CAR_Public/120106.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, January 6, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 5

                             Headlines

BEZEQ THE ISRAELI TELECOMUNICTN: Faces Class Action Over Tariffs
CITY OF BOSTON, MA: Sued for Delaying Special-Ed Evaluations
CITY OF CHICAGO, IL: Teachers Sue Over Wrongful Termination
CRAYOLA: Settles Class Action Over Washable Colored Bubbles
DIAMOND FOODS: Settles False Ad Class Action for $3.45 Million

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Racism Suit Won't Proceed as Class Action
EL AL ISRAEL: Settles Price-Fixing Class Action for $15.8-Million
GMAC MORTGAGE: Faces Class Action in Mass. Over Bogus Late Fees
MEDTRONIC INC: Faces Class Action Over Recalled Defibrillator
MONSANTO: Judge Expands Gag Order on Lawyers in Class Action

PEAK 3: Faces Class Suit in Illinois Over Excessive Loan Interest
STATE OF FLORIDA: Nursing Home Suit Loses Class Action Status
STATE OF GUAM: AG's Request to Dismiss Class Action Challenged
WELTMAN WEINBERG: Enforces Void Judgments, Illinois Suit Says

* Hip Implant Class Actions on the Rise in Canada


                       Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Claims 400 Workers Exposed to Carcinogens
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Owner Says Building Tagged for Demolition Is Safe
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Keystone Has New Hazard Materials Specialist
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1884 Courthouse Abatement to Complete by Jan. 19
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calls Mount for Canada to Halt Chrysotile Trade

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Issue Disrupts MCA Opening Schedule
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aussie Reporter to Keynote 2012 Awareness Summit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: MA Water Dept Crosses Wetlands Protection Laws
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union, ADF Want Thorough Test at Museum
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Soldier Fears for Family's Health Asks Relocation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Preacher Attempts to Hide Estate's Contamination
ASBESTOS UPDATE: National Guard Armory Abatement Given Green Light
ASBESTOS UPDATE: MUHC Hospital Uses Carcinogens in Drainpipes
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lawyer Hails Asbestos Awareness Week Designation
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Not Covered by Zadroga Compensation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Chrysotile Miner Leads Crusade v Former Trade
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Newton North Spent $14 Million in Abatement Costs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1,000-Ton Asbestos Found in Liverpool Underground
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM Law Firm Offers Free Case Evaluations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lack of Dumping Sites Hounds Africa's Abatement

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contaminants Add $51,000 to Tennis Center Costs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Financing Issues Halt Clean Up of Toxic Rubbles
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Demolition of UM's Old Mansion Up for Discussion
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gwent Statistics Says Mesothelioma Killed 158
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Health Minister to Organize Decontamination Plan

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Balcorp Rep Outlines Usage of Modern Chrysotile
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wood Stoves Removal Dropped Airborne Pollution
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Minister Gignac Shuns Rachel Lee's Dying Request
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Conoco Phillips Slams Claim, Appeals $15M Payout
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Morris Cty to Spend $850K on Courthouse Abatement

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Supreme Court Rules on Joint Trial
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Work-Related Claim Must Be Determined at Trial
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Medical Records Are Not Inadmissible as Hearsay
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Rules in CDI v. Village of Deposit Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Denies Aurora Pump's Summary Judgment Bid

ASBESTOS UPDATE: N.Y. Court Dismisses Suit v. Goodyear


                          *********

BEZEQ THE ISRAELI TELECOMUNICTN: Faces Class Action Over Tariffs
----------------------------------------------------------------
On January 2, 2012, Bezeq the Israeli Telecomunictn Corp. Ltd. was
notified by subsidiary Pelephone Communications Ltd. concerning a
claim together with an application for its certification as a
class action, of which it had received notice that day and which
were filed against it in the Tel Aviv District Court.

According to the applicants, Pelephone deceived some of its
business customers and updated some of its tariffs, in
contravention of the law.

The reliefs sued for in the claim include reimbursement of amounts
collected from business customers of Pelephone due to updating of
the tariffs, and cancellation of the update in the tariff.  The
total financial relief sought is estimated by the applicants at
NIS380 million.

Pelephone is studying the claim and at this stage, neither it nor
the Company is able to assess the likelihood of its success.


CITY OF BOSTON, MA: Sued for Delaying Special-Ed Evaluations
------------------------------------------------------------
Stephanie Ebbert, writing for The Boston Globe, reports that even
as it prepares to open five new classrooms for special education
students this week, the Boston public school system is facing a
class-action lawsuit in federal court asserting that the district
routinely violates state and federal law by delaying evaluations
and classroom placements for preschoolers with special needs.

The lawsuit, brought by the nonprofit Massachusetts Advocates for
Children on behalf of two families, says the delays have left some
children without any services for months at a time, causing
regression in the developmental progress they had been making.

The School Department "has subjected more than 200 preschoolers --
some of its most vulnerable youth -- to illegal wait-listing," the
suit states.

The lawsuit, which was recently transferred from state to federal
court, cites a memo written in May by the Boston schools' Office
of Special Education and Student Services that acknowledged a
backlog of some 65 students on waiting lists at the time.

"This backlog resulted from a shortage of seats in [Boston public
schools] early childhood special education settings," the memo
said.  It also said that department administrators called a
meeting to brainstorm about immediate actions, including better
coordination between its special education office and its
enrollment office to identify available seats.

The lawsuit calls on the school system to develop policies to
evaluate and place students on a timely basis.  It also seeks
reimbursement for what parents have spent on children's
evaluation.

Superintendent Carol R. Johnson said that the lawsuit is
unnecessary and that the district has been working to address the
type of complaints it raises. Five special-education classrooms
are being opened when classes resume this week, and others opened
in the fall.

"Last spring, I think all of us were concerned about the number of
students who had not been placed as rapidly as they needed to be,"
she said.  "We tried to pull together and plan for that so that
their needs were met.  I think we've been very intentional this
fall and in January of moving forward."

But those pressing the suit said they have grown impatient.

"We believed that taking this issue to court was the best way to
advocate for and represent these very vulnerable children with
significant disabilities and their families," said Jerry Mogul,
executive director of Massachusetts Advocates, who said that
solving the persistent problem will require better coordination
between multiple school departments.

"We didn't doubt the superintendent's intention to fix the
problem, but we did not want this issue to get lost amidst all the
demands placed upon her office and on the system as a whole,"
Mr. Mogul added.

Under state and federal law, school districts are responsible for
educating students with disabilities as soon as they turn 3.  For
students already in early intervention programs, the federal law
requires a seamless transition to public school as soon as they
reach that age, meaning evaluations for special-education services
should occur earlier.

That is a complicated task, especially in a large district like
Boston, which draws some 400 new preschoolers with special needs
each year, by Ms. Johnson's estimate.  Some of the children's
conditions are as mild as speech disorders, while others have a
complicated range of disabilities.

Each new student will have needs that may or may not be met in an
existing classroom, even if there is space available.

To complicate matters, the federal law calls for action by the
child's third birthday -- regardless of when it falls.  State
regulations encourage districts to begin evaluating children who
are already identified for services at as young as 2 1/2 to ensure
a smooth transition into school by the time they turn 3.  That
means the children who are evaluated for special-education
services throughout the year could be enrolled at any time in the
school term, not just in September.

The School Department has set up a special-education computer
system capable of tracking incoming 3-year-olds and alerting
administrators to upcoming deadlines for evaluations and
development of individualized education plans.  But the suit
alleges that the department's enrollment office has not used that
technology to create and staff classrooms throughout the year, and
instead relies on projections that become outdated midyear as more
children turn 3.

Ms. Johnson would not discuss the suit's assertions about
enrollment problems, but acknowledged "the need to better align"
the special-education office with the overall enrollment and said
the district has been working toward better coordination.

The suit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court in September, has been
transferred to federal court at the request of the district.  An
amended filing by the plaintiffs is due by Jan. 6.

Lawyers for the district have sought to get the case dismissed,
saying that the families should have sought appeals before filing
suit.  Federal law requires plaintiffs to exhaust all other
options first and the state has an administrative agency, the
Bureau of Special Education Appeals, to address disputes between
districts and students, the suit says.

Complaints about special education are not new to the district.
Two years ago, the superintendent commissioned the Council of
Great City Schools to review the district's program, and the audit
raised concerns that students were being placed on waiting lists
and recommended immediate action by Ms. Johnson.

Ms. Johnson expressed dismay that the suit was filed, saying the
district has been working aggressively to address the delays and
has been making progress.

"We've been very honest and forthcoming with the special-ed
community about addressing these issues, not expecting they would
turn around and use all of that data we've shared in a legal
case," she added.

Carolyn Kain, chair of the School Department's Special Education
Parent Advisory Council, said that the district's new director of
special education has been working with the parent group and took
immediate action to address the backlog.

"To our knowledge, a lot of progress has been made in that area,"
she said, adding: "We don't feel that a lawsuit against the
district was necessary or helpful in an area where progress was
being made. . . . Any lawsuit requires an allocation of personnel
and financial resources that we feel would be better focused on
actually developing and improving special ed programs."

In addition to trying to more quickly identify spaces where seats
might be available for special-needs preschoolers, the district
has been attempting to maximize resources by creating integrated
classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds, she said.  In addition, the
district has been ordering materials and hiring staff for the new
classrooms, she said.

Matthew Wilder, School Department spokesman, said the classrooms
being added this week are not in response to the suit, but in
coordination with the broader efforts to reorganize special-
education services.

The new classes will serve 25 3-year-olds with varying diagnoses
at Harvard/Kent Elementary School in Charlestown, Lee Academy in
Dorchester, Philbrick Elementary School in Roslindale, Taylor
Elementary School in Mattapan, and the P.J. Kennedy Elementary
School in East Boston.


CITY OF CHICAGO, IL: Teachers Sue Over Wrongful Termination
-----------------------------------------------------------
Jack Bouboushian at Courthouse News Service reports that to save
money, but in violation of a collective bargaining agreement, the
Chicago Board of Education fired teachers who were on the verge of
completing their 20th year in the system, two teachers say in a
federal class action.

Named plaintiffs Barbara Ferkel and Adrienne Green-Katien sued the
Chicago Board of Education and its eight members, alleging age
discrimination, wrongful firing, breach of contract and violation
of due process.

In June 2010, Ron Huberman, then-CEO of Chicago Public Schools,
and the Board of Education "decided to lay off and 'honorably
terminate' teachers whom defendants labeled as unsatisfactory,"
according to the complaint.

Ms. Ferkel and Ms. Green-Katien say that "Huberman's statements
that the honorably terminated teachers were unsatisfactory are
false."

Ms. Ferkel and Ms. Green-Katien say they were told in August 2010
that "their positions were no longer available due to something
titled 'Redefinition' and they would be honorably terminated."

Ms. Ferkel worked for Chicago public schools for 19 years and says
she received excellent and superior professional evaluations.  She
says she had informed the Board in February 2010 that she planned
to retire in June 2011 with 20 years of service, "thus
substantially increasing the pension and other benefits to which
she was entitled."

Also, "Retirement with 20 years of service would allow Ms. Ferkel
to cash in all her 123.5 sick days.  Retiring with less than 20
years of service would allow Ms. Ferkel to cash in only 40.5 sick
days."

Ms. Ferkel says that in April or May 2010, her principal at Ames
Middle School, Thomas Hoffman, told her "that she was 'too
motherly' to the students.  Ms. Ferkel understood this to be a
comment about her age."

Ms. Green-Katien also worked for Chicago public schools for 19
years, and planned to retire after her 20th year.  She too
received excellent and superior evaluations during her tenure,
except for the 2009-2010 school year, when Hoffman gave her a
"'Satisfactory' rating, despite never conducting a formal
observation of Ms. Green-Katien's classroom or engaging her in the
post-observation meeting required under the collective bargaining
agreement," according to the complaint.

She adds: "Of the 10 (10) teachers who received termination
letters at Ames, at least half were over the age of forty (40).

"Of the ten (10) teacher who received termination letters at Ames,
two teachers who were under the age of forty (40) and
substantially younger and less senior than other terminated
teachers were contacted and rehired by Hoffman.  The newly rehired
teachers were assigned classes that the senior and tenured
teachers were qualified to teach."

They claim the Board of Education violated its collective
bargaining agreement with Chicago Teachers Union, Local 1, which
required "that tenured teachers with appropriate certifications
will be selected for retention based on seniority."

They seek class damages for age discrimination, deprivation of due
process, and breach of contract.

A copy of the Complaint in Ferkel, et al. v. Board of Education of
the City of Chicago, Case No. 11-cv-09322 (N.D. Ill.), is
available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/03/ChiSchools.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Robin Potter, Esq.
          M. Nieves Bolanos, Esq.
          ROBIN POTTER & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
          111 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 2600
          Chicago, IL 60601
          Telephone: (312) 861-1800
          E-mail: robin@potterlaw.org
                  nieves@potterlaw.org


CRAYOLA: Settles Class Action Over Washable Colored Bubbles
-----------------------------------------------------------
Tracy Vedder, writing for Komonews, reports that there's good news
for parents who purchased Crayola's Washable Colored Bubbles and
wound up with a mess.  Following a Problem Solver's report
published last August, Crayola has agreed to a class-action
settlement.

Crayola came out with the Colored Bubbles -- the kind you blow
through a wand -- last year.  Alyson Herfert bought several
bottles for her 5-year-old daughter's birthday party.

On both the product itself and on the company's Web site, Crayola
calls them "washable".  But Ms. Herfert says they were anything
but.

"They're a total mess," she said.  "To me, washable means
washable, not washable with an instruction manual, not washable
with harsh chemicals."

The fine print on the label does warn customers that the stains
must be washed immediately, and that repeat laundering may be
required.  Problem Solver Connie Thompson conducted her own test
and, like Ms. Herfert, found that the Colored Bubbles wouldn't
come out after repeated washing.

Law firm Keller-Rohrback filed a class-action lawsuit in August.
Attorney Gretchen Freeman Cappio says Crayola agreed to a proposed
settlement giving parents everything they wanted, including
reimbursement for the bubbles and any damage they caused.

