CAR_Public/111230.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, December 30, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 259

                             Headlines

AIG DOMESTIC: Appeals Ct. Affirms Keeler Suit Settlement Approval
CHARLES SCHWAB: Plea for Funds Redistribution to be Heard January
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA: Vander Zalm Mulls Class Action Over HST
JOBFOX.COM: Sued in California for Fraudulent Misrepresentation
LOUIS VUITTON: 9th Circuit Alters Remand of "Morey" Consumer Suit

LOUISIANA CITIZENS: High Court Reinstates $5,000 Penalties Ruling
[ REDACTED -- Mar. 11, 2013 ]
MONSANTO CO: Mediation Underway for Class Action Settlement
OAK GROVE: High Court Reverses Ruling on Continued Air Monitoring
ONSTAR CORP: Mich. Ct. Denies Class Certification of Consumer Suit

PACIFIC NATIONAL: Appeals Court Junks Petition on Discovery Order
REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Chooses Engle Case to Take to Supreme Court
SKY SPORTS: May File Plea to Compel Arbitration, Appeals Ct. Says
STATE OF IOWA: Class Action Plaintiff Charged of Embezzlement
UBS REAL: Mayo Plaintiffs Enjoined From Activity in "Shokere" Suit

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH: Meal Break Class Action Decertified

* LCD MANUFACTURERS: Settles Antitrust Class Action for $538.6MM


                       Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA-DEC Agents Foils Illegal Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Union Props Coffins in Protest
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Illegal Dumping Suspected at Kingston
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Garner Drywall, Davco et al. Face Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Low Bidder Camcor Wins Joplin Abatement Job

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contaminants Found Buried Under Campbell Site
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Issues Disrupt Durfee Tech Project
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazards Delay Demolition of Eastmond Pavilion
ASBESTOS UPDATE: HazMats Dumped and Burnt at Banana Shire
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Shelby Environmental Law Violators Plead Guilty

ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Admits Fort Worth Project Workers Unprotected
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Naval Mechanic Dies of Mesothelioma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contamination at Old Celanese Plant Alarms EPA
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazardous Particles Shut Down St Mark's Centre
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of Liverpool School Has Green Light

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Poole Warehouse Thieves in Danger of Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Korean Engineers Develop Fiber ID System
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Housing Project Uses Hazard Materials to Cut Cost
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wash. City Takes Care of Exposed Firefighters
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Unsellable Building for Abatement Demolished

ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Lists Probable Carcinogen Sources in Homes
ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Free Services at Mesothelioma Victims Center
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of Children's Justice Center Begins
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Firemen, Regularly at Risk of Carcinogen Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Shares Inspector General Elkins' View

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2009 Illegal Abatement Convicts Re-sentenced
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ILR to Madison Ct; "Apply The Law As Written"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dying Mom Unlikely to Make March Trial Date
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victorian Court Rejects James Hardie Appeal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chief Judge Asked to Remove Judge Crowder

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Prisoner Must Show Cause in Suit v. Kaiserkane
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hawaii Ct. Junks Appeal From Dismissal Order
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carey v. JP Bushnell Suit Remanded to State Court
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suit vs. DPRA & PATCO Remanded to State Court
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ky. Pneumoconiosis Review Is Unconstitutional

ASBESTOS UPDATE: John Deere Remains Exposed to Asbestos Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Navistar Continues to Defend Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toro Company Still Subject to Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Joy Global Remains Involved in Asbestos Cases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Esterline Dismantled Insulation Facility in Dec.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Piedmont Natural Estimates $2.8MM Liabilities



                          *********


AIG DOMESTIC: Appeals Ct. Affirms Keeler Suit Settlement Approval
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of California, Second District, affirmed a
trial court's approval of the settlement in the class action
lawsuit commenced by Karen Keeler, et al., against AIG Domestic
Claims, Inc., and certain related companies, on behalf of AIG
workers' compensation insurance claims adjusters.  The appeals
court found no abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court.

Filed in 2008, the lawsuit asserted claims for various alleged
wage and overtime violations.  The parties subsequently settled
the action providing for a maximum settlement amount of
$1,400,000.  In March 2010, Gary Janich, Denise Kinney and Kelly
Diaz appealed the trial court's approval of the settlement,
asserting that the settlement's release of claims was overbroad,
improper and unfair.

A copy of the Court of Appeals' Dec. 19, 2011 order is available
for free at http://is.gd/PNLWYjfrom Leagle.com.

The case is captioned KAREN KEELER et al., Plaintiffs and
Respondents, v. AIG DOMESTIC CLAIMS, INC., et al., Defendants and
Respondents; GARY JANICH et al., Objectors and Appellants, Case
No. B226691 (Calif. App. Ct. 2nd Distr.)

Counsel for the Objectors and Appellants are:

        Norman B. Blumenthal, Esq.
        Kyle R. Nordrehaug, Esq.
        Aparajit Bhowmik, Esq.
        BLUMENTHAL, NORDREHAUG & BHOWMIK
        2255 Calle Clara San Diego, CA 92037
        Tel No. (858) 367-9913
        Fax No. (858) 551-1232

Counsel for Plaintiffs is:

        Ira Spiro, Esq.
        SPIRO MOSS
        11377 West Olympic Boulevard, Fifth Floor
        Los Angeles, CA 90064-1683
        Tel No. (310) 235-2468
        Fax No. (310) 235-2456
        info@spiromoss.com

Counsel for Defendants are:

        Elena R. Baca, Esq.
        Sandra N. Benjamin, Esq.
        PAUL, HASTINGS, JANOFSKY & WALKER LLP
        515 South Flower Street
        Los Angeles, CA 90071
        Tel No: 1(213) 683-6306 (Ms. Baca)
                1(213) 683-6167 (Ms. Benjamin)
        E-mail: elenabaca@paulhastings.com
                sandrabenjamin@paulhastings.com


CHARLES SCHWAB: Plea for Funds Redistribution to be Heard January
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In a Dec. 15, 2011, ruling in the class action In re Charles
Schwab Corporation Securities Litigation, Case No. C 08-01510
(N.D. Calif.), Judge William Alsup postponed consideration of
class counsel's motion for approval of class funds redistribution
for 30 days.  A status hearing has been set on the matter for
Jan. 12, 2012, at 8:00 a.m.

The Charles Schwab Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides
securities brokerage, banking, and related financial services to
individuals and institutional clients.  The class action involves
alleged violations of state and federal law in the management of,
disclosures concerning, accounting for, and marketing and sales of
the firm's product referred to as the Schwab YieldPlus Fund.  An
order dated April 2011 granted final approval of class settlement
agreements.

Problems have arisen in the course of distributing class funds,
and it is clear that class counsel has not yet completed all the
work there is to be done, the District Court noted.  In order to
ensure that no other issues arise before the remaining funds are
distributed or class counsel and the administrator are paid,
consideration of class counsel's motion is postponed, the District
Court ruled.

A copy of the District Court's Dec. 15, 2011 order is available at
http://is.gd/dNAzLLfrom Leagle.com.


GOVERNMENT OF CANADA: Vander Zalm Mulls Class Action Over HST
-------------------------------------------------------------
Shane Woodford, writing for CKNW AM 980, reports that the man who
engineered the downfall of the HST [harmonized sales tax] is once
again firing a warning shot at the government over their timeline
to return to the PST [provincial sales tax].

Bill Vander Zalm says he is working on several options to force
the government to speed up the exit of the HST including heading
to court.

"We have kind of petitioned the business community to see if they
would join us in a class action but the business community has not
been too responsive I think generally there is a bit of a fear of
getting involved to tackle the government over the HST issue but
we are not giving up."

Vander Zalm says the government is pulling a con as it dawdles at
removing the HST as he accuses them of delaying in order to grab
all the money they can.

He adds he is also providing advice to the group launching a
citizens initiative to force the removal of BC Hydro smart meters.


JOBFOX.COM: Sued in California for Fraudulent Misrepresentation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jamie Ross at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class
action claims the Jobfox.com Web site advertises itself as a
"free" site to critique job-search resumes, but uses "canned"
criticisms to try to pry $350 to $500 from customers regardless of
the quality of their resumes.

Named plaintiff Suzanne Werden sued JobFox on eight causes of
action, including fraud in the inducement, fraudulent
misrepresentation, breach of contract, unfair competition and
consumer law violations.

Jobfox.com, based in McLean, Virginia, "systematically collects
resumes from users, creates and sends to these users critical and
artificial 'critiques' of their resumes, and, based on the alleged
problems identified in the critique, attempts to convince users to
pay hundreds of dollars for defendant to rewrite the resume," the
complaint states.

While Jobfox markets itself as a "free" employment search tool,
"the primary purpose of the Web site is to induce users to
purchase the resume writing service," according to the complaint.

Users are instructed to upload their resumes to the Web site,
which claims: "Your resume is the key to joining networks, looking
attractive to recruiters, and landing the jobs that you want,"
according to the complaint.

The class claims that Jobfox does not inform users "that they are
not required to upload a resume to complete their registration"
with the Web site, and does not disclose the costs associated with
its "resume advice network."

The class claims that Jobfox tells users that each resume critique
is done by a "Jobfox resume expert" who "provides an 'honest,
straightforward assessment' of the user's current resume," but
that Jobfox actually provides "an automated, 'canned' critique
that heavily criticizes the resume's visual presentation, content,
and writing style, regardless of the quality of the resume
submitted by the user."

Each critique "is nearly identical in form and contains numerous
matching paragraphs, phrases and boilerplate criticisms," the
class claims.  Jobfox "attempts to pull a small number of words
and phrases from users' resumes and place them within the critique
at predetermined locations," it adds.

"Regardless of the quality or individual characteristics of a
resume, each of defendant's critiques determines that the user's
resume is 'selling you short,' and concludes that the resume
should be 'professionally' rewritten by Jobfox," according to the
complaint.

Ms. Werden says that Jobfox refuses to respond to users who are
unhappy with the results, even though "the resume writing service
fails to provide the level of service and quality promised."

Ms. Werden says she paid $399 for the resume writing service, and
was not satisfied with the changes to her resume, "many of which
made her resume appear more generic that the original."

She says she tried to contact Jobfox to request changes, but it
refused to return her calls and emails.

Ms. Werden says Jobfox offered a "Break Through Service," "to
match jobseekers to appropriate opportunities," by offering 2
months free of the service for any user who bought the writing
service.  She says the users "automatically became paying
subscribers" of the service, and were not provided "with a
separate contract" or with a detailed description of the services.

She claims that Jobfox "systematically advertises expired and/or
filled job listings to subscribers of Jobfox's premium monthly
service, posts job listings without the consent of employers, and
fails to provide adequate written contracts to such subscribers,
conduct that expressly violates California statutes governing job
listing services such as defendant."

Ms. Werden seeks class certification and statutory and punitive
damages.

A copy of the Complaint in Werden v. Jobfox, Inc., Case No. 11-cv-
02995 (S.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/27/JobFox.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Sean P. Reis, Esq.
          EDELSON MCGUIRE LLP
          30021 Tomas Street, Suite 300
          Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
          Telephone: (949) 459-2124
          E-mail: sreis@edelson.com

               - and -

          Jay Edelson, Esq.
          Rafey S. Balabanian, Esq.
          Bradley M. Baglien, Esq.
          EDELSON MCGUIRE LLC
          350 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1300
          Chicago, IL 60654
          Telephone: (312) 589-6370
          E-mail: jedelson@edelson.com


LOUIS VUITTON: 9th Circuit Alters Remand of "Morey" Consumer Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a trial
court's remand of the class action captioned DEANNA MOREY, on
behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. LOUIS
VUITTON NORTH AMERICA, INC.

The class action alleges that Louis Vuitton violated California's
Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, Cal. Civ. Code Sec. 1747.08, by
requesting and recording shoppers' personal identification
information when they used a credit card for purchases at Louis
Vuitton retail stores.

The Ninth Circuit held that the district court erred in holding
that Louis Vuitton's initial notice of removal failed to show by a
preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy
exceeded $5 million.

A copy of the Ninth's Circuit's Dec. 15, 2011 order is available
at http://is.gd/eROslAfrom Leagle.com.


LOUISIANA CITIZENS: High Court Reinstates $5,000 Penalties Ruling
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In the class action lawsuit styled GERALDINE OUBRE AND LINDA
GENTRY ON THEIR BEHALF, AS WELL AS OTHERS, SIMILARLY SITUATED v.
LOUISIANA CITIZENS FAIR PLAN, the Supreme Court of Louisiana ruled
that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment
and in awarding each individual plaintiff $5,000 in statutory
penalties, subject to a credit in Citizen's favor for those
plaintiffs who executed binding releases or opted out of the
class.

In November 2005, Geraldine Oubre and Linda Gentry on their behalf
and others similarly situated sued insurer Louisiana Citizens
Property Insurance Corporation for failure to comply with its
statutory duty to timely initiate loss adjustment as set forth in
La. Rev. Stat. Sec. 22:658(A)(3) on members' insurance claims.
The plaintiffs brought the action in connection with property
damage they allegedly suffered when Hurricane Katrina and
Hurricane Rita struck in August and September 2005.  The District
Court granted summary judgment in plaintiffs' favor and awarded
$5,000 in penalties for each compensable claim, totaling
$92,865,000.  The Court of Appeal reversed, finding a factual
determination of whether the insurer breached its duty of good
faith was required before assessing penalties.

The Louisiana Supreme Court found that the plain language of La.
Rev. Stat. Sec. 22:2658(A)(3) does not require a showing of bad
faith by the insurer, but simply requires proof of notice and
inaction for over 30 days.  The Louisiana Supreme Court further
found that the provisions of La. Rev. Stat. Sec. 22:1220(C) cap
the penalties for such inaction at $5,000 when damages are not
proven.  Finding no error in the District Court's award of the
statutory cap for each failure to timely initiate, the Louisiana
Supreme Court reverses the judgment of the Court of Appeal and
reinstated the District Court's judgment.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court
of Appeal and reinstated the judgment of the District Court.

A copy of the Louisiana Supreme Court's Dec. 16, 2011 order is
available at http://is.gd/R1NySMfrom Leagle.com.


[ REDACTED -- Mar. 11, 2013 ]


MONSANTO CO: Mediation Underway for Class Action Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Whitney Burdette, writing for The State Journal, reports that
plaintiffs in two related lawsuits against Monsanto Co. gathered
Dec. 27 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center to negotiate a
possible settlement in a massive class action lawsuit that alleges
the company exposed people to toxins.

Stuart Calwell, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said he is
hopeful he and attorneys representing the chemical company can
reach a settlement soon in the seven-year-old lawsuit.  The
attorneys are working on the agreement with two circuit court
judges who were assigned to the massive case.

Mr. Calwell and the others are negotiating a settlement for 127
plaintiffs who claim they were exposed to dioxin released into the
air and water by a Monsanto-owned plant in Nitro.

Plaintiffs filed the suit in 2004 against Monsanto, Pharmacia
Corp., Akzo Nobel Chemicals Inc., Akzo Chemicals Inc., Flexsys
America Co., Flexsys America LP, Flexsys International LP and
Flexsys International Co., seeking medical monitoring.

Plaintiffs claim from 1948 to 1969, Monsanto manufactured
herbicides at its Nitro chemical plant, which created dioxin as a
byproduct.  According to the suit, the dioxin was released into
the air when waste material was burned at the old Monsanto plant.

