What really bothered me is I got a nine-month pregnant wife, and
we're supposed to have a baby sleeping right off the back [of the
house] where this is happening," he said.  "Until this is
resolved, we're going to be taking the baby somewhere else to
sleep."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Law Firm Sends Warning to Mechanics
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mesothelioma attorneys Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason have
recently updated the asbestos containing products section of their
Web site, and send out a warning to both commercial and home
mechanics to be aware of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos
during repairs or parts replacement.

CPSM wants mechanics to be aware of three things that could
literally save their lives.  First, did you know that in the
United States alone, more than 150,000 mechanics have been exposed
to asbestos during repair or replacement of automotive brakes and
clutches?

Second, because asbestos was so heat and fire resistant as well as
affordable, it was added to many of the following automotive
parts:

      -- Brake linings, gaskets, and disk pads
      -- Clutches
      -- Heat seals and valve rings
      -- Hood linings
      -- Car body filters
      -- Car exhaust systems

Many of the cars worked on today still have brakes and clutches
that contain asbestos.  During repair of brakes or clutches, the
risk of disturbing intact asbestos products is very high.  Once
disturbed, microscopic asbestos fibers can be released into the
air.  If inhaled or ingested, the fibers can lodge into the lining
of the body's internal organs and decades later develop into
mesothelioma and other fatal asbestos related diseases.

Third, there are recommended safe practices for both commercial
and home mechanics to follow in order to avoid dangerous exposure
to asbestos.  The Environmental Protection Agency released a
booklet in 2007, Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos
Exposure Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers, which lists OSHA's
recommendations of how to safely work on cars that contain
asbestos parts.  The recommendations for commercial shops vary
depending on the number of brake and clutch jobs performed each
week.  There are separate suggestions for home mechanics and auto
enthusiasts.

Lastly, if you are a brake mechanic and have been diagnosed with
mesothelioma, you have a right to file an asbestos lawsuit and
receive compensation from the manufacturers of the products
responsible for your illness.  For over 30 years, the mesothelioma
lawyers at Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason have represented
mechanics who are suffering from mesothelioma and won significant
settlements on their behalf.  Call today for a free case
evaluation or visit our Web site for a full list of products
containing asbestos.

               About Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason

CPSM is one of the leading mesothelioma law firms in the nation
and unique in its exclusive focus and years of experience in
asbestos litigation.  For over three decades, CPSM has
consistently and repeatedly won hundreds of millions of dollars
for their clients who have been exposed to and injured by
asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Violations Listed in Central Bank Abatement
------------------------------------------------------------
Dennis Carcamo of the Philippine Star reports that a labor group
called on the Department of Labor and Employment to order the
immediate removal and disposal of cancerous asbestos and asbestos-
containing materials at the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas building in
Manila.

The Associated Labor Unions said the continuous exposure of the
BSP employees to asbestos can be hazardous to their health.

"This is to bring to your attention and immediate intervention on
the possible exposure of asbestos disposal workers and the
thousands of employees of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Manila
for improper removal of asbestos from its building," ALU national
vice president Gerard Seno said in his letter to Secretary
Rosalinda Baldoz and BSP governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. dated
Dec. 12, 2011.

Seno also cited witnesses accounts, photos and video of workers
on-site taken during BSP renovation and repair work, showing the
alleged blatant safety removal and disposal protocol violations by
Safeco Environmental Services Inc.

Some of the health and safety violations were: (1) workers doing
actual removal and disposal work are not wearing proper and
sufficient personal, protective equipment which would protect them
from primary and secondary exposure to asbestos dust, (2) the two
sites in which abatement activities are being done were devoid of
enclosures and air devices that ensures asbestos dusts are
confined within, (3) the plastic container and vacuum cleaner used
in the procedure are improper and sub-standard, and (4) the
labeling of asbestos and asbestos-containing debris is deplorable.

Seno said the contractor must be held liable for this serious
safety lapses that endangers the lives of BSP employees, Safeco
workers, and to BSP's highly populated surrounding neighborhood,
Seno added.

Around 100 Safeco workers worked on rotation since the renovation
began on January this year while there about 4,000 regular and
contractual BSP employees.

Asbestos in BSP are located in ceilings as insulators against
changing weather. It is also used to coat pipes and steel trusses.

Primary symptoms of asbestos-related diseases includes shortness
of breath, wheezing, persistent cough that gets worse over time,
blood in the sputum coughed up from the lungs, pain or tightening
in the chest, difficulty swallowing, swelling of the neck or face,
loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia.

These are apparent 10 to 30 years later after exposure, Seno said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pay-outs to Pleural Plaques Victims Restored
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Belfast Telegraph reports that victims of an asbestos-related
condition will again be able to claim compensation after the
Assembly reversed a decision to end payouts.

The Assembly has passed The Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions)
Bill NI which restores the right to claim compensation for pleural
plaques, caused by asbestos.

It could result in sufferers claiming up to GBP15,000 in damages.

The right to claim compensation for pleural plaques was ended by
the House of Lords in 2007.  The reinstated right to claim damages
for the condition will affect people in Northern Ireland, who have
been diagnosed with pleural plaques and who regard the condition
as a physical marker of irreversible asbestos-induced damage to
their lungs.

Pleural plaques seldom cause symptoms, but many with the condition
worry that they may develop a fatal illness.

Derek Kane -- enquiries@thompsons.law.co.uk -- from solicitors,
Thompsons McClure, said: "This is the moment pleural plaques
sufferers and asbestos campaigners in Northern Ireland have been
waiting for.

"The decision to deny them compensation was unjust.  Pleural
plaques are scars on the lining of the lung caused by asbestos.
It is only right that [sufferers] receive compensation."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Namibia Capital's Water Supply Pipes Contaminated
------------------------------------------------------------------
Edson Haufiku of the Informante reports that the City of Windhoek,
Namibia's bulk and waste water management division came under fire
after Informante discovered that most underground freshwater
supply pipes in the capital are made from asbestos, a deadly
material known for causing cancer.

Almost all residents in the capital and a quarter of the Namibian
population could be at risk of contracting various forms of cancer
through the pipes that deliver drinking water to their households.

Already one single microscopic asbestos fiber can cause cancer.
According to Wikipedia and other sources, asbestos is a set of six
naturally silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable
physical properties.  The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause
serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma,
a formerly rare cancer strongly associated with exposure to
amphibole asbestos, and asbestosis, a type of pneumoconiosis.  The
European Union has enforced bans on the use of most forms of
asbestos since 2008.

Only six African countries -- Algeria, Egypt, Gabon, Mozambique,
Seychelles and South Africa -- have banned the usage of asbestos
in such forms.

Namibia has not yet passed a law forbidding the use of asbestos.
According to Fred Brinkmann of the City of Windhoek's bulk and
waste water department, the use of asbestos is not recommended
because of the health hazards associated with it.

"All the asbestos water pipes currently in usage in the capital
have been there for more than 20 years.  In case of a pipe burst
we exchange asbestos water pipes with plastic pipes.  The process
will take a long time to complete and, so far, we are busy
rehabilitating most pipes in the suburbs with the exception of
Katutura and Khomasdal which have already been rehabilitated,"
says Brinkmann.

Cecil Khoeseb from the capital's water interruption division
confirmed that the asbestos freshwater pipes are only being
replaced step by step with unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (UPVC)
ones that do not pose any health risk.

A local water expert who spoke to Informante on condition of
anonymity said Namibia has no clear guidelines on the usage of
asbestos but at the same time disagreed with the perception that
asbestos water pipes would pose a significant risk to human life.

"Never in Namibia did I attend a meeting where the dangers of
asbestos pipes were discussed.  Those pipes have a strong
protective layer that is not easily damaged.  I therefore don't
see the need to panic," says the expert.
However, with hundreds of kilometers of asbestos pipes still in
the underground and only replaced in the case of damage, the
question remains as to how long it may take until the country's
asbestos network is rehabilitated.  It took almost 20 years to
accordingly replace the cancerous pipes in the capital's suburbs
of Katutura and Khomasdal alone.  The area of Windhoek, for
example, measures an estimated 30 square kilometers.  The number
or length of asbestos pipes snaking through Namibia could not be
reliably established.

Both Brinkmann and Khoeseb could not provide a definite answer on
the anticipated time frame but pointed out that the replacement of
the potentially cancerous water supply network is one of their
priorities.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contaminants Raise Costs to Landmark Renovation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Fallon of the Charleston Daily Mail reports that mold, lead
paint and asbestos issues at a historic East End landmark could
make renovating the building much more expensive than officials
expected, Charleston Urban Renewal Authority board members learned
on Dec. 14.

The authority is hoping to rehabilitate the historic Chamberlain
Court on Lewis Street and recently contacted the local chapter of
Habitat for Humanity to see if the group would be interested in
doing the work.

But a host of environmental issues would mean that Habitat could
not use volunteers for the project, Urban Renewal Authority
Executive Director Jim Edwards told board members at a meeting.
This will significantly increase the cost of saving the building,
he said.

Nevertheless, board members continue to explore other options for
rehabilitating the building.  They discussed sending out formal
requests for proposals to private companies to see if any are
interested in the work.

Before the requests for proposals are sent, Edwards will contact
the State Historic Preservation Office to see if grants are
available to offset the cost of dealing with the environmental
issues.  He also will look to other agencies as possible funding
sources.

"I'll be reaching out to the state office sometime this week,"
Edwards said.

Previously, the urban renewal authority had turned the property
over to the Kanawha-Charleston Housing Authority for renovation or
demolition.  But, during a previous meeting in September, Housing
Authority Director Mark Taylor told board members the property
would be too expensive to rehabilitate.

Taylor said it would cost about $1.29 million to fix the six units
but only about $952,000 to demolish the structure and build eight
smaller apartments.

During that meeting, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones asked the board
to explore finding other entities to rehabilitate the building.
He and others have said saving the building is important in
keeping the neighborhood's historic character intact.

"So let's give it one more shot and try to find a party by going
through the formal RFP (request for proposals) process," Edwards
said.

Edwards said the board would have to demolish the building if
interested parties are not found, but said demolition is a "last
resort."

Edwards will ready the request for proposals in case the board can
secure funding from the state historic preservation office or
another entity, he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: A.W. Chesterton et al. Facing Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------
Kyla Asbury of The West Virginia Record reports that a Ravenswood
couple is suing 69 companies they claim are responsible for a lung
cancer diagnosis.

On Oct. 19, Marcine Law was diagnosed with lung cancer, according
to a complaint filed Nov. 15 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Law and his wife, Mary Law, claim the 69 defendants are
responsible for the lung cancer because the defendants failed to
warn them of the dangers of asbestos exposure.

The defendants are being sued based upon theories of negligence,
contaminated buildings, breach of expressed/implied warranty,
strict liability, intentional tort, conspiracy, misrepresentations
and post-sale duty to warn, according to the suit.

The Laws are seeking a jury trial to resolve all issues involved.
They are being represented by Thomas P. Maroney, at Maroney
Williams Weaver & Pancake, and Victoria Antion --
vantion@motleyrice.com -- at Motley Rice.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The 69 defendants named in the suit are A.W. Chesterton Company;
Atlas Industries, Inc.; Aurora Pump Company; BWIP, Inc.; Catalytic
Construction Company; Caterpillar, Inc.; Clark Equipment Company;
Cleaver-Brooks Company, Inc.; Columbus McKinnon Corporation;
Copes-Vulcan, Inc.; Crane Company; Crown, Cork & Seal Co., Inc.;
DeZurik, Inc.; Dravo Corporation; Eaton Electrical, Inc.; F.B.
Wright Company; Flowserve US, Inc. F/K/A Durco International,
Inc.; Flowserve US, Inc. F/K/A Flowserve FSD Corporation; FMC
Corporation; Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation; General Electric
Company; George V. Hamilton, Inc.; Goulds Pumps, Inc.; Grinnell
Corporation; Hercules, Inc.; Honeywell International F/K/A Allied
Signal, Inc.; Honeywell, Inc.; Howden Buffalo, Inc.; I.U. North
America, Inc.; IMO Industries, Inc.; Inductotherm Industries,
Inc.; Industrial Holdings Corporation; Ingersoll-Rand Company; ITT
Corporation; Joy Technologies, Inc.; Lockheed Martin Corporation;
McJunkin Corporation; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; Morgan
Engineering Systems; Ohio Valley Insulating Company, Inc.; Owens-
Illinois, Inc.; P&H Mining Equipment, Inc.; Pettibone/Traverse
Lift, LLC; Pneumo Abex Corporation; PPG Industries, Inc.; Premier
Refractories, Inc.; Reading Crane and Engineering Company; Riley
Power, Inc.; Rockwell Automation, Inc.; Rust Constructors, Inc.;
Rust Engineering & Construction, Inc.; Schneider Electric USA,
Inc.; State Electric Supply Company; Sterling Fluid Systems, LLC;
Sunbeam Corporation; Surface Combustion, Inc.; Swindell Dressler
International Company; Tasco Insulations, Inc.; the Alliance
Machine Company; the Gage Company; UB West Virginia, Inc.; United
Engineers & Constructors and Washington Group International;
Viacom, Inc.; Viking Pump, Inc.; Vimasco Corporation; West
Virginia Electric Supply; Yale Materials Handling Corporation;
Yarway Corporation; and Zurn Industries, Inc.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Legal Win Saves 20T Future Claims v James Hardie
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Louis Andrews of The Canberra Times reports that a legal win for a
man who contracted cancer from asbestos brake linings has saved as
many as 20,000 future claims against manufacturer James Hardie,
the sick man's lawyer says.

The High Court dismissed appeals against mesothelioma-sufferer
John William Booth's $326,000 payout, bringing to an end a three-
year legal battle.

And Mr. Booth's solicitor Gerard McMahon --
gam@turnerfreeman.com.au -- partner in the firm Turner Freeman
Lawyers, which has handled a number of mesothelioma cases, said
the court win secured compensation funding for as-yet-undiagnosed
patients.

"The case has got fairly huge ramifications, probably for what it
stopped as opposed to what it established," the solicitor said.

Mr. Booth, who lives in northern NSW, was diagnosed with the
disease in early 2008.

His legal team alleged the former mechanic contracted the illness
from asbestos fibers in brake linings between the early 1960s and
1983.  The brake linings were manufactured by Amaca and Amaba for
then-parent company James Hardie, which in 2005 set up an asbestos
compensation fund.

But in Mr. Booth's case lawyers for the appellants, the former
Hardie subsidiaries, argued everyday exposures to fibers might
have contributed to the man's illness.

Mr. McMahon said an estimated 20,000 sufferers were expected to
emerge before 2040, but their chance of payouts could have been
jeopardized by a finding against his client.

"Now if Hardie were successful in the High Court in the Booth case
those [people] kiss goodbye to compensation," he said.
The court heard Mr. Booth was exposed to fibers during home
renovations as a child in the 1940s, again helping his dad build a
garage in the 1950s and in 1959, for 20 minutes, while working as
a truckie.

The appellants' claim fell short first at the NSW Dust Diseases
Tribunal, again at the NSW Court of Appeal and finally in the High
Court.

Chief Justice Robert French and three judicial colleagues ruled
the appeal should be dismissed and awarded costs to Mr. Booth.

"The brief, isolated exposures [during renovations and as a truck
driver] were dwarfed by Mr. Booth's occupational exposure to
asbestos in brake linings during his career as a motor mechanic,"
the Chief Justice noted.

But Justice John Heydon, in dissenting, found in favor of the
subsidiaries and said there was no evidence at trial to prove "but
for" the man's exposure to the brake linings he would not have
contracted mesothelioma.

Mr. Booth, now 74, has had several bouts of chemotherapy this year
and been hospitalized on at least one occasion.  But his solicitor
described his staying power as remarkable.

"His health is generally good but I think his spirits were
elevated today by the news I was able to give him a bit earlier,"
Mr. McMahon said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Stages Protest Against UBS Contractor
------------------------------------------------------------
Anthony Buzzeo at The Daily Fairfield relates that asbestos poses
many risks if not properly removed, and Asbestos, Lead & Hazardous
Waste Laborers' Union Local 78 made that point clear on Dec. 14
with a display set up at UBS in Stamford of two coffins bearing
signs that say, "Asbestos Kills."

In addition to the two coffins, a union member was handing out
fliers saying the international investment bank is not properly
handling asbestos removal.  The fliers say New York Insulation, a
company hired by UBS, is substandard and has a history of
violating laws that keep people, including its own workers, safe
from asbestos.  The flier also gives examples of how the company
has violated the law.

The New York-based union also encourages people to call UBS Chief
Executive Officer Bob McCann to protest the hiring of the company.
"Tell him what every first-grader knows: People's health is more
important than the bottom line," the flier says.

The protest is an appeal to the public, not a threat to stop work
or deliveries, the flier said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Found to Violate Own Rules to Save Money
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Morris and Chris Hamby at The Center for Public Integrity
report that the Environmental Protection Agency has allowed the
use of unapproved methods to demolish buildings containing
asbestos, threatening public health and possibly violating worker
safety rules, the EPA's inspector general has concluded.

In an "early warning report" to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson
that speaks to the urgency of the matter, Inspector General Arthur
A. Elkins, Jr., noted that asbestos is a human carcinogen "with no
safe level of exposure."  Nonetheless, Elkins found, the agency
allowed its own employees and contract workers to be exposed to
the toxic, fire-resistant mineral -- widely used in buildings
after World War II -- during tests in Texas and Arkansas in 2006
and 2007.

Elkins said his office's preliminary research showed that the
unsafe demolition methods -- designed to save time and money --
have been used more recently at the Hanford Superfund Site near
Richland, Wash., a former Department of Energy nuclear weapons
production site, and are under consideration at a DOE-owned
uranium enrichment facility in Paducah, Ky.

The EPA should "immediately and clearly communicate" to its
various offices that only approved methods should be used during
the demolition of asbestos-containing buildings, the Inspector
General said.  The agency should retract all approvals -- such as
the one given at Hanford -- that deviate from long-established
practices designed to protect workers and the public from
microscopic asbestos fibers, which can lodge in the lungs and
cause cancer and other serious diseases, Elkins wrote.

The Inspector General's finding means that the EPA is "finally
shutting down an experiment that was based on shoddy science,"
said Jim Hecker --jhecker@publicjustice.net--, a lawyer at Public
Justice, a public-interest law firm whose criticism dissuaded the
EPA from using the shortcut at an abandoned motel in Fort Worth,
Texas, in 2004.  "For over seven years, [some EPA officials] have
been pushing an asbestos removal method that endangers people and
doesn't work."

The Inspector General's report "means that the alternative method
is now dead," Hecker said.  "It's been exposed for what it is,
which is a dangerous method."

An EPA spokesman declined to comment, saying he had not read the
report.

Under a 1973 EPA rule, asbestos must be removed by specially
trained technicians in protective gear before buildings are
demolished, and meticulous efforts must be made to contain the
fibers so they don't leave the work site and threaten the public.

Beginning in 1999, the inspector general found, the EPA began
studying alternative methods that were quicker and cheaper. During
tests in Fort Worth and at Fort Chaffee, Ark., a former Army base,
workers were given permission to circumvent the 1973 rule and
demolish buildings with asbestos still in them, "potentially
releasing asbestos fibers into the environment and endangering
public health," Elkins wrote.

The buildings were hosed down prior to demolition.  But there is
no evidence that this lessened the danger, the Inspector General
found: there were "demonstrated asbestos fiber releases" at both
sites.  In Fort Worth, where the test was performed on the office
of an abandoned apartment complex, "people were living right
across the street," Hecker said.  "That was the one that really
ticked us off."

Public Justice and an environmental group, the Natural Resources
Defense Council, sought to expose the EPA's own doubts about the
so-called wet method of asbestos removal by filing a Freedom of
Information Act request with the agency in June 2010.  Unhappy
with the EPA's response, the groups sued earlier this year.  Last
month they obtained more than 26,000 pages of documents, one of
which shows that respiratory protection requirements for workers
weren't met and warning signs weren't posted, as required by the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

An OSHA spokesman declined to comment.

Terry Lynch, international vice president of the International
Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers union,
said the EPA developed the unapproved demolition technique "to cut
corners and save money" on urban renewal projects.  An EPA
document summarizing one of the Fort Chaffee tests concluded that
the approved asbestos removal method was nearly twice as expensive
as the wet method.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harper's Avid Support to Chrysotile Trade Noted
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kathleen Ruff, author and senior human rights adviser for the
Rideau Institute, writes on thestar.com that the Harper government
is negotiating a free-trade agreement (Comprehensive Economic
Partnership Agreement) with India, which would advantage Canada's
asbestos industry by removing the 10% tariff on exports to its
biggest customer, India.

This issue might seem academic, since asbestos mining has ceased
in Canada.  The Jeffrey mine at Asbestos, Que., (the biggest open
pit asbestos mine in the world) closed two years ago and Canada's
last operating asbestos mine -- LAB Chrysotile's mine at Thetford
Mines, Que. -- closed in November this year.

These last two asbestos mines were facing financial and
environmental disasters.  Both were forced to seek bankruptcy
protection several years ago, slashing wages and pensions.  From
being the world's biggest exporter of asbestos, the asbestos
industry represented only 0.1% of Quebec exports in 2010.  By
2011, after 130 years, Quebec asbestos mining finally stopped
altogether.  Other asbestos mines in British Columbia,
Newfoundland and Ontario closed years ago.

One would think this was the end of a sorry chapter of Canadian
history.  But one would be wrong.

Undeterred, both Jeffrey Mine Inc. and LAB Chrysotile Ltd. are
aggressively seeking financial and political assistance from the
Quebec and Canadian governments to restart the asbestos disaster
all over again.

When it comes to promoting the interests of the asbestos industry,
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is no sluggard.  In the weeks prior
to the May 2 general election, the 14,000 citizens of Asbestos
were treated to not just one, but two visits by the Prime
Minister, who proclaimed his commitment to fight "discrimination"
against the asbestos industry.

Harper's courting of the citizens of Asbestos did not produce the
desired result.  The Bloc held the seat by a hair's breadth over
the NDP, with the Conservative candidate coming a humiliating
third.

Harper's dedication to the asbestos trade continued unabated,
however, as evidenced by his sabotage of the UN Rotterdam
Convention Conference in Geneva earlier this year to prevent
chrysotile asbestos (100% of the global asbestos trade) from being
put on the convention's list of hazardous substances, thus
ensuring continued uncontrolled sale of asbestos.

Asbestos can only be sold if there are no safety controls.  Safety
measures are complex and costly, as Canadians well know, and are
required for the whole life cycle of asbestos, thus pricing it out
of the market.  Even its biggest fan, Industry Minister Christian
Paradis, admits this.

Chrysotile asbestos is listed under Canada's Hazardous Substances
Act but, according to the Canadian government, is not hazardous
for people overseas.  Around the world, Canada's conduct was
bitterly condemned as a despicable double standard.

When it comes to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
(CEPA) with India, Harper is likewise employing a double standard.
He will not tolerate "discrimination" against the asbestos
industry, but is undisturbed by discrimination favoring the
asbestos industry.

While working to eliminate tariffs on asbestos, Harper is
conspicuously silent over the $58 million subsidy that the Quebec
government has offered to the consortium of "free enterprise"
investors to cover 70% of the cost of the underground Jeffrey
asbestos mine they want to open in Asbestos.

Under free trade rules, such subsidies are prohibited and the
Canadian government has responsibility for ensuring their
elimination.