"The parents in this case want three main things," she said.
"First they would like the bubble to be truthfully advertised.
They can say 'colored bubbles,' but the 'washable' part should be
stricken."

Because this is still a proposed settlement, Crayola's Web site
still advertises the bubbles as "washable"; a judge has to approve
the agreement.

A copy of the proposed notice to consumers is available online.
But consumers can sign up for compensation immediately by calling
1-800-CRAYOLA. Consumers who are hearing-impaired may sign up by
e-mailing 2011washablecoloredbubblessettlement@crayola.com


DIAMOND FOODS: Settles False Ad Class Action for $3.45 Million
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mateusz Perkowski, writing for Capital Press, reports that a
California walnut company has agreed to pay $3.45 million to
settle a class action lawsuit that accused it of false
advertising.

Diamond Foods of San Francisco has struck a deal with walnut
consumer Elliot Zeisel of New York, who claimed the company misled
consumers by promoting the "heart healthy" attributes of walnuts.

As part of the settlement, which must still be approved by a
federal judge, Diamond has agreed to pay consumers $3.25 to $8.25
for each package of walnuts they bought that contained the "heart
healthy" claims, depending on size and other conditions.

If the total amount of compensation exceeds $2.6 million before
the settlement is finally approved, Diamond can pull out of the
deal.  If the amount falls below $2.6 million, the balance will be
donated to food banks.

Attorneys for Mr. Zeisel will also be able to collect $850,000
from Diamond under the deal's terms.

Though Diamond continues to dispute that the language it used to
promote walnuts was unlawfully misleading, the company has agreed
to discontinue the "heart health" labels and similar materials on
its Web site.

The controversy stems from a statement on Diamond's walnut
packages that claimed "the omega-3 in walnuts can help you get the
proper balance of fatty acids your body needs for promoting and
maintaining heart health."

In February 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a
warning letter to Diamond, alleging the company violated food
labeling rules by marketing walnuts as if they were intended to
treat a medical condition.

The agency said "there is not sufficient evidence to identify a
biologically active substance in walnuts that reduces the risk of
(coronary heart disease)"and requested that Diamond change the
labeling.

A month later, Mr. Zeisel filed a legal complaint accusing the
company of violating consumer protection laws and unjustly
enriching itself with false advertising.

Diamond argued that Mr. Zeisel wasn't actually harmed by the
advertising, since he admitted to buying walnuts for reasons other
than health, but a federal judge certified the case as a class
action earlier this year, allowing other affected walnut consumers
to join the litigation.

With the parties now having reached a settlement in principle,
they expect to present the agreement to a federal judge for final
approval in August 2012, according to court documents.

However, the deal does not end other legal problems faced by
Diamond, formerly a walnut farmers' cooperative that transformed
into a publicly traded snack food company in 2005.

Since November 2011, seven lawsuits have been filed against the
company accusing it of violating federal securities law.  Diamond
is accused of inflating its profits by misstating how much money
it spent on walnuts.

In December, the company also disclosed that its accounting
practices for crop payments are being formally investigated by the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Diamond's stock price was recently trading at below $35 per share,
down from more than $90 per share in September 2011, before an
investment consulting firm raised questions about its walnut
purchases.


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Racism Suit Won't Proceed as Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ryan Abbott at Courthouse News Service reports that a group of
black firefighters suing the District of Columbia for employment
discrimination cannot be certified as a class just yet, a federal
judge ruled.

Since the firefighters have been vague as to whether their claims
display the required commonality to file as a class, U.S. District
Judge Beryl Howell ordered a 60-day discovery period for them to
show otherwise.

The plaintiffs in the case are 44 former and current black
firefighters and emergency medical technicians who claim that the
city disciplined or denied them promotions because of their race.
Their claims include hostile work environment, unfair discipline
and unequal promotion.

One black lieutenant with the Fire Department contrasts the
punishment he faced for "a single ill-considered remark" taken as
sexual harassment against the punishment a white sergeant faced
for texting a picture of his penis to a black female firefighter.
While the black lieutenant was forced to resign, the white
sergeant received a demotion coupled with "a beneficial transfer
to a high-profile position," according to the court's Dec. 23
summary.

Despite the alarming allegations, the plaintiffs failed to prove
commonality, Judge Howell said.  "The plaintiffs have alleged a
series of instances in which African-American employees
purportedly experienced a hostile work environment or received
harsher punishments for disciplinary infractions than similarly
situated white employees, but many of these allegations are either
conclusory or rely on comparison of the punishments for
infractions that appear distinguishable," he wrote.

A magistrate judge will handle the case during the 60-day period
precertification discovery.

A copy of the Memorandum Opinion in Burton v. District of
Columbia, Case No. 10-01750 (D.D.C.), is available at:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/03/Firefighters%20Class.pdf


EL AL ISRAEL: Settles Price-Fixing Class Action for $15.8-Million
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Szakonyi, writing for Daily Content Editor, reports that
El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. agreed to pay $15.8 million to scores
of air freight shippers to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit over
its alleged involvement in a global price-fixing scheme.

The carrier has agreed to cooperate in the ongoing case against
the remaining defendants, said Hausfeld, a law firm serving as
plaintiffs' co-lead counsel.  El Al said the settlement should not
be construed as an admission of guilty, according to Port2Port, an
Israeli trade Web site.

The deal, which must be approved by a federal judge in New York,
covers alleged price fixing by El Al and more than 20 Asian,
European and Latin American airlines from 2000 to 2006.  The
Jerusalem-based company is the sixteenth carrier to agree to a
settlement, bringing the total recovery to nearly $480 million.
The U.S. has so far fined 20 airlines more than $1.8 billion for
their participation in the cargo cartel.  The European Union fined
BA and nine other carriers $1.2 billion in November for fixing
cargo fuel and security surcharges.


GMAC MORTGAGE: Faces Class Action in Mass. Over Bogus Late Fees
---------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action claims
GMAC Mortgage adds a bogus late fee when customers "request a
payoff letter to repay their note early."

A copy of the Complaint in Kessler v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC, Case No.
11-cv-12339 (D. Mass.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/03/MortCA.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jeffrey C. Block, Esq.
          Jason M. Leviton, Esq.
          Scott A. Mays, Esq.
          BLOCK & LEVITON LLP
          155 Federal Street, Suite 1303
          Boston, MA 02110
          Telephone: (617) 398-5600


MEDTRONIC INC: Faces Class Action Over Recalled Defibrillator
-------------------------------------------------------------
CBC News reports that a defibrillator that was recalled by its
manufacturer could deliver random shocks to the heart, a class-
action lawsuit alleges.

In 2007, Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc. issued a global recall
of special wires that link a patient's heart with a defibrillator
implanted in the body.

Defibrillators monitor the heart for deadly irregular heartbeats
and use electrical impulses to jolt it back to normal. More than
6,000 Canadians were fitted with the products before the wires or
leads were recalled.

At least five people with the devices died before the company
recalled the leads.  Since then, as many as 20 more deaths have
occurred. Studies suggest the failure rate of the leads increases
over time.

Dr. Jamil Bashir, a cardiac surgeon at St. Paul's Hospital in
Vancouver who implanted the defibrillators in patients, said
doctors at the hospital have removed more than 100 of the leads.

"We had seen ourselves at St. Paul's some failures of the lead,"
Dr. Bashir recalled.  "We had been concerned about that and we
mentioned it to the company.  It wasn't too far after that the
recall actually happened."

When the leads broke, the malfunctioning device shocked patients
repeatedly within minutes.

Sherry Robinson of Sechelt, B.C., said she experienced a series of
violent shocks before her leads were removed.

Ms. Robinson said she's lost faith in Medtronic.  She's joined a
class action lawsuit against the company, which covers more than
6,300 Canadians and their families who were implanted with the
defective leads, whether or not they're having problems with the
devices.

Victoria Paris, a lawyer with Kim Orr in Toronto, the law firm
that launched the class action, claims claims Medtronic was more
than negligent.  The suit alleges the company failed to disclose
the defects in a timely fashion.

"As soon as they discovered that there were problems, they should
have let doctors know right away," Ms. Paris said.  "They should
have let patients know."

Medtronic Canada declined several requests for an interview.  In a
written statement to CBC News, it denied the allegations and said
they have not been proven in court, adding it will defend itself
vigorously.

Lawyers want to know whether Canadian health officials rubber-
stamped approval of the defibrillator from the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, which itself relied heavily on data supplied by
Medtronic.

The lawyers claim the FDA approval was based on earlier, more
reliable leads, which Medtronic re-engineered to be thinner
without going through the U.S. regulator's lengthy approval
process.

There should have been a clinical trial before patients got the
modified device, Dr. Bashir said.

"Why do we have to rush to bring them on the market if the main
advantage is really just making them smaller?" the cardiac surgeon
said.

An Ontario judge approved the case as a class action in 2009.  It
could take a year or more before lawyers argue it in court.


MONSANTO: Judge Expands Gag Order on Lawyers in Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Kate White, writing for the Charleston Gazette, reports that as
jury selection began on Jan. 3 in the class-action lawsuit seeking
medical monitoring for those who may have been exposed to
hazardous chemicals produced at Monsanto's former Nitro plant, the
judge expanded a gag order on the lawyers prohibiting comments to
the media.

"No lawyer is to discuss anything about the case," said Mercer
County Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope.  "If asked, you are to
have no comment, end of story."

Judge Swope's comments came after Monsanto lawyers filed a motion
on Jan. 2 asking him to hold lead plaintiff attorney Stuart
Calwell in contempt of court for comments he made concerning the
case to the Gazette and other local media outlets.

The judge did not immediately rule on the motion, but indicated he
would hear arguments and rule later.

Judge Swope was appointed to hear the case after Putnam Circuit
Judge O.C. Spaulding was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and
retired at the end of the year.

Lead Monsanto lawyer Charles M. Love III, of the Charleston firm
Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love, filed the motion reciting
various comments attributed to Mr. Calwell, which he claims
violated a gag order entered by Judge Spaulding in October 2008.

However, Judge Spaulding's earlier ruling only ordered lawyers not
to "initiate contact with any member of the media for the purpose
of making extra-judicial communications that elaborate on any
facts of this case or which describe either parties' liability
theories, damage theories, or other evidentiary theories."

In his motion, Mr. Love also cited orders signed by Judge Swope on
Dec. 6 and Dec. 20, 2011, ordering that mediation be
"confidential." That order was not sealed, however, and public
announcements about the mediation were posted at the Charleston
Marriott, site of the mediation.


PEAK 3: Faces Class Suit in Illinois Over Excessive Loan Interest
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action claims Peak 3
Holdings of Las Vegas charged the lead plaintiff 782% interest on
a loan.

A copy of the Complaint in White v. Peak 3 Holdings, LLC, Case No.
11CH44916 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/03/Predatory.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Daniel A. Edelman, Esq.
          Cathleen M. Combs, Esq.
          James O. Latturner, Esq.
          Zachary A. Jacobs, Esq.
          EDELMAN, COMBS, LATTURNER & GOODWIN, LLC
          120 S. LaSalle Street, 18th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: (312) 739-4200
          E-mail: courtecl@edcombs.com


STATE OF FLORIDA: Nursing Home Suit Loses Class Action Status
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a federal judge struck a blow on
Jan. 3 to advocates for the elderly and disabled, removing class-
action status from a lawsuit that had argued Florida illegally
forces people into nursing homes when they are capable of living
elsewhere.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in favor of one of the
institutionalized Medicaid patients who sued the state of Florida
in 2008, saying they should be allowed to live in other settings.
But by removing the suit's class status, the ruling applies to
just one person, Clayton Griffin, instead of the 8,500 plaintiffs
estimated by attorneys to be in a similar situation.

"It is a limited victory," said David Bruns, a spokesman for AARP,
the nonprofit group for those 50 and over which took up the case
up on the behalf of the plaintiffs.  Southern Legal Counsel also
joined AARP in that action.

Filed just shy of four years ago and argued in court early last
year, the lawsuit has dragged on so long that of the original
seven plaintiffs, five have died.  A sixth, according to the
judge's written decision, said he no longer wished to leave a
nursing home after relatives moved away.

Because of that, Judge Hinkle vacated the class action he
previously had granted, also citing changes to the state Medicaid
program have ensured people can avoid nursing homes if they wish.

"Not a single Medicaid beneficiary who is in a nursing home,"
wishes to be released, and could safely do so, "would not be
approved for transition" under the current state system, Judge
Hinkle wrote.

But in the very same judgment, Judge Hinkle acknowledges "the
state apparently has made errors . . . in failing to transition a
small number of nursing home residents."

Among those mentioned by name is Marguerite Pace, a Sarasota woman
who was deposed in the case and had been among the plaintiffs
until she was granted a waiver by the state to receive support
services outside a nursing home.

That waiver was granted last spring.  She still remains
institutionalized, waiting on a seemingly unending amount of
bureaucratic hurdles.

Ms. Pace has no use of her legs and limited use of her arms.  She
is still hopeful she will be released by the time her 50th
birthday comes on Jan. 14, but she called the Jan. 2 decision
disheartening.

"I'm sad.  Again it's saying that people with disabilities have no
rights, that we are at the mercy of the state," she said.

Americans who qualify for Medicaid and get sick or disabled enough
to require substantial care typically have little problem gaining
admission to a nursing home.  But obtaining Medicaid-supported
services at home, such as visits from an aide, is substantially
harder and often involves a long waiting list, even though it may
cost the government less.

Advocates for the elderly and disabled had hoped a 1999 Supreme
Court case would change that.  The Olmstead decision, as it is
known, involved two Georgia women, both Medicaid beneficiaries
with mental retardation who wanted community-based services, but
were refused and were treated in institutions.

The high court ruled unjustified isolation of the disabled in
institutions amounted to discrimination under the Americans with
Disabilities Act.  It said states must provide community services
if patients want them, if they can be accommodated and if it's
appropriate.  Medicaid is the state-federal partnership that
provides health coverage and nursing home care to the poor.  The
plaintiffs in the Florida case had sued citing the ADA.

