CAR_Public/120413.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, April 13, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 73

                             Headlines

3 KIDS: Two Former Employees File Overtime Class Action
AMBASSADORS GROUP: Still Awaits Final OK of Securities Suit Deal
AMERICAN CAPITAL: June 7 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
APPLE REIT SEVEN: Dismissal Plea Briefing to Be Done by June 18
APPLE REIT SIX: Briefing on Dismissal Bid to Be Done by June 18

AVON PRODUCTS: Faces 2nd Suit Over Failure to Negotiate With Coty
CABOODLE'S: May Face Class Action Over Animal Cruelty
CALAMOS ASSET: Awaits Plaintiffs' Next Move in "Brown" Suit
CALAMOS ASSET: "Bourrienne" Suit Appeal Dismissed in December
CALAMOS ASSET: Awaits Court Decisions in "Rutgers" Class Suit

CLUB CAR: Recalls 100 Utility and Transport Vehicles
CRST VAN: EEOC Asks Court to Reconsider Class Action Ruling
DELPHI FINANCIAL: Settles Class Action Over Tokio Marine Buyout
DIAMOND FOODS: Settlement Notification Program Begins
ERIE COUNTY, NY: S.C.'s Strip Search Ruling to Affect Class Action

FACEBOOK: Vows to Fight "Sponsored Story" Class Action
GROUPON INC: Girard Gibbs Files Class Action in Illinois
MAHINDRA SATYAM: Aberdeen Seeks $150 Million in Fraud Damages
MBIA INC: Discovery Cut-Off in "Aurelius" Suit Set for Nov. 9
MBIA INC: Motion to Dismiss 2005 Securities Suit Remains Pending

MCAFEE INC: Judge Refuses to Approve Class Action Settlement
METLIFE HOME: Faces Class Action in California Over Foreclosures
MGM RESORTS: Motions to Dismiss Consolidated Suit Remain Pending
MOHAWK INDUSTRIES: Faces New Polyurethane Class Suit in Canada
NBT BANCORP: Awaits Ruling on Motion to Dismiss Suit vs. Bank

NEWELL RUBBERMAID: Defends Three Product Liability Class Suits
OLD REPUBLIC: Consumer Suit vs. ORNTIC Remains Stayed in Calif.
OLD REPUBLIC: ORHP Faces Another Class Suit in California
OLD REPUBLIC: ORNTIC Appeals Order Certifying Class in Texas Suit
OLD REPUBLIC: Units Face Three RESPA-Violations Class Suits

PALM COAST, FL: Wants Red-Light Camera Suit Dismissed
POPULAR INC: Settles "Almeyda-Santiago" Suit for $0.4 Million
POPULAR INC: Still Awaits Final Okay of ERISA Suit Settlement
POPULAR INC: Still Awaits Order on "Lamadrid" Suit Dismissal Bids
PRICELINE: Savannah Reaches Partial Class Action Settlement

RASHIDA SAMJI: Faces Class Action Over Ponzi Scheme
SCANA CORP: South Carolina Suit vs. SCE&G and SCI Settled
SOTHEBY'S INC: Awaits Dismissal Bid Ruling in Royalties Suit
STORM FINANCIAL: Investigation Sought Into Witness Intimidation
VIKING RANGE: Recalls 2,000 Dishwashers Due to Fire Hazard

VOLKSWAGEN AG: Recalls 15 Defective Routan Minivans
WALTER ENERGY: Awaits Ruling on Motion to Dismiss "Moore" Suit
WALTER ENERGY: Faces "Rush" Shareholder Class Suit in Alabama
WALTER ENERGY: Hearing on Certification Motion Set for June

* Bisphenol A FDA Decision to Discourage Class Actions

                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chiquita Expects Dismissal of 650 Cases in 2012
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tenneco Continues to Defend Exposure Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Berkshire Recorded $13.9B Liabilities at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: MeadWestvaco Had 510 Pending Cases at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EnPro Had $158MM Insurance at Dec. 31 for Claims

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Noble Corp. Had 23 Pending Suits at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Domtar Units Remain Subject to Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Transocean Units Still Defend Suits in Miss.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Transocean Unit Had 950 Pending Suits at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: BNSF Railway Continues to Defend PI Claims

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chubb Corp. Still Faces Personal Injury Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co.'s Liability Was $894MM at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co. Had 58,658 Pending Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: IPALCO Unit Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Freeport-McMoran Unit Still Faces Lawsuits

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trimas Corp. Had 1,112 Pending Cases at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: XL Group Had 1,038 Open Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Minerals Technologies Has 27 Pending Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gardner Denver Continues to Defend PI Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: AK Steel Still Defends Personal Injury Claims

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Affirms Order v. Asbestos Plaintiff
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ga. Court Affirms Ruling v. Union Carbide
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ill. High Ct. Allows Daughter to Amend Complaint
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Board Grants $900K Cleanup of Granite Cty Schools
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio Senate Reviews The Full Disclosure Bill