LAB Chrysotile will also receive a $58 million subsidy from the
Quebec government, according to Thetford Mines Mayor Luc Berthold,
who states that Quebec Minister of Municipal Affairs Laurent
Lessard has agreed to offer LAB the same subsidy as offered to the
Jeffrey mine investors.

Paradis, Harper's Quebec lieutenant, is the MP for Thetford Mines
and a powerful political ally of LAB Chrysotile.  He has pledged
the Harper government's full support for the plan to restart
mining asbestos.  Since taking power, the Harper government has
given $1.5 million to the asbestos industry's lobby group, the
Chrysotile Institute.  Conservative MPs say the Harper government
has cut the funding, but the institute's president, Clement
Godbout, says that federal government funding continues.

The Canadian Cancer Society has criticized this financing as
promoting deceptive industry propaganda that will cause loss of
life.  The financing also clashes with CEPA.

In Quebec, Minister of Economic Development Sam Hamad is in charge
of the $58 million loan guarantee to the asbestos investors.  In
2003, Hamad gave the global asbestos industry a priceless PR gift.
He recommended replacing "asbestos" with the word "chrysotile" in
order "to give the industry nobility and growth."

Harper and Quebec Premier Jean Charest refuse appeals to respect
science and protect health.  Perhaps, ironically, the free trade
deal with India will succeed where scientific evidence and human
compassion have failed: an end to taxpayer subsidies to the deadly
asbestos industry.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sea-Land Service to Pay $1.45M to Former Crew
--------------------------------------------------------------
A King County jury, on Dec. 15, awarded a Vashon, Wash., man and
his wife $1.45 million after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma
caused by exposure to asbestos during his maritime career on a
ship owned and operated by the defendant, Residual Holdings,
successor to Sea-Land Service, Inc.

Roger E. Hammett, Jr., 84, served as a messman aboard the SS
SEATTLE for 67 days in 1966 and was exposed to asbestos fibers
from pipe insulation that was being stripped from steam pipes
during the voyage.  Due to his exposure, he developed
mesothelioma, a rare cancer in the lining of protective tissue
around the lungs.

Sea-Land was found liable for negligence for allowing Hammett to
work in conditions that exposed him to asbestos, which had been
linked to several deadly diseases by 1966, including mesothelioma.
Labor and health regulations and standards at the time advised
employers to close off construction areas, ventilate the site or
at least provide respirators and protective clothing to employees.
Sea-Land failed to do so much as warn employees of the danger.

"This was a very hard-fought, bitter case, and one of Roger's
deepest wishes was to live to see the day when those responsible
would be held accountable for their negligence and lack of concern
for the safety of employees," said Hammett's attorney, Matthew
Bergman -- matt@bergmanlegal.com -- of Bergman, Draper & Frockt.
"Sea-Land had only offered $5,000 before the trial, and we didn't
think that was a fair settlement for Roger and his family.  He and
his wife feel relieved and vindicated by the jury's decision."

Hammett originally brought suit against several shipping companies
and the Washington State Ferries in March 2011 and was granted an
expedited trial date due to his terminal condition.  The claims
against other shipping companies were dismissed for jurisdictional
reasons, and the Washington State Ferries settled for a
confidential amount.

Hammett is undergoing palliative care to treat mesothelioma and is
currently in the terminal stages of the disease.  He was diagnosed
in September 2010 and has been undergoing treatment ever since.
Once diagnosed, patients often have only months to live.

According to Bergman, Hammett's injury is not uncommon, with King
County reporting the fourth-highest rate of asbestos-related
deaths in the nation.

"The truly unfortunate reality is that we will see more and more
of these cases," he added.  "Mesothelioma can take 30 or even 50
years to become symptomatic after exposure, and the Puget Sound
was central to our nation's shipping industry during the time when
asbestos was commonly used."

Hammett was awarded damages for pain, suffering, disability and
loss of enjoyment of life.  He has five children and eight
grandchildren.

"There is nothing we can do to return what Sea-Land took from
Roger and his family," said Bergman.  "But we hope this verdict
helps ease their pain and sends a very strong message to employers
everywhere that employee safety and health should not take a
backseat to anything."

                 About Bergman, Draper & Frockt

Bergman, Draper & Frockt is a Seattle-based law firm that focuses
on representing individuals and families who have been harmed by
more powerful interests.  The firm built its reputation on serious
asbestos disease claims and is expanding its practice to benzene
and predatory lending cases.  Matthew Bergman is the firm's
managing partner and one of seven lawyers across the nation who
negotiated a $4 billion national settlement with the Halliburton
Corporation for its asbestos liabilities, approximately $30
million of which went to Bergman, Draper & Frockt clients residing
primarily in the Pacific Northwest.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Affordable Hazards Gets Decorah School Project
---------------------------------------------------------------
Laura Goetzinger at The Decorah Newspapers reports that Affordable
Hazards Inc. will remove asbestos from the Decorah High School
roof areas over winter break, the School Board decided at its
Dec. 12 meeting.

Affordable Hazards Inc., of Monticello, had the low bid for the
work, at $10,308.  The company has won all the asbestos removal
bids for the high school renovation and remodeling project.  The
District has been satisfied with their work, said Superintendent
Mike Haluska.

Affordable Hazards Inc. will remove asbestos from the roof of the
first-floor language arts classrooms and hallway as well as two
coaches' offices.  The first and second floor will then be at the
same stage for the summer when parts of the roof are being
replaced, Haluska said.

Other bidders were Advanced Environmental of Waterloo ($11,709)
and Environmental Management Service of Iowa of Dubuque ($14,286).

The mild weather has helped work progress on schedule at the high
school, said Greg Schaller, director of building and grounds.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: East Providence School Project Waits Cash Release
------------------------------------------------------------------
Abigail Crocker of the East Providence Patch reports that the
Rhode Island Department of Health wants to see a plan of action.

To ensure the air within the walls of East Providence High School
is asbestos-free, officials are seeking assurance that progress is
being made to update the dilapidated facility.

Farrar & Associates is the firm overseeing future construction
work at the school.  According to James Farrar, principal and
owner, asbestos tiles throughout the building will be removed as
crews fix a swath of issues, including ceiling problems and faulty
pipes.  An environmental consultant will be collaborating with the
firm to make sure the asbestos is properly disposed of.

Air tests were conducted at the high school prior to its opening
in late August; 22 samples came out negative for asbestos, Farrar
said.

"Bottom line [DOH] is looking for a plan of action -- that people
are continuing to be proactive of the removal of any of that type
of materials," Farrar said.

However, engineering and architectural work can only continue once
bond money is secured by the school department.  About $6 million
of the allocated $15 million has been allocated -- they are
waiting for about $9 million to be released.

"That's what we're looking for, the release of the final monies,"
Farrar said, noting he hopes work will be completed by the end
next summer.

According to East Providence School Committee Chairman Charles
Tsonos, the East Providence High School will not be shut down in
the immediate future due to ongoing talks with DOH.  Asbestos
testing will be conducted over winter break.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: England, Wales Snubs Pleural Plaques Payout Issue
------------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Kelly at Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette reports that a new twist
in the battle for justice by asbestos victims in South Tyneside
was blasted on Dec. 15 as "totally unfair."

People in Northern Ireland with the asbestos-related condition
pleural plaques can claim compensation.

But ex-shipyard workers and those who worked with asbestos in
heavy industry on Tyneside and the rest of England still cannot
claim.

Pleural plaques victim Bob Cusworth said: "I think this is totally
unfair.

"This means that people in Scotland, and now Northern Ireland, can
claim for compensation, but not those lads in Tyneside and the
rest of the country who are living with pleural plaques -- but we
are the area where asbestos was used more than anywhere else.

"At the end of the day, I think this is all about money, and
insurance companies not wanting to pay out."

A condition creating scarring of the lungs, caused by exposure to
asbestos, pleural plaques can develop into the killer disease
mesothelioma.

But even when it does not become terminal, pleural plaques victims
suffer breathlessness, problems in walking long distances and
anxiety.

Former shipyard worker Mr. Cusworth, 74, of Ribble Walk, Jarrow,
who was awarded GBP5,000 compensation under a limited scheme
agreed by the Ministry of Justice -- but only for those who
claimed before October 2007 -- added: "Tony Blair wrote a book
called A Journey, but asbestos victims have been on an even longer
journey for justice.

"I think we need to get Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn and others
involved again, because I believe 90% of the victims of asbestos
are from the North East."

Belfast solicitors Thompsons McClure, who have worked with unions
in campaigning for compensation entitlement, welcomed the Northern
Ireland's Assembly's decision.

The Assembly has passed a bill restoring the right to claim
compensation for pleural plaques, which could see sufferers
claiming up to GBP15,000 in damages.

But the right for English and Welsh sufferers to claim
compensation for pleural plaques was removed by the House of Lords
in 2007.

Since then, both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish
Parliament have passed bills restoring the right to claim.

Ian McFall, head of asbestos policy at Thompsons McClure's sister-
company Thompsons Solicitors, which has offices in South Shields
and Newcastle, said: "This change in the law is sympathetic
recognition by the Northern Ireland Assembly of the reality facing
those suffering from asbestos-related pleural plaques.

"A similar stance was taken in Scotland, which leaves only the
Government in England and Wales stubbornly refusing to accept what
was, until very recently, regarded as the legal norm."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement, Renovation Affect School Opening Date
-----------------------------------------------------------------
David Kilby at The Cranbury Press reports that the Monroe Board of
Education awarded a bid for asbestos removal at Applegarth School
at its meeting on Dec. 14, but removing the asbestos in the school
is only the first step toward getting it reopened by next
September, and there is concern the school won't be ready in time.

The Monroe Township Board of Education publicly advertised and
solicited competitive bids for asbestos removal at the Applegarth
School, and Dec. 7, the board received, opened and publicly read
bids at a special public meeting.

The board is required to award contracts to the lowest responsible
bidder, but the lowest bidder, VMC Company Inc. contained a
nonconforming bid bond and did not comply with applicable law and
the bid specifications for the project.

The second lowest bid was submitted by Two Brothers Contracting
Inc., and the contract was awarded to the company for $44,800.

At the meeting, there was some disagreement about opening
Applegarth School in September 2012.  Aside from the asbestos,
there was concern the two boilers in the school are not safe.

Michael Gorski, business administrator, said the boilers are "on,
operational and functioning fine."

Dr. Jeff Gorman, assistant superintendent of schools, who said he
worked at the Applegarth School from 1996 to 2008, added, "Being
one who knows all of the ins and outs of that building, I say its
solid."

But Louis Masters, board member, said he has mixed emotions about
opening the school next September.  He said the board basically
has three options.  It can open the school on schedule, delay the
opening one or more years or demolish all or part of the school
and rebuild.

"I'm starting to get nervous about the timeframe and the amount of
stuff we need to get done," Mr. Masters said. "I have a problem
when we talk about compliance per a certain date.  If I had my
way, I would fix the school completely.  Why do these kids have to
make do with something that's just adequate?"  He added students
from other schools are getting the best the township has to offer.

"We're kind of playing fast and free with this," he said. "It'll
get done.  I'm nervous about the timeframe."

Board member Amy Antelis said the 1936 part of the building is
beautiful and just needs to be repainted and have the steps fixed.

"It's probably built better than some of the schools we have
today," she said, adding that if the board closes the school
another year, it's basically telling the public the district
doesn't need the school.

Ms. Antelis said if the district keeps Applegarth School closed,
it also should close Barclay Brook School as well.

"That has actually been discussed at the buildings and grounds
meetings," Mr. Masters said.

Board member John Leary said the board should consider a
referendum for renovations to Applegarth School.  "East Brunswick
passed a referendum of up to $100 million to get their schools up
to snuff," he said.

"This board and administration would never put children in a
school that is not safe for students and staff," said Kathy
Kolupanowich, board president.  She said the district initiated a
spending freeze at its Nov. 23 meeting, which could save the
district between $500,000 and $700,000.

"We could use that money to advance work being done at Applegarth
School," Ms. Kolupanowich added.  She said the plan to open
Applegarth School is a work in progress because throughout the
process, priorities change throughout the district.

But the board made it clear something must be done for Applegarth
School because it has been somewhat neglected compared to the
district's other schools.

Board member Mark Klein said the older parts of the school should
be easy to clean up.  "I'm not afraid to open up the school.  It
is highly certified.  It will be safe for everyone," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Madison Court Told to Reform Docket System
-----------------------------------------------------------
Sue Reisinger of Corporate Counsel reports that a judge's campaign
contribution flap in the Madison County, Illinois, circuit court
has led the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform
to urge major changes in how the court handles asbestos cases.

Lisa Rickard, president of the Chamber's legal arm, on Dec. 14,
issued a statement calling on the court "to fix the fundamental
flaw of Madison County's asbestos docket calendar system that in
effect puts court time up for sale."

The flap began when it was discovered that attorneys from three
plaintiffs' law firms donated $30,000 in early December to the
campaign fund of Judge Barbara Crowder, who oversaw the docketing
of asbestos cases.  Just a few days before the contributions, the
three firms had received a majority of highly sought-after
asbestos trial dates.

On Dec. 12, chief judge Ann Callis removed Crowder from overseeing
the asbestos docket.  The court presides over litigation involving
one-sixth of America's cases involving plaintiffs with
mesothelioma, a lung disease blamed on asbestos contamination.

In Madison County, the asbestos docket judge awards trial slots to
law firms in advance of actual cases.  The law firms use the slots
to attract mesothelioma plaintiffs from around the country.
Critics say the unusual process confers a substantial economic
benefit on trial lawyers receiving the most dates.

Callis declined to discuss Crowder's reassignment, but made public
her order announcing the switch, along with this statement: "A
situation was brought to my attention, and following consultation
with the circuit judges, we unanimously decided to change some
civil assignments to maintain the public trust in a fair and
unbiased judiciary," according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Crowder was then assigned other duties in the civil division,
including chancery and eminent domain cases.  She is seeking
retention of her judgeship, as Madison County judges do every six
years.

That means she needs 60% approval on a ballot question asking if
she should be retained.  The newspaper said the $30,000 was her
fund's first new money in more than four years.

Crowder issued this statement on Dec. 14: "Unfortunately, the
timing of some campaign donations and the entry of a scheduling
order have led some to speculate that there might be some relation
between them." She added, "Nothing could be further from the
truth."

Crowder also said her husband, Lawrence Taliana, would resign as
her campaign manager.

The Chamber's Rickard, however, went on to say: "For at least a
decade, the Madison County asbestos docket calendar has assigned
case slots to plaintiffs' lawyers without actual court cases,
creating a type of asbestos lawsuit futures market of immense
value to those plaintiffs' firms who have been assigned court
slots.

"It is this compromised system that is the root of the cash-for-
trials scandal which caused judge Crowder's reassignment.  When
judge Crowder inherited the Madison County asbestos docket last
year, many were hopeful that she would clean up this warped
system.  That didn't happen."

So Rickard urged the court to make the changes now.  The Chamber's
legal arm has criticized Madison County for years for being too
plaintiff-friendly.  The Chamber, which lists Madison County as
one of the country's "judicial hellholes" for corporate suits,
also skewered the court's asbestos practices in a white paper last
year.

Over 2,000 asbestos cases are pending in the county court.

Meanwhile, news reports, including from the ABA Journal, said the
donating lawyers came from the Madison County-area law firms Gori
Julian & Associates; Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli & Rowland; and
the Simmons Law Firm.

Elizabeth Heller -- elizabeth@ghalaw.com -- of the Goldenberg
Heller firm, who made a $5,000 contribution, called Crowder "hard-
working and unbiased" and said, "We're very disappointed that
she's stepping down," according to the St. Louis newspaper.

Michael J. Angelides -- mangelides@simmonsfirm.com -- managing
partner of the Simmons firm, told the newspaper his firm has a
history of supporting Democrats, including Crowder.  He called the
asbestos docket "a fair and efficient forum for plaintiffs and
defendants to have their cases heard."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Announces 2012 Annual Conference Honorees
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines
education, advocacy, and community initiatives as a leading
asbestos victims' voice worldwide, announced its honorees and
keynote speaker for the 8th Annual International Asbestos
Awareness Conference, Asbestos: An International Public Health
Crisis, to be held March 30 to April 1, 2012, in Los Angeles,
Calif.  The conference brings together renowned experts and
asbestos victims in a united forum to enhance asbestos awareness,
education, treatment, and collaboration.  The conference is made
possible with the partnership of the Environmental Information
Association (EIA) and Independent Asbestos Training Providers
(IATP).

Matt Peacock, the 2012 ADAO International Asbestos Awareness
Conference keynote speaker, is an award-winning reporter with the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where he has worked for a
wide range of TV and radio news programs.  Matt first warned the
public about the dangers of an Australian asbestos manufacturer's
empire in an award-winning radio series in 1977.  He has followed
the tragic asbestos trail for more than 30 years: from the
company's factories where workers had asbestos 'snowball' fights,
to the mine where Aboriginal children played in the tailings, and
into thousands of homes where asbestos now threatens home
renovators, not just from their fibro walls and ceilings, but from
the dust that still lurks under their carpets.  Most recently, the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation ran Matt's report on India's
toxic asbestos trade.

Each year, ADAO's conference recognizes outstanding individuals
and organizations from around the world that serve as a voice for
asbestos victims, raising awareness and advocating for a worldwide
ban of asbestos.  ADAO is delighted to announce this year's
esteemed honorees.

The 2012 Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Honorees:

U.S. Representative Steve Cohen will be presented with the Tribute
of Hope Award for his steadfast commitment and determination to
ban asbestos.

Dr. Richard Lemen will be recognized with the Dr. Irving Selikoff
Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his tireless dedication to
increasing asbestos awareness to eliminate diseases and unending
support of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.

Dr. Arthur Frank will be recognized with the Dr. Irving Selikoff
Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his tireless dedication to
increasing asbestos awareness to eliminate diseases and unending
support of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.

Joel Shufro will be presented with the Tribute of Inspiration
Award for his tireless efforts to protect workers' occupational
safety and health, especially in regards to asbestos exposure.

Associazione Familiari Vittime Amianto (AFEVA) will receive the
Tribute of Unity Award for its relentless efforts, both nationally
and internationally, to protect human rights and seek justice for
victims and their families.

Debbie Brewer, a mesothelioma patient, will be recognized with The
Alan Reinstein Award for her commitment to education, advocacy,
and support to countless patients and families.

Larry Davis, a mesothelioma patient, will be recognized with The
Alan Reinstein Award for his commitment to education, advocacy,
and support to countless patients and families.

"Our annual international conferences drive home the importance of
the need for increased awareness, education, advocacy, and
community support," stated Linda Reinstein, President/CEO and Co-
Founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.  "We are
again honored to have the opportunity to bring together some of
the world's most renowned experts while recognizing some of the
most influential leaders in the battle against asbestos exposure.
Tragically, more than 107,000 people will die this year from
asbestos-related diseases and prevention remains the only cure for
deadly asbestos-caused diseases, but these true asbestos awareness
heroes prove that together, change is possible."

Conference presentations will include advances in diagnosing and
treating asbestos-related diseases, preventing asbestos exposure
in the home and workplace, patient resources, and a global
advocacy session.  Registration is available at
http://www.adao.us/

       About Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization --
http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/-- was founded by
asbestos victims and their families in 2004.  ADAO seeks to give
asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice to raise
public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure.  ADAO is
an independent global organization dedicated to preventing
asbestos-related diseases through education, advocacy and
community.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Questions Use of "Wet Method" in Joplin Ops
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kelsey Ryan at The Joplin Globe reports that a controversial
method of asbestos removal and demolition that is being employed
now at Irving Elementary School in Joplin has been called further
into question by the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector
general.

But despite the report that cautions the method may be a danger to
the public and is not approved to protect human health,
authorities with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and
others continue to stand behind the use of the wet method at
Irving because of an exemption for buildings that are structurally
unsound.

"The structure is damaged -- that's a huge distinction here," DNR
communications director Renee Bungart said.  "From the tornado,
it's been totally demolished, and that makes it unsafe to try to
stand on top and try to clear off debris.  (The wet method) is the
most effective way to protect the community and demolish the
buildings when that structure is unstable."

In the wet method, workers douse debris with water as it is
demolished to, in theory, reduce the amount of asbestos-
contaminated dust in the air.  The preferred method is to remove
all asbestos before demolition begins, but that can't always be
done if a building is not structurally sound.

"The safest route for us to go is that route that the DNR has set
for us," said Joplin schools Superintendent C.J. Huff.

In the EPA report, "Use of Unapproved Asbestos Demolition Methods
May Threaten Public Health," Inspector General Arthur Elkins
states regulated asbestos-containing material must be removed
prior to demolition, but there is an exemption for when the
building is "structurally unsound and in danger of imminent
collapse."  Irving Elementary, like several other schools in
Joplin, was destroyed in the May 22 tornado.

David Bryan, public affairs specialist for EPA's regional office
in Kansas City, said the wet method "largely mitigates the release
of fibers into the air," but prolonged exposure to the fibers in
the air "can increase the amount of fibers deposited in the lung.
Fibers embedded in the lung tissue over time may result in lung
diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma."

The report states the unapproved method may jeopardize public
health and in tests done by the EPA, settled dust results from
demolition testing sites showed releases of asbestos fibers.  Jim
Hecker -- jhecker@publicjustice.net -- environmental enforcement
director for Public Justice, a public interest law firm based in
Washington, D.C., said it's nearly impossible to see asbestos
contamination with the naked eye and that using water doesn't stop
asbestos contamination in dust.  He said it's mostly invisible,
but appears white in high concentrations.

"Water has limited to no effect in preventing the release of
asbestos, at least in the more aerosolized forms that can come off
of these demolition sites," Hecker said.

Ms. Bungart noted another risk with the method:

"With the wet method, you don't know if you've gotten it all
because everything is such a mess, and that's why they're doing
the monitoring," she said.

Ms. Bungart said that her DNR representative at the site told her
that workers were wearing masks.  She said the site has a fence
around it and signs that warn of potential asbestos.

So far, demolition at Irving has been shut down twice by the
school district.

Mr. Huff said the site was shut down because of precautions with
asbestos contamination in the air and also through the tracking of
mud into in the streets.

"We're working with the DNR to make sure all demolition
contractors are compliant," Huff said.  "We don't want to de-
obligate potential federal funding (by not complying).  There are
people on-site at each demolition location making sure we're being
good neighbors and good to the community, and not making a mess of
things in the process."

Mike Johnson, district director of building, grounds and
transportation who is overseeing the demolition operations, said
that so far, there is no evidence of any contamination off-site
from dust, and that air monitoring systems have been set up around
Irving that are checked at daily intervals for contamination.

Mr. Huff said that because the district is a public entity, it is
held to higher standards for the demolition and asbestos removal.

The DNR continues to oversee the demolition, Bungart said, and it
gave the contractors suggestions on what to improve, including
getting more water on-site to keep dust out of the air.

Mr. Huff said he anticipates more shutdowns of the demolition
sites across the district to ensure that "all the i's are dotted
and t's are crossed."  Rainy weather on Dec. 14 caused equipment
to track mud into the street, and workers washed the tires of the
vehicles before driving off-site and applied gravel to reduce
tracking the mud.

"I think we're probably going above and beyond what we need to
do," Huff said.

Instead of testing every site for asbestos, officials said the
district assumes that the material is present in every building
and is taking necessary precautions.  Johnson said it is assumed
all of the sites that will be demolished -- Joplin High School,
Franklin Technology Center, East Middle School, Old South, Irving
and Emerson -- have asbestos.