One lawsuit, which Mr. Calwell called the "Allen case" was filed
several years ago.  Another case, the "Carter case" was filed last
year.  Both cases ask for medical monitoring expenses as well as
property damages caused by the dioxin contamination.


OAK GROVE: High Court Reverses Ruling on Continued Air Monitoring
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Alabama reversed a trial court order in favor
of a class of plaintiffs in a toxic-tort class action finding that
Oak Grove Resources, LLC, and Cliffs North American Coal, LLC,
failed to satisfy the requirements of a settlement agreement
between the parties and ordering the continued monitoring of air
near the plaintiffs' properties for the presence of coal dust for
a period of one year.

The lawsuit was filed in July 1997 by Tommy White, et al.,
alleging that Oak Grove operated its plant in a manner that caused
coal dust to become airborne, to migrate to their properties, and
cause them personal injury and property damage.

The Alabama Supreme Court concluded that the plaintiffs
inexcusably delayed in asserting their rights under the parties'
2008 supplement agreement and that Oak Grove would be unduly
prejudiced if the plaintiffs are allowed to assert those rights at
this point.  Thus, trial court's judgment awarding further
injunctive relief in the form of continued air monitoring should
be reversed and the case remanded, the Supreme Court held.

The appeal case is captioned Oak Grove Resources, LLC, and Cliffs
North American Coal, LLC v. Tommy White,  et al., Case No. 1100525
(Sup. Ct. Ala.)

A copy of the Alabama Supreme Court's Dec. 16, 2011 order is
available at http://is.gd/740d5xfrom Leagle.com.


ONSTAR CORP: Mich. Ct. Denies Class Certification of Consumer Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Sean F. Cox denied class certification of a consolidated
class action captioned In Re OnStar Contract Litigation, Case No.
2:07-MDL-01867 (E.D. Mich).

The lawsuits were filed by buyers and lessees of automobiles
equipped with OnStar telematics equipment against OnStar
Corporation and four automobile manufacturers -- General Motors
Corporation, American Honda Motor Company, Subaru of America, and
Volkswagen of America -- asserting consumer protection act and
warranty claims.  The actions have been consolidated for pretrial
proceedings by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

"Because the consumer protection and warranty laws of several
states govern Plaintiffs' claims, and because factual variations
among the claims abound, Plaintiffs have not met FED. R. CIV. P.
23(b)(3)'s predominance requirement," Judge Cox stated.

Counsel are ordered to meet and confer as to how to best proceed
with the individual claims asserted in the action within 30 days
of the District Court's order.  The parties are to appear for a
status conference to discuss those topics on Jan. 21, 2012, at
2:30 p.m.

The District Court's Dec. 19, 2011 opinion and order is available
at http://is.gd/EfMun3from Leagle.com.


PACIFIC NATIONAL: Appeals Court Junks Petition on Discovery Order
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of California, Second District, denied
Obaidul H. Pirjada's petition for a writ of mandate challenging a
lower court's order denying discovery in his complaint against
Pacific National Security, Inc.

Mr. Pirjada, as putative class representative, filed the
complaint in December 2010 on behalf of himself and a proposed
class of all security guards who had been employed in California
by Pacific National during the immediately preceding four years,
asserting causes of action for failure to provide meal and rest
periods and various other wage-and-hour claims, as well as a claim
for unfair business practices.  After Mr. Pirjada settled his
individual claim through direct negotiations with Pacific
National's chief executive officer, respondent superior court
granted Mr. Pirjada's counsel leave to amend the complaint to name
a new class representative but denied his motion to compel
precertification discovery to identify a suitable class
representative.  Counsel for Mr. Pirjada, purportedly on behalf of
his client, then petitioned for a writ of mandate challenging the
order denying discovery.

The Appellate Court held that the lower court did not abuse its
discretion in denying the Motion to Compel discovery responses.

The appeal case is OBAIDUL H. PIRJADA, Petitioner, v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Respondent;
PACIFIC NATIONAL SECURITY, INC., Real Party in Interest, Case No.
B234813 (Calif. Ct. App., 2nd Dist.)

A copy of the Appeals Court's Dec. 12, 2011 order is available at
http://is.gd/oaAsdQfrom Leagle.com.

Counsel for Plaintiff are:

          R. Duane Westrup, Esq.
          Christine C. Choi, Esq.
          WESTRUP KLICK, LLP
          444 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 1614
          Long Beach, California 90802
          Tel No.: (866) 782-4863
          Fax No.: (562) 435-4856

Counsel for Pacific National are:

          Roxanne A. Davis, Esq.
          Frank Hakim, Esq.
          DAVIS GAVSIE & HAKIM
          100 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2060
          Santa Monica, CA 90401
          Tel No.: 866-611-3257
          Fax No.: 310-899-2081


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Chooses Engle Case to Take to Supreme Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Craver, writing for Winston-Salem Journal, reports that
Reynolds American Inc. appears to have chosen at least one Engle
legal case to take before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Engle progeny cases have been scrutinized since they sprang
from a decision in 2006 by the Florida Supreme Court that
decertified a class-action lawsuit initially filed by Howard
Engle.  The 2006 ruling allowed former class members to file
individual lawsuits stating that cigarettes caused their
respective illnesses.

The cases involve consumers who smoked before a law went into
effect requiring warning labels on cigarette packaging.  In most
Engle suits, the plaintiff bears some responsibility for illness
or death, which reduces compensatory and punitive damages to
manufacturers.

The company said in October that it would file a request before
the court to help clarify the company's -- and the industry's --
financial exposure.

According to the legal Web site Law360, Reynolds has filed a
petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court,
asking it to overturn a $28.3 million jury verdict in Florida in
favor of Mathilde Martin, whose husband, Benny, died of lung
cancer after decades of smoking unfiltered Lucky Strike
cigarettes.

Reynolds spokesman Bryan Hatchell said on Dec. 26 that the company
did not have a comment about the filing.  The Florida Supreme
Court declined to accept Reynolds' appeal of the jury verdict.

Reynolds said in the petition that the jury verdict was reached
without the respondent "either proving essential elements of her
claims or demonstrating that a prior jury had actually decided
those elements in her favor."

Because there have been several victories by plaintiffs and
manufacturers at lower court levels, Reynolds is confident the
U.S. Supreme Court will agree to the request.

Reynolds said it has placed a combined $63 million into accrual
for the four Engle cases that have advanced through the appellate
court. Reynolds' profit has been affected by significant legal
fees for two consecutive quarters.

Thomas Adams, Reynolds' chief financial officer, said its policy
is to record any litigation loss when an unfavorable outcome in
any individual case becomes probable and the amount can be
estimated in accordance with generally accepted accounting
principles.

Reynolds spokesman Bryan Hatchell stressed that Reynolds has not
paid any damages amount toward the Engle cases and does not expect
to "until the company has exhausted all legal avenues."

Bonnie Herzog, managing director for beverage, tobacco and
consumer research for Wells Fargo Securities LLC, has said she
expects that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear at least one of the
cases.  She projects that the court likely will side with the
manufacturers.


SKY SPORTS: May File Plea to Compel Arbitration, Appeals Ct. Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In the class action lawsuit Hector Hogan, et al., brought against
Sky Sports, Inc., doing business as Sky Security Services, the
Court of Appeals of California, Second District, granted a
petition for mandate to permit the company to file a motion to
compel arbitration.

The Appeals Court concluded that the statutory requirements to
compel arbitration under Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.21
were not satisfied until the class was certified.  Thus, any
purported delay in bringing the motion does not constitute a
waiver of the right to move to compel arbitration, the Appeals
Court said.

Sky Sports sought a writ of mandate, directing the respondent
court to vacate an order finding that it has waived its right to
compel arbitration in the Hogan class action lawsuit, which seeks
damages and penalties for rest break violations for security
guards employed by the company.  The company raised the
arbitration issue to defeat class certification.  The company
maintained that the putative class representative, Hector Hogan,
was not an adequate class representative because his claims were
not typical of the majority of the class who had signed
arbitration agreements.  The Appeals Court must thus determine if
the company waived its right to enforce the agreements because it
did not move to compel arbitration before certification of a class
that included parties to the agreement.

Upon review, the trial court is directed to vacate its order
denying the company's motion to compel arbitration and to permit
the company to bring a motion to compel arbitration.  In all other
respects, the petition is denied.  The temporary stay, having
served its purpose, is lifted.

The appeal case is SKY SPORTS, INC. v. THE SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS
ANGELES COUNTY, Respondent; HECTOR HOGAN et al., Real Parties in
Interest, Case No. B233820 (Calif. App. Ct., 2nd Dist.).

A copy of the California Appeals Court's Dec. 15, 2011 order is
available at http://is.gd/BUQmCTfrom Leagle.com.

Counsel for Plaintiff are:

          Morris Nazarian, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF MORRIS NAZARIAN
          5233 E. Beverly Boulevard
          Los Angeles, California 90022-2020
          Tel No. (323) 888-9505

          Bruce Schwartz, Esq.
          SCHWARTZ WISOT LLP
          315 South Beverly Drive Suite 305
          Tel No. (310) 277-9595
          Fax No. (310) 277-0177
          E-mail: bsesq@theswlaw.net

Counsel for Sky Sports are:

          Sergio Bent, Esq.
          Jesse M. Caryl, Esq.
          Steven M. Kroll, Esq.
          BENT CARYL & KROLL LLP
          6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1415
          Los Angeles California 90048
          Tel No. (323) 315-0512 (Mr. Bent)
                  (323) 315-0511 (Mr. Caryl)
                  (323) 315-0513 (Mr. Kroll)
          Fax No. (323) 774-6021
          E-mail: sbent@bcklegal.com
                  jcaryl@bcklegal.com
                  skroll@bcklegal.com


STATE OF IOWA: Class Action Plaintiff Charged of Embezzlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ryan J. Foley, writing for The Associated Press, reports that the
lead plaintiff in a class-action discrimination lawsuit filed by
black workers against the state of Iowa was expected to plead
guilty on Dec. 28 to using her position at Iowa Workforce
Development to carry out a fraud scheme in which she embezzled
$43,000 in benefits meant for jobless Iowans.

Linda F. Pippen, 41, was charged earlier this month with
embezzling federal funds and aggravated identity theft for using
another person's name and social security number as part of the
scheme.  A court document showed she plans to plead guilty to both
counts when she appears for an arraignment and plea hearing in
U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids on Dec. 28.

Ms. Pippen is the lead plaintiff for a class of up to 6,000 blacks
turned down for state jobs and promotions dating back to 2003. Her
claims have been front and center during the lengthy litigation:
she says she was passed over for promotions because of systemic
racism in Iowa hiring practices, and that state officials later
found proof of racism and retaliation but covered it up.

Lawyers for the workers are seeking tens of millions in lost wages
and policy changes in the lawsuit, which was originally filed in
2007 and covers about 20,000 employment applications.  Judge
Robert Blink is expected to rule on the case in coming months
after a monthlong trial that began in September featured testimony
from employment experts and current and former state government
officials in charge of hiring.

Ms. Pippen is one of 29 named plaintiffs in the case, which
carries her name: Linda Pippen, et. al., vs. State of Iowa.  Lead
attorney Thomas Newkirk said he was surprised to learn Pippen was
charged, and he said it was an unfortunate coincidence that her
name was on the lawsuit.

"This case is about the rights and the needs of many, not the
failings of one, but society has a tendency to blame the many when
it comes to one's failings when that person is black," he said.
"Whatever Ms. Pippen did is truly unrelated to the systemic
problems in this class case and the rights of 6,000 individuals."

He noted that details of Ms. Pippen's and other individual cases
were separated from the class lawsuit and will be tried
separately.  The charges could come into play during that case,
which has not yet been set for trial, he said.

A document filed by assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan on
Dec. 27 says Pippen made fraudulent entries in Iowa Workforce
Development's computer system to file applications for
unemployment insurance benefits filed under other people's names.
She directed money to bank accounts under her control and used it
for personal gain, the document said.  Ms. Pippen used the name
and social security number of a person identified only as "R.O.,"
among others, to fraudulently file for benefits, it said.

Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman Kerry Koonce said on
Dec. 27 that Ms. Pippen was fired in July 2010 from her $47,000-
per-year job as an adviser at the Cedar Rapids workforce center
after 12 years with the agency. She declined further comment,
citing the pending criminal case.

Ms. Pippen faces up to 12 years in prison, but she is not expected
to be sentenced for several months if she pleads guilty on Dec.
28.  Prosecutors are seeking to recover all $43,582 derived from
the embezzlement scheme, which allegedly unfolded between May 2008
and November 2009.

A phone number for Ms. Pippen could not be found, and her
attorney, public defender Jill Johnston, did not return a voice
message seeking comment.

Ms. Pippen and another black employee claim in their lawsuit that
white managers conspired to avoid hiring them for vacant workforce
adviser positions in 2001.  Her lawyers claim she was viewed as "a
troublemaker" because she had previously filed a civil rights
complaint when she was employed by the agency in Waterloo and was
passed over for a promotion that went to a white woman.  Ms.
Pippen claims she passed a customer service test used to screen
applicants, while the white employee failed. Yet a white manager
directed the other woman be hired.

The lawsuit claims a manager backed up the two women in 2001, and
an investigation "uncovered massive discrepancies in the hiring
process at IWD in Cedar Rapids and evidence of discrimination and
retaliation."  Yet the women were not told of the findings for
years, and the state later gave the Iowa Civil Rights Commission a
"white-washed" copy of the report that exonerated state officials,
the lawsuit says.

Lawyers representing the state are defending against the
discrimination allegations, saying the hiring and employment
practices vary widely by department and position being sought.
They say the state has made a number of improvements in recent
years such as additional training for managers.

Geoff Greenwood, communications director for Iowa Attorney General
Tom Miller, said on Dec. 27 that the office had no comment on
Ms. Pippen's reported guilty plea in the fraud case because it is
still pending.  The office also would not comment on the potential
implications for the discrimination case against the state since
it is pending, Mr. Greenwood said.


UBS REAL: Mayo Plaintiffs Enjoined From Activity in "Shokere" Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
In the putative class action captioned MICHAEL D. MAYO v. UBS REAL
ESTATE SECURITIES, INC., et al., Case No. 08-00568-CV-W-DGK (W.D.
Miss.), Judge Greg Kays has entered an injunction order against
the plaintiffs.

The class action was brought under the Missouri Second Mortgage
Loan Act, where the Plaintiff alleged that he was charged illegal
fees at the closing of his residential second mortgage loan and is
suing the various entities who acquired or serviced his loan after
closing.  Named defendants include UBS Real Estate Securities,
Inc. and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, in its capacity as
trustee of the MAST Specialized Loan Trust 2007-01.  The Plaintiff
has also filed a new class action lawsuit in state court bringing
the same claims against Defendants GMAC Mortgage, LLC and
Residential Funding Company, LLC  only.  In response, UBS and
Deutsche Bank moved for an injunction enjoining the Plaintiff from
settling his claims against GMACM and RFC in state court, arguing
that the state court lawsuit subverts the District Court's removal
jurisdiction and threatens to interfere with the adjudication of
the case.

