CAR_Public/120330.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, March 30, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 64

                             Headlines

APPLICA CONSUMER: Faces Class Action Over Defective Coffeemakers
BROADWAY CAPITAL: Being Sold to Nuance for Too Little, Suit Says
CARRIER IQ: Sued Over Secret Cell Phone Tracking Software
CASH AMERICA: Faces Class Action Over Excessive Interest Charges
CENTRO: Former Chairman Shocked by Accounting Error

CHINA AUTOMOTIVE: Class Period in Securities Suit Amended
CITIBANK NA: Not Liable for Damages for Freezing Accounts
COMMERCIAL BARGE: Still Awaits Dismissal of Suits in Louisiana
COMPUCREDIT CORP: Arbitration Bid Sent to California Court
DEUTSCHE BANK: Forcibly Removed Tenants From Homes, Suit Says

DEVRY INC: Dewey & LeBoeuf Obtains Dismissal of Shareholder Suit
FREEPORT-MCMORAN: Awaits Approval of Settlement in Blackwell Case
GMX RESOURCES: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Appoint Lead Plaintiff
GREAT AMERICAN: Recalls 14,050 Arena Lamps Due to Shock Hazard
GREENBERG TRAURIG: Judge Certifies Fraud Class Action

GOV'T OF CANADA: Court Dismisses Pathology Class Action
GOV'T OF CANADA: Faces Class Action Over Halibut Allocation
HSBC USA: Mediation Ongoing in Antitrust Suit Pending in New York
HSBC USA: Continues to Defend in Madoff-Related Class Suits
INT'L DEVELOPMENT: Sued Over Deceptive Business Practices

JAMBA INC: Made Payments Pursuant to Suit Settlement Last Month
LAKESHORE LEARNING: Recalls 4,300 Baby Dolls Due to Choking Risk
MORGAN STANLEY: ERISA Class Suit Remains Pending in New York
MORGAN STANLEY: Continues to Defend "Coulter" Suit
MORGAN STANLEY: "Stratte-McClure" Suit Remains Pending in NY

MORGAN STANLEY: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Dismiss Securities Suit
MORGAN STANLEY: Continues to Defend Cheyne-Related Class Suit
MORGAN STANLEY: Rhinebridge-Related Suit Remains Pending in N.Y.
OCMAC LLC: Accused of Unlicensed Debt Collection in Illinois
PFIZER INC: Loses Bid to Dismiss Securities Class Action

PSE&G CO: Continues to Defend Action Pending in New Jersey BPU
PUBLIC SERVICE: Parent Awaits Ruling on Bid to Junk "Comer" Suit
R.J. REYNOLDS: High Court Won't Hear Appeal in Tobacco Suit
SNC-LAVALIN: CEO Steps Down Amid Shareholder Class Action
STATE OF FLORIDA: Child Care Class Action Nears Conclusion

TOBACCO COMPANIES: High Court Rejects Appeals in Smokers' Suit
TRANSATLANTIC HOLDINGS: Inked MoU to Resolve Merger-Related Suits
UNITED EGG: Majority of Egg Price-Fixing Claims Can Proceed
UPONOR INC: July 19 Hearing Set for Class Action Settlement
XL GROUP: Awaits Approval of New Jersey Class Action Settlement

                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Moreland Council Expects More Work for Abaters
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Pleas to Ex-workers at Ambrose Shardlow
ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Contaminated" Dearborn Towers Sold for $6.25MM
ASBESTOS UPDATE: $7.7MM Renovation of Hammondsport Bldg Discussed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Benton Sand & Gravel Gets Waterloo Abatement Job

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Non-Profit Pony Club Devastated and Contaminated
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Kraft Power's First-to-File Argument
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Dismisses Suit v. Georgia-Pacific
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co. Fails to Dismiss Contento Tort Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Ct. Rules in Suit v. Air & Liquid et al.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chicago Bridge Had $1.6MM Liability at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: W.R. Grace's Recorded Liability Was $1.7 Billion
ASBESTOS UPDATE: W.R. Grace's Libby-Related Liability Was $67.2MM
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pepco Had 180 Cases Pending in Maryland in Dec.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pepco's Unit Continues to Defend New Jersey Suit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Enstar Had $528.4MM Net Loss Reserves at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: OfficeMax Remains Defendant in Exposure Cases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Selective Insurance Has $6.5MM Asbestos Reserves
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Curtiss-Wright Faces 177 Pending Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: GATX Corp. Had 190 Pending Cases at Jan. 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ensco plc Still a Defendant in Exposure Cases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: General Electric Remains Subject to Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lincoln Electric Has Claims by 16,781 Plaintiffs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Olin Corp. Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Xcel Energy's ARO for Asbestos Total $55.4MM

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Alleghany Unit Reserves $11 Million at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: IDEX Corp. Remains a Defendant in PI Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Roper Industries Still a Defendant in Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hartford Financial Had $1.9BB Net Reserves
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ace Ltd. Had 1,060 Open Claims at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: PartnerRe Ltd. Had Net Reserves of $195MM
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cytec Industries Had $42.4M Liability at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wabtec Still Defends Personal Injury Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Miscommunication Hound St. Mary's Villa Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Renovation at St. Peter's School Exposes Fibro

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gardeners' 3 Yr-Old Complaint Continues
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADFA Head Calls Attorney-General Smith "Evil"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: French Study Signifies Age Factor During Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Charges Filed vs. 2 Violators of Clean Air Act
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victims Cry Injustice Over UK Pay Out Scheme

ASBESTOS UPDATE: GEI Gets Old Resto Abatement Job on $12,500 Bid
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Inquest Rules COD Was Partly Due to Asbestosis
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Claim Filed in Kanawha vs. Ford Motor, 48 Others
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Full Abatement Required at Flora Stevenson School
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazards Add $11K to Franklin City Project Cost

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Changes to Tortfeasor Contribution Statute Sought
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gene Therapy Shows Encouraging Results
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calgary Univ Students Seek Info on Asbestos Issue
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Coroner Asserts Tobacco on Ex-Builders COD
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Advocacy Group Sues WMS Solution Over Hazard

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Quebec Institute Affirms Chrysotile Is NOT Safe
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Judge Calls Fee-Referral Issue a Demagoguery
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ESG Sets Assessment and Remediation Standards
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Regional School Exposed 9 Students to Carcinogens
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Participant Climbs for Parents Taken by Cancer

                          *********

APPLICA CONSUMER: Faces Class Action Over Defective Coffeemakers
----------------------------------------------------------------
Applica Consumer Products Inc. is being sued in a class action
product liability lawsuit claiming its coffeemakers are defective
and pose safety risks to consumers.

According to Law360, lead plaintiff Faith Messick claims that the
handle on the Spacemaker 12-Cup Programmable Under-The-Cabinet
Coffeemaker breaks away from the glass carafe.

The product liability lawsuit states, "after approximately four
months of use, plaintiff made a pot of coffee and when she tried
to pour it, as a result of the design defect, the handle broke
away from the glass carafe, causing the carafe to break and hot
coffee to spill all over.  Plaintiff tried to repair the carafe
herself, but it does not function as represented."

Ms. Messick alleges that Applica actively concealed the defect and
refused to honor its two-year warranty to fix the problem or
provide a full refund to consumers who purchased the coffeemaker.
She further alleges that the company violated the Delaware
Consumer Fraud Act, and asserts unjust enrichment, and breach of
implied warranty.


BROADWAY CAPITAL: Being Sold to Nuance for Too Little, Suit Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that shareholders claim Broadway
Capital is selling itself too cheaply through an unfair process to
Nuance Communications, a medical transcription company, for $29.50
a share, in Fulton County Superior Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Broadway Capital v. Gerdes, et al.,
Case No. 2012CV213119 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cty.), is available
at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/27/SCA.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jesse A. Davis, III, Esq.
          DAVIS ADAMS, LLC
          125 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 525
          Decatur, GA 30030
          Telephone: (404) 373-8466
          E-mail: jad@davis-adams.com

               - and -

          Richard B. Brualdi, Esq.
          THE BRUALDI LAW FIRM, P.C.
          29 Broadway, 24th Floor
          New York, NY 10006
          Telephone: (212) 952-0602
          E-mail: rbrualdi@brualdilawfirm.com


CARRIER IQ: Sued Over Secret Cell Phone Tracking Software
---------------------------------------------------------
Shawn Grisham and Bobby Cline, individually and on behalf of a
class of similarly situated individuals v. Carrier, IQ, Inc.; LG
Electronics U.S.A., Inc.; Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC;
and Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Case No. 5:12-cv-01400
(N.D. Calif., March 20, 2012) complain of the Defendants'
violations of federal privacy laws by secretly installing and
using software on Plaintiffs and class members' cellular
telephones.

The Plaintiffs contend that the class action arises out of the
Defendants' surreptitious use of cell phone tracking software.
They add that the lawsuit is brought on behalf of persons who used
at least one cell phone manufactured and distributed by LG or
Samsung, which contained "rootkit" software designed and sold by
Carrier IQ, and whose privacy was violated through the
installation and use of this software without Plaintiffs' and the
Class' knowledge.

Shawn Grisham is a resident of Mississippi and uses a Samsung
phone.  Bobby Cline is a resident of Michigan and has used five LG
cellular phones since May of 2011.

Carrier IQ is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of
business in Mountain View, California.  Carrier IQ designs and
markets software to cellular phone manufacturers, like Samsung and
LG, and phone service carriers to help them identify and rectify
service and quality-related problems like dropped calls and
battery drain.  LG Electronics is a Delaware corporation based in
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.  Samsung Telecommunications is a
Delaware limited liability company based in Richardson, Texas.
Samsung Electronics is a New York corporation based in Ridgefield
Park, New Jersey.  LG and Samsung design, manufacture and
distribute cellular telephones.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Michael A. Caddell, Esq.
          Cynthia B. Chapman, Esq.
          Craig C. Marchiando, Esq.
          CADDELL & CHAPMAN
          1331 Lamar, Suite 1070
          Houston, TX 77010-3027
          Telephone: (713) 751-0400
          Facsimile: (713) 751-0906
          E-mail: mac@caddellchapman.com
                  cbc@caddellchapman.com
                  ccm@caddellchapman.com


CASH AMERICA: Faces Class Action Over Excessive Interest Charges
----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action claims Cash
America of Missouri dba Cash America Pawn of Kansas City charges
unconscionable interest rates of up to 469 percent, in Jackson
County Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Hamilton v. Cash America of Missouri,
Inc. d/b/a Cash America Pawn of Kansas City, Case No. _____ (Mo.
Cir. Ct., Jackson Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/27/Payday.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Dirk Hubbard, Esq.
          Amir Ardebili, Esq.
          HUBBARD & ARDEBILI, L.L.C.
          256 NE Tudor Rd.
          Lee's Summit, MO 64086
          Telephone: (816) 600-2614
          E-mail: dhubbard@halawllc.com


CENTRO: Former Chairman Shocked by Accounting Error
---------------------------------------------------
Sarah Danckert, writing for The Australian, reports that
former Centro chairman Paul Cooper says the company's auditor
PricewaterhouseCoopers assured the board the company's 2007
accounts were complete and "robust" just days before statements
that included a AUD3.1 billion error were released to the market.

Mr. Cooper took to the witness stand in the class action case
against Centro to face a grilling over his role in the shopping
centre owner's 2007 near-collapse.

Under cross examination, Mr. Cooper, also a former board member of
AXA Asia Pacific, said he was not made aware of the mistake until
late December 2007.

Mr. Cooper told the court that it was former chief executive
Andrew Scott who told the board in December there was an error in
the company's accounts.

He said he was "shocked" and "surprised" when he found out on or
around December 21 that the accounts contained an error.

The two firms bringing the class action against Centro and former
auditor PwC allege the company's senior management were aware in
August there were multiple errors in the accounts, an allegation
Mr. Scott has denied.

"My view is that I should have been told (of the mistake) as
quickly as practicable," Mr. Cooper said.

"I would have expected to have been told shortly after (the
mistake was discovered), before the accounts were approved."

The accounts were approved by the board in August that year.

The court heard that the first of many mistakes in the company's
accounts, the omission of AUD1.1 billion in short-term guarantees
to JPMorgan, was revealed in late December.

Mr. Cooper was asked if he could remember when he was told there
was a chance there were more mistakes in the company's accounts.

"It was shortly after these events (in December).  It happened
rapidly," Mr. Cooper said.

Mr. Cooper agreed that it wasn't until January 15 that the company
told the market for the first time there was a possibility of
further mistakes in the company's accounts relating to the
misclassification of short-term debts.

Following an investigation by the company, the full amount of
short-term debt expiring in December 2007, not included in the
accounts, was found to be AUD3.1 billion.

Hundreds of shareholders have joined two concurrent class actions
against the company and auditors PwC.

The shareholders claim they were only made aware of the accounting
error in December 2007 and were given no warning that the company
might face refinancing difficulties.

PwC is counter-claiming against Centro, alleging Centro withheld
key documents.  Mr. Cooper also told the court the board had
requested Mr. Scott note in the company's 2007 accounts the
company's confidence in securing refinancing arrangements on the
billions of debt falling due in 2007.

Last week, the court heard there were two versions of Centro's
accounts prepared in 2007.  One version included a reference to
the company's refinancing plans; the other set of accounts,
released to ASIC, omitted any mention of refinancing.

Mr. Scott has alleged senior Centro staff member Paul Belcher
removed the reference unbeknown to him.  Mr. Belcher is due to
testify this week.

The case continues.


CHINA AUTOMOTIVE: Class Period in Securities Suit Amended
---------------------------------------------------------
In an amended complaint, plaintiffs a purported securities class
action changed the purported class period of their securities
class action lawsuit from May 12, 2010, through March 17, 2011,
according to China Automotive Systems, Inc.'s March 9, 2012, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2011.

On October 25, 2011, a purported securities class action was filed
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of all purchasers of the Company's securities
between March 25, 2010, and March 17, 2011.  On February 24, 2012,
the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, changing the purported
class period from May 12, 2010, through March 17, 2011.  The
amended complaint alleges that the Company, certain of its present
officers and directors and the Company's former auditor violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
and the rules promulgated thereunder, and seeks unspecified
damages.

The Company says it has not yet responded to the amended
complaint, but believes the allegations in the complaint are
without merit.  The Company intends to defend itself vigorously
against the claims.

Based in Hubei Province, People's Republic of China, China
Automotive Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAAS) is a supplier of power
steering systems and components to China automotive industry,
operating through nine subsidiaries.  Its product offering
encompasses a full range of auto parts incorporated into steering
systems for both passenger automobiles and commercial vehicles.


CITIBANK NA: Not Liable for Damages for Freezing Accounts
---------------------------------------------------------
Lucile Scott at Courthouse News Service reports that two New
Yorkers cannot get money damages from Citibank for freezing their
bank accounts and charging them approximately $100 in fees for
putting the restraint on their accounts, a federal judged ruled in
a class action suit.

Plaintiffs Celinda Acevado and Jacqueline Lopez each received a
notice from Citibank stating that their bank account had been
frozen because of a restraining notice and/or levy served on
Citibank by judgment creditors.  Ms. Acevado had approximately
$2,000 in her account and Ms. Lopez approximately $3,000.

Both claim that they could not access any of the funds in their
account and did not receive a disclosure that a portion of their
money is exempt from restraint, as required by Exempt Income
Protection Act.  The plaintiffs sought to bring the action on
behalf of all Citibank account owners who had their accounts
restrained and/or were charged a restraining fee since January 1,
2009.

The purpose of the EIPA, enacted in New York in 2008, is to
"create a procedure for the execution of money judgments on bank
accounts containing exempt funds to ensure that debtors can
continue to access those funds."  It stipulates that any
restraining order placed on an account not apply to the first
$1740 in the account.

U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe wrote that while EIPA gives
debtors the right to sue creditors and recover costs, there is "no
express or implied private right of action under the EIPA
permitting an account holder to sue his or her bank for money
damages related to alleged EIPA violations."  However, he denied
Citibank's request for dismissal on non-monetary grounds and
writes that the plaintiffs and all account holders can seek
injunctive relief for EIPA violations against their banks.

While Citibank argued that the damages alleged by Ms. Acevado and
Ms. Lopez, do not add up to $5 million minimum required by the
Class Action Fairness Act for a class action suit, Judge Gardephe
found that "the Court cannot say to a 'legal certainty' that the
amount in controversy is less than $5,000,000," and denied
Citibank's motion to dismiss.  He granted the dismissal on all
other counts brought by the plaintiffs, including conversion,
breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, negligence, and
breach of contract.

A copy of the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Acevado, et al. v.
Citibank, N.A., Case No. 10-cv-08030 (S.D.N.Y.), is available at:

     http://is.gd/erGqJj


COMMERCIAL BARGE: Still Awaits Dismissal of Suits in Louisiana
--------------------------------------------------------------
Commercial Barge Line Company is still awaiting final dismissal of
class action lawsuits arising from a collision incident in
Mississippi River involving its subsidiary, according to the
Company's March 9, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

American Commercial Lines Inc. ("ACL"), the parent of Commercial
Barge Line Company ("CBL"), and American Commercial Lines LLC
("ACLLLC"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBL, have been named as
defendants in putative class action lawsuits, filed in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
(collectively the "Class Action Lawsuits"): Austin Sicard et al on
behalf of themselves and others similarly situated vs. Laurin
Maritime (America) Inc., Whitefin Shipping Co. Limited, D.R.D.
Towing Company, LLC, American Commercial Lines, Inc. and the New
Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association, Case No. 08-
4012, filed on July 24, 2008; Stephen Marshall Gabarick and
Bernard Attridge, on behalf of themselves and others similarly
situated vs. Laurin Maritime (America) Inc., Whitefin Shipping Co.
Limited, D.R.D. Towing Company, LLC, American Commercial Lines,
Inc. and the New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association,
Case No. 08-4007, filed on July 24, 2008; and Alvin McBride, on
behalf of himself and all others similarly situated v. Laurin
Maritime (America) Inc.; Whitefin Shipping Co. Ltd.; D.R.D. Towing
Co. LLC; American Commercial Lines Inc.; The New Orleans-Baton
Rouge Steamship Pilots Association, Case No. 09-cv-04494 B, filed
on July 24, 2009.  The McBride v. Laurin Maritime, et al. action
has been dismissed with prejudice because it was not filed prior
to the deadline set by the Court.

The claims in the Class Action Lawsuits stem from the incident on
July 23, 2008, involving one of ACL LLC's tank barges that was
being towed by DRD Towing Company L.L.C. ("DRD"), an independent
towing contractor.  The tank barge was involved in a collision
with the motor vessel Tintomara, operated by Laurin Maritime, at
Mile Marker 97 of the Mississippi River in the New Orleans area.
The tank barge was carrying approximately 9,900 barrels of #6 oil,
of which approximately two-thirds was released.  The tank barge
was damaged in the collision and partially sunk.  There was no
damage to the towboat.  The Tintomara incurred minor damage.  The
Class Action Lawsuits include various allegations of adverse
health and psychological damages, disruption of business
operations, destruction and loss of use of natural resources, and
seek unspecified economic, compensatory and punitive damages for
claims of negligence, trespass and nuisance.  The Class Action
Lawsuits were stayed pending the outcome of the two actions filed
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Louisiana seeking exoneration from, or limitation of, liability
related to the incident.  All claims in the class actions have
been settled with payment to be made from funds on deposit with
the court in the IINA and IINA and Houston Casualty Company
interpleader.  IINA is DRD's primary insurer and IINA and Houston
Casualty Company are DRD's excess insurers.  The settlement has
final approval from the court.  Settlement funds were provided to
claimants' counsel and the Company expects final dismissal of all
lawsuits against all parties will be entered, including the
Company, with prejudice once all the releases are signed.  Claims
under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 ("OPA 90") were dismissed
without prejudice.  There is a separate administrative process for
making a claim under OPA 90 that must be followed prior to
litigation.  The Company is processing OPA 90 claims properly
presented, documented and recoverable.  The Company has also
received numerous claims for personal injury, property damage and
various economic damages loss related to the oil spill, including
notification by the National Pollution Funds Center of claims it
has received.  Additional lawsuits may be filed and claims
submitted, however OPA 90 has a three year prescriptive period and
any new claim filed after three years would be subject to
dismissal.

The Company is in early discussions with the Natural Resource
Damage Assessment Group, consisting of various State and Federal
agencies, regarding the scope of environmental damage that may
have been caused by the incident.  Recently Buras Marina filed a
lawsuit in the Eastern District of Louisiana in Case No. 09-4464
against the Company seeking payment for "rental cost" of its
marina for cleanup operations.  ACL and ACL LLC have also been
named as defendants in the following interpleader action brought
by DRD's primary insurer IINA seeking court approval as to the
disbursement of the funds: Indemnity Insurance Company of North
America v. DRD Towing Company, LLC; DRD Towing Group, LLC;
American Commercial Lines, LLC; American Commercial Lines, Inc.;
Waits Emmet & Popp, LLC, Daigle, Fisse & Kessenich; Stephen
Marshall Gabarick; Bernard Attridge; Austin Sicard; Lamont L.
Murphy, individually and on behalf of Murphy Dredging; Deep Delta
Distributors, Inc.; David Cvitanovich; Kelly Clark; Timothy Clark,
individually and on behalf of Taylor Clark, Bradley Barrosse;
Tricia Barrosse; Lynn M. Alfonso, Sr.; George C. McGee; Sherral
Irvin; Jefferson Magee; and Acy J. Cooper, Jr., United States
District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, Civil Action 08-
4156, Section "I-5," filed on August 11, 2008.  DRD's excess
insurers, IINA and Houston Casualty Company intervened into this
action and deposited $9 million into the Court's registry.  ACL
LLC has filed two actions in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Louisiana seeking exoneration from or
limitation of liability relating to the foregoing incident as
provided for in Rule F of the Supplemental Rules for Certain
Admiralty and Maritime Claims and in 46 U.S.C. sections 30501,
30505 and 30511.  Tintomara interests and DRD also filed
limitation actions.  ACL made a claim for its damages against
Tintomara interests and DRD in their respective limitation
actions.  The Company has also filed a declaratory judgment action
against DRD seeking to have the contracts between them declared
"void ab initio".  This action has been consolidated with the
limitation actions and stayed pending the outcome of the
limitation actions.  A trial on the ACL, Tintomara interests and
DRD limitation actions has been concluded and the Company is
awaiting the judge's decision on liability of the parties and
apportionment of ACL and Tintomara's damages.

On August 22, 2011 an action was filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Louisiana captioned United States of
America v. American Commercial Lines LLC and D.R.D. Towing, LLC,
Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-2076.  The action seeks damages of
approximately $25 million, including certain repayment to the Oil
Spill Liability Trust Fund for sums it paid related to the cleanup
of the oil spill and to certain claimants for damages cognizable
under OPA 90, a civil penalty under the Clean Water Act in an
amount to be determined at trial as well as a claim for natural
resources damages.  On July 25, 2011 an action was filed in the
25th Judicial District for the Parish of Plaquemines State of
Louisiana captioned Chuc Nguyen, et al. v. American Commercial
Lines, Inc. and its Insurers, ABC Insurance Company and Indemnity
Insurance Company of North America, No. 58936.  The action filed
by numerous commercial fishermen seeks damages for real or
personal property, loss of subsistence use of natural resources
associated with loss of profits or impairment of earning capacity.
The Company participated in the U.S. Coast Guard investigation of
the matter and participated in the hearings which have concluded.
A finding has not yet been announced.  Although the Company has
made demand on DRD (including its insurers) and Tintomara
interests for reimbursement of cleanup costs, indemnification and
other damages sustained by the Company, there is no assurance that
any other party that may be found responsible for the accident
will have the insurance or financial resources available to
provide such defense and indemnification.  The Company has various
insurance policies covering pollution, property, marine and
general liability.  While the cost of cleanup operations and other
potential liabilities are significant, the Company believes it has
satisfactory insurance coverage and other legal remedies to cover
substantially all of the cost.


COMPUCREDIT CORP: Arbitration Bid Sent to California Court
----------------------------------------------------------
Tim Hull at Courthouse News Service reports that the United States
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated its interpretation
of a federal credit-repair law on March 27, ordering a class to
arbitrate claims of misleading subprime credit cards.

An apparently chastened three-judge panel changed course after a
January clarification by the Supreme Court.

The lawsuit involves Aspire Visa credit cardholders who say that
Compucredit and Columbus Bank and Trust advertised an unfeasible
credit limit and the idea that the credit card could rebuild poor
credit.  Synovus Bank now owns the original credit card issuer,
Columbus Bank and Trust.

Though the companies invoked the arbitration agreement, the
consumers said that contract became void when the companies did
not properly notify them of monthly maintenance fees and other
charges.

Originally, the trial and appeals courts had said that violations
of the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) preclude the
enforcement of an arbitration agreement.

But the majority in Washington, D.C., said that CROA disclosure
clause did not cancel an arbitration agreement and give consumers
the right to sue.

"The flaw in this argument is its premise: that the disclo-sure
provision provides consumers with a right to bring an action in a
court of law," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority.  "It
does not.  Rather, it imposes an obligation on credit repair
organizations to supply con-sumers with a specific statement set
forth (in quotation marks) in the statute.  The only consumer
right it creates is the right to receive the statement, which is
meant to describe the consumer protections that the law elsewhere
provides."

In a brief order on March 27, the San Francisco-based appellate
panel vacated its previous opinion and sent the motion to compel
arbitration back to California's Northern District.