The case was put on hold for a year beginning in 2009, when the
defendant, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration,
agreed to spend $27 million toward nursing home diversion
programs.

When that ultimately failed to satisfy the plaintiffs, the case
went to trial.

A spokeswoman for the Agency for Health Care Administration, said
on Jan. 2 that she could not immediately comment.


STATE OF GUAM: AG's Request to Dismiss Class Action Challenged
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Kerrigan, writing for Pacific News Center, reports that
Christian Adams of the Election Law Center in Washington D.C. has
filed a motion in Guam's District Court opposing the dismissal of
Dave Davis' class action suit which makes a civil rights challenge
to the law authorizing a plebiscite on Guam's political status.

Mr. Davis' class action suit was filed on November 22.  It charges
that Mr. Davis and others have been discriminated against because
they were denied the right to register for the non-binding
plebiscite on Guam's political status.

The class action suit asks the Federal Court to stop the Election
Commission from using the Decolonization Registry and rely solely
on the general voter registry for Guam in determining who is
eligible to vote in the plebiscite.

On December 2, Guam Attorney General Lenny Rapadas asked the
Federal Court to dismiss the lawsuit because it fails to present a
"justiciable case or controversy."  It would not be binding on the
island's population.

Mr. Rapadas argued that the law mandating the plebiscite only
seeks to establish the desires of the "Native Inhabitants of
Guam."  The results he said would be transmitted to the President,
Congress and the United Nations and what they do with it is "an
entirely separate matter."

Mr. Adams responds that Mr. Rapadas is arguing that "racial
discrimination in voting is permissible given the purported
meaningless character of the plebiscite."  He counters that "a
case or controversy exists whenever the government denies a
citizen the right to register to vote, or when a voter is barred
from participating in an election run by a government."

On Dec. 30, University of Guam Professor and Historian Anne Perez
Hattori filed an amicus curiae brief in the District Court of Guam
in support of Mr. Rapadas' motion to dismiss.  Her attorney Julian
Aguon called Mr. Davis' lawsuit "a wolf in sheep's clothing," and
she wrote "though deceptively styled as a reverse discrimination
case, this lawsuit has nothing to do with preventing race
discrimination or safeguarding civil rights."

The case has been assigned to presiding District Court Judge
Francis Tydingco-Gatewood.  No date has been set for a hearing on
the merits, yet.


WELTMAN WEINBERG: Enforces Void Judgments, Illinois Suit Says
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kristian Harris, individually and on behalf of the classes, v.
Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A., Case No. 2012-CH-00091 (Ill.
Cir. Ct., Cook Cty., January 3, 2012) seeks redress for the
Defendant's conduct in enforcing void judgments obtained by
collection agencies that lacked a license under the Illinois
Collection Agency Act.

Weltman Weinberg represented debt buyers, which filed lawsuits or
obtained judgments without complying with the licensing
requirement of the ICAA, the Plaintiff alleges.  The Plaintiff
adds that Weltman Weinberg sought to collect money that its
clients were not entitled to collect as a result of noncompliance
with the licensing requirements of the ICAA.

The Plaintiff is a resident of Cook County, Illinois.

Weltman Weinberg is a law firm organized as an Ohio professional
corporation.  Weltman Weinberg regularly sought to collect
consumer debts originally owed to others and is a "debt collector"
as defined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Daniel A. Edelman, Esq.
          Cathleen M. Combs, Esq.
          James O. Latturner, Esq.
          Francis R. Greene, Esq.
          EDELMAN, COMBS, LATTURNER & GOODWIN, LLC
          120 S. LaSalle Street, 18th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: (312) 739-4200
          Facsimile: (312) 419-0379
          E-mail: courtecl@edcombs.com
                  ccombs@edcombs.com
                  jlatturner@edcombs.com


* Hip Implant Class Actions on the Rise in Canada
-------------------------------------------------
CBC News reports that class action lawsuits for hip implants are
mounting in Canada, with claims that the devices break down and
cause pain.

As Canadians age, increasingly they're turning to hip replacement
surgery in hope of regaining pain-free mobility.

But at least four class action lawsuits have been launched against
different hip implant manufacturers. In some cases, they involve
people who felt worse instead of better after the joint
replacement surgeries.

Rob Desborough of Pictou, N.S., said he was doing OK at first
after his hip replacement, until one day when he was clipping a
tree on his property, the implant fell apart.

The surgery to remove the broken device and replace it with a new
one was difficult, he recalled.

"Now I have some degree of pain and my lifestyle is quite a bit
different than it was," Mr. Desborough said.

Regina-based class action lawyer Tony Merchant says he has
hundreds of clients suing manufacturers, primarily over new
versions of hip implants.

None of the allegations have been tested in court in any of his
cases.  But Mr. Merchant claims there's an overall problem of
device makers moving too quickly.

"Rush to market and competition," Mr. Merchant said.  "They're
trying to make lighter, innovative products to capture market
share."

Mr. Merchant suggests regulators make a distinction between life-
saving innovations that might warrant faster approval and those
that help improve lifestyle and comfort.

"The risk to people has been huge in relation to the benefit,
particularly bearing in mind that there were effective products on
the market that were working for decades before these new products
came out.  In this case, newer was not better," Mr. Merchant said
of the new hip devices.

Manufacturers contacted by CBC News did not comment directly on
the details of the various lawsuits.

Health Canada said of the 33 manufacturers with active licenses,
12 have conducted recalls related to hip replacements in the past
five years.

Within the medical community, there are questions about the
lifespan of all medical devices, from artificial corneas to
joints.  It is difficult to test those devices in humans before
they go on the market.

Also, compared with drugs, it is harder to predict how implants
will work.  People have various activity levels and also react
differently to materials in the implants, doctors say.

Dr. David Urbach, a surgeon with Toronto's University Health
Network, said patients need to be warned that approved devices
still come with risk.

Dr. Urbach suggested telling patients that "we've done all the
diligence that's required for testing, but we actually don't know
that this will perform well over many years."

Regulators such as Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration require fairly rudimentary, small studies on
devices over a short period of time without a control group,
Dr. Urbach noted.

When devices are modified, Health Canada is more flexible than it
is with a modified form of a drug, when a new clinical trial is
required, he added.

And for a drug, the initial development takes decades compared
with technological advances for a device, which follow a faster
timeline.

Dr. C. Stewart Wright, a surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Sciences
Centre in Toronto, takes the same cautionary approach with his
patients as Dr. Urbach.

"Most of us are quite comfortable with the prostheses we use,"
Dr. Wright said.  "They're ones that have been around for a long
time, they've got a good track record. So we're a little bit leery
about jumping on a bandwagon if a new prosthesis comes along."

Dr. Wright said it's important that doctors and patients talk in
detail about the surgery beforehand so they have a shared
understanding on the likely outcome.

As patients live longer, demand for joint surgery and replacements
will grow, Dr. Wright said.  That's why he believes it's important
to track how patients fare through registries that record
surgeries and patient outcomes over time.

A joint replacement registry exists in Canada, but it is optional.

Mr. Desborough, the hip patient, thinks current regulations don't
go far enough.  He'd like to see a mandatory system to track
implant failures and to contact patients, the same way car
manufacturers do when there is a recall.


                       Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Claims 400 Workers Exposed to Carcinogens
----------------------------------------------------------------
702 ABC Sydney reports that WorkCover New South Wales has
dismissed union concerns that 400 workers have been exposed to
asbestos while renovating a Sydney museum.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union says workers
have come into contact with the carcinogenic fibers at the Museum
of Contemporary Art, which is undergoing a $50-million refit and
extensions.

The ABC has been told workers were not informed of the risk and
have been cutting into asbestos without wearing masks.  The union
says the site contractor has risked the health of 400 workers and
their families, and even people passing by one of Australia's
busiest tourist zones.

But WorkCover's acting chief executive, John Watson, says the
CFMEU has not told the authority about its exposure concerns.  "If
they're saying that they need to come and talk to us, because I
don't think that's what they've said to us previously," Mr. Watson
said.

"They've said that they're concerned about the asbestos management
of the site.  They haven't said that 400 people have been exposed
to asbestos . . . That would be somewhat of an alarmist
declaration, given the nature of the work that's been carried out
at the site and the level of controls that we found were in
place," Mr. Watson said.

Mr. Watson says it is no surprise that asbestos exists in the
museum, given the age of the building.  Construction of the former
Maritime Services Board building was completed in 1952, while it
was officially opened as the MCA in 1991.

The project to double the size of the MCA has involved knocking
down parts of the building.  Asbestos fibers have been found in
the sandstone building, especially in the mortar that bonds the
old walls and window frames.

Mr. Watson says WorkCover carried out three inspections at the
site in response to the union's asbestos management concerns.

"We're actually quite satisfied with the way in which the
principal contractor has managed the concerns at the site," Mr.
Watson said.

As a result no stop work orders have been issued, though the ABC
understands the project is on hold in some parts of the museum.
WorkCover says if workers are concerned they have been exposed
they should contact them or the Dust Diseases Board.

The principal contractor for the work, Watpac, says the building's
owners only advised of one area where asbestos was present before
work began.  Watpac's Ric Wang says that area was decontaminated
on the first day of work, but concerns were soon raised again.

"On one or two occasions during the life of the project,
suspicious material was uncovered in the existing building," Mr.
Wang said.

"We have a protocol that requires that if a suspicious material is
identified the area is isolated and that material is sent off for
testing.  That protocol was followed in these two or three
instances.  The material found was not asbestos and work was
re-opened and carried on.

"But in June of this year one of those suspicious materials came
back as being asbestos.  The area had been isolated and the area
was decontaminated under the supervision of a hygienist."

Mr. Wang says in October Watpac was handed another report, showing
asbestos in the mortar joints of the building's sandstone facade.

"MCA asked us to undertake some additional works to clear that
asbestos, which started to take place in October of this year,"
Mr. Wang said.  "I'm flabbergasted that hygienist reports that
indicated the area is clear and the building is clear can be
wrong."

                           *     *     *

Harry Edwards at The Australian reports that the lead contractor
in Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art redevelopment has denied
that workers had been exposed to asbestos.

Watpac managing director Greg Kempton labeled the claims
"incorrect and irresponsible" and while he admitted a small amount
of asbestos had been discovered before and during construction, he
maintained that this was followed up by independent certification.

Mr. Kempton's claim is supported by WorkCover, which investigated
the Circular Quay site but found that the correct procedures were
in place.

"WorkCover is satisfied with the asbestos management processes in
place," the agency said.  "WorkCover will continue to monitor work
on the site in consultation with the principal contractor to
ensure relevant controls are in place in relation to the safe
management of asbestos."

However, it remains uncertain whether workers were endangered by
asbestos that specialists had failed to discover until October.  A
number of workers received letters before Christmas to inform them
that they may have been exposed.

Watpac's NSW manager Ric Wang said it was shocking that
specialists had failed to identify the hazard earlier.  "I'm
flabbergasted that hygienist reports that indicated the area is
clear and the building is clear can be wrong," he told the ABC.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Owner Says Building Tagged for Demolition Is Safe
------------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas J. Prohaska at Buffalo News reports that the owner of the
former Peters Dry Cleaning is considering legal action if the city
of Lockport tries an emergency demolition of the Willow Street
store.

Patrick McFall asked a reporter, "You know how much it's going to
cost them when I prove my building's safe?"

Mr. McFall insisted there is no asbestos in the store, whose west
wing collapsed Dec. 15.

The city Building Inspection Department ordered McFall to clear up
the debris within a week, but also told him to obtain a report
from an asbestos removal team.

"I'm going to wait for my report and let them demolish it and sue
them," McFall fumed.  "What asbestos team can you get to take down
a building in a week? You can't even get a permit in a week."

Mr. McFall said he has original blueprints that list the building
materials used to erect the structure.  The business dates from
1927; the collapsed wing was about seven years newer.  "Not a
piece of asbestos," McFall insisted.

Chief Building Inspector Jason Dool didn't buy it.

"Certainly you can't tell by a set of blueprints.  It could be in
plaster, it could be in window caulking," Dool said.  "Due to the
age of the building and everything else, I would not be surprised
if there were asbestos in the building."

Mr. Dool said the city has the authority to demolish unsafe
buildings on an emergency basis.

McFall said none of the city's building inspectors are civil
engineers.  "Everyone who works in that department isn't qualified
to do the work they judge," he said.

"He brings up a good point," Dool said.  He said a walk-through is
needed to see if the building is unstable.

The main reason for the closure was the decision of the state
Department of Environmental Conservation to add the Willow Street
site to its list of Class 2 inactive hazardous waste sites that
pose a danger to the public.

That wasn't because of the building's condition but because of dry
cleaning chemicals poured onto the ground.  McFall and previous
owner Earl Peters, who ran the business from 1972 to 2006, both
have denied such dumping.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Keystone Has New Hazard Materials Specialist
-------------------------------------------------------------
My-Ly Nguyen at Pressconnects.com reports that Christian
Tarnowski, an employee of Keystone Material Testing, received
asbestos consulting training in New York City.

Tarnowski successfully completed training per the Asbestos Hazard
Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and Asbestos School Hazard
Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA) and completed the New York
State Department of Health-approved course for asbestos safety
training.

Tarnowski received state Labor Department certification as an
asbestos project monitor and air sampling technician.

Keystone Material Testing specializes in environmental consulting
and is located at 58 Exchange St., Binghamton.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1884 Courthouse Abatement to Complete by Jan. 19
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jennifer Freehan, staff writer at The Toledo Blade, reports that a
group of Seneca County taxpayers fighting demolition of the
county's 1884 courthouse say they will not pursue that fight in
court.

David Carroll, a Columbus attorney representing the group, said on
Dec. 27 that he intends to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit with
the Ohio Supreme Court.  Depositions of key county officials
scheduled for Dec. 28 and 29 also have been canceled.