Upon review, the District Court held that it still possesses
jurisdiction over the Plaintiff's claim against GMACM and RFC.

Accordingly, in a Dec. 16, 2011 ruling, Judge Kays specified that
Mr. Mayo and his wife, and anyone acting on his behalf, are
enjoined for 30 days from any activity or participation in the
lawsuit entitled Joyce and Luke Shokere v. Residential Funding
Company LLC and GMAC Mortgage LLC in the Circuit Court of Jackson
County, Missouri, which might adjudicate or settle their claim, or
from filing any similar lawsuit against "GMACM" and "RFC in any
other court, without the prior written approval of the District
Court.  UBS and Deutsche Bank are collectively ordered to post a
$5,000 surety bond within seven days of the District Court order.
In the alternative to posting a surety bond, they may deposit in
the Court registry $5,000.

A copy of the District Court's Dec. 16, 2011, order is available
at http://is.gd/oxV0Tbfrom Leagle.com.


UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH: Meal Break Class Action Decertified
-------------------------------------------------------------
Erin McAuley at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
judge has decertified the class fighting unpaid meal breaks at the
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, saying their position
"smacks of sandbagging."

UPMC automatically deducts 30-minute meal breaks from the pay of
nonexempt employees whose shifts last at least five hours.

"Although UPMC's policies directed employees to cancel the
automatic deductions when they were required to work through
meals, this approach 'arguably shift[ed] the burden from
defendants to their employees to ensure that non-qualifying meal
breaks [we]re not deducted from their pay,'" U.S. District Judge
Cathy Bissoon wrote, summarizing earlier findings that led her to
grant conditional certification.

Since the conditional grant, however, Judge Bissoon found that "a
growing consensus of federal courts . . . rejected the notion that
collective action treatment of automatic deductions is warranted
under an FLSA 'burden-shifting' theory."

Discovery also revealed that lead plaintiff Karen Camesi and other
opt-in class members did not all regularly work more than 40 hours
per week.  Moreover, UPMC had trained most on meal-break
cancellation policies and had paid employees who worked through
meal breaks.

Opt-ins workers reported to 250 different supervisors, holding 107
job titles in 126 different departments.  Each department had
different means to record work time with different ways to cancel
automatic deductions, and only some departments used the Kronos
computerized time-tracking system that automatically overrode
deductions for employees on some or all shifts.  A number of UPMC
departments and business units actually paid for an employee's
meal break if it was interrupted at all, regardless of how many
uninterrupted minutes the employee enjoyed, and some units paid
for meal breaks unless the employee received 30 uninterrupted
minutes.  There were different scheduling methods in different
departments and experiences varied among opt-ins regarding the
number of meal breaks missed or interrupted.  The number of times
they reported or were paid for such breaks also varied.

"Essentially, plaintiffs ask the court to focus narrowly on UPMC's
'common polic[ies]' of making automatic deductions where employees
received more than twenty minutes of uninterrupted meal breaks,"
Judge Bissoon wrote.  "In plaintiffs' view, UPMC's common policies
override all of the various dissimilarities between collective
action members identified by defendants."

But Judge Bissoon disagreed.

UPMC "introduced evidence regarding [its] significant efforts to
advise employees and managers regarding the substance of the meal
break policies," the Dec. 20 decision states.  It also proved its
"efforts to monitor and ensure compliance" and "demonstrated a
plethora of differences between the putative plaintiffs that would
make utilization of the collective action vehicle unmanageable."

"At the heart of many of these distinctions was the decentralized
nature of UPMC's implementation and enforcement of the meal break
policies," Judge Bissoon wrote.  "UMPC's written compensation
manual specifically stated:  'It is the responsibility of each
employee to accurately record time on a daily basis via the manner
designated by [his or her] department, including overriding
automatic lunch deductions (if working through lunch or
interrupted during lunch).'"

Such evidence "casts doubt on plaintiffs' suggestion that UPMC
utilized its meal break policies to 'shirk' its" obligations under
the Fair Labor Standards Act, the 22-page decision states.

"The named plaintiffs themselves admit to having been trained on
and/or were aware of how to cancel meal break deductions, and they
did so on many occasions," and the plaintiffs' counsel "failed to
identify opt-in member(s) who were dissuaded from cancelling, or
instructed not to cancel, deductions for meal breaks," Judge
Bissoon wrote.  "Nor are there any allegations that employees who
cancelled meal breaks suffered retaliation."

With ample case law establishing the insufficiency of an
employer's use of automatic deductions, Judge Bissoon said the
"plaintiffs' position smacks of sandbagging."

"The breadth of these disparate factual and employment settings
seems self-apparent," she wrote.

Judge Bissoon said she is "not entirely unsympathetic" to the
plaintiffs' arguments, but those arguments did not pass the stage
II threshold for class certification.

"At the very least, it seems the named plaintiffs would not be
good candidates," she wrote, adding that "there are far too many
individualized inquiries to be addressed through representative
testimony, bifurcation and sub-classifications."

The judge also tossed class certification for plaintiffs who said
they lost one to nine minutes of a meal break if they were
interrupted after minute 20 and had no chance to complete their
meal.

"Given the needles that would need to be thread, and the limited
nature of recovery, it would seem that retaining class treatment
for these claims would be an end for the sake of itself," Judge
Bissoon wrote.

"The difficulties presented by individualized inquiries outweigh
the benefits of a collective resolution," she added.

Judge Bissoon also refused to strike manager declarations and the
defendants' statements of fact, but she threw out the defendants'
expert statistician because of "the lack of randomness regarding
opt-in selection.

A copy of the Memorandum and Order in Camesi, et al. v. University
of Pittsburgh Medical Center, et al., Case No. 09-cv-00085 (W.D.
Penn.) (Bissoon, J.), is available at:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/27/UPMC%20meal%20breaks.pdf


* LCD MANUFACTURERS: Settles Antitrust Class Action for $538.6MM
----------------------------------------------------------------
Don Jeffrey and Phil Milford, writing for Bloomberg News, report
that Sharp Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and five other makers of
liquid crystal display panels used in computers and televisions
agreed to pay $538.6 million to settle antitrust claims by
indirect purchasers.

Earlier this month, the panel makers agreed to pay $388 million to
settle price-fixing claims by direct buyers of the products as
part of a series of cases consolidated in federal court in San
Francisco.  Under the new agreement, about $501 million will be
available for partial refunds to consumers and about $37 million
to compensate governments and other public entities for damages,
according to a court filing dated Dec. 23.

The companies allegedly fixed prices of thin-film liquid crystal
display panels, driving up prices for purchasers of televisions,
notebook computers and monitors from 1999 to 2006, according to a
class action, or group, lawsuit filed in 2007.

"We think that the amount of the settlement, along with the
injunction the defendants had to agree to, will prevent price-
fixing by these powerful companies in the consumer electronics
industry," Joseph Alioto, a lawyer for the class-action
plaintiffs, said in a telephone interview.  "The only way they pay
attention to the law is to have to pay money."

The attorneys general of eight states, including Florida,
California and New York, were part of the settlement agreements
with the manufacturers.

"Price-fixing is detrimental to Florida's consumers, governmental
agencies, and the economy," Pam Bondi, Florida's attorney general,
said in a statement.  "I am pleased that we will be able to return
funds to those who were harmed by this illegal and deceptive
behavior."

New York taxpayers may receive as much as $11 million from the
settlement, according to a release from the state's attorney
general, Eric Schneiderman.

Besides the $538.6 million settlement of the antitrust claims,
five of the companies also agreed to pay more than $14 million in
civil fines and penalties to New York, according to the statement
from Mr. Schneiderman.

"This price-fixing scheme manipulated the playing field for
businesses that abide by the rules, and left consumers to pay
artificially higher costs for televisions, computers and other
electronics," Mr. Schneiderman said in the statement.

Lawyers representing Samsung and Sharp didn't return messages
seeking comment on the settlement.

Samsung agreed to pay $240 million in the settlement, the highest
figure.  The second-biggest amount, $115.5 million, will be paid
by Sharp.  The other companies in this agreement are Chimei,
Chunghwa, Epson, Hannstar and Hitachi.

Mr. Alioto said he believed the $539 million settlement was the
largest ever for consumers in a class-action price-fixing case.
A U.S. Justice Department investigation that led to guilty pleas
by LG Display Co., Chunghwa Picture Tubes and Sharp preceded the
litigation.  The companies agreed in 2008 and 2009 to pay $585
million in criminal fines, the U.S. said.

Litigation will continue against companies that didn't agree to
the class-action settlement, including LG, Toshiba and AU
Optronics, according to the statement from Ms. Bondi.  Ms. Bondi's
suit against those defendants is scheduled to go to trial in
November 2012.

The class-action suit in California is set for trial in April
2012, according to a court filing.

Mr. Alioto said the class-action defendants are seeking more than
$2 billion in damages in that jury trial in San Francisco. U.S.
District Judge Susan Illston will preside.

This settlement followed the exchange of "more than 7.8 million
documents totaling more than 40 million pages" and more than 100
depositions, lawyers said in the Dec. 23 filing requesting
preliminary approval of the accord.

The other states involved in the settlement are Arkansas,
Michigan, Missouri, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The case is In Re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, 07-
01827, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
(San Francisco).


                       Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA-DEC Agents Foils Illegal Abatement
-------------------------------------------------------
Anastasios "Taso" Kolokouris, 28, of Avon, N.Y., has been arrested
and charged by Criminal Complaint with violating the Clean Air Act
asbestos work practice standards involving asbestos removal and
disturbance.  The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years
in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig R. Gestring, who is handling the
case, stated that the defendant is an owner of a warehouse located
at 920 Exchange Street, Rochester.  Acting on a complaint, an
inspector from the New York State Department of Labor, Asbestos
Control Bureau visited the property on Dec. 13, 2011.  According
to the Complaint, the inspector observed people working in a large
dumpster next to a loading dock. He observed large quantities of
material that resembled asbestos in and around the dumpster and
took some samples.  A federal search warrant was obtained and
federal and state agents entered the property on Dec. 14.
Additional samples were taken and over 90 bags of dry, friable
asbestos were observed inside the warehouse.  The samples were
analyzed by a lab, and they all tested positive for asbestos.

The Complaint further alleges that Kolokouris hired several
civilian workers without any asbestos training or experience to
clean out the dumpster and load it into bags.

"Because asbestos is known to be a hazardous material, any
business owner involved in the remediation or redevelopment of
property which contains asbestos is obligated to follow certain
guidelines," said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr.  "These
guidelines are designed to protect the health and safety of
employees, as well as residents living in nearby neighborhoods.
Our Office is committed to prosecuting those who ignore or violate
the environmental laws designed to protect the public."

"This arrest is a great example of the cooperative enforcement
relationship between the Environmental Protection Agency and the
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation," said DEC
Commissioner Joe Martens.  "Improperly handled asbestos poses a
health risk to all who come in contact with it, and can lead to
chronic disease such as Asbestosis, and Mesothelioma.  This case
is particularly heinous because it exposed workers to asbestos
without adequate protective equipment to save the defendant the
cost of legal abatement and disposal."

The Criminal Complaint is the culmination of an investigation on
the part of Special Agents of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency - Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of
Special Agent-In-Charge William Lometti, Investigators of the New
York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police, BECI,
under the direction of Lieutenant Richard Thomas, the New York
State Department of Labor, Asbestos Control Bureau, under the
direction of Maureen Cox, and Officers from the City of Rochester,
Office of Public Integrity, under Director George Markert.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely
an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and
unless proven guilty.

Any person who was, at some time, present in or around 920
Exchange Street, Rochester, New York during the time period Aug.
1, 2011 to the present may have been exposed to the asbestos
therein.  For more information, please call the NYS Health
Department, refer to the Web site of the U.S. Attorney's Office or
call 1-800-799-6033.

                           *     *     *

Gary Craig at DemocratandChronicle.com reports that Kolokouris
appeared in court on Dec. 20 and was released on his own
recognizance.   He must surrender his passport.  He is scheduled
to return to court Jan. 18.

His attorney, Paul Vacca, said he is reviewing the allegations
against Kolokouris.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Union Props Coffins in Protest
---------------------------------------------------------
Rich Lee at Connecticut Post reports that a union representing
asbestos-removal workers has come to Stamford to display a macabre
way to protest the hiring of a non-union shop to remove asbestos
from a New York City hotel.

Local 78 of the 500,000-member Laborers International Union of
North America has placed two coffins in front of the UBS North
America headquarters on Washington Boulevard to protest the hiring
of New York Insulation to remove asbestos from the Buckingham
Hotel at 101 W. 57th St. in midtown Manhattan.

Eli Kent, organizing director of Local 78, referring to a deed
showing the 100-room hotel was purchased in June 2010 by 101 West
57th Street Hotel Investors LLC in care of Hartford-based UBS
Realty Investors LLC, says the Buckingham is owned by the Swiss
banking giant UBS, which is why the protest was set up in
Stamford.

A UBS spokesman said the property is owned by a client of UBS
Global Asset Management and not by any entity of UBS.

The local, which has 4,500 members in Greater New York, claims
that New York Insulation has a spotty record in asbestos removal,
and has had to correct their removal activities after violations
were found in routine government inspections.  A call to New York
Insulation wasn't returned by press time.

"This is an extremely dangerous industry," said Kent.  "Over
10,000 die every year from asbestos exposure."

A search of New York City property records showed that 101 West
57th Street Hotel Investors is still the owner of the Buckingham.
The principals of the ownership group are not listed in New York
State Department of State Division of Corporations records.

The UBS spokesman said the 82-year-old building has been visited
several times by New York State Department of Environmental
Protection inspectors, and they have found no violations, and that
the asbestos removal company has an impeccable track record.

The union local will continue its protest at the UBS building,
according to Kent, despite UBS' insistence that it does not own
the hotel.

"We'll be there for as long as it takes," he said. "We've reached
out to UBS, and they never returned our calls.  We want them to
understand the effect of asbestos removal."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Illegal Dumping Suspected at Kingston
------------------------------------------------------
John Thistleton, Business Editor at The Canberra Times, reports
that a Land Development Agency contractor has trucked in an
unknown amount of asbestos to the prestigious Kingston Foreshore,
in Australia, where land is being prepared for a mixed use
development.

Kingston resident Murray Upton has been questioning why WorkCover
closed the worksite earlier this month.

Upton said after more than two years work on the site involving
extensive earthworks and dust problems, the closure required a
full explanation, including why asbestos was not found during
extensive surveys of the area.

North of Eyre Street and west of The Causeway, the 2.68Ha site is
vacant and a future mixed-use and urban area.

The agency said earlier surveys did identify trace amounts of
asbestos.

As well as that discovery, a contractor responsible for civil
works brought in fill material with trace amounts of asbestos
which was being tested to see how much asbestos was present.

Preliminary tests indicated it had come from building demolition
waste.

Agency environmental compliance officers identified the asbestos
and implemented environmental control measures.

"The prohibition notice was placed by Worksafe on Dec. 13 and
lifted on Dec. 15 following a review of the Environmental
Management Plan and the Occupational Health and Safety Plan
applicable to the site," the agency said.

Civil works had resumed on site and construction of roads and
landscaping should be completed by March 2012 as per the program.

The agency did not specify the source of the asbestos.