A copy of the Order in Greenwood, et al. v. CompuCredit
Corporation, et al., No. 09-15906 (9th Cir.), is available at:

     http://is.gd/avQp7V


DEUTSCHE BANK: Forcibly Removed Tenants From Homes, Suit Says
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jimmie Cain, Carolyn Savage and Carolyn E. Cain, on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated v. Deutsche Bank
Aktiengesellschaft a/k/a Deutsche Bank AG a/k/a Deutsche Bank USA
a/k/a Deutsche Bank NA; Deutsche Bank Florida, National
Association; Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas; Deutsche Bank
Trust Company Delaware; Deutsche Bank National Trust Company,
Individually and as Trustee, in Trust for the Registered Holders
of Argent Securities, Inc., Asset-Backed Pass-Through
Certificates, Series 2005-W4; Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft New
York Branch; Deutsche Bank Trust Company National Association, and
Deutsche Bank Trust Company New Jersey; Great Street Properties,
Inc.; Kluever & Platt, LLC; Vince Iturralde; and Randy E.
Weinstein, Case No. 2012-CH-10272 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty., March
21, 2012) seeks redress for alleged unlawful practices by the
German-based Deutsche Bank AG.

The Plaintiffs contend that unable to prove which of its legally
distinct subsidiaries owned a particular mortgage, Deutsche Bank
AG and its subsidiaries fraudulently presented themselves as one
combined fictitious entity, "Deutsche Bank N.A."  They assert that
this leads inevitably to the second unlawful practice -- forcibly
removing tenants from their homes, without legal right or
authority of court order.

The Plaintiffs are residents of the state of Illinois.  From
October 2005 until August 25, 2010, Plaintiffs lived in an
apartment located at 358 N. Hamlin, 1st Floor, in Chicago,
Illinois, in the county of Cook, pursuant to a valid and
enforceable oral lease agreement.

Deutsche Bank is an international bank and financial services with
its principal offices located in Germany.  When doing business in
the United States, Deutsche Bank is engaged in, inter alia, the
purchase, servicing, issuance, and sale of mortgages and mortgage-
backed securities.  All of Deutsche Bank Florida Deutsche Bank
Trust Company Americas, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Delaware,
Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, Deutsche Bank Trust Company,
NA, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft New York Branch and Deutsche
Bank Trust Company New Jersey are subsidiaries wholly owned and
controlled by Deutsche Bank.  Some or all of the Deutsche
Defendants, as well as Deutsche Bank, own or owned real estate in
Illinois, including the subject matter property.  Some of the
Deutsche Defendants, including Deutsche Bank, used Illinois courts
to foreclose on mortgages within the State of Illinois.  Great
Street, an Illinois corporation, is the management company for
Deutsche Bank.  K&P, an Illinois law firm, represented Deutsche
Bank in eviction and foreclosure lawsuits against tenants and
owners of mortgaged and foreclosed homes in Illinois.  Messrs.
Weinstein and Iturralde are licensed attorneys employed by K&P.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Berton N. Ring, Esq.
          BERTON N. RING, P.C.
          123 W. Madison Street, 15th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 781-0290
          E-mail: bring@bnrpc.com


DEVRY INC: Dewey & LeBoeuf Obtains Dismissal of Shareholder Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dewey LeBoeuf announced on March 28 that it succeeded in obtaining
the dismissal of a putative shareholder class action complaint
filed against DeVry Inc. and two of its key executives.

DeVry is a Fortune 500 company and leader in the private-education
sector.  It was sued in the fall of 2010 for alleged securities
fraud after its stock price suffered a series of declines
following announcements by the Department of Education regarding
stricter proposed industry regulations and by the Senate Committee
on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (the "HELP Committee")
regarding alleged abuses in the industry.  The plaintiff alleged
that DeVry failed to disclose a myriad of purported problems with
its operations, including that it allegedly used "high-pressure"
or "predatory" recruiting practices to lure unqualified students
into enrolling so that DeVry could reap profits from the students'
financial aid dollars.  The plaintiff also alleged that DeVry lied
about its compliance with recruiter compensation laws and the
employment rates of its graduates, among other things.

In a thorough, 50-paged opinion, the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois adopted all three of DeVry's
substantive arguments, holding that the plaintiff had failed to
allege adequately: (1) a false statement or material omission; (2)
scienter; or (3) loss causation. Although the Court gave plaintiff
leave to replead, it expressed grave doubts that the plaintiff
would be able to correct the deficiencies in the complaint: "Given
our conclusions about [plaintiff's] loss-causation allegations,
the [plaintiff] faces an uphill battle [in amending].  Indeed, the
[plaintiff] has not identified any disclosures even touching upon
recruiter compensation, the complaint's strongest (although still
deficient) allegations.  But we cannot say with certainty that it
cannot correct the problems we have identified in the complaint.
We will give the [plaintiff] a second (and likely final)
opportunity to amend it."

Partner Alan Salpeter led the Dewey team, which included partner
Elizabeth Bradshaw, counsel Therese King Nohos, and associates
Michael Wanser, Ross Neihaus, and paralegal Jill Friedman.


FREEPORT-MCMORAN: Awaits Approval of Settlement in Blackwell Case
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. is awaiting final approval of
a settlement in a purported class action lawsuit relating to
Blackwell Zinc Company, Inc., according to the Company's February
27, 2012 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

On April 14, 2008, a purported class action was filed against
Freeport-McMoRan and several of its direct and indirect
subsidiaries, including Blackwell Zinc Company, Inc., entitled
Coffey, et al., v. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc., et al.,
Kay County, Oklahoma District Court, Case No. CJ-2008-68.  The
suit alleges that the operations of BZC's zinc smelter in
Blackwell, Oklahoma, from 1918 to 1974 resulted in contamination
of soils and groundwater in Blackwell.  The complaint seeks
unspecified compensatory and injunctive relief and punitive
damages on behalf of current property owners as of December 19,
2011, for alleged environmental contamination and other damages to
real property.  On December 19, 2011, the parties submitted a
proposed class settlement to the court for approval, and the court
entered a preliminary approval order.  Because this is a class
action, the settlement requires public notice, opportunity for
class members to object or opt out, and a judicial fairness
hearing, which was scheduled for March 22, 2012.  There is some
community opposition to the settlement, so it is possible that it
will not be completed as agreed.  If the settlement is approved,
Freeport-McMoRan will pay approximately $70 million (of which the
relevant amount is included in environmental obligations and the
remaining portion in accounts payable and accrued liabilities) for
monetary payments to class members, additional environmental
remediation of certain properties in the class area, class
counsel's attorneys' fees and settlement administration expenses.


GMX RESOURCES: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Appoint Lead Plaintiff
-------------------------------------------------------------
GMX Resources Inc. is awaiting a court decision on a motion to
appointed a lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit pending in
Oklahoma, according to the Company's March 9, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

A putative class action lawsuit was filed by the Northumberland
County Retirement System and Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement
System in the District Court in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma,
purportedly on March 10, 2011, against the Company and certain of
its officers along with certain underwriters of the Company's July
2008, May 2009 and October 2009 public offerings.  Discovery
requests and summons were filed and issued, respectively, in late
April 2011.  The complaint alleges that the registration statement
and the prospectus for the offering contained material
misstatements and omissions and seek damages under Sections 11, 12
and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 of an unspecified equitable
relief.  Defendants removed the case to federal court on May 12,
2011, and filed motions to dismiss on June 20, 2011.  Plaintiffs
filed a motion to remand the case to state court on June 10, 2011,
and Defendants filed an opposition to that motion.  By order dated
November 16, 2011, the court denied Plaintiffs' motion to remand.

On February 3, 2012, Plaintiffs moved to be appointed lead
plaintiff under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.
After the appointment of lead plaintiff, Plaintiffs are expected
to file an amended complaint, with Defendants' responses thereto
expected to be filed in early June 2012.

The Company says it is currently unable to assess the probability
of loss or estimate a range of potential loss, if any, associated
with the securities class action case, which is at an early stage.

GMX Resources Inc., together with its subsidiaries, is an
independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company
historically focused on the development of the Cotton Valley group
of formations, specifically the Cotton Valley Sands layer in the
Schuler formation and the Upper Bossier, Middle Bossier and
Haynesville/Lower Bossier layers of the Bossier formation, in the
Sabine Uplift of the Carthage, North Field of Harrison and Panola
counties of East Texas.  The Company is based in Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma.


GREAT AMERICAN: Recalls 14,050 Arena Lamps Due to Shock Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Great American Opportunities of Nashville, Tennessee, announced a
voluntary recall of about 14,050 units of Great American
Opportunities Arena Lamps.  Consumers should stop using recalled
products immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal
to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The electrical design and construction of the lamps poses the risk
of an electric shock to consumers.

Great American Opportunities has received one report of a lamp
power cord detaching inside the lamp housing.  No injuries have
been reported.

This recall involves Arena Lamps (also called Disco Lights, Disco
Light Projectors and Arena Light Kaleidoscopes) with the model
number 3007952.  The model number only appears on the original
packaging.  The lamp is used to project circular colored lights on
a ceiling or wall for lighting effect and comes in a silver,
rectangular box shape measuring 9"x5"x5".  Light from the lamp is
projected from a single circular cut out at one end of the box.  A
silver handle wraps half-way around the lamp and is affixed with
large black thumb screws on either side of the lamp, and there are
two rows of ventilation slots along the top.  Underneath the lamp
is a circular fan vent.  On the back of the lamp, an on/off
switch, power cord and a knob with the word "FUSE" written in
white are in a row along the top.  Pictures of the recalled
products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12139.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at
warehouse sales (in temporarily rented space) in Chattanooga and
Nashville, Tenn.; Conyers, Ga.; and Bloomington, Ill. from April
2008 through December 2011 for between $5 and $10.  The lamps were
also given to schools and civic organizations in conjunction with
fundraising activities during the same period.

Consumers should stop using the lamps immediately and contact
Great American Opportunities for instructions on returning the
lamps for a full refund.  For additional information, contact
Great American Opportunities toll-free at (866) 292-9756 between
8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday, or
visit the firm's Web site at http://www.arenalamprecall.com/


GREENBERG TRAURIG: Judge Certifies Fraud Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------
South Florida Business Journal, citing the Daily Business Review,
reports that a federal judge in Phoenix has certified a class
action against Miami-based Greenberg Traurig and another law firm
after investors lost $900 million in what was allegedly a Ponzi
scheme.

Both Greenberg Traurig and the Quarles & Brady law firm said they
were disappointed with the ruling.  Greenberg Traurig and Quarles
& Brady both said their attorneys acted appropriately.

The lawsuit accuses the firms of aiding an alleged fraud by
Mortgages Ltd. of Phoenix, which made high-interest loans to real
estate developers.  The founder of the company committed suicide
in 2008.

Radical Bunny is another company targeted in the litigation.
The SEC in 2009 charged Radical Bunny and four of its promoters in
a $197 million scheme that allegedly involved pooling investor
funds to Mortgages Ltd.

Greenberg Traurig, which is based in Miami, is ranked by the
Business Journal as the region's largest law firm.


GOV'T OF CANADA: Court Dismisses Pathology Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Julius Melnitzer, writing for Law Times, reports that in a ruling
that's getting the attention of the class action bar, Justice
Jean-Paul Ouellette of the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick
has refused to certify a matter involving 15,000 patients affected
by a hospital's pathology review that found roughly 100 cases in
which a pathologist's diagnosis of benign later changed to
malignant.

"This is a very important case that the court needs to examine
carefully on appeal," says Joel Rochon.

"This is an important decision for public health authorities who
are balancing the best interests of the public and patients when
determining parameters for care look-backs and reviews," says
Barry Glaspell of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

"Class action litigation, potential or actual, has the potential
to skew health-care decisions and spending priorities."

Justice Ouellette's key finding in Gay v. Regional Health
Authority 7 was that the question of whether there had been a
breach of a standard of care was an individual issue.  As such, a
common-issues trial was unmanageable.

Besides the health authority, the case also named Dr. Rajgopal
Menon as a defendant.

"Similar cases exist throughout Canada, but Gay v. Menon is the
first to reach an opposed certification hearing," says
Mr. Glaspell, whose practice is on the defense side of class
actions.

But plaintiff-side lawyer Joel Rochon of Toronto's Rochon Genova
LLP says the decision is problematic.

"At the end of the day, the judge lost sight of some fundamental
questions that underlie certification and misconstrued some other
questions as well as the facts," he says.

The case arose after a hospital in Miramichi, N.B., dismissed
Dr. Menon.  Dr. Menon ran its pathology laboratory.  The hospital
subsequently complained to the College of Physicians & Surgeons of
New Brunswick about him over allegations of clinical error, bad
turnaround time, and lack of quality assurance and control in the
lab.

The hospital also conducted an external peer review of Dr. Menon's
work from 1995 to 2007.  The hospital informed the plaintiffs and
other patients of the review and told them it would communicate
the findings to them.

The review embraced some 23,080 specimens involving about 15,700
patients.  Of these specimens, 5,267 had some changes to the
original pathology report.  At the same time, 370 cases had a
complete change in findings.

Of these, 101 were cancer-related diagnoses that changed from
benign to malignant.  Another 10 of them changed from malignant to
benign.

The representative plaintiffs pleaded negligence against Dr. Menon
and the hospital.  They also pleaded vicarious liability, breach
of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty against the hospital.

In addition, they claimed damages for stress as a result of
learning their biopsy specimens were under review. None of the
allegations have been proven in court.

Two of the representative plaintiffs had no changes in their
pathology reports.  The third initially tested negative.  He saw
another pathologist who concluded the test was positive and began
treatments that ended before the hospital informed him of the
review.

None of the representative plaintiffs were diagnosed with
depression, treated by a health-care professional or took
medication as a result of the review.

Justice Ouellette found that causes of action existed against both
the hospital and Dr. Menon.  But "proof of these allegations
inevitably breaks down into individual claims," he concluded.

"Each claimant must . . . make proof of Dr. Menon's
misinterpretation of their initial tissue sample, i.e. that
Dr. Menon fell below the standard of care expected of a reasonable
and prudent pathologist in the circumstances; his failure to meet
the standard of care expected of him resulted in injury suffered
by the individual claimant and that the injury suffered is one
that is compensable in law," Justice Ouellette wrote.

It followed, Judge Ouellette reasoned, that a class action wasn't
the preferable procedure for resolving the matter.

"A great deal of work at a common issue trial will be of no
utility for an individual claimant and will offer little in the
way of judicial economy," he wrote.

But Mr. Rochon says it's "quite evident" that there was a serious
in the pathology processes undertaken by Dr. Menon for which the
hospital was vicariously liable.

"The facts of this case approach the high-water mark for systemic
negligence in medical settings in Canada and in these
circumstances, the standard of care cannot properly be
characterized as an individual issue," he says.

"As for the reasoning that causation is an individual issue, the
reality is that there are always individual causation issues when
product liability or other actions in negligence engage personal
injury."

The plaintiffs intended to seek leave to appeal at a hearing on
March 29.

"This is a very important case that the court needs to examine
carefully on appeal," Mr. Rochon says.


GOV'T OF CANADA: Faces Class Action Over Halibut Allocation
-----------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a commercial fisherman claims
in a class action that Canada allocated 85% of the annual Pacific
halibut catch to commercial fishermen and 15% to recreational
ones, "without using a market-based mechanism," in Federal Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Malcolm v. The Minister of Fisheries
and Oceans, Case No. T-57712 (B.C. Fed. Ct.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/27/Halibut.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Joseph J. Arvay, Q.C., Esq.
          Alison Latimer, Esq.
          ARVAY FINLAY
          1350-355 Burrard Street
          Vancouver BC V6C 2G8
          Telephone: (604) 689-4421


HSBC USA: Mediation Ongoing in Antitrust Suit Pending in New York
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mediation is ongoing in the consolidated class action lawsuit
filed against banks, including, HSBC USA Inc., and Visa Inc. and
MasterCard Incorporated in connection with supracompetitive levels
of merchant discount fees paid by retailers remains pending in a
New York federal court, according to HSBC's February 27, 2012 Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2011.

Since June 2005, HSBC Bank USA, HSBC Finance Corporation, HSBC
North America and HSBC, as well as other banks and Visa Inc. and
MasterCard Incorporated, have been named as defendants in four
class actions filed in Connecticut and the Eastern District of New
York: Photos Etc. Corp. et al v. Visa U.S.A., Inc., et al.(D.
Conn. No. 3:05-CV-01007 (WWE)); National Association of
Convenience Stores, et al. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc., et al.(E.D.N.Y.
No. 05-CV 4520 (JG)); Jethro Holdings, Inc., et al. v. Visa
U.S.A., Inc. et al. (E.D.N.Y. No. 05-CV-4521(JG)); and American
Booksellers Asps' v. Visa U.S.A., Inc. et al. (E.D.N.Y. No. 05-CV-
5391 (JG)).  Numerous other complaints containing similar
allegations (in which no HSBC entity is named) were filed across
the country against Visa Inc., MasterCard Incorporated and other
banks.  These actions principally allege that the imposition of a
no-surcharge rule by the associations and/or the establishment of
the interchange fee charged for credit card transactions causes
the merchant discount fee paid by retailers to be set at
supracompetitive levels in violation of the Federal antitrust
laws.  These suits have been consolidated and transferred to the
Eastern District of New York.  The consolidated case is: In re
Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust
Litigation, MDL 1720, E.D.N.Y. ("MDL 1720").  A consolidated,
amended complaint was filed by the plaintiffs on April 24, 2006
and a second consolidated amended complaint was filed on
January 29, 2009.  On February 7, 2011, MasterCard Incorporated,
Visa Inc., the other defendants, including HSBC Bank USA, and
certain affiliates of the defendants entered into settlement and
judgment sharing agreements (the "Agreements") that provide for
the apportionment of certain defined costs and liabilities that
the defendants, including HSBC Bank USA and the Company's
affiliates, may incur, jointly and/or severally, in the event of
an adverse judgment or global settlement of one or all of these
actions.  The Agreements also cover any other potential or future
actions that are transferred for coordinated pre-trial proceedings
with MDL 1720.  While the Company continues to believe that it has
substantial meritorious defenses to the claims in this action, the
parties are engaged in a mediation process at the direction of the
District Court.  Based on progress to date in mediation, the
Company increased its litigation reserves in the fourth quarter of
2011 to an amount equal to its estimated portion of a potential
settlement of this matter.


HSBC USA: Continues to Defend in Madoff-Related Class Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
HSBC USA Inc. continues to defend itself from several lawsuits,
which include purported class action lawsuits, relating to Bernard
L. Madoff's Ponzi scheme, according to the Company's February 27,
2012 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

In December 2008, Madoff was arrested for running a Ponzi scheme
and a trustee was appointed for the liquidation of his firm,
Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC ("Madoff Securities"),
an SEC-registered broker-dealer and investment adviser.  Various
non-U.S. HSBC companies provided custodial, administration and
similar services to a number of funds incorporated outside the
United States whose assets were invested with Madoff Securities.
Plaintiffs (including funds, funds investors and the Madoff
Securities trustee) have commenced Madoff-related proceedings
against numerous defendants in a multitude of jurisdictions.
Various HSBC companies have been named as defendants in suits in
the United States, Ireland, Luxembourg and other jurisdictions.
Certain suits (which included four U.S. putative class actions)
allege that the HSBC defendants knew or should have known of
Madoff's fraud and breached various duties to the funds and fund
investors.

In November 2011, the District Court judge overseeing three
putative class actions in the Southern District of New York,
captioned In re Herald, Primeo and Thema Funds Securities
Litigation (S.D.N.Y. Nos. 09-CV-0289 (RMB), 09-CV-2558 (RMB)),
dismissed all claims against the HSBC defendants on forum non
conveniens grounds, but temporarily stayed this ruling as to one
of the actions against the HSBC defendants -- the claims of
investors in Thema International Fund plc -- in light of a
proposed amended settlement agreement between the lead plaintiff
in that action and the relevant HSBC defendants (including,
subject to the granting of leave to effect a proposed pleading
amendment, HSBC Bank USA).  In December 2011, the District Court
lifted this temporary stay and dismissed all remaining claims
against the HSBC defendants, and declined to consider preliminary
approval of the settlement.  In light of the District Court's
decision, HSBC has terminated the settlement agreement.  The Thema
plaintiff contests HSBC's right to terminate.  Plaintiffs in all
three actions have filed notices of appeal to the U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


INT'L DEVELOPMENT: Sued Over Deceptive Business Practices
---------------------------------------------------------
Matt Reynolds at Courthouse News Service reports that a for-profit
school offering counterterrorism programs is "preying on the hopes
and dreams of vulnerable students" by lying about post-graduation
job prospects, leaving graduates jobless and unable to pay off
student loans, a graduate claims in a Los Angeles Superior Court
class action.

Brian Wilhelm says he was in a state of "economic despair" when he
enrolled at defendant International Development Center's campus in
Hollywood, seeking its "Homeland Security and Investigation Fast-
Track Diploma."

He paid $15,000 in tuition and was an A student, Mr. Wilhelm says,
but he ended up jobless in a government-assisted shelter, saddled
with student loans.

"This lawsuit arises out of the fraudulent and deceptive business
practices of defendant International Career Development College,
Inc.  This for-profit corporation has churned out graduates from
the Homeland Security and Investigation Fast-Track Diploma program
and/or Homeland Security Associate's Degree program, many of whom
have little or no hope of working at the United States Homeland
Security Department at any point in their careers or find similar
employment.  This for-profit college has misled students into
enrolling into its educational programs by adopting
misleading/deceptive names for its educational programs, adopting
a practice of misrepresenting its post-graduation employment
statistics, and by making other misleading and false
representations," the complaint states.

ICDC College offers diploma and associate's degree programs
through four schools in California, according to the complaint.

Mr. Wilhelm says both programs advertise hands-on training, though
the associate program, which ICDC markets as helping students
"'protect, defend and respond to terrorist attacks,'" is offered
only online.

"Indeed, this online program provides little to no hands-on
training and the online-classes can be completed by a student
without the student actually reading the material.  For example, a
student need only click a button on the screen for ICDC to
consider that class completed 'successfully' (i.e. there is no
quality control of the education)," the complaint states. (24)

Mr. Wilhelm says that ICDC touts "some of its security guard
programs as 'Homeland Security' in order to mislead prospective
students," and boasts of a post-graduation employment rate of 95
percent, though the school factors in part-time work and jobs
unrelated to its programs.

"At the end of the day, ICDC is more concerned with raking in
millions of dollars in tuition and fees than educating and
training its students.  The disservice ICDC is doing to its
students and society generally is readily apparent.  Many ICDC
Homeland Security Program graduates will never be offered work in
the United States Homeland Security Department or otherwise be in
a position to profit from their enrollment in ICDC's Homeland
Security Programs.  And they will be forced to repay hundreds of
thousands of dollars in school loans that are nearly impossible to
discharge, even in bankruptcy," according to the complaint.

Mr. Wilhelm says the average debt for a student graduating from
the 2011 programs was $10,000 to $14,000.  He claims that many
ICDC graduates end up insolvent, homeless or working as security
guards, "a position which generally does not require an education
beyond high school."

"ICDC attracts students by making glamorous representations of
what jobs students will obtain from the Homeland Security
Programs[;] these representations include images of individuals
fighting for their country, wearing war type of clothing, carrying
war type weapons and informing prospective students that they will
take classes on 'weapons of mass destruction' and 'terrorism and
crime.'  These representations are made despite the fact that most
graduates of these programs will not work for the United States
Homeland Security Department or be close to any weapons of mass
destruction and if they are close to any weapons of mass
destruction they will not have the adequate training to protect
themselves from it," the lawsuit states.

Mr. Wilhelm is represented by Rosa Vigil-Gallenberg of Beverly
Hills.

He seeks an injunction, $15 million in compensatory and punitive
damages, and restitution of more than $15 million, for unfair
business practices, false advertising, intentional fraud,
negligent misrepresentation, violation of The Consumer Legal
Remedies Act, and unjust enrichment.

Neither the law firm nor ICDC immediately responded to requests
for comment.


JAMBA INC: Made Payments Pursuant to Suit Settlement Last Month
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jamba, Inc. paid in February 2012 claims in connection with its
settlement of a class action lawsuit in California, according to
the Company's March 9, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended January 3,
2012.

Two putative class action lawsuits, brought on behalf of former
employees against the Company, were granted final Court approval
during August and December of 2011.  These lawsuits, brought in
2009 and 2010, respectively, alleged the Company failed to comply
with various California labor laws.  In August 2010, after
engaging in settlement negotiations, the Company reached
settlements for two of the lawsuits, each on a California
statewide basis.  The settlements were memorialized into
definitive settlement agreements during 2011.  One lawsuit was
settled in November 2011 and a designated claims administrator was
charged with managing the claims.

The other lawsuit gave class members the opportunity to
participate or to opt-out, and to submit claims no later than
November 2011.  The Company paid these claims in February 2012.
The settlements for these two lawsuits, which totaled $1.9
million, $0.5 million of which was paid in fiscal 2011, did not
include any admission of wrongdoing by the Company.  As of January
3, 2012, the Company has an accrual of $1.4 million for the
payout, based on the claims submitted by the class members.


LAKESHORE LEARNING: Recalls 4,300 Baby Dolls Due to Choking Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
About 3,900 Feels Real Baby Dolls in the United States of America
and 400 in Canada were voluntarily recalled by importer, Lakeshore
Learning Materials of Carson, California, and manufacturer, Yan
Hong Toys, Dongguan, China, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission.  Consumers should stop using the
product immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to
resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The fingers and toes of the dolls can detach, posing a choking
hazard to young children.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

Feels Real Baby Dolls are 14-inch high plastic dolls with movable
arms, legs, and head.  The dolls are Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian
and Black and are dressed in diapers with a colored hearts, stars
and swirl print.  Two labels are sewn inside the back of the
diaper.  "Lakeshore" is written on the larger label.  The number
"550200" is written on the smaller label.  A picture of the
recalled products is available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12728.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at
Lakeshore Learning Materials catalogs and online at
http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/from May 2011 through January
2012 for about $20.

Consumers should immediately take these dolls away from children
and contact the Company for a free replacement doll.  For
additional information, please contact Lakeshore Learning
Materials at (800) 428-4414 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Pacific Time Monday through Friday, or visit the Company's Web
site at http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/. Lakeshore Learning
Materials is contacting its customers directly.


