/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/120120.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, January 20, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 15


ALLEN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Settles Discrimination Class Action
AMAZON: Faces Class Action Over Zappos Data Breach
AUSTRALIAN BANKS: Mortgage Borrowers' Class Action May Fail
BABIES 'R' US: Judge Approves $35.5-Mil. Class Action Settlement
BARRACK OBAMA: Faces Class Action Over Homeland Battlefield Bill

BAXTER INT'L: San Mateo County Lacks Antitrust Standing
BJB PROPERTIES: Sued by Tenant Over Violations of Chicago RLTO
COSTA CONCORDIA: More Than 70 Passengers Join Class Action
DIOCESE OF COVINGTON: Judge to Rule on Settlement Complaints
FIRST RESOLUTION: Accused of Illegal Debt Collection in Illinois

GOOGLE INC: Free Trial of Google Tags Not Free at All, Suit Says
INTUIT INC: Faces Class Action Over Usurious TurboTax Fees
JPMORGAN CHASE: Faces Class Action Over Bankruptcy Fraud
MIDWEST GENERATION: Faces Suit Over Air Pollution in Illinois
MIDWEST GENERATION: Sued by Ill. Residents Over Air Pollution

PLIMUS INC: Sued in Calif. Over Fabricated Consumer Reviews
PROVINCE OF OTTAWA: Roma Refugees Want Class Action Certified
SHELL VACATIONS: Misrepresents Timeshare Membership, Suit Claims
SPECTRE PERFORMANCE: Sued Over False Advertising on Air Filters
SUNTRUST BANKS: Class Action to Remain in D.C. Superior Court

UNITED STATES: Arizon Sheriff to Appeal Immigration Law Ruling
WAL-MART STORES: Seeks Dismissal of Gender Discrimination Suit
YMCA: Sued Over Bed Bug Infestation in Niles, Illinois Hotel

* More Than 150 Online Privacy Class Actions Filed in 2011

                    Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: N.Y. Ct. Junks Aurora's Summary Judgment Motion
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mo. Court Affirms Injunction Order vs. CFF
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Negligence Suit v. Armstrong, GE Remanded
ASBESTOS UPDATE: WR Grace Claims vs. Integrity Insurance Junked
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Md. Ct. Upholds Garnishment on NLG Insulation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Watchdog Surprised by Hike in Madison Tort Cases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Sues Lovett Contracting Over Demolition Work
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Fibers in West PA School Deemed Friable
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Korean Schools Exposed to Friable Toxic Fibers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Willows Residents Fear Old Theater May Be Toxic

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firms Update Services for U.S. Veterans
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Former Trackmen Sue Union Pacific for Negligence
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Corgi Hosiery Denies Exposing Workers to Hazards
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Korean Gov. Responds to Contamination Threat
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Can't Handle Nanomaterials, OIG Report Says

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogenic Wastes Found Littered in Anglesey
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Velan CEO Cites Litigation Impact in Q3 Results
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Randy Cohn Named New Shareholder of SBGAB LLC
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NSW Injects Millions in Mesothelioma Program
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Nicolet Site Abatement to End by March 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: US Navy Aware of Hazard, Paper Says
ASBESTOS UPDATE: DOE Charges 14 Violations Against Evergreen
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trial Starts on Bad Abatement Case v Trio
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Actor McQueen to be Honored at ADAO Convention
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pathology Report Shows Worker Had Mesothelioma

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. SC Won't Expand Products Liability Law
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Councilor Slams Fly-Tipping in Barrow
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Says Superfund Wood Chips Posed No Danger
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Builder Adamant to Use Fiber Cement on MUHC
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chadha Stays on Red Cross Board Until June

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Corgi Hosiery Guilty by Unanimous Verdict
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Experts Say Seawall Hazards Pose Low Health Risk
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Commish Suggests New Complex Over Remediation
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Manitobans Get $5MM From Federal Mogul Payout
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Air Tests Clear Coral Sea Park of Fiber

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Carries on Crusade for Mesothelioma Victims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: American Felt Faces $146,300 Fine for Violations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aberdeenshire Fire Frees Up Toxic Fibers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Burnham LLC, CBS Corp et al. Face $85MM Lawsuit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Daughter Calls on Pa's Former Mates at Llanwern

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Found in Queensland School Kits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Brampton School Hazmat Test Results Due Soon
ASBESTOS UPDATE: DOE's Portsmouth Site Abatement Completed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gippsland Disposal System Still Seeking Funds
ASBESTOS UPDATE: William Search Ltd Faces Mesothelioma Lawsuit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Howzat Fitness Abatement Will Go "By The Book"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: School Site Hazmat Not Friable, Council Says
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Garfield Elementary Abatement Lowest Bid at $138K
ASBESTOS UPDATE: RACV Denies Insurance Claim
ASBESTOS UPDATE: LNP Says Government Tried to Hide Mismanagement

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chadha, Robinson Resign From Red Cross Board
ASBESTOS UPDATE: SSAG Braces for Round 2 v Oaktree Environmental
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kits Being "Portable Items" Were Not Registered
ASBESTOS UPDATE: City to Disburse $5MM, After Johnsonia Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Scott" Suit vs. Chase Corp. Remains Inactive

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chase Corp. Still in Discovery in "Jansen" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: MRC Global Continues to Defend 989 Claims
GARLOCK SEALING: Asbestos Claimants May Seek Docs From BofA


ALLEN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Settles Discrimination Class Action
Jeff Eckhoff, writing for Des Moines Register, reports that Allen
Memorial Hospital in Waterloo has reached a $2 million settlement
with the named plaintiff in a lawsuit alleging that the hospital
racially discriminated against African Americans in employment
decisions going back to the end of 2008.

The lawsuit, filed in December 2010 by Robyn Meeks, had sought to
form a class-action on behalf of all blacks since Nov. 25, 2008,
who tried and failed to gain employment at Allen during that
period, who were fired by the hospital or who were passed over for

The consent decree, which was scheduled to be discussed on Jan. 17
in a Black Hawk County courtroom, includes no admission of wrong
doing by Allen but requires that Ms. Meeks receive "reinstatement,
back pay, a reasonable amount for emotional distress and a payment
of $10,000 subject to tax treatment."

Plaintiffs attorney Roxanne Conlin will receive $660,600 as part
of the settlement.  The rest of the money will go into a fund for
potential claimants.  Any unspent money eventually will be
"donated to nonprofit enterprises mutually agreeable" to
Ms. Conlin and Allen.

The deal also requires Allen to publish public notice about the
settlement to alert blacks in and around Waterloo about the fund.
The hospital has agreed to boost training for its managers.

AMAZON: Faces Class Action Over Zappos Data Breach
paidContent.org reports that shoe retailer Zappos is facing a
national class action suit one day after it warned customers that
its servers had been hacked.

On Jan. 16, the Amazon-owned shoe company sent a mass e-mail
stating that 24 million customer accounts had been breached. The
incident resulted in hackers obtaining names, phone numbers, e-
mails, encrypted passwords and the last four numbers of customer
credit cards.

The lawsuit claims Amazon violated a part of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act by failing to properly encrypt and secure customer
information, and seeks unspecified damages for 24 million

The lead plaintiff in the case is a Texas woman but the suit was
filed in federal court in Louisville, Kentucky on the grounds that
Amazon has servers located in that state.

As these type of hacking incidents have become more common, so too
have related lawsuits.  So far, though, few of these lawsuits been
successful because customers have been unable to show that they
have been harmed by the data breaches.

The Kentucky lawsuit appears based in part on a novel legal theory
that customers will now be more susceptible to phishing and other
online scams because hackers have their e-mail.  It also alleges
the plaintiffs suffered emotional distress.  Other high-profile
data breach cases such as one involving Sony's Play Station have
been based in part on state consumer laws.

Although courts have been reluctant to find that customers have
been harmed by data breaches, there is evidence this may be
changing.  A security publication recently reported
that an appeals court allowed customers to claim they suffered
harm in the form of having to buy insurance for identity theft.

Some media publications this week praised Zappos' for having a
pre-arranged plan to respond to the data theft.  The company
claims that its customer credit cards remained secure because they
were stored in a separate server.

AUSTRALIAN BANKS: Mortgage Borrowers' Class Action May Fail
Ben Abbott, writing for Australian BrokerNews, reports that any
class action from disgruntled mortgage borrowers under the NCCP
has been deemed unlikely to succeed.

Earlier this week, Fairfax newspapers revealed a class action
involving a potential 300,000 borrowers was being levelled at
major banks, amid claims their lending practices had put customers
at risk.

The class action, if mounted, would focus on first homebuyers and
lower income households lured into the market by lower interest
rates following the onset of the GFC and now struggling to repay.

Speaking with Australian BrokerNews, MFAA CEO Phil Naylor said
while detail remains sketchy, it would be difficult to see such an
action succeed under the newly implemented NCCP regime.

Mr. Naylor said the regime itself requires lenders and brokers to
only lend or recommend products that are not unsuitable.

"I would be surprised if it could be established that either
lenders or brokers involved in such a large number of loans would
have not acted 'responsibly' as required under NCCP," he said.

The class action will allege that some of these borrowers are
experiencing severe financial hardship through no fault of their
own, through being allowed to enter a loan contract that they
could not afford.

The case is being spearheaded by retired international insurance
broker Roger Brown, according to Fairfax, who has been quoted as
saying the way banks have been lending has been "irresponsible".

BABIES 'R' US: Judge Approves $35.5-Mil. Class Action Settlement
Amaris Elliott-Engel, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports
that a federal judge has approved a $35.5 million settlement in a
class action in which plaintiffs charged that Babies 'R' Us and a
group of baby product manufacturers violated antitrust law.

U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody of the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania also awarded $11.75 million in fees and $2.23 million
in costs to the plaintiffs' counsel, which included co-lead
counsel Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro of Oak Park, Ill., and Spector
Roseman Kodroff & Willis of Philadelphia.

The class action charged that Babies "R" Us conspired with the
manufacturers to restrict competition by requiring all retailers
to sell their goods at or above a minimum resale price, and thus
that the class paid inflated prices for products, Judge Brody said
Tuesday in her memorandum opinion in McDonough v. Toys 'R' Us Inc.
and Elliott v. Toys 'R' Us Inc.

The other defendants are Britax Child Safety Inc., Peg Perego USA
Inc., BabyBjoern AB, Regal Lager Inc., Medela Inc., Maclaren USA
Inc. and Kids Line LLC.

The settlement represented 24 percent of estimated actual damages,
Judge Brody said.  Among other factors, the risk of establishing
liability and damages weighed in favor of settlement, the judge

The class includes customers who bought certain items between 2001
and 2006.

When the case was started, a "resale price maintenance" agreement
was a per-se violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.  Then the
U.S. Supreme Court "overturned nearly a century of precedent to
rule that RPM agreements are no longer per se violations . . .
Defendants, therefore, could argue that the challenged agreements
constituted reasonable restraints on trade and thus were legal,"
Judge Brody said.

"Even if the plaintiffs could establish liability, they would not
have had an easy time providing damages because there were no
universal price 'markup.'"

The judge also said the U.S. Supreme Court and the 3rd U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals have rendered opinions making it more
difficult for district courts to grant class certification, so
verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs might be rejected by the
appellate courts.

BabyAge.com Inc. and The Baby Club of America Inc. filed a
separate antitrust lawsuit against all of the defendants, charging
that the plaintiffs were prevented from discounting items.  Judge
Brody said she consolidated that case for purposes of discovery.

Kendall Millard, attorney for Peg Perego USA with Barnes &
Thornburg in Indianapolis, said the litigation resolved
successfully for his client and the action with BabyAge against
Peg Perego was dismissed with prejudice.

Mr. Millard can be reached at:

          Kendall Millard, Esq.
          11 South Meridian Street
          Indianapolis, IN 46204-3535
          Telephone: (317) 231-7461
          E-mail: kendall.millard@btlaw.com

BARRACK OBAMA: Faces Class Action Over Homeland Battlefield Bill
Adam Klasfeld at Courthouse News Service reports that reporter
Chris Hedges sued President Obama in a federal class action,
claiming the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act aka the
"Homeland Battlefield Bill" threatens him and other journalists
with life imprisonment without charge or trial for doing their

President Obama signed the bill on New Year's Eve.  It authorizes
the military to indefinitely detain anyone it accuses of planning
or supporting terrorists or "associated forces," anywhere in the
world, without charge or trial.

Co-sponsor Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said during congressional
hearings that Obama asked him to preserve language in the bill
making Americans subject to indefinite detention.

In his signing statement, however, Mr. Obama claimed that he would
not use that power against U.S. citizens -- though the bill
authorized it.

"I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with
certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and
prosecution of suspected terrorists," Mr. Obama wrote.  He added
later: "I want to clarify that my administration will not
authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of
American citizens.  Indeed, I believe that doing so would break
with our most important traditions and values as a nation."

That nonbinding promise did not satisfy Mr. Hedges, who said the
law puts him at risk of indefinite detention.

"Plaintiff Christopher Hedges is a journalist whose profession
requires, in part: 1) that he have communication with and personal
and direct intercourse with persons who are likely to be deemed
engaged in hostilities with the United States under the AUMF
[Authorization for Use of Military Force, Public Law 107-40] and
the Homeland Battlefield Bill; 2) that he travel to see and meet
with such persons; 3) that he report on the activities and beliefs
of such persons; and 4) through his journalistic endeavors to
convey their philosophy and belief systems to the public at

Citing the language of the Homeland Battlefield Bill, Hedges'
complaint continues: "As a journalist, essayist, author and war
correspondent, plaintiff publishes and conveys the opinions,
programs and ideas of 'al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces
that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its
coalition partners, . . .', Homeland Battlefield Bill, Section
1031(b)(2), such journalistic activity being brought within the
scope of the statute's provision defining a 'covered person' as
one who has 'substantially supported' or 'directly supported' the
acts and activities of such individuals or their organizations,
allies or associated forces."

Mr. Hedges cites a Jan. 31, 2011 article he wrote for
Truthdig.com, which he says could cause the U.S. government to
accuse him of being a terrorist.  Mr. Hedges wrote: "The secular
Arab regimes from Morocco to Yemen, for all their ties with the
West, have not provided freedom, dignity, opportunity or
prosperity for their people.  They have failed as spectacularly as
the secular Palestinian resistance movement led by Yasser Arafat.
And Arabs, frustrated and enduring mounting poverty, are ready for
something new.  Radical Islamist groups such as the Palestinian
Hamas, the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon and the jihadists fighting
in Iraq and Afghanistan are the new heroes, especially for the
young who make up most of the Arab world.  And many of those who
admire these radicals are not observant Muslims.  They support the
Islamists because they fight back."

Mr. Hedges says he "has and expects to again publish other
writings of similar nature," and that under the Homeland
Battlefield Bill, such articles could earn him a one-way ticket to
Guantanamo or other extrajudicial prisons.

"This complaint is not an acknowledgment or admission as a matter
of law or fact that plaintiff is a 'covered person' or is
otherwise within the scope of the Homeland Battlefield Bill, but
the complaint asserts that the Homeland Battlefield Bill is
sufficiently broad or overbroad as to cause plaintiff and
similarly situated persons to be in foreseeable jeopardy of being
brought within its textual provisions," the complaint states.

Mr. Hedges explained his self-described "quixotic" legal battle in
a new article for TruthDig.com: "Why I am Suing Barack Obama."

"I spent many years in countries where the military had the power
to arrest and detain citizens without charge," Mr. Hedges wrote in
the article published on Jan. 16.  "I have been in some of these
jails.  I have friends and colleagues who have 'disappeared' into
military gulags.  I know the consequences of granting sweeping and
unrestricted policing power to the armed forces of any nation.
And while my battle may be quixotic, it is one that has to be
fought if we are to have any hope of pulling this country back
from corporate fascism."

Later in the article, Mr. Hedges wrote: "This demented 'war on
terror' is as undefined and vague as such a conflict is in any
totalitarian state.  Dissent is increasingly equated in this
country with treason.  Enemies supposedly lurk in every
organization that does not chant the patriotic mantras provided to
it by the state.  And this bill feeds a mounting state paranoia.
It expands our permanent war to every spot on the globe.  It
erases fundamental constitutional liberties.  It means we can no
longer use the word 'democracy' to describe our political system.

"The supine and gutless Democratic Party, which would have feigned
outrage if George W. Bush had put this into law, appears willing,
once again, to grant Obama a pass.  But I won't.  What he has done
is unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous."

The law will take effect on March 3, according to the complaint.

Mr. Hedges also sued Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who
reportedly opposed the bill.

Mr. Hedges asks that the law to be declared void for violating of
the 1st and 5th Amendments, and constitutional rights on access to
civilian courts.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Katherine B.
Forrest, who was named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for
Business" by Chambers U.S.A. before President Obama appointed her
to the bench in 2011.

Mr. Hedges is represented by:

          Carl J. Mayer, Esq.
          66 Witherspoon Street Suite 414
          Princeton, NJ 08542
          Telephone: (609) 921-0253

               - and -

          Bruce I. Afran, Esq.
          10 Braeburn Drive
          Princeton, NJ 08540
          Telephone: (609) 924-2075

BAXTER INT'L: San Mateo County Lacks Antitrust Standing
Jack Bouboushian at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
judge may sever a component lawsuit from the multidistrict
antitrust case involving the leading suppliers of certain blood

Across various federal districts, direct and indirect purchasers
of plasma have brought almost 20 actions against Baxter
International, three CSL entities and the Plasma Protein
Therapeutics Association.  Pennsylvania-based Baxter and
Australia-based CSL are the world's largest and second largest
suppliers of plasma-derivative protein therapies for rare immune-
deficiency diseases, coagulation disorders and respiratory

With facilitation from the trade organization, the companies
allegedly conspired to restrict output of blood plasma to
artificially control the prices of plasma-derivative protein
therapies in the United States.

As multidistrict litigation got underway in Chicago, the county of
San Mateo, Calif., brought its own putative class action, claiming
that it was "forced to keep purchasing plasma-derivative protein
therapies on the spot market at a higher price due to supply
shortages caused by the defendants' conspiracy."

Though the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred
the San Mateo case to join the others, U.S. District Judge Joan
Gottschall appears poised to sever after finding last week that
San Mateo lacks antitrust standing to pursue federal claims.

While San Mateo has standing to pursue its state-law claims, Judge
Gottschall said there was no basis for federal standing because
the California county did not purchase plasma therapies in other

San Mateo alleges "a core antitrust injury," but Supreme Court
precedent requires a "proper plaintiff" determination based on the
court's "case-by-case analysis of the link between a plaintiff's
harm and a defendant's wrongdoing," Judge Gottschall said.

"In this case, the existence of a less remote party to vindicate
the public interest is no hypothetical proposition: the direct
purchasers are actively pursuing their claims, and they seek
damages and the same injunctive relief sought by San Mateo," the
19-page decision states.  "By denying San Mateo leave to proceed,
the court will not 'leave a significant antitrust violation
undetected or unremedied.'"

With the federal claim dismissed, Judge Gottschall held the
remaining issues in abeyance and ordered the parties to submit
briefs as to jurisdiction and the propriety of keeping this case
as part of the multidistrict referral.

A copy of the Memorandum Opinion & Order in In re: Plasma-
Derivative Protein Therapies Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 09-cv-
07666 (N.D. Ill.), is available at:


BJB PROPERTIES: Sued by Tenant Over Violations of Chicago RLTO
Alexander Ranjha, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. BJB Properties Inc. & Elm II, LLC, Case No. 2012-CH-
01559 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty., January 17, 2012) accuses the
Defendants of violating the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant

Mr. Ranjha, a tenant in an apartment owned by the Defendants,
relates that in November 2010, the City of Chicago cited the
apartment for certain violations.  However, he alleges, none of
the code citations were disclosed to him at or before the time he
entered into his rental agreement, or ever, by the Landlords -- in
violation of the RLTO.

Since April 26, 2011, Mr. Ranjha leased an apartment from the
Defendants in Chicago, Illinois.

The Defendants own the apartment, which is located at 18 E. Elm
Street, in Cook County, in Chicago, Illinois.  The apartment has
more than 140 dwelling units.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Mark Silverman, Esq.
          225 W. Washington, Suite 2200
          Chicago, IL 60606
          Telephone: (312) 775-1015
          Facsimile: (312) 256-2055
          E-mail: mark@depositlaw.com

COSTA CONCORDIA: More Than 70 Passengers Join Class Action
Agence France-Presse reports that more than 70 passengers from the
Costa Concordia luxury liner which sank off the coast of Italy
have joined a class action suit against the owner, consumer rights
association Codacons said on Jan. 17.

"Over 70 passengers who were on board the ship have joined the
class action suit initiated by our association," Codacons head
Carlo Rienzi said in a statement.

"Our objective is to get each passenger at least 10,000 euros
compensation for material damage and also for . . . the fear
suffered, the holidays ruined and the serious risks endured," he

The legal action will have to be judged admissible by a magistrate
in a procedure which could take "some months", according to the
co-head of the consumer rights association, Marco Ramadori.

Mr. Ramadori said he was "fairly confident" that the action would
be allowed.

The Costa Concordia was carrying more than 4,200 people when it
ran aground on Jan. 13 shortly after starting a seven-day
Mediterranean, leaving at least six dead and 29 missing.

DIOCESE OF COVINGTON: Judge to Rule on Settlement Complaints
Jon Newberry, writing for Business Courier, reports that Kenton
County Circuit Judge Gregory Bartlett said on Jan. 17 he'll rule
within a week on motions to dismiss two lawsuits filed against
Stan Chesley and his associate Bob Steinberg over their handling
of the Covington Diocese sex-abuse class-action settlement that
was approved in 2006.

Covington lawyer Michael O'Hara, who represents Messrs. Chesley
and Steinberg, argued the complaints raised in the current
lawsuits were already dealt with, and rejected by the court, in
the earlier class-action case that formally ended in 2009.
Messrs. Chesley and Steinberg represented hundreds of victims of
sex-abuse by Diocese officials in that class action, and O'Hara
was their co-counsel.

Claimants received more than $60 million, after fees, from
settlement funds contributed by the Diocese and its insurers.

Mr. Chesley's law firm and other lawyers were paid about $18.5
million in legal fees, or 22 percent of the awards to claimants.
Louisville lawyer David Ward, representing three claimants in the
Diocese settlement, argued on Jan. 17 that the issues being raised
in the current litigation were never raised in the Diocese case
because the claimants were never told what their lawyers were

"What Chesley and Steinberg were doing was concealed from the
plaintiffs," Mr. Ward told Judge Bartlett.