"We're really staying on top of it," Johnson said. "If we see
something that isn't exactly right, we're shutting them down.
We're really being tough with them.  But those are the rules of
the job and we're holding them to it.  We thoroughly investigated
contractors, checked references, licenses and bonding."

Demolition at Irving was contracted to Urban Metro, a company out
of Atlanta.  This is the first time the district has worked with
the company and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources
confirmed Urban Metro is licensed with the state for asbestos
removal.  The subcontractor for the work is JMC Construction of
Wheaton, Mo.

Ms. Bungart said Urban Metro is using Family Environmental out of
Kansas City and Environmental Works to deal with the asbestos on-
site.  Although Urban Metro is not licensed to remove asbestos in
Missouri, it is licensed in other states, she said.

In a Nov. 9 meeting, the Joplin school board approved a bid of
$139,260 to Urban Metro for demolition of Irving.  The same
company was awarded the contract to demolish Joplin High School
for $155,322 and Old South Middle School for $134,230.

Under the contracts with the demolition companies, Johnson said
there was a flat fee dollar amount to take down the schools, but
the contractors get salvaging rights to the buildings for things
like bricks and scrap metal.  He said that in the Joplin High
School building alone there's an estimated $1.4 million to $2
million worth of steel.  The salvaging part of the contract is
what made the demolition costs so low.

Johnson said that with all of the salvage at the schools slowing
down the process, he expects the walls of JHS to come down the
first week or two of January.  The 60-workday window for
demolition at all sites has begun, but there are provisions for
weather and holidays that could make it longer.

The district has created a timeline for rebuilding the destroyed
schools, with the goal to have ribbon-cuttings for East Middle
School, Emerson Elementary and Irving Elementary by December 2013
and Joplin High School and Franklin Technology Center by August
2014.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Signs at Waterfront Apts Abatement Alarm Tenants
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Deidre Williams at The Buffalo News reports that asbestos-warning
signs posted recently at Marine Drive Apartments without further
explanation left many residents alarmed and wondering if their
health was in danger.

Housing Authority officials said a state mandate from the Office
of Public Employee Safety and Health dictated when and where the
signs were to be placed, which did not allow time to inform
residents before they went up.

Plans to hold a public informational meeting are in the works,
they said.

"We're not trying to inflame residents," said Dawn E. Sanders,
executive director of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority,
which owns and manages the Marine Drive complex.  "We didn't have
time before signs were put up to have a meeting with residents.
The PESH report said we had to put up signs immediately, and that
was the soonest we could have put them up.  We didn't randomly
pick where to put them."

The notices read, "Danger. Asbestos Cancer and Lung Disease
Hazard.  Authorized Personnel Only."

They were posted late last Friday afternoon at the elevators and
the front and back doors of each of the seven buildings of the
waterfront complex.

Problems began in August, when seven workers at Marine Drive
removed asbestos around eight water valves to address a leaking
problem.  A state agency investigation determined that the
employees had not followed proper rules for dealing with asbestos,
and the Housing Authority was handed 17 citations.  One of the
required corrections involved posting asbestos-warning signs in
specific areas.

The warnings also noted that confirmed or presumed asbestos-
containing materials are present throughout the building,
including floor tile, linoleum, plaster ceilings, heating pipes
and all interior and exterior caulking.

The information had some residents worried about whether the
affected areas included their individual units.

"I received a dozen calls and people coming to my door asking are
they safe: 'What do I do now?' " said Joseph Mascia, a Marine
Drive resident, who is one of two tenant-elected commissioners on
the Housing Authority board.

Only common areas, the boiler room and the maintenance room are
affected, said Assistant Executive Director Modesto Candelario.

But because the warnings went up late afternoon of Dec. 16 and
offices were closed for the weekend, panicked residents were not
able to have their concerns addressed or questions answered,
"which is horrible on behalf of BMHA and Marine Drive Apartments
office," said one tenant, who asked not to be identified for fear
of backlash from the administration.

"BMHA was cruel and irresponsible in posting these warning signs
on a Friday evening without any further explanation about our
health risks, safety," the tenant said.

Housing Authority executives maintained that the way they handled
the situation was mandatory.  "We didn't want to be in violation
of PESH," Candelario said.

Informing residents of various issues usually follows a different
process, but this case was exceptional, Sanders said.

"Normally we would meet with residents before signs went up.  In
this instance, our first job was to comply with the report, which
said immediately.  Our second step was to tell the manager, and
we're planning a meeting with residents," Ms. Sanders said.

The building manager was told that the signs were going up, but
she was not briefed fully enough to be able to meet with residents
at the time, she added.  Before such a meeting can happen,
officials must meet with the manager again and with other staff
who work at the complex to inform them of the specifics.

"I can't have a manager who's not up to speed talking to residents
because it only bothers them more," Sanders aid.

Of the affected areas, much of the abatement was done immediately.
"It had to be," Candelario said.  A contract was awarded for the
remaining removal work, which "probably will start soon."

Residents will not have to be relocated, he added, because the
abatement "won't be done in their apartments."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Children of Mesothelioma Victim Seek Justice
-------------------------------------------------------------
Phil Coleman at News & Star (UK) reports that a Cumbrian man
became the latest person in the county whose premature death has
been put down as exposure to asbestos.

Lawyers said that the family of James MacKenzie, who was just 59
when he died from mesothelioma, will continue to fight for
justice.

At an inquest in Carlisle, north and west Cumbria coroner David
Roberts ruled that Mr. MacKenzie, of Hadrian's Avenue, Anthorn,
near Wigton, died as a result of contracting an industrial disease
after exposure to asbestos dust.

Mr. MacKenzie's health problems came after working at a Carlisle
building firm between 1969 and 1972.  As an apprentice, he was
exposed to dust from sheets of asbestos as it was cut.

Mr. MacKenzie became ill in August last year and two months later,
after further medical investigation, doctors diagnosed malignant
mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung invariably caused
by exposure to asbestos dust.

Mr. MacKenzie died at the Cumberland Infirmary, the inquest heard.

Before his death, Mr. MacKenzie recalled that during his
apprenticeship asbestos was widely used for soffits on houses and
in sheeting used for roofs and to line ceilings.  He said that he
would often have to help unload the material and would end up
covered in asbestos dust.

Mr. MacKenzie leaves his devastated children Cheryl, and John,
both in their 30s.

Commenting on his family's loss, John said this week: "Dad worked
incredibly hard all his life and it seems so unfair that work he
did so long ago took him from us.

"We miss him terribly and to know that simple steps could have
been taken to protect him is hard to bear."

Roger Maddocks, an asbestos expert at Irwin Mitchell's Newcastle
office, who is acting on behalf of the family said: "As result of
this cruel illness, James's family have been robbed of their
future together.

"James was only 59 when he was snatched from his family due to
mesothelioma cancer.

"Today's inquest verdict confirms that James died as a direct
result of being exposed to asbestos.  On behalf of his family we
are continuing the legal battle for justice."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Employee Fined CA$1,000 Over Work Safety Protocol
------------------------------------------------------------------
Cape Breton Post reports that an employee of the Cape Breton
Island Regional Housing Authority was convicted and fined CA$1,000
for failing to take precautions to protect his own health and
safety as well as that of other employees.

Darryl Todd Routledge, 46, of Dominion Street, Glace Bay, was a
maintenance supervisor for the housing authority in September 2005
when an employee reported concerns about insulation which he
feared may contain asbestos.  The employee and those working for a
private contractor were doing work in a number of public housing
units when the discovery was made.

A sample from 3 Rose Terrace was sent for testing and a consultant
confirmed it was vermiculite insulation which contained asbestos
and advised that employees be notified that ceiling perimeters be
sealed and attic hatches be locked.

The authority's health and safety coordinator Jamie Della Valle
hand-delivered a copy of the report to Routledge in October, 2005,
that relayed the advice about notifying employees and sealing the
hatches.

Routledge was not the maintenance supervisor for the complex from
which the sample was taken, but he managed similar buildings
located in Whitney Pier.

In his testimony at trial, Routledge said he couldn't recall the
specifics of the conversation, but did not deny that it took
place.  He hadn't notified a supervisor or the joint occupation
health and safety committee or take steps to ensure the
recommended measures were completed.

On March 31, 2006, Routledge gave a copy of the report to a
contractor who had been asking about the presence of asbestos in
the public housing units, which he said he had just found on his
desk.

Routledge was charged under the provincial Occupational Health and
Safety Act.

Judge Brian Williston said he found Routledge credible as a
witness and acknowledged that Routledge at the time didn't know
whether there was asbestos in his buildings.  But Williston ruled
that Routledge hadn't taken all reasonable steps to ensure his
safety and that of employees.

In passing sentence, Williston said the fine imposed should be
sufficient enough to send a message to other supervisors who may
find themselves in similar circumstances.

Della Valle and another maintenance supervisor, Joseph Darrell
McNeil, earlier received similar fines.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Avondale Shipyards et al. Face Mesothelioma Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Kyle Barnett at The Louisiana Record reports that a man is suing
his former employer for exposure to asbestos that he says resulted
in his diagnosis of mesothelioma 30 years after his period of
employment.

Harold P. Guarino filed suit on Dec. 8 in Orleans Parish Civil
District Court against Avondale Shipyards, its executives and
about a dozen other defendants including miners, manufacturers,
sellers, users, distributors and/or suppliers of asbestos.

Guarino claims he was exposed to asbestos and subsequently
developed mesothelioma due to negligence by the defendants.  The
case states the plaintiff was exposed to hazardous levels of
asbestos while working for Avondale Shipyards as tacker during two
periods of employment, from 1969-70 and 1972-1980.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff says he was exposed to asbestos or
asbestos-coated products where he breathed hazardous levels of
airborne asbestos fibers.

The defendants are charged with negligence for continuously
exposing the plaintiff to asbestos without proper safeguards and
an indifference to rights, safety and welfare of plaintiff.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought to cover medical costs,
lost earnings, mental suffering and anguish, pain and suffering,
physical pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.

The suit was filed on behalf of Guarino by Frank J. Swarr --
fswarr@landryswarr.com -- of New Orleans-based Landry and Swarr.

Case number 2011-12740 has been assigned to Division G Judge Robin
M. Giarrusso.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Modified Cold Virus Helps Fight Mesothelioma
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma Center reports that researchers at the University
of Pennsylvania reported promising results from a study which
pinpointed a modified cold virus that triggers a body's own immune
system to help fight off certain cancers, particularly
mesothelioma.

Nine mesothelioma patients were studied, and five of them reported
either disease stability or tumor regression after having the
virus injected.  Only the four with the most advanced cases of
mesothelioma showed no positive signs.  Mesothelioma is the
aggressive cancer caused by an exposure to asbestos.

The report was published this week in the American Journal of
Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, providing a lift for
immune-gene therapy research.

Photodynamic therapy also took a step forward when the FDA
approved the Orphan Drug Designation tag for PHOTOFRIN (porfimer
sodium) for the manufacturer Pinnacle Biologics, Inc.

Photodynamic therapy includes the injection of a photosensitive
drug that takes hold in cancer cells, which then can be killed by
a particular wavelength of light.  PHOTOFRIN, which has been used
against small cell lung and esophageal cancers, has shown to be
more effective than some of the other drugs being used in this
type of therapy.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: High Level of HazMat Found at NYFD Lackawanna HQ
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rachel Kingston at WIVB.com reports that some of Lackawanna's
bravest are worried that they've been exposed to asbestos while
working on the job.

N.Y.'s Lackawanna Fire House #3 has been under renovation,
specifically for asbestos abatement for the last month.

But since about Dec. 7, testing has shown unsafe levels of
asbestos inside the Fire House.

The recent test results were actually ordered by the firefighters
who hired an independent lab to come in after they started
noticing a large amount of dust in the building.

The dust was mainly on the second floor but it was being trapped
throughout the Fire House.

The lab results show dangerous levels of asbestos in the that dust
and raw building material that was left sitting on the ground,
which is contrary to the air quality tests that have been going on
in the Fire House.

The latest test results came back Thursday, Dec. 8 but it wasn't
until Dec. 17 that the City Engineer ordered firefighters to
vacate the building until it can be cleaned up.

The President of the Firefighter's union would have liked the City
to react quicker.  "A memo was published that we should avoid the
second floor as best as possible.  That was a less than
appropriate response to the level of asbestos that was in the
building", said Capt. Thomas Mendez.

The contractor has told the Fire Department that it should only
take 5 or 6 days to clean up all the dust and asbestos out of the
building.  The dispatch area is being worked on first to ensure
that the dispatchers can return to work as soon as possible.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Garbage Tycoon Blames Violation to Bad Employees
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Natalie O'Brien and Heath Aston at The Sun-Herald reports that Ian
Malouf, the man who boasts he is opening the biggest landfill site
in the southern hemisphere at Eastern Creek, acknowledges
pollution lapses by his waste empire.  But he blames them on rogue
employees and waste transporters.

Mr. Malouf, the self-made millionaire behind Dial a Dump, told The
Sun-Herald that he runs a conscientious business and pollution
offences this year arose from employees "breaching strict
guidelines and procedures of which they were adequately aware."

But it is not the first time.  Companies linked to Mr. Malouf have
been subject to five clean-up orders in the past five years,
according to the Office of Environment and Heritage.

In April this year, the OEH received numerous complaints about
odors again coming from Mr. Malouf's Alexandra Landfill site.  A
surprise inspection found a pipe connected to infested leachate,
which was pumping it into a stormwater drain.

Then, in June, OEH inspectors again visited the site and found his
wife Larissa's company, Boiling Pty Ltd, had 170,000-cubic-metre
stockpiles of waste contaminated with asbestos.  Other pollution
breaches date back to 2002, when Mr. Malouf's company Alexandria
Landfill Pty Ltd was ordered to clean up leachates after residents
complained about a stench.

In 2007, another property, at Marulan, was found with 1300 cubic
meters of asbestos-contaminated soil.  This property belongs to
Mr. Malouf's mother-in-law, Kathleen Hopkins's company, Kathkin
Pty Ltd, as trustee for his five children.

A spokesman for the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, said he was made
aware of the investigations by the OEH before attending the
opening party for Mr. Malouf's new venture at the Eastern Creek
landfill site on Dec. 8 -- a $500,000 celebration that featured
600 guests, acrobats, fireworks and a lion cub.

Mr. O'Farrell's spokesman said: "That's why he went out of his way
during his remarks at the opening to say that the NSW government
has a strong independent environmental regulator and he expects
all companies to comply or face the full force of the law."

But inquiries by The Sun-Herald have revealed that Mr. Malouf --
who with his wife has donated almost $40,000 to the Liberal Party
in recent years -- has not yet been granted a license to operate
the landfill known as the Genesis facility.  The application is
with the OEH, which is considering it.

Alexandria Landfill and Boiling are yet to complete the clean-up
ordered at the Alexandria sites.

Mr. Malouf said the property on Red Hills Road at Marulan was
cleaned up at his own expense.  He said it was inadvertently
contaminated with asbestos after a delivery of landscaping
materials to the family property.  "Naturally I would not endanger
the health and well being of my children intentionally," he said.

Mr. Malouf said the companies had never been prosecuted and that
he "would have preferred that these events necessitating clean-up
notices had not occurred."

In an emailed response to questions, he said: "As the CEO of the
organization which has held environmental protection licenses for
almost 25 years, it is understandable that during that period of
time one or two incidents would be expected to occur.  Those
employees never get named but as a hands-on CEO I must carry that
burden."

Mr. Malouf lists his address as a mansion in Vaucluse which was
traded last year for $15 million and was once owned by the Adler
family.  He is a law school dropout who decided that his future
was in waste.  After leaving school, he has said, he raised $700
cash to buy a truck and went door-to-door offering to take rubbish
to the tip.  He bought a tipper truck and a bobcat and his mother
answered the phones while his father helped shovel loads of
rubbish.  Over the past two decades, he has built the Dial a Dump
empire which stretches from skip bins to waste and recycling.

Records show that Mr. Malouf bought the Alexandria Landfill site
from Sydney City Council in 2000 and created a recycling facility.
In 2002 he was issued with four clean-up notices after the OEH
received complaints relating to odors.  Inspectors found landfill
leachate was causing the stench.  Another clean-up notice was
issued after failed attempts to fix the problem and complaints
increased.

In 2005 Mr. Malouf paid $143 million for the Eastern Creek site
and he said he spent another $157 million developing it.  It will
boast state-of-the-art recycling technology.  He has promised
there will be no odors, and lining of the pit to stop leaching.

Asked about the leachate at the Alexandria site, Mr. Malouf said:
"We are not aware that it [pumping of leachates] has ever happened
and the matter is currently being investigated by OEH.  Management
has conducted an internal voluntary environmental audit and
believes it has isolated the identity of a person or persons who
may have potentially breached the site's operational procedures."

The OEH report said the asbestos "stockpiles" at the same site
were believed to have been generated by the processing of waste.
Mr. Malouf blamed a waste transporter for depositing the material.
He said that transporter had now been banned.

Mr. Malouf hit the headlines last year when photographed attending
a $5000-a-head fund-raiser for the Liberal Party, also attended by
Mr. O'Farrell, at the home of John Symonds.  When it was revealed
that Mr. Malouf, who is also a property developer, had been in
attendance, the NSW Labor Party general secretary, Sam Dastyari,
referred the $5000 donation to the Electoral Funding Authority for
investigation.  Labor is yet to learn the result and will ask for
an update this week.

Mr. O'Farrell's spokesman said the Premier was aware that Mr.
Malouf was a Liberal Party supporter, having met him at the
Symonds fund-raiser, but he would not have a clue about the level
of his donations.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Drax Power Station Crew Dies of Mesothelioma
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Goole-Howden Courier reports a Selby man who worked in power
stations for 27 years died from a lung disease after consistent
exposure to asbestos, an inquest heard.

Thomas Sinclair, of Woodville Terrace, died on Nov. 9 this year
after he was suffering with shortage of breath and chest pains
after a fall at home.

Doctors at York Hospital diagnosed the 82-year-old with malignant
lung disease -- mesothelioma -- but because of its advanced state
ruled out chemotherapy and discharged him to be cared for at home.

Coroner Rob Turnbull, sitting at Selby Magistrates' Court, heard
that, after a variety of other jobs, Mr. Sinclair had started
contract work on the construction of Eggborough, and then Drax,
power stations from 1965 onwards.

Later he continued working at Drax as a mechanical fitter's mate
until his retirement in 1992, and would have come into contact
with asbestos as work was undertaken to remove and dispose of
lagged pipes.

The coroner said a pathologist had found 15 asbestos fibers in one
medical slide sample from Mr. Sinclair's right lung -- the normal
level expected to be found being one fiber in six slides.

Mr. Turnbull said that death had been due to mesothelioma
consistent with exposure to asbestos, and recorded a verdict of
industrial disease.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazmat Find Delays Work At Paramount Blvd Bridge
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Sprague, Staff Writer at the Whittier Daily News, reports
that the 60 Freeway -- closed since a gasoline tanker truck
exploded in flames underneath the Paramount Boulevard bridge on
Dec. 14 -- was expected to open on Dec. 16, a Caltrans official
said.

However, Alphonso Sanchez, the maintenance regional manager for
the East Los Angeles area, said "I don't have a crystal ball.  It
depends on the kind of snags we run into."

The freeway, which has been closed between the 710 and 605
freeways, was supposed to open at noon of Dec. 16.  But that was
delayed when Caltrans workers found AT&T telephone wires encased
in asbestos and a fiber optic line underneath the sidewalk on the
36-foot-wide, 125-foot-long Paramount bridge that crosses the
freeway.

After unearthing all the lines, crews built an I-beam to drape the
lines across to keep from disrupting telephone service.

Once that was complete, work began on demolishing the eastern side
of the bridge that was burned and damaged when a truck hauling
9,000 gallons of gasoline burst into flames just under the
Paramount Boulevard bridge.

Rather than just knock down the damaged section of bridge, workers
must gingerly dismantle it, taking care not to release cancer
causing asbestos into the air or cut telephone communications to
thousands of people.

"It's pretty complicated," said Scott J. Brandenberg, an associate
professor of engineering at UCLA.  "Bridges are designed to be
built to last and stay in place.  They're not like interchangeable
pieces where you pop out a bridge and put a new one in place."

The western half of the bridge was determined to be structurally
sound and didn't need to be demolished.  Had that been the case,
the closure could have lasted through the weekend and potentially
into the next week, said Patrick Chandler, spokesman for Caltrans.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Ron Calderon said he and Montebello Mayor
Frank Gomez will ask Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of
emergency for the area that will allow California to ask for
federal help.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Eternit Case to Close on EUR18 Million Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reports that with a tense night
vote, the Casale Monferrato (Alessandria) city council voted on
the Eternit composition.

The mayor is now authorized to settle with Stephan Schmidheiny,
co-accused with the Belgian baron Louis de Cartier of the Eternit
slaughter.

According to Forbes, Stephan Schmidheiny owns Eternit, a company
that produced asbestos reinforced cement.  Schmidheiny is among
the defendants on trial involving allegations of negligence at
four Italian asbestos-cement plants which prosecutors say caused
deaths of around 2,000 workers and local residents.

The asbestos victims were 2889 at the beginning of the trial. Now,
two year later, their number has increased by at least 200.  1800
of them were concentrated in Casale.  The news appears on the
front page of the daily 'Il Monferrato.'  The compensation amounts
to EUR18 million.  With the vote, the City of Casale closes once
for all the case, renouncing to any future actions against Stephan
Schmidheiny.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Wet" Demolition Method May Have Exposed Workers
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Darren Barbee at the Star-Telegram reports that the EPA's approval
of an experimental asbestos demolition method at a Fort Worth
apartment building in 2007 may have exposed workers and the public
to carcinogenic fibers, according to a new federal report.

The EPA should notify all workers who took part in the experiment
and people who were in the vicinity of the work, according to the
report from the agency's inspector general.

Fort Worth was the first urban area to test a "wet" method of
demolition, in which crews can take down a building without first
removing the asbestos.  Instead, workers soak walls and ceilings
with soapy or foamy water during demolition to try to keep the
fibers from being released into the air.  Fort Worth used the
method to demolish a building at the Oak Hollow apartments on Boca
Raton Boulevard.

The technique is an alternative to the EPA's approved methods.
The wet method was intended to save money as well as offer
additional protection to workers, who could stand several yards
away while soaking a structure.

However, settled-dust results obtained from testing during
demolition experiments at Fort Chaffee, Ark., and at the Oak
Hollow apartments "demonstrated asbestos fiber releases,"
according to an inspector general's "early warning report."  Use
of the "unapproved methods threatens health and safety," the
report says.

But Fort Worth officials said the report -- a two-page memo -- is
unclear since it recommends that "EPA should assess whether any
authorizations resulted in potential asbestos exposure of workers
or the public, and notify them accordingly."

Michael Gange, a city assistant director over environment
management, said a pending study will give far greater detail and
data on the demolition technique, but that study hasn't been
published.  Gange was at the apartment site when the demolition
was conducted and said he saw no emissions during the demolition.

"Basically they're saying, 'Hey, you found some potential
emissions; did you actually have an exposure or not? You need to
assess that and find that out.'"

Asked whether Fort Worth would conduct such an assessment, Gange
said the assessment request made by the inspector general was for
EPA scientists to review the data.

Public Justice, a national public advocacy group, said that it had
long urged the EPA to shut down its asbestos-removal experiments
but that the agency would not.

Public Justice and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a
Freedom of Information Act request to get the underlying data
about the experiments.  The EPA did not release most of the
documents -- more than 26,000 pages -- until after the groups sued
to force disclosure, according to the group's Web site.