MORGAN STANLEY: ERISA Class Suit Remains Pending in New York
------------------------------------------------------------
A consolidated purported class action proceeding against Morgan
Stanley alleging Employee Retiree Income Security Act claims
remain pending in a New York federal court, according to the
Company's February 27, 2012 Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

Beginning in December 2007, several purported class action
complaints were filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York (the "SDNY") asserting claims on
behalf of participants in the Company's 401(k) plan and employee
stock ownership plan against the Company and other parties,
including certain present and former directors and officers, under
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA").  In
February 2008, these actions were consolidated in a single
proceeding, which is styled In re Morgan Stanley ERISA Litigation.
The consolidated complaint relates in large part to the Company's
subprime and other mortgage related losses, but also includes
allegations regarding the Company's disclosures, internal
controls, accounting and other matters.  The consolidated
complaint alleges, among other things, that the Company's common
stock was not a prudent investment and that risks associated with
its common stock and its financial condition were not adequately
disclosed.  Plaintiffs are seeking, among other relief, class
certification, unspecified compensatory damages, costs, interest
and fees.  On December 9, 2009, the court denied defendants'
motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint.

No further updates were disclosed in the Form 10-K.


MORGAN STANLEY: Continues to Defend "Coulter" Suit
--------------------------------------------------
Morgan Stanley continues to defend itself from a purported class
action lawsuit styled Coulter v. Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated
et al., according to the Company's February 27, 2012 Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

On March 16, 2011, a purported class action, styled Coulter v.
Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated et al., was filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York
asserting claims on behalf of participants in the Company's 401(k)
plan and employee stock ownership plan against the Company and
certain current and former officers and directors for breach of
fiduciary duties under ERISA.  The complaint alleges, among other
things, that defendants knew or should have known that from
January 2, 2008 to December 31, 2008, the plans' investment in
Company stock was imprudent given the extraordinary risks faced by
the Company and its common stock during that period.  Plaintiffs
are seeking, among other relief, class certification, unspecified
compensatory damages, costs, interest and fees.  On July 20, 2011,
plaintiffs filed an amended complaint and on October 28, 2011,
defendants filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint.


MORGAN STANLEY: "Stratte-McClure" Suit Remains Pending in NY
------------------------------------------------------------
A purported class action lawsuit filed by Joel Stratee-McClure
against Morgan Stanley remains pending in a New York federal
court, according to the Company's February 27, 2012 Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

On February 12, 2008, a plaintiff filed a purported class action,
which was amended on November 24, 2008, naming the Company and
certain present and former senior executives as defendants and
asserting claims for violations of the securities laws.  The
amended complaint, which is styled Joel Stratte-McClure, et al. v.
Morgan Stanley, et al., is currently pending in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Subject to
certain exclusions, the amended complaint asserts claims on behalf
of a purported class of persons and entities who purchased shares
of the Company's common stock during the period June 20, 2007 to
December 19, 2007 and who suffered damages as a result of such
purchases.  The allegations in the amended complaint relate in
large part to the Company's subprime and other mortgage related
losses, but also include allegations regarding the Company's
disclosures, internal controls, accounting and other matters.
Plaintiffs are seeking, among other relief, class certification,
unspecified compensatory damages, costs, interest and fees.  On
April 27, 2009, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the amended
complaint.  On April 4, 2011, the court granted defendants' motion
to dismiss and granted plaintiffs leave to file an amended
complaint with respect to certain of their allegations.  On June
9, 2011, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint in response
to the court's order of April 4, 2011.  On August 8, 2011,
defendants filed a motion to dismiss the second amended complaint.

No further updates were disclosed in the Form 10-K.


MORGAN STANLEY: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Dismiss Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Morgan Stanley is awaiting a court ruling on its motion to dismiss
a purported third amended class action complaint filed in relation
to its offerings of mortgage pass through certificates in 2006,
according to the Company's February 27, 2012 Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

On May 7, 2009, the Company was named as a defendant in a
purported class action lawsuit brought under Sections 11, 12 and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities
Act"), alleging, among other things, that the registration
statements and offering documents related to the offerings of
approximately $17 billion of mortgage pass through certificates in
2006 and 2007 contained false and misleading information
concerning the pools of residential loans that backed these
securitizations.  The plaintiffs sought, among other relief, class
certification, unspecified compensatory and rescissionary damages,
costs, interest and fees.  This case, which was consolidated with
an earlier lawsuit and is currently styled In re Morgan Stanley
Mortgage Pass-Through Certificate Litigation, is pending in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.  On August 17, 2010, the court dismissed the claims brought
by the lead plaintiff, but gave a different plaintiff leave to
file a second amended complaint.  On September 10, 2010, that
plaintiff, together with several new plaintiffs, filed a second
amended complaint which purported to assert claims against the
Company and others on behalf of a class of investors who purchased
approximately $4.7 billion of mortgage pass through certificates
issued in 2006 by seven trusts collectively containing residential
mortgage loans.  The second amended complaint asserted claims
under Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act, and alleged,
among other things, that the registration statements and offering
documents related to the offerings contained false and misleading
information concerning the pools of residential loans that backed
these securitizations.  The plaintiffs sought, among other relief,
class certification, unspecified compensatory and rescissionary
damages, costs, interest and fees.  On September 15, 2011, the
court granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion to
dismiss and granted the plaintiffs' request to file another
amended complaint.  On September 29, 2011, the defendants moved
for reconsideration of a portion of the court's decision partially
denying the motion to dismiss.  On September 30, 2011, the
plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint purporting to bring
claims on behalf of a class of investors who purchased
approximately $2.7 billion of mortgage pass through certificates
issued in 2006 by five trusts.  The defendants moved to dismiss
the third amended complaint on October 17, 2011.

Beginning in 2007, the Company was named as a defendant in several
putative class action lawsuits brought under Sections 11 and 12 of
the Securities Act, related to its role as a member of the
syndicates that underwrote offerings of securities and mortgage
pass through certificates for certain non-Morgan Stanley related
entities that have been exposed to subprime and other mortgage-
related losses.  The plaintiffs in these actions allege, among
other things, that the registration statements and offering
documents for the offerings at issue contained material
misstatements or omissions related to the extent to which the
issuers were exposed to subprime and other mortgage-related risks
and other matters and seek various forms of relief including class
certification, unspecified compensatory and rescissionary damages,
costs, interest and fees.  The Company's exposure to potential
losses in these cases may be impacted by various factors
including, among other things, the financial condition of the
entities that issued or sponsored the securities and mortgage pass
through certificates at issue, the principal amount of the
offerings underwritten by the Company, the financial condition of
co-defendants and the willingness and ability of the issuers (or
their affiliates) to indemnify the underwriter defendants.  Some
of these cases, including In Re Washington Mutual, Inc. Securities
Litigation, In re: Lehman Brothers Equity/Debt Securities
Litigation and In re IndyMac Mortgage-Backed Securities
Litigation, relate to issuers or sponsors (or their affiliates)
that have filed for bankruptcy or have been placed into
receivership.


MORGAN STANLEY: Continues to Defend Cheyne-Related Class Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Morgan Stanley continues to defend itself from a purported class
action lawsuit related to securities issued by Cheyne Finance,
according to the Company's February 27, 2012 Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

On August 25, 2008, the Company and two ratings agencies were
named as defendants in a purported class action related to
securities issued by a structured investment vehicle called Cheyne
Finance (the "Cheyne SIV").  The case is styled Abu Dhabi
Commercial Bank, et al. v. Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc., et al. and
is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  The complaint alleges, among other things,
that the ratings assigned to the securities issued by the SIV were
false and misleading because the ratings did not accurately
reflect the risks associated with the subprime RMBS held by the
SIV.  On September 2, 2009, the court dismissed all of the claims
against the Company except for plaintiffs' claims for common law
fraud.  On June 15, 2010, the court denied plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.  On July 20, 2010, the court granted
plaintiffs leave to replead their aiding and abetting common law
fraud claims against the Company, and those claims were added in
an amended complaint filed on August 5, 2010.  On December 27,
2011, the court permitted plaintiffs to reinstate their causes of
action for negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary
duty against the Company.  The Company moved to dismiss these
claims on January 10, 2012.  On January 5, 2012, the court
permitted plaintiffs to amend their complaint and assert a
negligence claim against the Company.  The amended complaint was
filed on January 9, 2012 and the Company moved to dismiss the
negligence claim on January 17, 2012.  On January 23, 2012, the
Company moved for summary judgment with respect to the fraud and
aiding and abetting fraud claims.  Plaintiffs have not alleged the
amount of their alleged investments, and are seeking, among other
relief, unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.  There are
15 plaintiffs in this action asserting claims related to
approximately $983 million of securities issued by the SIV.


MORGAN STANLEY: Rhinebridge-Related Suit Remains Pending in N.Y.
----------------------------------------------------------------
A purported class action lawsuit filed against Morgan Stanley in
connection with securities issued by Rhinebridge plc remains
pending in New York, according to the Company's February 27, 2012
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2011.

On June 10, 2010, the Company was named as a new defendant in a
pre-existing purported class action related to securities issued
by a structured investment vehicle called Rhinebridge plc
("Rhinebridge SIV").  The case is styled King County, Washington,
et al. v. IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG, et al. and is pending in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.  The complaint asserts claims for common law fraud and
aiding and abetting common law fraud and alleges, among other
things, that the ratings assigned to the securities issued by the
SIV were false and misleading, including because the ratings did
not accurately reflect the risks associated with the subprime RMBS
held by the SIV.  On July 15, 2010, the Company moved to dismiss
the complaint.  That motion was denied on October 29, 2010.  On
December 27, 2011, the court permitted plaintiffs to amend their
complaint and assert causes of action for negligence, negligent
misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty against the
Company.  The amended complaint was filed on January 10, 2012 and
the Company moved to dismiss the negligence, negligent
misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty claims on
January 31, 2012.  The case is pending before the same judge
presiding over the litigation concerning the Cheyne SIV.  While
reserving their ability to act otherwise, plaintiffs have
indicated that they do not currently plan to file a motion for
class certification.  Plaintiffs have not alleged the amount of
their alleged investments, and are seeking, among other relief,
unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.


OCMAC LLC: Accused of Unlicensed Debt Collection in Illinois
------------------------------------------------------------
Wayne Washington, individually and on behalf of the class defined
herein, and People of the State of Illinois ex rel. Wayne
Washington v. OCMAC, LLC, Case No. 2012-CH-10256 (Ill. Cir. Ct.,
Cook Cty., March 21, 2012) seeks redress for the conduct of the
Defendant in taking collection actions prohibited by the Illinois
Collection Agency Act.

Although required to be licensed on January 1, 2008, OCMAC did not
obtain a license until April 24, 2009, the Plaintiff said.  The
Plaintiff contends that OCMAC, although still unlicensed during
the intervening period, collected debts from debtors located in
Illinois by means of interstate communication, including
telephone, mail, or facsimile transmission from a location in
another state.

Wayne Washington is a resident of Cook County, Illinois.

OCMAC is a limited liability company chartered under Missouri law,
which does business in Illinois.  OCMAC purchases or claims to
purchase charged-off consumer debts and enforces the debts against
the consumers by filing collection lawsuits and otherwise.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

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


PFIZER INC: Loses Bid to Dismiss Securities Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Cheryl Armstrong at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
judge refused to dismiss Pfizer and five of its executives from a
securities class action that accuses them of concealing the
results of studies of Celebrex and Bextra.

Lead plaintiff Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana claimed
that Pfizer and its top executives "violated federal securities
laws by concealing the results of medical studies concerning two
Pfizer drugs, Celebrex and Bextra, and by making misstatements and
omissions in their public filings and statements concerning the
company," according to the 9-page Memorandum Opinion and Order
from U.A. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain.

The defendant corporate officers are Henry McKinnell, John
LaMattina, Karen Katen, Joseph Feczko and Gail Cawkwell.

"In July 2008, the Court granted in part and denied in part
defendants' motion to dismiss the Consolidated Class Action
Complaint ('CCAC').  Relying on statements in the CCAC allegedly
made by four former Pharmacia employees (the 'Quoted Former
Employees'), the Court found that plaintiffs had adequately
pleaded scienter, and sustained plaintiffs' claims . . .  .
Defendants' now move for reconsideration . . . contending that the
statements attributed to the quoted former employees were taken
out of context and misrepresented, and that the CCAC should be
dismissed," Jude Swain wrote.

Pfizer claimed that the "quoted former employees" were surprised
to learn about the lawsuit, had no knowledge that the class action
relied on their statements for claims of wrongdoing, that they
were not employees of Pfizer and therefore had no knowledge of
what Pfizer or its employees were privy to, believed their
statements were delivered to the court in a deceptive fashion, and
never told anyone or believed that Pfizer concealed evidence that
Bextra and Celebrex were unsafe.

But Judge Swain wrote: "Here, the CCAC represented that
plaintiffs' counsel had been involved in communications to which
they were not directly party, and took -- at a minimum -- an
aggressive approach to inferences, in combination with selective
quotations from identified individuals.  These individuals -- some
five years after the fact -- disagree vehemently with the
inferences by the plaintiffs and are equivocal as to whether they
made the statements attributed to them in the CCAC.  Plaintiffs,
in turn, proffer that there is evidence that the witnesses were
not as removed from the events and reporting lines in question as
they now claim, particularly in light of the witness involvement
in co-promotion activities between Pharmacia and Pfizer with
respect to the drugs in question.  The situation, thus, is quite
different from that in Boeing, [City of Livonia Employees'
Retirement System b. The Boeing Co., N.D. Ill. March 7, 2011]
where the court was persuaded that counsel had made fundamental
factual misrepresentations, and where there was no evidence
connecting the corroborating details proferred in the complaint to
the individual to whom the confidential statements were
attributed.

"The record now before the court is insufficient to warrant
reconsideration of the decision denying the motion to dismiss the
CCAC.  Nor does it demonstrate clearly the level of bad faith
conduct that might warrant the imposition of a terminal sanction
dismissing the plaintiffs' claims.  Accordingly, defendants'
motion for reconsideration and their request for dismissal of the
CCAC are denied, without prejudice to future summary judgment or
other sanctions-related motion practice."

Bextra was pulled from the market in 2005, due to concerns about
increased risk of heart attack and stroke.  Celebrex, also a
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, suffered adverse publicity
when it was linked in the public mind to Bextra and another NSAID
drug that was pulled from the shelves, Vioxx.  Celebrex has not
been pulled from the market.  The plaintiffs in the securities
class action claim Pfizer made misrepresentations and omissions in
public filings and statements between Oct. 31, 2000 and Oct. 19,
2005.

A copy of the Memorandum Opinion and Order in In Re Pfizer Inc.
Securities Litigation, Case No. 04-cv-09866 (S.D.N.Y.), is
available at:

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/27/PfizerOrder.pdf


PSE&G CO: Continues to Defend Action Pending in New Jersey BPU
--------------------------------------------------------------
Public Service Electric and Gas Company continues to defend itself
from an action filed in the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
over stranded cost charges, according to the Company's February
27, 2012 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

In 2007, PSE&G and Transition Funding were served with a purported
class action complaint (Complaint) in New Jersey Superior Court
challenging the constitutional validity of certain stranded cost
recovery provisions of the Competition Act, seeking injunctive
relief against continued collection from PSE&G's electric
customers of the Transition Bond Charge (TBC) of Transition
Funding, as well as recovery of TBC amounts previously collected.
Under New Jersey law, the Competition Act, enacted in 1999, is
presumed constitutional.

Also in 2007, the plaintiff filed an amended Complaint to also
seek injunctive relief from continued collection of related taxes
as well as recovery of such taxes previously collected.  In
October 2007, the Court granted PSE&G's motion to dismiss the
amended Complaint and in November 2007, the plaintiff filed a
notice of appeal with the Appellate Division of the New Jersey
Superior Court (Appellate Division).  In February 2009, the
Appellate Division affirmed the decision of the lower court
dismissing the case.  In May 2009, the New Jersey Supreme Court
denied a request from the plaintiff to review the Appellate
Division's decision.

In July 2007, the same plaintiff also filed a petition with the
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities requesting review and
adjustment to PSE&G's recovery of the same stranded cost charges.
In September 2007, PSE&G filed a motion with the BPU to dismiss
the petition. In June 2010, the BPU granted PSE&G's motion to
dismiss. In April 2011, the BPU issued a written order
memorializing this decision. In June 2011, the
plaintiff/petitioner filed a notice of appeal of the BPU action
with the Appellate Division. PSE&G is currently in the briefing
stage of this appeal.

No further updates were disclosed in the Form 10-K.


PUBLIC SERVICE: Parent Awaits Ruling on Bid to Junk "Comer" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Xcel Energy Inc., the parent of Public Service Company of
Colorado, is awaiting a court ruling on its motion to dismiss a
purported class action lawsuit styled Comer vs. Xcel Energy Inc.,
et al., according to the Company's February 27, 2012 Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

On May 27, 2011, less than a year after their initial lawsuit was
dismissed, plaintiffs in the purported class action lawsuit styled
Comer vs. Xcel Energy Inc. et al. filed a second lawsuit against
more than 85 utility, oil, chemical and coal companies in U.S.
District Court in Mississippi.  The complaint alleges defendants'
CO2 emissions intensified the strength of Hurricane Katrina and
increased the damage plaintiffs purportedly sustained to their
property.  Plaintiffs base their claims on public and private
nuisance, trespass and negligence.  Among the defendants named in
the complaint are Xcel Energy Inc., Southwestern Public Service
Company, Northern States Power Company, a Wisconsin corporation,
and Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation.  The
amount of damages claimed by plaintiffs is unknown.  The
defendants, including Xcel Energy Inc., believe this lawsuit is
without merit and have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.  It
is uncertain when the court will rule on this motion.  While Xcel
Energy Inc. believes the likelihood of loss is remote, given the
nature of this case and any surrounding uncertainty, it may have a
material impact on PSCo's consolidated results of operations, cash
flows or financial position.  No accrual has been recorded for
this matter.


R.J. REYNOLDS: High Court Won't Hear Appeal in Tobacco Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
James Vicini, writing for Reuters, reports that the U.S. Supreme
Court said on March 26 it will not hear an appeal by R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Co in a Florida case in which it was ordered to pay $28.3
million to a woman whose husband died of lung cancer after decades
of smoking its cigarettes.

The justices refused an appeal by the Reynolds American Inc unit,
which argued that its constitutional due process rights had been
violated and that the issue could affect thousands of pending
cases in Florida against tobacco companies.

In 2009, a state trial court in Pensacola, Florida, ordered
Reynolds to pay more than $3.3 million in compensatory damages and
$25 million in punitive damages to Mathilde Martin.

Her husband, Benny Martin, died in 1995 of lung cancer that she
blamed on his long-time smoking of Reynolds' Lucky Strike
cigarettes.

The jury found that Reynolds was 66 percent responsible for his
death and that Mr. Martin, who started smoking in the 1940s before
cigarette packages had health warnings, was 34 percent
responsible.

The lawsuit stemmed from the so-called "Engle progeny" cases filed
against tobacco companies by sick Florida smokers or their
relatives.  A class--action lawsuit filed in 1994 by a
pediatrician, the late Dr. Howard Engle, produced a $145 billion
judgment against cigarette makers six years later.

The Florida Supreme Court overturned the Engle award in 2006 and
ruled that the state's smokers could not sue as a class.

But it allowed them to sue individually and upheld the trial
jury's findings that smoking causes disease, that nicotine is
addictive, that cigarettes are defective and dangerous, and that
tobacco companies concealed the health effects of smoking.

In its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, R.J. Reynolds argued the
state court in the Martin case precluded litigation of issues that
had not been necessarily decided during the Engle proceedings,
violating its due process rights.

The tobacco companies have been ordered to pay more than $375
million in 60 of the cases arising from the Engle litigation,
Reynolds said.  Trial dates have been set for 75 more suits for
this year.

The Supreme Court case is R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co v. Mathilde
Martin, No. 11-754.


SNC-LAVALIN: CEO Steps Down Amid Shareholder Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------
Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew, writing for Toronto Star, reports that a
$56 million missing payment mystery toppled SNC-Lavalin's CEO as
the company handed the results of a month-long internal
investigation over to legal authorities.

Chief executive officer Pierre Duhaime is the third executive to
exit the embattled engineering giant since last month.

Mr. Duhaime resigned on March 26, following revelations he
breached the company's code of ethics for approving the payments
without authorization after the CFO had rejected them.

That's about the only straightforward part of the report into the
questionable payments, which raises more questions than it
answers.

It reveals payments to contracts that didn't exist, mysterious
agents whose identity "is without substance," and staffers using
e-mails and password-protected devices that the company couldn't
access.

Gwyn Morgan, chair of SNC's board of directors, insisted the
payments did not go to operations in Libya.

But by the company's own admission, the report is inconclusive.

"They state there's no evidence to suggest it was related to their
projects in Libya.  Later they state they can't determine who
actually received the money because the recipients appear to be
fictitious," said Richard Powers, business law and ethics
professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of
Management.

"It's hard to know how they can say that."

Yet investors bet that the worst was over for the firm, sending
the company's stock 5 per cent higher in trading on the Toronto
Stock Exchange.

SNC-Lavalin is one of Canada's most international companies, with
construction, infrastructure and engineering projects in 100
countries around the world.

Mr. Morgan acknowledged that the incident tarnishes the company's
reputation, but he urged perspective given the overall size of the
company, which had more than $7 billion (U.S.) in revenue last
year.

The company earned $76 million in its latest quarter.

SNC also assured investors and analysts on a conference call that
it has called in the authorities.

"The company is in the process of contacting and will be passing
on any information we have with regards to the payments --
basically the inconclusive results of our investigation -- to the
relevant authorities," Mr. Morgan said.

Based on the results of the investigation, Mr. Morgan said the
board doesn't believe the money was used for bribes or wound up in
Libya.  But he acknowledged it wasn't "able to really determine
the use of those payments."

"We did our best to find out everything we could about the course
of those payments and haven't been able to do so.  At this point,
there is no further action we can take," he said.

The company said improper payments are a result of "management
override, flawed design or ineffective enforcement of controls" in
relation to hiring agents for two of its projects.

SNC said the company's CFO refused to approve the payments, but
Mr. Duhaime stepped in to allow the payments to be made.

"The CEO's authorization of these payments did not comply with the
Agents Policy and therefore was in breach of the Code (of
Ethics)," the company's internal review found.

Using agents is a normal part of doing business by construction
firms, especially in foreign countries.  They are contracted to
arrange permits and help execute projects.

But, Mr. Morgan said the size of these payments was unusual.  He
said the three-year average payments to the agents was around
$700,000.

The company did not disclose which projects were involved in the
investigation -- referring to them only as "Projects A and B."

The internal document shows that payments on Project B were made
via Tunisia.

Past company filings show that Mr. Duhaime, who spent 23 years
with SNC, earned a base salary of $800,000 in 2010, along with a
bonus of $1.3 million. He also has shares and stock options worth
about $1.46 million.

Among the findings of the report:

    * Third parties have been unresponsive or reluctant to provide
information regarding their operations or their clients' affairs.

    * Some former employees have conducted company affairs using
non-corporate e-mail addresses or had password protected devices
to which the company does not have access.

    * The interpretation of improper documentation cannot be
definitive . . . because it is known to be inaccurate.

Last month, the company's board launched an investigation over the
circumstances surrounding $35 million in payments, which had
previously been thought to possibly relate to its involvement in
Libya.  The ties sparked criticism that it was excessively cosy
with the former Gadhafi regime.

Around that time it also parted ways with executive vice-president
of construction, Riadh Ben Aissa and vice-president finance
Stephane Roy, saying that the conduct of its employees had
recently been questioned.

In a press release on March 26, the company said Mr. Aissa -- who
is apparently not co-operating with the investigation --
authorized the signing of agreements for the projects, which were
improperly documented.

It said Mr. Aissa "is believed to have significant knowledge about
most of the investigated transactions, but has not been met
despite a request to his counsel."

It added that Mr. Roy may also have knowledge, but he has not been
interviewed since prior to his dismissal in February.

"The independent review has found not direct and conclusive
evidence establishing the nature of the services or actions
undertaken by, or the true identity of, the presumed agent," the
report reads.

"From the business intelligence gathered, the named counterparty
appears to be without substance, and the true principal involved
in the transaction does not appear to be an individual named on
the public registers of the counterparty."

From what has come to light so far, observers say the company is
handling the situation as well as it can.

Mr. Morgan "has a stellar reputation in the business community. I
would expect nothing less than him being as transparent as
possible," Mr. Powers said.

"These are the types of things that really test a company's
mettle.  At this stage, it's a bit early to pronounce a verdict
but coming out, taking full responsibility and taking action is
all they can do at this stage until they know further
information."

The company said that vice chair Ian Bourne will also assume the
function of interim CEO until a new chief executive is hired to
replace Mr. Duhaime.

Earlier this month, a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of
shareholders who acquired its securities between March 2009 and
February 2012.

The suit is seeking $250 million in damages from the Montreal-
based company in relation to the millions in mysterious payments.

SNC denies all liability in respect of the claims alleged in the
proposed class-action.


STATE OF FLORIDA: Child Care Class Action Nears Conclusion
----------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a long-running lawsuit claiming
Florida's Medicaid program provided inadequate care to poor
children is nearing an end after more than seven years.

Closing arguments were set for March 26 and March 27 before a
Miami federal judge following a trial that spanned two years.  The
lawsuit was filed in 2004 by Florida pediatricians and pediatric
dentists as a class-action case representing some 1.7 million
children.

The health providers say the state is violating federal law by not
providing adequate medical and dental care to the youngest
Medicaid recipients.  State officials have testified that children
do in fact have adequate access to care and that the program's
problems have been exaggerated.

After the closing arguments it will be up to the judge to decide.
There's no timetable for a ruling.


TOBACCO COMPANIES: High Court Rejects Appeals in Smokers' Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Brent Kendall, writing for Dow Jones Newswires, reports that the
U.S. Supreme Court on March 26  rejected tobacco industry appeals
that sought to challenge the manner in which Florida courts are
handling thousands of individual personal injury lawsuits brought
by smokers and their families.