Opposition Leader Zed Seselja said this wasn't the first time
asbestos contamination had been discovered.

"We had Molonglo, where tens of thousands of tons of contaminated
soil was discovered directly under the proposed site for a pond.

"More recently, we had the Lyneham oval situation, where we found
that asbestos had not only been uncovered but had been moved to
form part of the earthworks for the Gungahlin Drive Extension.

"What is going wrong with our planning and promotion that we are
not better prepared, that developers not forewarned, and that
proper remediation is done before work commences?" he asked.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Garner Drywall, Davco et al. Face Suit
-------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Holleran at The Madison St. Clair Record reports that
another suit has been added to the growing list of cases in St.
Clair County's asbestos docket.

Larry Southerland filed an asbestos lawsuit in St. Clair County
Circuit Court on Dec. 6 against 22 defendant corporations.
Southerland does not specify where he resides.

Southerland will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian
of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville.

In his complaint, Southerland alleges the 22 defendant companies
caused him to develop lung cancer after his exposure to asbestos-
containing products throughout his career.

The complaint does not indicate where Southerland resides, however
it states that he worked as a drywall installer in the Atlanta
area at Garner Drywall from 1974 until 1980 and as a drywall
installer at Davco Construction from 1980 until 1993, according to
the complaint.

The defendants should have known of the harmful effects of
asbestos, but failed to exercise reasonable care and caution for
the plaintiff's safety, the suit states.

As a result of his asbestos-related disease, Southerland became
disabled and disfigured, incurred medical costs and suffered great
physical pain and mental anguish, the complaint says.  In
addition, he became prevented from pursuing his normal course of
employment and, as a result, lost large sums of money that would
have accrued to him, he claims.

In his five-count complaint, Southerland is seeking a judgment of
more than $50,000, compensatory damages of more than $100,000 and
punitive and exemplary damages of more than $100,000, plus other
relief the court deems just.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-667.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Low Bidder Camcor Wins Joplin Abatement Job
------------------------------------------------------------
Debby Woodin of The Joplin Globe reports that demolition action is
to be taken by the city of Joplin on 118 houses that city
officials say were heavily damaged in the May 22 tornado but have
not been razed.

Owners of those residential properties have not been in touch with
the city about any plans to clear out the remains of the houses,
and the city is taking steps to do so without cooperation of the
owners, if need be.

To prepare for the demolition, the city has sought a contractor to
inspect the properties for asbestos before they are demolished.

Jack Schaller, the city's assistant public works director, told
the Joplin City Council on Monday that city staff is placing the
houses on the agenda 20 at a time for action by the Building Board
of Appeals to condemn them.  Owners who want to stop the action
may contact the city's building department.

Before the city condemns the houses and hires a contractor to
knock them down, the properties must be checked for the
possibility of asbestos, Schaller said.  The city sought bids for
a certified asbestos inspector and received 17 ranging from
$23,010 to $263,730.  The low bidder was Camcor Environmental, of
Stella.

Schaller said the company will have 30 days to inspect each group
of 20 properties and prepare a report on whether asbestos
materials are present on the property.

Asbestos is generally found in properties built between 1930 and
1950, and in textured paint and wall patching compounds
manufactured before 1977, according to the Environmental
Protection Agency.

There were several types of asbestos fibers used in the past to
strengthen building materials, insulate buildings and provide
fire-resistant barriers.

Insulation used around pipes, furnace ducts, appliances and in
walls and attics could contain asbestos.  Floor tiles and
adhesives, particularly those made of vinyl or rubber, often
contained the material.

Some soundproofing materials in ceilings and walls along with
certain roofing materials also were made with asbestos.

Breathing more than a few asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer
and various types of lung diseases.

The fibers are not usually dangerous when the materials containing
them are intact.  They become a risk when they are knocked loose,
the building materials are torn apart or they crumble, such as
during demolition, and a quantity is inhaled, according to the
EPA.

Schaller said that asbestos inspection also is needed to meet
requirements set out by the Missouri Department of Natural
Resources.  The inspections also are regulated by the Missouri
Department of Health.

To contact the building department or see a list of the addresses
slated for condemnation, people may visit the public works
department on the fourth floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main St.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contaminants Found Buried Under Campbell Site
--------------------------------------------------------------
Megan Doherty of The Canberra Times reports asbestos has been
found at another site designated for a multi-million dollar
development -- this time in Campbell.

The Land Development Agency has confirmed asbestos is present at a
site off Constitution Avenue designated for a $250 million mixed-
use development, including apartments for 800 residents.

Campbell historian Alan Foskett said a rubbish dump was definitely
in the area of Constitution Avenue in the 1950s.

The Canberra Times also reported in 1953 that the fire brigade
attended a fire "in the rubbish dump near Constitution Avenue" and
that dumped rubbish there was "persistently being set alight."

Mr. Foskett said the rubbish dump was in a creek bed and probably
filled in when defence housing started to be built in Campbell in
about 1957-58.  "Certainly there was a rubbish dump in that
vicinity," he said.

Land Development Agency chief executive officer David Dawes says
there was no health risk from the asbestos at this stage because
it was bound in the soil.

The asbestos would be disturbed when moved during remediation but
measures would be taken to ensure it did not become airborne
including using water to wet down the soil and air-monitoring
devices.

"Based on a contamination assessment by an independent consultant,
works are required to remediate identified asbestos and petroleum
product contamination, builder's rubble, rubbish and household
waste in the south-east and central areas of the site," Mr. Dawes
said.

"Remediation of asbestos contamination in near-surface topsoils is
also required in the central south-west and north-west areas of
the site, which consultants have informed is bound within the root
zone of grasses and weeds."

The Environment Protection Agency needs to approve a remediation
plan for the site.  A construction environmental management plan
also needs to be put in place to ensure the contractor takes the
measures to keep the asbestos safely contained when moved.

"Works will be conducted in consultation with an environmental
specialist who will also independently audit the affected areas
once the remedial works have been completed," Mr. Dawes said.

The LDA did not comment on locals being aware of the existence of
a rubbish dump in the area in the past.  It is just the latest in
a growing list of building sites contaminated by asbestos in the
ACT, with sites at Kingston, Molonglo and Lyneham also affected.

A masterplan for the Constitution Avenue development is yet to go
to the National Capital Authority.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Issues Disrupt Durfee Tech Project
-------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Holtzman, staff reporter at The Herald News, relates that
there was no surprise about asbestos lining inside space of the
former trade school and community college at 64 Durfee St.

What did draw officials' attention was how it was being removed.

Now, less than three months after Rhode Island developers took
ownership of the property and began renovations, the Durfee Tech
project the Redevelopment Authority tried to sell for three years
has been shut down.

At the same time, a leaking roof is letting in buckets of rain.

"All persons are hereby ordered to cease and desist any and all
use or occupancy of this structure," reads the bold orange notices
on Durfee and Green streets, on front and rear entrances of the
sprawling century-old structures.

Director of Inspectional Services Joseph Biszko, assisted by state
Department of Environmental Protection officials, issued that
notice following a complaint and investigation, he said.

Mr. Biszko delivered notices this week to fire and police
departments telling public safety officials not to enter the
downtown structure without protective garments for hazardous
materials.

Partners David and Kevin Ryan, father and son, and Benjamin
Burbank, with significant development experience, took ownership
of the long-vacant and problematic property in early October as 64
Durfee St. LLC.

Their aim is to renovate three major buildings, totalling 90,000
square feet, into 40 mixed-use rental units and two larger
commercial spaces.

They bought the 1-acre downtown property for $45,000 from the
Redevelopment Authority on Oct. 4 as the sole bidder.  It followed
months of negotiations because RA officials were sceptical the
group was prepared to commit the necessary funding.

The estimated project cost is $1.7 million to $2.2 million.

"You need building permits for this," Biszko said, while
explaining the investigations he's conducted with other city
building and fire officials, assisted by state DEP
representatives.

Biszko said roofing plywood was being removed in order to repair
several "6- to 8-inch wide" holes a foot or so long.

He also said older 9-by-9 inch square interior floor titles --
often a sign of asbestos content -- were lifted and removed, along
with broken piping wraps that DEP laboratory tests showed to
contain the material that's a known carcinogenic when disturbed.

Biszko said he informed the developers' workers during an initial
investigation three weeks ago not to dispose of those materials.
He was uncertain what was done with the tiles and piping wraps.

Biszko said that Andrew Cooney, an asbestos investigator from the
Department of Environmental Protection district office in
Lakeville, received the initial complaint and called him.

The DEP on Dec. 22 offered conflicting information.

"We were notified and did assist the city," DEP spokesman Joseph
Ferson said.  "We got a complaint about it being improper asbestos
removal," Ferson said during a second interview after he initially
referred comments to the city building department because of the
action Biszko took.

Ferson also said they contacted the state Division of Occupational
Safety.  But the DEP spokesman further stated that "it's not an
active asbestos removal site" and "there was not any improper
asbestos removal," statements Biszko said he found very puzzling.

Two weeks after their initial investigation, Biszko said Cooney
called him to say, "They're pulling up asbestos without a permit,
and that's a problem."  Biszko said when he examined the roofing
materials with two DEP officials, all three were wearing hazardous
materials suits and breathing apparatus to go through the building
and access the roof.

Biszko said he spoke at the site with Burbank, a contractor and
developer who focuses on environmentally friendly technology.

"I told Burbank outside that the DEP and I came to an
understanding that 'I'll let you fix the roof and that's it.'

"He agreed," Biszko said.  "Ben Burbank was completely
cooperative."

What the city and state officials decided was that in order to fix
the roof the company needs to hire an architect to oversee those
repairs.  Also, any workers accessing the roof will need to wear
protective hazardous materials clothing.

The architect has been in touch with the building inspection
department, Biszko said.  "I tried to do everything I could to
protect everyone as soon as we found out," Biszko said.

Kenneth Fiola Jr., Fall River Office of Economic Development
executive vice president who works on behalf of the Redevelopment
Authority, said they have significant concerns.

Fiola said Biszko and DEP officials had contacted him.  He was
told the cease and desist was issued because of "the owners'
failure to uphold proper permits on work associated with
rehabilitation of the buildings."  Fiola also said he understood
they "may have been improperly disposing of asbestos materials."

Fiola said that he had send a letter to the Ryans and Burbank on
behalf of the RA seeking an explanation.  "I'll be asking them for
a project update in light of the information from the building
inspector and DEP to ascertain what's going on with the project,"
said Fiola.

Fiola, who three years ago supported a $13.5 million low-income
housing renovation project funded through tax credits by a
division of Peabody Properties, has questioned the new owners'
financial approach.

"Ryan and Burbank were informed the estimate by Peabody for
asbestos removal was $750,000," Fiola said.  "It doesn't appear
that they adhered to proper procedures for its removal."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazards Delay Demolition of Eastmond Pavilion
--------------------------------------------------------------
Charlie LaPlaca at Manasquan-Belmar Patch reports that the plan to
demolish the Beach Patrol headquarters hit a small road bump last
week after environmental inspectors discovered asbestos in the
adhesive beneath the tile flooring, officials said.

A mandatory inspection of the 60-year-old Eastmond Pavilion was
being conducted last week ahead of its planned demolition, which
will now be delayed by at least a few days after inspectors
discovered asbestos in the adhesive used to lay down the vinyl
flooring and the borough awaits a permit from the state to remove
the potentially harmful material, Mayor George Dempsey said on
Dec. 21.  The permit could take as many as ten days to arrive, he
said.

At the Dec. 19 Borough Council meeting, the council passed a
resolution 5-1 authorizing the remediation of the asbestos before
the building can be demolished.  Councilwoman Patricia Connolly,
an outspoken critic of the pavilion project, cast the lone vote
against the measure.

The inspectors found asbestos beneath roughly 1800 square feet of
flooring, Council President Jeff Lee said.  The removal process,
which will be handled by Colts Neck-based Ace Insulation Co., will
cost the borough $6.37 per square foot, putting the total at just
under $12,000, said Lee, the Beach Committee Chairman.  The job
should take no longer than two days to complete, Dempsey said.

"It was not a danger to anybody, but it has to be remediated
before we can demolish the building because once you start
knocking it down, the asbestos is friable and it gets in the air
and it becomes a hazard," Councilman Edward Donovan, the Public
Works Committee Chairman, said on Dec. 21.

Connolly, in an email, said the asbestos removal just adds more
money to a project that, in her opinion, was not needed.

"The old building withstood storms and hurricanes for over 60
years and could be renovated; a new building is a symbol of out of
control spending during these difficult economic times," she said.

The borough had hoped to demolish the 60-year-old pavilion on Main
Street and Beachfront by the end of the month and has bonded $1.6
million to build a brand new structure in its place for the
beginning of the 2013 beach season.  Trailers will temporarily
house Beach Patrol operations for the 2012 summer season,
officials have said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: HazMats Dumped and Burnt at Banana Shire
---------------------------------------------------------
Cameron McCrohon at Central Telegraph (AU) reports that Banana
residents were locked out of their rubbish tip for four days,
after asbestos panels were illegally dumped and burnt at the site.

The tip was closed immediately after the council received a phone
call warning the dangerous material had been disposed of at the
site.

"A guy had demolished a building in town and then dumped all the
asbestos panels at the Banana tip," Banana Shire director of
community services Andrew Reid said.

"He phoned us up to let us know that he had placed the material at
the tip, but there was no need for the council to be too concerned
because he had put a match to it," Mr. Reid said.

This prompted immediate action and Queensland Health became
involved and directed the council to close the dump immediately,
until all the dangerous material was removed.

The gates at the site were locked for four days, while an asbestos
hygienist travelled from Brisbane to remove all the asbestos
material and clean up the rubbish tip.

"Within about four hours of the gates being locked, a bulk bin was
placed outside the gate for residents to dispose of their
household waste," Mr. Reid said.

"This wasn't ideal because of the high side on the bin and it did
cause a bit of inconvenience for some residents, but we had no
other alternative."

Mr. Reid said the illegal dumping of asbestos materials was
becoming a problem in other parts of the shire as well.

"There are strict rules that regulate the removal and disposal of
asbestos.  It is a dangerous material... there are hefty penalties
for those caught not disposing of it in the proper manner."

Mr. Reid said there was a significant cost to the council to
remove the asbestos and clean up the Banana tip.  "We are looking
at about GBP20,000 just to get the hygienist up from Brisbane, let
alone other costs."  He said it was likely the man responsible for
dumping the asbestos would be punished in accordance with the
Environmental Protection Act.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Shelby Environmental Law Violators Plead Guilty
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Dietz, Investigative Reporter at WDIV-Detroit, reports that
The Local 4 Defenders have learned two men have pleaded guilty to
violating the Clean Air Act.

Federal prosecutors said Brian Waite and Daniel Clements did not
follow any safety standards when removing asbestos from a plant on
Mound Road in Shelby Township.

The men allowed crew workers to stuff evidence into garbage bags
and throw it into dumpsters.

Waite and Clements will face time in federal prison.  Their guilty
pleas were made in hopes of getting lighter sentences.

Federal prosecutors have also charged their supervisor, Jose
Ramos, with violating the Clean Air act.

Ramos is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 10.