"The released documents include several showing that one of the
EPA's own senior scientists found that the asbestos-removal tests
did not comply with health and safety standards and may have
endangered demolition workers and agency employees," the group
said.

Jim Hecker, the director of Public Justice's Environmental
Enforcement Project, said he hopes that the new report "will
finally put the nail in the coffin of this unapproved and
dangerous method of asbestos removal."

The EPA said it is investigating allegations of ongoing human-
health threats from improper asbestos removal and disposal.  "The
agency will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the
health of anyone who might be exposed.  Moreover, if there have
been past incidents of exposure, the EPA will take appropriate
steps to identify them and to address any health threats," said a
memorandum from Bob Perciasepe, EPA deputy administrator.

In Fort Worth four years ago, demolition work began in the early
morning as nearby pedestrians walked to school.  An excavator
flattened the apartments' office building.  The EPA had set up
rows of air-sampling monitors at the site."

Video footage and photos show government employees and contractors
at the demolition sites without personal protective equipment, a
possible violation of OSHA asbestos worker protection
requirements," the inspector general's report says.

Settled-dust results indicate that asbestos escaped the restricted
areas, so unprotected workers adjacent to the restricted areas and
any members of the public in the vicinity of the sites may have
been exposed, the report says.

The EPA should identify the workers who were present and notify
them according to OSHA regulations, according to the report.

In 2007, the EPA and the Department of State Health Services
agreed not to enforce regulations so that the demolition test
could take place.  At the time, there was a long-running national
debate over how best to demolish asbestos-contaminated structures.
Public Justice had successfully held off a similar process in Fort
Worth in 2005, Hecker said.

The federal government requires that asbestos be removed from
buildings before they are demolished.

Asbestos is a human carcinogen with no safe level of exposure.
Asbestos exposure can lead to serious diseases such as asbestosis,
lung cancer and mesothelioma.  The diseases can develop decades
after exposure.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Former Worker at SGIO Diagnosed with Mesothelioma
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Queensland Times reports that any Ipswich people who worked at
the former SGIO building in Brisbane during the 1980s are being
warned about the dangers of asbestos, after the recent diagnosis
of an Everton Hills man with mesothelioma.

Slater and Gordon is pursuing a claim on behalf of a 69-year-old
man, who was diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer in
November.

The client worked at the former SGIO building -- now the Suncorp
Metway Plaza building located on the corner of Albert and Turbot
Sts. -- as a CTP insurance investigator from 1988 to 1992.

Slater and Gordon asbestos lawyer Carl Hughes said the first
confirmed diagnosis of mesothelioma relating to the SGIO building
occurred more than 10 years ago.

Mr. Hughes said it was alleged that his client had been exposed to
and inhaled asbestos fibers in the course of his employment as a
result of poor renovation works.

It is alleged an asbestos-based lagging was sprayed on steel
framework as a fire retardant within the SGIO building.  SGIO then
contracted a company to remove asbestos from the building, a
process which is thought to have been completed throughout the
1980s.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Coroner Passes Final Verdict On Misdiagnosed Man
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Alex Evans at The Weston Mercury reports a man who was
misdiagnosed in hospital died from asbestos exposure, Flax Bourton
Coroners Court heard.

Ronald Goldsworthy, aged 70, of Coulson Drive, Weston, was working
as a boiler fitter in the late 1950s and early 1960s, conditions
which would have led to him being exposed to asbestos, the coroner
heard.

He was initially diagnosed with a type of mesothelioma in 2008.
But after review by a series of doctors, his diagnosis was
changed.

But his condition then deteriorated three years later and he was
again diagnosed with the disease before he died on May 21.

Coroner Terrence Moor read a doctor's report stating that the
normal life expectancy with the disease is six months.  He said:
"It is highly unusual for a man with a dying notice to survive for
three years.  One possible explanation is that he developed it
during the last year of his life."

Mr. Moor said: "I have little doubt that his exposure to asbestos
would be sufficient and on that basis the verdict is death by
industrial disease."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Calls Out to Husband's Former Co-Workers
---------------------------------------------------------------
Anuji Varma at Sunday Mercury reports that a former British
Leyland worker who died from asbestos-related cancer may have been
exposed to the deadly dust at the Birmingham plant, it was claimed
Dec.17.

Wilfred Allen worked at the car manufacturer's Drews Lane factory
in Washwood Heath between 1962 and 1976.

But he died from mesothelioma -- a cancer caused by exposure to
asbestos -- in April 2009, at age 72.

Now widow Joyce, 73 and from Great Barr, has launched a legal
battle to discover if he contracted the disease while at British
Leyland, which later became the MG Rover Group.

"I believe Wilfred's health problems were caused during the 14
years he spent working there as a machine operator," explained the
pensioner, who had been married for 51 years.

"He worked at various departments at the Drews Lane site.  It was
a massive plant and over the years he worked in B, C and K Blocks.

"He remembered there were a lot of exposed heating pipes in the
ceilings, covered in asbestos lagging.  The machinery was very
noisy and caused a lot of vibration.

"He used to tell me that he could see clouds of dust floating
around in the air."

An inquest in November 2009 confirmed that Mr. Allen had died from
an industrial disease.  Former receptionist Joyce is now looking
to contact former work colleagues who may be able to provide
additional information to help her legal case.  "Wilfred worked
hard all his life and to know his work may have killed him is hard
to bear," she said.
"Our two children, David and Janet, have also been devastated by
his death and we are all desperate to see justice done.

"If anyone remembers working with Wilfred, I would like to hear
from them."

Solicitors at Birmingham-based lawyers Irwin Mitchell are dealing
with the case.

Kim Barrett -- kim.barrett@irwinmitchell.com -- who is
representing the family, said: "Wilfred knew that asbestos
exposure was responsible for the aggressive cancer he had been
diagnosed with.

"He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and was determined to
battle the illness for as long as possible.

"He was also determined to fight for justice and had commenced
legal action just before his untimely death."

If you worked with Wilfred, you can call Irwin Mitchell on 0870
1500 100 or e-mail kim.barrett@irwinmitchell.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fiber Exposure of 16 Hours Could Be Fatal
----------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma Center reports that Roger Hammett was awarded
$1.45 million on Dec. 15 after a jury ruled that his mesothelioma
cancer was caused by asbestos exposure from a job that he held 45
years ago.  The case also revealed something interesting that is
not often seen in most mesothelioma cases: Hammett developed
mesothelioma after only working 67 days around asbestos.

The Dec. 15 verdict may provide Hammett with some justice now that
he is only expected to live for one more year, but it may also
provide some clarity into the relationship between asbestos
exposure and this aggressive cancer.

Mesothelioma is a rare disease of the lining of the lungs that is
primarily caused by asbestos exposure. It is often associated with
industrial workers, asbestos factory workers, miners, Navy
veterans and construction workers.  In the case of Hammett, about
two months of exposure yielded the same effect as many other
patients who worked with asbestos for years.

In 1966, he worked on a ship known as the SS Seattle, which
traveled from Seattle, Washington, to Anchorage and Kodiak Island,
Alaska, and back.  During this 67-day period, he states that he
was exposed to asbestos, which caused his mesothelioma decades
later.  The jury agreed that his asbestos exposure during his
service on the SS Seattle was to blame for his cancer, despite the
short period of exposure.

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are caused after
asbestos fibers are ingested or inhaled.  Because of the structure
and composition of these fibers, the body has a difficult time
getting rid of them.  Over the course of many years, the fibers
react with and scratch the lining of the lungs or other organs
causing significant damage.

After 20 to 50 years, this damage can eventually develop into
mesothelioma.  More commonly, this process occurs when an employee
works for years within an environment where asbestos is present.
For example, asbestos miners, ship builders and steel workers all
work in environments with known asbestos exposure.  Because
employees tend to work in these fields for years, they eventually
inhale or ingest enough asbestos to develop cancer later in life.

Each case of mesothelioma is different, and the development of the
cancer is dependent on the type of exposure, the duration, prior
health and medical issues, lifestyle choices and other factors.
No exact amount of asbestos exposure has yet been linked to the
development of cancer.  We are all exposed to some trace amounts
of asbestos in our daily lives, but these amounts are rarely
enough to cause cancer.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), about 3% of
mesothelioma cases involve exposure of less than three months.
One study found the shortest asbestos exposure period on record to
cause mesothelioma was a mere 16 hours of exposure.  Such a rare
and limited exposure period may provide context as to how
dangerous the toxic material can be.

By most accounts, Hammett's case is fairly unique when compared to
other patients who develop mesothelioma after years of working in
an at-risk occupation.  His unfortunate diagnosis falls within the
rare 3% of patients who contract mesothelioma following less than
three months of exposure.

Some first responders to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001,
are among this 3% group.  Immediately after the 9/11 attacks on
the World Trade Center, rescue workers hurried to Ground Zero
where asbestos fibers were plentiful in the air.  While assisting
in the rescue, recovery and cleanup, some first responders
received significant amounts of asbestos exposure.

Deborah Reeve, a 41-year-old first responder, died from
mesothelioma just a few years after exposure.  Some accounts list
her direct exposure to asbestos at about eight months.  Another
9/11 first responder, Robert Oswain, died of mesothelioma in May
2010 and his only known exposure to asbestos took place in the
9/11 aftermath.  Like Hammett, these developments of mesothelioma
did not reflect an extensive career in an occupation known for
asbestos exposure.

Asbestos has been present at countless jobsites and in thousands
of products throughout the United States.  Since scientific
evidence of its link to cancer was substantiated in the in 1960s
and 1970s, the toxic substance has been used less frequently.
Currently, the United States regulates asbestos but has failed to
ban the toxic material.  Because of the cancer's long latency
period, cases of mesothelioma are still arising today from
exposure that took place during the decades when asbestos use was
rampant.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Eagle Recycling Faces $600,000 Fine
----------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a New Jersey recycling company
has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for helping to illegally dump
more than 8,000 tons of construction debris at a farm in upstate
New York.

North Bergen-based Eagle Recycling was sentenced on Dec. 19 in
Utica, N.Y.  The company will have to pay more than $70,000 in
restitution and cleanup costs.

Earlier this year Eagle pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate
the Clean Water Act's ban on filling wetlands and committing wire
fraud in order to do it.

Prosecutors say Eagle and its co-conspirators dumped the asbestos-
contaminated debris on farmland near New York's Mohawk River in
2006 and disguised the crime by using a fake state permit.

The conspirators allegedly planned to continue dumping the refuse
in wetlands and the river's flood plain over five years.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lawyers Slam ATRF Report on Steep Settlements
--------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew Thomason at The Illinois Statehouse News reports that a
central Illinois county has been deemed a "judicial hellhole" for
its practice of handing out large settlements to plaintiffs in
civil cases, according to a nonprofit that focuses on judicial
reform.

The American Tort Reform Foundation, or ATRF, listed McLean County
among judicial systems with judges and courts who generally favor
these types of lawsuits.

McLean County landed on the list for the first time this year
because of its recent history of judges awarding more than $120
million settlements for asbestos-related cases, according to ATRF.

The defendants had made asbestos products or had no direct
connection to the plaintiff's injury.

Illinois does not cap settlements for asbestos-related cases.

The largest jury award came in March when a plaintiff received $90
million for asbestos-related injuries he received while working
for a now bankrupt company in the 1970s.  The company wasn't named
as a defendant.  Instead, two other companies were sued, because
they knew asbestos was harmful but didn't speak up.

"It's an attempt to go after deep pockets is what this is all
about," said Travis Akin, executive director for Illinois Lawsuit
Abuse Watch, a judicial reform group.

In 2010, 15 asbestos-related cases were filed in McLean County.

"When you begin to develop a reputation for allowing these kinds
of things to happen, you immediately draw in interests in filing
lawsuits in those particular jurisdictions," Akin said.

The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, which lobbies on behalf of
trial lawyers, blasted the ATRF's report.  They said the report is
based on poor research and is meant to push legislative tort
reforms that favor businesses.

"This so-called report is nothing more than a public relations
stunt designed to further their political and legislative
strategies to prevent individual citizens from exercising their
rights," Jerry Latherow, president of the of Illinois Trial
Lawyers Association, said.

ATRF touts on its Web site that it works "to help bring greater
fairness, efficiency, and predictability to our civil justice
system by educating the public, the media, and policymakers about
the need for a balanced civil justice system, how the American
civil justice system operates, the role of tort law in the civil
justice system, and the impact of tort law on the private, public
and business sectors of society."

Higher courts have tossed out some verdicts.

In McLean County in 2009, a woman was awarded $2.7 million after
she contracted a rare form of cancer linked to breathing in
asbestos fibers from her husband's clothing after he came home
from work.

Like the man in the $90 million case, the woman didn't sue the
business directly responsible for her asbestos-related cancer.
Instead, she sued other companies for conspiring to keep the
dangers of asbestos secret, according to court documents.

The 4th District Illinois Appellate Court in July dismissed the
woman's claim for lack of evidence.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Children of Former Employee Sue Chevron USA
------------------------------------------------------------
David Yates at The Southeast Texas Record reports that a
certificate of discovery was recently filed in an asbestos suit
against Chevron USA.

On behalf of Thaddeus Alpough, Mary Alpough and her siblings filed
the suit Aug. 16 in Jefferson County District Court, alleging
Chevron exposed their late father to asbestos during his
employment with the company.

Court records show that on Nov. 2 the plaintiffs filed their
answers and objections to Chevron's interrogatories.

The petition states that Alpough worked at Chevron's Port Arthur
refinery as a boilermaker helper and pipefitter - occupations that
exposed him to asbestos dust and fibers.

"As a result of such exposure, Thaddeus Alpough developed
asbestos-related pleural disease, lung cancer and then gastric
cancer, for which he died a painful and terrible death on May 7,
2010," the suit states.

Chevron is accused of knowing that asbestos products could cause
cancer but still chose to expose workers, such as Alpough.

The Alpough family is suing for punitive and exemplary damages.
Beaumont attorney Keith Hyde of the Provost Umphrey law firm
represents the family.  Judge Gary Sanderson, 6oth District Court,
is assigned to the case.  Case Number is B190-682.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Historic Niagara and Contractor Co Plead Guilty
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brett Clarkson of the Niagara Falls Review reports that the
company at the center of the downtown Niagara Falls revitalization
has been fined $37,500 after failing to notify a construction
company of the presence of asbestos at the burned out Rosbergs
department store site.

Historic Niagara Development Inc. pleaded guilty in provincial
court on Dec. 16, to the charge, laid under the provincial
Occupational Health and Safety Act, said Ministry of Labour
spokesman Matt Blajer.

Blajer said the fine against Historic Niagara was $30,000.  In
addition to that, however, the company was also ordered to pay a
surcharge of 25% to go toward a provincial fund for victims of
crime, Blajer said.  The so-called victims' surcharge amounts to
another $7,500.

"Historic Niagara Development Inc. pleaded guilty and a fine of
$30,000 was imposed," Blajer said.

The charge was laid in connection with Historic Niagara's efforts
to clean up the debris that had been left by the Oct. 4, 2009
blaze that gutted the iconic former department store at Queen St.
and Erie Ave., kitty corner to City Hall.

The charges were laid in September 2010, according to the Ministry
of Labour.  At the time, an undisclosed person was charged, but
the charge brought against that person was dropped.

Givic Construction, the Falls-based construction company that was
hired by Historic Niagara to demolish the former department store
after it burned down, was also charged with failing to ensure that
a worker was advised of the existence of asbestos on the site.

Givic also pleaded guilty, according to Blajer.  The total fine
against Givic was $17,500.

Representatives of both Historic Niagara Development Inc. and
Givic Construction weren't immediately available for comment.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that was widely
used in construction materials and building insulation until about
the 1970s.  Exposure to airborne asbestos particles can lead to
lung ailments including cancer.

Rosbergs was for decades a family-owned department store at Queen
St. and Erie Ave.  After it burned in 2009, fire officials
determined the blaze was deliberately set, although no charges
have ever been brought against anybody.

Historic Niagara and its associated companies, spearheaded by
businessman Mordechai Grun, acquired about 40 downtown properties
since about the early 2000s.  Grun, once an avid promoter of the
effort to revitalize the long-dormant street, is no longer seen on
Queen St.

City staff also decided in August that they were done waiting for
Historic Niagara to fill in the giant hole that had been left at
the Rosbergs site.  City director of building services John
Castrilli said at the time that the city would use its own surplus
dirt and fill material to fill the hole.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3M, AO Smith Directed to Pay Document Costs
------------------------------------------------------------
George Donald Ellis and Sidney William Mauney moved to compel 3M
Company, et al., and AO Smith Corp., et al., to contribute to the
costs of obtaining discovery from non-party Duke Energy, Inc., in
a litigation involving asbestos liabilities.  The motion to compel
followed an earlier order directing Messrs. Ellis and Mauney to
reimburse Duke for certain of its costs in making the production
in response to their subpoenas.

United Conveyor Corp. filed a related motion seeking leave to
serve supplemental discovery on Messrs. Ellis and Mauney directed
to the details of the Duke documents they selected.

In a Dec. 9, 2011 memorandum and opinion, Judge Elizabeth T. Hey
of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania denied Messrs. Ellis and Mauney's motion holding that
defendants are not required to share in the cost of production,
except for those defendants who received Duke documents.

Judge Hey concluded that the presence of a defendant during one or
more days of the document review involved in Phases I, II and III
does not merit contribution by that defendant to the amounts
Messrs. Ellis and Mauney paid to reimburse Duke.  Judge Hey
pointed out that the defendants' participation in the review were
at their own cost.  Judge Hey further pointed out that the
defendants who asked copies of documents retained their own
service for that purpose and did not ask or receive any documents
from Messrs. Ellis and Mauney.

Judge Hey, however, directed Messrs. Ellis and Mauney to identify
all defendants who requested and received a set of Phase I
documents and the date the documents were provided.  Any defendant
who requested and received Phase I Duke documents will pay their
pro rata share of $9,000.

Judge Hey denied United Conveyor's motion in light of her
conclusion that it was Messrs. Ellis and Mauney who necessitated
Duke's Phase II and Phase III productions and that defendants are
not required to share in the cost of the production.

The case is In re Asbestos Products Liability relating to George
Donald Ellis v. 3M Company, et al., and Sidney William Mauney v.
AO Smith Corp., et al., Nos. MDL 875, 10-83254, 10-83255 (E.D.
Pa.).  A copy of Judge Hey's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/PjhH8Jfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ala. Ct. Says Suit Can Proceed Despite Bankruptcy
------------------------------------------------------------------
Betty Bradberry and Inez T. Jones, as the "personal
representatives of the heirs-at-law and wrongful death
beneficiaries of" the decedents, Roland E. Bradberry and George D.
Jones, appeal from summary judgments rendered by a trial court in
favor of Carrier Corporation, Leslie Controls, Inc., and multiple
other defendants in a wrongful-death action based on the
decedents' exposure to asbestos in their work environment.

Mses. Bradberry and Jones argue that the trial court's order
setting the defendants' motions for summary judgment for a hearing
and requiring the plaintiffs to submit substantive response to
those motions violated the automatic stay provision of the
Bankruptcy Code.  The argument is premised on the plaintiffs'
general contention that Leslie Controls' filing for bankruptcy in
July 2010 completely stayed all litigation in which Leslie
Controls was involved, including litigation involving solvent
defendants.

Approximately 20 defendants filed for bankruptcy, some as early as
2004.  However, only when Leslie Controls filed for bankruptcy did
the plaintiffs contend that the case was stayed as to all
defendants.

In a Dec. 16, 2011 memorandum and opinion, Judge Michael F. Bolin
of the Supreme Court of Alabama held that Leslie Controls'
petition in bankruptcy did not automatically stay the litigation
as to all remaining solvent defendants and that the trial court
did not violate the automatic stay provision of Section 362 by
moving forward with the summary-judgment hearing in the case.

According to the plaintiffs, their wrongful-death action cannot be
split into multiple actions.  They argued that Leslie Controls
could not be severed from the case because the wrongful-death
action was an indivisible claim and a severance would result in
two separate actions bring prosecuted.  Therefore, the plaintiffs
insist, the bankruptcy of Leslie Controls must necessarily stay
the wrongful-death action as to all remaining solvent defendants.

Judge Bolin maintained that Section 362 stays only an action
against Leslie Controls; it does not stay the action against the
remaining solvent defendants.  The trial court, Judge Bolin said,
is not required to enter an order formally severing and staying
the action as to Leslie Control or dismissing Leslie Controls from
the action.  The Supreme Court pointed out that the stay provision
in Section 362 was automatically triggered as to Leslie Controls
at the time it filed its bankruptcy petition.

Addressing the plaintiffs' contention that the trial court's
allowing the case to proceed on the solvent defendants' motions
for a summary judgment while the case was stayed as to Leslie
Controls amounts to an impermissible splitting of their wrongful-
death action, Judge Bolin held that because a wrongful-death
action may be prosecuted against joint tortfeasors either jointly
or separately, the trial court's allowing the case to proceed
against the solvent defendants while the action was stayed as to
Leslie Controls pursuant to Section 362 does not in itself amount
to an impermissible splitting of the wrongful-death action in this
case.

The plaintiffs next stated that because the trial court proceeded
with a hearing on the solvent defendants' summary-judgment
motions, the plaintiffs would possibly be faced with the
application of the doctrine of res judicata or collateral estoppel
to bar later litigation against Leslie Controls.  Judge Bolin
pointed out that the doctrine of res judicata would not apply to
any subsequent litigation between the plaintiffs and Leslie
Controls because there would not be substantial identity of the
parties in any litigation between the plaintiffs and the solvent
defendants and subsequent litigation between the plaintiffs and
Leslie Controls.  Although the solvent defendants and Leslie
Controls are joint tortfeasors in this single cause of action for
wrongful death, they are not identical parties to the litigation,
Judge Bolin added.

The case is Bradberry v. Carrier Corporation, et al., No. 1100994
(Ala. Sup. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Bolin's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/AJ2JNTfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Directs Georgia-Pacific to Produce Docs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Georgia-Pacific, LLC, a defendant in a consolidated asbestos
litigation in the New York County Supreme Court objected to and
sought vacatur of two recommendations directing an in camera
review of all internal attorney-client and work-product documents
and the production of all materials and raw data underlying
several published studies funded by Georgia-Pacific relating to
the health effects of its joint compound.

In a Dec. 12, 2011 memorandum and opinion, Judge Sherry Klein
Heitler confirmed the first recommendation holding that an in
camera review of Georgia-Pacific's internal communications with
regard to all of the published articles is warranted.

Judge Heitler also confirmed the second recommendation but limited
the production of documents to the data, samples, and materials,
which relate to those studies whose results have been published or
will be published.  The Court did not require Georgia-Pacific to
produce any internal communications, which portray its attorney's
or consultants' notes, comments or opinions.

The case is In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No.
400000/88 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/0j22lpfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Ct. Allows Disclosure of Doctors' Reports
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in a consolidated asbestos products liability
litigation pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania filed motions for protective orders
related to discovery matters involving one or more of their
principal diagnosing and testifying expert physicians, Dr. Alvin
J. Schonfeld, Dr. Henry Anderson, and Dr. Ibrahim Sadek and the
anticipated Daubert motions excluding their physicians' diasgnoses
and testing results.