The tobacco industry argued that Florida courts have not required
plaintiffs to prove key elements of their claims. Tobacco
companies said the Florida legal procedures robbed them of
constitutional protections.

The thousands of individual smoking cases arose after the Florida
Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that smokers couldn't continue to
proceed with one large class-action lawsuit against tobacco
companies.  The state high court, however, said certain jury
findings in early stages of the class action should apply in the
subsequent individual lawsuits.  Those include findings that the
tobacco industry sold defective products and concealed the dangers
of smoking.

Lawyers for smokers and their families said their clients still
have to prove several key parts of their individual cases and
won't be entitled to collect large monetary awards merely by
walking into court.  Plaintiffs also accused the industry of
changing its legal arguments throughout the cases.

Tobacco companies said in court documents that more than 50 cases
have been tried to verdict, resulting in judgments against the
industry totaling more than $375 million.

The companies appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co., a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc.
(RAI); Philip Morris USA, a subsidiary of Altria Group Inc. (MO);
and Liggett Group LLC, a subsidiary of Vector Group Ltd. (VGR).

The high court rejected their appeals without comment.


TRANSATLANTIC HOLDINGS: Inked MoU to Resolve Merger-Related Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Transatlantic Holdings, Inc., entered into a memorandum of
understanding to resolve putative class action lawsuits
challenging the Company's separate merger agreements with Allied
World Assurance Company Holdings, AG, and Alleghany Corporation,
according to the Company's February 27, 2012 Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

In connection with the since-terminated Allied-merger agreement,
five putative stockholder class action lawsuits were filed against
the Company and the members of the Board challenging the merger
contemplated by the Allied World Merger Agreement: Ivers v.
Transatlantic Holdings, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 6574-VCP (Court of
Chancery of the State of Delaware), Clark v. Transatlantic
Holdings, Inc., et al., Index No. 651706/2011 (Supreme Court of
the State of New York, County of New York), Sutton v.
Transatlantic Holdings, Inc., et al., Index No. 651705/2011
(Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York),
Jaroslawicz v. Transatlantic Holdings, Inc., et al., Index No.
651718/2011 (Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New
York), and Kramer v. Transatlantic Holdings, Inc., et al., C.A.
No. 6626-VCP (Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware).  Each
lawsuit named the Company, the members of the Board, and Allied
World as defendants.  Four of the lawsuits also named GO Sub LLC
as a defendant, and the Sutton lawsuit named a former director of
the Company as a defendant.  Each of the lawsuits asserted that
the members of the Board breached a fiduciary duty in connection
with the approval of the merger of GO Sub with and into the
Company pursuant to the terms of the Allied World Merger Agreement
(the "Allied World Merger"), and that Allied World and its
subsidiaries aided and abetted the alleged breaches of a fiduciary
duty.  The Clark action also alleged that the Company aided and
abetted its directors' alleged breach of a fiduciary duty.  The
lawsuits sought to enjoin the Allied World Merger, among other
relief.

On June 29, 2011, defendants moved to dismiss or stay the three
New York actions in favor of the virtually identical proceedings
pending in the Delaware Court of Chancery.  On July 25, 2011, the
plaintiffs in the three New York actions moved to consolidate
those actions into a single action.  On October 18, 2011, the
parties stipulated that each of these actions would be
discontinued without prejudice.  The Court entered the parties'
stipulation the following day.

On July 21, 2011, Vice Chancellor Parsons of the Court of Chancery
of the State of Delaware entered an order consolidating the two
Delaware actions.  Under that order, the Delaware plaintiffs filed
a consolidated amended complaint on August 1, 2011 alleging that
the Board breached a fiduciary duty by approving certain deal
measures that purportedly privileged the Allied World Merger over
other potential proposals, including a proposal from Validus
Holdings, Ltd. ("Validus"), and by allegedly failing to include
material information in the Company's proxy materials, and that
Allied World and GO Sub aided and abetted such breaches.
Additionally, on August 1, 2011, the Delaware plaintiffs filed a
motion to expedite proceedings and a motion for a preliminary
injunction, both of which the Company opposed.  At a conference
held on August 22, 2011, the court declined to set a hearing date
on the Delaware plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction
and, except for a very narrow issue, denied the Delaware
plaintiffs' motion for expedited discovery.

On October 10, 2011, the Delaware plaintiffs filed a second
consolidated amended complaint alleging that the Board breached a
fiduciary duty (and that Allied World and GO Sub aided and abetted
such breach) by, among other things, adopting and refusing to
rescind a shareholder rights plan, approving certain payments to
Allied World in conjunction with the termination agreement, dated
September 15, 2011, among the Company, Allied World and GO Sub
(the "Termination Agreement") and approving a share repurchase
program.  The second amended complaint also asserted derivative
claims for breach of fiduciary duty against the Board, Allied
World and GO Sub, a claim for unjust enrichment against Allied
World and GO Sub, and a derivative claim for declaratory relief
that the Termination Agreement is null and void.  The lawsuit
sought the return of any payments from the Company to Allied World
pursuant to the Termination Agreement, among other relief.  On
October 24, 2011, defendants moved to dismiss the second
consolidated amended complaint.

On December 21, 2011, the Delaware plaintiffs filed their third
consolidated amended complaint.  This third consolidated amended
complaint added Alleghany Corporation and Shoreline Merger Sub,
Inc. as defendants, and alleged that the members of the Board
breached a fiduciary duty in connection with the approval of the
Alleghany Merger and that Alleghany and Shoreline aided and
abetted the alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.  In addition, this
third consolidated amended complaint retained its allegations
against Allied World and its subsidiaries.  On January 6, 2012,
defendants moved to dismiss the third consolidated amended
complaint.

In connection with the Alleghany Merger Agreement, two additional
putative stockholder class action lawsuits were filed against the
Company and the members of the Board challenging the merger
contemplated by the Alleghany Merger Agreement: Clark v.
Transatlantic Holdings, et al., Index No. 653256/2011 (Supreme
Court of the State of New York, County of New York) and Sutton v.
Transatlantic Holdings, et al., Index No 653532/2011 (Supreme
Court of the State of New York, County of New York).  These
lawsuits asserted that the members of the Board breached a
fiduciary duty in connection with the approval of the Alleghany
Merger and that the Company, Alleghany and Shoreline aided and
abetted the alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.  On January 4,
2012, the Company and the Board filed a motion to dismiss or stay
the Clark action.

On January 30, 2012, the Company entered into a memorandum of
understanding with the plaintiffs regarding the settlement of
these putative stockholder class actions against the Company and
its directors, Alleghany, Shoreline, Allied World, and GO Sub.
The Company agreed, pursuant to the terms of the proposed
settlement, to make certain supplemental disclosures related to
the Alleghany Merger.  The memorandum of understanding
contemplates that the parties will enter into a stipulation of
settlement.  The stipulation of settlement will be subject to
customary conditions, including court approval following notice to
the Company's stockholders.  In the event that the parties enter
into a stipulation of settlement, a hearing will be scheduled at
which the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will consider
the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the settlement.  If
the settlement is finally approved by the court, it will resolve
and release all claims in all actions that were or could have been
brought challenging any aspect of the Alleghany Merger, the
Alleghany Merger Agreement, and any disclosure made in connection
therewith (but excluding claims for appraisal under Section 262 of
the Delaware General Corporation Law), among other claims,
pursuant to terms that will be disclosed to stockholders prior to
final approval of the settlement.  In addition, in connection with
the settlement, the parties contemplate that plaintiffs' counsel
will file a petition in the Court of Chancery of the State of
Delaware for an award of attorneys' fees and expenses to be paid
by the Company or its successor, which the defendants may oppose.
The Company or its successor will pay or cause to be paid any
attorneys' fees and expenses awarded by the Court of Chancery of
the State of Delaware.  There can be no assurance that the parties
will ultimately enter into a stipulation of settlement or that the
Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will approve the
settlement even if the parties were to enter into such
stipulation.  In such event, the proposed settlement as
contemplated by the memorandum of understanding may be terminated.


UNITED EGG: Majority of Egg Price-Fixing Claims Can Proceed
-----------------------------------------------------------
David Bario, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports that the
U.S. District Court Judge Gene E. K. Pratter of the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania allowed to move forward the majority of
indirect purchaser claims in a multidistrict class action suit
over alleged price fixing for eggs and egg products.

The ruling marks another setback for the dozen or so defendants,
among them a Gettysburg egg supplier represented by Pittsburgh-
based Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.

The class of plaintiffs has been joined by some of the nation's
largest supermarket retailers and cafeteria contractors.

Judge Pratter refused to dismiss most of the plaintiffs' state law
consumer protection and unjust enrichment claims, and she rejected
the defendants' arguments that the 26 named plaintiffs have no
standing to bring antitrust claims under the laws of four states.

As with the "direct" purchaser plaintiffs, the indirect purchasers
allege that the egg producers and three industry groups conspired
to fix prices over a decade by instituting mandatory cage space
and "molt and kill" programs to reduce hen populations, and by
agreeing to export eggs to low-cost foreign markets at a loss in
order to deplete U.S. inventories.

Collectively, these actions were known as the United Egg Producers
Certification Program.  If a producer complied with the program,
it could use the program's official stamp on its products.  Soon,
major retailers were on board, saying they'd purchase only UEP-
certified eggs.

The defendants argue that the certification program was a response
to consumer demand for eggs produced from chickens raised in
better living conditions.

Food service giant Sodexo Inc. and others argue that the egg
prices were artificially inflated when the hens were killed off
under the guise of more humane treatment.  As a result, according
to the suit, wholesale egg prices had skyrocketed by 2008.

In September, Judge Pratter also refused to dismiss the direct
purchasers' claims against all but two of the defendants.

In their joint motion to dismiss the indirect purchaser claims,
the egg producers argued that none of the named plaintiffs resided
or purchased eggs in Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota and South
Dakota, and therefore they lacked standing to assert antitrust
claims under the laws of those states.

Judge Pratter disagreed, finding that "on their faces, the four
states' statutory provisions can plainly be construed to not
require in-state residency or an in-state purchase, but rather
only that some of the defendants' conduct occurred, or the effects
of which were felt, within the state."

She also found the plaintiffs' consumer protection and unjust
enrichment claims met state law guidelines in all but four states.
In all, the plaintiffs allege a federal Sherman Act claim for
injunctive relief, 20 state antitrust claims, nine state consumer
protection claims and 21 state unjust enrichment claims.


UPONOR INC: July 19 Hearing Set for Class Action Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
A settlement has been reached in a national Canadian class action
commenced in Saskatchewan.  The settlement is subject to the
approval of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench.  The class
action deals with whether Uponor, Inc. or Uponor Ltd. or their
predecessor Plasco Manufacturing Ltd. sold F1807 "Plumb-PEX"
plumbing systems with brass insert fittings that may leak and
cause property damage.  The national Canadian Class Action was
certified by the Honourable Justice Laing of the Saskatchewan
Court of Queen's Bench on February 27, 2012.  Uponor denies all
claims but has agreed to settle to avoid the cost and uncertainty
of a trial.

Who's included?

The "Class", or "Class members", comprises anyone who owns or
owned a property in Canada containing a Plasco Plumb-PEX plumbing
system with standard F1807 brass insert fittings.  Owners of
systems that have: (a) had a leak in one or more of the system's
components, or (b) a water flow differential of 50% between the
hot and cold lines that supply one or more fixtures could get
benefits.

A picture of the Plasco Plumb-PEX Plumbing System components can
be found at:

          http://www.CanadianPlumbPexSettlement.ca

What does the settlement provide?

Uponor will reimburse Class members for property damage caused by
a qualifying leak and pay reasonable costs associated with repair
or replacement of affected components.  They will also pay
reasonable costs to repair or replace affected components or
possibly the entire system in structures that have had two or more
qualifying leaks. Persons and entities that have paid claims for
qualifying leaks related to a Plasco Plumb-PEX Plumbing System
component are also eligible to file a claim for reimbursement.

How do you apply for benefits?

To request (a) a payment for past property damage or repairs, or
(b) have repairs performed on an eligible system, you must
complete and submit a claim form.

The claim form is available at:

          http://www.CanadianPlumbPexSettlement.ca

The claims filing deadline will vary based on when the system's
warranty expires.  The earliest claims filing deadline is 18
months from the effective date of the settlement (even if that
time period is after the expiry of the warranty).

Once known, the effective date will be posted online at

          http://www.CanadianPlumbPexSettlement.ca

Staying in the class or opting out?

You have a choice to stay in the Class Action or not.  If you
submit a claim form or do nothing, you are choosing to stay in the
Class Action.  This means you will be legally bound by all orders
and judgments of the Court, and will not be permitted to sue
Uponor for legal claims resolved by this settlement.  If you don't
want to stay in the Class Action, you must submit a request to opt
out postmarked no later than May 23, 2012.  If you opt out, you
cannot get benefits from this settlement, but you will keep any
rights to sue Uponor for the same claims in a different lawsuit.
The detailed notice explains how to submit a request to opt out.

The court's settlement approval hearing.

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial Centre of
Saskatoon will hold a hearing in this case (Jeffrey Allen v.
Uponor Ltd. (fka Uponor Canada Inc. and Uponor Canada Ltd.) and
Uponor Inc. (successor to Uponor North America, Inc.), Q.B. No.
1247 of 2011), on July 19, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. to consider whether
to approve: the settlement, lawyers' fees, disbursements, and
expenses of up to $250,000, and $5,000 in payments to the
Representative Plaintiff.  These fees, costs, expenses, and
payments will be paid separately by Uponor and will not reduce the
amount of benefits available to the Class.  If approved, the
settlement will release Uponor from all claims listed in the
Settlement Agreement.  Class members may, but are not required to,
attend and make submissions at the settlement approval hearing. If
you wish to make submissions regarding the settlement (whether in
person or in writing), you must submit written submissions
postmarked no later than May 23, 2012.  The detailed notice
explains how to submit written submissions or request to appear
and speak at the hearing.

How do you get more information?

View the detailed notice, Settlement Agreement and claim form at
http://www.CanadianPlumbPexSettlement.caor call toll-free 1-877-
688-9314.


XL GROUP: Awaits Approval of New Jersey Class Action Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
XL Group is awaiting final court approval of a settlement
resolving a class action lawsuit pending in a New Jersey court,
according to the Company's February 27, 2012 Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

In August 2005, plaintiffs in a proposed class action (the "Class
Action") that was consolidated into a multidistrict litigation in
the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey,
captioned In re Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1663,
Civil Action No. 04-5184 (the "MDL"), filed a consolidated amended
complaint (the "Amended Complaint"), which named as new defendants
approximately 30 entities, including Greenwich Insurance Company,
Indian Harbor Insurance Company and XL-Cayman (the "XL
Defendants").  In the MDL, the Class Action plaintiffs asserted
various claims purportedly on behalf of a class of commercial
insureds against approximately 113 insurance companies and
insurance brokers through which the named plaintiffs allegedly
purchased insurance.  The Amended Complaint alleged that the
defendant insurance companies and insurance brokers conspired to
manipulate bidding practices for insurance policies in certain
insurance lines and failed to disclose certain commission
arrangements and asserted statutory claims under the Sherman Act,
various state antitrust laws and the Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), as well as common law claims
alleging breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting a breach of
fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment.  By Opinion and Order dated
August 31, 2007, the District Court dismissed the Sherman Act
claims with prejudice and, by Opinion and Order dated
September 28, 2007, the District Court dismissed the RICO claims
with prejudice.  The plaintiffs then appealed both Orders to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  On August 16, 2010,
the Third Circuit affirmed in large part the District Court's
dismissal.  The Third Circuit reversed the dismissal of certain
Sherman Act and RICO claims alleged against several defendants
including the XL Defendants but remanded those claims to the
District Court for further consideration of their adequacy.  In
light of its reversal and remand of certain of the federal claims,
the Third Circuit also reversed the District Court's dismissal
(based on the District Court's declining to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction) of the state-law claims against all defendants.  On
October 1, 2010, the remaining defendants, including the XL
Defendants, filed motions to dismiss the remanded federal claims
and the state-law claims.  The motions were fully briefed in
November 2010.  In May 2011, a majority of the remaining
defendants, including the XL Defendants, executed a formal
Settlement Agreement with the Class Action plaintiffs to settle
the Class Action and dismiss all claims with prejudice.  The
settlement was preliminarily approved by the District Court in
June 2011 and a final fairness hearing was held on September 14,
2011; the District Court has not yet decided the Class Action
plaintiffs' motion for approval of the settlement.  The XL
Defendants' portion of the defendants' aggregate settlement
payment is $6.75 million.


                        Asbestos Litigation


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Moreland Council Expects More Work for Abaters
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tessa Hoffman of the Moreland Leader reports that up to two cases
of illegal asbestos dumping are reported to Moreland Council every
week.

The council expects dumping to spike in the lead-up to annual hard
rubbish collection.

It comes after the council copped criticism for taking four days
to remove corrugated roofing sheets containing asbestos near a
playground in Mailer Reserve, Coburg.

Haig Ave. resident Julie Page said she was shocked when council
workers erected fencing and warning signs around the asbestos on
Saturday, March 10, more than 24 hours after she reported the
dumping.

Specialists removed the asbestos on Tuesday, March 13.

Ms. Page said young families used the playground just meters from
the dumped material over the long weekend.

"I would've expected someone to have dealt with this in half an
hour," Ms. Page said.

"We all know what asbestos does.  They should have at least
covered it."

Director of city infrastructure Nerina Di Lorenzo said the council
removed a small amount of asbestos on March 9 following a report,
and discovered a second batch near the playground the next
morning.

"Council's contractor removed the asbestos at their first
availability, which was after the long weekend, on Tuesday, March
13," she said.

Ms. Di Lorenzo said although illegal asbestos dumping incurred a
$240,000 fine, the council received an average of one or two
reports each week.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Pleas to Ex-workers at Ambrose Shardlow
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Star (Sheffield) reports that relatives of a former Sheffield
steelworker who died from asbestos-related cancer are trying to
trace colleagues who might be able to shed light on how he was
exposed to the deadly substance.

Roger Headley worked for 40 years as a driller on crankshafts at
the Tinsley site of Ambrose Shardlow, later known as GKN Shardlow
and now Bifrangi UK Ltd.

Roger, a father of four and grandfather of five, was diagnosed
with asbestos-related mesothelioma in July 2010 and died just five
months later, aged 65, on Boxing Day.

His widow Jackie Headley, 67, of Beaver Hill Road, Woodhouse, is
appealing for anyone who worked with Roger to get in touch if they
know how he was exposed to asbestos.

Mrs. Headley said: "He suffered a great deal due to his illness
before he eventually passed away.

"His breathing deteriorated and he became less active and mobile.
It was heartbreaking to watch him suffer.

"Nothing can bring him back to us but we want to get to the bottom
of where he was exposed to asbestos."

Roger's daughter Joanne, 34, said: "My dad was a true Sheffielder
-- a real working man.  He got up at 5am every day, made his
packed lunch and went to work.

"He never complained in all those years.  He just got on with it,
working to put food on the table for his family."

Roger, who grew up on Skye Edge and moved to Woodhouse after
marrying Jackie, was diagnosed with mesothelioma a year after
retiring.

He underwent chemotherapy at Weston Park Hospital but, on Dec. 22,
2010, doctors said they could do nothing more for him.

Joanne said: "We brought him home and we had Christmas dinner --
all 17 of us.  Then he passed away the next day."

Paul Chilton, general manager at Bifrangi, said: "We are terribly
sad to hear of Mr. Headley's demise.

"We have an asbestos-clear certificate and as far as I know we
have not had any reports of asbestos-related disease."

Keith Hague, of Irwin Mitchell solicitors, said: "Because it can
take up to 30 or 40 years to develop, it can sometimes be
difficult to assess where somebody was exposed to asbestos.

"We want to talk to Roger's former colleagues to find out more
about the working conditions."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Contaminated" Dearborn Towers Sold for $6.25MM
----------------------------------------------------------------
J. Patrick Pepper of The Press & Guide Newspapers reports that
City Council on March 13 approved a $6.25 million purchase offer
for the Dearborn Towers apartment complex.

The agreement, first reported by Dearborn Patch, brings to an end
the uncertainty that has surrounded the senior-living facility
since Dearborn voters approved its sale in a 2007 ballot question.

The building, which sits on waterfront property in Clearwater
Beach, Fla., has been on the market since 2010.  Last year, the
city received a $6 million purchase offer that was rescinded when
the would-be buyer balked after discovering asbestos during the
due diligence period.

The city subsequently contracted with remediation firms to
determine the likely cost of removal.  As recently as January,
there was concern that the hazardous building material would be so
widespread that it could potentially quash any sales, or make them
so low in price that it wouldn't be worth it.

"With the asbestos, buyers are saying take that $5.9 million offer
and make it $2.9 million," city attorney Laurie Ellerbrake said at
a City Council study session in January.

The remediation study found the asbestos to be minimal and the
city received three purchase offers, all of them above the $5.975
million appraised value.

The winning bid, from Alchemy Management LLC, was the highest of
the three and the company has posted a 10% nonrefundable deposit.
It is expected the towers will be converted to high-end
condominiums.

The proceeds from the sale were figured into the city's current
fiscal year budget and will be used to help close a structural
budget deficit.

"This will allow us to get the Towers off the books and move the
money back to Dearborn where it can be utilized by all citizens,"
said Council President Tom Tafelski.  "It was a nice thing for us
to have, but its time has passed."

Constructed in 1960, the apartment building has 40, one-bedroom
and 48 two-bedroom units, with scenic views, screened terraces,
electric kitchens and individually controlled air-conditioning,
according to city marketing materials.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: $7.7MM Renovation of Hammondsport Bldg Discussed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Perham of The Bath Courier reports that consultants for the
proposed $7.7 million renovation to the Hammondsport Central
School building are coming back to present one plan to the school
board.

The consultants met with the school board to discuss issues
arising from an unexpected delay in sending construction bids out
for the project.  The bids could be late going out due to the
state's slow response on required paperwork.

The problem on the night of March 14 was the consultants could not
agree on the solution.  And board members weren't overjoyed by
what they saw as a lack of teamwork by their paid professionals.

"Here's the thing," school board member Dennis Carlson told
representatives of William Taylor and Associates and a three-man
team from Campus Construction Management.  "I won't know any more
about roofing in a week than I do now.  You need to get together
and come back with a plan."

Mark Voorhees, the project manager from Campus, a Rochester-based
firm told the board the delay in bidding would reduce the time
workers have to complete asbestos removal.

Taking asbestos out was expected to take the better part of the
two summers set aside for the 14-month project.  Voorhees warned
starting the project this summer also could add to the project's
costs and work would also be stretched out to prevent disrupting
instruction.

Given the late date bids would go out this year, it is likely the
project would be overbid, since most contractors have work lined
up, Voorhees said.  Getting materials in during the height of the
construction season also could draw out work on the project, he
said.

Campus consultants recommended waiting to start the project until
next summer.  Holding off would mean bids could go out at the
beginning of the year when contractors would be lining up work.

But the project's designer, William Taylor, insisted the project
did not need wait.  Taylor said construction companies are still
looking for work, with a large workforce still available.
"(Campus') plan is a bad plan," he said.

Taylor said six weeks in the summer would allow most of the
planned asbestos abatement to be completed before school opened.
Other abatement could take place during long school holidays, he
said.

Waiting until January to bid the project could also mean higher
costs in fuel and material, Taylor said.  He said data upgrades
could be scheduled after school hours, and done by a second shift,
which is already in the plans.

Taylor also was critical of Campus' effort to locate workers --
something Voorhees vigorously denied.

School Superintendent Kyle Bower told the board the delaying the
project should have no sizeable impact on funding, since State Ed.
has approved the project.

Last May, district voters approved the project, which is needed to
bring the 54-year-old building into compliance with the state
Education Department's recommendations, according to Bower.

Essential repairs include fixing most of the roof, replacing parts
of the original water and electrical systems and paving.  Other
projects include making public restrooms accessible to handicapped
people, removing asbestos tiles, replacing unsafe windows and
doors, and upgrading technology infrastructure.

The district will use $1 million from its building reserve fund
for the work, and expects to get 57% state building aid from the
state.  The 16-year-bond would be floated when construction
begins, Bower told the board March 14.

Board President Jim Zimar said he understand the appeal of
starting work as soon as possible.

"But let's not paint ourselves into a corner," Zimar said.  The
only immovable object in any plan is simple, Bower said.
"Whatever is done, school is ready to open Sept. 1," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Benton Sand & Gravel Gets Waterloo Abatement Job
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Jamison at WCFCourier.com (Waterloo) reports that the city of
Waterloo is moving quickly to remove a former rental duplex that
started to collapse.

City Council members voted 6-0 during an emergency meeting on
March 15 to approve a demolition contract for the property at
626-628 W. Ninth St.

"We'd been working to demolish this building and put it out of its
misery," said Community Planning and Development Director Noel
Anderson.  "It decided to commit suicide."

The duplex on the corner of West Ninth and Randolph streets was
surrounded by a red fence after the rear corner of the structure
collapsed.  The adjacent duplex at 620-622 W. Ninth St. was
evacuated and the tenants will be relocated at the city's expense
during the demolition process.

City officials acquired the dilapidated duplex through a court
order about three months ago.  Council members had just approved a
contract to begin an asbestos survey in preparation for the
demolition.

Because the asbestos can no longer be removed safely, the
demolition process must follow special, costly regulations which
consider all of the material to contain the cancer-causing
material.  The project must be kept wet during the demolition, and
debris must be wrapped in the trucks before being hauled to a
disposal site.

Benton Sand and Gravel Inc. of Cedar Falls received the $56,100
contract.  It submitted the lowest of two quotes received on the
project.

The city is using general obligation bond funds earmarked for
nuisance abatement to cover the cost.

Council members also authorized up to $1,000 to temporarily
relocate tenants from the adjacent building, which is just several
feet from the collapsing structure.  The house next door will be
without power during the demolition, and officials also are using
caution in case debris strikes the adjacent property.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Non-Profit Pony Club Devastated and Contaminated
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Kree Nash of The Daily Advertiser reports that the members of
Wagga and Bidgee District Pony Club will ride again, but it will
take the community to help them get back on their feet.