"The case was about needing adequate court facilities for the
efficient administration of justice, and it was clear to my
clients that the way the county could afford that was through the
rehabilitation of the 1884 courthouse," Mr. Carroll said. "Since
the 1884 courthouse is going to be gone, if we continue the
lawsuit it could break the county.

"My clients are interested in the welfare of the people of Seneca
County, and we just hope the commissioners will do the right thing
in terms of providing adequate court facilities."

In a 2-1 vote, commissioners last month hired B&B Wrecking and
Excavating of Cleveland to tear down the courthouse and clear the
site at a cost of $373,000.  A fence was erected around the
courthouse Dec. 19, and the lawsuit was filed the same day.

The plaintiffs asked the state's high court to issue a temporary
restraining order that would have immediately stopped demolition
of the downtown landmark, but the court denied their motion in a
6-1 decision.

Seneca County Administrator Stacy Wilson said B&B employees began
removing asbestos from inside the courthouse last week and were
continuing that work.  They also were removing fluorescent light
bulbs and ballasts that cannot go to the landfill, she said.

According to documents filed by B&B with the Ohio Environmental
Protection Agency, the courthouse is to be razed "by crane,
backhoe, or loader" beginning Jan. 3.  Demolition debris is to be
hauled to the Sunny Farms Landfill near Fostoria, while asbestos
was to be taken to Minerva Enterprises in Waynesburg, Ohio.

The company's work schedule estimates demolition would be done by
Jan. 19 with the entire job completed by Feb. 1.

It's sobering news for those who have fought for years to preserve
the courthouse.

"It's very, very sad. I don't know if Tiffin is ever going to be
the same," said Rayella Engle, one of the 44 plaintiffs in the
lawsuit.

County Prosecutor Derek DeVine said he had planned to file a
motion to dismiss the suit, but stopped working on that after Mr.
Carroll informed him the group would voluntarily dismiss the suit.
He had sent Mr. Carroll a letter last week urging him to do so,
saying commissioners would be seeking sanctions against the group
if it continued the legal action.

"The purpose of the letter was to try to convince him that it was
time to stop the litigation," Mr. DeVine said.  "The Supreme Court
didn't think there was a whole lot of likelihood of their being
successful, so they didn't grant an injunction."

While Mr. DeVine told Mr. Carroll in the letter that the lawsuit
was "purely political in nature, an attempt to stall the lawful
decision of the Board of Commissioners, and frivolous," Mr.
Carroll disagreed.

Mr. Carroll said he believed the Ohio Supreme Court ultimately
would have ordered county commissioners to provide an adequate
courthouse, but by that time the 1884 courthouse would have been
leveled.

"The commissioners seem bound and determined to do the wrong thing
by the people of Seneca County, and one would expect at the next
election that would be reflected," Mr. Carroll said.

"It's unfortunate that an historic gem has to lose its existence
in the process."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calls Mount for Canada to Halt Chrysotile Trade
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marianne White of The Montreal Gazette reports that after the
oilsands and the seal hunt, asbestos has become Canada's new sin,
tarred as an evil at home and abroad.

In just three years, asbestos went from being one of the country's
great exports, supported by all political parties at the House of
Commons, to being vilified by politicians of all stripes,
including some Conservatives.

"We've reached a tipping point in our attitude toward asbestos and
so has the world.  Canada's boy-scout image is being tarnished,"
said New Democrat MP Pat Martin, who has been fighting to ban
asbestos mining since he was first elected in 1997.

"In many circles, we've become an international pariah.  Clubbing
baby seals, dumping asbestos in the Third World and tarsands are
probably the three biggest embarrassments for Canada on the
international stage," Martin said.

Canada's reputation took a hit earlier this year when the
government blocked international efforts to label the chrysotile
asbestos -- the kind mined in Canada -- as a hazardous material
under the UN Rotterdam Convention.

The European Parliament also took shots at Canada earlier this
year over the oilsands industry's environmental record, ongoing
asbestos exports and the sealing industry.

In a news release, the members of parliament expressed concerns
about the "serious harm to the health of workers mining asbestos,
the processing and use of which is already banned in the EU."

In November, Australia's Upper House passed a motion urging the
government to press Canada to stop producing and exporting
asbestos -- an insulating mineral used in construction that is
linked to deadly lung diseases, including cancer.

Activists in Asian countries, notably in India, are increasingly
holding demonstrations to protest against asbestos exports, which
they say are causing harm to workers.

Mohit Gupta, coordinator of the Occupational and Environmental
Health Network of India, called Canada's plan to eliminate tariffs
on asbestos exports to India "an appalling travesty of all ethical
codes of human behaviour."

"All of this is giving Canada an enormous black eye around the
world.  People can't believe that Canada is acting as a rogue
country and that Canada is the biggest public-health obstacle
internationally to making any progress on the asbestos issue,"
said Kathleen Ruff, a prominent anti-asbestos campaigner.

But for the president of the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, activists
are "unrelentingly and unfairly" attacking chrysotile asbestos.

"I've been working at the mine, first as an engineer, for 42
years.  My son worked here for 15 years.  Do you really think we'd
be stupid enough to stay on if it were as dangerous as they are
claiming?" asks Bernard Coulombe.

He doesn't deny asbestos is a carcinogen, but he stressed it can
be harmful only if people are highly exposed and for a long period
of time.

"Just like the sun, or alcohol.  If you drink too much or lay
naked in the sun for hours, it can be dangerous," he said.

The industry and the federal government maintain chrysotile
asbestos is safe to handle as long as proper guidelines are
followed.

The mineral is banned in Canada and the government is spending
millions to remove it from buildings across the country, including
the Parliament buildings and the prime minister's residence.

Critics in Canada and overseas have been particularly concerned
about exports to developing countries, such as India, that they
say lack the safeguards to ensure asbestos is used safely.

A recent documentary of the Australian Broadcasting Corp. showed
that, according to the World Health Organization, asbestos kills
an estimated 8,000 people each year in India -- a situation
described as an "epidemic" in the documentary.

The WHO estimates that globally, more than 100,000 people die from
asbestos-related illnesses, including cancer, every year.

Coulombe disputes that figure and said he has asked the WHO
several times to explain how they came up with the number.

"The controversy is constantly fuelled by false information,"
Coulombe said, pointing to reports showing workers in India and
other countries handling asbestos with their bare hands.

"We make sure it is used safely everywhere we export it.  There
might be some small mom-and-pops shops who buy asbestos from China
and do a bad job, but that represents less than one-tenth of a
percentage of the industry in India," Coulombe said.

Leslie Stayner, an asbestos expert at the University of Illinois
school of public health, says he fears that, in the future, there
will be an epidemic of cancer and other diseases as a result of
exposure to asbestos in developing countries.

"I'm afraid that the end results of Canada and other countries
exporting asbestos will be that the developing world will be
experiencing an epidemic of asbestos-related diseases some years
from now as we are experiencing in Canada and the U.S.," he said.

Stayner was a key member of a federal government expert panel on
asbestos who delivered a report that noted the "strong
relationship" between lung cancer and chrysotile asbestos.

That report was held back by Ottawa for 13 months before it was
released in 2011.

Stayner has called for Canada to ban exports of asbestos and
stressed the country could show a leadership role in taking a
stand against the mineral.

"The science is very clear, and a number of international bodies
have reviewed the issue and have all come to the same conclusion
that all forms of asbestos, including chrysotile, are hazardous
and cause cancers in humans.  That's not going to change," he
said.

Canada is facing a renewed push to ban exports of asbestos for
good now that the country's two remaining asbestos mines, located
in Quebec, have stopped producing the controversial mineral for
the first time in 130 years.

In November, the Lac d'amiante du Canada operation in Thetford
Mines suspended its operations because it was having operational
obstacles accessing the mineral.  In the town of Asbestos, about
two hours east of Montreal, the Jeffrey Mine needs a bank-loan
guarantee from the Quebec government before it can start digging a
new underground mine.

Coulombe said he hopes to resume work next summer if he gets the
green light from provincial officials.  In the meantime, a small
amount continues to be exported, but Coulombe noted that he will
be out of stock in five or six months.

Asbestos is a hot-button issue in Quebec and the government is
taking its time before deciding whether it will hand out the $58-
million loan guarantee.

"We are still analyzing the project and the financial structure,"
said Quebec Economic Development Minister Sam Hamad.

He noted the government is committed to keep the mine open for
economic reasons, but stressed the managers will not get a penny
unless they can assure Quebec that asbestos will be used safely
where it is exported.

The NDP's Martin called on Quebec to seize the opportunity to let
the province's struggling asbestos mines die their natural death.

"Let it go.  Stop writing the cheques and they'll be out of
business.  And then we can hold out head up high again," he said.

"I think we're within striking distance of victory in terms of
banning asbestos."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Issue Disrupts MCA Opening Schedule
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wendy Frew at New South Wales News reports that a call for an
investigation of asbestos inside and around the Museum of
Contemporary Art could delay the official opening of its new wing,
set for next March.

A blame game has began over who was responsible for identifying
and handling asbestos at the building site, after the
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union claimed the major
contractor for the $52 million renovation and extension, Watpac
Constructions, had covered up details of workers' exposure to the
material.

Asbestos fibers have been found in the 1952 sandstone building,
especially in the mortar that bonds the old walls and window
frames.

The Police Association is also concerned about possible
contamination of the Rocks Police Station next door, calling for a
report on the station's air-conditioning unit.

Workers were due to resume renovations but the union wants Watpac
to do a complete report of the building, including sampling and
testing material, before workers are allowed back on the site.

"They will not be working in areas that potentially contain
asbestos," the union's state secretary, Brian Parker, said.

Watpac said the union's claims that up to 400 workers had been
exposed to asbestos at the museum were "incorrect and
irresponsible".  It said it had been made aware of a small amount
of material in the original building and plans were developed in
consultation with certified, independent specialists to ensure all
work was delivered in accordance with industry standards.

"When additional asbestos was discovered we acted immediately by
isolating the area and further engaging independent specialists to
review the site and develop an approved work plan," the Watpac
managing director, Greg Kempton, said.

"Workers were not permitted back into the affected area until
clearance certificates were issued and we were advised it was safe
for work to resume."

In an interview on ABC Radio, Watpac's NSW manager, Ric Wang, said
the company was given incorrect information about asbestos in the
museum from the building's owner, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore
Authority.

"The asbestos report issued to us indicated one area of asbestos
on the job and that area was decontaminated on day one," Mr. Wang
said.  But then suspicious material was uncovered elsewhere on the
site and tests done in June showed it was asbestos.

The authority commissioned a further report on the asbestos in
September and that report was issued to Watpac by the museum in
October, Mr. Wang said.

Executives from the authority were not available for comment due
to a public service holiday.  The museum did not return the
Herald's calls.

WorkCover said it was satisfied the appropriate asbestos
management processes were in place.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aussie Reporter to Keynote 2012 Awareness Summit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma Center relates that investigative reporter Matt
Peacock of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation will deliver
the keynote speech at the 8th Annual International Asbestos
Awareness Conference, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
(ADAO) announced.

Peacock has been a thorn in the side of asbestos manufacturers in
Australia since he first began reporting on the dangers of
asbestos in the 1970s.

ADAO also announced the honorees at the event, held March 30 to
April 1 in Los Angeles.  Honorees include a variety of notable
individuals, including U.S. Representatives, mesothelioma doctors,
mesothelioma patients, and more.

At the conference, outstanding individuals and organizations from
around the world are recognized for their efforts and commitment
to helping victims of asbestos, pushing for a ban on asbestos
around the world, in addition to generally raising awareness.  The
event strives to end the development of asbestos-related diseases
like mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs which
claims the lives of between 2,000 and 3,000 people annually.

U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) will receive the
Tribute of Hope Award, an accolade earned for his constant
commitment to the fight for an asbestos ban.

Dr. Richard Lemen will be honored for his dedication to asbestos
awareness and support of ADAO's mission by receiving the Dr.
Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award.  Lemen will share the
award with Dr. Arthur Frank, who also has spent much of his career
fighting for the end of asbestos-related diseases and aligning his
efforts with the mission of the ADAO.

Two mesothelioma patients are expected to be honored at the
conference: Debbie Brewer and Larry Davis.  They will receive the
Alan Reinstein Award for their support to other patients, advocacy
and education of asbestos-related issues.

Also scheduled to speak is Jordan Zevon, son of deceased musician
and singer Warren Zevon.  Zevon died of mesothelioma in 2003.

After seven previous conferences, the ADAO has become notable to
some within the asbestos community.  The organization is known for
its education, community initiatives and advocacy around asbestos-
related issues and prides itself on being a 'leading asbestos
victims' voice.'  This year, the organization's conference will be
titled 'Asbestos: An International Public Health Crisis' and will
be held in Los Angeles, California.

"Our annual international conferences drive home the importance of
the need for increased awareness, education, advocacy, and
community support," said Linda Reinstein, President/CEO and Co-
Founder of the ADAO.

"We are again honored to have the opportunity to bring together
some of the world's most renowned experts while recognizing some
of the most influential leaders in the battle against asbestos
exposure.  Tragically, more than 107,000 people will die this year
from asbestos-related diseases and prevention remains the only
cure for deadly asbestos-caused diseases, but these true asbestos
awareness heroes prove that together, change is possible."

Partnerships among the ADAO, the Environmental Information
Association (EIA) and the Independent Asbestos Training Providers
(IATP) are credited in helping organize and execute this industry
event.

According to an event press release, presentations during the
conference will discuss developments in the treating and
diagnosing of asbestos-related diseases, how to advance awareness
for the disease, in addition to how to prevent the asbestos
exposure in an occupational or home setting.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: MA Water Dept Crosses Wetlands Protection Laws
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pat Guth, writing for The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, reports
that officials in the town of Holliston, Mass., are angry that the
local water department demolished a shed near Weston Pond that
more than likely contained asbestos, violating both state and
local wetlands protection laws.

According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, the local
water commissioner reported that a truck hit one side of the shed
back in May.  Instead of choosing to repair the shed, officials
from the water department decided to tear it down two months
later.  It wasn't until early December, however, that Conservation
Commission and Board of Health member Richard Maccagnano pointed
out that the structure, built in 1958, may have contained
asbestos.