The court should permit their lawsuits to proceed so that they
have a chance to discover the facts, Mr. Ward said.

Judge Bartlett said he wondered about a connection between the
allegations made by the Diocese plaintiffs and issues raised in a
separate case related to a $200 million settlement for victims of
the diet-drug known as fen-phen.

"I can't help but wonder about whether publicity about Chesley's
fen-phen problems has contributed to this case," Judge Bartlett
said at the Jan. 17 hearing.  "It just seems to be very
coincidental.  . . .  This is not the fen-phen case."

FIRST RESOLUTION: Accused of Illegal Debt Collection in Illinois
Elizabeth Ammons, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. First Resolution Investment Corporation and
Blitt & Gaines, P.C., Case No. 2012-CH-01577 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook
Cty., January 17, 2012) arises from the Defendants' alleged debt
collection activities during a period of time in which First
Resolution was not registered as a debt collector, as required by
the Illinois Collection Agency Act.

During the time, First Resolution did not possess the required
license, the Defendants were precluded by law from initiating and
pursuing debt collection from her and the putative class, Ms.
Ammons argues.  She asserts that the Defendants' unlawful debt
collection activities caused damages to her and the putative

Ms. Ammons is a resident of Cook County, Illinois.

First Resolution, a Nevada corporation, acquires and collects
delinquent consumer debts originally owed to others.  Blitt, an
Illinois corporation, acts as attorney and agent for First

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Clinton A. Krislov, Esq.
          Michael R. Karnuth, Esq.
          Eve-Lynn J. Rapp, Esq.
          20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1350
          Chicago, IL 60606
          Telephone: (312) 606-0500
          E-mail: Clint@krislovlaw.com

               - and -

          Theodore Woerthwein, Esq.
          John Miller, Esq.
          225 W. Washington St., Suite 2200
          Chicago, IL 60606
          Telephone: (312) 654-0001
          E-mail: wam@wamlaw.com

GOOGLE INC: Free Trial of Google Tags Not Free at All, Suit Says
Rachel Frezza and Mauro Rodriguez, on their own behalf and all
others similarly situated v. Google Inc., Case No. 5:12-cv-00237
(N.D. Calif., January 13, 2012) accuses Google of knowingly and
repeatedly deceiving business owners and consumers by luring them
into signing up for a supposedly "free" trial of Google Tags, an
online feature that was designed to enhance the appeal of a
business and more effectively promote the services of that
business on the Web.

Google gave merchants every reason to believe that they could try
Google Tags without financial risk or obligation, but it turned
out to be anything but free, the Plaintiffs contend.  They allege
that Google charged merchants during the 30-day trial period and
then asserted that the trial offer consisted merely of a $25
discount off the total price of the service.  Making matters
worse, they add, many consumers have discovered that they cannot
remove their credit card information from Google's billing system,
even though Google Tags was abolished in early 2011.

The Plaintiffs are citizens of the state of North Carolina.

Google is a multinational public corporation that provides an
array of Internet-based products and services, including
advertising technologies, e-mail, and various online productivity
tools in addition to its ubiquitous Web search engine.  The
Mountain View, California-based Company indexes billions of Web
pages, and in 2010, Google took in more than $29 billion in
revenue and more than $8 billion in profits.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Todd C. Atkins, Esq.
          701 B Street, Suite 1170
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 255-2380
          Facsimile: (619) 231-4984
          E-mail: tatkins@atkinsdavidson.com

               - and -

          Joseph J. Siprut, Esq.
          James M. McClintick, Esq.
          SIPRUT PC
          122 South Michigan Ave., Suite 1850
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: (312) 588-1440
          Facsimile: (312) 427-1850
          E-mail: jsiprut@siprut.com

INTUIT INC: Faces Class Action Over Usurious TurboTax Fees
William Dotinga at Courthouse News Service reports that Intuit
charges usurious "quadruple-digit interest rates" as fees for
using a so-called free online edition of its TurboTax software,
according to a federal class action.

Named plaintiffs Tasha and Fredierick Smith say Intuit violates
the Truth in Lending Act, and California business and usury laws.

The Smiths, of Arkansas, used Intuit's online tax preparation
software in 2009, 2010, and 2011.  Each time, they say, they
deferred paying the $86.90 fee to use the software, and chose to
have it deducted from their tax refund.

Intuit charged them another $29.95 for this, more than 34 percent
of the $86.90 fee, the Smiths say.  They received their refund
from the IRS in 2 weeks.

"Plaintiffs paid $29.95 for an approximate 14-day loan of $86.90,"
the complaint states.  "The APR, properly calculated in accordance
with TILA, was an exorbitant quadruple-digit interest rate. Such
interest rates also violated California's usury laws."

Intuit calls the $29.95 charge a Refund Processing Service Fee.

The Smiths call it "a ruse and merely a device through which
usurious interest would be exacted".

They claim that Intuit's "arrangement with various banks, whereby
the banks collected the Refund Processing Service Fees from
plaintiffs and the subclasses and delivered a substantial portion
thereof to the defendant was essentially a sham arrangement, with
the aim of evading California's usury law."

The Smiths say Intuit violates federal and California law by not
accurately disclosing interest rates and finance charges for
deferring payment of tax preparation fees.

They seek restitution and statutory, compensatory, and treble

A copy of the Complaint in Smith, et ux. v. Intuit, Inc., Case No.
12-cv-00222 (N.D. Calif.), is available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Hank Bates, Esq.
          11311 Arcade Drive, Suite 200
          Little Rock, AR 72212
          Telephone: (501) 312-8500
          E-mail: hbates@carneywilliams.com

              - and -

          Richard M. Golomb, Esq.
          Ruben Honik, Esq.
          Kenneth J. Grunfeld, Esq.
          GOLOMB & HONIK, PC
          1515 Market Street, Suite 1100
          Philadelphia, PA 19102
          E-mail: rgolomb@golombhonik.com

               - and -

          Brian T. Ku, Esq.
          M. Ryan Casey, Esq.
          KU & MUSSMAN, PA
          12550 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 406
          Miami, FL 33181
          Telephone: (305) 891-1322
          E-mail: brian@kumussman.com

               - and -

          Gillian Wade, Esq.
          Isaac Miller, Esq.
          2800 Donald Douglas Loop North
          Santa Monica, CA 90405
          Telephone: (310) 396-9600
          E-mail: gwade@milsteinadelman.com

JPMORGAN CHASE: Faces Class Action Over Bankruptcy Fraud
Matt Reynolds at Courthouse News Service reports that JPMorgan
Chase routinely fabricated documents to deceive bankruptcy judges,
going so far as to Photoshop documents to "create the illusion" of
standing "in tens of thousands of bankruptcy cases," according to
a federal\class action.

Lead plaintiff Ernest Michael Bakenie claims that Chase's "pattern
and practice of playing 'hide-and-seek' with debtors, judges and
other bankruptcy players" bore rich fruit: that Chase secured
motions for relief of stay and proofs of claim in 95 percent of
its cases.

"Through the use of fabricated assignments, endorsements and
affidavits that purport to transfer deeds of trust, notes and the
rights to all monies due under the terms of tens of thousands of
non-negotiable promissory notes (the 'MLNs'); Chase has
demonstrated a pattern and practice of playing 'hide-and-seek'
with debtors, judges and other bankruptcy players," the complaint

"Chase intentionally conceals the identity of the true parties in
interest entitled to enforce the tens of tens of thousands of
residential non-negotiable promissory notes (the 'MLNs') for its
own financial benefit, at the expense of the class and to the
detriment of the integrity of the bankruptcy system."

Mr. Bakenie says Chase used a network of attorneys to file more
than 7,000 motions for relief from automatic stay in bankruptcy
cases in the Central District of California, "wherein they falsely
claim to be the party entitled to monies due under the terms of

Chase rewards attorneys based on how quickly they can secure the
stays, and uses fabricated documents to establish chain of title
on loans, according to the complaint.

"Rather than incur the cost of 'proving up' its own standing or
the standing of its principal Mortgage Backed Security Trust,
Chase systemically misrepresents Chase or a designated MBST to be
a creditor in tens of thousands of bankruptcy cases by utilizing
manufactured documents," the complaint states.

Mr. Bakenie claims: "That said practice is utilized for all
mortgage loans originated by Chase, and other loan originators,
including insolvent Washington Mutual Bank, whose assets were
purchased by Chase.

"That said manufactured documents are fabrications intended to
create the illusion of a valid transfers MLNs and support the
assertion of standing in tens of thousands of bankruptcy cases. .
. .

"That the aforementioned fabricated evidence is 'photo-shopped'
and is highly persuasive and authentic in appearance so as to
ensure legal victory in the bankruptcy courts.

"That said manufactured evidence is systemically utilized to
deceive bankruptcy players and increase the profits of Chase, its
agents and its principals through massive cost savings and the
imposition of attorney fees upon class borrowers.

"As a direct result of this practice, over 95 percent of Chase's
motions for relief of stay and proofs of claim are granted without

"That the use of the fabricated evidence has a chilling effect on
class debtors and their attorneys.  Said business practices
discourages bankruptcy players from offering objections or from
questioning the validity of Chase's false claims based on

Mr. Bakenie adds: "That said practice allows Chase to dump
defaulted loans that were never properly securitized by WAMU and
other originators acquired by Chase into private mortgage backed
security trusts by creating the illusion of a valid transfer.

"Said practice shifts the liability of defaulted loans not
properly securitized by WAMU, from Chase to private mortgage
backed security trusts.  The practice allows Chase to effectively
mitigate the millions of dollars in liability of the WAMU
acquisition, where WAMU failed to transfer MLNs of its portfolio
before its demise.  Said practice shifts losses from WAMU to MBST
bond investors.

"That after a non-judicial foreclosure sale, class members remain
indebted to the true beneficiary for the unsecured note but
without credit for the loss of the collateral to Chase's
designated assignee.

"Most egregiously, the network attorneys utilize the inducing
documents to obtain attorney fees awards from by the bankruptcy
judges ranging from $600-$1,000 for each successful motion for
relief of stay."

Mr. Bakenie concludes that "degradation of the integrity of our
bankruptcy court system cannot be justified in the name of Chase's
cost savings and unjust enrichment."

Mr. Bakenie seeks class certification, disgorgement, compensatory,
statutory and punitive damages for unfair and deceptive trade, and
"an order vacating all bankruptcy orders, claims and awards
granted based on Chase's misrepresentation and deceptive business

A copy of the Complaint in Bakenie v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.,
et al., Case No.  12-cv-00060 (C.D. Calif.), is available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Joseph Arthur Roberts, Esq.
          3345 Newport Blvd., Suite 213
          Newport Beach, CA 92663
          Telephone: (949) 675-9900
          E-mail: joe@jarlegal.com

MIDWEST GENERATION: Faces Suit Over Air Pollution in Illinois
Eulalio Lopez Bastida, Jose Gamboa, Elizandro Herrera, Maria
Herrera, Sofia Flores, Alejandra Uribe, and All Others Similarly
Situated v. Midwest Generation, LLC, Crawford Facility, Case No.
2012-CH-01576 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty., January 17, 2012) alleges
that the Defendant's operation, maintenance, control, and use of
its coal fired electrical generation facility has injured the
Plaintiffs and all other similarly situated persons.

The Defendant's operation of its facility has been the subject of
numerous and constant complaints by residents and organizations of
the surrounding neighborhood, and by the Government, all of which
has failed to compel the Defendant to cease the improper operation
of its facility, the Plaintiffs contend.  They assert that the
Defendant's continued invasion and trespass of their properties by
air contaminants, odors, chemicals, and particulates from the
facility has caused damage to the properties.

The Plaintiffs are residents in the neighborhoods, which are
within one mile of the Defendant and which contain over 8,002
homes and 33,510 residents.

Midwest is a Delaware Limited Liability Company.  Midwest operates
a coal-fired electrical generation facility located at 3501 S.
Pulaski Road, in the County of Cook, Illinois.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Arturo Jauregui, Esq.
          Anselmo Duran, Esq.
          120 West Madison St., Suite 400
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 781-9103

               - and -

          Peter W. Macuga, Esq.
          Steven D. Liddle, Esq.
          Kevin J. McGiness, Esq.
          MACUGA, LIDDLE & DUBIN, P.C.
          975 East Jefferson Avenue
          Detroit, MI 48207-3101
          Telephone: (313) 392-0015
          E-mail: info@mldclassaction.com

MIDWEST GENERATION: Sued by Ill. Residents Over Air Pollution
Greg Paraday, Sarah Devalk, Patricia Mendez, Leila Mendez, Walter
Podrazik, and All Others Similarly Situated v. Midwest Generation,
LLC, Fisk Facility, Case No. 2012-CH-01575 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook
Cty., January 17, 2012) is brought on behalf of persons, who
suffered from fallout particulate and air contaminants in Cook
County, Illinois.

The action is necessary to protect their and others' property
rights, which have been unreasonably interfered with and invaded
by fallout particulate and contaminants from the Defendant's
generation facility, the Plaintiffs contend.  The Plaintiffs argue
that the Defendant has caused material injury to their person and
property through negligence, gross negligence, nuisance, trespass
and strict liability.

The Plaintiffs are residents in the neighborhoods, which are
within one mile of the Defendant and which contain over 13,786
homes and 43,347 residents.

Midwest is a Delaware Limited Liability Company.  Midwest operates
a coal-fired electrical generation facility located at 111 Cermak
Road, in the County of Cook, Illinois.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Arturo Jauregui, Esq.
          Anselmo Duran, Esq.
          120 West Madison St., Suite 400
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 781-9103

               - and -

          Peter W. Macuga, Esq.
          Steven D. Liddle, Esq.
          Kevin J. McGiness, Esq.
          MACUGA, LIDDLE & DUBIN, P.C.
          975 East Jefferson Avenue
          Detroit, MI 48207-3101
          Telephone: (313) 392-0015
          E-mail: info@mldclassaction.com

PLIMUS INC: Sued in Calif. Over Fabricated Consumer Reviews
Nick McCann at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
class action claims an online marketing company defrauds customers
with phony reviews to induce them to pay for "lifetime access" to
material that's already free on the Internet.

Kimberly Yordy sued Plimus and its corporate parent Great Hill
Partners in San Francisco Federal Court.

She claims the defendants' marketing campaigns use "fabricated
consumer reviews, testimonials, and fake blogs that are all
intended to deceive consumers seeking a legitimate product and
induce them to pay."

Ms. Yordy says Plimus works with dozens of affiliate sites that
offer the "free" digital goodies using the false advertisements.

"In the end, the only things provided to registered members of any
of the Unlimited Download Websites include access to digital goods
that are already available for free elsewhere on the internet,
such as eBooks found at Project Gutenberg, (a public domain online
library) or else, simply provides links to torrent search engines
that allow a consumer to download already publicly shared digital
goods," the complaint states.

What's more, Ms. Yordy says, aside from the fact that torrent
search engines are available for free online, "accessing and
downloading files through a torrent search engine is illegal and
constitutes copyright infringement of the digital goods acquired.
Accordingly, defendants and the unlimited download Web sites are
promoting and profiting by directing consumers to illegal means of
obtaining digital goods, all the while taking affirmative steps to
give consumers the distinct impression that their conduct is

Ms. Yordy cites a movie download site she describes as a paid
affiliate of Plimus, and says it shows fabricated "consumer
reviews" praising the phony service, which are written by the
company or its affiliates.

"Reviews containing identical, word-for-word content appear across
the Internet, with only the name of the reviewing 'consumer' and
the product having been changed," the complaint states.

Ms. Yordy says she visited the Plimus-affiliated website
"TheNovelNetwork.com" in July 2011 and signed up for a $49.95
"one-time membership fee" to receive "unlimited access to numerous
bestselling eBooks."

She came to realize that all the eBooks made available to her were
already available for free, and says she would not have paid Dime
One had she known that.

Ms. Yordy says she hired a lawyer to complain, and Plimus
subsequently took down that site and others, claiming that their
"refund rate was too high."

"However, Plimus continues to market and profit from twenty-seven
other unlimited download Web sites still in operation at the time
of filing this complaint," she says.

Ms. Yordy seek class certification and damages for fraud, false
advertising, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, breach of
contract, negligent misrepresentation, fraud by omission, fraud in
the inducement, and consumer law violations.

A copy of the Complaint in Yordy v. Plimus, Inc., et al., Case No.
12-cv-00229 (N.D. Calif.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

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

               - and -

          Rafey S. Balabanian, Esq.
          Christopher L. Dore, Esq.
          Benjamin H. Richman, Esq.
          350 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1300
          Chicago, IL 60654
          Telephone: (312) 589-6370
          E-mail: rbalabanian@edelson.com

PROVINCE OF OTTAWA: Roma Refugees Want Class Action Certified
Nicholas Keung, writing for Toronto Star, reports that a class
action would be more efficient in dealing with a slew of lawsuits
by Czech Roma refugees against Ottawa for "institutional bias,"
the federal court was told on Jan. 16.

Otherwise, the court would probably be "inundated" with hundreds
of individual cases on similar allegations, said lawyer Rocco
Galati, who represents 16 Roma asylum seekers and has 15 similar
complaints against the federal government in the queue.

On Jan. 16, the Roma refugees asked Justice James Russell to
certify their lawsuit as a class action against the federal
government, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and former Foreign
Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

Their lawsuits stem from Mr. Kenney's public comments describing
the Roma as "bogus" refugees, the foreign affairs department's
imposition of visitor visas on people visiting from the Czech
Republic, and a country report produced by the refugee board in
2009 justifying refusal based on the argument that there is state
protection available to the Roma in the Czech Republic.

Mr. Galati said those events, together, constitute a "reasonable
apprehension of institutional bias" against Czech Roma refugees by
the government and deny them access to a fair asylum determination

A court decision favorable to the Roma could potentially reopen
hundreds of failed asylum cases and put a stop to the use of the
country report in refusing Czech Roma refugees.

Government lawyer Mary-Louise Wcislo urged the court not to
certify the class action because the process would be "complex and

For instance, parties must send out notice of the class action to
concerned individuals and develop an opt-out scheme for those who
don't want to be part of the lawsuit, causing unnecessary "delays
and expense," Ms. Wcislo argued.

The court, she added, could always resurrect the class action
after hearing the evidence and facts by the plaintiffs and

But Mr. Galati said sending out class-action notices and designing
an opt-out scheme are "not rocket science."  It costs $2,000 to
put ads in legal publications and set up a Web site -- plus a $45
monthly administrative fee -- to inform people of the class
action, Galati noted.

Earlier, Ms. Wcislo had asked the court to strike some portions of
the plaintiffs' statement of claim, arguing that they were too
vague and general.

"The assertive conclusions, opinions and assumptions are just not
good enough," Ms. Wcislo said.

But if that's the case, Mr. Galati contended, the government
should have filed a motion for particulars, not a motion to

The court reserved its decision.

Mr. Galati can be reached at:

          Rocco Galati, Esq.
          637 College Street
          Toronto, ON M6G 1B5
          Telephone: (416) 536-7811

Ms. Wcislo can be reached at:

          Marie-Louise Wcislo, Esq.
          Department 01 Justice
          The Exchange Tower
          Ontario Regional Office
          130 King Street West
          Suite 3400, Box 36
          Toronto, ON M5X 1K6
          Telephone: (416) 973-7547

SHELL VACATIONS: Misrepresents Timeshare Membership, Suit Claims
Megan Putnam and Erin Medina, On Behalf of Themselves and All
Others Similarly Situated v. Shell Vacations LLC (d/b/a Shell
Vacations Club, L.P.), a Delaware Limited Company, Shell Holdings,
Inc., a Delaware Corporation, and SVC West, L.P., a Limited
Partnership, Case No. 4:12-cv-00242 (N.D. Calif.,
January 17, 2012) alleges that Shell Vacations' advertising,
marketing and sales presentations are designed to deceive
consumers into purchasing a points-based timeshare membership by
materially misrepresenting the nature, value, terms and conditions
of the Membership.

The focus of Shell Vacations' presentations is that the purchase
of a Membership would provide consumers with the ability to take
the dream vacations they always wanted but could never afford, the
Plaintiffs contend.  They point out, among other things, that
Shell Vacations makes uniform misrepresentations that its
timeshare Membership would increase in value just like real
estate, when the timeshare interests actually decreased
significantly in value, and that the Membership was a good
financial investment that was protected against inflation, when in
actuality, it was not a good investment due to the high purchase
price, extensive costs and maintenance fees involved and declining

Ms. Putnam is currently a resident of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, while Ms. Medina is currently a resident of the
state of New York.  Ms. Putnam and Ms. Medina were both residents
of the state of California when they signed the Purchase Agreement
for their Membership with Shell Vacations on March 16, 2008.

Shell Vacations, LLC is a Delaware Limited Liability Company.
Shell Holdings is a Delaware Corporation, while SVC-West is a
California Limited Partnership.  The Defendants, which are all
authorized to conduct business in California, conduct a
substantial amount of business throughout the state, including the
marketing, promotion and hosting of sales presentations for
timeshare memberships.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Robert C. Schubert, Esq.
          Willem F. Jonckheer, Esq.
          Three Embarcadero Center, Suite 1650
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 788-4220
          Facsimile: (415) 788-0161
          E-mail: rschubert@schubertlawfirm.com

               - and -

          Thomas G. Shapiro, Esq.
          Michelle H. Blauner, Esq.
          Adam M. Stewart, Esq.
          53 State Street
          Boston, MA 02109
          Telephone: (617) 439-3939
          Facsimile: (617) 439-0134
          E-mail: tshapiro@shulaw.com

SPECTRE PERFORMANCE: Sued Over False Advertising on Air Filters
Class Action.org is alerting consumers to a Spectre Performance
lawsuit lodged by competitor K&N Engineering, Inc., which alleged
that Spectre made false statements regarding the benefits of its
air filters and air intake systems.  In November 2011, a jury in
the Spectre Performance lawsuit found that the company
intentionally engaged in several types of false advertising when
it made claims regarding the fuel savings, filtration and
horsepower capabilities of these products.  If Spectre Performance
indeed made false claims regarding the benefits of its air filters
and air intake systems, consumers who purchased these products may
be able to file a claim to recover the cost of their product.  To
find out if you are eligible to seek compensation for your
purchase, visit http://www.classaction.org/spectre-performance-
air-filters-and-intake-systems.html for a free case evaluation.