Their North Wagga clubhouse was completely destroyed in the
flooding with two sections of the building left bare to the
foundations.

A further blow has been dealt to the club with the discovery of
asbestos in the building, adding to the cost and time of cleaning
up.

Club president Jeremy Riethmuller said the club will rebuild, but
needs community support to get back up.

"The biggest problem is that since the site has asbestos in it, we
can't have a working bee to get our club started again," Mr.
Riethmuller said.  "We didn't have flood insurance and it will
cost thousands to clear up.

"We're a not-for-profit organization; we can't afford this."

The flood came at the worst time with the club just starting to
rebuild its membership following the 2010 flood event.

"We only had registration day in February with plenty of new
members joining; it had a buzz about it," he said.

Mr. Riethmuller is hoping the community can assist in the location
of jumping equipment which may have ended up in backyards or
downstream.

"If anyone finds any jumping poles or barrel we would be happy to
pick them up," he said.

When the grounds dry out and the asbestos is cleared, the club is
also hopeful of obtaining a temporary portable clubhouse to use
during the rebuild.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Kraft Power's First-to-File Argument
------------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Harold Baer, Jr., denied Kraft Power Corporation's
motion to dismiss a complaint filed by The Port Authority of New
York and New Jersey for declaratory judgment regarding its rights
and Kraft's obligations under the parties' contracts.

Kraft argues that the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York, where the complaint was filed, is the wrong
forum because a related personal injury lawsuit relating to
asbestos exposure was filed first in New Jersey state court.

In a March 13, 2012 opinion and order, Judge Baer held that the
first-to-file rule applies where there is concurrent federal
litigation, not where a federal court contends with concurrent
state litigation, like the Port Authority's lawsuit.  Judge Baer,
however, stays the case pending resolution of the lawsuit pending
in the New Jersey state court.

The case is, THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY,
Plaintiff, v. KRAFT POWER CORPORATION, f/k/a W.A. KRAFT CORP.,
AMERICAN EMPLOYERS' INSURANCE COMPANY, COMMERCIAL UNION INSURANCE
COMPANY n/k/a ONEBEACON AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY. CRUM &
FORSTER. UNITED ST ATES FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, EGERTON-WALLACE
ASSOCIATES, INC. f/k/a CHILD SAVORY-HAWARD, INC. f/k/a SAVORY-
HAWARD INSURANCE AGENCY, INC., WILLIAM GALLAGHER ASSOCIATES
INSURANCE AGENCY, INC., Defendants, No. 11 CV 5624 (HB)(S.D.N.Y.).
A copy of Judge Baer's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/umdtQ6from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Dismisses Suit v. Georgia-Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------
Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of the Supreme Court for the New York
County, in a March 13, 2012 decision and order, granted Georgia-
Pacific, LLC's renewed motion for summary judgment dismissing the
asbestos personal injury complaint and all other claims and cross-
claims asserted against it after finding that Philip J. Miceli and
Rose Marie Miceli have not met their burden of proof.

The Court, last year, denied Georgia-Pacific's motion without
prejudice to renew because its expert's report was unsworn and
therefore prima facie insufficient to serve as the basis for its
motion.  Georgia-Pacific renewed its motion for summary judgment
on the same grounds, and in accordance with the Court's prior
order, submitted a sworn affidavit to accompany its expert's
report.

The case is PHILIP J. MICELI and ROSE MARIE MICELI, Plaintiff, v.
ANCHOR PACKING COMPANY, et al., Defendants, No. 190234/09, Motion
Seq. 002., (N.Y. Sup. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/22NhbXfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co. Fails to Dismiss Contento Tort Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of the Supreme Court, New York County,
in a March 13, 2012 decision and order, denied Crane Co.'s motion
for summary judgment and motion to dismiss a personal injury
asbestos exposure lawsuit filed by Albert Contento noting that it
has been previously adjudged that Crane Co. had a duty to warn
consumers against the hazards associated with asbestos because the
evidence demonstrated that Crane Co. recommended the use of
asbestos-containing insulation and packing in conjunction with its
products.

The case is ALBERT CONTENTO, Plaintiff, v. A.C. & S., Inc., et
al., Defendants, No. 121539/01, Motion Seq. No. 001 (N.Y. Sup.
Ct.).  A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/UhiXCZfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Ct. Rules in Suit v. Air & Liquid et al.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Objections were filed to U.S. Magistrate Judge Strawbridge's
orders denying defendant Pennsylvania Electric Company's motion
for judgment on the pleadings and denying defendant Crane
Company's motion in limine.  On review, Judge Eduardo C. Robreno
of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, in a March 13, 2012 memorandum overruled the
objections holding that Pennsylvania Electric waived any defense
of insufficient process and Crane Co.'s objections are fodder to
challenge the Plaintiffs' experts' testimony during trial wherein
the Court will provide Crane ample opportunity for cross-
examination.

The case is VALENT RABOVSKY, et al., Plaintiffs, v. AIR & LIQUID
SYSTEMS CORP., et al., Defendants, No. 875, Civil Action. No.
10-3202 (E.D. Pa.).  A copy of Judge Robreno's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/TE4Hmbfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chicago Bridge Had $1.6MM Liability at Dec. 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chicago Bridge & Iron N.V., at December 31, 2011, had
approximately $1.6 million accrued for asbestos liability and
related expenses, according to the Company's February 24, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "We are a defendant in lawsuits wherein
plaintiffs allege exposure to asbestos due to work we may have
performed at various locations. We have never been a manufacturer,
distributor or supplier of asbestos products. Over the past
several decades and through December 31, 2011, we have been named
a defendant in lawsuits alleging exposure to asbestos involving
approximately 5,200 plaintiffs and, of those claims, approximately
1,400 claims were pending and 3,800 have been closed through
dismissals or settlements. Over the past several decades and
through December 31, 2011, the claims alleging exposure to
asbestos that have been resolved have been dismissed or settled
for an average settlement amount of approximately one thousand
dollars per claim. We review each case on its own merits and make
accruals based upon the probability of loss and our estimates of
the amount of liability and related expenses, if any. We do not
believe that any unresolved asserted claims will have a material
adverse effect on our future results of operations, financial
position or cash flow, and, at December 31, 2011, we had
approximately $1.6 million accrued for liability and related
expenses.

"With respect to unasserted asbestos claims, we cannot identify a
population of potential claimants with sufficient certainty to
determine the probability of a loss and to make a reasonable
estimate of liability, if any. While we continue to pursue
recovery for recognized and unrecognized contingent losses through
insurance, indemnification arrangements or other sources, we are
unable to quantify the amount, if any, that we may expect to
recover because of the variability in coverage amounts,
limitations and deductibles, or the viability of carriers, with
respect to our insurance policies for the years in question."

Founded in 1889, Chicago Bridge & Iron N.V., a Netherlands
company, is one of the world's leading integrated engineering,
procurement and construction services providers and major process
technology licensors, delivering comprehensive solutions to
customers primarily in the energy and natural resource industries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: W.R. Grace's Recorded Liability Was $1.7 Billion
-----------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co.'s total recorded asbestos-related liability as of
December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, was $1,700.0 million,
according to the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "On January 31, 2012, the United States
District Court for the District of Delaware issued an order
confirming [Grace's Joint Plan of Reorganization]. The Joint Plan
is designed to address all pending and future asbestos-related
claims and all other pre-petition claims as outlined therein. The
Joint Plan provides for the issuance to the asbestos personal
injury trust of a warrant to purchase 10 million shares of Grace
common stock at a price of $17 per share. If the Joint Plan
becomes effective and this warrant is exercised, it will dilute
the ownership interests of holders of currently outstanding Grace
common stock and may adversely affect the value of such common
stock.

"We have insurance coverage for a portion of the asbestos-related
claims against us. We estimate that, assuming an ultimate payout
of asbestos-related claims equal to the $1,700 million of
asbestos-related liabilities recorded on our balance sheet, our
insurance policies should provide approximately $500 million of
insurance recovery. Under the Joint Plan, these insurance policies
would be assigned to the asbestos personal injury trust
established under the Joint Plan. However, if the Joint Plan does
not become effective, these policies would remain with us unless
assigned to creditors under the terms of another plan of
reorganization. The estimated recovery of $500 million pertains
only to insurance carriers with which we have asbestos settlement
agreements, and/or which are currently solvent and we cannot be
sure that all these amounts will be collected. In addition, the
timing and amount of future payments depends on the continued
solvency of the insurers and the resolution of disputes regarding
coverage as well as the nature and timing of actual claims paid.
If the Joint Plan does not become effective, the receipt of timely
and complete payments from the insurers would be important to the
success of our reorganization."

W.R. Grace & Co. produces and sells specialty chemicals and
specialty materials on a global basis through its two operating
segments, Grace Davison and Grace Construction Products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: W.R. Grace's Libby-Related Liability Was $67.2MM
-----------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co.'s total estimated liability for asbestos
remediation studies and other estimable matters related to its
former vermiculite operations in Libby, as well as the cost of
remediation at vermiculite processing sites outside of Libby, at
December 31, 2011, was $67.2 million, according to the Company's
February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "Grace operated a vermiculite mine in Libby,
Montana until 1990. Some of the vermiculite ore that was mined at
the Libby mine contained naturally occurring asbestos. Grace is
working in cooperation with EPA to investigate the Libby
vermiculite mine and the surrounding bodies of water and forest
lands. We do not have sufficient information to estimate the cost
of any required remediation of the Libby mine. During 2010, EPA
began reinvestigating up to 105 facilities where vermiculite
concentrate from the Libby mine was processed. We are cooperating
with EPA on this reinvestigation. In late 2011, EPA requested that
we conduct additional remediation at seven of these facilities
based on revised risk-based criteria developed by EPA. It is
probable that EPA will request additional remediation at some
other facilities. We do not have sufficient information to
identify either the sites that might require additional
remediation or estimate the cost of any additional remediation. We
will evaluate our estimated remediation liability for other sites
as we receive additional information from EPA.

"Grace's total estimated liability for asbestos remediation
studies and other estimable matters related to its former
vermiculite operations in Libby, as well as the cost of
remediation at vermiculite processing sites outside of Libby, at
December 31, 2011 and 2010 was $67.2 million and $52.7 million,
respectively, excluding interest where applicable. This estimated
liability does not include the cost to remediate the Libby mine or
costs related to any additional EPA claims, whether resulting from
EPA's reinvestigation or otherwise, which may be material but are
not currently estimable. It is probable that Grace's ultimate
liability will exceed current estimates by material amounts.
Grace's current recorded liability will be adjusted as Grace
receives new information and amounts become reasonably estimable."

W.R. Grace & Co. produces and sells specialty chemicals and
specialty materials on a global basis through its two operating
segments, Grace Davison and Grace Construction Products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pepco Had 180 Cases Pending in Maryland in Dec.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pepco Holdings, Inc., as of December 31, 2011, had approximately
180 cases alleging personal injury due to asbestos exposure still
pending in the Maryland State Courts, according to the Company's
February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

In 1993, Pepco was served with Amended Complaints filed in the
state Circuit Courts of Prince George's County, Baltimore City and
Baltimore County, Maryland in separate ongoing, consolidated
proceedings known as "In re: Personal Injury Asbestos Case."
Pepco and other corporate entities were brought into these cases
on a theory of premises liability. Under this theory, the
plaintiffs argued that Pepco was negligent in not providing a safe
work environment for employees or its contractors, who allegedly
were exposed to asbestos while working on Pepco's property.
Initially, a total of approximately 448 individual plaintiffs
added Pepco to their complaints. While the pleadings are not
entirely clear, it appears that each plaintiff sought
$2 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive
damages from each defendant.

As of December 31, 2011, there are approximately 180 cases still
pending against Pepco in the Maryland State Courts, of which
approximately 90 cases were filed after December 19, 2000, and
were tendered to Mirant Corp. for defense and indemnification in
connection with the sale by Pepco of its generation assets to
Mirant in 2000. While the aggregate amount of monetary damages
sought in the remaining suits (excluding those tendered to Mirant)
is approximately $360 million, PHI and Pepco believe the amounts
claimed by the remaining plaintiffs are greatly exaggerated. The
amount of total liability, if any, and any related insurance
recovery cannot be determined at this time. If an unfavorable
decision were rendered against Pepco, it could have a material
adverse effect on Pepco's and PHI's financial condition, results
of operations and cash flows.

Pepco Holdings is a holding company that, through the following
regulated public utility subsidiaries, is engaged primarily in the
transmission, distribution and default supply of electricity and,
to a lesser extent, the distribution and supply of natural gas:
Potomac Electric Power Company, Delmarva Power & Light Company,
and Atlantic City Electric Company.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pepco's Unit Continues to Defend New Jersey Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Pepco Holdings, Inc.'s Atlantic City Electric Company continues to
defend an asbestos exposure lawsuit in New Jersey, according to
the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

In September 2011, an asbestos complaint was filed in the New
Jersey Superior Court, Law Division, against ACE (among other
defendants) asserting claims under New Jersey's Wrongful Death and
Survival statutes. The complaint, filed by the estate of a
decedent who was the wife of a former employee of ACE, alleges
that the decedent's mesothelioma was caused by exposure to
asbestos brought home by her husband on his work clothes. Unlike
the other jurisdictions to which PHI subsidiaries are subject, New
Jersey courts have recognized a cause of action against a premise
owner in a so-called "take home" case if it can be shown that the
harm was foreseeable. In this case, the complaint seeks recovery
of an unspecified amount of damages for the decedent's past
medical expenses, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering between
the time of injury and death, and asserts a punitive damage claim.
At this time, ACE cannot estimate an amount or range of reasonably
possible loss to which it may be exposed that may be associated
with the claims raised in this complaint. Such an estimate of
reasonably possible loss must await further internal investigation
and discovery procedures.

Pepco Holdings is a holding company that, through the following
regulated public utility subsidiaries, is engaged primarily in the
transmission, distribution and default supply of electricity and,
to a lesser extent, the distribution and supply of natural gas:
Potomac Electric Power Company, Delmarva Power & Light Company,
and Atlantic City Electric Company.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Enstar Had $528.4MM Net Loss Reserves at Dec. 31
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Enstar Group Limited, as of December 31, 2011, had net loss
reserves of $528.4 million for asbestos-related claims, according
to the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "A number of our subsidiaries wrote general
liability policies and reinsurance prior to their acquisition by
us under which policyholders continue to present asbestos-related
injury claims and claims alleging injury, damage or clean-up costs
arising from environmental pollution. These policies, and the
associated claims, are referred to as [asbestos and environmental]
A&E exposures. The vast majority of these claims are presented
under policies written many years ago.

"There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding A&E claims. This
uncertainty impacts the ability of insurers and reinsurers to
estimate the ultimate amount of unpaid claims and related LAE. The
majority of these claims differ from any other type of claim
because there is inadequate loss development and there is
significant uncertainty regarding what, if any, coverage exists,
to which, if any, policy years claims are attributable and which,
if any, insurers/reinsurers may be liable. These uncertainties are
exacerbated by lack of clear judicial precedent and legislative
interpretations of coverage that may be inconsistent with the
intent of the parties to the insurance contracts and expand
theories of liability. The insurance and reinsurance industry as a
whole is engaged in extensive litigation over these coverage and
liability issues and is, thus, confronted with continuing
uncertainty in its efforts to quantify A&E exposures.

"Our A&E exposure is administered out of our offices in the United
Kingdom and Rhode Island and centrally administered from the
United Kingdom. In light of the intensive claim settlement process
for these claims, which involves comprehensive fact gathering and
subject matter expertise, our management believes that it is
prudent to have a centrally administered claim facility to handle
A&E claims on behalf of all of our subsidiaries. Our A&E claims
staff, working in conjunction with two U.S.-qualified attorneys
experienced in A&E liabilities, proactively administers, on a
cost-effective basis, the A&E claims submitted to our insurance
and reinsurance subsidiaries.

"As of December 31, 2011, we had 35 separate insurance and/or
reinsurance subsidiaries whose reserves are categorized into
approximately 328 reserve categories in total, including 39
distinct asbestos reserving categories and 25 distinct
environmental reserving categories.

"Asbestos continues to be the most significant and difficult mass
tort for the insurance industry in terms of claims volume and
expense. We believe that the insurance industry has been adversely
affected by judicial interpretations that have had the effect of
maximizing insurance recoveries for asbestos claims, from both a
coverage and liability perspective. Generally, only policies
underwritten prior to 1986 have potential asbestos exposure, since
most policies underwritten after this date contain an absolute
asbestos exclusion.

"From 2001 through 2003 the industry experienced increasing
numbers of asbestos claims, including claims from individuals who
did not appear to be impaired by asbestos exposure. Since 2003,
however, new claim filings have been fairly stable. It is possible
that the increases observed in the early part of the decade were
triggered by various state tort reforms (discussed immediately
below). At this point, we cannot predict whether claim filings
will return to pre-2004 levels, remain stable, or begin to
decrease."

Enstar Group Limited was formed in August 2001 under the laws of
Bermuda to acquire and manage insurance and reinsurance companies
in run-off and portfolios of insurance and reinsurance business in
run-off, and to provide management, consulting and other services
to the insurance and reinsurance industry. Since its formation, it
has acquired 35 insurance and reinsurance companies and 17
portfolios of insurance and reinsurance business and are now
administering those businesses in run-off.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: OfficeMax Remains Defendant in Exposure Cases
--------------------------------------------------------------
OfficeMax Incorporated remains a defendant in a number of cases
alleging exposure to asbestos products, according to the Company's
February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "Over the past several years and continuing in
the current year, we have been named a defendant in a number of
cases where the plaintiffs allege asbestos-related injuries from
exposure to asbestos products or exposure to asbestos while
working at job sites. The claims vary widely and often are not
specific about the plaintiffs' contacts with the Company. None of
the claimants seeks damages from us individually, and we are
generally one of numerous defendants. Many of the cases filed
against us have been voluntarily dismissed, although we have
settled some cases. The settlements we have paid have been covered
mostly by insurance, and we believe any future settlements or
judgments in these cases would be similarly covered. To date, no
asbestos case against us has gone to trial, and the nature of
these cases makes any prediction as to the outcome of pending
litigation inherently subjective. At this time, however, we
believe our involvement in asbestos litigation is not material to
either our financial position or our results of operations."

OfficeMax is involved in both business-to-business and retail
office products distribution. It provides office supplies and
paper, print and document services, technology products and
solutions and office furniture to large, medium and small
businesses, government offices and consumers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Selective Insurance Has $6.5MM Asbestos Reserves
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Selective Insurance Group, Inc., had $6.5 million of its net
environmental reserves related to asbestos claims, according to
the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "Our general liability, excess liability, and
homeowners reserves include exposure to environmental claims,
which primarily include asbestos and non-asbestos claims. Our
exposure to environmental liability is primarily due to: (i)
policies written prior to the absolute pollution endorsement in
the mid 1980s; and (ii) underground storage tank leaks mainly from
New Jersey homeowners' policies. Our environmental claims stem
primarily from insured exposures in municipal government, small
non-manufacturing commercial risks, and homeowners policies. The
emergence of these claims is slow and highly unpredictable.

"'Asbestos claims' are claims for bodily injury alleged to have
occurred from exposure to asbestos-containing products. In the
past, we were the insurer of various distributors of asbestos-
containing products, such as electrical and plumbing materials,
and, in some cases, the manufacturers of these products. Over the
last 20 years, a large number of asbestos claims have been made
against the insurance industry. While most of our claims are the
result of incidental exposure, we insure a former manufacturer of
asbestos related products, which comprises more than half of our
outstanding claims. These claims are associated with two policies,
each written with a $1.0 million policy aggregate limit.   At
December 31, 2011, asbestos claims constituted 17% of our $38.4
million net environmental reserves [$6.5 million] compared to 21%
of our $39.4 million net environmental reserves [$8.2 million] at
December 31, 2010."

Selective Insurance Group, Inc., is a New Jersey holding company,
incorporated in 1977, that offers property and casualty insurance
products and services through its insurance subsidiaries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Curtiss-Wright Faces 177 Pending Exposure Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Curtiss-Wright Corporation has been named in approximately 177
pending lawsuits that allege injury from exposure to asbestos,
according to the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "In addition, to date, we have secured
dismissals with prejudice and without prejudice in approximately
163 and 220 lawsuits, respectively, and are currently in
discussions for similar dismissal of several other lawsuits, and
have not been found liable or paid any material sum of money in
settlement in any case. We believe that the minimal use of
asbestos in our past and current operations and the relatively
non-friable condition of asbestos in our products makes it
unlikely that we will face material liability in any asbestos
litigation, whether individually or in the aggregate. We do
maintain insurance coverage for these potential liabilities and we
believe adequate coverage exists to cover any unanticipated
asbestos liability."

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a diversified, multinational
provider of highly engineered, technologically advanced products
and services.  The Company is the corporate descendants of the
Wright brothers, the fathers of flight, and Mr. Glenn Curtiss, the
father of naval aviation. Today, the Company designs and
manufactures highly engineered, advanced technologies that perform
critical functions in demanding conditions in the defense, power
generation, oil and gas, commercial aerospace, and general
industrial markets, where safety, performance, and reliability are
essential. The Company is incorporated under the laws of the State
of Delaware.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: GATX Corp. Had 190 Pending Cases at Jan. 31
------------------------------------------------------------
GATX Corporation, as of January 31, 2012, had 190 asbestos-related
cases pending against it and its subsidiaries, according to the
Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

Several of the Company's subsidiaries have been named as
defendants or co-defendants in cases alleging injury caused by
exposure to asbestos. The plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of
damages based on common law, statutory or premises liability or,
in the case of American Steamship Company, the Jones Act, which
provides limited remedies to certain maritime employees. As of
January 31, 2012, there were 190 asbestos-related cases pending
against the Company and its subsidiaries. Of the total number of
pending cases, 161 are Jones Act claims, most of which were filed
against ASC before the year 2000. During 2011, 15 new cases were
filed, and 685 cases were dismissed without payment or otherwise
settled for an immaterial amount. In addition, demand has been
made against the Company for asbestos-related claims under limited
indemnities given in connection with the sale of certain former
subsidiaries of the Company. It is possible that the number of
these cases or claims for indemnity could begin to grow and that
the cost of these cases, including costs to defend, could
correspondingly increase in the future.

GATX Corporation leases, operates, manages and remarkets long-
lived, widely used assets primarily in the rail and marine
markets. GATX also invests in joint ventures that complement
existing business activities. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois,
GATX has three financial reporting segments: Rail, American
Steamship Company and Portfolio Management.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ensco plc Still a Defendant in Exposure Cases
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ensco plc has been named as a defendant by 65 individual
plaintiffs in lawsuits alleging personal injury resulting from
asbestos exposure, according to the Company's February 24, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "During 2004, we and certain current and
former subsidiaries were named as defendants, along with numerous
other third-party companies as co-defendants, in three multi-party
lawsuits filed in the Circuit Courts of Jones County (Second
Judicial District) and Jasper County (First Judicial District),
Mississippi. The lawsuits sought an unspecified amount of monetary
damages on behalf of individuals alleging personal injury or
death, primarily under the Jones Act, purportedly resulting from
exposure to asbestos on drilling rigs and associated facilities
during the period 1965 through 1986.  We have been named as a
defendant by 65 individual plaintiffs. Of these claims, 62 claims
or lawsuits are pending in Mississippi state courts and three are
pending in the U.S. District Court as a result of their removal
from state court.

"We intend to vigorously defend against these claims and have
filed responsive pleadings preserving all defenses and challenges
to jurisdiction and venue. However, discovery is still ongoing
and, therefore, available information regarding the nature of all
pending claims is limited. At present, we cannot reasonably
determine how many of the claimants may have valid claims under
the Jones Act or estimate a range of potential liability exposure,
if any.

"In addition to the pending cases in Mississippi, we have other
asbestos or lung injury claims pending against us in litigation in
other jurisdictions. Although we do not expect the final
disposition of the Mississippi and other asbestos or lung injury
lawsuits to have a material adverse effect upon our financial
position, operating results or cash flows, there can be no
assurances as to the ultimate outcome of the lawsuits."

Ensco plc is a global offshore contract drilling company. It is a
provider of offshore contract drilling services to the
international oil and gas industry.  It owns and operates an
offshore drilling rig fleet of 77 rigs, including rigs under
construction, spanning most of the strategic, high-growth markets
around the globe.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: General Electric Remains Subject to Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
General Electric Company remains subject to asbestos claims,
according to the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "We are involved in numerous remediation
actions to clean up hazardous wastes as required by federal and
state laws. Liabilities for remediation costs exclude possible
insurance recoveries and, when dates and amounts of such costs are
not known, are not discounted. When there appears to be a range of
possible costs with equal likelihood, liabilities are based on the
low end of such range. It is reasonably possible that our
environmental remediation exposure will exceed amounts accrued.
However, due to uncertainties about the status of laws,
regulations, technology and information related to individual
sites, such amounts are not reasonably estimable. Total reserves
related to environmental remediation, including asbestos claims,
were $3,361 million at December 31, 2011."

General Electric Company is one of the largest and most
diversified technology and financial services corporations in the
world. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines,
power generation, water processing, and household appliances to
medical imaging, business and consumer financing and industrial
products, the Company serves customers in more than 100 countries
and employ approximately 301,000 people worldwide.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lincoln Electric Has Claims by 16,781 Plaintiffs
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., at December 31, 2011, was a
co-defendant in cases alleging manganese induced illness involving
claims by approximately 806 plaintiffs and a co-defendant in cases
alleging asbestos induced illness involving claims by
approximately 16,781 plaintiffs, according to the Company's
February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "In each instance, we are one of a large
number of defendants. In the manganese cases, the claimants allege
that exposure to manganese contained in welding consumables caused
the plaintiffs to develop adverse neurological conditions,
including a condition known as manganism. In the asbestos cases,
the claimants allege that exposure to asbestos contained in
welding consumables caused the plaintiffs to develop adverse
pulmonary diseases, including mesothelioma and other lung cancers.