Waite and Clements are scheduled to be sentenced in February.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Admits Fort Worth Project Workers Unprotected
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma Center reports that five years after approving an
experimental asbestos demolition project in Fort Worth, Texas, the
Environmental Protection Agency has admitted that construction
workers may not have been adequately protected from asbestos
during the procedure.

In 2007, workers began demolition on one of the buildings in Fort
Worth's Oak Hollow apartment complex.  During the project, workers
stood several yards away from the asbestos-containing structures
and sprayed the walls, ceilings and floors with a soapy formula.
This wet demolition method was tested as an alternative to the
standard process in which asbestos is removed before construction
begins.

Although concern had previously been expressed about the safety of
these alternative asbestos removal methods, it was not until Dec.
14, 2011, that the U.S. Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins
contacted the EPA with a formal complaint.

Elkins reached out to the EPA with regarding the method's
compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration
regulations.

Construction workers and government employees were onsite without
protective equipment, and post-demolition tests "demonstrated
asbestos fibers releases."  The tests also indicated that dust
settled outside of the construction area, placing the general
public at risk for asbestos exposure as well.

Asbestos exposure has been shown to lead to serious illnesses such
as mesothelioma and asbestosis.  While prolonged exposure over a
span of many years poses the greatest risk, rare cases have shown
that even a single point of exposure can result in illness.  The
Environmental Protection Agency was advised to issue public
notices to the construction workers and residents near the
construction site.

Although wet asbestos fibers are less likely to become airborne
than dry fibers, which are considered friable, the EPA has yet to
prove that the wet demolition method is "protective of human
health."  In comparative tests at Fort Chaffee, the alternative
method was found to leave more asbestos particulate in the air
than the standard removal methods.  However, the air particulate
levels produced by both methods were under the detection limit.

The Fort Worth project was the first urban test of the wet method,
but alternative asbestos abatement practices have been considered
since 1999 to reduce removal costs.  The Fort Worth area had been
proposed for a similar wet method experiment in 2005, but the
project was shut down by the group Public Justice.

Other areas where alternative demolition procedures were approved
include the Hanford Superfund Site in Richland, Wash., and a
diffusion plant in Paducah, Ken.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Naval Mechanic Dies of Mesothelioma
-------------------------------------------------------
The Local at www.bournelocal.co.uk reports a former naval mechanic
died of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Ronald Carter, 81, of Vine Court, Billingborough, was diagnosed
with malignant mesothelioma in June this year and died on Oct. 4.

An inquest at Stamford Town Hall heard Mr. Carter was exposed to
asbestos while working as a boiler stoker and mechanic in the
engine room of HMS Abercrombie.

Coroner Gordon Ryall read out a statement prepared by Mr. Carter
in September for a personal injury claim which said all the pipes
in the ship were lagged with asbestos.

The pipes also ran through the sleeping quarters so it was almost
unavoidable they would be knocked or damaged due to the confined
nature of the ship.  This would have released asbestos fibers into
the air.

After leaving the Navy Mr. Carter worked for Standard Telephones
and Cables and BAE Systems testing radio equipment.

The inquest heard some of the equipment he tested contained non-
conductive material which could have been asbestos.

Mr. Ryall recorded a narrative verdict.  He said: "Mr. Carter was
exposed to asbestos.  He died from the industrial disease of
malignant mesothelioma.

"The exposure during his time in the Navy was very common.  At the
time it wasn't appreciated what a dangerous material it was.  It
is a nasty condition with an unpleasant last few months."

Speaking after the inquest, Mr. Carter's daughter Lynne, of
Swinderby, near Lincoln, said more information about the dangers
of asbestos exposure should be available.  She said: "I am glad I
found out the cause.

"He was a fit man and there was no indication he was ill.  But
once it is diagnosed there is nothing you can do.  People should
know about it."

Ms. Carter praised the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team which
supported her and her father throughout his illness.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contamination at Old Celanese Plant Alarms EPA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma Center reports the demolition of an old Celanese
chemical plant in Rome, Ga., has other nearby industries
scrambling for cover as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
investigates just how serious an asbestos threat remains amidst
the bricks and other rubble at the site.

According to an article in the Rome News-Tribune, the EPA has
requested that all nearby businesses shut their doors and
warehouse bays until they can better assess the extent of the
problem.  EPA On-Scene Coordinator Rick Jardine told the media
that the agency is currently trying to stabilize the asbestos that
was not properly contained when the building was being torn down.

"Actually, we are considering it potentially an imminent threat.
Imminent does not mean immediate," Jardine explained.  "It means
sooner or later a threat such as this could cause adverse health
effects."

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that can attack the lungs and other
organs and cause pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma,
and other types of cancer.  Asbestos, no longer used in the U.S.,
was an ingredient in a plethora of construction products for much
of the 20th century.  Chemical companies like Celanese, which
operate an abundance of high-temperature equipment, largely used
the material as insulation because of its excellent fireproofing
properties.

Jardine told area businesses that keeping their doors closed is
currently just a precaution.  As the EPA's Emergency Response and
Removal Branch sifts through the remaining rubble, it is likely
that dust from the site could be carried with the wind and that
dangerous fibers could become airborne and asbestos exposure could
occur.

Jardine did confirm that recent samples taken from the site
contained asbestos and explained that the piles of rubble would be
put into containers and sealed while the EPA sought an area
landfill that could accept the toxic waste.

The EPA notes that the current property owner had planned to
demolish the building and then recycle the remaining steel.
However, a dispute between the owner and a former partner brought
everything to a halt in late October.  Jardine said he didn't know
how long the property had been in this condition but hopes that
they can get 90% of the clean-up accomplished within a week.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazardous Particles Shut Down St Mark's Centre
---------------------------------------------------------------
The BBC News Northampton reports that St Mark's centre on Luke
Road in Corby which is home to six businesses has been closed
until the test results are known.

Corby Borough Council said it found a "minute" amount and there
was no immediate threat to health.

Mark Stonestreet, who runs Bell Recruitment from St Mark's Centre,
said business had taken a knock.

He said: "It has had a big impact on us because we have people
coming to the door on a daily basis responding to adverts.

"We now have to try to get the word out to our clients as quickly
as possible."

Norman Stronach, of Corby Borough Council, said it was doing
everything it could to re-house the businesses.

"We have successfully relocated four of the tenants into our
Enterprise Centre and we are confident that we will find premises
for the other two very soon."

The asbestos particles were discovered during an annual routine
building inspection.

"There are a number of questions around why the particles have
only been revealed now and we will have to look further into
this," said Mr. Stronach.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of Liverpool School Has Green Light
--------------------------------------------------------------
Newport Television (WSYR-TV) relates that now that students are
off on holiday break, contractors will begin to remove asbestos
from Liverpool Elementary.

The school district says asbestos was found in some flooring tile,
mastic and pipe insulation.  The school is closed until Jan. 2,
2012, which should give workers enough time to complete the work.

Asbestos was also removed from the school over last year's holiday
break.

Air quality test results should be in by the end of the year.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Poole Warehouse Thieves in Danger of Exposure
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Bournemouth Echo (Dorset) reports that burglars who struck at
a Poole warehouse may be at risk of asbestos poisoning.

The offenders, who stole tools and CCTV equipment from the
building behind the Pilkington Tiles site on Blandford Road,
forced open a door and smashed through a panel of raw asbestos.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident between 8pm on
Friday Dec. 16, and 10am on Saturday Dec. 17, and warning that the
thieves may have suffered from asbestos contamination.

Officers are also urging members of the public not to enter the
warehouse, but there is no risk to passers-by or residents.

Sergeant Anthony Faulkner, of Poole police, said: "I am appealing
for anyone who witnessed this burglary to contact me at the
earliest opportunity.

"The offenders may have unwittingly exposed themselves to asbestos
and I would urge them to contact police so that we can progress
our investigation and deal with any after-care issues that may
have arisen."

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in
confidence on 101 quoting incident number 17:238.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Korean Engineers Develop Fiber ID System
---------------------------------------------------------
An article dated Dec. 26 in Surviving Mesothelioma and Cancer
Monthly relates that although it is known to cause mesothelioma
and a host of other diseases, asbestos is still in use in
workplaces around the world.  According to the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA), as many as 1.3 million Americans
are exposed to significant amounts of asbestos in the workplace.

Historically, those who mine the raw material are at greatest risk
for mesothelioma, along with those who work in construction or in
manufacturing asbestos-containing products.  Inhaled fibers can
cause irritation and inflammation that can trigger mesothelioma
and other asbestos related diseases even decades after exposure.

Because higher concentrations of airborne asbestos increase the
health risk, workplace monitoring of airborne asbestos is required
to help protect workers from mesothelioma and other diseases.
Phase contrast microscopy (PCM) is one of the most common methods
used.  With PCM, a sample is collected on a mixed cellulose ester
membrane filter which is then cleared with a chemical solution and
the collected fibers are counted under 400x magnification.  But
PCM requires a high degree of sophistication on the part of the
microscopist performing the test.  It is also not capable of
distinguishing between asbestos and non-asbestos fibers, so all
the fibers that meet the counting criteria are counted as
asbestos.

Now a group of mechanical engineers in South Korea have developed
an automated system using high-throughput microscopy (HTM) that
they say can quickly and accurately distinguish asbestos fibers
from other particles on a sample slide.  To test the effectiveness
of the HTM system, the researchers used the method to measure
known concentrations of airborne asbestos at 11 different
workplaces where asbestos is used.  The results showed "a
reasonably good agreement in the asbestos concentration" when
compared with conventional testing methods.  Because of HTM's
accuracy and higher efficiency, the team suggests that it be
considered as an alternative to conventional PCM for preventing
mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases through onsite
workplace monitoring.

Mesothelioma is a particularly difficult cancer to treat and
nearly all cases would have been avoidable if asbestos had been
previously removed from products and workplaces.  The fact that
asbestos is still ubiquitous means that people of all ages are
still being potentially exposed to this mesothelioma-causing
carcinogen.  New automated tests like HTM may help protect workers
from being diagnosed with mesothelioma in the future.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Housing Project Uses Hazard Materials to Cut Cost
------------------------------------------------------------------
Iftikhar Gilani at Daily News & Analysis in New Delhi reports that
The Centre's Rs10,000 crore worth annual housing flagship scheme,
Indira Awaas Yojana, aimed at providing rural poor is proving to
be a security risk to its beneficiaries and plunging them into
more debt.

Use of carcinogenic asbestos sheets to keep the cost below the
ceiling of Rs45,000 per house under the scheme has also raised
fears of a health hazard.

The National Human Rights Commission has raised questions on the
hazards of the scheme in a study conducted by its member
Satyabrata Pal, a retired 1972 batch IFS officer who was till
recently India's high commissioner in Pakistan.

Though money under the scheme is less susceptible to loot as it
goes directly to the beneficiaries, the amount is not sufficient
to build a mandatory pucca cement and concrete house.  This makes
the poor borrow heavily from money-lenders to make use of the
scheme and end up into a serious debt trap.

The scheme is basically to help the BPL families, especially in
the Naxal-hit districts to have own dwellings.  "The scheme
involves granting Rs45,000 to villagers for constructing a house.
Initially, villagers take an advance of Rs20,000, soon to realize
that a house cannot be built with this meager amount.  Then they
go to a money-lender and fall into a debt trap.  The scheme in
many ways has added a new form of bondage in rural India," says
the former diplomat.

Further, since there is no quality control, the use of bricks and
heavy material even in highly seismic zones is a recipe for a
disaster.  "Earlier, while it was mud and thatch falling on these
poor villagers, now they may get buried under the rubble of bricks
and mortar if hit by an earthquake," says Pal.

If earthquakes spares them, use of carcinogenic asbestos has the
capacity to invite health problems.  The Centre has even slashed
import duties of asbestos to 70-80% to allow its use in low cost
housing, he said.  And, even after they construct houses, it is
not possible to build a sanitary toilet and they continue defecate
in public, he added.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wash. City Takes Care of Exposed Firefighters
--------------------------------------------------------------
Elizabeth Dinh at Komo News reports that a group of Everett,
Wash., firefighters who feared they may have been exposed to
asbestos during training finally are about to get specialized
health monitoring they have sought for years.

It's a big win for the group of more than 50 firefighters who
filed a lawsuit, took on the city of Everett and won.

"We risk our lives for the citizens," says firefighter Eric
Coston, secretary of the labor union who represents the group.
"We don't ask any special treatment, we just want to be taken care
of."

In 2007, during routine training, the firefighters went into old,
soon-to-be-demolished buildings that may have contained asbestos.

"They went in there with their chainsaws and their axes, they cut
up these buildings, pretending that they were on fire," says
Coston.

Coston helped bring up concerns with the city of Everett, and was
surprised at the response.  "We expect the city would have our
back, and in this case, they didn't," he says.  "We had to push
the issue just to take care of these members that were exposed."

The group of firefighters filed a claim for $9 million -- but
recently dropped their lawsuit when the city agreed to set up a
health monitoring program.

"The agreement addresses the issues raised by the firefighters," a
city spokesperson said in a prepared statement.  "The city is
always interested in the well being of its employees.  The city
feels the settlement is fair."

Under the agreement, the firefighters will be able to get the
medical tests needed -- for the rest of their lives.  That's an
important detail, they say, because symptoms of mesothelioma --
the lung cancer which can be caused by asbestos -- don't often
show up for several decades.

"This has been a 4 1/2-year marathon to get this taken care of,"
says Coston.

The agreement does not cover any other firefighters -- just those
in the original complaint.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Unsellable Building for Abatement Demolished
-------------------------------------------------------------
WLWT.com reports that work has began to demolish the old fire
station in the heart of downtown Mason.

Old Fire Station 51 was built in the 1960s but has since been
deemed a safety hazard.  Its location doesn't allow for a
sidewalk, and it presents a visibility problem for drivers.

Mason City Council voted to tear down the building in late
November.  There had been potential buyers for the new building,
but it would have cost too much to clean up asbestos and
electrical issues in the structure.

Bulldozers arrived on Dec. 26 and began tearing down the
structure.

When the fire station was built in 1964, it was the Village of
Mason in Deerfield Township and firefighters covered an area of
120 square miles.

Jerry Mullins was one of the original firefighters at Fire Station
51.  He said it was emotional watching the building being torn
down.

"We were a volunteer fire company, probably 35 men.  No women at
that time.  And we are the ones who decided we needed a larger
fire house, so we could have more fire equipment and have a place
to service residents of Deerfield Township," Mullins said.

Artifacts from inside the fire station have been removed so that
they can be preserved.

Officials in Mason said the city will use the lot for parking.
Future plans for the site are uncertain.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Lists Probable Carcinogen Sources in Homes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stephanie Andre of The Safety Report relates that asbestos'
ability to cause fatal diseases -- through fiber inhalation -- has
been known since the 1920s and to cause cancer since the 1930s.

Asbestos, a group of naturally occurring mineral fibers with the
ability to be separated into thin threads, is resistant to fire,
heat and chemicals and does not conduct electricity.  As such, the
fibers were often used in products such as Sheetrock joint
compound, roofing, shingles and auto parts.

While the product has not been used in decades, it still poses a
risk of malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis, as
many building products and insulation materials contained asbestos
up until the 1970s, according to the National Cancer Institute.

According to the EPA, here are some places asbestos may still be
intact.