Concerns were then raised about the way in which the shed was
demolished and the fact that the debris from the demolition was
left in place and unattended for nearly 6 months.  Furthermore,
the shed was knocked down without a permit.

As of Dec. 22, the debris remained in a dumpster and the city was
finally calling for testing of the rubble before it is carted away
to a landfill.  The owner of the dumpster ordered the tests and
results were expected to be available by the end of this month,
the article notes.

Local officials are concerned that any asbestos that was left at
the site during the six months in question may have become
friable, releasing toxic dust and fibers into the air.
Individuals walking or playing near the pond could have been
subject to asbestos exposure and inhalation of the tiny, sharp
fibers that become easily lodged in the lungs, later causing
diseases such as cancer.  There was also a concern that asbestos
materials may have made their way into the water, polluting the
pond.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union, ADF Want Thorough Test at Museum
--------------------------------------------------------
Lauren Farrow of the Australian Associated Press reports that
Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art must be thoroughly tested for
asbestos before workers return to continue renovations, a union
says.

But the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU)
fears it may be too late for the 400 builders already potentially
exposed to the carcinogenic fibers.

Asbestos has been discovered in the mortar of the sandstone
building at Sydney Harbour during its $53 million makeover.

"There was asbestos fibro cement right across the eastern side of
this site," the union's NSW secretary, Brian Parker, told
reporters on Dec. 28.

The union claims the workers could have been exposed to deadly
airborne fibers after hacking into the building and says they were
informed of the risk only in letters sent just before Christmas.

Mr. Parker says there have been three asbestos scares at the site,
with the latest happening on December 2.

Mr. Parker is calling for a comprehensive report on the building,
including sampling and laboratory testing, before work resumes
next week after the Christmas break.

"If the company continue to rip down walls, take windows out, take
pipes out and take down asbestos fibro cement. . .  then the fact
is it is going to continue to expose people."

Construction company Watpac's managing director, Greg Kempton,
said the company was aware of a "small amount of asbestos" in the
museum before renovations began in August 2010 and drew up work
plans accordingly.

"When additional asbestos was discovered, we acted immediately by
isolating the area and further engaging independent specialists to
review the site and develop an approved work plan," he said in a
statement.

Ric Wang from Watpac Construction told ABC Radio on Dec. 28 that
the company was staggered that more asbestos had appeared in the
building.

"I'm flabbergasted that . . .  reports that indicate the area is
clear and the building is clear can be wrong."

WorkCover acting chief executive John Watson told Fairfax Radio
that allegations of asbestos fibers were drifting around weren't
"necessarily founded in fact" and that the union's claims were
alarmist.

However, he told the ABC that it didn't come as a surprise that
asbestos was present in the museum, given the age of the building.

Barry Robson, from the Asbestos Diseases Foundation, said
comprehensive tests should be compulsory before any construction.

"We have been trying to get governments for many, many decades to
make it compulsory," Mr. Robson told reporters.

Workers on the site may not know for decades whether they have
been exposed, he said.

"It's 10, 20, 40 years from now will determine whether you are
exposed or not.

"It only takes one fiber of asbestos lodged in your lungs to sit
there for decades and it causes mesothelioma, asbestosis," Mr.
Robson said.

Construction of the former Maritime Services Board building was
completed in 1952, when asbestos was a common building material.

It officially opened as the MCA in 1991.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Soldier Fears for Family's Health Asks Relocation
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Melton Times reports a former soldier fighting a legal battle
against a housing association has received the backing of Melton
Royal British Legion.

Nigel Grant, of Winster Crescent, Melton, is making a desperate
plea to the Loughborough-based De Montfort Housing Society to
re-home him and his family from their current property which he
claims is 'covered' in black mould.  He is also concerned about
levels of asbestos in the property's flooring.

At Mr. Grant's request the society has made the decision to rip up
all the tiles from the dining room, living room, downstairs
hallway and cupboard under the stairs.  It also plans to rip out
the fireplace, which has patches of black mould, and inspect the
living room floor for damp.

However, the association has refused to rehome Mr. Grant's family
while work is being carried out for a week from Jan. 9, and once
work is finished it will not be providing replacement tiles.

The father-of-three, who served his country in Iraq during 2008,
fears his family's health may be affected if they are forced to
remain in the property and is working with the Royal British
Legion to try to resolve the issue.

Mr. Grant said: "I have researched the affects of asbestos and
mould exposure and am very concerned.

"My children suffer from chronic asthma and my four- month-old son
Lochlan has developed a bad cough.

"I am doing all I can to ensure my family has somewhere safe to
live but feel like I'm just going round in circles and it's
putting an unimaginable amount of stress on myself and my partner
Elaine Godfrey."

Mr. Grant has raised his concerns with Melton Council.
Environmental protection and safety manager Victoria Clarke said:
"Asbestos should not be removed unnecessarily as it can be more
dangerous than leaving it in place.  We are therefore liaising
with the housing association to ensure the work is carried out
safely."

Said Gurmeet Virdi, director of operations for De Montfort Housing
Society, said: "We have discussed with the family whether or not
they would prefer to stay in a bed and breakfast at our expense on
the first night while the tiles are removed and will carry out air
tests to check that it is safe before they move back in."

Mr. Grant said no discussion has taken place regarding alternative
accommodation.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Preacher Attempts to Hide Estate's Contamination
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Flamisch at WNYT.com reports that a respected preacher and
school principal ordered workmen to illegally remove asbestos from
his rental property, according to a senior city official.  He is
also accused of hiding from his tenant the presence of the
potentially deadly substance.

Timothy Fowler, senior pastor of the More Abundant Living
Ministries and principal of Albany's Thomas O'Brien Academy of
Science and Technology, did not file a permit for asbestos removal
or hire an authorized company to do the work, Building and Codes
Director Jeff Jamison said.  Fowler is not facing charges.

"He tried to perform some form of removal," Jamison said.

Clave Kaleel, who has lived in the first-floor apartment since
2005, said Fowler never told her about the asbestos coating the
boiler and pipes in her basement.  Last week, Kaleel -- a mother
of five and grandmother of 11 -- ended-up in the emergency
department.

"I just kept coughing and coughing," she said.  "It felt like
pepper was in my chest.  It was burning like crazy."

There were footsteps and voices audible through the front door of
Fowler's Colonie home on Dec. 27, but no one answered.  His wife,
Rochelle, said by phone they would "make arrangements" for Kaleel.
She hung-up when asked to elaborate.

The situation came to light in October when two men showed-up at
Kaleel's home to remove the material in black garbage bags, Kaleel
said.  She tipped-off the state Department of Labor (DOL), which
posted a "stop work order" but -- for reasons which remain unclear
-- did not instruct her to vacate.

"Our role is to make sure asbestos sites are cleaned-up properly,
and at no risk to the public," DOL spokesman Leo Rosales said.

Asked why his employer may have overlooked the person who faced
the greatest risk of all, Rosales responded, "I can't comment on
that."

The state did not notify the city of its actions, Albany's Jamison
said.  It was unclear why the breakdown in communication occurred.

The city, acting on a tip from NewsChannel 13, deemed the building
unfit for habitation and ordered Kaleel to leave on the night of
Dec. 27.  She is staying with relatives until she can find a new
apartment.

"I'm tired," she said while hauling bags to her car.  "I'm
disillusioned.  I'm fed-up."

Inhaling asbestos fibers can cause cancer, mesothelioma, and other
life-threatening conditions, research has shown.  Kaleel is
planning to visit a pulmonary clinic for further evaluation.

Fowler, the landlord, is suing Kaleel for non-payment of rent in
recent months, Kaleel said.  A veteran attorney told NewsChannel
13 she is not legally responsible for the payments if the building
was deemed unfit.

Kaleel, who ran a daycare in her home until learning of the
asbestos, is now unemployed.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: National Guard Armory Abatement Given Green Light
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that work is expected to begin in
late January on removing asbestos from the West Virginia Army
National Guard Armory in Morgantown.

The work is being done as the guard plans to transfer ownership of
the armory to the city of Morgantown.  The National Guard plans to
move to a new $20.5 million readiness center -- a 58,520-square-
foot facility that includes an auditorium, office space and
storage space -- by the summer of 2013.

The goal is to "get it into as good a condition as we can for
them," Lt. Col. David Shafer, the Guard's construction and
facilities management officer, tells The Dominion Post.

A meeting will be held by the first week of January to nail down
the start date of the work, Shafer said.

Shafer said the armory was built in 1964, when asbestos was
routinely incorporated into building materials.  He said the
asbestos isn't friable, meaning it can't be released into the air
and doesn't pose a health hazard.

Lt. Col. David Shafer tells The Dominion Post that $29,500
abatement project will be done by a contractor.

The Guard is abating the asbestos in its older buildings around
the state.  Shafer said it was unclear exactly when the Guard
would be able to move into the new readiness center.

City officials have said they are considering selling the armory
once the city takes ownership.

City Manager Terrence Moore has said the new readiness center
could direct further development at and near the airport,
including the proposed runway conversion, the 90-acre business
park and the new access road, which will run from the new
readiness center to Monongalia County 857.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: MUHC Hospital Uses Carcinogens in Drainpipes
-------------------------------------------------------------
Aaron Derfel, health reporter at The Montreal Gazette relates that
the McGill University Health Centre, which insists it's respecting
the toughest environmental standards in building the
superhospital, stands to lose the cherished LEED "green"
certification for using asbestos fibers in its cement drainage
pipes.

The MUHC has announced it would be seeking at least silver status
in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification,
the internationally recognized green-building rating system.
However, the Canada Green Buildings Council, responsible for LEED
standards, forbids the use of asbestos in all new construction,
including in hospitals.  In fact, under the LEED system, credit is
given for the removal of asbestos from existing buildings.

Engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, the lead partner in the private
consortium building the MUHC hospital, has decided to use
asbestos-fiber cement in drainage pipes.

An official with SNC-Lavalin refused to speak to The Gazette,
referring all questions to the MUHC.

Officials with the MUHC were not available for comment, either.
But an MUHC representative did release a detailed statement
defending the use of asbestos in the pipes.

"There will be no asbestos fibers circulating in the air at the
MUHC," the statement says.

"There will be fiber cement in a very precise use: disposal of
stormwater.  The fiber cement is a material that is very rigid.
It contains only 13% of fibers that are sealed and encapsulated in
a cement matrix.  The fibers are not brittle and therefore pose no
risk of emission of particles in the air."

The MUHC statement points out the Quebec Safety Code of
Construction does permit the installation and handling of a
"product of asbestos cement," provided that the material is "non-
friable" or cannot disintegrate.

Still, the MUHC does acknowledge using asbestos cement does carry
some risk.

"The only risks associated . . . occur when cutting pipes.  But
these risks are well controlled and all precautions are taken in
accordance with the guidelines of the CSST (Commission de la sante
et de la securite du travail)."

The World Health Organization, however, warns "continued use of
asbestos cement in the construction industry is a particular
concern because . . . in-place materials have the potential to
deteriorate and pose a risk to those carrying out alterations,
maintenance and demolition."

The WHO has declared asbestos to be "one of the most important
occupational carcinogens," causing lung cancer and other lethal
diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis.

The Canadian Medical Association has stated asbestos is
"hazardous" to human health.  Noting the mineral is banned in more
than 50 countries, the CMA has called for an end to asbestos
mining in Canada.

But the Quebec government continues to stand by a policy it
adopted in 2002 authorizing the "safe use" of chrysotile asbestos
in restricted cases.

Several environmental groups, the CMA and the Quebec Medical
Association have condemned Quebec for trying to export asbestos to
India and other developing countries.

The MUHC statement added there is "no data available about the
costs or savings resulting from the use of fiber cement on the
Glen site" of the superhospital.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lawyer Hails Asbestos Awareness Week Designation
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A resolution by U.S. Senator Max Baucus to designate the first
week of April as Asbestos Awareness Week is a much-needed step in
the process to build awareness about mesothelioma and other
asbestos-related diseases, says New York Mesothelioma lawyer
Joseph W. Belluck.

This is the fifth year that Senator Baucus has introduced a
resolution for an Asbestos Awareness Week.  According to Senator
Baucus, this resolution is just one more way to honor the nearly
300 people in Libby, Montana who have died from asbestos-related
diseases, many of whom worked at a W.R. Grace vermiculite mine
that was shut down in 1990.

"Senator Baucus' resolution and Asbestos Awareness Week shine a
spotlight on the impact asbestos-related disease has on its
victims and their families," says Joseph Belluck, a founding
partner at Belluck & Fox, LLP who concentrates on mesothelioma and
asbestos cases.  "Hopefully, this awareness stimulates interest in
finding more effective treatments for victims of mesothelioma and
other asbestos-related diseases."

The Asbestos Awareness Week resolution points out that the
expected survival rate for mesothelioma victims is six to 24
months, and that early detection may give some patients additional
treatment options.  Baucus' resolution asks the Surgeon General to
warn people about asbestos-related public health issues.

Symptoms of mesothelioma -- a cancer of the lining of the lungs,
chest, or abdomen caused by exposure to asbestos -- can appear 10
to 60 years after exposure.  Over the years, workers in maritime,
industrial, and construction industries have inhaled asbestos
fibers and dust, leading to mesothelioma and other asbestos-
related disease.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, about 2,700 people in the United States die each year
from mesothelioma.

                  About Belluck & Fox, LLP

The New York mesothelioma law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP
represents victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related
disease, as well as individuals with claims related to medical
malpractice, motorcycle crashes, lead paint, and other serious
injuries.  Their attorneys have won almost $350 million in
compensation for clients and their families.

Partner Joseph W. Belluck received an AV(R) Peer Review Rating(TM)
from Martindale-Hubbell(R), and he is listed in New York
Magazine's "Best Lawyers in the New York Area" and Super Lawyers.
He has won numerous cases involving injuries from asbestos,
defective medical products, tobacco, and lead paint, and he
recently settled an asbestos case for more than $12 million.