Since the jury in the Spectre Performance lawsuit found that the
company made false claims regarding its air filters and air intake
systems, a federal court released a final judgment and permanent
injunction against Spectre Performance.  According to reports, the
court found Spectre Performance's claims that its air filters and
air intake systems could "save gas" and that government studies
illustrate that efficient air filters can provide "up to 10%
better fuel economy," were false, and stated that government
research revealed that the air filters do little to improve gas
mileage.  In addition, it was reported that the court found that
Spectre made false statements when it claimed that Speed by
Spectre hpR filters were "tested at independent labs using ISO
5011 standards, and have been proven to filter 99.6% of
particles."  Rather than test all of its filters, Spectre only ran
a test on one specially designed filter, one not chosen from the
production run, providing no basis on which the court could
conclude that any hpR filter sold to consumers would have the same
Spectre air filter efficiency as the sample test filter, according
to reports.  Furthermore, the court found that Spectre
Performance's "Dyno Gains" graphs were used to suggest that using
the Speed by Spectre hpR filter instead of the stock filter could
increase horsepower as much as 35%, a claim it concluded to be

In light of the allegations presented by the Spectre Performance
lawsuit and the court's findings, Class Action.org would like to
hear from consumers who purchased any air filter or air intake
system sold by Spectre to determine if legal recourse is
available.  If Spectre violated consumer protection laws, these
individuals may be able to make a claim to recover compensation
for the cost of their product.  To learn more about the Spectre
Performance lawsuit and to receive a free evaluation of your
claim, visit Class Action.org today.

                      About Class Action.org

Class Action.org is dedicated to protecting consumers and
investors in class actions and complex litigation throughout the
United States. Class Action.org keeps consumers informed about
product alerts, recalls, and emerging litigation and helps them
take action against the manufacturers of defective products,
drugs, and medical devices.  Information about consumer fraud
issues and environmental hazards is also available on the site.
Visit http://www.classaction.orgtoday for a no cost, no
obligation case evaluation and information about your consumer

SUNTRUST BANKS: Class Action to Remain in D.C. Superior Court
Ryan Abbott at Courthouse News Service reports that a class action
that accuses SunTrust Banks of taking kickbacks from mortgage
insurers should play out in D.C. Superior Court, a federal judge

U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein also rejected denied
SunTrust's motion to dismiss.

The class had moved to remand after Suntrust removed the case from
Superior Court in May 2011.

About a month earlier, the same day that the present case was
filed, the class had voluntarily dismissed a federal complaint
that made similar claims.

D.C. Superior Court is the proper venue because the district's
Consumer Protection Act encapsulates the complaint's Truth in
Lending Act claims, Judge Rothstein found.

SunTrust Banks allegedly steered homebuyers to private mortgage
insurance companies that pay the banking giant kickbacks for the
business.  The class says that the deals "reap millions of dollars
in referral fees" for the bank, and "over time artificially
inflate the cost of mortgage insurance."

The bank and its subsidiaries refer borrowers to private mortgage
insurance companies in exchange for a portion of the borrowers'
monthly premiums, lead plaintiffs Archie and Violet Moses say.

In most instances, consumers were not even aware of the identity
of the mortgage insurer, leaving them unable to negotiate
insurance rates, according to the complaint.

The class seeks compensatory and punitive damages for fraud and

A copy of the Memorandum Opinion and Order on Motion to Remand and
Motion to Dismiss in Moses, et al. v. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.,
Case No. 11-cv-00822 (D.D.C.), is available at:


UNITED STATES: Arizon Sheriff to Appeal Immigration Law Ruling
Jacques Billeaud, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
an Arizona sheriff known for his anti-illegal immigration tactics
is appealing a federal judge's ruling that prohibited his deputies
from detaining people under the state's immigrant-smuggling law
based solely on the suspicion that they're in the country

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's lawyers told U.S. District
Judge Murray Snow in a filing on Jan. 13 that they will appeal the
judge's Dec. 23 ruling in a lawsuit alleging that the sheriff's
deputies racially profiled Latinos in immigration patrols.

Lawyers pushing the lawsuit on behalf of five Latino clients also
won class-action status that lets other Hispanics join the case if
they have been detained and questioned by Mr. Arpaio's deputies as
either a driver or passenger in a vehicle since January 2007.

WAL-MART STORES: Seeks Dismissal of Gender Discrimination Suit
Dan Levine, writing for Reuters, reports that women who refiled a
gender discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have
failed to come to grips with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court
decision that ended their nationwide class action against the
company, Wal-Mart argued in a court filing.

Plaintiffs alleging the world's largest retailer denied them pay
raises and promotions because of their gender are regrouping after
the high court last year dismantled a class of up to 1.5 million
current and former Wal-Mart workers.

The Supreme Court's decision has since rippled out beyond Wal-Mart
and curtailed the ability of plaintiffs to sue collectively in
other cases.

The Wal-Mart workers filed a reformulated lawsuit in a San
Francisco federal court in October, saying they were confining
their allegations to California.  The lawsuit is part of a
strategy to bring more narrowly tailored class actions.

But in a motion to dismiss filed late on Jan. 16, Wal-Mart said
the smaller proposed class action actually seeks to cover all
women who were employed at any Walmart in any region that included
a California store.

Read literally, that would include most states west of the
Mississippi River, Wal-Mart argued.

"This attempt to cobble back together the original class badly
misses the point," Wal-Mart said.  "Without the 'glue' of a common
policy or practice holding individual claims together, there is no
justification for adjudicating them collectively.  And plaintiffs
still fail to allege any such 'glue.'"

However Brad Seligman, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the
refiled lawsuit is a "much different case" than the one rejected
by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Instead of relying on nationwide statistical patterns and
anecdotal evidence provided by plaintiffs, the new lawsuit alleges
specific discriminatory statements made by the district and
regional managers that have decision-making authority over pay and
promotions, he said.

"This is an extraordinarily strong case," Mr. Seligman said.

In their amended lawsuit, the plaintiffs also cited a 2004 meeting
where then Wal-Mart Chief Executive Tom Coughlin told district
managers that "women tend to be better at information processing,"
while men are better at focusing on a single objective.

In its filing on Jan. 16, Wal-Mart called these allegations
"irrelevant."  Even if true, such evidence of a discriminatory
corporate culture would not be sufficient to show that every class
member suffered intentional discrimination, Wal-Mart argued.

Wal-Mart proposed a May hearing date for its dismissal motion.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
is Betty Dukes, Patricia Surgeson, Edith Arana, Deborah Gunter and
Christine Kwapnoski, on behalf of themselves and all others
similarly situated v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc, 01-2252.

Mr. Seligman can be reached at:

          Brad Seligman, Esq.
          125 University Avenue, Suite 102
          Berkeley CA 94710
          Telephone: (510) 845-3473 ext. 301
          E-mail: bseligman@impactfund.org

YMCA: Sued Over Bed Bug Infestation in Niles, Illinois Hotel
Miles Masek, individually, and on behalf of a class of similarly
situated and aggrieved persons v. YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago,
LLC, Case No. 2012-CH-01550 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty.,
January 17, 2012) states that the Plaintiff and members of the
Class rented, occupied and resided in rental units in a YMCA hotel
and were charged and paid rent for those units.

The Plaintiff asserts that YMCA represents to its guests that it
provides on-site maintenance and housekeeping services and that
its hotel rooms are safe and sanitary.  However, he alleges that
his unit was infested with cimex lectularius, also known as bed
bugs.  He contends that Cimex lectularius infestation is a
dangerous condition because the bugs feed on human blood and
tissue, normally at nighttime when human occupants are sleeping.

Mr. Masek rented one of YMCA's guest rooms.

YMCA, an Illinois limited liability company, owns, operates,
manages and controls premises commonly known as Leaning Tower
YMCA, in Niles, Illinois.  YMCA operates as a single-room-
occupancy hotel, which is comprised of 197 separate guest rooms
for which guests pay approximately $700-$900 per month.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Hall Adams, Esq.
          33 North Dearborn Street, Suite 2350
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 445-4900
          E-mail: hall@adamslegal.net

* More Than 150 Online Privacy Class Actions Filed in 2011
Jason Crow and Heather Egan Sussman at McDermott Will & Emergy
report that more than 150 consumer class actions were filed in
2011 alleging invasions of online privacy.  These claims were
brought under a mix of state and federal statutes that provide
attorney fees and statutory damages.  Federal claims were
typically brought under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
(ECPA), Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and Stored
Communications Act (SCA).

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: N.Y. Ct. Junks Aurora's Summary Judgment Motion
Aurora Pump Company moves for summary judgment dismissing Sam
Galen's asbestos personal injury action and all cross-claims
against the company.

In a Jan. 9, 2012 memorandum and decision, Justice Sherry Klein
Heitler of the Supreme Court of New York County denied the motion
after determining that Mr. Galen has met its burden of proof and
summary judgment is inappropriate.

Justice Heitler noted that although Mr. Galen has not explicitly
identified any products manufactured by Aurora as a source of his
exposure to asbestos, he has met his burden by submitting
documentary evidence which consists, among others, of invoices and
"recommendations and proposals," which indicate that numerous
Aurora pumps were installed aboard the U.S. Navy ship where Mr.
Galen was employed.  Justice Heitler also found that Mr. Galen
also submitted evidence that Aurora provided replacement gaskets
and sleeves to the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the time period when
he worked there as a rigger.

The case is Galen v. Air & Liquid Sys. Corp., No. 190335/10, Mot.
Seq. No. 003(N.Y.).  A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/wvy8ZPfrom Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mo. Court Affirms Injunction Order vs. CFF
Clayton Forsyth Foods, Inc. appeals from a trial court's entry of
a permanent injunction prohibiting the company from denying MB
Town Center LP, access to the premises it leased to CFF and
requiring CFF to remove all signs from the leased premises.  MB
Town Center began remediation process of the lease premises when
it became aware that the insulation on the pipes in the basement
of the leased premises contained asbestos material.  CFF allegedly
placed enlarged signs relating to the removal of the asbestos-
containing material despite receiving correspondence from MB Town
Center prohibiting the placement of such signs.

In a Jan. 10, 2012 memorandum and decision, Justice Sherri B.
Sullivan of the Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District,
Division Four, affirmed the trial court's judgment and remanded
the case.

The Appellate Court found that CFF and its president failed to
present any challenge to the injunctive relief granted in the
trial court.  Further, the Appellate Court pointed out that CFF
cannot raise new issues on appeal when it failed to raise those
issues before the trial court.

On the issue of whether CFF was deprived of its right to
procedural due process by the trial court's entry of the permanent
injunction without providing its officers with notice and
opportunity to be heard, the Appellate Court remanded the issue to
the trial court for clarification.  The Appellate Court directed
the trial court to clarify whether Larry Lamper, CFF's president,
and Angela Lampert, CFF's employee, are enjoined individually or
only in their capacity as representatives of CFF.

The case is MB Town Center, LP v. Clayton Forsyth Foods, Inc., No.
ED96551 (Mo. App. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Sullivan's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/9s96C1from Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Negligence Suit v. Armstrong, GE Remanded
Leonard R. Adams and Marian M. Adams filed a motion for remand to
state court the lawsuit they filed alleging that Armstrong
International, Inc., et al.'s negligence and failure to warn
resulted in Mr. Adams's asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.  The
case was originally filed in the Circuit Court of the Third
Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois.  One of the
defendants, General Electric Company removed the case of the U.S.
District Court for the District of Illinois.

In a Jan. 10, 2012 decision, Judge G. Patrick Murphy of the U.S.
District Court for the District of Illinois remanded the case to
the Circuit Court for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction.

The District Court found that GE failed to show that the U.S. Navy
prevented it from complying with a state duty to warn.  The notice
of removal does not support the federal subject matter
jurisdiction alleged by GE.  GE has claimed that it is entitled to
invoke federal officer jurisdiction because at least part of Mr.
Adams's alleged exposure to asbestos occurred while he was serving
in the Navy at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory and aboard the
U.S.S. Enterprise vessel for which GE manufactured turbines
containing asbestos.

The case is Adams v. Armstrong International, Inc., Civil No.
11-857-GPM (Ill.).  A copy of Judge Murphy's Decision is available
at http://is.gd/KTw83kfrom Leagle.com.

The Adams are represented by:

         Ryan J. Mahoney, Esq.
         Elizabeth V. Heller, Esq.
         2227 S. State Route 157
         Edwardsville, IL 62025
         Tel: (618) 656-5150
         E-mail: rmahoney@ghalaw.com

GE is represented by:

         Anita M. Kidd, Esq.
         7700 Forsyth Boulevard, Suite 1800
         St. Louis, MO 63105
         Tel: (314) 621-5070 ext. 7024
         Fax: (314) 612-2329
         E-mail: akidd@armstrongteasdale.com

ASBESTOS UPDATE: WR Grace Claims vs. Integrity Insurance Junked
W.R. Grace & Co., a company that is presently in Chapter 11
reorganization in bankruptcy, appeals from the denial of its
claims for insurance benefits on account of its alleged liability
for asbestos-related injuries that were allegedly covered by
policies of excess insurance purchased from Integrity Insurance
Company, an insurance entity that is presently in liquidation.  At
issue is whether Grace's proofs of claim met the requirements of
the Uniform Insurers Liquidation Act and interpreted by the New
Jersey Supreme Court.

In a Jan 11, 2012 memorandum and opinion, a three-member panel of
justices of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division,
composed of Judges Edith K. Payne, Susan L. Reisner, and Marie P.
Simonelli affirmed the denial after finding that the proofs of
claim failed to meet the requirements of the Act and precedent.

In its appeal, Grace relied on the report of its expert witness,
Dr. Mark A. Peterson, who submitted an expert report regarding the
valuation of claims dated June 2007, and presented a summary of
his conclusions to the bankruptcy court during plan confirmation
hearings that included his estimate of the value of claims pending
at the time of bankruptcy in the amount of $549 million and his
estimate of the value of claims arising during the bankruptcy
period in the sum of $2.253 billion.  However, after a review of
that report, the Superior Court determined that the figures
disclosed are premised on estimations based on Grace's prior loss
experience, a forecast of future claims handling approaches and
their results, and upon the loss experience of comparable asbestos
claim defendants like Johns Manville.  Thus, the Superior Court
ruled, the estimates of the value of the claims do not "stand on
their own," but instead, are dependent, among other things, upon
values attributed to other claims.  As a consequence, the claims
are not "absolute" under the standards for absolute claims set
forth by the Supreme Court, the Superior Court held.  The fact
that the claimants are known does not change this analysis, the
Court added.

The Superior Court also held that the Uniform Insurers Liquidation
Act, as adopted in New Jersey, provides a comprehensive mechanism
for the liquidation of insurance companies and for allowance of
certain claims against the estates of those companies and federal
bankruptcy law plays no part in this State regulatory scheme.

The Superior Court also affirmed the denial of Grace's
supplemental proof of claim for recovery of $641 million allegedly
paid on personal injury claims before April 2, 2001.  The Superior
Court held that Grace has offered no explanation why the data was
not timely furnished nor has it offered relevant precedent that
would permit it to supplement its POCs with information in its
possession from the outset and to compel consideration of its
untimely POCs by the liquidator of Integrity.

The case is Commissioner of Insurance v. Integrity Insurance
Company, No. A-250-10T4 (N.J.). A copy of the Jan. 11 decision is
available at http://is.gd/EDtDmMfrom Leagle.com.

W.R. Grace & Co. is represented by:

         Kenneth E. Sharperson, Esq.
         Robert M. Horkovich, Esq.
         Robert Y. Chung, Esq.
         1251 Avenue of the Americas
         New York, NY 10020
         Tel: (212) 278-1000
         Fax: (212) 278-1733
         E-mail: ksharperson@andersonkill.com

The NJ Commissioner of Insurance is represented by:

         David M. Freeman, Esq.
         John D. Gagnon, Esq.
         103 Eisenhower Parkway, 2nd Floor
         Roseland, NJ 07068
         Tel: (973) 328-9898
         E-mail: dfreeman@mskf.net

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Md. Ct. Upholds Garnishment on NLG Insulation
Judge Catherine C. Blake of the U.S. District Court for the
District of Maryland denied a motion by NLG Insulation, Inc., to
exempt $6,000 in cash from execution of an unpaid judgment as well
as a subsequent motion to dismiss or quash all of the writs for
defective service and content.

The Asbestos Workers Local 24 Pension Fund served writs of
garnishment on three companies to collect on the judgment.

In a Jan. 11, 2012 memorandum and opinion, the District Court
ruled that the writs of garnishment issued to garnishees AWA
Mechanical Inc., Fru-Con Construction, LLC, and M&M Welding and
Fabricators, Inc. are valid for $33,078.21 plus interest.  The
District Court, pursuant to Maryland Rule 2-321(c), extended the
time for filing answers to the writs of garnishment to 15 days
from the date of its order.  Both Fru-Con Construction and AWA
Mechanical must file an answer in accordance with Maryland Rule
2-645(e), including the amount and nature of any debt and the
description of any property held.

The Pension Fund must file a calculation of the total pre-judgment
interest due pursuant to the District Court's Dec. 29, 2010 order.
The number should include both a justification for the interest
rate applied and an explanation for the method by which the
interest rate is applied.  The District Court said NLG may respond
as necessary, taking care to avoid frivolous arguments.

The case is Asbestos Workers Local 24 Pension Fund v. NLG
Insulation, Inc., Civil No. CCB-10-918 (Md.).  A copy of Judge
Blake's Decision is available at http://is.gd/hD3Porfrom

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Watchdog Surprised by Hike in Madison Tort Cases
Ann Maher of The Madison/St. Clair Record reports that the number
of asbestos cases filed in Madison County in 2011 matched a
previous record high reached in 2003 at 953.

Madison County, as it was in the early part of the last decade,
has become the busiest state court asbestos docket in the country,
with most filings brought on behalf of plaintiffs from outside

Ed Murnane, president of the Illinois Civil Justice League,
reacted to the figures saying it was "shocking and disturbing
. . . particularly in view of the recent campaign contribution
scandal involving asbestos lawyers and a Madison County judge."

Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, who had presided over the asbestos
docket for more than a year, was removed from her post last month
after it was learned she had accepted campaign contributions
totaling $30,000 from the county's three largest asbestos firms a
few days after she entered a favorable ruling for them.

Crowder has said she has done nothing to violate the code of
judicial conduct.  She also has said the contributions would be

The controversy involves a preliminary order setting asbestos
trial slots for 2013.

The Simmons firm, Goldenberg firm and Gori & Julian combined
received 82% of all the asbestos trial slots for 2013, per
Crowder's order.

Crowder established 485 trial slots for 2013.

The Simmons firm was provided with 185 slots in nine weeks with 19
exclusive slots each week, plus 14 slots on a tenth day.  For
2012, Simmons was assigned nine weeks.

Crowder provided 128 slots to Gori & Julian in seven trial weeks
and she provided 84 slots in five weeks to the Goldenberg firm.
For 2012, Gori & Julian was assigned six weeks and the Goldenberg
firm was assigned five.

In the preliminary order of Dec. 1, Crowder granted all three
firms the number of weeks they requested.  The contributions,
which came from those firms, were made on Dec. 5 and 6.

Murnane said that the people of Madison County are the "losers"
because they live in a county with "a terrible judicial
reputation, and they have to pay for that judicial system with
their tax dollars."

"Hopefully, Madison County voters will pay careful attention to
what is happening in their court rooms when they go to the polls
in November," he said.

Crowder, as well as Chief Judge Ann Callis, and Circuit Judges
Dave Hylla and John Knight are up for retention in the November
general election.

To be retained, judges must receive 60% of the vote.

With the exception of last year when there was a slight dip in the
number of new cases, asbestos filings have been on the increase in
Madison County since 2006, as this tally of years-to-asbestos
cases shows:

     2010 - 752
     2009 - 814
     2008 - 639
     2007 - 455
     2006 - 325
     2005 - 389
     2004 - 477
     2003 - 953
     2002 - 809
     2001 - 889

Records from the Circuit Clerk's office also show that 11 class
actions and 19 medical malpractice cases were filed in Madison
County last year.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Sues Lovett Contracting Over Demolition Work
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center reports that the
Environmental Protection Agency continues its crackdown on
asbestos-related violations, filing suit in federal district court
against Lovett Contracting, Inc., which it says performed illegal
demolition work in Gibbstown, New Jersey, in 2007.

The EPA is asking the court to assess a fine of $32,000 fine per
violation, per day, against the company, according to the
Gloucester County Times.

The suit alleges six violations of the federal Clean Air Act and
the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants.  The
violations spanned more than two months at the site of a former
DuPont plant that once produced gunpowder, among other materials.

Regulators contend that Lovett did not take the necessary
precautions in removing 5,000 feet of piping and 3,000 feet of
pipe insulation that was built with asbestos, which allowed the
fibers to become airborne.

The inhalation of asbestos fibers is the primary cause of
mesothelioma, the cancer with a latency period up to 50 years.

The hefty fines come on the  heels of several other actions taken
by federal courts in recent months after the EPA found violations.

In September, Keith Gordon Smith, an asbestos abatement contractor
from Rochester, N.Y., was sentenced to six years in prison for
knowingly violating the Clean Air Act, and then making false
statements to an EPA inspector.

In August, the Honey Creek Contracting Company in New Middletown,
Ohio was fined $30,000 and its owner fined an additional $10,000
and place on 36 months of probation for the improper removal and
handling of asbestos during renovation of a former steel plant.

Even cash-strapped schools are not immune to the EPA's clout.  In
October, a private school in Keene, New Hampshire, was fined
$12,500 for violating asbestos management laws.  Officials from
the Monadnock Waldorf School were found guilty of not properly
notifying the school community about the asbestos conditions.  The
fine was later reduced to $4,000 after coming into compliance with
the laws.

In March, a flooring contractor in Vermont paid a $27,500 fine
after the EPA said it violated the Clean Air Act during  a
flooring removal and replacement job in 2008.  The Morrison-Clark
company was doing work at the Main Street Middle School in
Montpelier, Massachusetts, that included vinyl asbestos tile that
was improperly handled.

The latest asbestos suit was not taken lightly by the EPA, even
though the violations occurred five years ago.