In a Dec. 13, 2011 memorandum opinion, Magistrate Judge David R.
Strawbridge granted the plaintiff's motions for protective order
to the extent that they:

   -- pertain to the identification of "personnel or entities
      involved in screenings or medical evaluations of
      Plaintiff," who is not currently a pending plaintiff
      represented by Cascino Vaughn Law Offices in MDL-875; and

   -- pertain to the identification of documents regarding all
      persons represented by CVLO who are not currently pending
      plaintiffs in MDL-875.

Judge Strawbridge denied the plaintiffs' motions for protective
order to the extent that they:

   -- pertain to the identification of "personnel or entities
      involved in screenings or medical evaluations of
      Plaintiff," who is a currently pending CVLO plaintiff in
      MDL-875; and

   -- pertain to the identification of documents regarding any
      plaintiff who is a currently pending CVLO plaintiff in
      MDL-875.

The Plaintiffs also filed a motion to compel defendants to produce
any information they had collected regarding Drs. Schonfeld,
Anderson, and Sadek, pursuant to Rule 26(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure.  Judge Strawbridge denied this
motion holding that there are implications of protection of the
attorney's work product.  Judge Strawbridge added that Rule
26(a)(1), which applies to initial disclosures, does not apply to
expert testimony.

Judge Strawbridge also denied the plaintiffs' motion to compel the
law firm of Forman, Perry, Watkins, Krutz & Tardy, LLP, to turn
over all documents in their possession concerning Drs. Schonfield
and Anderson from the W.R. Grace & Co. Bankruptcy Trust.  In 2006,
Judge Judith Fitzgerald of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware, presiding over WR Grace's case, prohibited
the use or disclosure of the x-ray evidence used by Dr. Daniel
Henry in rendering his report.  Dr. Henry is the defendants'
consultant in this asbestos litigation.  Judge Strawbridge said it
is not appropriate for him to interpret Judge Fitzgerald's order.

The case is In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Civil
Action No. MDL 875 (E.D. Pa.).  A copy of Judge Strawbridge's
Decision is available at http://is.gd/011qPdfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Del. Ct. Remands Suit for Award Determination
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dana Companies, LLC, and Zoom Performance Products, a trade name
of Perfection Hy-Test Company, appeal from a Superior Court order
denying their post-trial motions for judgment as a matter of law
or, alternatively, for a new trial.  A Superior Court jury found
the companies partially liable for asbestos-related mesothelioma
suffered by the decedents, Bruce Henderson and his mother,
Elizabeth Henderson.  The trial court denied the defendants'
motions on the ground that the jury verdict was supported by
sufficient evidence.

In a Dec. 14 memorandum and opinion, a three-panel judge composed
of Judges Randy J. Holland, Jack B. Jacobs, and Henry DuPont
Ridgely of the Supreme Court of Delaware affirmed in part and
reversed in part the trial court's decision.

The Supreme Court held that the trial court's order upholding the
verdict awarding Elizabeth's heirs $80,000 for her pain and
suffering, was contrary to the court's instructions to the jury to
"consider the evidence as it relates to each claim separately, as
. . . if each claim had been tried before you separately."

The Supreme Court therefore remanded the case to the trial court
to reconsider whether additur is warranted.  On remand, the trial
court will consider the adequacy of each damages award solely in
light of the evidence that bears on each claim, respectively, and
without reference to the jury awards for other, separate claims.

The Supreme Court said the trial court committed error when it
considered the adequacy of Bruce's $0 award for loss of consortium
due to his mother's death, yet upheld the jury award of $1.16
million for Bruce's pain and suffering.  The Supreme Court pointed
out that Bruce was alive when his mother died in 2008, and he
remained alive until 2010.  It therefore is arguable that Bruce
suffered a loss of consortium attributable to his mother's
wrongful death during the same time that he experienced the pain
and suffering for which the jury awarded him damages, the Supreme
Court said.

The trial court did not explain why a jury would decide that a
wrongful death award for Bruce Henderson "would have made little
sense," but that an award for pain and suffering (apparently)
would make sense, the Supreme Court noted.

Therefore, the Supreme Court remanded the proceedings for the
trial court to determine whether Louisiana law permits a deceased
plaintiff to be awarded damages in a wrongful death action and, if
so, to reconsider the plaintiffs' motion for additur for Bruce's
$0 award for loss of consortium.

The case is Dana Companies, LLC v. Crawford, Nos. 108, 2011, 109,
2011 (Del. Sup. Ct.).  A copy of the Dec. 14 Decision is available
at http://is.gd/8QWzKnfrom Leagle.com

Dana Companies is represented by:

         Beth E. Valocchi, Esq.
         Joseph S. Naylor, Esq.
         SWARTZ CAMPBELL LLC
         300 Delaware Ave., Ste 1130
         Wilmington, DE 19801
         Tel: (302) 656-5935
         Fax: (302) 656-1434
         E-mail: bvalocchi@swartzcampbell.com
                 jnaylor@swartzcampbell.com

            - and -

         William R. Hanlon, Esq.
         Valerie E. Ross, Esq.
         Jeffrey D. Skinner, Esq.
         GOODWIN PROCTER LLP
         901 New York Ave., NW
         Washington, D.C. 20001
         Tel: (202) 346-4000
         Fax: (202) 346-4444
         E-mail: whanlon@goodwinprocter.com
                 vross@goodwinprocter.com
                 jskinner@goodwinprocter.com

Zoom Performance Products is represented by:

         Timothy Jay Houseal, Esq.
         Jennifer M. Kinkus, Esq.
         William E. Gamgort, Esq.
         YOUNG CONAWAY STARGATT & TAYLOR LLP
         The Brandywine Building
         1000 West Street, 17th Floor
         P.O. Box 391
         Wilmington, DE
         Tel: (302) 571-6600
         Fax: (302) 571-1253
         E-mail: thouseal@ycst.com
                 jkinkus@ycst.com
                 wgamgort@ycst.com

Betty Sue Crawford and Kathy Lenzen, as personal representatives
to the estate of Elizabeth Henderson and Bruce Henderseon, are
represented by:

         Joseph J. Rhoades, Esq.
         Stephen T. Morrow, Esq.
         LAW OFFICES OF JOSEPH J. RHOADES
         Legal Arts Building
         1225 King Street, Suite 1200
         P.O. Box 874
         Wilmington, DE
         Tel: (302) 427-9500
         Fax: (302) 427-9509

            - and -

         Jerome H. Block, Esq.
         Amber R. Long, Esq.
         Victoria E. Phillips, Esq.
         LEVY PHILLIPS & KONIGSBERG LLP
         800 Third Avenue, 11th Floor
         New York, NY 10022
         Tel: (212) 605-6200


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cabot Reserves $11MM at Sept. 30 for Liabilities
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Cabot Corporation has a reserve of $11 million at September 30,
2011, for future asbestos, silica and coal mine dust claims that
would be filed and the related costs that would be incurred in
resolving both currently pending and future claims, according to
the Company's November 29, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
September 30, 2011.

Cabot has exposure in connection with a safety respiratory
products business that a subsidiary acquired from American Optical
Corporation in an April 1990 asset purchase transaction. The
subsidiary manufactured respirators under the AO brand and
disposed of that business in July 1995. In connection with its
acquisition of the business, the subsidiary agreed, in certain
circumstances, to assume a portion of AO's liabilities, including
costs of legal fees together with amounts paid in settlements and
judgments, allocable to AO respiratory products used prior to the
1990 purchase by the Cabot subsidiary. In exchange for the
subsidiary's assumption of certain of AO's respirator liabilities,
AO agreed to provide to the subsidiary the benefits of: (i) AO's
insurance coverage for the period prior to the 1990 acquisition
and (ii) a former owner's indemnity of AO holding it harmless from
any liability allocable to AO respiratory products used prior to
May 1982.

Generally, these respirator liabilities involve claims for
personal injury, including asbestosis, silicosis and coal worker's
pneumoconiosis, allegedly resulting from the use of respirators
that are claimed to have been negligently designed or labeled.
Neither Cabot, nor its past or present subsidiaries, at any time
manufactured asbestos or asbestos-containing products. Moreover,
not every person with exposure to asbestos, silica or coal mine
dust giving rise to a claim used a form of respiratory protection.
At no time did this respiratory product line represent a
significant portion of the respirator market. In addition, other
parties, including AO, AO's insurers, and another former owner and
its insurers (collectively, the "Payor Group"), are responsible
for significant portions of the costs of these liabilities,
leaving Cabot's subsidiary with a portion of the liability in only
some of the pending cases.

The subsidiary transferred the business to Aearo Corporation
("Aearo") in July 1995. Cabot agreed to have the subsidiary retain
certain liabilities allocable to respirators used prior to the
1995 transaction so long as Aearo paid, and continues to pay,
Cabot an annual fee of $400,000. Aearo can discontinue payment of
the fee at any time, in which case it will assume the
responsibility for and indemnify Cabot against the liabilities
allocable to respirators manufactured and used prior to the 1995
transaction. Cabot anticipates that it will continue to receive
payment of the $400,000 fee from Aearo and thereby retain these
liabilities for the foreseeable future. Cabot has no liability in
connection with any products manufactured by Aearo after 1995.  As
of September 30, 2011 and 2010, there were approximately 42,000
and 45,000 claimants, respectively, in pending cases asserting
claims against AO in connection with respiratory products. Cabot
has contributed to the Payor Group's defense and settlement costs
with respect to a percentage of pending claims depending on
several factors, including the period of alleged product use. In
order to quantify Cabot's estimated share of liability for pending
and future respirator liability claims, Cabot engaged, through
counsel, the assistance of Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc.,
a leading consulting firm in the field of tort liability
valuation. The methodology developed by HR&A addresses the
complexities surrounding Cabot's potential liability by making
assumptions about future claimants with respect to periods of
asbestos, silica and coal mine dust exposure and respirator use.
Using those and other assumptions, HR&A estimated the number of
future asbestos, silica and coal mine dust claims that would be
filed and the related costs that would be incurred in resolving
both currently pending and future claims. On this basis, HR&A then
estimated the net present value of the share of these liabilities
that reflected Cabot's period of direct manufacture and Cabot's
contractual obligations. Based on the HR&A estimates, Cabot has a
reserve for these matters of $11 million on a net present value
basis ($16 million on an undiscounted basis) at September 30,
2011.

Cabot's current estimate of the cost of its share of existing and
future respirator liability claims is based on facts and
circumstances existing at this time. Developments that could
affect its estimate include, but are not limited to, (i)
significant changes in the number of future claims, (ii) changes
in the rate of dismissals without payment of pending silica and
non-malignant asbestos claims, (iii) significant changes in the
average cost of resolving claims, (iv) significant changes in the
legal costs of defending these claims, (v) changes in the nature
of claims received, (vi) changes in the law and procedure
applicable to these claims, (vii) the financial viability of
members of the Payor Group, (viii) a change in the availability of
AO's insurance coverage or the indemnity provided by AO's former
owner, (ix) changes in the allocation of costs among the Payor
Group and (x) a determination that the Company's assumptions
regarding the contractual obligations on which it has estimated
its share of liability are inaccurate. Cabot cannot determine the
impact of these potential developments on its current estimate of
its share of liability for existing and future claims.
Accordingly, the actual amount of these liabilities for existing
and future claims could be different than the reserved amount.

The $11 million liability for respirator claims is recognized on a
discounted basis using a discount rate of 5.3%, which represents
management's best estimate of the risk free rate to apply to the
cash flow payments of the liability that are projected through
2062. The total expected aggregate undiscounted amount of future
payments is $16 million. Cabot estimates payments of approximately
$2 million, $1 million, $1 million, $1 million, and $1 million in
fiscal 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, and a total
of $10 million in fiscal 2017 through 2062. The book value of the
liabilities will be accreted up to the undiscounted liability
value through interest expense over the expected cash flow period,
which was less than $1 million in fiscal 2011. Cash payments were
$5 million in fiscal 2011 and $2 million in each of 2010 and 2009
related to this liability. If the timing of Cabot's actual
payments made for respirator claims differs significantly from the
Company's estimated payment schedule, and the Company determines
that it can no longer reasonably predict the timing of such
payments, Cabot then could be required to record the reserve
amount on an undiscounted basis on its Consolidated Balance
Sheets, causing an immediate impact to earnings.

Cabot Corporation is a global specialty chemicals and performance
materials company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its
principal products are rubber and specialty grade carbon blacks,
fumed metal oxides, inkjet colorants, aerogels and cesium formate
drilling fluids. Cabot and its affiliates have manufacturing
facilities and operations in the United States and approximately
20 other countries. Cabot's business was founded in 1882.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: JC Penney Estimates $27MM Liabilities at Oct. 29
-----------------------------------------------------------------
J. C. Penney Company, Inc., estimated its total potential
environmental liabilities to range from $26 million to $33 million
and recorded its best estimate of $27 million in its unaudited
Interim Consolidated Balance Sheet as of October 29, 2011,
according to the Company's December 7, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended October 29, 2011.

This estimate covered potential liabilities primarily related to
underground storage tanks, remediation of environmental conditions
involving its former drugstore locations and asbestos removal in
connection with approved plans to renovate or dispose of its
facilities. The Company continues to assess required remediation
and the adequacy of environmental reserves as new information
becomes available and known conditions are further delineated. If
the Company were to incur losses at the upper end of the estimated
range, it does not believe that such losses would have a material
effect on its financial condition, results of operations or
liquidity.

As of October 29, 2011, the Company had a guarantee totaling $20
million for the maximum exposure on insurance reserves established
by a former subsidiary included in the sale of its Direct
Marketing Services business.

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. is a holding company whose principal
operating subsidiary is J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. (JCP).
The Company is a retailer, operating 1,106 department stores in 49
states and Puerto Rico as of January 29, 2011. Its business is
consists of selling merchandise and services to consumers through
its department stores and through the Internet Web site at
jcp.com. The Company sells family apparel and footwear,
accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, beauty products through
Sephora inside jcpenney and home furnishings. In addition, its
department stores provide its customers with services, such as
styling salon, optical, portrait photography and custom
decorating.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Met-Pro Has 137 Pending Cases at Dec. 8
--------------------------------------------------------
Met-Pro Corporation disclosed that as of December 8, 2011, there
were a total of 137 asbestos-related cases pending against it as
compared with 93 cases that were pending as of March 17, 2011,
according to the Company's December 8, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
October 31, 2011.

Beginning in 2002, the Company began to be named in asbestos-
related lawsuits filed against a large number of industrial
companies including, in particular, those in the pump and fluid
handling industries.  In management's opinion, the complaints
typically have been vague, general and speculative, alleging that
the Company, along with the numerous other defendants, sold
unidentified asbestos-containing products and engaged in other
related actions which caused injuries (including death) and loss
to the plaintiffs.  Counsel has advised that more recent cases
typically allege more serious claims of mesothelioma.  The Company
believes that it has meritorious defenses to the cases which have
been filed and that none of its products were a cause of any
injury or loss to any of the plaintiffs.  The Company's insurers
have hired attorneys who, together with the Company, are
vigorously defending these cases.  The Company has been dismissed
from or settled a large number of these cases. The sum total of
all payments through December 8, 2011 to settle these cases
involving asbestos-related claims was $675,000, all of which have
been paid by the Company's insurers including legal expenses,
except for corporate counsel expenses, with an average cost per
settled claim, excluding legal fees, of approximately $32,000.

As of December 8, 2011, there were a total of 137 cases pending
against the Company (with New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia
having the largest number of cases and being the most active
jurisdictions), as compared with 93 cases that were pending as of
March 17, 2011. During the current fiscal year commencing February
1, 2011 through December 8, 2011, 68 new cases were filed against
the Company, and the Company was dismissed from 18 cases and
settled two cases.  Most of the pending cases have not advanced
beyond the early stages of discovery, although a number of cases
are on schedules leading to, or are scheduled for trial.  On April
27, 2011, a liquidation order was entered against Atlantic Mutual
Insurance Company, who had been providing defense and indemnity to
the Company, and its affiliate, Centennial Insurance Company, who
provided umbrella coverage to the Company. It appears that our
remaining insurers have assumed the share of the defense and
indemnity obligations that Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company had
agreed to assume, and despite the liquidation of Atlantic Mutual
Insurance Company and Centennial Insurance Company, the Company
believes that its insurance coverage is adequate for the cases
currently pending against the Company and for the foreseeable
future, assuming a continuation of the current volume, nature of
cases and settlement amounts; however, the Company has no control
over the number and nature of cases that are filed against it, nor
as to the financial health of its insurers or their position as to
coverage.  The Company also presently believes that none of the
pending cases will have a material adverse impact upon the
Company's results of operations, liquidity or financial condition.

Met-Pro Corporation (Met-Pro) manufactures and sells product
recovery and pollution control equipment for purification of air
and liquids, fluid handling equipment for corrosive, abrasive and
high temperature liquids, and filtration and purification
products. The Company markets and sells its products through its
own personnel, distributors, representatives and agents. The
Company's products are sold worldwide primarily in industrial
markets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mangis's Claims vs. Copart Voluntarily Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
On August 10, 2011, Glenn A. Mangis and Lynn Brown-Mangis, husband
and wife, filed suit against Copart Inc. in the Superior Court of
Washington for Pierce County, alleging exposure to asbestos during
the course of his employment as a carpenter, electrician and
laborer; and as a direct result of said exposure, Plaintiff
developed mesothelioma. Plaintiff's wife is alleging loss of
spousal relationship as a result. On October 18, 2011, Plaintiff
filed a Stipulation and Order of Dismissal of Copart. All claims
against Copart were dismissed without prejudice and without costs
as to any party to the matter.

No further updates were reported in the Company's December 12,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended October 31, 2011.

Copart, Inc., provides vehicle sellers with services to process
and sell vehicles over the Internet through the Company's Virtual
Bidding Second Generation (VB2) Internet auction-style sales
technology. Sellers are primarily insurance companies but also
include banks and financial institutions, charities, car
dealerships, fleet operators, and vehicle rental companies. The
Company sells principally to licensed vehicle dismantlers,
rebuilders, repair licensees, used vehicle dealers and exporters;
however at certain locations, the Company sells directly to the
general public.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harbinger Group Still Faces Exposure Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Harbinger Group Inc. is involved in litigation and claims
incidental to its current and prior businesses. These include
worker compensation and environmental matters and pending cases in
Mississippi and Louisiana state courts and in a Federal multi-
district litigation alleging injury from exposure to asbestos on
offshore drilling rigs and shipping vessels formerly owned or
operated by its offshore drilling and bulk-shipping affiliates.
Based on currently available information, including legal defenses
available to it, and given its reserves and related insurance
coverage, the Company does not believe that the outcome of these
legal and environmental matters will have a material effect on its
financial position, results of operations or cash flows, according
to the Company's December 14, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
September 30, 2011.

Harbinger Group Inc. is a holding company. The Company owns
approximately 98% of Zap.Com Corporation (Zap.Com). On July 9,
2009, Harbinger Capital Partners Master Fund I, Ltd. (Master
Fund), Global Opportunities Breakaway Ltd. (Global Fund) and
Harbinger Capital Partners Special Situations Fund, L.P. (Special
Situations Fund and together with the Master Fund and Global Fund,
the Company's principal stockholders) purchased 9,937,962 shares
of its common stock.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rentech Estimates Liability at East Dubuque Site
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rentech Inc. and Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P., disclosed that
they have a legal obligation to handle and dispose of asbestos at
its East Dubuque Facility and Natchez Project in a special manner
when undergoing major or minor renovations or when buildings at
these locations are demolished, even though the timing and method
of settlement are conditional on future events that may or may not
be in its control. As a result, the Companies have developed an
estimate for a conditional obligation for this disposal. In
addition, the Companies, through their normal repair and
maintenance program, may encounter situations in which it is
required to remove asbestos in order to complete other work. The
Companies applied the expected present value technique to
calculate the fair value of the asset retirement obligation for
each property and, accordingly, the asset and related obligation
for each property have been recorded. In accordance with the
applicable guidance, the liability is increased over time and such
increase is recorded as accretion expense, according to the
Companies' December 14, 2011, Form 10-K filings with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
September 30, 2011.

According to Rentech Inc., its liability at September 30, 2011 and
2010 was $303,000 and $268,000, respectively. The accretion
expense for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2011, 2010 and
2009 was $35,000, $31,000 and $0, respectively.

According to Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P., its liability at
September 30, 2011 and 2010 was $268,000 and $237,000,
respectively. The accretion expense for the fiscal years ended
September 30, 2011, 2010 and 2009 was $31,000, $27,000 and $0,
respectively.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P., is a Delaware limited partnership
formed in July 2011 by Rentech Inc., a publicly traded provider of
clean energy solutions and nitrogen fertilizer, to own, operate
and grow its nitrogen fertilizer business. Rentech Nitrogen
Partners' nitrogen fertilizer facility, which is located in East
Dubuque, Illinois, has been in operation since 1965, with
infrequent unplanned shutdowns. The Company produces primarily
anhydrous ammonia, or ammonia, and urea ammonium nitrate solution,
or UAN, at its facility, using natural gas as its primary
feedstock. Substantially all of its products are nitrogen-based.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 90 Cases vs. LaBour Pump Remain Open at Sept. 30
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Approximately 90 cases remain active against LaBour Pump Company
as of September 30, 2011, Katy Industries, Inc., disclosed in its
November 14, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

LaBour Pump Company, a former division of an inactive subsidiary
of the Company, has been named as a defendant in approximately 430
of the New Jersey cases tendered by Sterling Fluid Systems (USA)
("Sterling").  Sterling bases its tender of the complaints on the
provisions contained in a 1993 Purchase Agreement between the
parties whereby Sterling purchased the LaBour Pump business and
other assets from the Company.  The Company has elected to defend
these cases, the majority of which have been dismissed or settled
for nominal sums.  There are approximately 90 cases which remain
active as of September 30, 2011.

While the ultimate liability of the Company related to the
asbestos matters cannot be determined at this time, the Company
has recorded and accrued amounts that it deems reasonable for
prospective liabilities with respect to these matters.

Headquartered in Bridgeton, Missouri, Katy Industries, Inc., is a
manufacturer, importer and distributor of commercial cleaning and
storage products.  Its commercial cleaning products are sold
primarily to janitorial/sanitary and foodservice distributors that
supply end users like restaurants, hotels, healthcare facilities
and schools.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: American Locker Still Party to 39 Exposure Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Beginning in September 1998 American Locker Group Incorporated has
been named as an additional defendant in approximately 226 cases
pending in state court in Massachusetts and one in the state of
Washington.  The plaintiffs in each case assert that a division of
the Company manufactured and furnished components containing
asbestos to a shipyard during the period from 1948 to 1972 and
that injury resulted from exposure to such products.  The assets
of this division were sold by the Company in 1973.  During the
process of discovery in certain of these actions, documents from
sources outside the Company have been produced which indicate that
the Company appears to have been included in the chain of title
for certain wall panels which contained asbestos and which were
delivered to the Massachusetts shipyards.  Defense of these cases
has been assumed by the Company's insurance carrier, subject to a
reservation of rights.  Settlement agreements have been entered in
approximately 31 cases with funds authorized and provided by the
Company's insurance carrier.  Further, over 157 cases have been
terminated as to the Company without liability to the Company
under Massachusetts procedural rules.  Therefore, the balance of
unresolved cases against the Company as of March 9, 2011, the most
recent date data is available, is approximately 39 cases.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 14,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

While the Company cannot estimate potential damages or predict the
ultimate resolution of these asbestos cases as the discovery
proceedings on the cases are not complete, based upon the
Company's experience to date with similar cases, as well as the
assumption that insurance coverage will continue to be provided
with respect to these cases, at the present time, the Company does
not believe that the outcome of these cases will have a
significant adverse impact on the Company's operations or
financial condition.