Partner Jordan Fox, a well-known asbestos and mesothelioma
attorney, has been named to Super Lawyers, the Best Lawyers in
America, and New York Magazine's "Best Lawyers in the New York
Area."  Two of his verdicts have been featured as the National Law
Journal's Largest Verdict of the Year.

In September 2010, Belluck & Fox, LLP garnered a coveted spot on a
list of America's best law firms published jointly by U.S. News &
World Report and Best Lawyers magazine.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Not Covered by Zadroga Compensation
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center reports that anyone with
pending litigation stemming from personal health issues
surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City must decide
by Jan. 2, 2012, whether to continue the lawsuit, and forfeit the
chance to apply for compensation from the government's $2.76
billion Victim Compensation Fund.

According to the Associated Press, more than 1,600 people are
affected by the deadline.

No one with litigation pending in either state or federal court
after Jan. 2 will be eligible to apply for compensation at any
point in the future, according to the rules of the Fund.  Dropping
the lawsuit before Jan. 3  would clear a path to apply in the
future.

The Compensation Fund was set up under the James Zadroga 9/11
Health and Compensation Act of 2010, designed to assist those with
long-term health issues resulting from the toxic dust and smoke
that covered Manhattan after the attack in 2001.

The Fund currently does not cover mesothelioma, or other cancers,
but those regulations are expected to be reviewed, and possibly
changed, in the near future.

As it is written today, the Fund covers only a limited number of
illnesses, including asthma, scarred lungs and several respiratory
problems.

With the possibility of mesothelioma and asbestosis being included
in future coverage, many litigants have been dropping their
lawsuits, according to AP.

Mesothelioma is the cancer caused by the inhalation of asbestos
fibers, which were a major part of the dust cloud that covered
Manhattan for weeks.  Only a handful of mesothelioma cases have
been documented currently, but much of that is due to the long
latency period of the disease.

It usually takes 10 to 50 years after exposure before mesothelioma
is diagnosed.  There was an estimated 400 tons of asbestos used in
the construction of the World Trade Center, where more 2,700 died
in the attack and collapse.

Several oncologists have predicted a rash of future mesothelioma
cases will come from 9/11, urging the government to amend Fund
rules to include cancers among the illnesses to be covered.

Firemen, police officers, city contractors who worked clearing the
rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center were only a portion of
those affected. More than 5,000 already settled lawsuits with the
city.  There also were thousands of residents affected.  An
estimated 60,000 enrolled in New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center
Health Monitoring and Treatment program after 9/11.

Under the Fund rules, people whose lawsuits already have been
settled are eligible to apply for government compensation.  Any
award they receive from the Fund will be reduced by the amount of
their previous legal settlement.

One New York City attorney whose firm is handling an estimated 100
cases, told the AP that the majority are sticking with their
lawsuits and declining the chance to be included in the
Compensation Fund, believing their potential payouts will be
larger.  Others have withdrawn.

"I've weighed my options and rolled the dice, believing that the
country I helped is not going to let me down," said former New
York City police detective John Walcott, who was diagnosed with
leukemia in 2003.  He dropped his lawsuit and applied for benefits
under the Compensation Fund.

To prove withdrawal of a lawsuit, a fund applicant must submit
official withdrawal/dismissal documentation from the court.  The
Victim Compensation Fund will not issue payment on any claim until
it has received final order of the court.

The order can be dated after Jan. 2, 2012, but only if there is
proof that the notice of withdrawal was submitted before that
date.  Any settled lawsuit had to have been completed by Jan. 2,
2011, with documentation provided, although payouts still can be
pending.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Chrysotile Miner Leads Crusade v Former Trade
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ryden Marter at the New Times Reporter says that many critics
think Canada's clean cut image is being tarnished by continuing to
mine and export asbestos.

The dangers of asbestos are widely known and scientifically
proven.  Asbestos causes a deadly form of lung cancer called
mesothelioma.  There are different forms of asbestos, but the only
form meant to be in use today is called chrysotile.  It is used in
insulating materials, floor coverings and household appliances.
40 countries around the world have banned chrysotile.

Canada has only one remaining asbestos mine, located in Quebec,
and chrysotile is the type of asbestos it produces.  At one time
Canada was one of the top asbestos producers in the world.  In
2010 the country produced just 5% of the world supply.

Most of Canada's exported asbestos goes to poor countries like
India.  "A 2008 report titled "India's Asbestos Time Bomb" that
was published by the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat found
that 6.7 million tons of asbestos had been used in India between
1960 and 2006 and had likely exceeded 7 million tons in the time
since the period the data was taken."

Pat Martin, NDP Member of Parliament from Winnipeg, and former
asbestos miner, is leading the charge to end the practice of
exporting asbestos to countries that do not protect worker safety.
On his website, he says, "The Canadian government has been turning
a blind eye to the death and disease Canadian asbestos has left
behind in so many countries throughout the developing world."

If you wish to sign a petition entitled "Ban Asbestos-The Canadian
Made Epidemic" encouraging that Canada's mining, exportation and
use of asbestos be stopped, visit http://www.patmartin.ca/asbestos


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Newton North Spent $14 Million in Abatement Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma Center relates that the cost of building a
Massachusetts high school has exceeded $190 million, with a
notable portion of that expense coming from asbestos abatement.

Newton North High School, located just outside of Boston, is the
most expensive high school ever built in Massachusetts.  As much
as the school system touts its accomplishment by being $4 million
to $5 million under budget, it also faces the reality that it
spent nearly $14 million for the building demolition because of
increased costs of removing asbestos.

Asbestos abatement, the process of removing the dangerous yet
naturally forming mineral from any product, building or structure,
played a significant role in escalating the school's costs.
Usually performed by licensed professionals, abatement is
conducted with protective equipment to prevent the risk of
dangerous exposure to deadly fibers.

In recent years, many schools at the secondary and collegiate
level across the country have been required to conduct demolitions
and re-constructions because of asbestos contaminants.  The
substance was widely used throughout the construction industry in
previous decades, so as renovations occur, asbestos has to be
removed or reinforced from many structures.

In 2010, Newton officials discovered that the school's asbestos
problem was much more significant than expected.  The school
initially budgeted about $7.2 million to demolish the school.  The
costs nearly doubled once asbestos was found in the exterior walls
of the building, pushing the total to close to $14 million.

Reports show that as the building was dismantled, workers had to
break down the structure brick by brick.  Because asbestos was
known to be present, careful handling had to be maintained because
degradation of asbestos-containing materials can cause the toxic
fibers to be released in the air, potentially causing those who
are exposed to develop asbestos-related diseases.

One such disease is a lung cancer known as mesothelioma, which is
a cancer of the lining of the lungs.  It affects between 2,000 and
3,000 people per year, and there is no known cure.

In an educational environment with young students, there is little
room for error when public health is a concern.  Asbestos
abatement must be performed in a timely and proper manner.  For
Newton North High School officials, they can take comfort in
knowing proper abatement was performed, even though it came at a
very steep price.

However, there are critics of the project who have spoken out
about the total cost of the construction, claiming that such an
elaborate building isn't necessary because of financial
constraints of the city and school.

"It's still outrageously over the top (expensive)," said Jeff
Seideman, co-chairman of the Newton for Fiscal Responsibility
group.  He and others take concern with the fact that when the
project was initially discussed in 2000, estimates floated around
that it would be a $40 million renovation.  By 2006, the
renovation turned into a complete replacement, boosting the cost
up to $141 million.  As the costs continued to mount, the project
expense grew to its current tag, which is just over $190 million.

Still, some officials, like Bob Rooney, Netwon's chief operating
officer, believe that the total savings of around $4-$5 million
from the final budget is a success.

"I think we've done a remarkable job," Rooney said.

As his opinion is clearly not the only one on this matter, there
is one thing that is certain.  A new, beautiful and elaborate
school exists in Newton, Massachusetts, enabling students to learn
and grow, in an asbestos-free environment.  Some may argue that
you can't put a price on that.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1,000-Ton Asbestos Found in Liverpool Underground
------------------------------------------------------------------
Gary Stewart at the Liverpool Echo reports that workers
demolishing a fire station in Liverpool found 1,000 tons of lethal
asbestos hidden underground -- and more in its light fittings.

The dangerous industrial material, which can cause lung cancer,
formed part of a concrete slab which Kirkdale fire station sat on.

Work was stopped and the Derby Street site was sealed off while
inspectors verified the discovery.  Analysis confirmed there were
three types of asbestos in the concrete, which was classified as
category C, meaning it contained 20% of the banned product.

Specialist contractors were brought in after the July discovery
and transferred the 1,000 tons of contaminated waste to landfill
in 52 trucks.

The building work was being carried out as part of Merseyside fire
service's GBP40 million private finance initiative (PFI) scheme to
build 20 new fire stations in areas such as Bootle and Netherton,
Formby and Newton-le-Willows.

Andy Groom, lead officer for PFI in the North West, told
Merseyside fire authority: "There was no risk to firefighters or
staff because the asbestos was contained and it only became
evident when the building was knocked down.

"We are still working out with the contractors the overall cost
but 1,000 tons of asbestos had to be taken away and put into
landfill with the associated tax."

It could cost as much as GBP200,000 for the toxic material to be
safely disposed of but the alternative -- to bury it in a very
deep hole beneath the new station at half the cost -- was
dismissed by chief executive Kieran Timmins and chief fire officer
Dan Stephens.

Asked why the fire service was picking up the bill rather than
developer and PFI partner Balfour Beatty, Mr. Timmins said:
"Balfour Beatty was able to drill bore holes outside the station
site to test the ground in those areas and assure itself it was
able to take on that risk.

"It was not able to get bore holes under the station from the time
it was built many years ago.  We could have passed on that risk,
but if you do that the price goes up so we kept that as a risk to
the authority."

The new station was due for completion in May 2012, but that date
could be missed.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM Law Firm Offers Free Case Evaluations
-----------------------------------------------------------
The asbestos law firm of Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason is
offering free case evaluations as well as an up-to-date brochure
on everything you need to know about choosing a law firm, filing a
mesothelioma lawsuit or bankruptcy claim, and mesothelioma
treatment options.  Having represented clients for more than 3
decades, CPSM are experts in their field and have a long history
of helping those who have been injured by asbestos.

CPSM knows firsthand how difficult and overwhelming it is when a
loved one is given a diagnosis of mesothelioma.  They also
understand and support clients' needs to focus on treatment and
medical concerns first and foremost.  They are committed to
helping anyone injured by asbestos to get the best treatment and
the best legal representation in the least stressful way.

Part of CPSM's core commitment to helping those diagnosed with
this terminal illness is having an attorney available to talk
personally with patients or close family members of patients
regarding all aspects of filing a lawsuit or claim.  CPSM
attorneys travel to patients, free of cost, to make the process as
easy and stress-free as possible and so that families can
concentrate on medical needs first.

CPSM recently published a brochure and booklet that answers all
the vital questions regarding what mesothelioma is, different
types of mesothelioma, what to do when diagnosed, and steps to
take for filing a lawsuit or asbestos bankruptcy claim.  The
brochure also includes a special section for veterans diagnosed
with mesothelioma, as they have an even higher risk of asbestos
cancer given their high occupational exposure during service.

Jack Clapper, founder of CPSM and one of the first attorneys to
open a law firm specializing in mesothelioma lawsuits, is a
veteran himself, and especially dedicated to helping those who
served our country.  Clapper and his partners understand that
getting immediate answers after being told you or a loved one has
terminal cancer takes priority over all else.  Having practiced in
the field for over thirty years, they can answer any question you
have or direct you to someone who does.

            About Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason

CPSM is one of the only law firms in the nation that exclusively
handles mesothelioma lawsuits and asbestos bankruptcy claims.
This year somewhere between 2500 to 3000 people in the United
States, many of them Veterans and retired military personnel, will
develop mesothelioma, a terminal cancer due to exposure to
asbestos.

CPSM's sole mission is to provide the highest quality legal
representation to those injured by asbestos and to obtain
significant financial awards and settlements for their clients.
Visit CPSM's website to read stories from other clients and to
access the most up-to-date information regarding asbestos and
mesothelioma.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lack of Dumping Sites Hounds Africa's Abatement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The New Times at allAfrica.com reports that close to 63,000 square
meters of asbestos roofing materials were removed from various
public and private buildings in the country, according to an
official from Asbestos Eradication Project.

Speaking to The New Times, Alfred Byiringiro, a civil engineer,
said the initiative, which started in 2010, has seen thousands of
asbestos roofs disposed of.

Asbestos is considered a dangerous indoor air pollutant and
hazardous to human and animal health, which motivated the
establishment of the project that operates under the Rwanda
Housing Authority.

Various government buildings, including hospitals and schools,
have roofs made of asbestos.

"Our target is to remove all the asbestos building materials from
houses before 2015.  Though people and institutions are injecting
in their own money towards asbestos eradication; the process is
not as fast as we wish it to be," he asserted.

Byiringiro mentioned that the process had initially faced a
bottleneck of lack of proper dumping sites, but, so far, four
sites where the materials will be buried had been prepared.

The sites are in areas of Kamonyi and Huye districts in the
Southern Province, as well as Ngoma and Kayonza districts in the
Eastern Province.

Byiringiro added that some of the removed materials were buried in
Nyanza, Kicukiro District, in Kigali City, while others are for
the time being were kept in a temporary store in Muhanga District
waiting to be properly disposed of in the designated dumping
sites.

"We have so far conducted training for 130 companies that can be
hired to remove the materials without causing any damage,"
Byiringiro added.

"People who want to remove asbestos inform us first in writing and
we provide them with a list of companies responsible for pulling
down the materials.  Our role is to supervise to ensure proper
disposal".

He called on government institutions like hospitals and schools to
fully participate in the process, adding that some institutions
did not take the issue seriously.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contaminants Add $51,000 to Tennis Center Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Schelden at Mission Viejo Patch reports 10 trees, lead pipes
and asbestos are some of the obstacles not counted on by city
planners who budgeted the ongoing renovation to the Marguerite
Tennis Center.  The Mission Viejo City Council will be asked to
spend an additional $51,000 to remove the trees, pipes, asbestos
and other unforeseen project needs.