"The Clean Air Act requires work practice safeguards in asbestos
removal and renovation projects to prevent the release of asbestos
fibers," EPA spokesman Elias Rodriguez said, according to the
Gloucester County Times.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Fibers in West PA School Deemed Friable
The Mesothelioma News Center reports that the Armstrong School
District in Western Pennsylvania is considering the demolition of
an old high school in Rural Valley but is concerned by the fact
that the structure, now functioning as a storage warehouse, is
littered with asbestos.

According to an article in the Kittaning Paper, the former
Shannock Valley High School has become a danger to anyone who
steps inside.  Bill Henley, director of facilities and properties
for Armstrong School District, says the structure, built during an
era when using asbestos in schools was commonplace, has seen
"better days."

"What I'm being told by the experts is that that building is
loaded with asbestos.  Asbestos is crumbling in it now -- the
floor tiles are lifting and as you walk on it, it crumbles,"
Henley explained.  When you crumble asbestos, it gets in the air
and becomes dangerous."

The building also has a leaky roof and, in some areas, holes allow
workers to see daylight from inside.  This, and the presence of a
large amount of toxic material, has caused the district to move
the majority of the items stored inside to another location.
However, anyone who worked inside the old school when it
functioned as the main warehouse for the district may have been
exposed to crumbling or "friable" asbestos, which produces
airborne fibers and is easy to inhale.  Once inhaled, it can
become lodged in the lungs and cause diseases like asbestosis.  It
may even cause cancerous tumors to form.

District officials fear that demolition costs will be high,
especially given the presence of asbestos, which will need to be
removed before the building is torn down.  Furthermore, asbestos
must be removed by contractors who are trained and licensed in
asbestos abatement, which limits those who can bid on the project
and drives up the price.

District solicitor Lee Price has told the school board that the
price will indeed be governed by the fact that so much asbestos is

"Whatever way's cheaper is going to be the factor," Price said.
"With some demolition companies, if you tell them you are
demolishing a building, they will give you a bid, but if they find
out there's asbestos, they are going to say they aren't even
qualified to deal with it."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Korean Schools Exposed to Friable Toxic Fibers
Nam Jong-young of The Hankyoreh in Korea reports that a recent
government investigation has found eight schools across the nation
with dangerously high levels of airborne asbestos.

The harmful substance is believed to have originated in the
schools' gymnasiums and spread to teachers' rooms and classrooms,
putting students and faculty at risk.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology examined the
gymnasiums at the eight schools based on conditions of physical
activity there after asbestos was discovered last year at school
gymnasiums and pro baseball stadiums.

According to a report on Jan. 10 drafted by Catholic University of
Korea professor Kim Hyun-wook at the request of the ministry,
asbestos levels at Gwacheon High School in Gyeonggi were over five
times the indoor air quality standard of 0.01 particles per cubic
centimeter, with exposure of 0.05 particles per cubic centimeter
during a soccer game.

At five of the schools studied, normal levels of asbestos were
exceeded throughout school grounds, with exposure of 0.0286 and
0.0275 particles per cubic centimeter, respectively, at Milju
Elementary School and Hadong Elementary School in South

At Hadong Elementary School, asbestos was found in three of four
locations where dust samples were taken, including classroom
windows facing the gymnasium and television sets near the windows.
Asbestos was also found in classrooms near the gymnasium at the
other four schools, which included Eumbong Middle School in South
Chungcheong and Morundae Elementary School in Busan.

But the report said a cancer risk assessment of six schools showed
no effects on student health, with levels below the standards in
the asbestos mining and soil environment management guidelines of
the US Environmental Protection Agency and the South Korean
Ministry of Environment.  A cancer risk study investigates
activities across subjects' lives to determine whether the certain
activities lead to cancer.

Asian Citizens' Center for Environment and Health director Choi
Ye-yong said the conditions for the risk assessment were
inappropriate, noting that the effects of the asbestos detected
indoors were not considered.

"It is nonsense to compare asbestos-mining regions and schools,"
Choi added.

Around 300 Hadong Elementary School students started a boycott of
classes Monday, Jan. 9, calling for preventive measures against
asbestos- related ailments.

Jo Chang-su, the head of a committee of parents of students at the
school, said the government "has been busy hushing things up,"
noting its failure to release the results for the study.

"The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology needs to
apologize and come up with preventive measures, such as cancer
insurance," Jo added.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Willows Residents Fear Old Theater May Be Toxic
Susan Meeker at the Tri-County Newspapers reports that a group of
concerned citizens has signed a letter to the state Environment
Protection Agency asking for help in determining if the old
Willows Tower Theater on Sycamore Street, Calif., poses a health
risk to people.

About two dozen people living or working near the old concrete
structure fear the roof collapsing may have released dangerous
asbestos into the air.

Asbestos is a silicate mineral used commercially in building
materials throughout most of the 20th century.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, most older
buildings contain asbestos and lead-based paint, which are both
hazardous to human health even with a single exposure.

Rick Thomas, whose Glenn County Title Company is on the adjacent
street corner, said not knowing if the public has been exposed or
continues to be exposed from a harmful substance is unsettling to
most people in the downtown.

"There are a lot of people who are very concerned," Thomas said.

The theater, which was built in 1946, has sat empty and
deteriorating for decades.

"There is nothing left now but the four concrete walls," said
Willows City Manager Steve Holsinger.

Holsinger said there have been several parties interested in
purchasing the seven-lot property from the Bay Area owner, but
that her asking price is far above reasonable market value.

Chung Yia Chang of Vallejo purchased the property for $125,000 in

She could not be reached for comment.

Holsinger said there is interest in the land for a parking lot
when the Orland and Willows courthouses are consolidated, and
there is interest in the land for a senior housing facility, as
its proximity to the U.S. Post Office and downtown businesses is

The only thing the City Council can do, however, is wait for the
state to decide if the city can use Community Development Block
Grant funds on an engineering study to determine if the building
has a viable use -- something the owner believes justifies her
asking price, Holsinger said.

Holsinger expects the city to have some answers in two to three

"Obviously, our hope is that a study will determine that
rebuilding is not possible and that the structure has no valid
use," Holsinger said. "That would be first step in a possible
resolution in getting the building torn down."

Although Holsinger said he is not aware if anyone had ever tested
the structure for asbestos, the city has done all within its
jurisdiction to keep the derelict structure from becoming a public

Willows Fire Chief Wayne Peabody said on Jan. 9 that the city has
repeatedly given the owner opportunity to abate fire hazards and
keep the facility boarded up -- or pay for the city to do to the

In the past, Peabody said, the owner has chosen to let the city's
contractor do the work, with the cost billed on her following
year's property tax notice.

"She will be getting another letter this week," said Peabody, who
added that the particle board over the windows and doors are again
in need of replacement.

As in the past, Peabody will have the city's contractor do the
work if the owner does not act by a certain date.

Meanwhile, the concerned citizens are reaching out to whatever
local, state or federal agency might help them determine if a
human health hazard exists.

Although their letter is addressed to the state Environmental
Protection Agency, Sam Delson, a spokesman for the Office of
Environmental Health Hazard Assessment said on Jan. 10 his
particular agency has no jurisdiction over asbestos in buildings.

"We typically deal with natural occurring asbestos," Delson said.

Delson said the group's best bets are with the Glenn County Health
Department or the state Department Of Toxic Substances Control.

Both agencies have been sent copies of the letter, as were the
state Department of Public Health, the California Air Quality
Control Board and the Federal Environment Protection Agency.

Thomas said, at this point, the citizens of Willows are willing to
reach out to anyone willing to help them determine if anyone's
health has been or is being compromised by the structure.

"If there is a health hazard, then we expect it to be abated," he
said.  "If there is not a hazard, then we will certainly respect
the owner's private property rights.  There is the visual issue,
but it can wait until the market picks up."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firms Update Services for U.S. Veterans
Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason have a newly updated section of
their Web site specifically for U.S. Navy and military veterans
exposed to asbestos who now live with the threat of developing
mesothelioma, an incurable cancer often not diagnosed until it has
reached advanced stages.  CPSM now offers comprehensive
information, particularly for those most at risk because of
working onboard ships, Navy vessels, and in ship yards and other
areas of the military where likelihood of exposure to asbestos was

Jack Clapper, founder of CPSM and a US Veteran himself, speaks to
his dedication to fight for justice for veterans who were injured
by asbestos: "I was a fighter pilot in the United States Air
Force, and I am accustomed to being able to fight for people when
they need help.  I am especially dedicated to helping Navy
Veterans as they run the highest risk of mesothelioma given that
they worked in enclosed, tight spaces where exposure to asbestos
was unavoidable."

Due to this dedication, CPSM recently updated their website to
offer the latest, most useful information for veterans from the
Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army and Coast Guard who are coping
with a diagnosis of mesothelioma.  The attorneys also offer free
case evaluations, informative booklets, and advice particular to
veterans who are suffering from asbestos related diseases.

CPSM mesothelioma lawyers specialize in asbestos lawsuits and in
representing former US Navy and military personnel.  In addition
to the newly updated website, veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma
are offered immediate free case evaluation with an experienced
attorney and sent books and brochures that outline everything a
newly diagnosed person and their family needs to know.  In
addition, after finding out the particulars to your case, the
attorneys at CPSM can, right there on the spot, tell you the names
of recommended mesothelioma treatment centers and oncologists
closest to where you live.

The attorneys at CPSM have stood by thousands of military and Navy
veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma and supported their families,
witnessing firsthand the heartbreak and challenges that this fatal
disease causes.  They offer this newly updated information on
their website as a resource to anyone who has ever worked on or
around ships and shipyards.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Former Trackmen Sue Union Pacific for Negligence
Michelle Keahey of The Southeast Texas Record reports that several
trackmen for Union Pacific have filed a lawsuit against the
company claiming they have developed lung diseases after exposure
to asbestos-containing products in the workplace.

Howard Taylor, Will S. Donald, Harrold Gregory, Dale E. Haynes and
Rennie L. Hance filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad Co. on
Dec. 28 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

Taylor was employed by Union Pacific from 1968 until 2002, Donald
was employed from 1976 to 2002, Gregory was employed from 1978
until 1984, Haynes was employed by Union Pacific from 1980 until
1990 and Hance was employed by the defendant from 1969 until 1998.
All worked as trackmen.

The men state that because of their employment with Union Pacific
they were exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing materials
and have been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung disease.

Union Pacific is accused of negligence under the Federal
Employers' Liability Act for using asbestos-containing materials
for decades after becoming aware of hazardous nature of the
materials, for failing to inspect equipment for the presence of
asbestos-containing material, and for failing to remove asbestos-
containing material from its equipment.

The defendant is also accused of negligence for failing to warn of
the presence of asbestos-containing material, failing to warn of
the synergistic effect between smoking and asbestos exposure,
failing to properly train employees, failing to provide proper
respirators, failing to conduct air monitoring, failing to provide
comprehensive asbestos medical examinations, failing to medically
monitor the plaintiffs and for violating its own policies
regarding the materials.

The plaintiffs are asking for an award of damages for medical
expenses, mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, fear of
cancer, physical impairment, court costs and interest.

The workers are represented by J. Kirkland Sammons of Sammons &
Berry in Houston.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:11-cv-00743

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Corgi Hosiery Denies Exposing Workers to Hazards
Robin Turner of the Western Mail reports that a contractor called
in to decontaminate asbestos from a Welsh factory which makes
knitwear for the Royal Family was shocked at what he found, a
court heard on Jan. 10.

Paul Hart, a specialist in the safe removal of asbestos, said he
found "clumps and clumps" of the material -- which can cause lung
cancer and other serious health problems -- lying around the
premises of Corgi Hosiery Ltd at New Road, Ammanford.

At Swansea Crown Court, the long-established family firm is
denying that it failed to take reasonable steps to prevent its
workers being exposed to asbestos.

The charge, brought by the Health and Safety Executive, relates to
asbestos removal carried out at the factory in October 2008 by
Cross Hands-based Dragon Cladding Ltd on behalf of Corgi Hosiery,
whose cashmere socks are worn by Prince Charles.

The prince granted the company a royal warrant which means it can
use the "By Royal Appointment" tag for its knitwear.

Health and Safety Executive inspectors were anonymously alerted to
the work by Dragon Cladding, which was being carried out while
Corgi staff remained working at the building.

The site was immediately evacuated and a team of specialist
decontamination workers led by experienced asbestos removal
contractor Mr. Hart was called in.

In a statement read to the court Jan. 10, Mr. Hart, who has worked
in decontamination for 14 years, said: "When I got to the site, I
was shocked at the mess that had to be cleaned up.  There were
clumps and clumps of asbestos inside and it was on pallets

"In all the years I've worked with asbestos, I've never seen
anything so bad.

"Computers had to be thrown away and Corgi told me that GBP210,000
worth of yarn had to be thrown away."

Corgi managing director Chris Jones, who runs the factory with
sister Lisa Wood has pleaded not guilty to failing reasonably to
prevent workers being exposed to asbestos on behalf of the firm.
The company's defense is due to begin Jan. 13.

The jury has been told that Stuart Phillips of Dragon Cladding,
now in liquidation, later admitted failing to take reasonable
steps to prevent workers being exposed to asbestos and will be
sentenced at a later date.

The court was due to hear from Corgi employee Joseph Nicklin, but
he fell backwards in the witness box and had to be taken to
hospital after hitting his head.

Instead, his statement was read to the jury.  He said Mr. Jones
and his sister told him in September 2008 that work was to be done
on an asbestos roof, but that there would be no danger to workers.

Of the work, he said: "There were safety nets up.  We were told
not to walk underneath."

Phillip Chandler, part of the Dragon Cladding team who worked on
the Corgi contract, said: "Stuart Phillips told us it was
asbestos, but not a bad one."

Another former Dragon Cladding roofer, Peter Davies, said he
removed a substance which "looked like plaster" using a hammer and

And he added: "I was not told that the blue sheets were asbestos,
I assumed this."

The court heard the Dragon Cladding team wore paper suits and
rubber masks with filters to carry out the work and while Corgi
staff were moved from the main part of the factory, workers were
occasionally walking through the main building.

The jury has heard the work to decontaminate the building took
eight men around two and a half months and cost more than

The case continues.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Korean Gov. Responds to Contamination Threat
Nam Jong-young of The Hankyoreh reports that the Ministry of
Environment plans to offer special lifetime health care for
students at schools with gymnasiums where serpentine surfacing
containing asbestos was discovered.

An official with the ministry said on Jan. 11 that plans were
established to have X-rays of the students taken during yearly
examinations, with the images to be examined by an asbestos expert
for signs of related ailments.

The official also said it plans to open a long-term database for
the students' health information.

Last year, the Asian Citizens' Center for Environment and Health
claimed that serpentine from an abandoned asbestos mine in Andong
was used in the construction of gymnasiums at ten schools,
including Hadong Elementary School in South Gyeongsang Province.
The presence of asbestos was subsequently confirmed in a
government survey.

In response, 300 Hadong Elementary School students have been
boycotting classes since Jan. 9.  The students and their parents
are calling on the government to take steps including the issuance
of asbestos logs and the purchase of long-term cancer insurance.

A Ministry of Environment official said, "Since the asbestos logs
are a system for managing people who have been exposed to high
concentrations, we opted for a method of searching for asbestos-
related ailments early through the existing health checkup

"If any asbestos-related ailments are discovered, [the patient]
will receive national assistance in accordance with the Asbestos
Injury Relief Act," the official added.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Can't Handle Nanomaterials, OIG Report Says
The Mesothelioma Center reports that the Environmental Protection
Agency doesn't have the data or ability to manage the challenges
associated with nanomaterials, concludes a report from the EPA's
Office of Inspector General.

The agency responsible for regulating the U.S. environment and
human health finds itself ill-equipped to handle issues posed by
nanomaterials.  According to the report, the problem begins with
the lack of data from manufacturers of nanomaterials and continues
with the lack of administrative ability to manage matters
associated with the emerging industry.

Nanomaterials are man-made, or altered, super-small materials that
are integrated into consumer and commercial products.  Scientists
create these nanomaterials through manipulation of substances at a
molecular or atomic level.

Because some carbon nanotubes resemble asbestos fibers, critics
question whether they trigger the development of diseases like
mesothelioma.  The manner in which these materials enter or affect
the human body is not fully understood.

If risks do exist, preventive action cannot be taken unless proper
regulations are in place.

EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins, Jr., outlined the agency's
commitment to fixing these problems but acknowledges the issue is
multi-dimensional.  Regarding the lack of data, most companies are
unwilling to share information.  As much as 90% of industry data
was labeled as confidential and therefore not accessible to the

On the administrative end, the EPA lacks formal processes to
handle information and lacks a communication strategy to manage
all nano-related data.  The result of these organizational holes,
the report says, is that agency "will not be able to assure that
it is effectively managing nanomaterial risks" until these
internal processes are improved.

This latest report adds on to a list of concerns about the EPA.

Since 2007, the agency has been the target of critics after it was
reported that the EPA knew about asbestos-containing materials
being shipped to various locations and did nothing to stop it.

More recently, the agency was challenged by Inspector General
Elkins for having faulty policies for asbestos demolitions.
Because of the agency's wide-reaching responsibilities, critics
wonder just how damaging EPA errors are.

The reason that the EPA has begun to shine a light on its
nanotechnology management problem is because this complicated
science opens the door for an entirely new level of toxic
materials.  Researchers are unfamiliar with the totality of
materials that are being integrated into consumer products.

Without proper understanding and regulation, the general public
may unknowingly be at risk of developing a variety of cancers,
conditions and disorders.

One product type that contains nanomaterials that is exemplified
throughout the report is sunscreen.  Dermal penetration of some
toxic nanomaterials into the skin can potentially cause tremendous
hazard to humans.  Also, by washing sunscreen off by showering,
you may be unknowingly releasing toxic materials into the water

Furthermore, because of dioxide contaminants within the product,
improper disposal of sunscreen can cause more harm than previously
imagined.  An empty sunscreen bottle, which may contain titanium
dioxide, that is disposed in a landfill may eventually end up
seeping into waterways and eventually getting ingested by humans.
To provide perspective of the size of these nanomaterials,
consider this: nanoparticles and nanomaterials often have
diameters smaller than 100 nanometers.  One inch comprises of 25.7
million nanometers.  An earthworm is approximately 10 million
nanometers long.  A DNA molecule is 1 nanometer wide.

According to the Inspector General's report, only 29 companies
disclosed data about their use of 123 different nanomaterials.
The agency also set up a program that encouraged companies to
further provide information about how development uses and
research into nanomaterials.  Only four companies participated.

Currently, laws are on the books that mandate some communication
between the nanotechnology industry and the government.  However,
tougher laws are needed to draw out more data.  The Toxic
Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide,
Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) both provide lawmakers with
a platform to tighten requirements about how companies report
their information.

As outlined by Elkins, even if all the necessary and relevant data
was available, the agency still would not be able to manage the
information.  A lack of organizational structure and processes
would result in the EPA being inefficient at best when managing
nanomaterials.  It will require an ongoing effort to improve the
EPA's management of these relatively new materials.

In a letter from the Inspector General to another EPA
administrator, it was acknowledged that an action plan has been
established by the agency and appears to be moving forward,
providing consumers with some level of comfort towards this issue.
As time will be the biggest judge of the EPA's progress, consumers
should remain proactive in learning about potential dangers in all

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogenic Wastes Found Littered in Anglesey
Christina Massey of the Burton Mail reports that a potentially
deadly substance has been discovered littered around a public

Sheets of asbestos, some of which were broken, were found strewn
around the Anglesey Allotments, in Cambridge Street, and even
sticking out of the ground.

When broken, dust from some types of asbestos can get into a
person's lungs and cause serious respiratory problems and even

East Staffordshire Borough Council currently owns the land, but is
in the process of transferring ownership to Anglesey Parish

Concerned Anglesey resident Andy Biddulph raised the presence of
the asbestos at the monthly parish council meeting.

"I think some of it is blue asbestos -- that is the really lethal
stuff," Mr. Biddulph said.

"I believe a lot of it had been slung off the railway in the

The 62-year-old supply teacher said he had informed the borough
council three years ago, when he had an allotment on the site, but
he did not believe anything had been done.

"I don't want to see Anglesey stuck with the bill for clearing it
up," Mr. Biddulph said.

Parish clerk Ruth Redgate said: "Mr Biddulph emailed me and I
emailed East Staffordshire Borough Council last week, to say that
we have been informed there was asbestos on the site and before
the transfer can be completed, we need all of this to be removed.

"I am waiting for an acknowledgement or response."  The parish
councilors agreed to email the borough council again, copying in
both the leader, Richard Grosvenor, and deputy leader, Julia
Jessel, warning that if they did not have a satisfactory response
within seven days, then they would approach the Health and Safety

A borough council spokesman said: "The council has received
reports from Anglesey Parish Council that there is asbestos in and
around the allotments and our health and safety team will be
investigating in due course.

"If the materials are found to be asbestos, we have qualified
contractors on standby for removal if necessary."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Velan CEO Cites Litigation Impact in Q3 Results
Tom Velan, President and CEO of Velan, Inc., a world-leading
manufacturer of industrial valves, commented on the Company's
financial results for the third quarter ended Nov. 30, 2011.

"We had quarterly net earnings(2) of $4.0 million compared to
$11.9 million in the same quarter last year," said Tom Velan,
President and CEO of Velan Inc., "but after adjusting for ABV
Energy, the effects of purchase price accounting for the
acquisition, and the currency impacts, we would have reported net
earnings(2) of $6.4 million in the current quarter compared to
$6.8 million last year.

"Faced with significant material cost increases over the last
year, we have been selectively raising our selling prices.  For
some of our product lines we still face lower margins due to the
higher material cost increases.  We need to raise the margin by
increasing volume as well as continuing to make selective price
increases to cover cost increases.

"As we explained in our last annual report, similar to some other
U.S. valve manufacturers, two of our U.S. subsidiaries have been
named as defendants in a number of pending lawsuits brought on
behalf of individuals seeking to recover damages for their alleged
asbestos exposure.  These lawsuits are related to products
manufactured and sold many years ago.  Our costs related to these
asbestos lawsuits for the quarter were $1.4 million compared to
$1.2 million last year.  We strongly believe that our products,
which were supplied with encapsulated packing and gaskets in
accordance with valve industry practice and customer mandated
specifications, did not contribute to any asbestos-related
sicknesses.  We have independent laboratory test results that
support this conclusion.  We think that any asbestos-related
health problems were caused by friable, asbestos-containing
products such as the spray application of asbestos insulation and
the process of removing asbestos from buildings or confined
spaces, which resulted in heavy concentrations of asbestos fibers
in the air.  Unfortunately, the responsible companies are no
longer in existence so plaintiffs are pursuing pump and valve
manufacturers like Velan.  We will continue to vigorously defend
against these claims, but given the ongoing course of asbestos
litigation in the U.S. and the unpredictability of jury trials, it
is not possible to make an estimate of our legal and other costs
related to these claims.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Randy Cohn Named New Shareholder of SBGAB LLC
Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC, a leading
national law firm in complex litigation, announced the appointment
of attorney Randy Cohn as a new shareholder.  Cohn joined the
Simmons Firm in 2004 and has recovered millions on behalf of
families throughout the country injured by mesothelioma and
asbestos-related diseases.