American Locker Group Incorporated manufactures lockers, locks and
keys with a wide-range of applications for use in numerous
industries.  The Company is best known for manufacturing and
servicing the widely-utilized key and lock system with the iconic
plastic orange cap.  The Company is based in Grapevine, Texas.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Andrea Electronics Still Defends "Edwards" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
In December 2010, Audrey Edwards, Executrix of the Estate of Leon
Leroy Edwards, filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Providence
County, Rhode Island, against 3M Company and over 90 other
defendants, including Andrea Electronics Corporation, alleging
that the Company processed, manufactured, designed, tested,
packaged, distributed, marketed or sold asbestos containing
products that contributed to the death of Leon Leroy Edwards.  The
Company received service of process in April 2011.  The Company
has retained legal counsel and has filed a response to the
compliant.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 14,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

The Company believes the lawsuit is without merit.  Accordingly,
the Company does not believe the lawsuit will have a material
adverse effect on its financial position or results of operations.

Headquartered in Bohemia, N.Y., Andrea Electronics Corporation
aims to provide the emerging "voice interface" markets with state-
of-the-art communications products that facilitate natural
language, human/machine interfaces.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Colonial Unit Still Faces Asbestos-Related Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of Colonial Commercial Corp. continues to be named as
a defendant in an asbestos-related lawsuit, according to the
Company's November 14, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September
30, 2011.

Universal Supply Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the
Company, is a New York corporation ("Universal").  On June 25,
1999, Universal acquired substantially all of the assets of
Universal Supply Group, Inc., a New Jersey corporation, including
its name, pursuant to the terms of a purchase agreement.
Subsequent to the acquisition, Universal Supply Group, Inc. (the
selling corporation) formerly known as Universal Engineering Co.,
Inc., changed its name to Hilco, Inc.  Hilco, Inc. acquired the
assets of Amber Supply Co., Inc., formerly known as Amber Oil
Burner Supply Co., Inc., in 1998, prior to Hilco's sale of assets
to Universal.  Hilco, Inc. is hereinafter referred to as the
"Universal Predecessor."  The majority shareholders of Hilco, Inc.
were John A. Hildebrandt and Paul Hildebrandt.

The Company understands that the Universal Predecessor and many
other companies have been sued in the Superior Court of New Jersey
(Middlesex County) by plaintiffs filing lawsuits alleging injury
due to asbestos.  As of September 30, 2011, there existed five
plaintiffs in these lawsuits relating to alleged sales of asbestos
products, or products containing asbestos, by the Universal
Predecessor.  Subsequent to September 30, 2011, one plaintiff
filed an action, which results in six remaining plaintiffs in
these lawsuits.  The Company never sold any asbestos related
products.

Of the existing plaintiffs as of September 30, 2011, one filed an
action in 2011 and four filed actions in 2010.  There are 208
other plaintiffs that have had their actions dismissed and 17
other plaintiffs that have settled as of September 30, 2011, for a
total of $3,364,500.  There has been no judgment against the
Universal Predecessor.

The Company's Universal subsidiary was named by 37 plaintiffs; of
these, 1 filed an action in 2010, 11 filed actions in 2007, 6
filed actions in 2006, 11 filed actions in 2005, 5 filed actions
in 2001, 1 filed an action in 2000, and 2 filed actions in 1999.
Thirty-three plaintiffs naming Universal have had their actions
dismissed and, of the total $3,364,500 of settled actions, 3
plaintiffs naming Universal have settled for $27,500.  No money
was paid by Universal in connection with any settlement.
Following these dismissed and settled actions there exists 1
plaintiff that named Universal as of September 30, 2011.

The Company has been indemnified against asbestos-based claims,
and insurance companies are defending the interests of the
Universal Predecessor and the Company in these cases.

Based on advice of counsel, the Company believes that none of the
litigation that was brought against the Company's Universal
subsidiary through September 30, 2011 is material, and that the
only material litigation that was brought against the Universal
Predecessor through that date was Rhodes v. A.O. Smith
Corporation, filed on April 26, 2004 in the Superior Court of New
Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket Number MID-L-2979-
04AS. The Company was advised that the Rhodes case was settled for
$3,250,000 ("Settlement") under an agreement reached in connection
with a $10,000,000 jury verdict that was rendered on August 5,
2005. The Company was not a defendant in the Rhodes case.

The Company believes that Rhodes differed from the other lawsuits
in that plaintiff established that he contracted mesothelioma as a
result of his occupational exposure to asbestos dust and fibers
and that a predecessor of the Company was a major supplier of the
asbestos containing products that allegedly caused his disease.

                         Indemnification

John A. Hildebrandt, Paul Hildebrandt and the Universal
Predecessor have jointly and severally agreed to indemnify the
Company's Universal subsidiary from and against any and all
damages, liabilities and claims due to exposure to asbestos at any
time prior to the June 25, 1999 closing of the purchase agreement.
These agreements are set forth in the purchase agreement. Paul
Hildebrandt, one of the indemnitors, was a Director of the Company
from September 29, 2004 to January 28, 2005.

The indemnitors may use their own counsel to defend these claims.
The indemnitors are not liable for any settlement effected without
their consent. The indemnitors may settle and pay money claims
without the consent of the Company. There is no indemnification
unless claims aggregate $50,000; once this trigger point is
reached, indemnification is required for all claims, including the
first $50,000, but excluding claims of less than $10,000. The
indemnification requirement survives at least until 30 days after
the running of any relevant statutes of limitation.

The obligation of the indemnitors is joint and several, so that
the Company can have recourse against any one or more of these
indemnitors, whether or not any other indemnitor has previously
defaulted on its obligation to the Company. There are no other
limitations to the Company's rights to indemnification.  The
Company cannot be certain that the indemnitors have the financial
wherewithal to meet their obligations to indemnify the Company.

                           Insurance

The assets that the Universal Predecessor sold to the Company
included its insurance policies and other agreements and
contracts. The policies provide coverage for liability accruing
during the periods for which premiums were paid.  The Universal
Predecessor was formed in 1940. Copies of policies are available
for each year beginning in 1970 and ending with the closing under
the purchase agreement in 1999. Copies of policies for the period
from 1940 to 1969 are not available.

Insurance companies acknowledge coverage for potential asbestos
claims under certain of these policies.  Insurance companies under
additional policies have reserved their right to deny coverage but
have continued to defend and indemnify the Universal Predecessor
and the Company under the contested policies.

There are periods during the years from 1940 to 1999 in which the
Company's Universal Predecessor did not have coverage for
potential asbestos claims.  Subject to litigation, insurance
companies may maintain that the existence of these periods'
results in coverage for only a portion of a particular injury that
varies with the period during which there was asbestos coverage
relating to the injury, and that the balance of any settlement or
judgment is to be paid by the insured.  As of September 30, 2011,
no insurance company has claimed any contribution for a gap in
coverage except for a claim for $160 made by one insurance company
to the Universal Predecessor in 1995.  The Universal Predecessor
asserted that it had no obligation to pay this amount and did not
make any payment.

Insurance companies have, as of September 30, 2011, defended the
Company and the Universal Predecessor, and have paid all
settlement amounts and defense costs.  Except for $160, the
insurance companies have not requested any payments from the
Company or from the Universal Predecessor.

The Company's Universal subsidiary has not engaged in the sale of
asbestos products since its formation in 1997. Its product
liability policies for all years since 1998 exclude asbestos
claims.

Regardless of indemnification and insurance coverage, the Company
does not in any event consider itself to be liable for the
asbestos-based lawsuits that name it or for any other claim that
arises as a result of actions or omissions by the Universal
Predecessor. The Company expressly disclaimed the assumption of
any liabilities when the Company purchased the assets of the
Universal Predecessor. It is the Company's opinion that the
existing asbestos litigation will not have a material adverse
effect on the Company.  Nevertheless, the Company could be
materially and adversely affected if it is held liable for
substantial asbestos claims or if the Company incurs substantial
legal or settlement costs. This material and adverse effect would
occur if indemnitors fail to honor their indemnification
agreements and insurance is not available either because policy
limits are exceeded, or because insurance companies successfully
deny coverage or claim limitations on their liabilities by reason
of gaps in coverage or otherwise.

Since the Company regards as remote the potential payment of any
asbestos-based claim, the Company has not accrued any liability
for any period relating to asbestos claims, and it has not
recorded any amount for asbestos claims for any period in any of
the Company's financial statements.

Headquartered in Hawthorne, N.J., Colonial Commercial Corp.
distributes heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment
(HVAC), parts and accessories, climate control systems,
appliances, and plumbing and electrical fixtures and supplies,
primarily in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and portions of
eastern Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Vermont.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Discovery Ongoing in "Jansen" Suit vs. Chase
-------------------------------------------------------------
Chase Corporation was named as one of the defendants in a
complaint filed on June 25, 2009, in a lawsuit captioned Lois
Jansen, Individually and as Special Administrator of the Estate of
Thomas Jansen v. Beazer East, Inc., et al., No: 09-CV-6248 in the
Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) Circuit Court.  The plaintiff alleges
that her husband suffered and died from malignant mesothelioma
resulting from exposure to asbestos in his workplace.  The
plaintiff has sued seven alleged manufacturers or distributors of
asbestos-containing products, including Royston Laboratories
(formerly an independent company and now a division of Chase
Corporation).

Chase has filed an answer to the claim denying the material
allegations in the complaint.  The parties are currently engaged
in discovery.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 14,
2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended August 31, 2011.

Headquartered in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Chase Corporation's
Specialized Manufacturing segment consists of specialty tapes,
laminates, sealants and coatings.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposure Suits vs. Kaanapali Land Still Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kaanapali Land, LLC, as successor by merger to other entities, and
its subsidiary, D/C Distribution Corporation, have been named as
defendants in personal injury actions allegedly based on exposure
to asbestos.  While there have been only a few such cases that
name Kaanapali Land, there are a substantial number of cases that
are pending against D/C on the U.S. mainland (primarily in
California).  Cases against Kaanapali Land are allegedly based on
its prior business operations in Hawaii and cases against D/C are
allegedly based on sale of asbestos-containing products by D/C's
prior distribution business operations primarily in California.
Each entity defending these cases believes that it has meritorious
defenses against these actions, but can give no assurances as to
the ultimate outcome of these cases.  The defense of these cases
has had a material adverse effect on the financial condition of
D/C as it has been forced to file a voluntary petition for
liquidation.  Kaanapali Land does not believe that it has
liability, directly or indirectly, for D/C's obligations in those
cases.  Kaanapali Land does not presently believe that the cases
in which it is named will result in any material liability to
Kaanapali Land; however, there can be no assurance in this regard.

On February 15, 2005, D/C was served with a lawsuit entitled
American & Foreign Insurance Company v. D/C Distribution and Amfac
Corporation, Case No. 04433669 filed in the Superior Court of the
State of California for the County of San Francisco, Central
Justice Center.  No other purported party was served.  In the
eight-count complaint for declaratory relief, reimbursement and
recoupment of unspecified amounts, costs and for such other relief
as the court might grant, plaintiff alleged that it is an
insurance company to whom D/C tendered for defense and indemnity
various personal injury lawsuits allegedly based on exposure to
asbestos containing products.  Plaintiff alleged that because none
of the parties have been able to produce a copy of the policy or
policies in question, a judicial determination of the material
terms of the missing policy or policies is needed.  Plaintiff
sought, among other things, a declaration: of the material terms,
rights, and obligations of the parties under the terms of the
policy or policies; that the policies were exhausted; that
plaintiff is not obligated to reimburse D/C for its attorneys'
fees in that the amounts of attorneys' fees incurred by D/C have
been incurred unreasonably; that plaintiff was entitled to
recoupment and reimbursement of some or all of the amounts it has
paid for defense and/or indemnity; and that D/C breached its
obligation of cooperation with plaintiff.  D/C filed an answer and
an amended cross-claim. D/C believed that it had meritorious
defenses and positions, and intended to vigorously defend.  In
addition, D/C believed that it was entitled to amounts from
plaintiffs for reimbursement and recoupment of amounts expended by
D/C on the lawsuits previously tendered.  In order to fund such
action and its other ongoing obligations while such lawsuit
continued, D/C entered into a Loan Agreement and Security
Agreement with Kaanapali Land, in August 2006, whereby Kaanapali
Land provided certain advances against a promissory note delivered
by D/C in return for a security interest in any D/C insurance
policy at issue in this lawsuit.  In June 2007, the parties
settled this lawsuit with payment by plaintiffs in the amount of
$1,618,000.  Such settlement amount was paid to Kaanapali Land in
partial satisfaction of the secured indebtedness.

Because D/C was substantially without assets and was unable to
obtain additional sources of capital to satisfy its liabilities,
D/C filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern
District of Illinois, its voluntary petition for liquidation under
Chapter 7 of Title 11, United States Bankruptcy Code during July
2007, Case No. 07-12776.  Such filing is not expected to have a
material adverse effect on the Company as D/C was substantially
without assets at the time of the filing.  The deadline for filing
proofs of claim against D/C with the bankruptcy court passed in
October 2008.  Prior to the deadline, Kaanapali Land filed claims
that aggregated approximately $26,800,000, relating to both
secured and unsecured intercompany debts owed by D/C to Kaanapali
Land.  In addition, a personal injury law firm based in San
Francisco that represents clients with asbestos-related claims,
filed proofs of claim on behalf of approximately 700 claimants.
While it is not likely that a significant number of these
claimants have a claim against D/C that could withstand a vigorous
defense, the Company says it is unknown how the trustee will deal
with these claims.  It is not expected, however, that the Company
will receive any material additional amounts in the liquidation of
D/C.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 14,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Headquartered in Chicago, Kaanapali Land, LLC operates in two
primary business segments: Property and Agriculture.  The Company
operates through a number of subsidiaries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Imperial Industries Still Faces Exposure Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Imperial Industries, Inc.'s wholly-owned subsidiary, Premix-
Marbletite Manufacturing Co., is a defendant together with non-
affiliated parties in seventeen claims (eight of which include
Imperial as a defendant), which allege bodily injury due to
exposure to asbestos contained in products manufactured in excess
of 30 years ago.  The pending claims, together with the court in
which the action is pending and the date that Premix and/or
Imperial was served with the complaint, are:

   * Marilyn Adair v. Premix, et al., 15th Judicial Circuit -
     Palm Beach County, Case No. 07-9343, June 29, 2007;

   * Elaine Legault v. Premix, et al., 13th Judicial Circuit -
     Hillsborough County, Case No. 08-10789, June 23, 2008;

   * Edward Pryzbyla v. Premix, et al., 17th Judicial Circuit -
     Broward County, Case No. 09-053844-07, November 4, 2009;

   * Nancy Henley v. Imperial, Premix, et al., 13th Judicial
     Circuit - Hillsborough County, Case No. 09-27856, March 12,
     2010;

   * Bruce Weisemann v. Premix, et al., 13th Judicial Circuit -
     Hillsborough County, Case No. 10-005365, March 17, 2010;

   * Shirley Picklo v. Premix, et al., 13th Judicial Circuit -
     Hillsborough County, Case No. 10-000262-07, April 21, 2010;

   * Betty Trowsse v. Imperial, Premix, et al., 13th Judicial
     Circuit - Hillsborough County, Case No. 10-02779, May 5,
     2010;

   * Edward Evans v. Imperial, Premix, et al., 11th Judicial
     Circuit - Miami-Dade County, Case No. 10-9106-CA-42, May 13,
     2010;

   * Herman Roberts v. Premix, et al., 13th Judicial Circuit -
     Hillsborough County, Case No. 10-006329, July 2, 2010;

   * Lawrence McFarlin v. Premix, et al., 13th Judicial Circuit -
     Hillsborough County, Case No. 10-007786, August 5, 2010;

   * Pauline Marley v. Imperial, Premix, et al., 11th Judicial
     Circuit - Miami-Dade County, Case No. 10-17557-CA-42,
     August 6, 2010;

   * Isabel Perry v. Imperial, Premix, et al., 17th Judicial
     Circuit - Broward County, Case No. 10-23096, September 24,
     2010;

   * Craig Comes v. Imperial, Premix, et al., 13th Judicial
     Circuit - Hillsborough County, Case No. 10-014949,
     November 12, 2010;

   * Claudia Fils-Aime v. Imperial, Premix, et al., 11th Judicial
     Circuit - Miami-Dade County, Case No. 10-63197-CA-06,
     March 11, 2011;

   * Hidelisa Cordovez v. Premix, et al., 11th Judicial Circuit -
     Miami-Dade County, Case No. 11-08485-CA-24, April 13, 2011;

   * Julius B. Sanders v. Imperial, Premix, et al., 17th Judicial
     Circuit - Broward County, Case No. 11-016176, August 17,
     2011; and

   * James R. Williams v. Premix, et al., 13th Judicial Circuit -
     Hillsborough County, Case No. 11-8564Z, November 2, 2011.

During the three months ended September 30, 2011, two asbestos
cases that were outstanding during previous periods were settled
by the Company's insurance carriers which resulted in no
additional costs to the Company, according to the Company's
November 14, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

The Company believes that Premix and the Company have meritorious
defenses to each of the listed claims.  The Company has identified
at least 10 of its prior insurance carriers, including both
primary and excess/umbrella liability carriers that have provided
liability coverage to the Company, including potential coverage
for alleged injuries relating to asbestos exposure.  Several of
these insurance carriers have been and continue to provide a
defense to Premix and the Company under a reservation of rights in
all of the asbestos cases.  Certain of these underlying insurance
carriers have denied coverage to Premix and the Company on the
basis that certain exclusions preclude coverage and/or that their
policies have been exhausted.  In June of 2009, one such carrier
filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against Premix and
Imperial, wherein the carrier sought a declaration from the Court
that its insurance policies do not provide coverage for the
asbestos claims against Premix and Imperial.  The Company believed
that it had meritorious defenses to these claims, and filed a
counterclaim against the carrier for breach of contract.  In
December 2010, Premix, Imperial and this carrier resolved their
dispute, with the carrier paying a settlement of $500,000 to
Premix and Imperial.  As part of the settlement, there is no
longer coverage available under that disputed policy.  The
settlement was recorded as a receivable and included in other
current assets in the accompanying condensed consolidated balance
sheet as of December 31, 2010, and as income reflected as
litigation settlement during the fourth quarter of 2010.

The Company received payment of the $500,000 settlement during the
first quarter of 2011.  During the first quarter of 2011, the
Company resolved a dispute with another carrier regarding primary-
layer insurance coverage, which resulted in this carrier paying a
settlement of $325,000 to Premix and Imperial, which was recorded
as income reflected as litigation settlement during the first
quarter of 2011.  As part of the settlement, there is no longer
coverage available under that disputed policy.  Notwithstanding
the foregoing, the Company believes, when considering that
Imperial and Premix have substantial umbrella/excess coverage for
these claims, that the Company has more than adequate insurance
coverage for these asbestos claims and such policies are not
subject to self-insured retention ("SIR").

Headquartered in Pompano Beach, California, Imperial Industries,
Inc., manufactures and distributes building materials to building
materials dealers, contractors and others located primarily in
Florida, and to a lesser extent, other states in the Southeastern
United States.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: IntriCon Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
IntriCon Corporation remains a party in lawsuits alleging that
plaintiffs have or may have contracted asbestos-related diseases
as a result of exposure to asbestos, according to the Company's
November 14, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

The Company is a defendant along with a number of other parties in
lawsuits alleging that plaintiffs have or may have contracted
asbestos-related diseases as a result of exposure to asbestos
products or equipment containing asbestos sold by one or more
named defendants.  Due to the non-informative nature of the
complaints, the Company does not know whether any of the
complaints state valid claims against it.  Certain insurance
carriers have informed the Company that the primary policies for
the period August 1, 1970-1973, have been exhausted and that the
carriers will no longer provide a defense under those policies.

The Company has requested that the carriers substantiate this
situation.  The Company believes it has additional policies
available for other years which have been ignored by the carriers.
Because settlement payments are applied to all years a litigant
was deemed to have been exposed to asbestos, the Company believes
when settlement payments are applied to these additional policies,
it will have availability under the years deemed exhausted.  The
Company does not believe that the asserted exhaustion of the
primary insurance coverage for this period will have a material
adverse effect on the financial condition, liquidity, or results
of operations.  Management believes that the number of insurance
carriers involved in the defense of the lawsuits and the
significant number of policy years and policy limits, to which
these insurance carriers are insuring the Company, make the
ultimate disposition of these lawsuits not material to its
consolidated financial position or results of operations.

Headquartered in Arden Hills, Minnesota, IntriCon Corporation
designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes miniature and
micro-miniature body-worn devices.  The Company also has
facilities in Maine, California, Singapore, Indonesia and Germany.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Katy Asked to Indemnify Sterling in 2,915 Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sterling Fluid Systems (USA) has tendered approximately 2,915
cases pending in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Nevada,
Mississippi, Wyoming, Louisiana, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri,
Kentucky, California, South Carolina, Rhode Island and Canada to
Katy Industries, Inc., for defense and indemnification, according
to the Company's November 14, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September
30, 2011.

With respect to one case, Sterling has demanded that the Company
indemnify it for a $200,000 settlement.  Sterling bases its tender
of the complaints on the provisions contained in a 1993 Purchase
Agreement between the parties whereby Sterling purchased the
LaBour Pump business and other assets from the Company.  Sterling
has not filed a lawsuit against the Company in connection with
these matters.

The tendered complaints all purport to state claims against
Sterling and its subsidiaries.  The Company and its current
subsidiaries are not named as defendants.  The plaintiffs in the
cases also allege that they were exposed to asbestos and products
containing asbestos in the course of their employment.  Each
complaint names as defendants many manufacturers of products
containing asbestos, apparently because plaintiffs came into
contact with a variety of different products in the course of
their employment.  Plaintiffs claim that LaBour Pump Company, a
former division of an inactive subsidiary of the Company, and/or
Sterling may have manufactured some of those products.

With respect to many of the tendered complaints, including the one
settled by Sterling for $200,000, the Company has taken the
position that Sterling has waived its right to indemnity by
failing to timely request it as required under the 1993 Purchase
Agreement.  With respect to the balance of the tendered
complaints, the Company has elected not to assume the defense of
Sterling in these matters.

Headquartered in Bridgeton, Missouri, Katy Industries, Inc., is a
manufacturer, importer and distributor of commercial cleaning and
storage products.  Its commercial cleaning products are sold
primarily to janitorial/sanitary and foodservice distributors that
supply end users like restaurants, hotels, healthcare facilities
and schools.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Katy Still Defends 11 Exposure Suits in Alabama
----------------------------------------------------------------
Katy Industries, Inc., has been named as a defendant in eleven
lawsuits filed in state court in Alabama by a total of
approximately 325 individual plaintiffs.  There are more than 100
defendants named in each case.  In all eleven cases, the
Plaintiffs claim that they were exposed to asbestos in the course
of their employment at a former U.S. Steel plant in Alabama and,
as a result, contracted mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer or
other illness.  They claim that while in the plant they were
exposed to asbestos in products which were manufactured by each
defendant.  In nine of the cases, Plaintiffs also assert wrongful
death claims.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 14,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

The Company says it will vigorously defend the claims against it
in these matters.  The liability of the Company cannot be
determined at this time.