Insulation Materials: Asbestos was commonly used in products used
to cover steam pipes, furnace ducts or boilers.  Such insulation
can also be found throughout the home in the form of cement sheet,
paper and millboard around wood stoves or furnaces.  Such
insulation can often be found in the attic or walls of a house.

Ceilings and Walls: While the use of such compounds was banned in
1977, many older homes could still be contaminated, and sanding or
scraping such surfaces could disturb the mineral fibers.

Roofing and Shingles: Such products were often manufactured using
asbestos fiber in asphalts or cement, meaning the carcinogen could
be released into the environment if the products are cut or
drilled.

Around the House: Keep an eye out for the materials in
soundproofing or decorative products, such as acoustic ceiling
tiles, oven door gaskets, resilient flooring -- also known as
vinyl or sheet vinyl -- and stovetop pads.

Your Car: The automotive industry used asbestos in the production
of vehicles for a number of years.  For this reason, millions of
cars and trucks may still contain asbestos in their brake pads and
linings, transmissions, gaskets and clutch facings.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Free Services at Mesothelioma Victims Center
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma Victims Center upgrades its unparalleled free
services for U.S. Navy veterans and all victims of Mesothelioma
With its Mesothelioma Victims Bill of Rights.

The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, "Why is our Mesothelioma
Victims Bill of Rights so important for victims, or for families
of mesothelioma victims? Upon learning of a mesothelioma diagnosis
many victims, or their families do not know what to do.  Most
individuals, or families dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis
typically know little to nothing, about this very rare form of
cancer.

"Our Mesothelioma Victims Bill of Rights is all about getting a
mesothelioma victim, or their families up to speed on things they
should know.  We have tried to make the process much simpler for a
victim of mesothelioma, or their family members, by providing
individually researched mesothelioma cancer treatment options, in
the specific area, or region of the victim.

"In addition, we will provide the mesothelioma victim, or their
families with the names, and specific contacts of the best
mesothelioma attorneys, or mesothelioma trial law firms in the
nation, and the mesothelioma victim, or their family simply picks,
the mesothelioma attorney, or mesothelioma trial law firm they
like the best.  No other group, or organization in the United
States offers free extremely high quality services like these."

The Mesothelioma Victim Center's Bill of Rights includes:

The names and specific contacts for the most successful, and
reputable mesothelioma attorneys, or mesothelioma trial lawyers in
the United States.

A customized mesothelioma cancer treatment options report, that is
designed to identify the best mesothelioma cancer treatment
options, in the specific area, region, and nation for a victim of
mesothelioma.

The Mesothelioma Victims Center will always be on call to any
family dealing with mesothelioma.  This includes assisting a
family with how to live with mesothelioma, assistance with
hospice, or any other need they may have.

Who can get Mesothelioma?  Mesothelioma is linked to exposure to
asbestos.  Individuals who served in the U.S. Navy, or as oil
refinery workers, ship yard workers, employees of defense
contractors, rail road workers, power plant workers, chemical
industry workers, automotive repair specialists, construction
workers, plumbers, demolition contractors, were all exposed to
asbestos in the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1070's, and 1980's.

Tragically, one third of all U.S. mesothelioma victims served in
the United States Navy, or are U.S. Navy Veterans.

The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, "The worst thing about a
mesothelioma cancer diagnosis is typically it comes out of the
blue.  Frequently, an individual served in the Navy, worked in a
power plant, an oil refinery, or a shipyard decades ago, they get
pneumonia type symptoms, it does not get better, and in some cases
the doctors finally figure out its mesothelioma."

Individuals, or families dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis, or
living with mesothelioma are encouraged to contact the
Mesothelioma Victims Center anytime at 866-714-6466 or via their
web site at http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.com/for their
unparalleled free services.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of Children's Justice Center Begins
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bryon Saxton at the Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau reports that
before the old Davis County Children's Justice Center can come
down, the asbestos in the building has got to come out.

On Dec. 20, the Davis County Commission approved a $3,785 contract
with Eagle Environment, Inc., of North Salt Lake, to remove the
asbestos beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 28.  The building is located
at 125 S. Main Street in Farmington.

There is "not a tremendous amount" of asbestos that has to be
removed from the building, said Barry Burton, the county's project
manager for the $22.5 million Memorial Courthouse campus
renovation, of which a new CJC building is part of.

Most of the asbestos in the current CJC building is a result of it
being an older home, in which the county renovated into a center,
Burton said.

The Davis CJC, established in 1996, is scheduled to be razed
Tuesday, Jan. 3, to make room for a new main branch library, which
is also part of the campus renovation project.

"That is a very well worn building that has served its purpose,"
Davis County Commissioner Bret Millburn said of the old center.

The goal is to open the new $1.5 million Davis CJC building, which
has been built just east of the old CJC building, by Dec. 28.

The new CJC, library and multi-story 90,000 square-foot
administrative office building, is part of a courthouse campus
renovation taking place at 28 E. State Street in downtown
Farmington.

Related to that same project, the commission also approved a
change order for $256,909 for the renovation work to cover a
variety of changes associated with the construction of the three
new county buildings.

About 30% of the change order centered around an increase in the
price of steel, Burton said.

"We feel very confident that these (changes) are all warranted,"
Burton said.  "We anticipated these (type of) changes were going
to occur, and we are well within the budget."

Davis County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said the county, in
using "recovery zone bonds" made available through federal
stimulus money for the campus renovation, has been able to build
into the construction budget a large contingency amount to cover
any increases that may arise with such a large project.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Firemen, Regularly at Risk of Carcinogen Exposure
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma center relates that firefighters in Lackawanna,
New York, are concerned after tests confirmed that asbestos fibers
are present in the firehouse where they work.  The firemen were
evacuated from Fire House 3 at 2990 South Park Ave. after two
samples tested positive for asbestos.

Large amounts of dust in the air was first noticed by the
firefighters, which then sparked testing of the air samples.  That
led to the evacuation.

The firefighters has spoken at Lackawanna City Council meeting,
voicing their concern about getting the situation properly
corrected and ensuring that their health is not in danger.
Asbestos exposure is believed to be caused from abatement work
conducted back in November on the building's piping and boiler
system.

"We should've been out of the firehouse immediately upon knowing
there were dangerous levels of asbestos present," said Thomas R.
Mendez, president of Local 3166, Lackawanna Professional
Firefighters Association.

The firemen are concerned because of the known danger that
asbestos exposure causes.  Since the 1960s, it has been proven
that this exposure can cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the
lining of the lungs, in addition to other asbestos-related
diseases.  Because of the fatal nature of this disease, frequent
diagnostic testing is recommended to those who may have
potentially been exposed.

Lackawanna firefighters will likely be encouraged to receive
testing for exposure because of the severity of the air sample
test results.  According to Lt. James J. Fino, the test results
showed "astronomical levels of asbestos."

"It's a huge concern for all of our members.  We've been in there
up until Saturday."

In the line of public service, asbestos exposure is not a rare
occurrence for firemen.  As it may come at little comfort to the
fire team of Lackawanna, their occupation does involve interaction
with asbestos more often than they would like.

Between the frequent dangers of entering fire-blazing buildings
that are often constructed with asbestos, to using potentially
asbestos-containing materials on a daily basis, to the reality
that many firehouses themselves are constructed with the toxic
material, these workers are undoubtedly at an increased risk of
health issues.  This has become evident through countless events
in recent history.

One of the most notable cases of firefighters being exposed to
increased amounts of asbestos involves a day that our nation will
never forget: September 11, 2001. Immediately after the attack on
the World Trade Center, first responders quickly rushed into the
scene, many of whom were firefighters, policemen and first-aid
workers.

Because asbestos was widely used in the lower stories of the World
Trade Center, asbestos fibers quickly became airborne as the
towers collapsed.  These responders rushed into the scene and
remained there throughout the rescue and recovery efforts where
large amounts of these toxic fibers were ingested.  The hazard
came immediately and affected some within very short periods of
time.

Beyond the 9/11 attacks, firefighters often face additional
dangers, including rescues they perform on a regular basis.  Just
as the toxic substance was used in large buildings and structures,
it was also frequently used to construct homes and offices.

When these structures become inflamed, firemen are at risk if the
asbestos gets disturbed and the fibers become airborne.  This
applies to residential homes and places where the majority of
their work is conducted.  While they perform their duty to put out
the fire, they may very well be inhaling toxic dust.

Recent events have spawned some to look more carefully at the work
environment of our servicemen.  According to a 2010 news story,
dozens of firefighters from Everett, Washington, filed claims
against the city seeking $9 million because the city allowed the
men to conduct training exercises in buildings with known
asbestos-contaminants.

The buildings were owned by the city and therefore were used for
training purposes, despite the fact that some officials knew the
building contained toxic substances.  The firemen and their family
were reportedly not suing for cash, but more so for the city to
cover lifetime medical expenses related to the monitoring of
asbestos-related health issues.

Other unfortunate circumstances where firemen may be at increased
risk of asbestos exposure include their daily interaction with
their equipment.  Asbestos was widely used because of its
insulating and heat-resistant properties.  For firefighting, these
characteristics are extremely useful.  Therefore, prior to the
discovery of the link between asbestos and cancer, firefighting
equipment manufacturers often included asbestos in products like
gloves and protective clothing.

During situations where the asbestos in these equipment pieces
become disturbed, the fibers again become airborne and toxic to
those who inhale it.  Unfortunately, through the continuous and
physical nature of the job, it is likely that this equipment will
become damaged and will therefore potentially cause asbestos
fibers to entire the air.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Shares Inspector General Elkins' View
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mesothelioma attorneys Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason represent
clients every day who are suffering from asbestos cancer and
diseases after being exposed to the toxic mineral.  With the
recent controversy in Canada whether it's safe to re-open asbestos
mining and continue exporting to other nations, the statement that
"there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos" by Inspector
General Elkins of the United States Environmental Protection
Agency is more than welcomed by those who watch as thousands die
due to an exposure that could so easily be prevented.

The recent statement comes after discovery that the EPA actually
allowed unsafe handling of asbestos by their own employees and
contract workers during tests in Texas and Arkansas in 2006 and
2007 and more recently in Washington and possibly Kentucky during
demolition of buildings known to contain the carcinogen.

Inspector General Elkins states in an Early Warning Report
released last week: "...settled dust results obtained from testing
during AACM demolition experiments at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, and
Fort Worth, Texas, demonstrated asbestos fiber releases.  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.  Because settled dust results indicate that asbestos
escaped the restricted areas, unprotected workers adjacent to the
restricted areas and any members of the public in the vicinity of
the sites may have been exposed.  EPA should identify the workers
that were present, and notify them according to OSHA regulations.
Further, EPA should notify the surrounding public of potential
asbestos exposure during these AACM experiments."

Elkins further states all government agencies should immediately
stop any further use of the unapproved method of asbestos removal
during demolition of contaminated buildings at any other sites
that were considering using the alternative.

Regulations regarding the removal of asbestos containing materials
were initially created in the Asbestos NESHAP rule in 1973.  This
rule requires that any materials known or suspected to contain
asbestos must be removed by trained abatement specialists wearing
specific protective gear before a building can be demolished.  The
EPA was experimenting with using an "Alternative Asbestos Control
Method" (AACM) that later proved to be unsafe, with tests after
demolition showing asbestos in the air beyond safety levels as
defined by the Asbestos NESHAP.

If asbestos is determined to be "friable", meaning could be
reduced to powder by hand pressure, crumbled or pulverized when
dry (NESHAP, Sec.141.) then it poses a threat of exposure that
could later lead to serious illnesses, such as mesothelioma,
asbestosis and lung cancer.  Air tests conducted on sites where
the alternative method was being used as well as internal
documents showed that the "wet method" being used was insufficient
and released toxic fibers into the air.

It was not until after Public Justice and the Natural Resources
Defense Council, two environmental advocacy groups, filed a
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and sued for disclosure from the
EPA that the Inspector General has finally put immediate stop to
the alternative method and re-iterated that no level of exposure
to asbestos is safe.

Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason, mesothelioma attorneys who have
been fighting for the rights of those injured by asbestos for over
30 years, applauds Elkins' recent statement and move to prohibit
any unsafe methods of removing asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2009 Illegal Abatement Convicts Re-sentenced
-------------------------------------------------------------
Rocco Laduca of the Observer-Dispatch reports that two Mancuso
brothers convicted in 2009 of covering up an illegal Utica-based
asbestos removal operation recently had their prison punishments
shortened after a federal judge erred in sentencing them.

Paul Mancuso could now be released from federal prison sometime in
2014, after Senior U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin, Jr., on
Dec. 7 chopped two years off of Mancuso's sentence, from 6-1/2
years to 4-1/2 years.

Mancuso's younger brother, Steven Mancuso, also had a few months
shaved off his sentence, but he is still scheduled to be released
from prison early as planned sometime next year.  Steven Mancuso
would then be transferred to a half-way house in Syracuse to begin
his reintegration into the community and to fulfill the remainder
of his 3-1/2 year sentence.

The Mancusos were sentenced by Judge Scullin in June 2010
following a trial that convicted the brothers and their father,
Lester Mancuso, for conspiring to cover-up the family's shoddy
asbestos work across the Mohawk Valley over a number of years.

Lester Mancuso was sentenced to 3 years in prison, but he did not
appeal his conviction.

The re-sentencings were in response to a Second Circuit Court of
Appeals ruling earlier this year that noted Judge Scullin's error
in sentencing the Mancuso brothers.

In Paul Mancuso's case, Judge Scullin committed a procedural error
by sentencing Paul to a more enhanced punishment than was allowed.
In Steven Mancuso's case, Judge Scullin wrongfully stated that
Steven had violated permit requirements in disposing of hazardous
asbestos, which were not required under the law.

On Dec. 21, Paul Mancuso's attorney, Edward Menkin --
Edmenkin@gmail.com -- said the reduced sentencing was a
"significant step in the right direction," especially since
federal prosecutors argued that Paul's sentence should have
remained the same.

"Of course, Paul is grateful for the reduction in his time,"
Menkin said.  "But nevertheless, he's still in jail and it's not a
good place to be, especially during the holidays."

Steven Mancuso, a former attorney, has already been disbarred from
practicing law for committing perjury on the stand during his
trial and for using his legal skills to help cover-up his
brother's crimes.

During the re-sentencing earlier this month, Judge Scullin noted
that Steven Mancuso has nearly completed a prison drug treatment
program with success.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ILR to Madison Ct; "Apply The Law As Written"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Isaac Gorodetski, writing for PointofLaw.com, reports that Madison
County's controversial asbestos litigation system is under fire
yet again.

Once the subject of an inspiring tale of recovery in the context
of civil justice reform, Madison County, Illinois has found itself
yet again featured in the American Tort Reform Association's
annual 'Judicial Hellholes' report.  Ranked fifth on ATRA's list,
Madison County has unfortunately reclaimed its reputation as the
nation's "epicenter" for asbestos litigation.