"Randy is an integral part of our firm," said firm Chairman John
Simmons.  "As one of the leaders of our asbestos department, he is
both a skilled litigator and compassionate advocate for victims of

Cohn oversees a team of attorneys and investigators at the firm
and has developed a unique focus on helping victims of Navy-
related asbestos exposure.  He recently represented World War II
veteran Frank Curre, a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor,
until he succumbed to mesothelioma this past December.

"It's a privilege to serve our clients," said Cohn, "and I'm
honored to become a shareholder at one of the nation's premier
plaintiff's firms."

Cohn earned his JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2001.
Super Lawyers magazine recently recognized him as a 2012 Illinois
Rising Star.  He is licensed to practice in Missouri, before the
Supreme Court of Illinois and before the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois.

Randy Cohn, Esq., may be reached at:

         Randy Cohn, Esq.
         One Court Street
         Alton, IL 62002
         Tel: (618) 259-2222
         Fax: (618) 259-2251
         E-mail: rcohn@simmonsfirm.com

                    About the Simmons Firm

The Simmons firm, headquartered in Alton, Ill., is one of the
country's leading asbestos and mesothelioma litigation firms.
With offices in Illinois, Missouri and California, the firm has
represented thousands of patients and families affected by
mesothelioma in nearly every state.  The mesothelioma lawyers at
the Simmons Firm have pledged over $20 million to cancer research
and proudly support mesothelioma medical researchers throughout
the country in order to find a cure.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NSW Injects Millions in Mesothelioma Program
The Australian Associated Press reports a multi-million dollar
injection of funding for asbestos victims will make New South
Wales a world leader in the treatment of mesothelioma, a cancer
specialist says.

The NSW Government announced on Jan. 13 that the Asbestos Diseases
Research Institute would receive $3.5 million to improve outcomes
for people with asbestos-related cancer and their families.

The money comes from the State Government's translational cancer
research program, which will also award $3.47 million to
researchers working on the diagnosis and treatment of blood

Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute of NSW
Professor David Currow says the translational cancer grants will
benefit cancer patients across the state.

Australia had the world's highest incidence of malignant
mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by asbestos, Professor Currow
said in a statement.

"The translational research ... will see NSW as a world leader in
the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma.

"These grants are also good news for people across NSW affected by
acute myeloid leukaemia, recipients of bone marrow transplants and
people diagnosed with Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma."

The wider research grants program awarded by the Cancer Institute
of NSW also includes $4.3 million in fellowships, attracting new
cancer researchers to NSW and supporting current researchers to
develop and present their work on the international stage.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Nicolet Site Abatement to End by March 31
Carl Rotenberg of The Times Herald reports that remediation and
demolition work at a former 12.88-acre industrial site off
Washington Street, downstream from the Norristown Sewage Treatment
plant, is expected to be completed by this summer.

An official certification of the asbestos remediation work at the
site at 500 and 600 E. Washington St. by the state Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) is expected by March 31, 2013, said
Jerry Nugent, the executive director of the Montgomery County
Redevelopment Authority (MCRA).

The MCRA purchased the site last year for $3.7 million with the
expectation that eventually the site could be used to relocate the
Norristown Sewage Treatment plant downstream from its present
location.  The old treatment plant has experienced sewage
overflows in the past, and boosters of development in Montgomery
County would like to use the land for new construction.

Environmental Consulting Inc. (ECI) of Norristown has been
removing all the asbestos found at the former Nicolet site and
demolishing old industrial buildings under an original, $1,142,100

The Nicolet property, used since the early 1900s to make pipe and
boiler insulation and commercial grade asbestos paper, was
purchased by O'Neill Properties for $55,500 in December 2001 as a
potential Brownfield development site.  The company has built
multi-story apartment complexes on the Schuylkill River on similar
Brownfield sites.

"The first thing was the abatement of asbestos in the 600 E.
Washington St. building.  There were remnants of asbestos
manufacturing in (underground) tanks and in the ground," Nugent
said.  "The asbestos in the 500 (Washington Street) building was
in the pipe wrap or tile flooring or the building facade."

ECI, which was located in one of the Norristown industrial
buildings that were demolished, was the low bidder among nine

Under the 600 building a complex of trenches, tunnels, concrete
canals and various tanks from the Nicolet asbestos processing
operation were found underground by ECI engineers.  Some were
still filled with asbestos slurry and asbestos contamination,
Nugent said.

The resulting, $350,359 change order for the additional
remediation work added 30.7% to the cost of the remediation

An engineering oversight firm, Arcadis-Malcolm-Pirnie Inc. of
Upper Merion, is inspecting the remediation work.  A second phase
of the project, under an alternate bid, will drill holes
throughout the remediated site to determine if any other
underground structures or ground contamination is present.

Additional remediation work may be required by the DEP.  "It has
turned out to be a huge job," Nugent said.  Funding for the
purchase and remediation work has come from state and federal
sources.  PennVest made a $1.7 million loan, the state
Commonwealth Financing Authority made a $3,761,000 grant to
Montgomery County for the work and the state Department of
Community and Economic Development contributed $92,000, he said.

"Other than the smokestack the demolition is completed," said
Barry Thompson, the general manager of the Norristown sewage
treatment plant.  "The site is essentially demolished."  Nugent
pointed out that "a sizeable earmark" would be required to build a
new sewage treatment plant.  There is no funding currently

ASBESTOS UPDATE: US Navy Aware of Hazard, Paper Says
Steve Korris of Legal Newsline relates that businesses that
asbestos lawsuits have destroyed, deformed and depleted for
decades supplied much of the fiber in obedience to Navy rules for
winning a war, a new research article shows.

Kara Franke and Dennis Paustenbach wrote in a paper for CheMr.isk,
a scientific consulting firm, that the government controlled
asbestos as a critical raw material in World War II.

They wrote that "because of the economic importance of asbestos,
and its perceived vital role in the war effort, the regulated
community and the military held a broad belief that overly
restrictive work standards should not be applied to this

They wrote that the exposure limit was "health protective but not
unduly burdensome" on the Navy and contractors.

They wrote that the Navy required contractors to use it into the

They declared it debatable whether the Navy or private businesses
knew more about the hazards of asbestos and concluded that the
Navy and businesses believed until 1970 that asbestos posed little
risk if encapsulated in brakes and gaskets.

Inhalation Toxicology ran the article on Dec. 28, reviewing Navy
knowledge through 1970.

Franke and Pastenbach wrote that the first documented case of lung
disease associated with asbestos exposure was reported in 1907 and
that more reports were published by the late 1920s, but they
provided little information about work activities or particle

"Often, these reports were complicated by the presence of
tuberculosis, making it unclear whether the lung dysfunction was
primarily caused by asbestos or by TB, or whether one disease had
to precede the other," they wrote.

They wrote that in 1935, a textbook stated that "sufficient
exposure to dust of asbestos in any stage of its processing may
cause asbestosis."

"By 1939, the Navy was recommending that exposure controls be used
during asbestos handling," the report says.

They wrote that in 1941, a Navy doctor acknowledged a disease
hazard among workers engaged in the manufacture of insulating
covers for turbines, valves and flanges.  The doctor suggested
moistening the material, ventilating locally and sometimes wearing
a respirator.

They wrote that in the same year, another Navy doctor wrote that
"we are not protecting the men as we should."

"Although the Navy recognized asbestos as a genuine occupational
hazard," the report says, "it remained very much in use, since the
current belief was that it could be handled safely with proper
training and instruction.

"Overall, the Navy was concerned about its need to use asbestos,
and seemed to work diligently to educate and protect as many
workers as feasible given the pressures it faced."

In 1943, the Navy recommended periodic medical examinations and in
1944, the Navy bureau of medicine and surgery reported danger from
high dust concentration.

In 1945, a Navy doctor found a fairly serious dust risk at a
shipyard and in 1946, the Navy X-rayed 1,074 pipe workers in
shipyards and found three with asbestosis.

They wrote that authors of a report on the X-rays concluded that
covering pipe was not a dangerous trade.

In 1952, regulators reduced the exposure limit and in 1955, a
doctor found the average risk among certain asbestos workers
employed more than 20 years was 10 times the risk in the general

In 1955, the Navy required annual X-rays for civilian asbestos
workers.  In 1958, a Navy safety handbook warned that "asbestos
dust is injurious if inhaled," and recommended respirators.

In 1960, a doctor associated asbestos to mesothelioma.  In 1964, a
study of 632 workers found 45 died of lung or pleural cancer, a
rate about seven times the general population.

In 1964, a shipyard study expressed concern for bystander
exposure.  That same year, the Department of Health, Education and
Welfare recognized asbestosis as an occupational disease.

In 1968, the Washington Post reported that 350,000 shipyard
workers face a serious occupational hazard from asbestos.  The
Navy responded that it was well aware of the hazard.

The report quoted a Navy statement that said, "Hazard control
measures implemented by the shipyard medical departments and
safety divisions are in accordance with accepted standards of
industrial hygiene practice in the U.S."

They wrote that a 1968 study of 7,000 Puget Sound shipyard workers
found 21% with lung abnormalities.

They wrote that in 1970, the field of occupational health entered
a new phase with the creation of the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration.

They wrote that in 1971, the new agency promulgated rules for
asbestos and more than 400 other substances and chemicals.

"The Navy and other government organizations continued to require
using asbestos in hundreds of materials far into the 1970s, and
later because of concern that other materials may not perform as
well, and because of their belief that nearly any material could
be handled safely if proper precautions were taken," they wrote.

As for gaskets, brakes and other products with encapsulated
asbestos, they found neither the government nor manufacturers
believed they posed a hazard to workers.

They wrote that after 1970, studies of encapsulated asbestos "gave
the military and others a fair degree of confidence that if
handled in a reasonably prudent manner, asbestos containing
materials would not pose a significant increased health hazard."

They wrote by about 1990, the government and most manufacturers
specified that no asbestos be present in virtually all the goods
they sold or used.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: DOE Charges 14 Violations Against Evergreen
Dee Riggs of The Wenatchee World Online reports that the state has
fined a Cashmere company $25,450, saying it did not properly
remove asbestos from Solomon's Porch youth center in downtown
Wenatchee, Wash.

The state Department of Labor & Industries alleged 14 violations
by Evergreen Asbestos Solutions that officials consider serious,
said Hector Castro, an L&I spokesman.  "We believe this particular
contractor should have known better," Castro said.

The company appealed all the violations, said owner Ron
Hesselschart.  "There was no danger whatsoever for anyone who was
in there," he said.

Castro said his agency is concerned for the safety of workers, who
may have been exposed to the cancer-causing asbestos.  He said he
did not know if there would be any danger to non workers who used
the center right after the asbestos was removed, or to anyone
using the center today.

He referred questions to the Chelan-Douglas Health District, which
referred questions to the state Department of Ecology.  Sue
Billings, an air quality manager at the DOE, said budget cuts have
left that agency with no one to perform asbestos inspections or
respond to asbestos complaints.

The May asbestos removal was done to prepare for a youth shelter
in the lower level of the building at 17 S. Mission St.  The work
included creating a new stairwell to that lower level, said
Desiree Knemeyer, program director at the youth center.  She said
on Jan. 9 that she was not aware of the state L & I allegations.

"As far as I was concerned, there was not a safety issue because
we were closed that whole week, and it would have overlapped with
a weekend, too," Ms. Knemeyer said.

Among the alleged violations are that Evergreen Asbestos

(1)Did not ensure "that an exposure assessment was performed
immediately before or at the initiation of the operations in order
to accurately determine the airborne concentration of asbestos."

(2)Did not ensure "that the work was supervised by a designated,
competent person."

(3)Did not perform "representative clearance monitoring at the
completion of the asbestos work in order to accurately determine
the airborne concentration of asbestos."

(4)Did not ensure that "all surfaces were maintained as free of
... dusts and waste containing asbestos. .... One employee was on
his hands and knees in no protective equipment or clothing."

(5)Allowed employees "to wear half face respirators with facial
hair, beards and goatees and cleaned presumed asbestos-cleaning
material in street clothes.

Castro said an L & I hearings officer considered Hesselschart's
appeal on Jan. 4.  The officer has 45 days to make a decision.

Hesselschart said the violations did not occur and he said the
state inspector came to the job site after the work was completed.

One of the violations states that the company failed to give the
correct time for the asbestos abatement work.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trial Starts on Bad Abatement Case v Trio
Gordon Boyd at WRCBtv.com relates that James Wint lives barely a
block away from the old Standard Coosa-Thatcher textile mill on
the 1700 block of Watkins Street in Chattanooga's Ridgedale

Close enough, he claims that he was among those whom David Wood
hired to salvage flooring, metals and other material of value in

"He says, I'll give you a job four days a week," Wint recalls to
Eyewitness News.  "But I got only two days, that's it."

Regulators halted the demolition when they realized that the
salvage crew had uncovered asbestos, according to an 11-count
indictment from a federal grand jury.

Wood, Donald Fillers, James Mathis, and their respective
companies, Mathis Companies, Inc., and Watkins Street Project,
LLC, are on trial in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga, Tenn.,
charged with violated provisions of the Clear Air Act.

Mathis and Wood could face 5-year prison terms and $250,000 fines
if convicted.  Property owner Donald Fillers could face 20 years
in prison if convicted of obstruction of justice.

Their indictment alleges that the trio staffed their salvage crews
day laborers and the homeless and failed to train or clothe them
with the equipment necessary to remediate an asbestos-laden site

"I didn't wear (sic) none," Wint says.

Asbestos particles have been linked to cancers and to fatal,
incurable lung diseases.  The federal Environmental Protection
Agency has determined there is no safe level of exposure to

"Asbestos is normally not a concern unless it's disturbed," John
Schultz, an inspector with Hamilton County's Pollution Control
Board told Eyewitness News in September 2005.  "That releases the
fibers and the fibers will go as far as the wind will carry them."

Such risks are why federal regulations require remediation crews
to soak asbestos-laden material with water before removing it and
taking the material off-site.

The federal indictment alleges that Coosa-Thatcher's salvage crews
not only failed to soak the material, but tossed contaminated
pieces out of windows and stacked it in open-air piles.

The indictment further alleges that the defendants grossly
understated the levels of contamination uncovered or discovered,
and that they "concealed and covered up their illegal activities
by making false statements to inspectors regulators and law
enforcement personnel and preparing false and fraudulent

In opening arguments on Jan. 9, Fillers' attorney Martin Levitt,
questioned whether his client knew the salvage operation violated
federal regulations governing asbestos removal, according to
reports published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

"Because (Pollution Control Board monitoring manager Kathy Jones)
didn't do her job in 2004, everything else falls and she has to
justify her not doing her job," the newspaper quoted Levitt as

Levitt has not returned calls from Channel 3 seeking comment.

The Pollution Control Board has declined comment, as Jones and
Schultz have been called as prosecution witnesses.

Victim Witness Advocate Amy Russell has referred all questions to
the U.S. Attorney's office in Knoxville.  Prosecutors had posted
legal notices at the Standard Coosa Thatcher site, advising
neighbors and former salvage workers that the 2005 project may
have exposed them to asbestos particles.

Wint could qualify on two counts; as a neighbor, and former site
remediation worker.  But he maintains he has no desire to sue;
either individually, or as part of a class-action.

"I'm not gonna take anybody's money," he says.  "I ain't got none,
so I'm not gonna take nobody's money."

Testimony was set to resume Tuesday, Jan. 17.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Actor McQueen to be Honored at ADAO Convention
The Mesothelioma Center's Tim Povtak relates that actor Steve
McQueen, one of several well-known Americans who have died from
mesothelioma, will be honored posthumously by the Asbestos Disease
Awareness Organization at its eighth annual convention in March.

McQueen's widow, Barbara McQueen, will accept the Warren Zevon
Tribute Award in her husband's honor March 31 in Manhattan Beach,
Calif. McQueen died in 1980 at the age of 50.

McQueen, known as the King of Cool for the way he lived both on
and off the movie set, was a classic American success story,
overcoming a poor, broken- home upbringing to become a Hollywood

Before he died, McQueen traced his mesothelioma diagnosis to
asbestos exposure first in the Marine Corp, then to the flame-
retardant driving suits he wore so often while racing cars and
motorcycles, his lifelong passion.

Although the use of asbestos has been dramatically reduced in
recent decades, an estimated 3,000 Americans still are diagnosed
each year with mesothelioma, which has a latency period of up to
50 years.

McQueen is just one of many notable Americans who have died from
the disease.  Although it is most often associated with blue-
collar professions and military service, mesothelioma has touched
all walks of life, including the rich and the famous.

Pro Football Hall of Famer and broadcaster Merlin Olsen died from
mesothelioma in 2010 when he was 70.  Olympic gold medalist Terry
McCann (wrestling, 1960) died in 2006.  White House Chief of Staff
Hamilton Jordan died in 2008.

Actor Paul Gleason (2006), Congressman Bruce Vento (2000),
scientist Stephen Gould (2002) and Navy Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr.
(2000) also are on the list.

Warren Zevon, a singer-songwriter with a cult-like following, died
in 2003.  Son Jordan Zevon became a spokesperson for the Asbestos
Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which now honors someone
annually with the Warren Zevon Keep Me in Your Heart Memorial

"I am extremely honored to pay tribute to Steve McQueen," Jordan
said in the press release announcing the award.  "Mesothelioma is
a tragic disease more common than most people know, and it is
important to recognize Steve's spirit, and later plight, in order
to both cherish his memory and increase asbestos awareness."

The ADAO, founded in 2004, is the leading victims' advocates group
in the United States.  Its eighth annual convention has been
designated as Asbestos: An International Public Health Crisis, set
for March 30-April 1 in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

The convention will bring together medical professionals,
researchers, asbestos victims, families and advocates for a
weekend of education and collaboration, all working toward raising
awareness and eventually a worldwide ban on asbestos.

Also being honored is U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-
Tennessee) for his work toward legislation to ban asbestos; Drs.
Arthur Frank and Richard Lemen for their work in raising
awareness; and Joel Shufro from the New York City Occupational
Safety and Health Department for his efforts to protect workers
from asbestos exposure.

"Steve McQueen is an American legend, and we are extremely honored
to recognize him in Warren Zevon's name," said Linda Reinstein,
ADAO co-founder and CEO.  "Not only did Steve McQueen, like Warren
Zevon, lose his battle against mesothelioma, but they both shared
a passion for fearlessly taking a stance."

The ADAO is working with the Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims
(CVAV) on the North American Declaration to Eliminate Asbestos
Diseases, which is urging both President Barack Obama and Prime
Minister Stephen Harper to collaborate on a ban.

Although both countries restrict the use of asbestos, neither has
joined the group of 50 countries worldwide that have banned it

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pathology Report Shows Worker Had Mesothelioma
Chris Gee at Burnley and Pendle Citizen reports that a man died
from an asbestos-related cancer after being exposed to dangerous
materials throughout a career in slipper and shoe making, an
inquest has heard.

James Whittaker, of Burnley Road, Rawtenstall, died the day after
his 86th birthday on June 23 last year after a short illness.

During a hearing at Burnley Magistrates' Court, coroner Richard
Taylor, read a statement prepared by Mr. Whittaker before his

In it he explained that as a teenager he had served during the war
in the Royal Navy, where he was exposed to asbestos which lagged
many of his ship's pipes.

Mr. Whittaker also claimed that the substance was present in
sleeping quarters.

Prior to his naval service and for the remainder of his working
career, Mr. Whittaker worked at Newchurch Boot Company.

In his statement he described his job as operating a heavy
machinery known as a Revolution Press, which used blades to cut
out insoles, primarily for slippers.

The material used would often be a hazardous asbestos-like
substance called salbestos.

The press was operated thousands of times, creating dust and
residue every time it was used.

Mr. Whittaker's statement said that during the course of his job,
"I never wore a mask or was asked to wear a mask".

A pathologist's report said the cause of Mr. Whittaker's death was
undoubtedly mesothelioma, a lung cancer.  This was caused by
exposure to asbestos.

Shoe, boot and slipper manufacture began in Rossendale in the 19th
century as a result of the burgeoning felt industry.

As late as 1982 there were about 4,000 people engaged in slippers,
shoe and ancillary work in the borough, producing about 16 million
pairs a year.

Mr. Taylor recorded a verdict of death by industrial disease.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. SC Won't Expand Products Liability Law
John O'Brien at Legal Newsline reports that the California Supreme
Court says it will not expand products liability law to include an
asbestos lawsuit against two companies that did not use asbestos
in their products.

The court ruled on Jan. 12 in a lawsuit brought against Crane Co.
and Warren Pumps, two companies that supplied valves and pumps
used in Navy warships.  Asbestos insulation made by other
companies was placed on the products, though the lawsuit claimed
Crane and Warren were partly responsible for the asbestos-related
death of Patrick O'Neil.

"Recognizing plaintiffs' claims would represent an unprecedented
expansion of strict products liability," Justice Carol Corrigan
wrote.  "We decline to do so.

"California law has long provided that manufacturers, distributors
and retailers have a duty to ensure the safety of their products
and will be held strictly liable for injuries caused by a defect
in their products.  Yet, we have never held that these
responsibilities extend to preventing injuries caused by other
products that might foreseeably be used in conjunction with a
defendant's product."

Corrigan added that manufacturers have no responsibility to warn
about hazards in replacement parts made by others when the
dangerous feature of the parts was not integral to the product's

Patrick O'Neil was responsible for repairs and maintenance of
equipment in the boiler rooms, engine rooms and machine room on a
Navy aircraft carrier and died from lung cancer in 2005.  The
valves and pumps made by the defendants were covered with an
asbestos insulation and contained asbestos packing on the inside.
When the packing and insulation were replaced, it created asbestos

The O'Neil case has been before the court for nearly two years.
Briefing in a related case was deferred pending the decision.
After a trial court ruled for the defendants, the state's Second
District Court of Appeals sided with the plaintiffs, saying Crane
and Warren should have known their products would be insulated
with asbestos to protect them from heat.  The Navy is immune from

"(E)xpansion of the duty of care as urged here would impose an
obligation to compensate on those whose products caused the
plaintiffs no harm," Corrigan wrote.  "To do so would exceed the
boundaries established over decades of product liability law."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Councilor Slams Fly-Tipping in Barrow
North West Evening Mail reports that councilor Ray Guselli has
criticized those who have fly-tipped asbestos cement roofing at
Salthouse Mills, in Barrow.