"Since January 1, 1995, we have been a co-defendant in manganese
cases that have been resolved as follows: 16,031 of those claims
were dismissed, 23 were tried to defense verdicts in favor of us
and five were tried to plaintiff verdicts (three of which were
reversed on appeal and one of which has post-trial motions
pending). In addition, 13 claims were resolved by agreement for
immaterial amounts and one claim was decided in favor of the
Company following a summary judgment motion. Since January 1,
1995, we have been a co-defendant in asbestos cases that have been
resolved as follows: 39,199 of those claims were dismissed, 18
were tried to defense verdicts, seven were tried to plaintiff
verdicts (two of which are being appealed), one was resolved by
agreement for an immaterial amount and 585 were decided in favor
of the Company following summary judgment motions.

"Defense costs remain significant. The long-term impact of the
manganese and asbestos loss contingencies, in each case in the
aggregate, on operating results, operating cash flows and access
to capital markets is difficult to assess, particularly since
claims are in many different stages of development and we benefit
significantly from cost-sharing with co-defendants and insurance
carriers. While we intend to contest these lawsuits vigorously,
and believe we have applicable insurance relating to these claims,
there are several risks and uncertainties that may affect our
liability for personal claims relating to exposure to manganese
and asbestos, including the future impact of changing cost sharing
arrangements or a change in our overall trial experience. In
addition, in January 2012, the Company and 18 co-defendants
entered into an agreement that provides for the dismissal with
prejudice of substantially all of the pending manganese claims if
certain conditions precedent are satisfied. Failure to satisfy
those conditions could lead to the resumption of that litigation
and increased defense costs.

"Manganese is an essential element of steel and cannot be
eliminated from welding consumables. Asbestos use in welding
consumables in the U.S. ceased in 1981."

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., is one of only a few worldwide
broad-line manufacturers of welding, cutting and brazing products.
Welding products include arc welding power sources, wire feeding
systems, robotic welding packages, fume extraction equipment,
consumable electrodes and fluxes. The Company's product offering
also includes computer numeric controlled plasma and oxy-fuel
cutting systems and regulators and torches used in oxy-fuel
welding, cutting and brazing. In addition, the Company has a
leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloys
market.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Olin Corp. Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Olin Corporation and its subsidiaries are defendants in various
legal actions (including proceedings based on alleged exposures to
asbestos) incidental to its past and current business activities,
according to the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "At December 31, 2011 and 2010, our
consolidated balance sheets included liabilities for these legal
actions of $16.4 million and $18.1 million, respectively.  These
liabilities do not include costs associated with legal
representation.  Based on our analysis, and considering the
inherent uncertainties associated with litigation, we do not
believe that it is reasonably possible that these legal actions
will materially adversely affect our financial position or results
of operations in the near term."

Olin Corporation is a Virginia corporation, incorporated in 1892,
having its principal executive offices in Clayton, Missouri.  The
Company is a manufacturer concentrated in two business segments:
Chlor Alkali Products and Winchester.  Chlor Alkali Products
manufactures and sells chlorine and caustic soda, hydrochloric
acid, hydrogen, bleach products and potassium hydroxide, which
represent 71% of 2011 sales.  Winchester products, which represent
29% of 2011 sales, include sporting ammunition, reloading
components, small caliber military ammunition and components, and
industrial cartridges.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Xcel Energy's ARO for Asbestos Total $55.4MM
-------------------------------------------------------------
Xcel Energy Inc.'s asset retirement obligations relating to
asbestos total $55.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2011,
according to the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

Some of Xcel Energy's facilities contain asbestos.  Most asbestos
will remain undisturbed until the facilities that contain it are
demolished or removed.  Xcel Energy has recorded an estimate for
final removal of the asbestos as an ARO.  It may be necessary to
remove some asbestos to perform maintenance or make improvements
to other equipment.  The cost of removing asbestos as part of
other work is not expected to be material and is recorded as
incurred as operating expenses for maintenance projects, capital
expenditures for construction projects or removal costs for
demolition projects.

AROs have been recorded for plant related to nuclear production,
steam production, wind production, electric transmission and
distribution, natural gas transmission and distribution and office
buildings.  The steam production obligation includes asbestos,
ash-containment facilities, radiation sources and decommissioning.
The asbestos recognition associated with the steam production
includes certain plants at Northern States Power Company (NSP-
Minnesota), Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) and
Southwestern Public Service Co. (SPS).  NSP-Minnesota also
recorded asbestos recognition for its general office building.
This asbestos abatement removal obligation originated in 1973 with
the CAA, which applied to the demolition of buildings or removal
of equipment containing asbestos that can become airborne on
removal.  AROs also have been recorded for NSP-Minnesota, PSCo and
SPS steam production related to ash-containment facilities such as
bottom ash ponds, evaporation ponds and solid waste landfills.
The origination dates on the ARO recognition for ash-containment
facilities at steam plants was the in-service dates of the various
facilities.  Additional AROs have been recorded for NSP-Minnesota
and PSCo steam production plant related to radiation sources in
equipment used to monitor the flow of coal, lime and other
materials through feeders.

Xcel Energy's AROs for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, was $54.3
million for steam production asbestos and $1.1 million for common
general plant asbestos.

Xcel Energy Inc. is a holding company with subsidiaries engaged
primarily in the utility business.  In 2011, Xcel Energy Inc.'s
continuing operations included the activity of four wholly owned
utility subsidiaries that serve electric and natural gas customers
in eight states.  These utility subsidiaries are NSP-Minnesota,
NSP-Wisconsin, PSCo and SPS, and serve customers in portions of
Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South
Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.  Along with WYCO, a joint venture
formed with Colorado Interstate Gas Company (CIG) to develop and
lease natural gas pipelines, storage, and compression facilities,
and WGI, an interstate natural gas pipeline company, these
companies comprise the continuing regulated utility operations.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Alleghany Unit Reserves $11 Million at Dec. 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of Alleghany Corporation, as of December 31, 2011,
had reserves totaling $11.0 million for asbestos liabilities,
according to the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company's insurance holding company subsidiary Alleghany
Insurance Holdings LLC's reserves for loss and loss adjustment
expense (LAE) include amounts for asbestos and environmental
impairment claims that arose from reinsurance of certain general
liability and commercial multiple peril coverages assumed by
Capitol Indemnity between 1969 and 1976. Capitol Indemnity exited
this business in 1976. As of December 31, 2011, reserves of AIHL's
subsidiary -- Capitol Transamerica Corporation (CATA) -- totaled
$11.0 million for asbestos liabilities and $2.7 million for
environmental liabilities, resulting in aggregate asbestos and
environmental reserves of $13.7 million. As of December 31, 2010,
reserves of CATA totaled $11.3 million for asbestos liabilities
and $2.8 million for environmental liabilities, resulting in
aggregate asbestos and environmental reserves of $14.1 million.

As of December 31, 2011, the reserves for asbestos liabilities
were approximately 23 times the average paid claims for the prior
three year period, compared with 13 times as of December 31, 2010.
The reserves for environmental impairment liabilities were
approximately five times the average paid claims for the prior
three year period, compared with three times as of December 31,
2010. The significant changes in these metrics from December 31,
2010 to December 31, 2011 primarily reflect fluctuations in the
amount and timing of commutations in recent years, which affect
paid losses and loss exposure, as well as the impact of a reserve
release in 2010.

Alleghany Corporation is engaged, through its subsidiaries, in the
property and casualty and surety insurance business.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: IDEX Corp. Remains a Defendant in PI Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
IDEX Corporation and seven of its subsidiaries are presently named
as defendants in a number of lawsuits claiming various asbestos-
related personal injuries and seeking money damages, allegedly as
a result of exposure to products manufactured with components that
contained asbestos, according to the Company's February 24, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "These components were acquired from third
party suppliers, and were not manufactured by any of the
subsidiaries. To date, the majority of the Company's settlements
and legal costs, except for costs of coordination, administration,
insurance investigation and a portion of defense costs, have been
covered in full by insurance subject to applicable deductibles.
However, the Company cannot predict whether and to what extent
insurance will be available to continue to cover such settlements
and legal costs, or how insurers may respond to claims that are
tendered to them. Claims have been filed in jurisdictions
throughout the United States. Most of the claims resolved to date
have been dismissed without payment. The balance have been settled
for various insignificant amounts. Only one case has been tried,
resulting in a verdict for the affected business unit. No
provision has been made in the financial statements of the Company
for these asbestos-related claims, other than for insurance
deductibles in the ordinary course, and the Company does not
currently believe these claims will have a material adverse effect
on it."

IDEX Corporation is an applied solutions business that sells an
extensive array of pumps, flow meters and other fluidics systems
and components and engineered products to customers in a variety
of markets around the world. All of the Company's business
activities are carried out through wholly-owned subsidiaries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Roper Industries Still a Defendant in Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Over recent years there has been a significant increase in certain
U.S. states in asbestos-related litigation claims against numerous
industrial companies. Roper Industries, Inc., or its subsidiaries
have been named defendants in some such cases. No significant
resources have been required by Roper to respond to these cases
and Roper believes it has valid defenses to such claims and, if
required, intends to defend them vigorously. Given the state of
these claims it is not possible to determine the potential
liability, if any.

No further asbestos-related updates were reported in the Company's
February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Roper Industries, Inc., was incorporated on December 17, 1981
under the laws of the State of Delaware. It is a diversified
growth company that designs, manufactures and distributes radio
frequency products and services, industrial technology products,
energy systems and controls and medical and scientific imaging
products and software. The Company markets these products and
services to selected segments of a broad range of markets
including RF applications, medical, water, energy, research,
education, software-as-a-service ("SaaS")-based information
networks, security and other niche markets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hartford Financial Had $1.9BB Net Reserves
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., as of December 31,
2011, reported $1.9 billion of net asbestos reserves, according to
the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

The Company continues to receive asbestos and environmental
claims. Asbestos claims relate primarily to bodily injuries
asserted by people who came in contact with asbestos or products
containing asbestos. Environmental claims relate primarily to
pollution and related clean-up costs.

The Company wrote several different categories of insurance
contracts that may cover asbestos and environmental claims. First,
the Company wrote primary policies providing the first layer of
coverage in an insured's liability program. Second, the Company
wrote excess policies providing higher layers of coverage for
losses that exhaust the limits of underlying coverage. Third, the
Company acted as a reinsurer assuming a portion of those risks
assumed by other insurers writing primary, excess and reinsurance
coverages. Fourth, subsidiaries of the Company participated in the
London Market, writing both direct insurance and assumed
reinsurance business.

Significant uncertainty limits the ability of insurers and
reinsurers to estimate the ultimate reserves necessary for unpaid
losses and expenses related to environmental and particularly
asbestos claims. The degree of variability of reserve estimates
for these exposures is significantly greater than for other more
traditional exposures.

In the case of the reserves for asbestos exposures, factors
contributing to the high degree of uncertainty include inadequate
loss development patterns, plaintiffs' expanding theories of
liability, the risks inherent in major litigation, and
inconsistent emerging legal doctrines. Furthermore, over time,
insurers, including the Company, have experienced significant
changes in the rate at which asbestos claims are brought, the
claims experience of particular insureds, and the value of claims,
making predictions of future exposure from past experience
uncertain. Plaintiffs and insureds also have sought to use
bankruptcy proceedings, including "pre-packaged" bankruptcies, to
accelerate and increase loss payments by insurers. In addition,
some policyholders have asserted new classes of claims for
coverages to which an aggregate limit of liability may not apply.
Further uncertainties include insolvencies of other carriers and
unanticipated developments pertaining to the Company's ability to
recover reinsurance for asbestos and environmental claims.
Management believes these issues are not likely to be resolved in
the near future.

In the case of the reserves for environmental exposures, factors
contributing to the high degree of uncertainty include expanding
theories of liability and damages, the risks inherent in major
litigation, inconsistent decisions concerning the existence and
scope of coverage for environmental claims, and uncertainty as to
the monetary amount being sought by the claimant from the insured.

The reporting pattern for assumed reinsurance claims, including
those related to asbestos and environmental claims, is much longer
than for direct claims. In many instances, it takes months or
years to determine that the policyholder's own obligations have
been met and how the reinsurance in question may apply to such
claims. The delay in reporting reinsurance claims and exposures
adds to the uncertainty of estimating the related reserves.

It is also not possible to predict changes in the legal and
legislative environment and their effect on the future development
of asbestos and environmental claims.

The Company believes the actuarial tools and other techniques it
employs to estimate the ultimate cost of claims for more
traditional kinds of insurance exposure are less precise in
estimating reserves for certain of its asbestos and environmental
exposures. For this reason, the Company principally relies on
exposure-based analysis to estimate the ultimate costs of these
claims and regularly evaluates new account information in
assessing its potential asbestos and environmental exposures. The
Company supplements this exposure-based analysis with evaluations
of the Company's historical direct net loss and expense paid and
reported experience, and net loss and expense paid and reported
experience by calendar and/or report year, to assess any emerging
trends, fluctuations or characteristics suggested by the aggregate
paid and reported activity.

As of December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, the Company
reported $1.9 billion and $1.8 billion of net asbestos reserves
and $328 million and $339 million of net environmental reserves,
respectively. The Company believes that its current asbestos and
environmental reserves are appropriate. However, analyses of
future developments could cause The Hartford to change its
estimates and ranges of its asbestos and environmental reserves,
and the effect of these changes could be material to the Company's
consolidated operating results, financial condition, and
liquidity.

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., is an insurance and
financial services company. The Hartford, headquartered in
Connecticut, is among the largest providers of investment products
and life, property, and casualty insurance to both individual and
business customers in the United States of America. Also, The
Hartford continues to administer business previously sold in Japan
and the United Kingdom. Hartford Fire Insurance Company, founded
in 1810, is the oldest of The Hartford's subsidiaries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ace Ltd. Had 1,060 Open Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------
Ace Limited had 1,060 open asbestos claims at end of 2011,
according to the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

There were 1,025 open asbestos claims at the beginning of 2011 and
65 new claims were reported during the year while 30 asbestos
claims were closed or disposed in 2011.

At December 31, 2011, the Company had net asbestos reserves of
$1,019 million.

The Company states: "Included in our liabilities for losses and
loss expenses are amounts for A&E (A&E liabilities). The A&E
liabilities principally relate to claims arising from bodily-
injury claims related to asbestos products and remediation costs
associated with hazardous waste sites. The estimation of our A&E
liabilities is particularly sensitive to future changes in the
legal, social, and economic environment. We have not assumed any
such future changes in setting the value of our A&E reserves,
which include provisions for both reported and IBNR claims.

"During 2011, we conducted our annual internal, ground-up review
of our consolidated A&E liabilities as of December 31, 2010. As a
result of the internal review, we increased our net loss reserves
for the Brandywine operations, including A&E, by $76 million,
while the gross loss reserves increased by $241 million. In
addition, we decreased gross loss reserves for Westchester
Specialty's A&E and other liabilities by $29 million, and net loss
reserves increased by $6 million. Our A&E reserves are not
discounted for GAAP reporting and do not reflect any anticipated
future changes in the legal, social or economic environment, or
any benefit from future legislative reforms.

"There are many complex variables that we consider when estimating
the reserves for our inventory of asbestos accounts and these
variables may directly impact the predicted outcome. We believe
the most significant variables relating to our A&E reserves
include the current legal environment; specific settlements that
may be used as precedents to settle future claims; assumptions
regarding trends with respect to claim severity and the frequency
of higher severity claims; assumptions regarding the ability to
allocate liability among defendants (including bankruptcy trusts)
and other insurers; the ability of a claimant to bring a claim in
a state in which they have no residency or exposure; the ability
of a policyholder to claim the right to unaggregated coverage;
whether high-level excess policies have the potential to be
accessed given the policyholder's claim trends and liability
situation; payments to unimpaired claimants; and, the potential
liability of peripheral defendants. Based on the policies, the
facts, the law, and a careful analysis of the impact that these
factors will likely have on any given account, we estimate the
potential liability for indemnity, policyholder defense costs, and
coverage litigation expense.

"The results in asbestos cases announced by other carriers or
defendants may well have little or no relevance to us because
coverage exposures are highly dependent upon the specific facts of
individual coverage and resolution status of disputes among
carriers, policyholders, and claimants."

ACE Limited is the Swiss-incorporated holding company of the ACE
Group of Companies. ACE opened its business office in Bermuda in
1985 and continues to maintain operations in Bermuda. ACE Limited,
which is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and its direct and
indirect subsidiaries (collectively, the ACE Group of Companies,
ACE, we, us, or our) is a global insurance and reinsurance
organization, serving the needs of customers in more than 170
countries. We offer commercial insurance products and service
offerings such as risk management programs, loss control and
engineering and complex claims management. We also provide
specialized insurance products ranging from Directors & Officers
(D&O) and professional liability to various specialty-casualty and
umbrella and excess casualty lines to niche areas such as aviation
and energy. In addition, we supply personal accident, supplemental
health, and life insurance to individuals in select countries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: PartnerRe Ltd. Had Net Reserves of $195MM
----------------------------------------------------------
PartnerRe Ltd.'s net reserves for unpaid losses and loss expenses
at December 31, 2011, included $195 million in estimated net
ultimate liability for asbestos and environmental claims,
according to the Company's February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

Although the Company did not operate prior to 1993, it assumed
certain asbestos and environmental exposures through its
acquisitions.

The Company's net reserves for unpaid losses and loss expenses at
December 31, 2011 and 2010 included $195 million and $214 million,
respectively, that represent estimates of its net ultimate
liability for asbestos and environmental claims. The gross
liability for such claims at December 31, 2011 and 2010 was $203
million and $222 million, respectively, which primarily relate to
Paris Re's gross liability for asbestos and environmental claims
for accident years 2005 and prior of $127 million and $144
million, respectively, with any favorable or adverse development
being subject to the Reserve Agreement. Of the remaining $76
million and $78 million, respectively, in gross reserves, the
majority relates to casualty exposures in the United States
arising from business written by PartnerRe SA and PartnerRe U.S.

Ultimate loss estimates for such claims cannot be estimated using
traditional reserving techniques and there are significant
uncertainties in estimating the amount of the Company's potential
losses for these claims. In view of the legal and tort environment
that affect the development of such claims, the uncertainties
inherent in estimating asbestos and environmental claims are not
likely to be resolved in the near future. There can be no
assurance that the reserves established by the Company will not be
adversely affected by development of other latent exposures, and
further, there can be no assurance that the reserves established
by the Company will be adequate. The Company does, however,
actively evaluate potential exposure to asbestos and environmental
claims and establishes additional reserves as appropriate. The
Company believes that it has made a reasonable provision for these
exposures and is unaware of any specific issues that would
materially affect its unpaid losses and loss expense reserves
related to this exposure.

PartnerRe Ltd., incorporated in Bermuda in August 1993, is the
ultimate holding company for its international reinsurance group.
The Company provides reinsurance on a worldwide basis through its
wholly owned subsidiaries, including Partner Reinsurance Company
Ltd. (PartnerRe Bermuda), Partner Reinsurance Europe plc
(PartnerRe Europe) and Partner Reinsurance Company of the U.S.
(PartnerRe U.S.).


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cytec Industries Had $42.4M Liability at Dec. 31
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Cytec Industries Inc.'s asbestos liability at December 31, 2011,
was $42.4 million, according to the Company's February 24, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company is the subject of numerous lawsuits and claims
incidental to the conduct of its or certain of its predecessors'
businesses, including lawsuits and claims relating to product
liability and personal injury, including asbestos, environmental,
contractual, employment and intellectual property matters.

The Company states: "As of December 31, 2011 and 2010, the
aggregate self-insured and insured contingent liability was $53.7
million and $57.4 million, respectively, and the related insurance
recovery receivable was $22.1 million and $24.3 million,
respectively. The asbestos liability included in those amounts at
December 31, 2011 and 2010 was $42.4 million and $43.5 million,
respectively, and the related insurance receivable was $21.8
million and $23.8 million, respectively. A net deferred tax
benefit has been recognized for those claims for which full
insurance recovery is not expected.

"We, like many other industrial companies, have been named as one
of hundreds of defendants in a number of lawsuits filed in the
U.S. by persons alleging bodily injury from asbestos. The
claimants allege exposure to asbestos at facilities that we own or
formerly owned or from products that we formerly manufactured for
specialized applications. Most of these cases involve numerous
defendants, sometimes as many as several hundred. Historically,
most of the closed asbestos claims against us have been dismissed
without any indemnity payment by us; however, we can make no
assurances that this pattern will continue."

The table presents information about asbestos claims activity:

                                        Year Ended  Year Ended
                                          Dec. 31,    Dec. 31,
                                              2011        2010
                                        ----------  ----------
Number of claimants at beginning of period   8,000       8,000

Number of claimants associated with
   claims closed during period                (100)       (100)

Number of claimants associated with
   claims opened during period                 100         100

Number of claimants at end of period         8,000       8,000

Cytec Industries Inc. is a global specialty chemicals and
materials company focused on developing, manufacturing and selling
value-added products. Its products serve a diverse range of end
markets including aerospace composites, structural adhesives,
automotive and industrial coatings, electronics, inks, mining and
plastics. It uses its technology and application development
expertise to create chemical and material solutions that are
formulated to perform specific and important functions for its
customers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wabtec Still Defends Personal Injury Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation continues to
defend asbestos-related claims, according to the Company's
February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "Claims have been filed against the Company
and certain of its affiliates in various jurisdictions across the
United States by persons alleging bodily injury as a result of
exposure to asbestos-containing products. Most of these claims
have been made against our wholly owned subsidiary, Railroad
Friction Products Corporation (RFPC), and are based on a product
sold by RFPC prior to the time that the Company acquired any
interest in RFPC.

"Most of these claims, including all of the RFPC claims, are
submitted to insurance carriers for defense and indemnity or to
non-affiliated companies that retain the liabilities for the
asbestos-containing products at issue. We cannot, however, assure
that all these claims will be fully covered by insurance or that
the indemnitors or insurers will remain financially viable. Our
ultimate legal and financial liability with respect to these
claims, as is the case with other pending litigation, cannot be
estimated.

"It is Management's belief that the potential range of loss for
asbestos-related bodily injury cases is not reasonably
determinable at present due to a variety of factors, including:
(1) the asbestos case settlement history of the Company's wholly
owned subsidiary, RFPC; (2) the unpredictable nature of personal
injury litigation in general; and (3) the uncertainty of asbestos
litigation in particular. Despite this uncertainty, and although
the results of the Company's operations and cash flows for any
given period could be adversely affected by asbestos-related
lawsuits, Management believes that the final resolution of the
Company's asbestos-related cases will not be material to the
Company's overall financial position, results of operations and
cash flows. In general, this belief is based upon: (1) Wabtec's
and RFPC's history of settlements and dismissals of asbestos-
related cases to date; (2) the inability of many plaintiffs to
establish any exposure or causal relationship to RFPC's product;
and (3) the inability of many plaintiffs to demonstrate any
identifiable injury or compensable loss.

"More specifically, as to RFPC, Management's belief that any
losses due to asbestos-related cases would not be material is also
based on the fact that RFPC owns insurance which provides coverage
for asbestos-related bodily injury claims. To date, RFPC's
insurers have provided RFPC with defense and indemnity in these
actions. The overall number of new claims being filed against RFPC
has dropped significantly in recent years; however, these new
claims, and all previously filed claims, may take a significant
period of time to resolve. As to Wabtec and its divisions,
Management's belief that asbestos-related cases will not have a
material impact is also based on its position that it has no legal
liability for asbestos-related bodily injury claims, and that the
former owners of Wabtec's assets retained asbestos liabilities for
the products at issue. To date, Wabtec has been able to
successfully defend itself on this basis, including two
arbitration decisions and a judicial opinion, all of which
confirmed Wabtec's position that it did not assume any asbestos
liabilities from the former owners of certain Wabtec assets.
Although Wabtec has incurred defense and administrative costs in
connection with asbestos bodily injury actions, these costs have
not been material, and the Company has no information that would
suggest these costs would become material in the foreseeable
future."

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation, doing business as
Wabtec Corporation, is a Delaware corporation with headquarters at
1001 Air Brake Avenue in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania.  Wabtec is one
of the world's largest providers of value-added, technology-based
equipment and services for the global rail industry.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Miscommunication Hound St. Mary's Villa Abatement
------------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Couture of The StarPhoenix reports that Doreen Reinhart was
already unhappy with how her 98-year-old father was being evicted
from St. Mary's Villa in Humboldt, but when she realized asbestos
removal was going on at the same time, she became "really upset
that they had no more consideration for those people than that."

Reinhart's father, Joe Knafelc, was one of the tenants moved out
of the facility to make room for special-care residents who were
relocated within the building.  When Reinhart arrived at the
facility on Feb. 22, she noticed the entrance to the laundry room
was covered in an orange material and there were signs indicating
asbestos removal was occurring.

The laundry room was located "right by all the rooms where these
people lived" and she said it appeared air venting from the window
of the laundry area was entering her father's open bedroom window.

"There was definitely air coming out," Reinhart said.  "We shut
his window and there was white fuzz laying on the sill of the
window outside."

Reinhart was concerned, but there wasn't any danger, according to
the company that did the work for the Saskatoon Health Region.

Wes Berschiminsky, owner and president of Bersch and Associates
Ltd., said the area was put under negative pressure using
ventilation units.

That means that no air could exit except that which was vented out
through filters designed to remove any asbestos.  He said air
coming out was "cleaner than the air you're breathing" unless
one's home or office has such air filters.

Furthermore, the situation was "probably about as low of a risk as
you're ever going to get when it comes to asbestos," said
Berschiminsky, who explained that was because the asbestos was
part of floor tiles made of a vinyl and quartz mixture, that makes
fibers "almost impossible" to escape.  Some demolitions of
buildings with such tiles can even proceed without specific
asbestos-related removal, he said.

"We hired a third party to monitor air quality to ensure that
everything was working the way it should," said Linda Walker,
spokesperson for the Saskatoon Health Region, noting all proper
processes were followed.  "At no time were tenants, residents or
staff exposed to asbestos."