Headquartered in Bridgeton, Missouri, Katy Industries, Inc., is a
manufacturer, importer and distributor of commercial cleaning and
storage products.  Its commercial cleaning products are sold
primarily to janitorial/sanitary and foodservice distributors that
supply end users like restaurants, hotels, healthcare facilities
and schools.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: McJunkin Faces 989 Exposure Claims at Sept. 30
---------------------------------------------------------------
McJunkin Red Man Holding Corporation is a defendant in lawsuits
asserting 989 claims for injuries resulting from products
containing asbestos, the Company disclosed in its November 14,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Individuals seeking damages for injuries that certain products
containing asbestos allegedly caused have named the Company as a
defendant along with a large number of other companies.  As of
September 30, 2011, the Company is a defendant in lawsuits
involving approximately 989 of these claims.  Each claim involves
allegations of exposure to asbestos-containing materials by one or
more of a single individual, his or her spouse or his or her
family members.  The complaints typically name many other
defendants.  In a majority of these lawsuits, little or no
information is known regarding the nature of the plaintiffs'
alleged injuries or their connection with the products that the
Company distributed.  Through September 30, 2011, lawsuits
involving over 11,817 claims have been brought against the Company
with the majority being settled, dismissed or otherwise resolved.
In total, since the first asbestos claim brought against the
Company through September 30, 2011, approximately $1.6 million has
been paid to asbestos claimants in connection with settlements of
claims against the Company without regard to insurance recoveries.

Headquartered in Houston, McJunkin Red Man Holding Corporation
distributes pipes, pipe, valves and fittings (PVF) and related
products and services to the energy industry.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pacific Office Posts $600,000 ARO at Sept. 30
--------------------------------------------------------------
As of September 30, 2011, the liability recorded in Pacific Office
Properties Trust, Inc.'s consolidated balance sheet for
conditional asset retirement obligations was $600,000, according
to the Company's November 14, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September
30, 2011.

The Company records a liability for a conditional asset retirement
obligation, defined as a legal obligation to perform an asset
retirement activity in which the timing and/or method of
settlement is conditional on a future event that may or may not be
within a company's control, when the fair value of the obligation
can be reasonably estimated.  Depending on the age of the
construction, certain properties in the Company's portfolio may
contain non-friable asbestos.  If these properties undergo major
renovations or are demolished, certain environmental regulations
are in place, which specify the manner in which the asbestos, if
present, must be handled and disposed.  Based on the Company's
evaluation of the physical condition and attributes of certain of
its properties, the Company recorded conditional asset retirement
obligations related to asbestos removal.

As of September 30, 2011, and December 31, 2010, the liability in
the Company's consolidated balance sheets for conditional asset
retirement obligations was $0.6 million for both periods.  The
accretion expense for the three and nine months ended
September 30, 2011, and 2010 was not significant.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, Pacific Office Properties
Trust, Inc. owns and operates primarily institutional-quality
office properties principally in selected long-term growth markets
in southern California and Hawaii.  The Company operates in a
manner that permits it to satisfy the requirements for taxation as
a real estate investment trust.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Continues to Defend 300 Exposure Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., continues to defend about 300 cases
alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos,
according to the Company's November 14, 2011, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended September 30, 2011.

The Company is a co-defendant in approximately 300 cases asserting
claims on behalf of approximately 1,230 plaintiffs alleging
personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos.  These
asbestos cases generally relate to production and sale of
asbestos-containing products and allege various theories of
liability, including negligence, gross negligence and strict
liability, and seek compensatory and, in some cases, punitive
damages.

In every asbestos case in which the Company is named as a party,
the complaints are filed against multiple named defendants.  In
substantially all of the asbestos cases, the plaintiffs either
claim damages in excess of a specified amount, typically a minimum
amount sufficient to establish jurisdiction of the court in which
the case was filed (jurisdictional minimums generally range from
$25,000 to $75,000), or do not specify the monetary damages
sought.  To the extent that any specific amount of damages is
sought, the amount applies to claims against all named defendants.

There are only seven asbestos cases, involving 26 plaintiffs, that
plead specified damages.  In each of the seven cases, the
plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages based on a
variety of potentially alternative causes of action.  In three
cases, the plaintiff has alleged compensatory damages in the
amount of $3.0 million for four separate causes of action and $1.0
million for another cause of action and punitive damages in the
amount of $10.0 million.  In the fourth case, the plaintiff has
alleged against each named defendant compensatory and punitive
damages, each in the amount of $10.0 million, for seven separate
causes of action.  In the fifth case, the plaintiff has alleged
compensatory damages in the amount of $20.0 million for three
separate causes of action and $5.0 million for another cause of
action and punitive damages in the amount of $20.0 million.  In
the sixth case, the plaintiff has alleged against each named
defendant compensatory and punitive damages, each in the amount of
$10.0 million, for six separate causes of action and $5.0 million
for the seventh cause of action.  In the seventh case, the
plaintiff has alleged against each named defendant compensatory
and punitive damages, each in the amount of $50.0 million, for
four separate causes of action.

Historically, the Company says it has been dismissed from asbestos
cases on the basis that the plaintiff incorrectly sued one of the
Company's subsidiaries or because the plaintiff failed to identify
any asbestos-containing product manufactured or sold by the
Company or its subsidiaries.  The Company says it intends to
vigorously defend these asbestos cases, and believes it will
continue to be successful in being dismissed from such cases.
However, it is not possible to predict the ultimate outcome of
asbestos-related lawsuits, claims and proceedings due to the
unpredictable nature of personal injury litigation.  Despite this
uncertainty, and although the Company's results of operations and
cash flows for a particular period could be adversely affected by
asbestos-related lawsuits, claims and proceedings, management
believes that the ultimate resolution of these matters will not
have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial
condition, liquidity or results of operations.  Among the factors
management considered in reaching this conclusion were: (a) the
Company's historical success in being dismissed from these types
of lawsuits; (b) many cases have been improperly filed against one
of the Company's subsidiaries; (c) in many cases, the plaintiffs
have been unable to establish any causal relationship to the
Company or its products or premises; (d) in many cases, the
plaintiffs have been unable to demonstrate that they have suffered
any identifiable injury or compensable loss at all or that any
injuries that they have incurred did in fact result from alleged
exposure to asbestos; and (e) the complaints assert claims against
multiple defendants and, in most cases, the damages alleged are
not attributed to individual defendants.  Additionally, the
Company does not believe that the amounts claimed in any of the
asbestos cases are meaningful indicators of the Company's
potential exposure because the amounts claimed typically bear no
relation to the extent of the plaintiff's injury, if any.

The Company says its cost of defending these lawsuits has not been
material to date and, based upon available information, its
management does not expect its future costs for asbestos-related
lawsuits to have a material adverse effect on its results of
operations, liquidity or financial position.

Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is
an industrial supply chain logistics and diversified manufacturing
business operating in three segments: Supplier Technologies,
Aluminum Products, and Manufactured Products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Personal Injury Suits vs. Global Power Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
A former operating unit of Global Power Equipment Group Inc. has
been named as a defendant in a limited number of asbestos personal
injury lawsuits.  Neither the Company nor its predecessors ever
mined, manufactured, produced or distributed asbestos fiber, the
material that allegedly caused the injury underlying these
actions.  The bankruptcy court's discharge order issued upon the
Company's emergence from bankruptcy extinguished the claims made
by all plaintiffs who had filed asbestos claims against the
Company before that time.  The Company also believes the
bankruptcy court's discharge order should serve as a bar against
any later claim filed against it, including any of its
subsidiaries, based on alleged injury from asbestos at any time
before emergence from bankruptcy.  In any event, in all of the
asbestos cases finalized post-bankruptcy, the Company has been
successful in having such cases dismissed without liability.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend all currently
active actions, just as it defended the other actions that have
since been dismissed, all without liability, and it does not
anticipate that any of these actions is reasonably likely to have
a material adverse effect on its financial position, results of
operations or liquidity.  However, the outcomes of any legal
action cannot be predicted and, therefore, there can be no
assurance that this will be the case.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 14,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Global Power Equipment Group Inc.
is a provider of power generation equipment and maintenance
services for customers in the domestic and international energy,
power infrastructure and service industries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rockwell Automation Still Defends Exposure Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rockwell Automation, Inc., continues to defend lawsuits and claims
alleging exposure to asbestos in its products, according to the
Company's November 14, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
September 30, 2011.

The Company (including its subsidiaries) has been named as a
defendant in lawsuits alleging personal injury as a result of
exposure to asbestos that was used in certain components of the
Company's products many years ago.  Currently there are a few
thousand claimants in lawsuits that name the Company as
defendants, together with hundreds of other companies.  In some
cases, the claims involve products from divested businesses, and
the Company is indemnified for most of the costs.  However, the
Company has agreed to defend and indemnify asbestos claims
associated with products manufactured or sold by the Company's
Dodge mechanical and Reliance Electric motors and motor repair
services businesses prior to their divestiture by the Company,
which occurred on January 31, 2007.  The Company also is
responsible for half of the costs and liabilities associated with
asbestos cases against the divested measurement and flow control
business of Rockwell International Corporation (RIC).  But in all
cases, for those claimants who do show that they worked with the
Company's products or products of divested businesses for which
the Company is responsible, the Company nevertheless believes it
has meritorious defenses, in substantial part due to the integrity
of the products, the encapsulated nature of any asbestos-
containing components, and the lack of any impairing medical
condition on the part of many claimants.  The Company defends
those cases vigorously.  Historically, the Company has been
dismissed from the vast majority of these claims with no payment
to claimants.

The Company has maintained insurance coverage that it believes
covers indemnity and defense costs, over and above self-insured
retentions, for claims arising from the Company's former Allen-
Bradley Company subsidiary.  Following litigation against
Nationwide Indemnity Company (Nationwide) and Kemper Insurance
(Kemper), the insurance carriers that provided liability insurance
coverage to Allen-Bradley, the Company entered into separate
agreements on April 1, 2008, with both insurance carriers to
further resolve responsibility for ongoing and future coverage of
Allen-Bradley asbestos claims.  In exchange for a lump sum
payment, Kemper bought out its remaining liability and has been
released from further insurance obligations to Allen-Bradley.
Nationwide entered into a cost share agreement with the Company to
pay the substantial majority of future defense and indemnity costs
for Allen-Bradley asbestos claims.  The Company believes this
arrangement will continue to provide coverage for Allen-Bradley
asbestos claims throughout the remaining life of the asbestos
liability.

The uncertainties of asbestos claim litigation make it difficult
to predict accurately the ultimate outcome of asbestos claims.
That uncertainty is increased by the possibility of adverse
rulings or new legislation affecting asbestos claim litigation or
the settlement process.  Subject to these uncertainties and based
on the Company's experience defending asbestos claims, the Company
does not believe these lawsuits will have a material adverse
effect on the Company's financial condition.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Rockwell Automation, Inc., is an
industrial automation company that serves automotive, food and
beverage (including dairy), personal care, life sciences, oil and
gas, mining, and paper and pulp markets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Scott" Suit vs. Chase Corp. Remains Inactive
--------------------------------------------------------------
Chase Corporation is one of over 100 defendants in a lawsuit
pending in Ohio which alleges personal injury from exposure to
asbestos contained in certain Chase products.  The case is
captioned Marie Lou Scott, Executrix of the Estate of James T.
Scott v. A-Best Products, et al., No. 312901 in the Court of
Common Pleas for Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  The plaintiff in the case
issued discovery requests to Chase in August 2005, to which Chase
timely responded in September 2005.  The trial had initially been
scheduled to begin on April 30, 2007.  However, that date had been
postponed and no new trial date has been set.

As of October 2011, there have been no new developments as this
Ohio lawsuit has been inactive with respect to Chase, according to
the Company's November 14, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
August 31, 2011.

Headquartered in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Chase Corporation's
Specialized Manufacturing segment consists of specialty tapes,
laminates, sealants and coatings.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Two Exposure Suits vs. Thermon Group Pending
-------------------------------------------------------------
Two lawsuits alleging personal injury due to exposure to asbestos
from Thermon Group Holdings, Inc.'s products are currently
pending, according to the Company's November 14, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Since 1999, the Company has been named as one of many defendants
in 16 personal injury lawsuits alleging exposure to asbestos from
its products.  None of the cases alleges premises liability.  Two
cases are currently pending.  Insurers are defending the Company
in one of the two lawsuits, and the Company expects that an
insurer will defend it in the remaining matter.  Of the concluded
lawsuits, there were seven cost of defense settlements and the
remainder were dismissed without payment.  There are no claims
unrelated to asbestos exposure for which coverage has been sought
under the policies that are providing coverage.

Headquartered in San Marcos, Texas, Thermon Group Holdings, Inc.,
provides specialized cables, tubes, and control systems used in
electric and steam "heat tracing," which involves externally
applying heat to industrial-grade pipes, tanks, and
instrumentation.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: WABTEC and Units Still Face Exposure Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation and its affiliates
continue to face asbestos exposure claims, according to the
Company's November 14, 2011, Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

Claims have been filed against the Company and certain of its
affiliates in various jurisdictions across the United States by
persons alleging bodily injury as a result of exposure to
asbestos-containing products.

Headquartered in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, Westinghouse Air Brake
Technologies Corporation provides equipment and services for the
global rail industry.  Its products improve productivity and
reduce maintenance costs for customers, can be found on virtually
all U.S. locomotives, freight cars, subway cars and buses.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Magnetek Continues to Pursue Dismissal of Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Magnetek, Inc., is aggressively seeking its dismissal from
asbestos-related lawsuits related to its discontinued operations,
according to the Company's November 16, 2011, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended October 2, 2011.

The Company has been named, along with multiple other defendants,
in asbestos-related lawsuits associated with business operations
previously acquired by the Company, but which are no longer owned.
During the Company's ownership, none of the businesses produced or
sold asbestos-containing products. With respect to these claims,
the Company is uninsured, but believes that it has no such
liability.  For certain claims, the Company is contractually
indemnified against liability, while for other certain claims, the
Company is contractually obligated to defend and indemnify the
purchaser of these former Magnetek business operations.   The
Company aggressively seeks dismissal from these proceedings.
Management does not believe the asbestos proceedings, individually
or in the aggregate, will have a material adverse effect on its
financial position or results of operations.

Magnetek, Inc., is a global provider of digital power control
systems that are used to control motion and power primarily in
material handling, elevator and energy delivery applications.  The
Company's products consist primarily of programmable motion
control and power conditioning systems used on the following
applications: overhead cranes and hoists; elevators; coal mining
equipment; and renewable energy.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tyco Int'l. Defends 4,500 Suits at Sept. 30
------------------------------------------------------------
Tyco International Ltd. continues to defend itself and its
subsidiaries from 4,500 pending asbestos-related lawsuits at
September 30, 2011, according to the Company's November 16, 2011,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.

The Company and certain of its subsidiaries along with numerous
other companies are named as defendants in personal injury
lawsuits based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing
materials. These cases typically involve product liability claims
based primarily on allegations of manufacture, sale or
distribution of industrial products that either contained asbestos
or were attached to or used with asbestos-containing components
manufactured by third-parties. Each case typically names between
dozens to hundreds of corporate defendants. While the Company has
observed an increase in the number of these lawsuits over the past
several years, including lawsuits by plaintiffs with mesothelioma-
related claims, a large percentage of these suits have not
presented viable legal claims and, as a result, have been
dismissed by the courts. The Company's strategy has been, and
continues to be, to mount a vigorous defense aimed at having
unsubstantiated suits dismissed, and, where appropriate, settling
suits before trial. Although a large percentage of litigated suits
have been dismissed, the Company cannot predict the extent to
which it will be successful in resolving lawsuits in the future.

As part of the Company's strategy, it has also entered into a
cost-sharing agreement with an entity from which it acquired a
business several decades ago. Under the agreement, insurance
proceeds from policies that were purchased by the seller prior to
its acquisition by the Company have been made available to the
Company. To the extent there is insufficient insurance for claims
subject to the agreement, the parties are required to share costs,
although responsibility for such excess costs gradually
transitions to the Company over the next nine to ten years. In
2022, the Company will ultimately be responsible for all excess
costs if available insurance policies do not fully respond. While
the Company expects that the insurance policies it has gained
access to under the agreement will be sufficient to cover any
increased liability resulting from this arrangement, it cannot
predict whether this will be the case.

As of September 30, 2011, there were approximately 4,500 lawsuits
pending against the Company, its subsidiaries or entities for
which the Company has assumed responsibility. Each lawsuit
typically includes several claims, and the Company has determined
that there were approximately 5,600 claims outstanding as of
September 30, 2011, which reflects the Company's current estimate
of the number of viable claims made against it, its affiliates or
entities for which it has assumed responsibility in connection
with acquisitions or divestitures. This amount includes
adjustments for claims that are not actively being prosecuted,
identify incorrect defendants or are duplicative of other actions.

Tyco International Ltd. is a diversified, global company that
provides products and services to customers in various countries
throughout the world. Tyco is a provider of security products and
services, fire protection and detection products and services,
valves and controls, and other industrial products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tyco Records $82MM Net Liability at Sept. 30
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tyco International Ltd. recorded at September 30, 2011, $82
million as estimated net liability for pending and future
asbestos-related claims, according to the Company's November 16,
2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.

Annually, during the Company's third quarter, the Company performs
an analysis with the assistance of outside counsel and other
experts to update its estimated asbestos-related assets and
liabilities. Due to a high degree of uncertainty regarding the
pattern and length of time over which claims will be made and then
settled or litigated, the Company uses multiple estimation
methodologies based on varying scenarios of potential outcomes to
estimate the range of loss. The Company's estimate of the
liability and corresponding insurance recovery for pending and
future claims and defense costs is predominantly based on claim
experience over the past five years, and a projection which covers
claims expected to be filed, including related defense costs, over
the next seven years on an undiscounted basis. The Company has
concluded that estimating the liability beyond the seven year
period will not provide a reasonable estimate, as these
uncertainties increase significantly as the projection period
lengthens. The Company's estimate of asbestos-related insurance
recoveries represents estimated amounts due to the Company for
previously paid and settled claims and the probable reimbursements
relating to its estimated liability for pending and future claims.
In determining the amount of insurance recoverable, the Company
considers a number of factors, including available insurance,
allocation methodologies, solvency and creditworthiness of the
insurers. On a quarterly basis, the Company re-evaluates the
assumptions used to perform the annual analysis and records an
expense as necessary to reflect changes in its estimated liability
and related insurance asset.

As of September 30, 2011, the Company's estimated net liability of
$82 million was recorded within the Company's Consolidated Balance
Sheet as a liability for pending and future claims and related
defense costs of $306 million, and separately as an asset for
insurance recoveries of $224 million. Similarly, as of September
24, 2010, the Company's estimated net liability of $106 million
was recorded within the Company's Consolidated Balance Sheet as a
liability for pending and future claims and related defense costs
of $309 million, and separately as an asset for insurance
recoveries of $203 million.

The amounts recorded by the Company for asbestos-related
liabilities and insurance-related assets are based on currently
available information as well as estimates and assumptions. Key
variables and assumptions include the number and type of new
claims that are filed each year, the average cost of resolution of
claims, the resolution of coverage issues with insurance carriers,
amount of insurance and the solvency risk with respect to the
Company's insurance carriers. Furthermore, predictions with
respect to these variables are subject to greater uncertainty in
the later portion of the projection period. Other factors that may
affect the Company's liability and cash payments for asbestos-
related matters include uncertainties surrounding the litigation
process from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from case to case,
reforms of state or federal tort legislation and the applicability
of insurance policies among subsidiaries. The Company believes
that its asbestos-related reserves as of September 30, 2011 are
appropriate. However, actual liabilities or insurance recoveries
could be significantly higher or lower than those recorded if
assumptions used in the Company's calculations vary significantly
from actual results.

Tyco International Ltd. is a diversified, global company that
provides products and services to customers in various countries
throughout the world. Tyco is a provider of security products and
services, fire protection and detection products and services,
valves and controls, and other industrial products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ITT to Indemnify Xylem for Potential Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Xylem Inc. disclosed in its November 21, 2011, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended September 30, 2011, that it will be indemnified by ITT
Corporation for possible asbestos-related claims.

On October 31, 2011, ITT Corporation completed the previously
announced spin-off of Xylem, Inc., formerly ITT's water equipment
and services businesses.  The Spin-off was completed pursuant to
the Distribution Agreement, dated as of October 25, 2011, among
ITT, Exelis Inc. and Xylem.

As part of the Spin-off, ITT, Exelis and Xylem will indemnify each
of the other parties with respect to such parties' assumed or
retained liabilities under the Distribution Agreement and breaches
of the Distribution Agreement or related spin agreements. ITT's
indemnification obligations include asserted and unasserted
asbestos and silica liability claims that relate to the presence
or alleged presence of asbestos or silica in products
manufactured, repaired or sold prior to the Distribution Date,
subject to limited exceptions with respect to certain employee
claims, or in the structure or material of any building or
facility, subject to exceptions with respect to employee claims
relating to Xylem buildings or facilities. The indemnifications
are absolute in accordance with their terms and indefinite. The
indemnification associated with pending and future asbestos claims
does not expire. Xylem has not recorded a liability for matters
for which it will be indemnified by ITT or Exelis through the
Distribution Agreement and it is not aware of any claims or other
circumstances that would give rise to material payments from the
Company under such indemnifications.

While no claims have been asserted against Xylem alleging injury
caused by the Company's products resulting from asbestos exposure,
it is possible that claims could be filed in the future. Should
asbestos product liability claims be asserted against Xylem in the
future, the Company believes there are numerous legal defenses
available and would defend itself vigorously against such a claim.

Xylem Inc. is an equipment and service provider for water and
wastewater applications with a portfolio of products and services
addressing the full cycle of water, from collection, distribution
and use to the return of water to the environment.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Maremont Pegs Pending & Future Claims at $73MM
---------------------------------------------------------------
Maremont Corporation, a subsidiary of Meritor Inc., determined
that as of September 30, 2011, the most likely and probable
liability for pending and future asbestos-related claims over the
next ten years is $73 million, according to the Company's November
23, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended October 2, 2011.

Maremont friction products containing asbestos from 1953 through
1977, when it sold its friction product business. Arvin
Industries, Inc., a predecessor of the company, acquired Maremont
in 1986. Maremont and many other companies are defendants in suits
brought by individuals claiming personal injuries as a result of
exposure to asbestos-containing products. Maremont had
approximately 21,000 and 26,000 pending asbestos-related claims at
September 30, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Although Maremont has
been named in these cases, in the cases where actual injury has
been alleged, very few claimants have established that a Maremont
product caused their injuries. Plaintiffs' lawyers often sue
dozens or even hundreds of defendants in individual lawsuits on
behalf of hundreds or thousands of claimants, seeking damages
against all named defendants irrespective of the disease or injury
and irrespective of any causal connection with a particular
product. For these reasons, Maremont does not consider the number
of claims filed or the damages alleged to be a meaningful factor
in determining its asbestos-related liability.

Maremont's asbestos-related reserves and corresponding asbestos-
related recoveries are summarized as (in millions):

                                                 September 30,
                                                 2011     2010
                                                 ----     ----
   Pending and future claims                      $77     $67
   Asbestos-related insurance recoveries           67      57

Prior to February 2001, Maremont participated in the Center for
Claims Resolution ("CCR") and shared with other CCR members in the
payment of defense and indemnity costs for asbestos-related
claims. The CCR handled the resolution and processing of asbestos
claims on behalf of its members until February 2001, when it was
reorganized and discontinued negotiating shared settlements. Since
the CCR was reorganized in 2001, Maremont has handled asbestos-
related claims through its own defense counsel and has taken a
more aggressive defensive approach that involves examining the
merits of each asbestos-related claim. Although the company
expects legal defense costs to continue at higher levels than when
it participated in the CCR, the company believes its litigation
strategy has reduced the average indemnity cost per claim.