That's about 1% of the total cost of the project, which was
originally planned at $4.68 million.

Western Alta Construction is replacing the tennis center building
with one that meets Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
The contractor is also replacing one tennis court and adding two
more for a total of eight courts.

Part of the renovation is an update of the city sewer system.
That became more costly when asbestos was discovered, requiring
the replacement of 300 feet of sewer line.

Another snag in the project were five sycamore trees along the
project's perimeter, which the city's arborist recommended
replacing.  That along with five pine trees with bad roots means
the city will remove 10 trees.

Other unforeseen costs included further city permit fees, water
district fees, temporary office space rental, temporary fencing
and asbestos removal from drain pipes.

The renovation was planned for five years before being approved in
June 2010.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Financing Issues Halt Clean Up of Toxic Rubbles
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jenna Loughlin at The Observer reports that a house destroyed by a
fire this summer is currently a pile of rubble on North Portage
Street in the Town of Westfield, but the house was found to have
asbestos which has complicated the whole issue of its removal.

Building and Zoning Code Enforcement Officer Jim Pacanowski was
asked about the progress of clearing the demolished house off the
property at the December Westfield Town Board meeting.  According
to Pacanowski, there were people attempting to help the property
owner get the funds she needed from her insurance company for the
removal of the rubble, which because it contains hazardous waste
would cost $16,000, but it was recently brought to Pacanowski's
attention that the property owner settled with the insurance
company for $6,000.

At this point, the Town has few options; it could cite the
property owner and take her to court or it could pay for the
removal itself and put a lien on the property which would have to
be paid before the plot could be sold.  However, if the town
decided to go with the second option, if the property owner
decided not to sell, the town would not receive taxes from the lot
and would not get reimbursed until she did decide to sell.

Town board member David Brown commented that what does not make
sense to him is the property owner would get the insurance money,
but the town would have to pay to clean it up.  Deputy supervisor
Ray Schuster was worried that if it is done for one property it
will be expected by others going forward.

Town board member David Spann asked if asbestos was an issue with
the demolished remains as they sit now and Pacanowski said if the
Department of Environmental Conservation saw it the way it is, the
property owner would be subject to fines.

Town Supervisor Martha Bills said she has heard a lot of concern
about this property and Brown said his preference would be to
start seeking legal action and put things in writing.  Schuster
said it is time to start giving the property owner time limits.
Bills asked Pacanowski to find out what the property owner's
intentions for the plot are before beginning legal steps.

Pacanowski, who has brought up similar issues of abandoned
property to the Westfield Village Board, suggested maybe both
boards need to start putting money in their budgets to deal with
this issue.  "It's part of our economy," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Demolition of UM's Old Mansion Up for Discussion
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Lang at WBAL News reports that Maryland's Board of Public
Works is considering letting the University of Maryland tear down
the 55-year-old brick mansion that had served as the official
residence of the school's president.

In a report to the board, university officials say the building
has not been upgraded or refurbished since 1991.  It also contains
asbestos and is not accessible to the disabled.

A private foundation known as the College Park Foundation is
building a new home and event center which is being paid for with
private donations.

Current President Wallace Loh is living in a home he purchased
near the campus.

The Board of Public Works will consider the demolition at its
first meeting of the new year which is set for Wednesday, Jan. 4.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gwent Statistics Says Mesothelioma Killed 158
--------------------------------------------------------------
Alison Sanders of South Wales Argus reports that more than 150
people have died in Gwent over the last 25 years from a rare
cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that 158
people died in Gwent between 1981 and 2005 from mesothelioma.

This rare cancer has been linked to a person's exposure to
asbestos but can take between 15 and 60 years for it and its
symptoms to develop.  It mainly affects the lining of the lung or
abdominal cavity and is almost always fatal.

Newport had the largest number of mesothelioma deaths in Gwent
over this period with 53 out of 56 of them being male.  Caerphilly
saw 52 deaths from the disease whereas the other counties of Gwent
had much fewer.

In Torfaen, 20 people died from mesothelioma during the 24-year
period -- all of whom were men; there were 18 deaths in
Monmouthshire and 12 in Blaenau Gwent.

The report by the Office of National Statistics found that as a
result of the widespread use of asbestos, the rate of mesothelioma
has risen dramatically in many countries since the 1960s and rates
in the UK are among the highest in the world.

The Health and Safety Executive estimates that around 500,000 non-
domestic buildings in the UK are likely to contain asbestos.  Only
buildings built after 2000 are unlikely to contain asbestos.

There are now a set of regulations in place to make sure asbestos
is managed properly in non-domestic premises.  The Health and
Safety Executive recently launched a campaign to encourage trades
people to deliver free hours of asbestos awareness training.

This saw 1,064.5 hours pledged in Wales and south west England.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Health Minister to Organize Decontamination Plan
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Agenzia Giornalistica Italia News Online reports that in a meeting
with the mayor of Casale Monferrato, the Health Minister called
the asbestos issue a national emergency.

Minister Renato Balduzzi said that, at the end of a "constructive
meeting" with a delegation from the municipality of Casale
Monferrato led by mayor Giorgio Demezzi, "it was agreed to swiftly
take action to allow the municipality of Casale Monferrato to play
an important role in the national strategy aimed at fighting
asbestos-related diseases and subsequent decontamination
operations".

The minister stressed that the issue must be dealt with as a
national emergency and explained that he will organize, in mid-
January, a meeting with the delegation from Casale Monferrato and
representatives of the national and regional bodies concerned.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Balcorp Rep Outlines Usage of Modern Chrysotile
----------------------------------------------------------------
Guy Versailles of the Calgary Herald relates that contrary to what
Marianne White writes, chrysotile is not banned in Canada.
Chrysotile-cement pipes are installed in the Montreal Symphony
Orchestra's new concert hall, which was inaugurated in September
2011.  Similar pipes can be found in institutional, industrial and
commercial buildings, and in many luxury condominiums built in
Montreal and Toronto in the past decade.

These pipes are identical to the chrysotile-cement sheets and
pipes used in developing countries.  If the material is good
enough for us, why is it not good enough for them?

Health Canada states that when chrysotile is enclosed or tightly
bound in a compound, the fiber presents "no significant health
risk."

These modern products include chrysotile cement pipes that made up
19% of drinking-water distribution networks in Canada in 2003, as
well as cement roofing sheets ubiquitous throughout the developing
world and identical to the cladding on many older Canadian
buildings.

Past health problems were created by the sprayed or friable
asbestos used until the 1970s.  These are no longer in use, nor
are the amphibole-types of asbestos that are much more damaging to
health than chrysotile, and were often mixed with chrysotile.

Since asbestos-related disease can take up to 40 years to develop,
we are witnessing the past's sad legacy.  To equate today's health
problems with modern asbestos products is to ignore the facts.
Chrysotile usage in India has gone up 9 % in the past year.
India's government and institutions have the same information we
have.  They obviously think chrysotile answers important basic
needs for affordable roofing for the poor, for whom the choice is
a chrysotile cement roof or no roof.

Guy Versailles of Montreal is spokesperson for Balcorp Ltd., which
exports chrysotile to developing countries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wood Stoves Removal Dropped Airborne Pollution
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a new study finds the
replacement of 1,200 wood stoves in Libby with more efficient
models has improved air quality, leading to associated health
improvements for children.

Study author and University of Montana epidemiologist Curtis
Noonan said the results underscore the potential benefits of
upgrading stoves in rural towns where residents have few home
heating options.

Airborne particulate pollution in Libby dropped 30% over the
course of the four-year study.  The decline was associated with
fewer reports of childhood wheeze -- a condition commonly linked
to asthma.  Other health conditions showed less improvement.

Hundreds of people have died and an estimated 1,750 have been
sickened by asbestos from a vermiculite mine near Libby.  Noonan
says the stove replacements could benefit asbestos victims by
reducing their overall health risks.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Minister Gignac Shuns Rachel Lee's Dying Request
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Sandborn of TheTyee.ca relates that anti-asbestos campaigners
have issued an open letter to a Quebec cabinet minister, urging
him to honor a dying woman's final wish and take a stand against
any more provincial government subsidy for asbestos mining and
export.

In 2010, Rachel Lee, a Korean woman dying of mesothelioma because
of exposure to asbestos, was part of an international delegation
to Canada, organized by A-BAN, the Asian Ban Asbestos Network.  On
Dec. 9 of that year, Lee met with Clement Gignac, Quebec's
minister of natural resources and wildlife.  Citing her own
terminal condition, Lee called on Minister Gignac to promise that
Quebec would not continue its policy of subsidizing asbestos
production in the province.  Specifically, Lee and the other
members of the delegation asked the minister to commit to blocking
any more provincial funding for the Jeffrey mine.

The Jeffrey mine in Asbestos, Quebec, which is currently
inoperative, has been at the centre of a fierce public debate
during 2011.  As reported earlier in The Tyee, critics have
charged that Canada, by allowing asbestos mining and export, is in
part responsible for 100,000 deaths a year worldwide.  Critics
point out that asbestos use in Canada has almost entirely ceased
because of the substance's proven toxicity, and say that if the
province of Quebec provides the loan guarantees necessary for
Baljit Chadha, a local entrepreneur, to re-open the mine, it will
be flying in the face of calls from many medical and human rights
groups, including the Canadian Medical Association and the
Canadian Labour Congress, for a total ban on asbestos.

The international delegation that visited Quebec last year issued
a statement that read, in part:

"We are here today representing asbestos victims, trade unions and
health organizations in Asia.  We are horrified by the plans of
the Government of Quebec to provide a $58 million loan guarantee
to develop new asbestos mine.  It has been predicted that if this
project goes ahead, the new Jeffrey mine will produce over 5
million tonnes of asbestos in the next quarter century."

Since the delegation's visit to Quebec, the provincial government
has granted the financiers behind the plan to re-open the Jeffrey
mine several extensions of deadline for their efforts to raise $25
million in private investment for the mine project, and continued
to indicate that if the private funding is secured, the province
may provide loan guarantees of up to $58 million to subsidize the
controversial mine re-opening.

Lee suffered from mesothelioma, a lung condition that only occurs
in patients who have been exposed to asbestos.  Lee lived close to
a factory that produced cement products using chrysotile asbestos.
On Dec. 21, 2011, Lee died of the mesothelioma that may well have
been caused by chrysotile asbestos from Canada.

Although South Korea announced a ban on asbestos imports in 2009,
before that date, nearly 60 % of the asbestos imported into South
Korea came from Canada.  The day after Lee's death, Canadian anti-
asbestos campaigners addressed an open letter to Minister Gignac,
reminding him of his meeting last year with the asbestos victim,
informing him of her tragic death and asking him to honor her
memory by blocking any provincial support for the pending request
for loan guarantees for the Jeffrey mine.

"When Ms. Lee spoke at a press conference at the Quebec National
Assembly last December, she could not help crying when speaking of
her two children who would become orphans and her husband, who
would become a widower.  The tragic outcome she foresaw became
reality yesterday," the activists' letter said.

"Mr. Minister, you met and you heard the appeal that Ms. Lee made
to you personally that your government not fund the re-opening of
the Jeffrey mine and not create more asbestos victims.  She asked
you the question: 'Are our dead not enough?'

"We ask you, and the new Minister of Economic Development, Sam
Hamad, and Premier Charest, to restore the honor of Quebec, to
honor the appeal made to you by Rachel Lee on behalf of asbestos
victims around the world and not fund the Jeffrey mine.  In this
way, the tragedy of Rachel Lee's death, and the deaths of
thousands of other asbestos victims every year, will have served
some purpose," the letter concludes.

No response yet from minister

By Dec. 30, Minister Gignac had not responded to the open letter,
which was signed by Dr. Fernand Turcotte, MD, Professor Emeritus,
Department of Social & Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine,
Universite Laval, Kathleen Ruff, author of Exporting Harm: How
Canada markets asbestos to the Developing World; Eric Darier,
Ph.D., Director of Greenpeace Quebec, and Micheline Beaudry,
Ph.D., retired professor of public nutrition, Universite Laval.
In fact, Ruff told The Tyee that Minister Gignac had not responded
to a letter sent to him by the A-BAN delegation more than a year
ago.

The minister did not respond to Tyee requests for comment on this
story.

In a Dec. 28 email, Ruff told The Tyee that:

"At great personal self-sacrifice and in spite of herself
suffering from a deadly asbestos disease (mesothelioma), Rachel
Lee came to Quebec in December 2010, to bring a message on behalf
of all asbestos victims around the world and appeal to the Quebec
government not to finance a new asbestos mine.  Minister Gignac
met with Rachel Lee that month, but he did not respond to her
heartfelt, personal appeal.  Likewise, he did not respond to the
irrefutable evidence put before him by Ms. Lee and the other
members of the Asian delegation that asbestos exported by Quebec
causes suffering and loss of life overseas.

"A year later, now that Rachel Lee has herself died from having
been exposed to asbestos, Minister Gignac continues to maintain a
heartless silence.  It seems that he has neither heart, mind nor
conscience and is deaf to the facts and deaf to the voices of
victims."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Conoco Phillips Slams Claim, Appeals $15M Payout
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Conoco Phillips Corp. has
appealed a $15.2 million jury award to an oil and well drilling
worker who claimed have gotten lung disease from exposure to
asbestos.

The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case
on Jan. 30.

In 2010, a Jones County jury ruled for Troy Lofton in his personal
injury lawsuit against CP Chem, a division of Conoco Phillips
Corp.

Lofton alleged he was diagnosed in 2004 with asbestosis.

Lofton claimed CP Chem knowingly shipped a product containing
asbestos for 20 years that was used in the oil and gas well
drilling industry.

Lofton claimed that as a result of that exposure he has had to
remain on oxygen 24 hours a day.