The Barrow Borough and Cumbria County Councilor, who represents
Roosecote, has warned the perpetrators they could be potentially
risking the health of others through their actions.

Barrow Borough Council's Environmental Health Department is
investigating the problem at the former paper mill, which is now
owned by Amstone Developments, of Cheshire.

Councilor Guselli said: "The continued and indiscriminate tipping
of asbestos at Salthouse Mills demonstrates an appalling arrogance
and lack of consideration by the perpetrators.  While the
landowner is doing what they can to remove it, it is highly
inappropriate for whoever is depositing it, to leave this
potentially dangerous waste, in an area where children are known
to frequent and play.

"This is an ongoing problem but in my opinion, this is more than
just fly-tipping, bad enough in itself, but a selfish act whereby
whoever is leaving it here, does so, simply to avoid the necessary
costs incurred in its proper removal."

Councilor Guselli is appealing to the fly-tippers to stop and
realize the dangers.  Environmental health experts have said the
asbestos in this case is of a low scale risk, but it should never
be dumped.

Anne Pearson, acting Environmental Health manager at the borough
council, said: "We have received a number of complaints about fly-
tipping at the Salthouse Mills site, some of which involved
asbestos cement roofing materials.  Unfortunately the identity of
the fly-tippers could not be traced.

"On private land it is the landowner's responsibility to remove
fly-tipped waste.  Council officers and also the Environment
Agency have worked with the landowner and offered advice on
measures which can be used to reduce the problem."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Says Superfund Wood Chips Posed No Danger
Matthew Brown of The Associated Press reports that test results
from huge piles of wood chips that were being sold from a Montana
Superfund site for use in landscaping show they contain some
asbestos, but at levels so low federal officials said they posed
no danger to humans.

The results obtained Jan. 13 by The Associated Press appear to
offer a rare bit of relief for the town of Libby, where widespread
asbestos contamination has killed an estimated 400 people and
sickened 1,750.

The testing followed concerns raised by local officials, residents
and business owners who bought loads of the material to spread
around their homes, in parks and for use as erosion control.
Prior tests indicated the presence of asbestos in the piles, but
not how much.

Thousands of tons of the wood chips were shipped out of the Libby
area for retail sales across the country.  The sales went on for
years before federal regulators stepped in last year to halt the

The Environmental Protection Agency found no asbestos in recent
air tests designed to mimic human exposure from spreading the wood
chips.  The agency previously had said a "very low level" of
asbestos had been found in tests of the wood chips themselves.

"It was all good news," said Rebecca Thomas of the EPA's regional
headquarters in Denver.  "There simply is no measured exposure."

No further EPA actions were planned on the wood chips, Thomas

But one city official said he was still wary of the wood chips
despite the results.

It remained uncertain whether sales will resume.  The head of the
local economic development agency that had sold the material said
no decision had been made, citing lingering uncertainties over the
dangers posed by Libby's asbestos.
The EPA has yet to complete its risk assessment for the town,
considered the deadliest Superfund site in the nation.  Libby was
contaminated by decades of vermiculite mining by W.R. Grace Co.,
which released countless asbestos fibers that blanketed Libby and
surrounding forests.

Initial results from the pending study on the toxicity of the
fibers determined even minute amounts can cause non-cancerous
illnesses.  Thomas said the small amount of asbestos found in the
wood chips was below levels considered potentially harmful.

Paul Rumelhart, executive director of The Kootenai River
Development Co. said that if the sale of the chips resume, the
agency might require a permit so officials could track the

Kootenai River controls the shuttered Stimson timber mill that
contains the sprawling, open-air piles of wood chips.

"We might not allow it to be taken until the final results are out
on the tox study," Rumelhart said.

But Libby councilman and landscaping business owner Allen Olsen
said he won't use the wood chips regardless of the EPA's the

Olsen used the material by the truckload in the past.  He said he
has developed a mistrust of the EPA in the decade that the agency
has overseen the cleanup in Libby.  That effort has cost more than
$370 million to date and is years from completion.

"I absolutely, positively will not sell it or let a person have
any of it," Olsen said.  "There's just been too many

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, a longtime advocate for Libby in Congress,
said the EPA test results were important for the town.

"It's critical the EPA continues doing everything necessary to
make sure folks in Libby get the attention and transparency they
deserve," he said.

The AP reported last July that more than 15,000 tons of the chips
and bark were sold or distributed and much of that material
shipped across the country, despite evidence it contained an
unknown level of asbestos.

Samples from the timber mill piles were first collected in 2007,
and subsequent tests found asbestos in four of 20 samples analyzed
under an electron microscope.  The EPA at the time did not attempt
to quantify how much asbestos was present.

The agency also has been criticized for wetting down the piles
prior to collecting the samples, which could have made it harder
to detect fibers.  The samples recently analyzed were collected in
August when conditions were hot and dry, Thomas said.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Builder Adamant to Use Fiber Cement on MUHC
Aaron Derfel, The Montreal Gazette health reporter, relates that
Montreal's French-language superhospital will likely contain no
asbestos cement in its drainage pipes, unlike the superhospital of
the McGill University Health Centre, The Gazette has learned.

In fact, construction firm Pomerleau-Verreault had the option of
using cement containing asbestos fibers, but chose to use more
expensive cast iron instead when it installed drainage pipes in
the research centre of the Centre hospitalier de l'universite de
Montreal.  The research centre, now under construction, will be
part of the CHUM superhospital campus.

"There will be no asbestos anywhere in the research centre," said
Lucie Dufresne, a CHUM spokesperson.

As for the future CHUM hospital, the private consortium in charge
of the project also has the option of using asbestos cement or
cast iron.

"There is no intention of using asbestos cement, but the final
choice is up to the consortium," Dufresne said, explaining that
the contract with the consortium, Collectif sante Montreal, spells
out "performance specifications" that allow for asbestos cement or
cast iron.

The lead partners of the private consortium, OHL and Laing
O'Rourke, are based in Europe, where asbestos is banned in most

However, 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 break apart

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

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

The WHO specifically warns that "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

The Canadian Medical Association also has taken a strong stand
against asbestos, going so far as to call for an end to asbestos
mining in Canada.

But MUHC officials are defending the decision by the consortium to
use asbestos.

"There will be no asbestos fibers circulating in the air at the
MUHC," the hospital network said in a statement released at the
end of December.

"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."

SNC-Lavalin officials have refused to comment, referring all
questions to the MUHC.

A Montreal piping contractor, who spoke to The Gazette on
condition of anonymity, said using asbestos in the drainage pipes
will probably save the consortium tens of thousands of dollars.

The contractor explained that cast-iron pipes need to be insulated
with a vapor barrier to prevent condensation in the winter.
Asbestos-cement pipes, by comparison, do not need as much
insulation because of the asbestos fibers.

"The net result is a substantial cost saving, I believe," the
contractor said.

The MUHC is insisting that it's respecting the highest
environmental standards in building the superhospital.  It hopes
to be awarded silver status in Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design certification.

Under the LEED system, credit is given for the removal of asbestos
from existing buildings.  Caroline Phaneuf, a senior MUHC adviser,
emailed The Gazette on Friday insisting that using asbestos in the
drainage pipes "does not affect our LEED silver certification."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chadha Stays on Red Cross Board Until June
Sarah Schmidt of The Montreal Gazette reports that the Canadian
Red Cross on Jan. 13, rallied behind a board member who was
criticized for having ties to the asbestos industry, calling the
Montrealer a "valued member" of the team.

Anti-asbestos campaigners reacted by calling for the resignation
of board president Ted Tanaka "for betraying asbestos victims and
the very mission of the Red Cross."

They had asked Red Cross last month to immediately dump Roshi
Chadha from the board.  Chadha is an executive of Montreal-based
Seja Trade Ltd., a subsidiary of Balcorp Ltd. that has for years
exported asbestos from the open-pit Jeffrey asbestos mine in
Quebec to India.  Her husband, Baljit Singh Chadha, is seeking to
revive the Quebec asbestos industry as the president of Balcorp.

The humanitarian organization responded by saying its governing
body would review Chanda's status at a board meeting.

On the eve of the meeting on Jan. 13, Canadian Red Cross
spokeswoman Pam Aung Thin issued a statement defending Chadha as a
"valued member" of the board of governors.  She also said Chadha
will be completing her term in June, and confirmed she will not be
seeking re-election at its annual general meeting.

Aung Thin declined to say whether the Red Cross requested that she
not seek a new term, saying only Chadha "will not be continuing"
on the board after June and "her mandate ends there."

Chadha, who did not respond to a request for comment, was elected
to the board of directors at the annual general meeting of the
Canadian Red Cross in June 2008.  Her strong board governance
skills were needed, a Red Cross spokesman said last month.

Currently, the organization does not specifically screen the
private interests of its board members, and Aung Thin said the
board will now "explore" this idea.

Chadha is also affiliated with Balcorp, which is leading efforts
to open a new underground Jeffrey mine to export asbestos to Asia.
In addition to private financing, Balcorp is working to secure a
$58-million loan guarantee from the Quebec government.

The Canadian Red Cross is considered a leading humanitarian
organization that provides disaster relief at home and abroad, and
anti-asbestos campaigners say any affiliation with the export of
asbestos to developing countries conflicts with its mandate to
improve the lives of vulnerable people.

Canadian anti-asbestos campaigner Kathleen Ruff, along with Leah
Nielson -- whose father died in 2008 of mesothelioma following
exposure to asbestos as a younger man -- got things rolling when
they complained to the Red Cross in December about Chadha's
involvement in the organization.  They asked for her immediate
removal from the board.

At the time, a Red Cross executive told them the board would
discuss this "very important matter" at its January meeting.

"I appreciate that this is more than one month from now, but I
hope you will understand that this is a serious issue which raises
governance issues that we would like to address in a holistic
fashion," Samuel Schwisberg, the organization's general counsel
and corporate secretary, wrote to Ruff last month.

Ruff blasted the organization's response on Jan. 13, saying it is
a "heartbreaking betrayal that the Canadian Red Cross is siding
with asbestos sellers and rejecting the plea of asbestos victims."

And given its mandate to promote health, "the asbestos industry
around the world will be thrilled that the Canadian Red Cross is
praising Canada's leading asbestos trader.  But the hundreds of
thousands of asbestos victims overseas will be appalled by this
betrayal," said Ruff.

"This makes me sick," added Nielson.

They joined the Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims in calling for
the resignation of Tanaka.

In addition to her work with the Red Cross, Chadha also serves as
a member of the board of governors at McGill University and a
member of the board of directors of St. Mary's Hospital
Foundation.  Both organizations are in Montreal.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Corgi Hosiery Guilty by Unanimous Verdict
Alex Smith at The South Wales Evening Post reports that a local
clothing manufacturer has been found guilty of failing to protect
its workers from dangerous levels of asbestos.

Corgi Hosiery, based in Ammanford, denied a charge of putting
workers' health at risk while the substance was being removed from
its factory.

But on Jan. 13, at Swansea Crown Court a jury found the company
guilty by unanimous verdict.

Corgi Hosiery was founded in 1892 by the great-grandfather of one
of the current directors -- Chris Jones.

It is said to be Prince Charles's favorite sock manufacturer and
he visited the factory in 2010 after the asbestos situation had
been cleared up.

The offence started in 2008 when Corgi decided to carry out work
to the roof of its factory in New Road, Pantyffynnon.

Knowing the building contained asbestos, director Mr. Jones, 45,
contracted out work to remove the potentially deadly substance to
another local firm, Dragon Cladding.

Before the Corgi trial, the director of now-defunct Dragon
Cladding, Stuart Phillips, 25, of Manordeilo, Llangadog, had
already pleaded guilty to not taking adequate steps to protect
workers from asbestos.

Now he will be sentenced in the same hearing as Corgi Hosiery at
an unconfirmed date, possibly in Merthyr Tydfil, where Judge
Richard Twomlow is based.

Earlier, Jones told the court that Dragon Cladding had been
recommended to him because of the company's portfolio of work
abroad, including working for the U.S. Government in Afghanistan.

Jones also said bosses of the company had told him they had "years
of experience" handling asbestos.

After the initial work had been done Mr. Jones and his sister and
co-director, Lisa Wood, returned from a business trip in New York
and found some "untidy material" still present in the roof.

Matthew Paul, defending, asked Mr. Jones, who took the stand on
Jan. 12: "Did you ask if the material contained asbestos?"

Mr. Jones replied: "Yes.  They said it did not."

The director added that although he now had 30 staff on his books,
only one of his workers, press operator Paul Hale, was in the
section of the factory where the work was being carried out.

Officers from the Health and Safety Executive (HSA) were led to
the factory after an anonymous tip-off on Oct. 22, 2008.

They saw a skip filled with what looked like asbestos and roofing
material that also appeared to be coated in the substance.

It turned out that a waste management company had refused to
remove the skip after realizing what it contained.

The HSE immediately ordered Corgi to evacuate the factory.

An investigation showed that asbestos dust had been spread
throughout the factory and even across the car park, said the

Samples were taken from 14 places and each had asbestos in it.

A properly qualified company took ten weeks to clean the site at a
cost of more than GBP210,000, the court heard.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Experts Say Seawall Hazards Pose Low Health Risk
Clacton and Frinton Gazette reports that residents living close to
sea defenses are being urged not to worry after asbestos was
discovered in seawalls.

The Environment Agency is about to start repairing flood defenses
between Clacton and Jaywick.  Workers will be kitted out in
protective clothing to make sure they aren't exposed to asbestos
used in the wall.

Agency bosses say the safety gear is just a precaution and there
is a "minimal chance" of toxic fibers being released.

Experts brought in to look at asbestos found in grouting said
there was only a low health risk.

The work is being carried out between The Close in Jaywick and
Hastings Avenue in Clacton.  It is due to start this month and
should take 2-5 weeks.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Commish Suggests New Complex Over Remediation
Ryan McCarthy of Keynoter.com reports that the discovery of mold
and asbestos during a routine rehab project at the Marathon
courthouse in December has one Monroe County commissioner
envisioning a fresh start at the mile marker 48.5 building.

Commissioner George Neugent says with the cost to remove asbestos-
containing materials from the county courthouse estimated at
$165,000, the county should consider "razing and starting from
scratch if we can find the money."

In an e-mail to other county officials, Neugent suggests
collaborating with the city of Marathon on a new building that
could serve as a courthouse, library, city hall, Sheriff's Office
substation and county Tax Collector's Office.

"Presently, what we're doing is a Band-Aid approach as opposed to
a proper procedure to deal with this in a comprehensive way.
Money could clearly be the limiting factor here.  But when I look
at the need and the asbestos problem ... my thoughts are let's
talk about razing the whole area, including the sheriff's station,
and build a complex," he said.

Monroe County put a halt to the $907,000 courthouse renovation on
Dec. 27 after asbestos was discovered on the main courthouse's
ceiling.  The county has budgeted $529,600 for the project, while
the 16th Judicial Circuit budgeted $400,000.

"We had just started the demolition of the interior of the
courthouse and that's when we discovered the asbestos.  Originally
it was approximately a six- to eight-month project and this is
going to cause a delay," county Project Management Director Jerry
Barnett said.  He added that the county was in the process of
soliciting proposals to remove the asbestos when the mold was

"That'll increase renovations because we have to tear down the
drywall and make sure we get all the mold out," he said.

Meantime, the county has put a trailer in the parking lot to serve
as a temporary courtroom.

Trial Court Administrator Holly Elomina said acting Circuit Court
Judge Ruth Becker has been operating solely out of that trailer.
Circuit Court Judge Tegan Slaton also holds family court there,
while Chief Circuit Court Judge David Audlin holds juvenile and
drug court there.

The county has moved the once-monthly traffic court into the
Monroe County Commission chambers at the Marathon Government

"We knew it was going to be a disruption regardless of the
asbestos," Elomina said.  "We're trying to fit everything in with
one courtroom.  We worked out a scheduled for the next six

Elomina said no jury trials can be held in Marathon until the
rehab project is complete.  Becker presided over three jury trials
in Marathon in 2011.

"We have no way of selecting a jury because the courtroom is too
small.  [Becker has been] doing everything else there that she can
except hold a jury trial," Elomina said.

Renovations for the main building include Americans with
Disabilities Act- compliant bathrooms, new flooring and seating,
repainted walls and new drop ceilings, among other things.

A proponent of economies of scale, County Administrator Roman
Gastesi said he plans to discuss Neugent's consolidation idea with
Marathon City Manager Roger Hernstadt.

"I'm going to . . . see what the city's needs are and if it makes
sense to collaborate on a government complex.  I don't think it
makes sense to [spend] $1 million to basically put lipstick on
that pig," Gastesi said.

Hernstadt said he's more than willing to discuss the idea.  During
summer budget discussions, the City Council said it wants to build
a city hall in the next three to five years.  City government now
operates out of trailers at 98th Street and U.S. 1.

"We would definitely want to explore every opportunity to
collaborate before each of us makes independent efforts,"
Hernstadt said.

Marathon discussed a similar idea with Monroe as recently as 2007,
when the two governments considered a combined city hall and
county library slated to cost as much as $9 million.  Biltmore
Construction was even chosen for the work, but a final City
Council vote was delayed and never went through.

County staff is scheduled to seek approval for the $165,000
removal of the asbestos at the Jan. 19 County Commission meeting
at the Harvey Government Center in Key West.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Manitobans Get $5MM From Federal Mogul Payout
Martin Cash of the Winnipeg Free Press relates that Don Stefanchuk
got to play Santa Claus this week, handing out close to $5 million
to several Manitoba property owners.

The Manitoba head of Pinchin Environmental Ltd. distributed payout
cheques from a multimillion-dollar legal settlement with asbestos
manufacturer Federal Mogul that was more than eight years in the

The recipients owned buildings that contained a type of asbestos
fireproofing material called Limpet that was used extensively in
Canadian buildings in the latter half of the last century.

Winnipeg Airports Authority received the largest award in Manitoba
at $700,000 because of the presence of Limpet in the old airport

The claim comes as the WAA is preparing to demolish the old
terminal, and Pinchin is involved in asbestos abatement in the
building before demolition begins.

The WAA's Christine Alongi said there has to be particular care
taken in dealing with asbestos issues from buildings built in the
1950s and 1960s.

"But the class action and the nice outcome had nothing to do with
our plans for the old building," she said.

The Canadian involvement in the U.S. settlement is unique in a few
ways.  Pinchin officials say the legal claims would likely have
failed had they been presented in Canadian court.  The Canadian
participation was not instigated by the property owners, but by
Pinchin's own efforts.

About 70% of the $32-million eventual settlement will go to
Canadian building owners.  And of that Canadian component, about
25% will be distributed to Manitoba claimants.

"Manitoba has more than its fair share from a geographic
perspective," Stefanchuk said.

Pinchin Environmental acted as an agent for the plaintiffs.  Its
founder, Don Pinchin, has done pioneering work in asbestos
legislation and remediation and has acted as an expert witness in
lawsuits in Canada, the United States and Europe.

His contact with South Carolina lawyers involved in a class-action
suit alerted the American lawyers to the fact there were many
Canadian buildings that also had the asbestos present in their
buildings and could become part of the suit.

Pinchin's staff in their offices across Canada set to work
providing the technical data needed for the court submissions and
effectively did all of the legwork for the award recipients.

Another large award recipient -- $198,000 -- was the Canadian
Wheat Board, whose Main Street head offices underwent extensive
renovation over the past decade, including expensive asbestos

Wheat board spokeswoman Maureen Fitzhenry said, "Our renovation
started in early last decade and Pinchin Environmental came in to
handle the asbestos removal.  They brought to our attention that
there was a class-action suit that might be applicable to us.  We
agreed to be part of it and there was really no work or cost for
us to be involved."

In most cases, the asbestos has already been removed from the
buildings in question.  Manitoba award recipients also include
government buildings, school divisions and private-sector

One of the private-sector properties that will be part of the
windfall is 287 Broadway.  Doug Russell of Inlett Properties,
owner of the building, said there has been paperwork back and
forth, but he hasn't received a cheque yet.

It will likely come in handy as the 65,000-square-foot building is
being refurbished top to bottom.

Alan Runyan, a partner in Speights & Runyan, the South Carolina
law firm that spearheaded the class action and bankruptcy claims
action, said there are still other actions ongoing against other
asbestos manufacturers.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Air Tests Clear Coral Sea Park of Fiber
The Southern Courier at Whereilive.com.au reports that independent
air tests taken on Jan. 13 at Coral Sea Park in Maroubra have
revealed no traces of airborne asbestos.

The tests were ordered as an added precaution by Randwick City
Council after small pieces of fibro asbestos were found last month
while laying new turf at the popular soccer field.

Randwick Mayor Scott Nash said the tests reaffirm the appropriate
action taken by Council in managing the issue.

"I completely understand people's concern whenever they hear the
word 'asbestos'," Mayor Nash said.

"Today I met with local residents, Council staff and our
independent hygienists to discuss resident concerns.  "Abestos was
commonly used in building products last century and it's likely to
be buried in many of our parks and ovals which are built on former
landfill and industrial sites.  While this is not desirable, the
material is safe unless it's drilled or sanded and consumed in
some way.

"As soon as our workers found asbestos, they immediately stopped
worked and engaged an independent expert hygienist to test the
site and advise an Asbestos Removal Control.

"This plan recommended the contaminated area be encapsulated by
placing a geotextile fabric over the existing surface and placing
at least 100mm of topsoil over the fabric.  We are planning to
double this to 200mm of topsoil as an additional measure.  "The
hygienist also conducted air monitoring and has subsequently
issued clearance certificates for the surfaces and the air stating
that there was no remaining asbestos containing material on the
surfaces or any detectable fibers in the air," Mayor Nash said.

Council's contractors, on Jan. 15, completed turfing the eastern
side of the fields and the remaining area will be capped and
turfed in the following week.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Carries on Crusade for Mesothelioma Victims
Sarah Scott of The Evening Chronicle relates that James Johnson
spent his final years fighting for justice for asbestos victims.
But James Johnson died before he could see his battle won.