She acknowledged the issue could have "caused some angst," which
is "not what we'd want to have."  The work wasn't being done
because there was a danger; it was because the room was being
renovated to accommodate a whirlpool tub.

But Reinhart says she is still "mad," even knowing she wasn't
exposed.

"They couldn't have waited one more day? The people were leaving
the next day," she said, noting lack of communication was a
problem on the asbestos issue like it was throughout evictions.
"That's just the way they handled the whole situation.  It was
like these people didn't matter.  They just wanted to get them the
hell out of there."

After the issue was raised by NDP health critic Cam Broten in
question period on March 8, Health Minister Don McMorris told
reporters he didn't know what had transpired.

"I don't know if there was asbestos in there.  We don't have a
report on that," he said, noting he and the SHR have apologized
for, and requested a review of, the situation around the
evictions.  "Timing is everything; that's why we want the
ombudsman to look into this -- what we're hearing anecdotally is
not what we want to hear."

Later on March 8, the government said the asbestos issue would be
part of the ombudsman's review.  As for why the minister wasn't
aware, Walker said the likely reason was "people figured they were
doing things by the book and nobody was exposed, everybody was
safe and there wasn't a need to send it further on."

Broten said though there wasn't any danger, "the end result on the
residents is the same -- and it's an increase of anxiety and
concern.

"It's additional mistreatment for these seniors who have been put
in a very horrible situation," he told reporters.  "It basically
was just an additional stress and caused additional anxiety (after
they were) given just day to pack up their belongings and find
somewhere else to live."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Renovation at St. Peter's School Exposes Fibro
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Hartlepool Mail reports that pupils have been turned away from
a school until within the week beginning March 12, after asbestos
was found inside a wall.

But council bosses and staff at St. Peter's Elwick Church of
England Primary School, in Elwick Village, have moved to reassure
parents that there has been no risk to their children.

The discovery was made around 4pm on Tuesday, March 6 by builders
carrying out improvement works in one of the classrooms and it was
identified as asbestos at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 7.

The school, which teaches 95 children aged from three to 11-years-
old, will be closed for the rest of the week until the
potentially-harmful material has been removed by a specialist
firm.

Headteacher Steve McDonnell said: "The 4ft x 4ft section of
asbestos which had been encapsulated between wood, plasterboard
and tiles inside two internal walls, was disturbed during
improvement works.

"A room formerly used as an IT suite was affected as a result.

"The substance was found after all pupils had left the school on
Tuesday and it was identified as asbestos before the start of the
school day on Wednesday.

"It is important to stress that no children were in school from
the time the material was discovered and we want to reassure
parents that no children were exposed to the asbestos at any time.

"We immediately took the decision to close the school for three
days on the advice of a specialist asbestos removal company, and
this will enable the asbestos to be safely removed and the
affected area to be cleaned.

"I would also like to apologize for any inconvenience that the
closure might cause to parents, but pupil safety is and always
will be our paramount concern."

Married mum Faye Robinson, 29, whose daughters Skye, five, and
Star, three, attend St. Peter's school and nursery, praised the
way in which the school handled the situation.

Faye, an art student, originally of Greatham Village but who
currently lives in Percy Street, Hartlepool, said: "The school
have been brilliant and did the right thing in closing.

"We were told about on Wednesday morning and then they sent a text
later to confirm everything.

"Parents will obviously have to sort childcare for their kids, but
it's worth it until the problem has been sorted."

Mr. McDonnell said the discovery was made during extensive works
to improve the layout of the 50-year-old school and enhance
teaching and learning areas.

The asbestos had been installed as part of the original
construction, and the school has been advised that it would have
been virtually impossible to detect.

The reconfiguration works are due to be completed by Easter.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gardeners' 3 Yr-Old Complaint Continues
--------------------------------------------------------
Leicester Mercury at Thisisleicestershire.co.uk reports that
allotment holders are calling for asbestos sheets dumped near
their plots to be removed.

Gardeners of the Ellistown Allotment and Garden Society say they
have been trying to get council bosses to remove the material for
three years.

They are appealing to North West Leicestershire District Council,
which owns the Midland Road site, and the Ellistown and Battleflat
Parish Council, which manages it, to take the sheets away.

They believe the asbestos was dumped over the hedge from Midland
Road in 2009, and has been allowed to deteriorate.

Society member Rod Weston said: "I am amazed the parish council
has allowed this hazard to remain on the site for almost three
years when, in the past, asbestos found buried on the site was
removed within weeks of it being reported."

Mr. Weston said that last October the society had written to the
parish council asking for the asbestos to be removed and was later
told the district council would do it.

Mr. Weston said: "The society e-mailed the district council on
Feb. 6.  It acknowledged receipt but still has not removed the
asbestos.

"The council claims, on its website, it is proactive in clearing
fly-tips and customer reports of fly-tipping are dealt with as
quickly as possible depending on the details given.

"They claim they clear over 95 per cent of fly-tips within a week
of notification.

"The Health and Safety Executive advises where there are several
asbestos cement sheets and other large items they should be placed
in a lockable skip.  Asbestos warning stickers should be attached.

"Care should be taken to avoid crushing asbestos cement debris on
the ground, yet the council seem prepared to leave asbestos
unlabelled and unsealed in a public area where children may play."

Parish council chairman and the village's district councilor Paul
Hyde said: "We are trying to get everything removed.  It is
unfortunate it is taking longer than some people would like, but
we are in the process of getting it removed."

Mr. Hyde said it was understood a company had been approached to
carry out the work.

A spokesman for North West Leicestershire District Council said:
"It is the responsibility of the parish council to remove the
asbestos sheeting at Midland Road."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADFA Head Calls Attorney-General Smith "Evil"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Alicia Wood of The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) reports that Attorney-
General Greg Smith has been slammed for playing politics with the
entitlements of asbestos victims.

The state government voted down an opposition bill that would have
enabled families of asbestos victims who died before their day in
court to claim damages within a year of their death.

Asbestos Disease Foundation of Australia president Barry Robson
called Mr. Smith "evil" for rejecting the bill.

Mr. Robson said he had been trying to meet with Mr. Smith for a
month but had not received a response.

"This is just a political stunt because the opposition moved it,"
Mr. Robson said.

The opposition's proposed amendments were off the back of the
October 2011 Law Reform Commission Report into the compensation
scheme.

It stated that, because of the "rapid progression of the disease"
and in the case where an asbestos disease is only found after
death, the family should be able to claim for damages within a 12-
month period.

Asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton's widow Karen said Mr. Smith was
going back on his promise of "bipartisan support" for asbestos
victims.  "I am speaking with a woman whose husband died last
year, days after he was diagnosed.  If this had gone through, she
would have had a nine-month window (to lodge a claim).  Now, she
might miss out.  With these diseases, time is of the essence,"
Mrs.  Banton said.

Law firm Turner Freeman represents families of asbestos victims.
Partner Tanya Segelov said that without an amendment to the law
NSW victims would lose out.

The amendment has passed in South Australia, Western Australia and
Victoria.

"I understand the need for a cautious approach and I am grateful
the Attorney-General said he was on the side of people suffering
asbestos diseases," Ms. Segelov said.

"This is a really important amendment and we hope it will not be
delayed.  There are a number of families in distress."

In parliament, Mr. Smith said he would not support the changes
until he received "legal and actuarial assessments", and he
accused the opposition of putting together an "opportunistic"
bill.

"The government will not consider implementing the recommendations
until the full ramifications are considered," Mr. Smith said.

Opposition Leader John Robertson called Mr. Smith's actions
"disgraceful".

"Greg Smith has got his priorities all wrong -- he is going soft
on crime and then saving his attacks for asbestos victims and
their families."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: French Study Signifies Age Factor During Exposure
------------------------------------------------------------------
A recent study by French researchers concludes persons exposed to
asbestos at a young age are more likely to develop mesothelioma
than those exposed to asbestos at an older age.

An uncommon form of cancer, mesothelioma or pericardial
mesothelioma generally attacks the lining of the internal organs
in the abdomen and chest.  Almost all cases of mesothelioma have
been linked to exposure to asbestos, a material used frequently in
thousands of commercial, automotive and residential industrial
applications during the middle twentieth century.

Unfortunately, most common treatment options, such as excision
surgery and chemotherapy are rarely successful and the disease
continues to spread rapidly.  To date, there is not a known cure
for mesothelioma.

Further complicating recovery options is the detection of the
disease, which can take 20 or more years to manifest.

Early detection is key to any meaningful success.  Even if the
disease is detected early, it can easily be mistaken for less
severe conditions because its symptoms are vague including
restricted bowel movements, chest pain and shortness of breath.

    French Mesothelioma Study Offers Hope to Older Workers

Though rare, mesothelioma currently affects between 2,000 and
3,000 people in the United States on an annual basis.  The study
published in the European Respiratory Journal revealed that
controlled subjects consisting of 2,466 males over a twenty year
period beginning in 1987, showed men under 20 years of age exposed
to asbestos were far more likely to develop mesothelioma.

The same study found risk levels continued to increase until
approximately 30 years after the subject's asbestos exposure had
ended.  The study further concluded that the older in age the
person subjected to asbestos exposures, the less likely they were
to develop symptoms of mesothelioma.

European researchers collected these data and other information
from several health reports released by studies from the French
National Mesothelioma Surveillance Program and the French Network
of Cancer Registries.

                         Treatment Options

Because mesothelioma is so difficult to detect, there are few
successful treatment options available upon diagnosis.  Radiation
is one preferred treatment, usually accompanied by chemotherapy.
However, these treatments typically only slow the growth of the
deadly disease, but do not eliminate it.  Another form of
treatment, known as the "fine needle aspiration" is a procedure in
which excess fluid is drained from the pericardium.  However, this
procedure only helps to alleviate symptoms but is not a cure for
mesothelioma.

To learn more about early asbestos exposure, symptoms of
mesothelioma, treatment and legal options or for assistance in
filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, please visit the resource center at
MesoAuthority.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Charges Filed vs. 2 Violators of Clean Air Act
---------------------------------------------------------------
Abby Jordan of The Weston Patch reports that a property owner from
Weston and a Plainville-based heating contractor have been
arraigned in connection with the alleged improper removal of
asbestos in a single-family rental property in Medway, Attorney
General Martha Coakley announced March 13.

David Einis, 58, and Nicholas Pasquantonio, 41, were each
arraigned on two counts of violating the Massachusetts Clean Air
Act for failure to file a notice of asbestos removal with the
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and
failure to prevent asbestos emissions.

Pasquantonio was also arraigned on charges of witness
intimidation.  Einis and Pasquantonio were arraigned Monday, March
12 in Norfolk Superior Court where each pleaded not guilty and
were released on personal recognizance.  Pasquantonio was released
with the condition that he not have contact with the victim of the
alleged witness intimidation.  Authorities allege the asbestos
containing insulation was from heating pipes in an occupied Medway
rental property owned by Einis, which was released when the boiler
was being replaced by Pasquantonio.

According to authorities, in December 2010, Einis hired
Pasquantonio of Johnny's Oil Service, Inc., who is not a licensed
asbestos contractor, to replace the boiler in the Medway property
occupied by a family with several children.  Pasquantonio
allegedly did not seal off the basement while he worked to replace
the boiler.  After being notified by the Medway Board of Health a
few days later, MassDEP inspected the site and allegedly found the
improper removal and release of asbestos.

Authorities allege that Einis and Pasquantonio failed to notify
MassDEP that they would be disturbing asbestos when replacing the
boiler and did not follow the appropriate procedures to prevent
asbestos emissions.  The Department of Labor Standards requires
that the removal of asbestos be performed by a licensed
contractor, and pursuant to MassDEP regulations, contractors must
provide notification of when the removal will occur and follow
certain methods and standards for the safe removal, storage, and
disposal of the asbestos throughout the abatement process.

Authorities also allege that when Pasquantonio became aware he
might be charged criminally, he went to the property where the
illegal asbestos removal had occurred and threatened one of the
tenants not to testify against him.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the
Massachusetts Environmental Strike Force, an interagency unit
which is overseen by AG Coakley, MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth L.
Kimmell, and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K.
Sullivan, Jr.  The Strike Force consists of prosecutors from the
Attorney General's Office, Environmental Police Officers assigned
to the Attorney General's Office, and investigators and engineers
from the MassDEP who investigate and prosecute crimes that harm or
threaten the state's water, air, or land and that pose a
significant threat to human health.

A Norfolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Einis and
Pasquantonio on Jan. 19, 2012.  The defendants are due back in
court on May 1 for a pre-trial conference.

Members of the public who have information regarding a potential
environmental crime are encouraged to contact the MassDEP
Environmental Strike Force Hotline at 1-888-VIOLATE (846-5283) or
the Attorney General's Office at 617-727-2200.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Andrew
Rainer of AG Coakley's Environmental Crimes Strike Force, with
assistance from officers of the Massachusetts Environmental Police
and Gregory Levins of the Central Regional Office of the
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victims Cry Injustice Over UK Pay Out Scheme
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that victims of asbestos-
related diseases face losing a quarter of their compensation to
pay towards legal costs.

The Government's Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders
Bill, which is before Parliament, is aimed at reducing Government
spending on the legal system.

It proposes to allocate 25% of injury victims' damages towards
their legal costs.  It includes victims of asbestos-related
diseases.

Kimberley Stubbs, daughter of Armley asbestos victim June Hancock,
slammed the move as "outrageous."

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves, whose constituency covers Armley
where JW Roberts' factory spewed deadly asbestos dust over the
community, is campaigning with Leeds lawyer Jamie Hanley against
the legislation.  A cross-party group in the House of Lords also
opposes the proposal.

June Hancock and her mother died of the incurable, asbestos-
related lung cancer mesothelioma after living near the JW Roberts
factory.

Mrs. Hancock won compensation from factory owner Turner-Newall,
setting a precedent for others.  Claimants lost much of their
compensation when Turner-Newall went into protective
administration, securing its assets.

Now successful claimants face further losses.

Ms. Reeves said: "I have met with local constituents whose lives
have been tragically affected by exposure to asbestos, and seen
firsthand its impact on families.  I find it unbelievable that the
Government would seek to take money away from people who through
no fault of their own were exposed to deadly asbestos fibers."

Mrs. Hancock's daughter Kimberley said: "I am outraged and
sickened by the injustice of these proposals.  It is categorically
wrong for innocent victims of this lethal dust to be expected to
give up part of their compensation as well as their life.

"My mum was dead at only 61.  Her life was taken from her in the
most horrendous way.  She never saw her grandchildren, or her son
Russell get married.

"My mum spent the last three years of her life whilst gravely ill
battling for justice in the courts.  She succeeded against all the
odds.  Justice was secured for the many future innocent victims of
exposure to asbestos.  What my mum did took enormous courage.  Now
they propose to take away 25%  of the compensation.  There is no
justice in that."

Ms. Reeves and Mr. Hanley have written a letter urging the
Government to rethink.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: GEI Gets Old Resto Abatement Job on $12,500 Bid
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Schmidt of The Missourian reports that it will cost Wright
City $12,500 to have asbestos removed from the former Big Boy's
restaurant.

Aldermen on March 8 awarded an asbestos abatement contract to GEI,
which submitted the lowest of three bids, to allow the demolition
project to proceed.

The project has sat idle since the Missouri Department of Natural
Resources inspected the city-owned property, located at 13200
Veterans Memorial Parkway, and issued a notice of violation two
days later.

According to DNR officials, it was discovered that the city failed
to have an asbestos survey performed and did not inform the state
agency at least 10 days prior to the start of the demolition
project.

The former restaurant building had been partially razed when a DNR
official inspected the property Jan. 24.

The city received two other asbestos abatement proposals from
Midwest Service Group ($14,232) and U.S. Environmental Solutions
LLC ($16,900).  Aldermen had postponed awarding a contract at
their last meeting on Feb. 23 to give them more time to review the
bids.

It has yet to be determined when GEI will begin removing the
asbestos, though the delay will continue for at least a minimum of
10 business days as required by DNR.  That period will allow the
winning contractor to file paperwork with the stage agency,
according to city officials and give it time to hire a third-party
company to handle monitoring the removal process.

After receiving the DNR violation notice, the city was required to
immediately stop all demolition work, have an asbestos survey
conducted of the building and two dumpsters that contain
demolition waste, and develop a new demolition plan incorporating
any special conditions identified from the asbestos survey.

According to the DNR letter, the inspection was conducted to
assess compliance with state and federal air pollution laws and
regulations.  The violations were forwarded to the agency's air
pollution control program enforcement section where a fine may be
assessed.

Once a popular stop for local residents and highway travelers, Big
Boy's was closed by the Missouri Department of Revenue in April
2005 because the owners failed to pay state sales taxes.  Since
then, the building sat vacant and fell into disrepair.

Last year, the city paid $170,000 for the 2.5-acre parcel.  City
officials have discussed constructing a new city hall and police
department facility on the property, though a time frame has yet
to be determined on how soon that could occur.  Another
possibility is to sell the property, officials said.

In July, Wright City officials decided to postpone hiring a
company to raze the former Big Boy's restaurant due to budgetary
constraints after reviewing project bids ranging from $22,600 to
$32,120.  City crews continued to clean up the property until
beginning to raze the former restaurant building in January.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Inquest Rules COD Was Partly Due to Asbestosis
---------------------------------------------------------------
North West Evening Mail reports that a former Barrow shipyard
worker died following exposure to asbestos, an inquest heard.

Robert Garnet died at his home in Worcester Street, Barrow, on
December 1.

The inquest into the 82-year-old's death heard from a
pathologist's report, which said the cause of death was a blood
clot caused by the underlying conditions of asbestosis and heart
disease.

Mr. Ian Smith, coroner for South and East Cumbria, said he was
satisfied Mr. Garnet was exposed to asbestos in the shipyard and
in another job working as a fireman on the railways.

He recorded a verdict of industrial disease combined with natural
disease.

Mr. Garnet's daughter Elaine Garnet told the Evening Mail
following the hearing at Barrow Town Hall on Monday: "I'm glad
they found out what the cause was.

"He was really ill at the time and I'm glad he didn't suffer any
longer.  He was very well known around the street he lived in.
Everybody knew him and he was very well liked."

Mr. Garnet's son, David Robert Garnet, of Telford Street, Barrow,
told the inquest: "About a year before he died, he just seemed to
get worse.  He couldn't walk and he had to use a wheelchair."

Mr. Garnet, Jr., said his dad started work as an office boy in the
shipyard, but then joined the army and later worked on the
railways as a fireman.

He later went back to the shipyard to work as a crane driver.

Mr. Garnet, Jr., said: "He said if the crane stopped suddenly and
it shook, there was dust flying about off the insulation of the
pipes."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Claim Filed in Kanawha vs. Ford Motor, 48 Others
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Kyla Asbury of The West Virginia Record reports that a
Salyersville, Ky., man and his wife are suing 49 companies they
claim are responsible for his lung cancer diagnosis.

On March 6, 2011, Will Press Conley was diagnosed with lung
cancer, according to a complaint filed Feb. 29 in Kanawha Circuit
Court.

Conley and his wife, Dorothy G. Conley, claim the 49 defendants
exposed him to asbestos and/or asbestos-containing products during
his career as a laborer from 1944 until 1995.

The defendants knew or should have known about the dangers of
asbestos exposure, according to the suit.

The Conleys claim the defendants are being sued based on theories
of negligence, contaminated buildings, breach of expressed/implied
warranty, strict liability, intentional tort, conspiracy,
misrepresentation and post-sale duty to warn.

The Conleys are seeking a jury trial to resolve all issues
involved.  They are being represented by Victoria L. Antion --
vantion@motleyrice.com -- Scott A. McGee -- smcgee@motleyrice.com
-- and Bronwyn I. Rinehart -- brinehart@jfhumphreys.com.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The 49 companies named as defendants are 3M Company; A.W.
Chesterton Company, Inc.; AGCO Corporation; AK Steel Corporation;
Beazer East, Inc.; Borg-Warner Automotive, Inc.; Certainteed
Corporation; Cleaver Brooks Company, Inc.; Crane Co.; Dravo
Corporation; Eaton Electrical, Inc.; Flowserve FSD Corporation;
Flowserve US, Inc.; FMC Corporation; Ford Motor Company; Foseco,
Inc.; Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation; General Electric Company;
Genuine Paris Company; George V. Hamilton, Inc.; Georgia Pacific
Corporation; Goulds Pumps, Inc.; Hercules, Inc.; Honeywell
International; I.U. North America, Inc.; IMO Industries, Inc.;
Industrial Holdings Corporation; Ingersoll-Rand Company; Insul
Company, Inc.; ITT Corporation; John Deere Company; Kelsey-Hayes
Company; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; Nagle Pumps, Inc.;
Nitro Industrial Coverings, Inc.; Oglebay Norton Company; Owens-
Illinois, Inc.; Pneumo Abex Corporation; Premier Refractories,
Inc.; Rapid American Corporation; Rust Constructors, Inc.; Rust
Engineering & Construction, Inc.; Rust International, Inc.;
Schneider Electric USA, Inc.; Sterling Fluid Systems (USA); Tasco
Insulations, Inc.; Uniroyal, Inc.; Viacom, Inc.; and Vimasco
Corporation.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-382


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Full Abatement Required at Flora Stevenson School
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Press Association (UK) reports that a primary school which was
evacuated after asbestos was found in the building aimed to reopen
on Monday, March 19, the council has said.

The substance was discovered during routine work at Flora
Stevenson Primary School in Edinburgh.

The city council said an independent inspection has indicated that
the building is safe and will now be thoroughly cleaned.

The 447 pupils were taken to Broughton High school, where they
waited until their parents could collect them.

The primary school will remain closed to pupils on Friday March
16, with staff reporting to Broughton High School.

Edinburgh City Council said Flora Stephenson's nursery school has
not been affected.

Mike Rosendale, the council's head of schools, said: "Pupils at
Flora Stevenson's primary school were relocated to a local high
school this morning as a precaution, after a small amount of
asbestos was disturbed.

"An independent inspection was carried out this afternoon and has
indicated that the building is safe.  A full clean will now take
place with the aim of reopening the school on Monday.

"We would like to thank all parents and staff for their co-
operation and assistance."

The council said a final decision on when the school will be
opened will be made on March 16 and parents will be informed as
soon as possible.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazards Add $11K to Franklin City Project Cost
---------------------------------------------------------------
Public Opinion Online reports that Franklin County commissioners
on March 15 approved a change order to the $1.5 million general
contract to improve the courthouse complex.

Asbestos was found in the adhesives used on the marble facade on
the front of the former Harmon's Furniture building and the
membrane roofing, according to county Administrator John Hart.
Asbestos removal will cost an additional $11,551.

The contractor is to begin demolishing the Harmon building on
North Main Street and the former Rauhauser law offices on Lincoln
Way East before April 15.

The entire project is estimated to cost $1.9 million and will
include improvements to the courthouse and courthouse annex as
well as renovations for the former Junior Fire Co. building on
South Second street.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Changes to Tortfeasor Contribution Statute Sought
------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael P. Tremoglie of The Madison / St. Clair Record relates
that whether non-settling defendants in Madison County asbestos
cases are entitled to know set-offs prior to trial is subject to
interpretation -- with plaintiff and defense bars trading barbs
that their opponents want to "game" the system.

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association President Jerry Latherow said
that defendants in Madison County asbestos cases are not deprived
of their right to show comparative fault in accordance with the
Illinois Joint Tortfeasors Contribution Act.  He said that
defendants get settlement monies from other defendants if there is
a verdict against them.

Latherow responded to comments made by former Madison County
Circuit Judge Don Weber (and current candidate for state
representative) who would like to amend the tortfeasor
contribution statute so that regardless of local rules or
interpretations, a defendant has the right to show comparative
fault before trial.

Weber said recently that local asbestos rules effectively deprive
defendants that right as outlined in the Illinois Joint
Tortfeasors Contribution Act.

Weber is seeking the Republican nomination for state
representative in the newly redrawn 108th House District that
includes part of the Metro-East.  He served as circuit judge, by
appointment, from November 2005 through the end of 2006, after
Circuit Judge George Moran, Jr. resigned.  Weber ran for the
circuit seat in 2006, but lost the election to Dave Hylla.

Latherow disagreed with Weber's assessment.

"I just see this as an attempt to try to make political hay out of
the issue," Latherow said.

Latherow said that defense counsels are trying to manipulate the
system.  For example, he said, "If the defense in a million dollar
case knows in advance that there was a prior award of $700,000,
they will argue to the jury in their case that an amount that is
$700,000 is reasonable."

"In such cases the jury will say they are being fair," he added.
"Then after the case is settled the defendant will get a credit
for the $700,000 in the prior case.  The defense counsel's client
in the tort case will have to pay nothing -- which is exactly what
the defendant wants."

A frequent critic of the Madison County asbestos docket, Mark
Behrens -- mbehrens@shb.com -- of the law firm of Shook, Hardy &
Bacon in Washington D.C., has a different opinion.  He believes
that plaintiffs' attorneys are those who "are gaming the system."

"Defense counsels at trial want to be able to put on the full
story of the plaintiff's exposure history either for the purpose
of showing someone else was entirely at fault for the plaintiff's
harm or for the jury to make a fair evaluation of the limits of
the defendant's culpability," he said.

Behrens provided an example of a defendant company that makes
brakes shoes.  The plaintiff had a job as an insulator, yet on one
occasion changed his own brakes.  The brake shoe company's
attorney wants the evidence of all the exposure of the plaintiff
so the jury can determine if the one time task of changing the
brake shoes was responsible for the injury.

The defense counsel wants the jury to have a full picture of the
plaintiff's history, Behrens said.

Another "set-off" issue currently being debated is whether
information about plaintiffs who file claims with asbestos trusts
established by bankrupt companies should be available to companies
being sued in the tort system.

Behrens said plaintiffs' attorneys also "game" the system by
delaying the filing of claim forms with bankruptcy trusts until
after a civil lawsuit has gone to jury.