ATRA's report cites some alarming statistics:

In 2003, asbestos filings in the county peaked at 953.  After
Judicial Hellholes reporting spurred public scrutiny of the magnet
jurisdiction, judges became more serious about transferring cases
that belonged in other areas.  By 2006, asbestos filings in
Madison County reached a low point of 325.  Since then, however,
the number of such filings has increased each year to 455 in 2007,
639 in 2008, 814 in 2009, and 840 in 2010, as documented by
Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW).  Only about 1 in 10 of
Madison County's asbestos cases are filed by people who actually
live or work there, or have any other connection to the area,
according to an Illinois Civil Justice League study.  According to
one local defense lawyer, asbestos claims account for nearly 60%
of Madison County suits seeking more than $50,000, eclipsing the
claims of local residents.

Defendant companies and other legal observers note that
plaintiffs' lawyers flock to Madison County because the court sets
aside about 500 trial dates for asbestos cases.  The trial dates
provide a steady stream of business for favored local law firms,
with whom out-of-state lawyers must work to pursue their cases.
Defendants are placed at a disadvantage given the expedited
treatment of cases and the power given to plaintiffs' lawyers to
set the trial schedule.  Because defendants may not know which
cases will go to trial until the last minute, they often prepare
for multiple cases simultaneously, pay for expert reports they do
not need, and must travel across the United States to take
depositions.

As if in anticipation of ATRA's report, only days before the
release of 'Judicial Hellholes', news broke that Circuit Judge
Barbara Crowder of Madison County, assigned to oversee the circuit
court's asbestos docket, was to be removed to civil assignments. B
Chief Judge Ann Callis filed the order after discovering that
attorneys of three plaintiffs' firms donated, in sum, $30,000 to
Judge Crowder's campaign fund only a few days subsequent to being
chosen by Judge Crowder to receive a majority of the trial slots
on the 2013 asbestos docket.

Judge Crowder denied a connection between the donations and her
"activities on the bench", but, there was no denying the
appearance of impropriety especially in light of Madison County's
notoriety with regard to asbestos litigation.  Lisa A. Rickard,
president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, called
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 Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform called for this and more
in a report in 2010 focusing solely on reforming Madison County's
warped asbestos litigation system, concluding even then:

The solution to this problem is simple: apply the law as
written.  If venue rules are enforced, fair procedures for trial
allocation and scheduling adopted, discovery of the bankruptcy
trusts provided and the Lipke rule regarding alternative cause
implemented as mandated by the Illinois Supreme Court, the
jurisdiction would return to normal and appropriate operations.

It was hoped that Judge Crowder would clean up the asbestos
litigation abuse mess when she took over last year, however, it
seems that fundamental procedural changes have to be implemented
to effectively repair Madison County's civil justice system.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dying Mom Unlikely to Make March Trial Date
------------------------------------------------------------
Hannah Silverman of The Advertiser reports that Kathleen Woodward,
72, was given just three months to live in November and told The
Advertiser she wanted to see the matter finalized before she died
so she knew her family would be looked after.

In the District Court's Dust Diseases Tribunal on Dec. 20, the
matter was set for an eight-day trial in March, disappointing
Mrs.. Woodward and her family.

Mrs. Woodward's eldest son, Gavin, said he was not concerned about
going to trial, but was heartbroken his loving mother might not be
there for it.  "The concern is she's not going to see the
outcome," he said.

"I would hope they (the parties) would see some sense and have
some compassion."

Mrs. Woodward, whose husband is terminally ill and mother to a
disabled son, is suing her former employer, David Jones, and
contractors, BI Contracting, for an unspecified amount.

Mrs. Woodward claims they failed to protect her against asbestos
while working for the department store between 1955 and 1965.

Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers, who are handling Mrs. Woodward's
claim, said they hoped the matter would have settled within the
week.  The firm's partner, Tim White, Esq. -- twhite@tgb.com.au --
said it was unlikely she would live to see the trial.

"The summary is the two defendants are continuing to deny the
claim so there was little alternative but for the judge to list it
for a hearing in March next year," he said.  "They are essentially
denying the claim on the basis that they're requiring us to prove
the dust to which our client was exposed was in fact asbestos."

David Jones and BI Contracting deny Mrs. Woodward is entitled to
relief.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victorian Court Rejects James Hardie Appeal
------------------------------------------------------------
Norrie Ross at the Herald Sun reports, a man who contracted the
deadly cancer mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos dust
nearly 40 years ago had his $1.15 million payout confirmed by the
Victorian Court of Appeal on Dec. 22.

Eric King, 62, was given nine months to live in August this year
and he was not in court to hear that an appeal against the damages
awarded by a Supreme Court jury had failed.

The three appeal judges dismissed a claim by Amaca Pty, formerly
known as James Hardie, that Mr. King's injuries were not
foreseeable, and the court ruled the risks exposure to asbestos
were well known by 1972.

The court also rejected an argument that Mr. King could not prove
his exposure to asbestos fibers caused his cancer and said the
company did not take reasonable care to protect workers.

Mr. King, was employed as a machinist and fitter and in 1972
visited a James Hardie asbestos cement sheeting factory at
Welshpool, near Perth in Western Australia on three occasions for
several hours.

Mr. King, who now lives in Tasmania, made repairs to a machine in
the factory and he was not warned about asbestos or given a mask.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn's asbestos principal Andrew Dimsey --
hdarnell@mauriceblackburn.com.au -- said the Court of Appeal
decision was a welcome relief for Mr. King and has family.

Dimsey said Mr. King's case was the first mesothelioma case to go
to a verdict in Victoria in more than 10 years.

"James Hardie have fought tooth and nail to stop Mr. King from
receiving any compensation," Mr. Dimsey said.

"There are thousands of Australians suffering just like Mr. King
and it is clear that James Hardie will continue to fight extended
and onerous cases through the courts."

The courts were able to fast track his trial and appeal in less
than five months.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chief Judge Asked to Remove Judge Crowder
----------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Bersett at News-Democrat reports that Madison County Board
Chairman Alan Dunstan has asked the Illinois Judicial Inquiry
Board to investigate whether Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder
committed misconduct when she accepted contributions from asbestos
firms while she was the asbestos judge.

Crowder said neither she nor her campaign committee have violated
any ethical codes or laws."  I believe that once the judicial
inquiry board has completed its investigation, I will be fully
vindicated," Crowder said.

Dunstan filed the complaint on Dec. 21.  The Judicial Board is not
allowed to comment on complaints.  "Importantly, the acceptance of
certain campaign contributions creates a perception of conflict
and negatively impacts the image of Madison County, the courts and
of Judge Crowder," Dunstan said in a prepared statement.  "As
Madison County Board chairman, I appreciate the quick action of
Chief Judge Ann Callis and the other judges in the Third Judicial
Circuit to remove Judge Crowder from her former docket.  However,
despite this action, I believe the judicial review I have
requested is warranted.  "If the Board decides to file a formal
complaint with the state Courts Commission, it could choose a
range of sanctions, including removal from office, if it decides
the judge violated the judicial conduct code.  Chief Judge Ann
Callis removed Crowder from the asbestos docket Dec. 12 after it
came to light that Crowder's campaign committee received $10,000
each from three asbestos plaintiff firms: Gori, Julian and
Associates; Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland; and the
Simmons Law Firm.  The contributions were made just days after
Crowder signed a preliminary order Dec. 1 that gave the majority
of the trial slots for the 2013 docket to those same firms.

Callis has refused to comment specifically on Crowder's
reassignment.  Madison County Board Member Michael Walters, a
Republican from Godfrey, read a letter addressed to Callis at the
County Board meeting, calling for Crowder's resignation.  The
letter reads, in part: "This action by Judge Crowder has brought
increased negative attention to the judicial system of Madison
County and we join our constituents in being rightly outraged over
Judge Crowder's actions . . .  Therefore, we are respectfully
asking that you, as chief judge, take the next step and call for
Judge Crowder to resign her position immediately.  "The letter was
signed by nine of the 10 Republican board members, according to
board member Chris Slusser.  None of the 19 Democrats on the board
signed the letter.

"I agree with Mike Walters that Judge Crowder should resign,"
Slusser said.  "Her judgment has been brought into question by
taking these campaign contributions. The fact is, this stuff has
been going on for years, I don't know why it took (Dunstan) so
long to do something about it. There is a reason why we are back
on the judicial hellhole list and it's reasons like this."

Slusser, a Republican from Wood River, has announced he intends to
run for the Republican nomination and challenge Dunstan for the
chairman's seat.

Crowder said when the issue was brought to her attention, she
asked that the donations be returned.  "Anytime a judge receives
criticism, you'd like to avoid that because judges are prohibited
so much on what we can comment about," Crowder said.  "It seemed
to me the simplest reaction was to return any donations."

Crowder said returning the donations is not intended to be
perceived as any wrongdoing.  "We're very limited in what things
we can comment about," Crowder added. "To avoid any sort of public
debate, which I didn't avoid, and rather than get into a million
conversations, some of which I can't have, it seemed expedient to
return those donations.  The campaign committee didn't do anything
wrong, but why be in a middle of a controversy?"

She also previously denied any of her decisions were affected by
the contributions.  Crowder also removed her husband, Lawrence
Taliana, as her campaign manager.  Crowder said she does not yet
have a new campaign manager.  The Simmons and Goldenberg law firms
have said Taliana solicited the funds from them. But they denied
he offered or they asked for anything in exchange.

Last week, Goldenberg attorney Elizabeth Heller --
elizabeth@ghalaw.com -- defended Crowder as someone who both
plaintiff and defense attorneys respect.  But she did not defend
the timing of the contributions.

"The timing looks absolutely terrible," said Heller, who donated
$5,000 to Crowder's committee. "And it was a mistake we didn't
make a connection between it."

But Heller added: "The suggestion that it had anything to do with
the docket order is absolutely false."

Crowder and Dunstan are both Democrats. She is up for retention
and he is up for re-election.

Dunstan said his complaint had nothing to do with politics.  He
said he has received contributions from companies who do business
with the county, but the difference between Crowder and him is
that he is not the one who makes direct decisions on their
contracts, unlike Crowder and the asbestos firms.  "I just think
the perception of this is that it tainted the court system a bit,"
he said.

The Illinois Judicial Code allows lawyers to contribute to judge's
campaigns.  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."

"This is a gray area that needs to be reviewed," Dunstan said.

State Rep. Paul Evans, R-O'Fallon, said he has asked his staff to
look into possible legislation that would prevent attorneys from
giving campaign donations to judges who hear their cases.

"This disturbs me deeply," said Evans, an attorney.  "I think the
public has a right to expect that judges aren't influenced by
money."

He added, "There should not be an appearance of impropriety.  To
have $30,000 in donations from law firms who have received these
trial assignments, I believe is the appearance of impropriety."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Prisoner Must Show Cause in Suit v. Kaiserkane
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hitham Abuhouran alleges that during his previous confinement at
the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey, he
was exposed to asbestos because Kaiserkane, Inc., et al., violated
various state and federal laws in conducting a re-roofing and
asbestos abatement project on several buildings at FCI-Fort Dix.
The Defendants filed summary judgment motions seeking dismissal of
Mr. Abuhouran's complaint.

In a Dec. 19, 2011 memorandum and opinion, Judge Noel L. Hillman
of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey denied,
without prejudice, the summary judgment motions for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.  Judge Hillman noted that the
complaint is essentially silent as to the citizenship of the
parties, and at this time, the complaint is subject to dismissal
for lack of jurisdiction.  However, because Mr. Abuhouran is
appearing pro se in the action and because he may be able to
allege facts sufficient to demonstrate that the Court has subject
matter jurisdiction to entertain his state law claims under
diversity of citizenship jurisdiction, the Court will order the
Plaintiff to show cause why his claims of gross negligence, common
law fraud, and negligence should not be dismissed for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction by filing an amended complaint.

In light of the Court's findings supra that jurisdiction is
lacking at this time, the pending motions cannot be determined on
the merits and therefore are denied without prejudice, Judge
Hillman said.

The case is Abuhouran v. Kaiserkane, Inc., Civil No. 10-6609
(D. N.J.).  A copy of Judge Hillman's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/wGW6xqfrom Leagle.com.

Defendant KaiserKane Inc. is represented by:

         Robert L. Ritter, Esq.
         SCHIFFMAN, BERGER, ABRAHAM, KAUFMAN & RITTER, P.C.
         3 University Plaza, Suite 410
         P.O. Box 568
         Hackensack, NJ 07602-0568
         Tel: (201) 488-2600 ext. 124
         E-mail: RRitter@sakr-law.com

Defendants Briggs Contracting Services, Inc., and Rod Richardson
are represented by:

         Richard C. Wischusen, Esq.
         REILLY, SUPPLE, & WISCHUSEN LLC
         Murray Hill Office Center
         571 Central Avenue
         New Providence, NJ 07974
         Tel: 908-665-1166

Defendants North American Roofing and David Donaldson are
represented by:

         Paul Joseph Smyth, Esq.
         Sean X. Kelly, Esq.
         Sebastian A. Goldstein, Esq.
         MARKS, O'NEILL, O'BRIEN & COURTNEY PC
         6981 North Park Drive, Suite 300
         Pennsauken, NJ 08109
         Tel: 856-663-4300
         Fax: 856-663-4439
         E-mail: psmyth@mooclaw.com

Defendant American Safety Indemnity Company is represented by:

         Eric A. Portuguese, Esq.
         Aaron Brouk, Esq.
         LESTER, SCHWAB, KATZ & DWYER LLP
         24 Lackawanna Plaza
         Millburn, NJ 07041
         Tel: (973) 912-9501
         Fax: (973) 912-9508
         E-mail: eportuguese@lskdnylaw.com

Defendant Companion Property & Casualty Insurance is represented
by:

         David A. Laughlin, Esq.
         BIRDSALL & LAUGHLIN, LLC
         1720 State Highway 34 North
         P.O. Box 1380
         Wall, NJ 07719
         Tel: 732-749-3900
         Fax: 732-749-3901


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hawaii Ct. Junks Appeal From Dismissal Order
-------------------------------------------------------------
Debra Heverly-Campbell and her daughter, Jade Heverly-Campbell,
filed two consolidated personal injury civil actions arising out
of alleged exposure to asbestos in their apartment unit at 2895
Kalakua Avenue, in Hawaii.  The Circuit Court of the First Circuit
made a final judgment in favor of defendants in the two
consolidated actions.  The Heverly-Campbells appealed from the
judgments complaining that the circuit court abused its discretion
in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss because the
defendants failed to appear for an independent medical examination
and to appear for deposition.

In a Dec. 21, 2011 memorandum and opinion, a three-panel judge
composed of Justices Craig H. Nakamura, Alexa D.M. Fujise, and
Lisa M. Ginoza of the Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii
affirmed the judgments noting that the record establishes that
extensive efforts were made to obtain discovery in the form of
independent medical examinations and depositions of the Heverly-
Campbells.

The Appellate Court also noted that evidence presented showed that
the Heverly-Campbells' alleged exposure to asbestos in their
apartment did not cause any physical harm and, in turn, they
failed to submit evidence in response so that there was no genuine
issue of material fact as to causation or damages.

The case is Heverly-Campbell v. Colony Surf, Ltd., No. 29195,
Civil No. 05-0534., 05-1-1759 (Ha.).  A copy of the Dec. 21
Decision is available at http://is.gd/drcfeQfrom Leagle.com.