Now, his family have vowed they will keep up his campaign to
compensate Tyneside victims of pleural plaques.

"I am so frustrated and angry, I think that is how I could sum it
up," said his 47-year-old widow, Marilyn.

James, of Sheriff Hill in Gateshead, died peacefully surrounded by
his family on Jan. 10 after contracting pneumonia through a chest

The 74-year-old grandfather was a dedicated voice in the
Chronicle's campaign for the Government to compensate victims of
pleural plaques, a scarring of the lungs caused by asbestos.

"I am very frustrated at the fact my husband has passed away
knowing he has fought all the way to the end to help the pleural
plaques cause and now the poor man is not here to see if it is
overturned or not," said Marilyn, who was married to James for 22

"It has been so up and down, one minute they were giving us fresh
hope and then we were told we were too late again.

"Our daughter Vicky, who collected names for the Chronicle
petition, always hated feeling useless, it was upsetting for the
family as well as him."

The father-of-six was diagnosed with scarring on his lungs in 2005
after a routine hospital check up.  But because no one used the
words "pleural plaques", James did not realize he could claim for

The Government ended the right to compensation in October 2007,
but after the Chronicle's campaign, launched a scheme to give
GBP5,000 payments to those who got their claim in before that
date.  James -- like thousands of others -- did not qualify.

Since then, he fought with the Chronicle to end the compensation

"He would watch every Government debate about it on the TV and
kept every cutting on it from the papers," said Marilyn, who acted
as James' full-time carer for the past two years.  "Now he will
never know one way or the other if he won and it is awful, but
hopefully we can do it on his behalf," she said.

During the early 60s, James worked in a power station in Australia
and spoke about asbestos falling "like snow".  In England, he
worked for a company which installed cables at sites around the
North East, including Newall's Insulation in Washington, where he
said everything workers touched was covered in dust.  His youngest
daughter Jessica said the Government's actions over compensation
were a "disgrace".

"I just do not understand how the Government can be so insensitive
to this disease," said the 20-year-old, who works as a support
assistant for Gateshead Council.

The family say James' ill health began with pleural plaques
causing breathing difficulties.  He was diagnosed with chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease in 2008 and later developed lung

"It is all a chain reaction from the scarring, that is what I
blame," said Marilyn.  I would like to know if any of these MPs or
people have had family members who have gone through what my
husband did, they should know how people feel."

But despite everything, Marilyn said James was always one to make
light of a situation.  "He used to joke he would get a caravan and
take it across the border to Scotland and live there so he would
get compensation," said Marilyn.

"We will always think of him with fond memories.  He was a strong
person, very strong-willed and independent.  He was very much a
family man, and loved spending time with his grandchildren.

"If he believed in something he was stubborn and would not let
anyone change his mind, he would always see things through.  We
are going to see this through for him."

The family, who extended their thanks to Marie Curie and Macmillan
nurses and Queen Elizabeth Hospital staff, are determined to make
sure James did not suffer in vain.

James' funeral will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at Saltwell
Crematorium at 1.45pm, and in keeping with his wishes it will be a
short 10-minute service, followed by a party.

"He wanted a big celebration for everyone, instead of a long
funeral, said Marilyn.  "He said there has to be a brandy and
lemonade made, and it must sit untouched on a table all night.  It
was his signature drink, so a part of him will be there with us."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: American Felt Faces $146,300 Fine for Violations
Occupational Health & Safety reports Occupational Safety and
Health Administration has cited American Felt & Filter Co. for 35
alleged violations of workplace safety and health standards at its
New Windsor, N.Y., plant.  The company, which manufactures woolen
felt for a variety of products, faces a total of $146,300 in
proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Albany Area

"Our inspections identified numerous safety and health hazards,
including several similar to those cited during earlier OSHA
inspections of this facility," said Arthur Dube, the agency's
acting area director in Albany."  Left uncorrected, these hazards
expose employees to possible electrocution, crushing, and struck-
by injuries, being caught in moving machine parts, hearing loss,
falls, eye and hand injuries, asbestos, and lead."

In addition to identifying machine guarding and electrical
hazards, OSHA found that the plant failed to inspect cranes and
lifting devices; remove an unsafe powered industrial truck from
service; properly stack materials; monitor noise levels, and test
and train employees exposed to excessive noise levels; provide
first-aid supplies, eye and hand protection, and an emergency
eyewash; ensure appropriate respiratory protection and other
safeguards for employees exposed to lead; perform asbestos
exposure monitoring; identify and label asbestos-containing
materials; and provide training for employees on asbestos hazards.
These conditions resulted in citations for 32 serious violations
carrying $118,580 in penalties.

Three repeat violations carrying $27,720 in fines involve
unguarded lathes and failure to implement an effective respiratory
protection program. OSHA cited the plant for similar hazards in

"One means of preventing new and recurring hazards is to implement
and maintain an effective illness and injury prevention program in
which management and employees work together to proactively
identify and eliminate hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick,
OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aberdeenshire Fire Frees Up Toxic Fibers
Scottish Daily Record reports that a huge blaze has ripped through
a timber factory and closed a busy dual carriageway for hours.

Flames and thick smoke carrying asbestos particles billowed from
the Stevenson and Kelly plant near Blackdog, Aberdeenshire.

More than 30 firefighters were called to the factory when the fire
started at about 8pm on Jan. 12.

But they were called back out on Jan. 14 when the flames
reignited.  No one was injured.

Police were forced to close the A90 Aberdeen to Fraserburgh road
in both directions.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Burnham LLC, CBS Corp et al. Face $85MM Lawsuit
Watertown Daily Times' staff writer Josh Gore Canton reports that
a 31-year veteran of Alcoa, Inc., died in September of what his
wife calls asbestos-related lung cancer.

While at Alcoa, Melvin Butterfield was a crane operator, furnace
operator and pot repairman.  His wife, Carolina, Malone, filed a
lawsuit on Jan. 10 in state Supreme Court charging 19 companies
with negligence that led to his death.

Named in the lawsuit are Burnham LLC, CBS Corp., Westinghouse
Electric Corp., Cleaver Brooks Co. Inc., Crane Co., Foster Wheeler
LLC, GE Inc., Georgia Pacific, Goulds Pumps, Ingersoll-Rand Co.,
ITT Corp., Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc., Owens-Illinois Inc., Rapid
American Corp., Riley Power Inc., The Fairbanks Co., Trane US
Inc., US Rubber Co. and Weil McLain.

According to the 22-page lawsuit, the companies passed off
equipment that contained asbestos as being of good quality.  The
lawsuit alleged the companies should have known the asbestos-
related equipment could cause health defects.  It alleges that
caused Mr. Butterfield to develop a disease that caused his death.
The lawsuit contained 10 causes of action asking for a total of
about $85 million.

Ms. Butterfield's attorney, Adam S. Dreksler --
adreksler@weitzlux.com -- of New York, said the number is higher
than what he is seeking.

"That number is part of the summons process," he said.  "Asbestos
cases usually don't go to trial."

Mr. Dreksler said he expects most companies usually will try to

"The process is just beginning," he said.  "It's going to go on
for a while."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Daughter Calls on Pa's Former Mates at Llanwern
South Wales Argus relates that the family of a Polish refugee who
worked at a Newport steelworks and later died from an asbestos-
related disease are calling for help from his former colleagues.

Karol Leon Reichel, known as Leon to his friends, died in October
2008 aged 91.

A post mortem examination found he was suffering from asbestosis
-- a disease caused by exposure to asbestos dust.

Mr. Reichel came to Wales in the 1950s and worked as a fitter at
Llanwern Steelworks from 1962 to the early 1980s.

Solicitors are trying to trace where he worked after that time.

Last year his daughter June Reichel instructed Thompson Solicitors
to investigate a claim for compensation.

She is now asking his former colleague to get in touch so the firm
can build a picture of his employment at the steelworks in a bid
to find out how and where he came into contact with asbestos.

Ms. Reichel said: "When my dad died we hadn't yet been diagnosed
with asbestosis."

She said the family has lost touch with her father's work
colleagues and is now urging any who remember him to get in touch.

Amanda Jones from Thompsons Solicitors said they had acted on
behalf of a number of men who had gone on to suffer asbestos-
related disease and they were interested in speaking to anyone who
remembered working with Mr. Reichel.

Anyone who can help is asked to call Ms. Jones on 01792 484922 or
e-mail on amandajones@thompsons.law.co.uk

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Found in Queensland School Kits
The ABC News reports that Queensland's Education Minister says his
department has done all it can to remove science kits containing
asbestos from all state schools.

One of the kits, which was more than 20 years old, was used by
students at Pimlico High School in Townsville last year.

LNP spokesman Bruce Flegg says the Government must say which
schools have been using science kits that contain asbestos.

"One of the worst aspects of asbestos is that once a person is
exposed, whether home renovation, a worker in the industry or a
child or a teacher in a school, there is no way of knowing who has
inhaled potentially deadly fibers."

But the Minister, Cameron Dick, says an alert was issued to
schools at the time and 159 kits have since been removed.

He says the students were at minimal risk as the asbestos was in
rock form.

"I'm advised by our asbestos health adviser, Dr.  Keith Adams,
that there is minimal risk to any student who may have come in
contact with that and we have withdrawn all the mineral kits from
Queensland schools," he said.

Education Department director general Julie Grantham says an alert
was sent out to every school to remove them from classrooms to
rule out the chance of contamination.

"We decided to make sure that all the mineral kits were removed
from schools and that minimizes all the risks," she said.

"At the moment we've been advised that the fact they were there
was very low minimal risk, but the fact they're not there removes
all risk."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Brampton School Hazmat Test Results Due Soon
Roger Belgrave of the Brampton Guardian reports that Catholic
school board officials are trying to allay fears after parents
learned recent building maintenance work at a Brampton elementary
school involved the removal and disposal of material containing

On Jan. 13, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board sent
a letter home with students from Georges Vanier Catholic School.
Addressed to parents and guardians, the letter was an attempt to
provide information about the situation and ease concerns children
may have been exposed to the material known to cause serious
health problems.

An environmental consulting firm was hired and at the school
Jan. 13 to conduct air quality tests in the building.  "The
results indicate that the air quality in the school is comparable
to any indoor air quality," said Bruce Campbell, a spokesperson
for the board.

Two more components of the tests must still be analyzed, he added,
and those results are expected within the month.  A Ministry  of
Labor inspector was also present at the school during the tests,
according to Campbell.

"It is unfortunate that some individuals have circulated
inaccurate information through rumors and innuendo that has
unnecessarily raised the level of concern within and beyond the
school community," the letter to parents stated.

During regularly scheduled maintenance and renovation work at the
school over the Christmas holidays, tile flooring being removed
and replaced was found to contain trace amounts of "non-friable"
asbestos, according to the school board.

Asbestos in this form is not easily released into the air, said

"The asbestos fibers are bound or locked into the product matrix
so that fibers are not readily released," he explained.  "Such a
product would present a minimal risk for fiber release only when
subject to significant abrasion through activities like cutting or
sanding with electric power tools . . . none of that happened at

The tiles at the school were pre-soaked in water for 24 hours,
lifted from the floor and properly disposed of in hazardous
material bags, Campbell said.  The process was performed by a
contracted environmental consultant using strict Ministry of
Labour safety protocols and controls and in fact went even
further, he insisted.

Parents became aware of the work and concerned after a school
maintenance worker was seen wearing a mask.  A parent also snapped
photographs of a large dumpster on school grounds which appeared
to be filled with sealed hazardous waste disposal bags.
Campbell insisted maintenance staff at the school were not
involved in the removal process and had no information about why
the custodian would have been wearing a mask.

"Everything was done by the contractor," said Campbell.  He added
the material removed from the school was kept in a locked
container on school grounds until its removal by the contractor.
"Someone would basically have to break into the container if they
were taking anything out," he remarked.  "This is the normal,
standard disposal, storage method for this type of material."  The
40-year-old school located on Finchgate Boulevard has an enrolment
of about 300 students in kindergarten to Grade 8.

Campbell conceded some of the other older schools in the board
could contain non-friable asbestos, but there is no compulsion,
regulation or legislation requiring removal.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: DOE's Portsmouth Site Abatement Completed
The Chillicothe Gazette reports that an asbestos removal project
has been completed in a dry air plant in the X-333 Process
Building of the former gaseous diffusion plant at the Department
of Energy's Portsmouth Site in Piketon.

"The removal of asbestos is part of the decontamination and
decommissioning process (D&D)," DOE Site Director Vince Adams
said.  "Protecting the health and safety of the personnel at the
plant and in the community, as well as the environment, is the
first priority in the clean-up process.  Safe asbestos removal
like this in the X-333 will be a significant part of the
activities to come."

Asbestos was used in many structures worldwide for decades until
it was determined that particles from the material, when airborne,
could be hazardous to health.  The safe removal of asbestos has
become an important part of the demolition of any facility
constructed in the mid-20th century.

Cleanup work at the Piketon site was assumed by the DOE's primary
D&D contractor there, Fluor-B&W Portsmouth LLC, in March 2011.  In
partnership with Wastren Advantage Inc. of Piketon and
subcontractor Solid Rock of West Portsmouth, Fluor-B&W D&D
operations were able to remove asbestos associated with antiquated
and contaminated facilities that were part of the Cold War-era
uranium enrichment process.

Industry consensus is that asbestos in good condition,
undisturbed, is safe.  Because the older buildings are expected to
be demolished, including the X-333, the asbestos must be removed
within safe parameters established by the Ohio Environmental
Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Health.  The X-333
dry air plant asbestos project began in November and required
support in several specialized areas, Fluor-B&W Demolition Manager
Ken Shinkle said.

Superintendent Jay Smoyer said the asbestos is removed while
contained inside special "glove bags," and a filtered vacuum
system assures no material is released.  The material is then
removed and packaged into containers under Department of
Transportation standards and shipped out of the area to an
appropriate facility for disposal of contaminated asbestos.

"Many similar removal projects will soon be under way here as we
move forward with D&D," Adams said.  "The DOE, through the
dedicated effort of our project teams and their sub-contractors,
will continue to demonstrate a careful approach to safe
remediation here at the site."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gippsland Disposal System Still Seeking Funds
Louis Nelson at the Latrobe Valley Express reports that the hunt
for funding of the "world's first" mobile asbestos disposal
facility continues, after an initial funding attempt by local
organizations was rejected.

Funding for the project, which is designed to provide a
quarantined environment to dispose of asbestos safely, was
rejected by the Environment Protection Agency in November
following a submission by the Gippsland Regional Waste Management

Gippsland Asbestos Related Diseases Support group secretary Vicki
Hamilton, a key driver of the project, said she was "quite
shocked" the EPA could not afford the funding.  "It's the first of
its kind in the world and here is the EPA lagging behind; I'm
quite shocked that they can't afford a few hundred thousand
dollars for such a worthwhile project," Ms. Hamilton said.

Ms. Hamilton said more than three years had gone into developing
plans for the facility, which were at a construction-ready stage,
in conjunction with the GRWMG and mobile building developer Event
Studios Australia.

EPA director environmental regulation Chris Webb said eight out of
nine applicants, for the $250,000 available in asbestos-related
funding, were either fully successful or partially successful last
year, with beneficiaries from across Victoria including asbestos
bin installations to public awareness campaigns.

"With a limited pool of funds, the EPA was keen to see value for
money being represented and as many projects benefit as possible,"
Mr. Webb said.

According to design plans, the facility would enable a drive
through service for cars and trailers to be enclosed inside, where
a negative pressure environment would prevent any crumbling
'friable' asbestos from becoming airborne.

"Not only would people taking asbestos to the facility be safe,
but (it) also keeps the workers safe," Ms. Hamilton said.

She said the facility was the next stage in combating illegal
asbestos disposal in the region, after the success of asbestos
disposal kits implemented in Latrobe City Council.

This comes as a pile of rubbish including asbestos material dumped
at the derelict former Moe Presentation College site was assessed
by a Latrobe environmental health officer as originating from an
"external location".

GRWMG executive officer Matthew Peake said while he was
"disappointed" the funding submission failed, the project
"definitely had legs" and was hopeful it would attract funding.

"When you have things like cyclones and natural disasters, to be
able to transport this quite mobile facility to an area in need
would be of great benefit," Mr. Peake said.

While Mr. Peake said Gippsland had "a relatively high number of
disposal facilities", with five out of Gippsland's 50 transfer
stations capable of receiving asbestos, it had identified Baw Baw
Shire as the testing site for the facility, with the Trafalgar
landfill site expected to reach capacity by 2013.

"Everyone has totally believed this project (is one) that's worth
fighting for; we're committed to getting this one through," Ms.
Hamilton said.

Ms. Hamilton said she was due to meet with the EPA chairperson in
the coming weeks.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: William Search Ltd Faces Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Katie Baldwin of the Yorkshire Evening Post reports that the widow
of a man who died aged 54 of an asbestos-related cancer has spoken
of her "heartbreak" that he missed becoming a grandfather.

Solicitors are now investigating how Andrew Ward, was exposed to
the deadly fibers which lead to mesothelioma.

Mr. Ward, from Lower Wortley, Leeds, died in March 2011 -- eight
months after being diagnosed with the incurable cancer of the lung

His wife, Daryl, who was married to Andrew for 32 years, said:
"I'm totally devastated by Andrew's death.  It was horrifying to
see the cancer take hold so quickly, and at such a young age for

"Our daughter Leanne gave birth to her first child in October and
it's heartbreaking to know that Andrew has missed out on the
chance to be a grandfather.  It's something he had always looked
forward to."

Solicitors Irwin Mitchell are looking into conditions at William
G. Search Limited, where Mr. Ward worked as a hire controller
between 1978 and 1981.

The firm, which has its head office on Whitehall Road, Leeds,
leases out equipment including portable buildings.

Mrs. Ward added: "Nothing can bring Andrew back but I just want to
get to the bottom of where and why he was exposed to asbestos.  If
anybody worked at the company during the same time as Andrew I
urge them to come forward."

A spokesman for William G. Search said: "We are of course very sad
to hear that one of our former employees has passed away at such a
relatively young age, and our thoughts are with his widow and

He added that the long-established family business had an
"exceptional" safety record and did all possible to make it a safe
place to work for employees.

The spokesman said that their insurers had conducted enquiries,
including with former workers and around Mr. Ward's employment
with the firm, and had concluded the company was not responsible
for his illness.

"Whilst we have the greatest sympathy for Mr. Ward's family on its
loss, we do not believe that this company was responsible in any
way for the disease," he added.

Anyone who worked with Mr. Ward or has information should contact
Ian Toft on 0870 1500 100 or email ian.toft@irwinmitchell.com

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Howzat Fitness Abatement Will Go "By The Book"
The ABC News reports that the operators of Newcastle's Howzat
Fitness Centre say all precautions will be taken to protect nearby
residents when work starts on removing the asbestos-affected roof.

The centre has been closed since November after low levels of
asbestos were found in dust samples.

Howzat Director Alan Green says the asbestos removal and internal
cleaning will take several weeks but nearby properties will not be

"We've carried out a letter-box drop to inform everyone around
Howzat that the work is occurring," he said.

"We have engaged a hygienist to ensure that all the work that's
carried out on the roof is done according to the regulations.

"We'll be monitoring the work on a daily basis."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: School Site Hazmat Not Friable, Council Says
Lynda McRae of The Latrobe Valley Express reports that debate has
surrounded the potential risk of asbestos left at Moe's former
Presentation College school site.

A recent inspection of the Wirraway Street site by Latrobe City
Council's environmental health officers found there was a pile of
rubbish, including asbestos material, on the site, but council
maintained this did not pose a "nuisance".

Council said the material appeared to have been relocated from an
external location and had not originated from the existing

The Gippsland Asbestos Related Diseases group has, however,
supported the campaign being waged by a resident in the Wirraway
Street area to see the material removed immediately.

GARDS secretary Vicki Hamilton said any broken asbestos sheets,
lying around on a site which could be accessed by the public,
posed a health risk

Moe resident Chris, who did not want his surname published, has
mounted an intense campaign over past months to have council force
the site owner to clean up the land.

In a series of emails seen by The Express, Chris has highlighted
the "absolutely disgusting, third world slum state" of the site
and asked council to get its "act together" on the matter.

Latrobe City Council general manager community livability Michael
Edgar said local laws officers had inspected the property and
asked the owner to remove the rubbish and attend to overgrown

Mr. Edgar told The Express several property inspections had
"confirmed the property did not constitute a nuisance pursuant to
the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008".

In a more recent letter to Chris, Council's local laws coordinator
Peter Fraser said while asbestos materials were present on the
site, they were "not in a friable state therefore they do not
constitute a nuisance" pursuant to that Act.

According to council, the December inspection found a large pile
of hard rubbish and building materials had accumulated in the
quadrangle of the former school but no friable asbestos was

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Garfield Elementary Abatement Lowest Bid at $138K
Phyllis Zorn of Enid News and Eagle reports that School
construction and renovation issues once again will be at the
forefront at the Enid Public Schools Board of Education meeting.

At the meeting, the board will consider awarding a contract for
demolition of the old armory building on the grounds of the new
Garfield Elementary School.  Oklahoma Department of Environmental
Quality has finished lead removal and is ready to begin asbestos
abatement on the old armory.  Demolition can begin as soon as the
state completes asbestos work.

Of the six companies submitting bids, JDC Contracting submitted
the lowest at $138,000.

The board also will consider a change order for Silvercliffe
Construction's work on Taft Elementary School.  An increase of
$3,140 is sought to repair existing water damage to walls and
ceilings.  If approved, the change will bring the new total for
work at Taft to $1.3 million.

Board members will consider hiring Easley Associates Architects to
design a bus parking lot at the maintenance center on Cleveland.
The central office complex is in need of greater parking area, so
buses would be parked at the maintenance center if a new lot is
built there.

Up for discussion will be a memorandum of understanding with
Opportunities Inc., which operates Head Start in Enid.  The
memorandum irons out the agreement regarding the use of the Carver
building for Head Start preschool and such additional items as
nutrition services for Head Start.

Board members will consider contracts with Community Development
Support Association for the Parents as Teachers program and Enid
Public School Foundation for the mutual benefit of each

Also on the agenda are several routine purchase and spending
approvals for school activity fund accounts and encumbrances from
transportation bond, multipurpose bond, activity, educational
facilities and general funds.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: RACV Denies Insurance Claim
Jesse Wray-McCann of The Mordialloc Chelsea Leader reports that
the Chelsea family whose home was blanketed in asbestos has been
dealt another blow after their insurance claim was rejected.