The company denied the claims.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Morris Cty to Spend $850K on Courthouse Abatement
------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Daigle at Chatham Patch reports that Morris County plans
to spend $8.5 million for building renovations, road repairs and
heating and air conditioning work at the County College of Morris
as part of a $25.2 million capital spending plan for the new year.

The freeholders approved the CCM spending on Dec. 28 after a
public hearing.  The work includes $3 million for renovations to
roads, walkways, parking lots and retaining walls, $2 million for
lighting improvements, $1 million for academic building
modifications and $3 million for heating and air conditioning
system repairs.

This spending is part of the county's overall capital budget for
the year.  The plan does not allocate funds, but creates a
schedule for projects, said Mary Jo Buchanan, the assistant county
administrator.  Each spending item must be approved individually
by ordinance by the Morris County freeholders.

"These  are the major needs," Buchannan said.

The plan does meet the target of an annual capital budget of $25
million, according to Buchanan.  The largest single item is for
road and bridge design and repairs, at an estimated $9.5 million.

To help pay for the work, the county anticipates using $4 million
in general state aid and $4.25 million in state Chapter 12 aid for
the county college.

Morris County, whose annual budget for 2011 was $313 million,
plans capital spending for large long-term projects over a six-
year span.  From 2012-to-2017, the county is planning a total of
$185.6 million in capital projects.

Freeholder Ann Grossi member of the board's budget subcommittee,
said that she toured many of the county buildings when she saw the
capital plan included windows, carpets and furniture.  She saw
that the windows needed replacing, the carpets were worn and
unsafe and the furniture was falling apart.

"These items need to be replaced," Ms. Grossi said.

Many of the items in the capital plan address roofing and heating
and air conditioning system repairs, building structures, and
projects that address public safety or are required under state
regulations.

In addition to the work at CCM, here is a breakdown of projects by
department:

Sheriff: $225,000 for replacement of three vehicles and purchase
of a mobile digital recording system for documentation of contact
with the public, prisoner activity during transport and emergency
situation.

Prosecutor: $195,000 for replacement of 25-30 year old furniture
and storage.

Information Services: $1.3 million for replacement and upgrading
of various computers, servers, and networking systems.

Morris View Healthcare Center: $585,000 for replacement of a
cooling tower, automatic sliding doors, upgrade to the nurse call
system and elevator improvements.

Public works, buildings and grounds: $2.1 million for assorted
repairs to fences, doors, sidewalks, heating systems, roofs,
elevators and plumbing.  The largest item is $850,000 for
courthouse asbestos abatement work tied to a state Superior Court
project.  That project is included in the county's capital plan
for annual work through 2016.

Public works, engineering: $4.2 million.  The largest item is $3.5
million for continued development of the athletic fields at
Central Park of Morris County in Parsippany, including the
addition of turf fields.  The county has transformed a section of
the of the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital into a park that
features passive recreation, and facilities for cross county
running, ice and roller skating and a Miracle Field for
handicapped athletes.  The engineering plan also includes $250,000
for the Jackson Brook storm water management plan, a joint effort
of four municipalities, the county and state and federal
governments to slow  flooding in the watershed that feeds the
Rockaway River in Dover.

Morris County School of Technology, $1.9 million for roof repairs
and replacement, parking lot repaving, ventilation upgrades and
fire panel upgrades.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Supreme Court Rules on Joint Trial
------------------------------------------------------
Each of the plaintiffs in the consolidated asbestos litigation
pending in the New York County Supreme Court asserts that he
suffered injuries as a result of exposure to asbestos.  The
plaintiffs move to have their claims jointly tried.  The motion is
collectively opposed by all defendants.

In a Dec. 22, 2011 memorandum and decision, Judge Judith J. Gische
of the New York County Supreme Court granted the motion in part
and denied the motion in part.

In the order, Judge Gische grouped together those plaintiffs whose
claims will be tried jointly and identified those plaintiffs whose
claims will be tried individually.

In deciding what cases should be joined for trial and what cases
should be tried individually, Judge Gischer used the factors
enunciated in the seminal case of Malcolm v. National Gypsum Co.
995 F.2d 346 (2nd Cir. 1993).  In Malcolm, the Second Circuit
Court of Appeals delineated specific factors that are relevant in
determining whether to jointly try cases based upon asbestos
exposure, including: [1] common work site; [2] similar occupation;
[3] similar time of exposure; [4] type of disease; [5] whether
plaintiffs are living or deceased; [6] status of discovery in each
case; and [7] whether all plaintiffs are represented by the same
counsel.

The NY Supreme Court noted that the plaintiffs in the case are
represented by the same counsel and the plaintiffs allege similar
claims, but discovery in the separate cases are of varying stages,
prompting the Court to group together plaintiffs in accordance to
the discovery stages of their cases.

The case is In re New York City Asbestos Litigation Cluster, 2011
NY Slip OP 33409 (U), (N.Y.).  A copy of Judge Gische's Decision
is available at http://is.gd/oGiabefrom Leagle.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Work-Related Claim Must Be Determined at Trial
---------------------------------------------------------------
Montana Municipal Insurance Authority asks for summary judgment on
the issue of whether Robert Lanman failed to file his claim within
the one-year statute of limitations set forth at Sec. 39-72-
403(1), MCA (2003).  The MMIA argued that Mr. Lanman failed to
file his claim within one year from when he knew or reasonably
should have known that his condition was related to his
employment.  Mr. Lanman contended that material facts in dispute
preclude summary judgment.

In a Dec. 28, 2011 memorandum and decision, Judge James Jeremiah
Shea of the Workers' Compensation Court of Montana denied summary
judgment holding that a genuine issue of material fact remains as
to whether Mr. Lanman knew or should have known that his asbestos
condition was related to his employment more than one year before
he filed his claim.

The issue then is not appropriate for summary disposition but must
be explored at trial, Judge Shea ruled.

The case is Lanman v. Montana Municipal Insurance Authority, WCC
No. 2006-1750 (Mont.).  A copy of Judge Shea's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/49SWpvfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Medical Records Are Not Inadmissible as Hearsay
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pearl Fields, as representative of the estate of her husband, Paul
H. Fields, filed an action against CSX Transportation, Inc., under
the Federal Employer's Liability Act and the Locomotive Inspection
Act alleging that the company negligently allowed her husband to
be exposed to various substances, including asbestos and asbestos
dust, during the course of his employment as a trainman and
conductor for CSX.  She further alleged that these exposures
caused severe and permanent injuries, including lung cancer, and
aggravated the development of Paul's respiratory problems, and
resulted in his subsequent death.  CSX filed a motion to dismiss
the complaint.  A trial court denied that motion after finding
that Paul was not a smoker.

At issue in the case is whether the trial court erred in
determining that the undisputed medical records establishing
Paul's smoking in history is inadmissible hearsay and could not be
used to establish that he was a "smoker" under the Ohio Asbestos
Statute.

In a Dec. 29, 2011 memorandum and decision, Judge Sean C.
Gallagher of the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District,
Cuyahoga County, sustained the assignment of error finding that
the trial court abused its discretion in not considering the
medical records consistently reporting Paul's history of having
been a smoke for over 40 pack years, and having quit in 1996.

Judge Gallagher also ruled that the trial court erroneously found
that the medical records are hearsay and not within the exception
provided by Section 803(4) of the Rules of Evidence as the
statements of the wife, which was the only evidence considered by
the trial court, were not made for purposes of medical diagnosis
or treatment.

The case is Fields v. CSX Transp., Inc., No. 96831 (8th Dist.,
Ohio).  A copy of Judge Gallagher's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/7mllfQfrom Leagle.com.

CSX is represented by:

         Patrick C. Booth, Esq.
         David A. Damico, Esq.
         Ira L. Podheiser, Esq.
         BURNS WHITE LLC
         Four Northshore Center
         106 Isabella Street
         Pittsburgh, PA 15212
         Tel: (412) 995-3000
         Fax: (412) 995-3300
         E-mail: pcbooth@burnswhite.com
                 dadamico@burnswhite.com
                 ilpodheiser@burnswhite.com

Mrs. Fields is represented by:

         Michael L. Torcello, Esq.
         Christopher Murphy, Esq.
         Colleen M. Blinkoff, Esq.
         DORAN & MURPHY, PLLC
         1234 Delaware Avenue
         Buffalo, NY 14209
         E-mail: mtorcello@doranandmurphy.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Rules in CDI v. Village of Deposit Case
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Center of Deposit Inc. filed a proceeding pursuant to Article 78
of the Civil Practice Law and Rules seeking to overturn a
dispositive declaration by the Village of Deposit Planning Board
of environmental significance and approve its application to
subdivide its parcel of real property in the Village of Deposit,
Broome and Delaware Counties, into two.  The Supreme Court in the
County of New York dismissed the petition on the basis that it was
not ripe for review and, in any event, that the Board's
determination was not arbitrary and capricious.  CDI appealed.

In a Dec. 29, 2011 memorandum and opinion, a panel of judges in
the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Third
Department composed of Justices Thomas E. Mercure, Bernard J.
Malone Jr., Leslie E. Stein, William E. McCarthy and John C. Egan
Jr., dismissed the Supreme Court's judgment finding that the
dispute is ripe for review.

The Appellate Court noted that although the initial issuance of a
positive declaration of environmental significance requiring the
completion of a draft environmental impact statement is typically
not considered to be a final determination, it has held in that,
even where the "ultimate resolution of a matter is still pending,
a determination within the context of that matter may be 'final'
if the governmental entity acts beyond its statutory authority and
causes injury."  Thus, the Appellate Court said it may review the
matter where, like in the case at hand, a question of fact exists
as to whether, due to the particular nature of CDI's subdivision
application, it is a proper subject for a DEIS in the first
instance.

The Appellate Court noted that the Board properly determined that
CDI's proposal was an unlisted action.  The Board has determined
that there were potentially significant environmental impacts to
water quality, air quality and public health given the probable
presence of friable asbestos in at least one of the buildings and
the density of the existing neighborhood in the event of the
property's potential, but unspecified, future development.

The Appellate Court further noted that the only "action" the CDI
sought approval from the Board was the legal division of one
parcel of land into separate parcels of land.  There is absolutely
no record evidence that CDI had any solidified plans to develop
either parcel.  The concerns of the Village regarding CDI's
possible future abandonment of the property containing the
building with asbestos are purely speculative and do not provide a
rational basis for the Board's determination, the Appellate Court
cited.

The case is Matter of Center of Deposit, Inc. v. Village of
Deposit, 2011 NY Slip Op 09566 (N.Y.).  A copy of the Dec. 29
Decision is available at http://is.gd/u9vT8ofrom Leagle.com

CDI is represented by Jonathan M. Landsman, Esq., in New York.

Village of Deposit, et al., are represented by:

         Keith A. O'Hara, Esq.
         COUGHLIN & GERHART, L.L.P.
         The Huron Campus
         1701 North Street
         Endicott, NY 13760
         Tel: (607) 723-9511
         Fax: (607) 723-1530


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Denies Aurora Pump's Summary Judgment Bid
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Alvin Bickel and his wife Marian Bickel filed a complaint against,
among others, Aurora Pump Company, seeking recovery of damages for
alleged asbestos-related personal injuries.  Mr. Bickel served in
the U.S. Navy from 1960 to 1964 as a gunner's mate in two Navy
ships.  He alleged that he was exposed to asbestos in different
locations aboard the Navy ships.  Aurora Pump filed a summary
judgment motion dismissing the complaint because the Bickels
failed to identify any product manufactured by Aurora Pump as a
source of Mr. Bickel's exposure.

In a Dec. 7, 2011 memorandum and opinion, Judge Sherry Klein
Heitler of the New York County Supreme Court denied Aurora Pump's
motion for summary judgment.

According to Judge Heitler, in this case, Aurora Pump has made a
prima facie showing of its entitlement to summary judgment by
demonstrating that Mr. Bickel failed to identify any of its
products as a source of his exposure.  Nevertheless, the Court
noted, the Bickels' have met their burden by, among other things,
producing "plant load reports" which indicate that a large number
of Aurora pumps were installed aboard one of the Navy ships,
including "fuel aviation," "fuel aviation seawater," and "heavy
end aviation fuel" pumps.  This, in conjunction with Mr. Bickel's
testimony that he was exposed to asbestos from pumps being
dismantled in the engine rooms in his presence is sufficient to
raise a question of fact regarding his exposure from Aurora pumps
aboard one of the Navy ships, the Court ruled.

The case is Bickel v. Air & Liquid Sys. Corp., 2011 NY Slip OP
33187(U)(N.Y.).  A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is available
at http://is.gd/9xv77pfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: N.Y. Court Dismisses Suit v. Goodyear
------------------------------------------------------
Jerry E. Malaney, now deceased, commenced an action against, among
others, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Goodyear Canada, Inc.,
to recover for personal injuries allegedly caused by his
occupational exposure to a myriad of asbestos-containing products
and equipment, including gaskets, pumps, valves and insulation
materials, during the 1960s and 1970s in relation to his work at
the Hooker Chemical plant, in Niagara Falls, New York.  Goodyear
filed a motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint
because it never manufactured nor sold asbestos-containing
performed gaskets.

In a Dec. 9, 2011 memorandum and opinion, Judge Sherry Klein
Heitler of the New York County Supreme Court granted Goodyear's
motion pointing out that Mr. Malaney did not dispute Goodyear's
contention that it never manufactured or sold asbestos-containing
preformed gaskets.

The Court further noted that in the testimony of a co-worker of
Mr. Malaney, the co-worker did not testify that he worked with or
was otherwise exposed to sheet gaskets manufactured by Goodyear,
nor can such be reasonably inferred from the record.  In fact, the
co-worker's testimony that the gaskets he associated with Goodyear
were preformed is unequivocal, the Court also noted.  Thus, the
Court held, Mr. Malaney has failed to raise an issue of fact
sufficient to defeat Goodyear's motion.

The case is Malaney v. A.C.&S., Inc., 2011 NY Slip Op
33467(U)(N.Y.).  A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is available
at http://is.gd/4dBLEkfrom Leagle.com.



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

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