Defendants Colony Surf, Ltd., W.E. Denison Corporation, William E.
Denison and Mary Lou Leslie are represented by:

         Wayne Parsons, Esq.
         LAW OFFICES OF WAYNE D. PARSONS
         1406 Colbun Street, Suite 201C
         Honolulu, HI 96817
         Tel: (808) 845-2211

Defendant Paul Leonard, individually and as Trustee of the Paul
and Dorit Leonard Family Trust, is represented by:

         Dennis E.W. O'Connor, Esq.
         Michael J. McGuigan, Esq.
         Elmira K. Tsang, Esq.
         O'CONNOR PLAYDON & GUBEN LLP
         733 Bishop St. #24
         Honolulu, HI 96813
         Tel: (808) 524-8350

Defendants Costa's Plumbing Co., Inc. and Richard E. Costa are
represented by:

         Jonathan L. Ortiz, Esq.
         Wade J. Katano, Esq.
         ORTIZ & KATANO, A LAW CORPORATION
         2121 Davies Pacific Center
         841 Bishop St.
         Honolulu, HI 96813
         Tel: (808) 524-6696

Robert S. Thue and Laura Ching Thue are represented by:

         Preston A. Gima, Esq.
         LAW OFFICES OF PRESTON A. GIMA
         547 Halekauwila St Ste 204
         Honolulu, HI, 96813-5029
         Tel: (808) 526-2823

              - and -

         Randall Y.S. Chung, Esq.
         Milton S. Tani, Esq.
         MATSUI CHUNG, A LAW CORPORATION
         Ocean View Center
         707 Richards Street, Suite 300
         Honolulu, HI 96813
         Tel: (808) 536-3711
         Fax: (808) 599-2979


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carey v. JP Bushnell Suit Remanded to State Court
------------------------------------------------------------------
John Forrest Carey and Marjorie L. Carey filed a motion to remand
a lawsuit against J.P. Bushnell Packing Supply Company, Inc., and
Mine Safety Appliances Company, among others, for asbestos
exposure.  The Plaintiffs alleged that John Carey contracted
mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing
products manufactured, sold and distributed by defendants.

In a Dec. 21, 2011 memorandum and order, Judge John A. Ross of the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern
Division, granted the motion.  The Court found that the Plaintiffs
have stated a colorable claim against J.P. Bushnell under Missouri
law.  Although John Carey, and his co-worker, Clifford Funk, were
unable to identify the manufacturer of the "rope" or "string" by
name, they contend that the product is similar and consistent with
the type of product distributed by J.P. Bushnell.  The Court also
found that MSA has created a factual dispute on Plaintiffs' claims
against J.P. Bushnell, which is for the state court to decide on
remand.

The case is Carey v. JP Bushnell Packing Supply Company, No. 4:11-
CV-2050-JAR (Mo.).  A copy of Judge Ross' Decision is available at
http://is.gd/q58m3Rfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suit vs. DPRA & PATCO Remanded to State Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sandra Brust has been diagnosed with, and currently suffers from,
retroperitoneal malignant mesothelioma.  She instituted an action
against, among others, the Delaware River Port Authority and the
Port Authority Transit Corporation in the Superior Court of New
Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County.  Among other claims
against numerous other defendants, she alleges against the DRPA
and PATCO common-law premises liability claims predicated upon
secondary asbestos exposure.  In short, Ms. Brust claims that her
father, in his employment with DRPA and PATCO, was exposed to and
then carried home on his clothing and person, asbestos.  She
alleges this caused her to develop mesothelioma.  The DRPA removed
the action to federal court asserting federal question
jurisdiction.  Ms. Brust wants the action remanded to the state
court.

The DRPA is a bi-state entity formed by a Congressionally-approved
compact.  Construction of a Congressionally-approved compact is a
federal question.  At issue in this case is whether there is a
federal question presented on the face of Ms. Brust's complaint.

In a Dec. 21, 2011 memorandum and opinion, Judge Joseph H.
Rodriguez of the U.S. District court for the District of New
Jersey granted Ms. Brust's motion to remand finding that the
complaint does not state a claim based on federal law.  The
complaint, the court noted, alleges purely state law causes of
action, one of which is a common law premises liability claim
against the DRPA.  The complaint also specifically disclaims any
federal cause of action or any claim that would give rise to
federal jurisdiction, the court noted.

The case is Brust v. ACF Industries, LLC, Civil Action No. 11-4839
(N.J).  A copy of Judge Rodriguez's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/LWQC1ofrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ky. Pneumoconiosis Review Is Unconstitutional
--------------------------------------------------------------
Notwithstanding their 37 and 34 years' work in underground coal
mines, the Workers' Compensation Board affirmed decisions to
dismiss Jesse Gardner and Joe Martinez's applications for benefits
because the "consensus readings" of their X-rays interpreted them
to be negative for coal workers' pneumoconiosis (black lung).  On
review, however, two separate Court of Appeals panels held the
"consensus procedure" required by the Kentucky Revised Statutes
342.316 for proving the existence of coal workers' pneumoconiosis
and the "clear and convincing" standard the statute requires to
rebut a consensus unconstitutional.

In so doing, both panels of the Court of Appeals determined that
those provisions denied the claimants and other workers who suffer
from coal workers' pneumoconiosis equal protection under the law
by placing a more stringent burden of proof on them than those who
suffer from pneumoconiosis from other sources.

In a Dec. 22, 2011 memorandum and opinion, Justice Will T. Scott
of the Supreme Court of Kentucky affirmed the conclusions of the
Court of Appeals.  Justice Scott held that that classification of
coal workers' pneumoconiosis claimants should be considered to be
arbitrary in regard to the more stringent proof of procedures
required.  Justice Scott said he believes that the disparate
treatment afforded those workers lack a rational basis or
substantial justification, thus, he held that the consensus
procedure and the clear and convincing evidentiary standard are
unconstitutional.

Pneumoconiosis caused by exposure to coal dust is the same disease
as pneumoconiosis caused by exposure to dust particles in other
industries, yet coal workers face different, higher standard-of-
proof requirements than those other workers, Justice Scott pointed
out.  This is an arbitrary distinction between similarly situated
individuals, and thus it violates the equal protection guarantees
of the Federal and State Constitutions, he concluded.

The case is Vision Mining, Inc. v. Garner, Nos. 2010-SC-000311-WC,
2010-SC-000438-WC (Ken.).  A copy of Justice Scott's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/TXiMYufrom Leagle.com.

Vision Mining, Inc., is represented by:

         Anthony Kenneth Finaldi, Esq.
         FERRERI & FOGLE, PPLC
         203 Speed Building
         333 Guthrie Green
         Louisville, KY 40202
         Tel: (502) 582-1381
         Fax: (502) 581-9887
         E-mail: afinaldi@ferreri-fogle.com

              - and -

         John Edward Ballerstedt, Jr.
         FERRERI & FOGLE, PPLC
         300 East Main Street, Suite 400
         Lexington, KY 40507
         Tel: (502) 582-1381
         Fax: (502) 581-9887
         E-mail: wballerstedt@ferreri-fogle.com

Peabody Coal Company is represented by:

         Peter J. Glauber, Esq.
         BOEHL, STOPHER, & GRAVES, LLP
         2300 Aegon Center
         400 West Market Street
         Louisville, KY 40202

Jesse Gardner and Joe Martinez are represented by:

         Thomas E. Springer, III
         Springer Law Firm, PLLC
         18 Court Street
         Madisonville, KY 42431

Hon. Douglas W. Gott, ALJ, is represented by:

         Douglass Wayne Gott, Esq.
         Pushin Building
         400 East Main Street, Suite 300
         Bowling Green, KY 42101

              - and -

         Russell Scott Borders, Esq.
         8120 Dream Street,
         Florence, KY 41042

Workers' Compensation Board is represented by:

         Dwight Taylor Lovan
         Executive Director
         Office of Workers' Claims
         Prevention Park
         657 Chamberlin Avenue
         Frankfort, KY 40601

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is represented by:

         Jack Conway
         Attorney General
         Room 118, Capitol Building
         Frankfort, KY 40601

Office of Workplace Standards/Ken. Labor Dept. is represented by:

         Christopher H. Smith
         Kentucky Labor Department
         1047 U.S. 127 South
         Frankfort, KY 40601

Counsel for United Mine Workers of America, Ken. Chapter of
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial
Organization (AFL-CIO), Appalachian Citizens' Law Center, and Ken.
Workers' Association are represented by:

         Peter J. Naake, Esq.
         800 Republic Building
         429 West Muhammad Ali Blvd.
         Louisville, KY 40202


ASBESTOS UPDATE: John Deere Remains Exposed to Asbestos Suits
-------------------------------------------------------------
John Deere is subject to various unresolved legal actions which
arise in the normal course of its business, the most prevalent of
which relate to product liability (including asbestos-related
liability), retail credit, software licensing, patent, trademark
and environmental matters. John Deere believes the reasonably
possible range of losses for these unresolved legal actions in
addition to the amounts accrued would not have a material effect
on its financial statements.

No updates were reported in Deere & Company's December 19, 2011
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2011.

Deere & Company and its subsidiaries (collectively called John
Deere) provides products and services primarily for agriculture
and forestry worldwide.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Navistar Continues to Defend Asbestos Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Navistar International Corporation continues to defend itself
against asbestos-related claims, according to the Company's
December 20, 2011 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2011.

Along with other vehicle manufacturers, the Company has been
subject to an increase in the number of asbestos-related claims in
recent years. In general, these claims relate to illnesses alleged
to have resulted from asbestos exposure from component parts found
in older vehicles, although some cases relate to the alleged
presence of asbestos in its facilities. In these claims the
Company is not the sole defendant, and the claims name as
defendants numerous manufacturers and suppliers of a wide variety
of products allegedly containing asbestos. The Company has
strongly disputed these claims, and it has been its policy to
defend against them vigorously. It is possible that the number of
these claims will continue to grow, and that the costs for
resolving asbestos related claims could become more significant in
the future.

The estimate of the asbestos liability is subject to uncertainty.
Such uncertainty includes some reliance on industry data to
project the future frequency of claims received by the Company,
the long latency period associated with asbestos exposures and the
types of diseases that will ultimately manifest, and unexpected
future inflationary trends. Historically, actual damages paid out
to individual claimants have not been material. Although the
Company believes that its estimates and judgments related to
asbestos related claims are reasonable, actual results could
differ and it may be exposed to increases or decreases in its
accrual that could be material.

Navistar International Corporation, incorporated under the laws of
the State of Delaware in 1993, is a holding company whose
principal operating subsidiaries are Navistar, Inc. and Navistar
Financial Corporation.  Navistar is an international manufacturer
of International(R) brand commercial and military trucks, IC Bus
brand buses, MaxxForce brand diesel engines, Workhorse(R) Custom
Chassis brand chassis for motor homes and step vans, and Monaco(R)
RV recreational vehicles, as well as a provider of service parts
for all makes of trucks and trailers. Additionally, it is a
private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the
pickup truck, van, and sport utility vehicle markets. It also
provides retail, wholesale, and lease financing of its trucks and
parts.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toro Company Still Subject to Asbestos Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Toro Company is party to litigation in the ordinary course of
business. Litigation occasionally involves claims for punitive as
well as compensatory damages arising out of use of the company's
products. Although the company is self-insured to some extent, the
company maintains insurance against certain product liability
losses. The company is also subject to litigation and
administrative and judicial proceedings with respect to claims
involving asbestos and the discharge of hazardous substances into
the environment. Some of these claims assert damages and liability
for personal injury, remedial investigations or clean-up and other
costs and damages.

No updates were reported in the Company's December 21, 2011 Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended October 31, 2011.

The Toro Company designs, manufactures, and markets professional
turf maintenance equipment and services, turf irrigation systems,
agricultural micro-irrigation systems, landscaping equipment and
lighting, and residential yard and snow removal products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Joy Global Remains Involved in Asbestos Cases
--------------------------------------------------------------
Joy Global Inc. and its subsidiaries are involved in various
unresolved legal matters that arise in the normal course of
operations, the most prevalent of which relate to product
liability (including over 1,000 asbestos and silica-related
cases), employment, and commercial matters.  Although the outcome
of these matters cannot be predicted with certainty and favorable
or unfavorable resolutions may affect the results of operations on
a quarter-to-quarter basis, the Company believes that the outcome
of such legal and other matters will not have a material adverse
effect on its consolidated financial position, results of
operations, or liquidity.

No updates were reported in the Company's December 22, 2011 Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended October 28, 2011.

Joy Global Inc. is a manufacturer and servicer of high
productivity mining equipment for the extraction of coal and other
minerals and ores.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Esterline Dismantled Insulation Facility in Dec.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
As a result of the end of the NASA Space Shuttle program,
manufacturing of rocket engine insulation material containing
asbestos ceased in July 2010. In December 2011, Esterline
Technologies Corporation dismantled its facility used to
manufacture the asbestos-based insulation for the Space Shuttle
program. It has an agreement with the customer for indemnification
for certain losses it may incur as a result of asbestos claims
relating to a product it previously manufactured, but it cannot
assure that this indemnification agreement will fully protect the
Company from losses arising from asbestos claims.

To the extent the Company is not insured or indemnified for losses
from asbestos claims relating to its products, asbestos claims
could adversely affect its operating results and its financial
condition, according to the Company's December 23, 2011 Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended October 28, 2011.

Esterline, a Delaware corporation formed in 1967, is a specialized
manufacturing company principally serving aerospace and defense
customers. It designs, manufactures and markets highly engineered
products and systems for application within the industries it
serves.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Piedmont Natural Estimates $2.8MM Liabilities
--------------------------------------------------------------
One of Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc.'s operating districts
has coatings containing asbestos on some of their pipelines.  The
Company has educated its employees on the hazards of asbestos and
implemented procedures for removing these coatings from its
pipelines when it must excavate and expose small portions of the
pipeline. Lead-based paint is being removed at multiple LNG
facilities that the Company owns. Employees have been trained on
the hazards of lead exposure, and the Company has engaged
independent environmental contractors to remove and dispose of the
lead-based paint at these facilities, according to the Company's
December 23, 2011 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2011.

As of October 31, 2011, the Company's estimated undiscounted
environmental liability totaled $2.8 million, and consisted of
$1.5 million for the  manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites for which
the Company retains remediation responsibility, $1 million for the
liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and $.3 million for USTs
not yet remediated.

As of October 31, 2011, the Company's regulatory assets for
unamortized environmental costs totaled $9.6 million. The Company
sought recovery of $2 million in the pending Tennessee rate case.
It will seek recovery of the remaining balance in future rate
proceedings.

Further evaluation of the MGP, LNG and UST sites and removal of
lead-based paint could significantly affect recorded amounts;
however, the Company believes that the ultimate resolution of
these matters will not have a material effect on its financial
position, results of operations or cash flows.

Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. (Piedmont) was incorporated in
New York in 1950 and began operations in 1951. In 1994, it merged
into a newly formed North Carolina corporation with the same name
for the purpose of changing its state of incorporation to North
Carolina.  Piedmont is an energy services company whose principal
business is the distribution of natural gas to over one million
residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers
in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee,
including 51,800 customers served by municipalities who are its
wholesale customers.



                           *********

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
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania,
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland USA.  Noemi Irene
A. Adala, Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, Psyche A. Castillon,
Julie Anne Lopez, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and
Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2011.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.





                 * * *  End of Transmission  * * *