But companies being sued in court would like to know the limit of
the exposure by the plaintiff to their product, he said.

"The (bankruptcy trust) claim form is one tool to get that
evidence," Behrens said.  "The plaintiff's counsel has evidence as
to what products the plaintiff have been exposed.  But the
plaintiff's counsel does not want to share this information with
the jury."

Behrens pointed out that plaintiff firms advertise how quick and
easy it is to file asbestos claims, yet balk at sharing.

"The distribution procedures were set up by trial lawyers.  They
did not make difficult," Behrens said.  "Yet this is what the
plaintiff's attorneys say when requested to file the claim in
advance of the trial."

Behrens said that two states have legislation pending that would
provide a mechanism for asbestos trust claim forms to be filed
before a case goes to trial.  The jury would be able to make an
informed decision about a defendant's liability if these bills
become law, he said.

Ohio has a bill pending -- H.B. 380 -- that passed out of the
House in January.  The bill was heard by the Ohio Senate Judiciary
Committee on March 13.  Behrens testified before the committee
about the proposed legislation.

Oklahoma has a similar bill, which recently passed its Senate by a
28-10 vote.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gene Therapy Shows Encouraging Results
-------------------------------------------------------
AboutMesothelioma.net reports that geneticists and medical
researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are using the new
tools of gene therapy to treat mesothelioma patient with
encouraging results, said Dr. Dan Sterman, a physician and
associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

"Where we are now is incredibly exciting," Dr. Sterman said at a
recent teleconference sponsored by the Mesothelioma Applied
Research Foundation, a national non-profit group that funds
research, provides education and offers support for mesothelioma
patients and their families.  Mesothelioma is a cancer of the
lining of the chest and abdomen caused by inhaling asbestos
fibers.

Gene therapy is a relatively new field of medicine.  The
recognition that genetic abnormalities lead to disease including
certain cancers stems in part from a 1989 discovery.  Researchers
in Canada and at the University of Michigan identified a gene that
was abnormal and caused the disease cystic fibrosis.

"This really was a breakthrough in all of medicine," Dr. Sterman
said.  "For the first time, we knew an abnormality in a specific
part of a specific chromosome led to disease.  This led to a
revolution in the concept of medicine."

The discovery gave rise to the concept that doctors could treat a
patient's disease by identifying an abnormal gene mutation,
replacing the abnormal gene with a normal gene and fixing the
disease.  Realizing that vision in a clinical setting has been
slow since the initial discovery, Dr. Sterman said.  While gene
therapy is still in the experimental stage, progress is being
made.

Now, the University of Pennsylvania has an ongoing gene therapy
clinical trial for patients who are newly diagnosed with
mesothelioma and patients who have not responded to previous
treatments.

The early results of the ongoing gene therapy trial which has been
running one year are quite promising, Sterman said.

"I can tell you the crude data that I hope to present in a few
months at the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation conference
show about an 80% response rate," Dr. Sterman said. "It's very,
very impressive, though very preliminary."

Mesothelioma patients in the trial receive the standard
chemotherapy treatment in combination with a new type of gene
therapy called immuno-gene therapy.  Immuno-gene therapy treatment
uses a modified common cold virus to trigger a patient's own
immune to destroy mesothelioma cancer cells.

"It's the immune cells from the patient that travels around the
body and hunts down other mesothelioma cells and start to destroy
them," Dr. Sterman said.  "That is what makes this unique.  We can
deliver the gene into a space the size of a quarter or a half
dollar, but affect the entire chest cavity or literally the
patient's entire body."

With gene therapy, University of Pennsylvania researchers hope to
transform incurable diseases such as a mesothelioma into chronic
conditions that patients can manage while living normal lives.
Patients' immune systems may need periodic boosters to continue to
fight off the cancer cells. That is a question the Penn
researchers are seeking to answer Researchers at the University of
Pennsylvania have been focused on treatment of mesothelioma
because of the prevalence of asbestos-related disease around
Philadelphia.  Philadelphia was a major shipping building and ship
re-fitting center during after World War II.  A lot of asbestos
was used in ship building process and came through the port at
Philadelphia.

Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the
U.S. each year.  Most are older workers, retired workers and
veterans who were exposed to asbestos in a workplace.  Family
members of people who worked around asbestos also are at risk of
developing the disease.  Symptoms of mesothelioma typically appear
30 years to 50 years after exposure.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calgary Univ Students Seek Info on Asbestos Issue
------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen Gerson of The Calgary Herald reports that students at the
University of Calgary expressed fears about the state of their
classrooms after the school said it received complaints related to
asbestos removal.

The university conducted air quality testing in Craigie Hall after
the CBC reported on the death of Amelia Labbe, an employee with
the Spanish centre who died of pulmonary fibrosis in November.

The results of the tests may take weeks, the university said.

Most of the fears surround a particularly dusty renovation of the
Craigie Hall in 2003.

But students who study in the almost 50-year-old hall said other
renovations were completed there more recently.

"I'm here every night until 10:30 p.m.," said Lindsay Phillips, a
first year music student.  "I'm in this building for hours."

She and her friend Chandra Baeuchle, a fellow freshman, said they
were worried about the safety of the building, and wanted the
school to release more information about the state of asbestos
removal on campus.

"I definitely think they shouldn't lie about it or keep it hush-
hush," Phillips said.

The university created an asbestos management program in 2006
which was tasked with monitoring and removing the mineral.
Asbestos was widely used in buildings prior to the mid-70s.

Grady Semmens, a U of C spokesman, said it had not released a full
list of buildings that may be affected.

"It's just not something that's generally been publicly
available," Semmens said.

But that doesn't sit well with Kate Gruber, a second-year biology
student.  "If we know we're being exposed to it, that gives us a
choice to avoid buildings with it, if we so desire."

Craigie Hall is not the only building facing asbestos removal: the
Science A building is also partially closed due to renovations. A
sign posted on the door states that asbestos was due for removal
between Oct. 4, 2011, and Sept. 15, 2012.

Semmens said most of the carcinogen had already been extracted
from Science A, which was built in 1960. The ongoing construction
work is part of a much-needed makeover for the departments.

"The entire renovation area is contained because it falls under
the asbestos management program," he said. Workers are still
"demolishing old walls and possibly coming across asbestos."

Otherwise, most of the work there is now focusing on upgrading
stairwells, washrooms, elevators and classrooms.

Meanwhile, Stephanie, a third-year chemistry student, said she
doesn't have the luxury of concern.

"All my labs are still here, so I don't have much of a choice."

Asbestos in older buildings is generally considered safe unless
renovations or repairs knock mineral dust into the air.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Coroner Asserts Tobacco on Ex-Builders COD
-----------------------------------------------------------
Gloucestershire Echo at thisisgloucestershire.co.uk reports that
the lung cancer that killed a 64-year-old man who was exposed to
asbestos from the age of 15 was not caused by the hazardous
material, an inquest heard.

The tumour that killed Allan Lane, who had smoked for many years,
was not asbestos-related, they heard.

Mr. Lane, of Beddome Way, Bourton-on-the-Water, died in Cheltenham
General Hospital on November 25 last year.

Instead, Gloucestershire deputy coroner David Dooley said his
smoking habit had been a likely trigger to Mr. Lane's illness.

In a statement to the inquest, his son Michael said Mr. Lane had
worked as a builder from the age of 15.

Mr. Lane worked at Little Rissington airfield and on demolishing
garages with asbestos roofs.

He often used a circular saw to cut asbestos sheets and was
exposed to asbestos dust.

Later, Mr. Lane became a painter and decorator and worked on
building sites where he would have had more asbestos exposure.

He had been a smoker, using two ounces of rolling tobacco a week.

Mr. Lane was diagnosed with lung cancer during January 2011.

The inquest was told that Mr. Lane complained of chest pains in
July 2010.

Chest X-rays revealed suspicious changes.

He was referred to specialists in Birmingham following the x-rays
and he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

He underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

He was admitted to hospital with a chest infection on November 24
last year, and died the following day, on Nov. 25.

Pathologist Dr. John McCarthy, who carried out a post mortem
examination, said Mr. Lane had a small cell carcinoma in his right
lung and the cancer had spread to other organs.

There was evidence of asbestos exposure but he tested negative for
asbestos fibers and there was no sign of asbestosis or
mesothelioma, the cancer invariably associated with asbestos.

Dr. McCarthy said smoking was a major provoking cause of lung
cancer.

He gave the cause of death as due to cancer of Mr. Lane's right
lung.

Mr. Dooley said every builder over the last 50 years had been
exposed to asbestos in some form, but not all of them died from an
asbestos-related disease.

He said there was no evidence to link Mr. Lane's death to
asbestos.

Mr. Lane died, he said, from a natural-occurring disease process,
probably provoked by a long history of smoking, that ran its full
course.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Advocacy Group Sues WMS Solution Over Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Yvonne Wenger of The Baltimore Sun reports that an advocacy group
filed a complaint Friday, March 16, with the federal government
alleging that a Baltimore-based company put hundreds of employees
at risk by failing to protect them against asbestos.

Alexandra Rosenblatt -- rosenblatta@publicjustice.org -- and
Jonathan F. Harris -- harrisj@publicjustice.org -- staff lawyers
with the Public Justice Center, said WMS Solutions LLC required
its employees, who typically earn from $11 to $14 an hour, to pay
for medical exams, training and protective equipment such as
gloves, goggles and respirators.  If workers didn't pay upfront,
the costs were deducted from their paychecks, according to the
complaint.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires
an employer to provide those protections, Rosenblatt and Harris
said.  The Public Justice Center wants the agency to investigate
and reimburse the workers, who had to pay hundreds of dollars
apiece each year, according to the complaint.

An OSHA spokeswoman declined to comment on the complaint.

Messages left at WMS Solutions seeking comment were not
immediately returned. An executive assistant said on March 16 that
the company's owner was out of the country.

The asbestos issue is also being addressed in the General
Assembly.  Bills pending in the state House and Senate --
supported by the Public Justice Center -- would add protections
for workers who handle the material, which is linked to causing
cancer.  The proposed legislation would also increase the
penalties for companies that violate environmental laws.

Rosenblatt said WMS is a staffing company that works with
contractors and subcontractors in Maryland, Washington, Virginia
and Pennsylvania.

The company employs about 200 to 300 workers, although the number
fluctuates with the seasons, Harris said.  More than a dozen
current and former employees have signed on to the complaint on
behalf of all current and former workers.  Rosenblatt said
turnover at the company is high and that the number of people
affected could reach into the thousands.

Gordon J. Raymond of Laurel is one of the workers involved in the
complaint.  Raymond, who has an outstanding workers' compensation
claim against WMS, worked for the company for about two years, and
said he signed on to the complaint to push for change.

"If nobody takes a closer look at this to make sure that safety
precautions are being met, things are not going to get better,"
Raymond said.

About 10 contractors and subcontractors are named in the
complaint.  Calls to several of them were not returned.

Among other matters, the complaint alleges that at two work sites,
where subcontractors are using WMS employees, some workers are
being forced to wash respirator filters and reuse them while
others are given new filters as often as twice a week.

The complaint also accuses WMS and the subcontractors of not
establishing proper decontamination areas with shower facilities
and, on some occasions, misleading government inspectors by
providing showers that were not connected to a water source.

Ernesto Torres of Baltimore said in an interview that he worked
for WMS for six years before being fired in July.  Torres lost his
job when he complained to OSHA about working conditions, the
Public Justice Center's filing states.

"I am trying to bring this to the light where everybody can see
it, so we can stop them, one way or another, from violating
people's rights," Torres said.

The bills before the House and Senate are aimed at adding
additional protections for workers who remove asbestos.  Asbestos
is substance used to insulate pipes, floor tiles and other
materials.  Contact with asbestos can cause cancer and other
diseases.

The legislation, which the Senate could vote on the week beginning
March 19, would increase the maximum penalty for violating
environmental regulations to $25,000 and establish an Asbestos
Worker Protection Fund for the state Department of the Environment
to enforce the laws.  The bills also would set a minimum penalty
of $2,000 for violations.

Del. Tom Hucker, a Montgomery County Democrat who co-sponsored the
proposed legislation, said the current fines, which are capped at
$5,000, are an insufficient deterrent.  The Department of the
Environment does not have the resources it needs to enforce the
laws, Hucker said.

Hucker said lawmakers need to pass the legislation to even the
competition among asbestos abatement companies.  Those that follow
the rules consistently lose business to "bottom-feeding" companies
that offer lower rates by cutting corners, he said.

Sen. Victor Ramirez, a Prince George's County Democrat who also
co-sponsored the proposed legislation, said some companies are
exploiting a vulnerable part of the state's population.

"We're talking about multimillion-dollar contracts in a lot of
cases, and we have employers who are taking shortcuts to profit
more," said Ramirez, who was speaking about the legislation and
not referring to the WMS complaint.  "People are afraid to come
out and say what is wrong.  They are afraid to lose their job."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Quebec Institute Affirms Chrysotile Is NOT Safe
----------------------------------------------------------------
Michelle Lalonde of The Postmedia News reports that the head of
Quebec's public health institute says its recent recommendations
to improve public safety regarding exposure to asbestos are based
on science, and its scientists are not biased against chrysotile
asbestos as an industry representative claims.

"The Institut national de sante publique du Quebec is not an
activist organization," director Luc Boileau told The Gazette
March 16.

"This is a governmental organization connected to the health
system which has as its only goal to bring science into
(government) decision-making and to the attention of the public
. . . .  To try to destabilize the credibility of the institute by
questioning the objectivity of the organization is an error.  It
is wrong."

Earlier, the institute released a document listing 35
recommendations to improve public health based on studies
completed between 2003 and 2009 of asbestos-related illnesses in
workers and the public.

The top three recommendations are that Quebec lower the maximum
allowable exposure levels of asbestos in workplaces (Quebec allows
10 times the level allowed in other provinces), that buildings
containing asbestos be registered publicly so construction workers
can be protected and that air quality in asbestos mining towns be
more carefully monitored.

On March 14, owners and workers at the currently inoperative
Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Que., issued a statement questioning the
institute's objectivity.

"Certainly the risk exists, but considering the many public health
problems that need to be addressed, but does the level of risk
associated with the presence of chrysotile in the air justify
making it such a big priority?" asked mine spokesman Guy
Versailles.

Boileau said since asbestos is the No. 1 cause of workplace
illness in Quebec, it does merit priority attention by government
and public health authorities.

The provincial government's official policy on asbestos is that it
can be used safely and that its use in Quebec should increase.
The government favors reopening the Jeffrey Mine, and will
guarantee a $58-million loan to project backers if they can raise
$25 million in private investments.

While Boileau said it is not the institute's role to tell the
government its policy is wrong, its position after years of
scientific study is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to
use asbestos safely.

The institute published a study comparing the different sizes and
shapes of asbestos fibers found in the lungs of 123 workers who
died of asbestos-related diseases.  Among the conclusions was that
chrysotile asbestos was found in the lungs of 85% of the workers,
and that asbestos fibers remained in the lungs 30 years after
exposure in some of the workers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Judge Calls Fee-Referral Issue a Demagoguery
----------------------------------------------------------------
Beth Hundsdorfer at BND.com reports that there's no doubt that
plaintiff's lawyers didn't want then-judge Don Weber to hear their
asbestos cases, but the reasons why are a matter of debate.

Weber, the Republican candidate for state representative, contends
the lawyers didn't want a fair trial, which is why they asked
their cases to be moved to more plaintiff-friendly judges.

But his political rival in Tuesday's (March 13) Republican
primary, State Rep. Paul Evans, R-O'Fallon, said it's because
Weber was taking a referral fees from the largest asbestos
plaintiff litigator, SimmonsCooper.

"(Evans) is being such an inconsistent hypocrite on this," Weber
said.  "He ought to make up his mind.  Simmons is the one who
wanted me off those cases.  If I was in their back pocket, why
would they want me off?"

Evans contends its Weber who wants it both ways.

"Weber says that the plaintiffs' attorneys were so afraid of him
that they asked him to be taken off their cases," Evans said.  "In
truth, you were taking money from them and that's why you couldn't
hear their cases."

Evans, Weber and a third candidate, Charlie Meier, are seeking the
GOP nomination for state representative in the 108th District.

Weber referred an asbestos case in 2003 to SimmonsCooper.  He
received referral payments in the case through 2009 -- three years
after he was appointed to fill a vacancy as a circuit judge in
Madison County.  Weber said he stopped cashing the checks in 2009.

Weber said that his referral of the case was proper.

"These clients were very dear friends of mine.  They were born in
Madison County, grew up in Madison County, went to school in
Madison County, served on the Arts Council in Madison County and
lived in Madison County," Weber said.  "I believe that he should
have the right of access in Madison County courts.  He's dead
wrong on this.  What he's saying is that Madison County residents
should not have access to Madison County courts when they are
injured."

Weber removed himself from 14 of SimmonsCooper's asbestos cases in
2006, but he delayed on one case for six weeks, until he received
another referral payment from the East Alton law firm, according
to court documents.

"When Don Weber became aware of the ethical conflict, he should
have immediately voluntarily recused himself, instead he accepted
another fee payment from his referral of an asbestos case," Evans
said.  "It is clear that in this case, it was the plaintiff's
attorney who brought fairness and integrity to the asbestos
litigation process, not Don Weber. "

The issue was raised when Weber unsuccessfully ran for the circuit
judge's spot against Dave Hylla in late 2006.

Weber maintains that he's been for tort reform on the asbestos
docket for years, fighting venue and judge shopping.  He called
the fee-referral issue "a Hail Mary, over-the-top, negative
attack" by Evans.

"If he believed this was an issue, he should have raised it at
some appropriate point so we could have discussed it," Weber said.
"This is demagoguery at its worst."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ESG Sets Assessment and Remediation Standards
--------------------------------------------------------------
Toronto's premier mold testing company and inspection service
experts, Environmental Services Group, have succeeded in building
their reputation as the leading experts in Toronto and the GTA.
The cutting-edge professionals work closely with clients to assess
and remediate environmental hazards commonly found in both
commercial and residential properties such as mold, asbestos and
lead that can lead to health and safety hazards.  Their accuracy
and professionalism has made them the trusted source and resource
for certified environmental assessment in Toronto, the Greater
Toronto Area (GTA) and Southwest Ontario.

In a recent episode called "Home making you sick?" on CP24's Wylde
On Health, Tara Valley, Senior Environmental Consultant and Indoor
Air Quality Specialist for the Environmental Services Group shared
some common issues that affect residential properties.  Some of
the bigger concerns were identified as attics, basements, inside
walls and bathrooms.  A few surprising culprits made it on to the
list as well such as car-mats and ceilings.  These areas turned up
toxins and molds in ESG's professional mold inspection services of
several residential and commercial properties.  "Mold and toxins
can cause very serious health issues," says Valley.  "This is
especially predominant among the young, elderly and individuals
with respiratory problems," Valley adds.

Companies like Environmental Services Group in particular execute
mold testing.  "It's important to contact a professional when you
find mold in your home," explains Valley.  "It's not just
important to have the hazard removed and cleaned up, it is
critical to have a final mold test to verify that the source of
the mold has been properly removed to ensure it doesn't return to
harmful levels," Valley says.  One of the major issues affecting
families and companies who are trying to eradicate the deadly
substance is the increasing number of unlicensed and unqualified
people looking to take advantage of homeowners.  "It's very
important to do your research to ensure that the mold testing
company you hire is certified and fully licensed," stresses
Valley.

Further demonstration of the expertise of ESG was seen a few
months ago on an episode of one of HGTV's popular property
renovation programs, "Income Properties".  The team at ESG was
called in to assess the mold removal job performed on an old home
that was being modernized for an episode.

ESG is not limited to doing inspections for mold, but has
expertise in detecting asbestos containing materials, asbestos air
sampling, and indoor air quality assessments.

To book an environmental assessment in Toronto or the GTA, call
416-575-6111 or visit us at
http://www.environmentalservicesgroup.ca/

            About Environmental Services Group

Environmental Services Group is the trusted leader for mold-free
homes and breathable indoor air spaces in Toronto, the Greater
Toronto Area (GTA), and Southwest Ontario.  Providing certified
mold testing and inspections since 2005, we service homeowners,
real-estate agents, landlords, property managers, insurance
companies and businesses.  Featured on CP24, CTV, Global TV, HGTV
and Holmes on Homes Magazine, we are contractor recommended and
regularly serve as expert witnesses in court proceedings relating
to Mold and Indoor Air Quality issues.  Call us today for a
consultation at (416) 575-6111.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Regional School Exposed 9 Students to Carcinogens
------------------------------------------------------------------
K.C. Myers of Cape Cod Online reports that the state Department of
Labor Standards has fined Cape Cod Regional Technical High School
$3,300 after nine students were exposed to asbestos while they
were renovating a building on school property in January.

The students, who were predominantly from the carpentry shop,
joined a teacher in renovating the detached building, which had
been used by a school bus company in 2010.  It was being converted
for future use by the school, Superintendent Bob Sanborn said.

At the same time as the renovation, the entire campus was being
inspected for asbestos to comply with the federal Asbestos Hazard
Emergency Response Act, Sanborn said.

The act -- which applies to schools containing asbestos -- was
passed in the 1980s.  But the school either never had the required
management plan or the plan had been lost over the years, Sanborn
said.

In August, the state asked the school officials for their latest
inspection report on existing asbestos, according to a report by
Brian T. Wong, chief of the investigations and enforcement unit at
the state Department of Labor Standards.

School officials could not find any reports, and so the school
hired Vertex, an asbestos consulting company in Weymouth, to test
and come up with a management plan.  The asbestos act requires an
original plan, with three-year re-inspections.

The school and Vertex concentrated on the main school building,
Sanborn said, then started on the outbuildings.  That's when
Vertex tested tiles that the students had just ripped out of the
former bus company administration building, Sanborn said.

The Department of Labor Standards cited and fined the school for
several violations, including not having an updated management
plan for asbestos and not properly removing and containing
construction debris material containing asbestos.

Vertex will clean up the site Before March 23, and then renovation
of the building will continue, Sanborn said.

The cleanup is expected to cost between $40,000 and $50,000,
Sanborn said.

Asbestos, a common building material, has been proven to increase
the chance of lung cancer when it is airborne.  The onset of
cancer can happen years, even decades, after the exposure, and the
chances of getting sick increase with the amount of exposure to
asbestos, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Most schools and other buildings contain asbestos, according to
the EPA's Asbestos In Schools fact sheet.

The EPA recommends that schools leave it alone because asbestos
particles only become airborne and can be breathed into the lungs
when broken.

The worst materials are known as "friable," or breakable with the
human hand, Sanborn said.  The tiles at Cape Tech were not the
most dangerous kind of asbestos products, but they were cracked
and broken.

Students were exposed for about four hours, Sanborn said.

"Students were allowed to remove these floor tiles using shovels
to scrape up the tiles and brooms to sweep up the debris," Wong
stated.

Students were not wearing appropriate masks to protect their lungs
from asbestos, the report noted.

"This has been a learning process for everyone," Sanborn said.
"We're doing all we can to comply and correct this.  We self-
reported to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental
Protection . . . and now it is being cleaned up."

The school sent letters home to the nine students' families.  None
of the parents have reacted dramatically or threatened legal
action, Sanborn said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Participant Climbs for Parents Taken by Cancer
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gina Barton of the Journal Sentinel relates Kay Wolferstetter's
father died of asbestos-related lung cancer on Feb. 27.

As she participated in the American Lung Association's Fight for
Air Climb Saturday, March 17, walking up 1,034 stairs in the U.S.
Bank building downtown, Wolferstetter heard her father's voice in
her head, encouraging her to go on.

"I sat in the hospice with my dad, just talking to him, and it was
out of my control," said Wolferstetter, whose mother also died of
lung cancer.  "This was a way to do something positive with a
crappy situation."

Wolferstetter, who raised $2,400, climbed to the 47th floor four
times in an hour as part of the event's Ultimate Challenge.

The event raised about $386,000 for research, education and
advocacy, about $26,000 above the organization's goal, according
to Dona Wininsky, director of public policy and communication.

Most of the approximately 1,900 participants in the fundraiser
opted for just one trip to the top.  The fastest reached the
summit in about 6 minutes.  Others took more than 45 minutes.

Most wore shorts or sweats and T-shirts imprinted with their team
names or slogans ("You say elevator, we say stairs"; "We climb for
beer").  More than 100 firefighters from area departments were
exceptions to that rule, making the climb in full protective gear,
including helmet, mask, boots and oxygen tanks.

John Wood of the Mequon Fire Department practiced on a flight of
about 20 steps at the fire station in a town without skyscrapers.

"It's just a test to see how fit I really am," said Wood, 50, who
climbed with six fellow firefighters - all in their 20s.

He also persuaded his wife, Kristin Wood, 37, to make the climb.

"It was really humid and hot," she said afterward.  "I can't even
imagine doing it in all that gear."

For Milwaukee, Saturday marked the fourth annual climb.

For Harish Kandoth, Saturday's uphill trek was his seventh this
year.

Kandoth, 42, who lives in suburban Chicago, climbed three
skyscrapers in Illinois, as well as one each in Indianapolis, Des
Moines and Minneapolis before coming to Milwaukee.  During the
last weekend, he climbed One Indiana Square in Indianapolis on
March 10 and Chicago's Presidential Towers on March 11.

"That was the only one that was tough," he said of the back-to-
back events.

Kandoth climbed for the first time last year, after a close family
friend, Vellore "Sethu" Menon, was diagnosed with lung cancer.  As
Menon fought the disease, Kandoth completed five climbs to inspire
his friend.

This year, Kandoth climbed in honor of Menon, who died in June.

"Now my primary goal is air quality, especially for children,"
said Kandoth, who raised $1,500.

Wolferstetter's focus is on preventing the cancers that claimed
her parents, both by preventing kids from becoming addicted to
cigarettes and by encouraging people to wear protective masks when
working on home improvement projects such as installing
insulation.

"They live through me," she said of her parents.  "They always
will."


                           *********

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

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e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Peter Chapman
at 240/629-3300.





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