Dr. Len Cubitt and his family were forced to evacuate their Bath
St. home last month after a contractor sprayed lethal asbestos
fibers over their property while cleaning a neighbor's roof with a
high-pressure water hose.

The clean-up cost is expected to top $200,000 for Dr. Cubitt's
home and two other properties, while Dr. Cubitt faces costs of up
to $30,000 to reinstate contaminated paving, trees, shrubs and
even the topsoil.

But Dr. Cubitt was left dismayed and shocked last week when RACV
rejected his insurance claim on the basis that the incident was
not a "malicious act".

"If it's not a malicious or deliberate act then it's an accident
and I thought that's what insurance was meant to cover," Dr.
Cubitt said.  "For RACV to find a loophole like this is
fundamentally wrong.

"This has been an absolute rollercoaster emotionally for me, my
wife and family, and now to be treated like this is just
terrible."  Dr. Cubitt, who has been with RACV since the 1970s,
said he would fight the decision.

RACV general manager insurance Paul Northey said home insurance
claims for incidents that were a result of malicious acts were
covered by the RACV policy.

WorkSafe is making inquiries about the incident after launching an
investigation into the contractor.

WorkSafe and Kingston Council will be monitoring clean-up works on
the three properties, which are due to take place this week.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: LNP Says Government Tried to Hide Mismanagement
Kerri Burns-Taylor of the Warwick Daily News reports that the
State Government has come under fire for yet another report of
asbestos mismanagement inside school gates.

Students at Townsville made a startling find when they discovered
traces of the deadly material in their science kits.

The LNP has accused the government of attempting to cover up the

Warwick is no stranger to asbestos scandals, with the potentially
deadly material found scattered around Warwick West School at the
start of last year.

As with this latest incident, there were allegations of a cover-

A whistleblower at the heart of the West School debacle accused
authorities of attempting to hide the information from parents,
only alerting them after rumors began circulating and parents
withdrew their children from class.

Member for Southern Downs, Lawrence Springborg, said while he was
not aware of all the finer details of the Townsville incident, he
would be hugely concerned if it were true there was a deliberate

When asked whether the allegations of mismanagement were a failure
of the policy itself or its execution, Mr. Springborg said the
policy was not to blame.

He said the department's policy manual was so black and white "it
looks like a zebra".  He said the Warwick West debacle was the
result of a failure to adhere to it.

"The manual is one of the clearest manuals anyone could read and
the problem was departmental people didn't follow it," he said.

"It's so clear, a primary schooler could clearly understand it."

Mr. Springborg said he had no doubt these kinds of claims would
continue to arise in schools.

"It is inevitable there will be more incidents because that's what
happens.  It would be a brave man to say it was the last time an
incident like this would happen," he said.

LNP shadow minister for education Dr. Bruce Flegg slammed the
Bligh government for "deliberately trying to hide the presence of
asbestos in schools from parents".

"Why did the Bligh Government refuse to make a public statement
about the discovery of asbestos in science kits?" he asked

"Labor is dangerously exposing our children to asbestos.

"It would seem Labor chose to keep the revelation under wraps to
avoid adverse publicity."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chadha, Robinson Resign From Red Cross Board
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center reports that Roshi Chadha, a
corporate executive in the business of asbestos exportation, on
Jan. 16, 2012, resigned from the board of directors at the
Canadian Red Cross, three days after receiving a vote of
confidence from the organization's leaders.

Her sudden resignation stemmed from efforts made primarily by the
Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims (CVAV), which had been
lobbying for her dismissal.

"This is wonderful news, just wonderful," Stacy Cattran, one of
the co-founders of CVAV told Asbestos.com.  "This is a real
victory for the cause.  Unfortunately, we haven't had enough of
them in the past in Canada.  There have been too many rejections.
This is very empowering, knowing our voices can be heard.  It's

Chadha is an executive with Seja Trade, an exporting company and a
subsidiary of Balcorp, Ltd., which is lobbying the Canadian
government for a $58 million loan guarantee to reopen an asbestos
mine in Quebec.  She also is married to Balcorp president Baljit

Asbestos is the mineral that causes mesothelioma cancer.

Roshi served on the board of directors since 2008.  Her term was
to expire in June.

On Friday, Jan. 13, before the three-day Red Cross Board of
Directors meeting was scheduled to begin, the Red Cross issued a
statement in her support:

"The Canadian Red Cross announced [on Jan. 13] that Ms. Roshi
Chadha, a valued member of its National Board of Governors will
complete her term, ending in June, 2012.  In accordance with the
by-laws of the Canadian Red Cross, members of its National Board
of Governors are elected or re-elected through a nomination
process that culminates with a vote by eligible volunteers from
across the country as part of its Annual General Meeting in June."

The statement was sent on behalf of Sam Schwisberg, general
counsel and corporate secretary of the Canadian Red Cross.

By Sunday, Jan. 15, though, Chadha had informed other board
members that she would resign.  By Jan. 16, the Canadian Red Cross
had removed her name from the list of Board of Directors on its
web site, leaving only a hint of what had transpired.

"After the Jan. 13-15 meeting of the National Board of Governors,
two Governors have resigned from the Board due to governance
issues," is what it said under the list of current Board members.

Also leaving suddenly this weekend from the Board was Peter
Robinson, CEO of the Suzuki Foundation, an environmental group
that had been critical of the asbestos industry.  Speculation is
that Robinson resigned because of the organization's earlier
support of Chadha, which had come just hours before the entire
board was scheduled to discuss the issue.

Although the use of asbestos has been dramatically reduced in
Canada in recent decades, the exportation to developing countries
continued until the last few months of 2011 when the last two
remaining mines were closed.  Chadha and her husband have been
lobbying to re-open one of the mines to resume the exportation.

The Canadian Red Cross is considered one of the world's leading
humanitarian organizations, providing much-needed disaster relief
both at home and abroad, often to developing countries where the
asbestos has been shipped.

The inclusion of Chadha on the board had infuriated the growing
anti-asbestos faction in Canada, and an obvious conflict of

Chadha also is a board member with the St. Mary's Hospital and
McGill University in Canada, which is where the anti-asbestos
lobby will move next.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: SSAG Braces for Round 2 v Oaktree Environmental
Bristol Evening Post reports that Protesters against the dumping
of asbestos near the source of much of North Somerset's water are
preparing for battle once again.

Concerned residents have launched their second campaign to stop
what they fear would be a "dangerous" development at Stowey Quarry
in the Chew valley.

Oaktree Environmental wants to store up to 645,000 tons of "stable
non-reactive hazardous waste" in the quarry over the next 10 years
-- including cancer-causing asbestos.

Objectors have a number of fears, the main one that asbestos
particles could find their way into nearby Chew Valley Lake, which
provides water for much of Bristol, North Somerset and North East

They are also worried about the possibility of airborne asbestos
particles affecting people's health and an increase in the number
of lorries using the area's country roads to and from the quarry.

Permission was initially granted by Bath and North East Somerset
Council's planning committee by six votes to five last July,
despite opposition from Bristol Water and parish councilors.

But following continued protests, petitioning and the threat of a
judicial review, the committee agreed last September to quash its

The council admitted it had not adequately informed residents of
the nature of the plans before they were considered.  That U-turn
was formally ratified at the High Court last month.  But that
means it is back to square one for the protesters, as the planning
application is expected to be re-advertised soon before a new
decision later in the year.

A council spokesman said before the High Court ratification: "We
accept that the site notice and newspaper advert did not wholly
comply with Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations.  "A
member of the public reading the notices would have been unlikely
to realize that the proposal was for EIA development and would
therefore be unaware of their right to inspect and comment upon
the environmental statement at an early stage in the process.

"The planning application will be properly advertised and re-
determined by the council.  Members of the public and stakeholders
will have the opportunity to give their view about the application
once the proposal is re-advertised."

On Jan. 13, the Stop Stowey Action Group held a rallying meeting
at Bishop Sutton village hall.  About 100 people were in
attendance, signing petitions and letters of concern to the
council, and letters to the Environment Agency and Bristol Water
urging their support against the application.

The first time round, 1,800 signatures on a petition were
submitted and there were a number of protest marches after the
application had been considered.  This time the group is ensuring
it is fully prepared for the re-application, and the 21 days in
which they will be able to make objections.

Dr. Phil Hammond, who is also a journalist and comedian, urged
everyone to spread the word and support the campaign.

"What we've done before is brilliant, but it counts for nothing
the second time round and we've got to state our case as strongly
as possible again," Dr. Hammond said.  "The proposals make no
sense whatsoever to me and I believe we have a very strong case.
It just seems to be a completely wrong site for the dumping of
hazardous waste."

Residents also expressed concern about the effect the extra
traffic could have on the "area of outstanding natural beauty" and
the possibility of hazardous waste escaping from the quarry, which
is on a hill, if there was a landslide.

David Elliott, 57, who has lived near the quarry in Hinton Blewett
for the last 30 years, was the person who launched the judicial
review to "protect his family".

At the meeting, he said: "We have to do everything we possibly can
to stop this happening."

Dr. David Dickerson, of Bishop Sutton, has carried out extensive
research for the campaign.

Talking of how asbestos particles could pass through the air, he
said: "They would have no problem, even on a non-windy day,
reaching Bishop Sutton.  But on a windy day these fibers would
remain in the air, maybe until we get a good deluge or a good fog
to wash it out."

Preparing for their next planning battle, campaigners took home
placards saying "Stop Stowey Quarry, Say No To Asbestos."

Oaktree Environmental already has consent for lorry deliveries to
dump general waste, and permission for mineral extraction from the
quarry if it wishes.  Marco Muia, director of sales and special
projects, confirmed the application will be reheard, but said the
date it will be re-advertised is up to the council.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kits Being "Portable Items" Were Not Registered
Tanya Chilcot and Peter Michael of The Courier-Mail report that
asbestos found in classroom mineral kits does not have to be
recorded on State Government school registers set up to inform
parents of the potentially deadly material.

It comes despite kits across the state testing positive for
asbestos, with students potentially being exposed.

The Courier-Mail revealed on Jan. 16 there had been two statewide
recalls of classroom mineral kits last year after four Year 8
Townsville students opened one and identified the potentially
deadly material had once been inside.

The kit later tested positive for the substance, although the rock
sample had been removed.

The State Government and Opposition blamed each other for exposing
students to asbestos.  Opposition education spokesman Dr. Bruce
Flegg said the availability of the kits in schools until 2011 was
"astonishing" and evidence the Government was not taking asbestos
seriously, but Premier Anna Bligh said the LNP had put the kits
into schools.

Education Queensland director-general Julie Grantham said at least
159 kits had been removed from 75 schools, but these discoveries
did not have to be placed on school asbestos registers because
they weren't buildings or fixed plant and equipment associated
with buildings and grounds.

"The mineral kits are considered to be a portable item," Ms.
Grantham said.

Dr. Flegg said the failure to include portable items on the
registers exposed a loophole for other potentially dangerous items
containing asbestos.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: City to Disburse $5MM, After Johnsonia Abatement
Paula J. Owen at the Telegram & Gazette reports that City
officials and attorneys representing the owner of the Johnsonia
Building are at odds over how much insurance money to make
available to the city if the fire-damaged building on Main Street
becomes structurally unsafe and needs to be immediately

It has been six months since the six-alarm fire that ripped
through the top, fifth floor of the building the evening of June
13, displacing more than 60 people.

Since then, city officials have become increasingly wary about the
potential dangers the building and the asbestos inside it pose to
the public.

In housing court Dec. 17, the city attempted to access part of
$6.1 million in insurance money in the event the Johnsonia
building becomes structurally dangerous with potential winter
storms, but was denied.

The court gave owner Clark Straight more time to deal with the
building, including the removal of asbestos.  Stephen D. Curry,
the director of the city's Health Department, is in charge of
making sure Mr. Clark follows through with housing court orders to
have asbestos removed.

Mr. Clark, Mr. Curry said, hired a company to remove asbestos from
the building and is working on a plan to submit to the city and
Department of Environmental Protection.

"They are trying to test some things that potentially may not be
asbestos, to save costs," said Mr. Curry. "Otherwise it will all
be assumed to be asbestos.  They are ruling things out."

Mr. Clark's attorneys, he said, have made a proposal to disburse
$5 million of the $6.1 million to pay some of the contractors that
have worked in the building since the fire and pay for attorney

However, Mr. Curry said the city wants more than $1.1 million held
back should the building endanger the public.

"They want to take the entire $5 million and disburse it," Mr.
Curry said.  "We want to leave a little more in the coffers in
case we have an emergency storm that causes a partial collapse, to
protect the general public.  We don't want the money released
unless the asbestos is done.  We have no objection to paying for
the work that has been done, but we want to see itemized lists of
attorney fees to show costs."

Mr. Curry said the city does not want the cost of demolishing the
building on the backs of taxpayers.  If asbestos is not removed
from the building and it has to be torn down, it could cost in
excess of $6 million, he said.

"It shouldn't be on the taxpayers' backs," Mr. Curry said. "That
is what we're trying to protect, along with potential dangers."

If asbestos is removed, the city would be agreeable to the $5
million disbursement, Mr. Curry said.

"It is reasonable for asbestos removal to take another 30 to 60
days once a plan is in place and permits are issued," Mr. Curry
said.  "It could be quicker, depending on what these tests show."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Scott" Suit vs. Chase Corp. Remains Inactive
Chase Corporation is one of over 100 defendants in a lawsuit
pending in Ohio which alleges personal injury from exposure to
asbestos contained in certain Chase products.  The case is
captioned Marie Lou Scott, Executrix of the Estate of James T.
Scott v. A-Best Products, et al., No. 312901 in the Court of
Common Pleas for Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  The plaintiff in the case
issued discovery requests to Chase in August 2005, to which Chase
timely responded in September 2005.  The trial had initially been
scheduled to begin on April 30, 2007.  However, that date had been
postponed and no new trial date has been set.  As of November
2011, there have been no new developments as this Ohio lawsuit has
been inactive with respect to Chase, according to the Company's
January 9, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended November 30,

Chase Corporation, founded in 1946 -- http://www.chasecorp.com/--
is a manufacturer of protective materials for high reliability
applications throughout the world.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chase Corp. Still in Discovery in "Jansen" Suit
Chase Corporation was named as one of the defendants in a
complaint filed on June 25, 2009, in a lawsuit captioned Lois
Jansen, Individually and as Special Administrator of the Estate of
Thomas Jansen v. Beazer East, Inc., et al., No: 09-CV-6248 in the
Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) Circuit Court.  The plaintiff alleges
that her husband suffered and died from malignant mesothelioma
resulting from exposure to asbestos in his workplace.  The
plaintiff has sued seven alleged manufacturers or distributors of
asbestos-containing products, including Royston Laboratories
(formerly an independent company and now owned by Chase
Corporation).  Chase has filed an answer to the claim denying the
material allegations in the complaint.  The parties are currently
engaged in discovery, according to the Company's January 9, 2012,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarterly period ended November 30, 2011.

Chase Corporation, founded in 1946 -- http://www.chasecorp.com/--
is a manufacturer of protective materials for high reliability
applications throughout the world.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: MRC Global Continues to Defend 989 Claims
MRC Global Inc. is involved in various legal proceedings and
claims, both as a plaintiff and a defendant, which arise in the
ordinary course of business. These legal proceedings include
claims that individuals brought against a large number of
defendant entities, including the Company, seeking damages for
injuries that certain products containing asbestos allegedly

As of September 30, 2011, the Company is a defendant in lawsuits
involving approximately 989 of these claims. Each claim involves
allegations of exposure to asbestos-containing materials by an
individual or his or her family members. The complaints typically
name many defendants. In a majority of these lawsuits, little or
no information is known regarding the nature of the plaintiff's
alleged injuries or their connection with products that the
Company distributed. Through September 30, 2011, lawsuits
involving over 11,817 claims have been brought against the
Company. No asbestos lawsuit has resulted in a judgment against
the Company to date, with the majority being settled, dismissed or
otherwise resolved. In total, since the first asbestos claim
brought against the Company through September 30, 2011,
approximately $1.6 million has been paid to asbestos claimants in
connection with settlements of claims against the Company without
regard to insurance recoveries. Of this amount, approximately $1.1
million has been paid to settle claims alleging mesothelioma, $0.3
million for claims alleging lung cancer and $0.1 million for non-
malignant claims.

According to the Company's January 12, 2012, Form S-1 filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, there has been an
increase in the number of claims filed since the fiscal year
ending December 31, 2009.  The Company believes that this increase
is due to a recent increase in the marketing efforts by personal
injury law firms in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Although the
Company does not know whether this is a trend that will continue
in the near term, in the long term, the Company anticipates that
asbestos-related litigation against it will decrease as the
incidence of asbestos-related disease in the general U.S.
population decreases.

The Company annually conducts analyses of its asbestos-related
litigation to estimate the adequacy of the reserve for pending and
probable asbestos-related claims. These analyses consist of
separately estimating the Company's reserve with respect to
pending claims (both those scheduled for trial and those for which
a trial date had not been scheduled), mass filings (including
lawsuits brought in West Virginia each involving many, in some
cases over a hundred, plaintiffs, which include little information
regarding the nature of each plaintiff's claim and historically
have rarely resulted in any payments to plaintiff) and probable
future claims. A key element of the analysis is categorizing the
Company's claims by the type of disease the plaintiffs allege and
developing "benchmark" estimated settlement values for each claim
category based on the Company's historical settlement experience.
These estimated settlement values are applied to each of the
Company's pending individual claims. With respect to pending
claims where the disease type is unknown, the outcome is projected
based on historic experience. The reserve with respect to mass
filings is estimated by determining the number of individual
plaintiffs included in the mass filings likely to have claims
resulting in settlements based on the Company's historical
experience with mass filings. Finally, the Company estimates the
value of probable claims that plaintiffs may assert against it
over the next 15 years based on public health estimates of future
incidences of certain asbestos-related diseases in the general
U.S. population. Estimated settlement values are applied to those
projected claims. the Company's annual assessment, dated September
30, 2011, projected that its payments to asbestos claimants over
the next 15 years are estimated to range from $5 million to $11
million. Given these estimates and existing insurance coverage
that historically has been available to cover substantial portions
of its past payments to claimants and defense costs, the Company
believes that its current accruals and associated estimates
relating to pending and probable asbestos-related litigation
likely to be asserted over the next 15 years are currently
adequate.  The Company's belief that its accruals and associated
estimates are currently adequate, however, relies on a number of
significant assumptions, including:

   * That the Company's future settlement payments, disease mix
     and dismissal rates will be materially consistent with
     historic experience;

   * That future incidences of asbestos-related diseases in the
     U.S. will be materially consistent with current public
     health estimates;

   * That the rates at which future asbestos-related mesothelioma
     incidences result in compensable claims filings against the
     Company will be materially consistent with its historic

   * That insurance recoveries for settlement payments and
     defense costs will be materially consistent with historic

   * That legal standards (and the interpretation of these
     standards) applicable to asbestos litigation will not change
     in material respects;

   * That there are no materially negative developments in the
     claims pending against the Company; and

   * That key co-defendants in current and future claims remain

If any of these assumptions prove to be materially different in
light of future developments, liabilities related to asbestos-
related litigation may be materially different than amounts
accrued or estimated. Further, while the Company anticipates that
additional claims will be filed in the future, it is unable to
predict with any certainty the number, timing and magnitude of
such future claims.

MRC Global Inc. is the largest global industrial distributor of
pipe, valves and fittings ("PVF") and related products and
services to the energy industry based on sales.

GARLOCK SEALING: Asbestos Claimants May Seek Docs From BofA
Amanda Bransford at Bankruptcy Law360 reports that the North
Carolina federal judge overseeing Garlock Sealing Technologies
LLC's bankruptcy has granted a bid by asbestos injury claimants to
obtain information from Bank of America NA and Duff & Phelps LLC
regarding corporate restructurings that took place before the

Over Garlock's objections, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George R. Hodges
granted a motion submitted by a committee of asbestos claimants
allowing it to compel testimony and review documents held by the
bank, which reviewed the restructurings, Law360 relates.

                      About Garlock Sealing

Headquartered in Palmyra, New York, Garlock Sealing Technologies
LLC is a unit of EnPro Industries, Inc. (NYSE: NPO).  For more
than a century, Garlock has been helping customers efficiently
seal the toughest process fluids in the most demanding

On June 5, 2010, Garlock filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition
(Bankr. W.D. N.C. Case No. 10-31607) in Charlotte, North Carolina,
to establish a trust to resolve all current and future asbestos
claims against Garlock under Section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy
Code.  The Debtor estimated $500 million to $1 billion in assets
and up to $500 million in debts as of the Petition Date.
Affiliates The Anchor Packing Company and Garrison Litigation
Management Group, Ltd., also filed for bankruptcy.

The filing covers only Garlock operations in Palmyra, New York and
Houston, Texas.  Garlock Rubber Technologies, Garlock Helicoflex,
Pikotek, Technetics, Garlock Europe and Garlock operations in
Canada, Mexico or Australia are not affected by the filing, nor is
EnPro Industries or any other EnPro operating subsidiary.

Albert F. Durham, Esq., at Rayburn Cooper & Durham, P.A.,
represents the Debtor in its Chapter 11 effort.  Garland S.
Cassada, Esq., at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, serves as counsel
for asbestos matters.

The Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants in
the Chapter 11 cases is represented by Travis W. Moon, Esq., at
Hamilton Moon Stephens Steele & Martin, PLLC, in Charlotte, NC,
Elihu Inselbuch, Esq., at Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, in New
York, and Trevor W. Swett III, Esq., Leslie M. Kelleher, Esq., and
Jeanna Rickards Koski, Esq., in Washington, D.C. 20005.

Joseph W. Grier, III, the Court-appointed legal representative for
future asbestos claimants, has retained A. Cotten Wright, Esq., at
Grier Furr & Crisp, PA, and Richard H. Wyron, Esq., and Jonathan
P. Guy, Esq., at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, as his co-

About 124,000 asbestos claims are pending against Garlock in
stateand federal courts across the country.  The Company says
majority of pending asbestos actions against it is stale and
dormant -- almost 110,000 or 88% were filed more than four years
ago and more than 44,000 or 35% were filed more than 10 years ago.


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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