Pending and Future Claims: Maremont engages Bates White LLC (Bates
White), a consulting firm with extensive experience estimating
costs associated with asbestos litigation, to assist with
determining the estimated cost of resolving pending and future
asbestos-related claims that have been, and could reasonably be
expected to be, filed against Maremont. Bates White prepares these
cost estimates on a semi-annual basis in March and September each
year. Although it is not possible to estimate the full range of
costs because of various uncertainties, Bates White advised
Maremont that it would be possible to determine an estimate of a
reasonable forecast of the cost of the probable settlement and
defense costs of resolving pending and future asbestos-related
claims, based on historical data and certain assumptions with
respect to events that may occur in the future.

Bates White provided an estimate of the reasonably possible range
of Maremont's obligation for asbestos personal injury claims over
the next ten years of $73 million to $83 million. After
consultation with Bates White, Maremont determined that as of
September 30, 2011, the most likely and probable liability for
pending and future claims over the next ten years is $73 million.
The ultimate cost of resolving pending and future claims is
estimated based on the history of claims and expenses for
plaintiffs represented by law firms in jurisdictions with an
established history with Maremont.

Assumptions: These assumptions were made by Maremont after
consultation with Bates White and are included in their study:

   * Pending and future claims were estimated for a ten-year
     period ending in fiscal year 2021. The ten-year assumption
     is considered appropriate as Maremont has reached certain
     longer-term agreements with key plaintiff law firms and
     filings of mesothelioma claims have been relatively stable
     over the last few years resulting in an improvement in the
     reliability of future projections over a longer time period;

   * Maremont believes that the litigation environment will
     change significantly beyond ten years and that the
     reliability of estimates of future probable expenditures in
     connection with asbestos-related personal injury claims will
     decline for each year further in the future. As a result,
     estimating a probable liability beyond ten years is
     difficult and uncertain;

   * The ultimate cost of resolving pending and future claims
     filed in Madison County, Illinois, a jurisdiction where a
     substantial amount of Maremont's claims are filed, will
     decline to reflect average outcomes throughout the United
     States;

   * Defense and processing costs for pending and future claims
     filed outside of Madison County, Illinois will be at the
     level consistent with Maremont's prior experience; and

   * The ultimate indemnity cost of resolving nonmalignant claims
     with plaintiffs' law firms in jurisdictions without an
     established history with Maremont cannot be reasonably
     estimated. Recent changes in tort law and insufficient
     settlement history make estimating a liability for these
     non-malignant claims difficult and uncertain.

Recoveries: Maremont has insurance that reimburses a substantial
portion of the costs incurred defending against asbestos-related
claims. The coverage also reimburses Maremont for any indemnity
paid on those claims. The coverage is provided by several
insurance carriers based on insurance agreements in place.
Incorporating historical information with respect to buy-outs and
settlements of coverage, and excluding any policies in dispute,
the insurance receivable related to asbestos-related liabilities
is $67 million as of September 30, 2011. The difference between
the estimated liability and insurance receivable is primarily
related to proceeds received from settled insurance policies.
Certain insurance policies have been settled in cash prior to the
ultimate settlement of the related asbestos liabilities. Amounts
received from insurance settlements generally reduce recorded
insurance receivables. Receivables for policies in dispute are not
recorded.

The amounts recorded for the asbestos-related reserves and
recoveries from insurance companies are based upon assumptions and
estimates derived from currently known facts. All such estimates
of liabilities and recoveries for asbestos-related claims are
subject to considerable uncertainty because such liabilities and
recoveries are influenced by variables that are difficult to
predict. The future litigation environment for Maremont could
change significantly from its past experience, due, for example,
to changes in the mix of claims filed against Maremont in terms of
plaintiffs' law firm, jurisdiction and disease; legislative or
regulatory developments; Maremont's approach to defending claims;
or payments to plaintiffs from other defendants. Estimated
recoveries are influenced by coverage issues among insurers and
the continuing solvency of various insurance companies. If the
assumptions with respect to the nature of pending and future
claims, the cost to resolve claims and the amount of available
insurance prove to be incorrect, the actual amount of liability
for Maremont's asbestos-related claims, and the effect on the
company, could differ materially from current estimates and,
therefore, could have a material impact on the company's financial
condition and results of operations.

Meritor, Inc., formerly named ArvinMeritor, Inc., headquartered in
Troy, Michigan, is a global supplier of a broad range of
integrated systems, modules and components to original equipment
manufacturers and the aftermarket for the commercial vehicle,
transportation and industrial sectors. The company serves
commercial truck, trailer, off-highway, military, bus and coach
and other industrial OEMs and certain aftermarkets.  Its principal
products are axles, undercarriages, drivelines, brakes and braking
systems.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meritor's Pegs Rockwell-Related Claims at $19MM
----------------------------------------------------------------
Meritor, Inc., determined that as of September 30, 2011, the
probable liability for pending and future claims related to
Rockwell International over the next four years is $19 million,
according to the Company's November 23, 2011, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended October 2, 2011.

ArvinMeritor, Inc., a subsidiary of Meritor, along with many other
companies, has also been named as a defendant in lawsuits alleging
personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos used in
certain components of Rockwell International products many years
ago. Liability for these claims was transferred at the time of the
spin-off of the automotive business from Rockwell in 1997.
Currently there are thousands of claimants in lawsuits that name
AM, together with many other companies, as defendants. However,
the company does not consider the number of claims filed or the
damages alleged to be a meaningful factor in determining asbestos-
related liabilities. A significant portion of the claims do not
identify any of Rockwell's products or specify which of the
claimants, if any, were exposed to asbestos attributable to
Rockwell's products, and past experience has shown that the vast
majority of the claimants will likely never identify any of
Rockwell's products. For those claimants who do show that they
worked with Rockwell's products, management nevertheless believes
it has meritorious defenses, in substantial part due to the
integrity of the products involved and the lack of any impairing
medical condition on the part of many claimants. The company
defends these cases vigorously. Historically, AM has been
dismissed from the vast majority of similar claims filed in the
past with no payment to claimants.

The company engages Bates White LLC to assist with determining
whether it would be possible to estimate the cost of resolving
pending and future Rockwell legacy asbestos-related claims that
have been, and could reasonably be expected to be, filed against
the company. Although it is not possible to estimate the full
range of costs because of various uncertainties, Bates White
advised the company that it would be able to determine an estimate
of probable defense and indemnity costs which could be incurred to
resolve pending and future Rockwell legacy asbestos-related
claims. After consultation with Bates White, the company
determined that as of September 30, 2011 and 2010 the probable
liability for pending and future claims over the next four years
is $19 million and $17 million, respectively. The accrual
estimates are based on historical data and certain assumptions
with respect to events that may occur in the future. The
uncertainties of asbestos claim litigation and resolution of the
litigation with the insurance companies make it difficult to
predict accurately the ultimate resolution of asbestos claims
beyond four years. That uncertainty is increased by the
possibility of adverse rulings or new legislation affecting
asbestos claim litigation or the settlement process.

Rockwell maintained insurance coverage that management believes
covers indemnity and defense costs, over and above self-insurance
retentions, for most of these claims. The company has initiated
claims against certain of these carriers to enforce the insurance
policies, which are currently being disputed. The company expects
to recover some portion of defense and indemnity costs it has
incurred to date, over and above self-insured retentions, and some
portion of the costs for defending asbestos claims going forward.
Based on consultation with advisors and underlying analysis
performed by management, the company has recorded an insurance
receivable related to Rockwell legacy asbestos-related liabilities
of $9 million at September 30, 2011 and 2010, respectively. If the
assumptions with respect to the nature of pending claims, the cost
to resolve claims and the amount of available insurance prove to
be incorrect, the actual amount of liability for Rockwell
asbestos-related claims, and the effect on the company, could
differ materially from current estimates and, therefore, could
have a material impact on the company's financial condition and
results of operations.

Meritor, Inc., formerly named ArvinMeritor, Inc., headquartered in
Troy, Michigan, is a global supplier of a broad range of
integrated systems, modules and components to original equipment
manufacturers and the aftermarket for the commercial vehicle,
transportation and industrial sectors. The company serves
commercial truck, trailer, off-highway, military, bus and coach
and other industrial OEMs and certain aftermarkets.  Its principal
products are axles, undercarriages, drivelines, brakes and braking
systems.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meritor's Appeal From $4.5MM Damages Pending
-------------------------------------------------------------
Meritor Inc.'s appeal from an award of punitive damages of $4.5
million is pending with the California Court of Appeals, according
to the Company's November 23, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
October 2, 2011.

On March 4, 2010, Gordon Bankhead and his spouse filed suit in
Superior Court for Alameda County, California, against more than
40 defendants that Mr. Bankhead claims manufactured or supplied
asbestos-containing products he allegedly was exposed to during
his career as a janitor; as an ordnance specialist in the National
Guard; and as an automotive parts-man. By the time trial began on
October 27, 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Bankhead had settled with all
defendants except for the company and three other defendants. The
claims against these four defendants were limited to Mr.
Bankhead's work as an automotive parts-man. On December 23, 2010,
the jury ruled against all four defendants, including the company.
The company was assessed $375,000 in compensatory damages for
which it has recorded a liability at September 30, 2011.
Additionally, the company was assessed $4.5 million in punitive
damages. The company has filed an appeal on the punitive damages
award to the California Court of Appeals. Possible outcomes of the
appeal include vacating the damages award in its entirety,
reducing the award, affirming the award in its entirety or
remanding the case back to the trial court. Accordingly, the
possible estimated range of loss is $0 to $4.5 million. However,
given the uncertainty associated with litigation including the
appeal process, the company is unable to determine an estimate
within that range which is considered more probable than others
and accordingly has not recorded any liability at September 30,
2011. As a consequence of the uncertain outcome of the appeal
process, the company is unable to estimate the impact, if any, the
resolution of this matter may have on its liability for pending
and future claims at September 30, 2011.

Meritor, Inc., formerly named ArvinMeritor, Inc., headquartered in
Troy, Michigan, is a global supplier of a broad range of
integrated systems, modules and components to original equipment
manufacturers and the aftermarket for the commercial vehicle,
transportation and industrial sectors. The company serves
commercial truck, trailer, off-highway, military, bus and coach
and other industrial OEMs and certain aftermarkets.  Its principal
products are axles, undercarriages, drivelines, brakes and braking
systems.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ashland & Hercules Still Exposed to PI Suits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ashland Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Hercules Inc. are
subject to liabilities from claims alleging personal injury caused
by exposure to asbestos, according to the Company's November 23,
2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.

Ashland is subject to liabilities from claims alleging personal
injury caused by exposure to asbestos.  Such claims result
primarily from indemnification obligations undertaken in 1990 in
connection with the sale of Riley Stoker Corporation (Riley), a
former subsidiary.  Although Riley was neither a producer nor a
manufacturer of asbestos, its industrial boilers contained some
asbestos-containing components provided by other companies.

Hercules, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ashland, is also subject to
liabilities from asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits
involving claims which typically arise from alleged exposure to
asbestos fibers from resin encapsulated pipe and tank products
which were sold by one of Hercules' former subsidiaries to a
limited industrial market.

Ashland and Hercules are also defendants in lawsuits alleging
exposure to asbestos at facilities formerly or presently owned or
operated by Ashland or Hercules.

                      Claims Against Ashland

To assist in developing and annually updating independent reserve
estimates for future asbestos claims and related costs given
various assumptions, Ashland retained Hamilton, Rabinovitz &
Associates, Inc. (HR&A).  The methodology used by HR&A to project
future asbestos costs is based largely on recent experience,
including claim-filing and settlement rates, disease mix, enacted
legislation, open claims, and litigation defense.  The claim
experience of Ashland and Hercules are separately compared to the
results of previously conducted third party epidemiological
studies estimating the number of people likely to develop
asbestos-related diseases.  Those studies were undertaken in
connection with national analyses of the population expected to
have been exposed to asbestos.  Using that information, HR&A
estimates a range of the number of future claims that may be
filed, as well as the related costs that may be incurred in
resolving those claims.

From the range of estimates, Ashland records the amount it
believes to be the best estimate of future payments for litigation
defense and claim settlement costs, which generally approximates
the mid-point of the estimated range of exposure from model
results.  Ashland reviews this estimate and related assumptions
quarterly and annually updates the results of a non-inflated, non-
discounted approximate 50-year model developed with the assistance
of HR&A.

During the most recent update, completed during 2011, it was
determined that the liability for Ashland asbestos claims should
be increased by $41 million.  Total reserves for asbestos claims
were $543 million at September 30, 2011, compared to $537 million
at September 30, 2010.

Ashland has insurance coverage for most of the litigation defense
and claim settlement costs incurred in connection with its
asbestos claims, and coverage-in-place agreements exist with the
insurance companies that provide most of the coverage currently
being accessed.  As a result, increases in the asbestos reserve
have been largely offset by probable insurance recoveries.  The
amounts not recoverable generally are due from insurers that are
insolvent, rather than as a result of uninsured claims or the
exhaustion of Ashland's insurance coverage.

For the Ashland asbestos-related obligations, Ashland has
estimated the value of probable insurance recoveries associated
with its asbestos reserve based on management's interpretations
and estimates surrounding the available or applicable insurance
coverage, including an assumption that all solvent insurance
carriers remain solvent.  Approximately 71% of the estimated
receivables from insurance companies are expected to be due from
domestic insurers, of which approximately 85% have a credit rating
of B+ or higher by A. M. Best, as of September 30, 2011.  The
remainder of the insurance receivable is due from London insurance
companies, which generally have lower credit quality ratings, and
from Underwriters at Lloyd's, whose insurance policy obligations
have been transferred to a Berkshire Hathaway entity.  Ashland
discounts this portion of the receivable based upon the projected
timing of the receipt of cash from those insurers unless likely
settlement amounts can be determined.

During fiscal 2010, Ashland entered into a new agreement with a
number of London market insurance companies with respect to
coverage for asbestos-related insurance claims.  As a result, a
$12 million increase to the Ashland asbestos receivable was
recorded within the Consolidated Balance Sheet, which had a $9
million (after-tax) effect on the Statements of Consolidated
Income within the discontinued operations caption.  In addition,
Ashland had agreed to arbitrate a dispute regarding whether there
is a significant deductible in the London market companies'
policies in three policy periods that must be satisfied before the
policies begin providing coverage for Riley Stoker asbestos
claims.  The London market companies had contended that Ashland
must bear certain self-insured retentions in respect of Riley
Stoker asbestos liabilities before the London coverage attaches in
these three years, and Ashland disputed that such self-insured
retentions must be satisfied.  The parties conducted an
arbitration hearing on this dispute in June 2011, and a decision
was rendered by the arbitrator in October 2011 that essentially
supported Ashland's previously stated position on these claims.

At September 30, 2011, Ashland's receivable for recoveries of
litigation defense and claim settlement costs from insurers
amounted to $431 million (excluding the Hercules receivable for
asbestos claims), of which $56 million relates to costs previously
paid.  Receivables from insurers amounted to $421 million at
September 30, 2010.  During 2011, the model used for purposes of
valuing the asbestos reserve, and its impact on valuation of
future recoveries from insurers, was updated.  This model update
along with potential settlement adjustments resulted in an
additional $42 million net increase in the receivable for probable
insurance recoveries.

                      Claims Against Hercules

During the most recent annual update, completed during 2011, it
was determined that the liability for Hercules asbestos related
claims should be decreased by $48 million.  Total reserves for
asbestos claims were $311 million at September 30, 2011 compared
to $375 million at September 30, 2010.

During December 2009, Ashland essentially completed the final
valuation assessment of the Hercules asbestos claims liability
existing as of the acquisition date and underlying claim files as
part of transitioning to a standardized claims management
approach.  This assessment resulted in a $35 million and $22
million reduction to the asbestos liability and receivable,
respectively, which was accounted for as an adjustment to
Hercules' opening balance sheet since the adjustment related to
claims that had been incurred as of the acquisition date.  During
the prior year annual update, completed during 2010, it was
determined that the liability for asbestos claims should be
reduced by $58 million.  Based upon review of the assumptions
underlying the prior year asbestos valuation model and the most
recent claim filing and settlement trend rates for both pre- and
post-acquisition periods at that time, Ashland determined that $14
million of the $58 million adjustment should be recorded to
goodwill, which was partially offset by $6 million for an increase
in probable insurance recoveries, totalling to a net $8 million
adjustment to goodwill.

For the Hercules asbestos-related obligations, certain coverage-
in-place agreements with insurance carriers exist.  As a result,
increases in the asbestos reserve are partially offset by probable
insurance recoveries.  Ashland has estimated the value of probable
insurance recoveries associated with its asbestos reserve based on
management's interpretations and estimates surrounding the
available or applicable insurance coverage, including an
assumption that all solvent insurance carriers remain solvent.  As
of September 30, 2011, this estimated receivable consists
exclusively of domestic insurers, of which approximately 96% have
a credit rating of B+ or higher by A. M. Best.

As of September 30, 2011 and September 30, 2010, the receivables
from insurers amounted to $48 million and $68 million,
respectively.  During 2011, the model used for purposes of valuing
the asbestos reserve and its impact on valuation of future
recoveries from insurers was updated.  This model update along
with likely settlement adjustments caused a $20 million reduction
in the receivable for probable insurance recoveries.

Projecting future asbestos costs is subject to numerous variables
that are extremely difficult to predict.  In addition to the
significant uncertainties surrounding the number of claims that
might be received, other variables include the type and severity
of the disease alleged by each claimant, the long latency period
associated with asbestos exposure, dismissal rates, costs of
medical treatment, the impact of bankruptcies of other companies
that are co-defendants in claims, uncertainties surrounding the
litigation process from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from case
to case, and the impact of potential changes in legislative or
judicial standards.  Furthermore, any predictions with respect to
these variables are subject to even greater uncertainty as the
projection period lengthens.  In light of these inherent
uncertainties, Ashland believes that the asbestos reserves for
Ashland and Hercules represent the best estimate within a range of
possible outcomes.  As a part of the process to develop these
estimates of future asbestos costs, a range of long-term cost
models was developed.  These models are based on national studies
that predict the number of people likely to develop asbestos-
related diseases and are heavily influenced by assumptions
regarding long-term inflation rates for indemnity payments and
legal defense costs, as well as other variables mentioned
previously.  Ashland has currently estimated in various
approximate 50-year models that it is reasonably possible that
total future litigation defense and claim settlement costs on an
inflated and undiscounted basis could range as high as
approximately $900 million for the Ashland asbestos-related
litigation and approximately $500 million for the Hercules
asbestos-related litigation (or approximately $1.4 billion in the
aggregate), depending on the combination of assumptions selected
in the various models.  If actual experience is worse than
projected relative to the number of claims filed, the severity of
alleged disease associated with those claims or costs incurred to
resolve those claims, Ashland may need to increase further the
estimates of the costs associated with asbestos claims and these
increases could potentially be material over time.

Ashland Inc. is a Kentucky corporation, with its principal
executive offices located at 50 E. RiverCenter Boulevard,
Covington, Kentucky 41011.  It is a global specialty chemical
company with four reportable segments: Ashland Specialty
Ingredients; Ashland Water Technologies; Ashland Performance
Materials and Ashland Consumer Markets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 11,700 Cases Pending v. Mallinckrodt at Sept. 30
-----------------------------------------------------------------
One of Covidien Public Limited Company's subsidiaries continues to
defend itself against 11,700 pending asbestos-related lawsuits at
September 30, 2011, according to the Company's November 23, 2011,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.

Mallinckrodt Inc. is named as a defendant in personal injury
lawsuits based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing
materials. A majority of the cases involve product liability
claims, based principally on allegations of past distribution of
products incorporating asbestos. A limited number of the cases
allege premises liability, based on claims that individuals were
exposed to asbestos while on Mallinckrodt's property. Each case
typically names dozens of corporate defendants in addition to
Mallinckrodt. The complaints generally seek monetary damages for
personal injury or bodily injury resulting from alleged exposure
to products containing asbestos.

The Company's involvement in asbestos cases has been limited
because Mallinckrodt did not mine or produce asbestos.
Furthermore, in the Company's experience, a large percentage of
these claims have never been substantiated and have been dismissed
by the courts. The Company has not suffered an adverse verdict in
a trial court proceeding related to asbestos claims, and intend to
continue to vigorously defend these lawsuits. When appropriate,
the Company settles claims; however, amounts paid to settle and
defend all asbestos claims have been immaterial. As of September
30, 2011, there were approximately 11,700 asbestos liability cases
pending against Mallinckrodt.

The Company estimates pending asbestos claims and claims that were
incurred but not reported, as well as related insurance
recoveries. The Company's estimate of its liability for pending
and future claims is based on claim experience over the past five
years and covers claims either currently filed or expected to be
filed over the next seven years. The Company believes that it has
adequate amounts recorded related to these matters. While it is
not possible at this time to determine with certainty the ultimate
outcome of these asbestos-related proceedings, the Company
believes that the final outcome of all known and anticipated
future claims, after taking into account amounts already accrued
and insurance coverage, will not have a material adverse effect on
its results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.

Covidien Public Limited Company develops, manufactures and sells
healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rock-Tenn Still Asserts Asbestos Is Contained
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rock-Tenn Company continues to assert that it has properly
contained the asbestos in its facilities, according to the
Company's November 23, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
September 30, 2011.

The Company's operations are subject to federal, state, local and
foreign laws and regulations relating to workplace safety and
worker health including the Occupational Safety and Health Act
("OSHA") and related regulations. OSHA, among other things,
establishes asbestos and noise standards and regulates the use of
hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Although the Company does
not use asbestos in manufacturing its products, some of its
facilities contain asbestos. For those facilities where asbestos
is present, the Company believes it has properly contained the
asbestos and it has conducted training of its employees in an
effort to ensure that no federal, state or local rules or
regulations are violated in the maintenance of its facilities. The
Company does not believe that future compliance with health and
safety laws and regulations will have a material adverse effect on
its results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.

Rock-Tenn Company is an integrated manufacturer of corrugated and
consumer packaging and recycling products and is primarily a
manufacturer of containerboard, recycled paperboard, bleached
paperboard, packaging products and merchandising displays.  It
operates locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile,
Argentina, Puerto Rico and China.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Scotts Miracle-Gro Still Exposed to PI Suits
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company continues to defend itself
against asbestos-related lawsuits, according to the Company's
November 23, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.

The Company has been named as a defendant in a number of cases
alleging injuries that the lawsuits claim resulted from exposure
to asbestos-containing products, apparently based on the Company's
historic use of vermiculite in certain of its products. The
complaints in these cases are not specific about the plaintiffs'
contacts with the Company or its products. The Company in each
case is one of numerous defendants and none of the claims seek
damages from the Company alone. The Company believes that the
claims against it are without merit and is vigorously defending
against them. It is not currently possible to reasonably estimate
a probable loss, if any, associated with these cases and,
accordingly, no reserves have been recorded in the Company's
Consolidated Financial Statements. The Company is reviewing
agreements and policies that may provide insurance coverage or
indemnity as to these claims and is pursuing coverage under some
of these agreements and policies, although there can be no
assurance of the results of these efforts. There can be no
assurance that these cases, whether as a result of adverse
outcomes or as a result of significant defense costs, will not
have a material effect on the Company's financial condition,
results of operations or cash flows.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is a manufacturer and marketer of
branded consumer lawn and garden products.  Its products are
marketed under some of the most recognized brand names in the
industry.



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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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