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Staff Should Stay Away From Water Corp. Site
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contamination Problems at Surf Coast Almost Over
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Falling Walls, Toxic Fibers Close Talyor Primary
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ocean Spring Police Station Upgrade Done In June
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Will Confirm Safety of Libby in One Year

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Has Killed 141 UK Carriageworkers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CAW Says Many Exposed Workers Never Filed Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crown Wins ASD Liability Cap Bill in Idaho
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Reform on Madison Trial Reservation System Urged
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calgary Univ Unveils Preliminary Air Test Results

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ingersoll-Rand, 84 Other Companies Face Lawsuit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Scandal" Prompts Thomson Ltd to Help UK Schools
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Everest Survivor Dies of Mesothelioma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ARD Health Costs to Offset Any Economy Today
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bill Introduced to Ban Carcinogenic Brake Pads

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Goodyear Tire & Rubber, 81 Others Face Lawsuit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Caterpillar, 47 Other Companies Face Lawsuit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1st Week of April Is 'Asbestos Awareness Week'
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM Adds New Mesothelioma Data on Website
ASBESTOS UPDATE: FDA Toxin Test Results on Cosmetics Inconclusive

ASBESTOS UPDATE: IL SC Grants Defendant CSX's Motion for Dismissal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Firefighter's COD caused by Toxic Fibers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Break-In In Niagara School May Have Stirred Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Non-Friable Fibro Found in Oswego DSS Building
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rhode Island Reports Top 10 Deadliest Jobs

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Law Firm Shared Stolen Files From Rival
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Strand Theatre to Be Tested for Carcinogens
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Coliseum Workers Prepares to Sue Nassau County
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Children in Niagara Falls Played With Carcinogens
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trigger Case Rule May Cost Insurers GBP5 Billion

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Belluck & Fox Greets Advancements in ARD Research
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dismissal of JCI Defense Cost Claim Upheld
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Upholds Failure to Warn Claim v. Colgate
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio Ct. Affirms Judgment Favoring Union Carbide
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Ct. Junks Insurers' Bid to Dismiss GRC Suit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ky. Appeals Ct. Rules on Garlock Matter
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Allows Claims v. Crane Co. to Proceed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Second-Hand Victims Will Have Their Day In Court
ASBESTOS UPDATE: DR1 Airs Documentary of FLSmidth's Amiandos Mine
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Advocate Says Eitanit Fully Contaminated Nahariya

ASBESTOS UPDATE: $7.7MM Central School Redo Awaits May 14 Approval
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Deferiet Municipal Bldg Redo to Complete By June
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Madison Awaits Rule on Trial 'Reservation' System
ASBESTOS UPDATE: HNZ States All Tenants Were Informed of Project
ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK's Highest Court Passes Ruling on Landmark Case

ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADF President Urges NSW Premier's Intervention
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Calls for Cleanup of Former Hardie Site
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 6000 Tons of Hazmat Push Library Cost to $1.3MM
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Campaign for More Mesothelioma Study Launched
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ACT Releases School Asbestos Management Plans

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Insurers Face Payouts of Up To GBP5 Billion
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Awards Artists, Scientists in 8th AIAAC
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Part 3A of Planning Law Paralyzes NSW Premier
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Blog Lists Common Mesothelioma Misconceptions
ASBESTOS UPDATE: McNeese Renovation Releases Suspected Carcinogens

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Harrison Shuts Madison's Reservation System
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Up to 750 New Mesothelioma Cases Expected Per Yr
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Nassau Coliseum Tests Show Air Quality Safe
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Group Praises Madison Court Reform
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fire, Carcinogens Close Rainbow Springs Facility

ASBESTOS UPDATE: IBT Contracting Faces GBP14,400 Penalty
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Salinas Armory Abatement Costs Totaled $113,000
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement, Other Issues Hound WCPS Main Office
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Critics Say W. R. Grace Kept Evidence From Jury
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aargus Pty Falsifies Test Result, Fined AU$370K

ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Charged Glenelg Landfill for Non-Compliance
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parent Incensed by Brookfield School Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Study Connects Asbestos to Heart Disease, Stroke
ASBESTOS UPDATE: OSHA Cites A.M. Castle With 22 Health Violations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Weitz & Luxenberg Pushes for Mesothelioma Funding

ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Hazards In Piping System Adds $280K to Cost
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Baron and Budd Joins ADAO to Advocate GAAW 2012
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Premiers "Dust: The Great Asbestos Trial"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: USC Formulates Campus-wide Decontamination Plan
ASBESTOS UPDATE: W&L PC Raises Mesothelioma's Toll On Women

ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGill Principal Says Initial Review Complete
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Yellowstone County Faces Health Violation Charges

                          *********

3 KIDS: Two Former Employees File Overtime Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Dinapoli, writing for Times Herald-Record, reports that
two former employees of a seafood wholesaler who say they weren't
paid for overtime work have filed a potential class-action
lawsuit.

The employees, Barbara Castillo Fierros and Maria Escobar, say
they regularly worked between 44 and 48 hours per week for 3 Kids
Corp. on Crystal Run Road, but did not receive time-and-a-half for
any hours logged beyond 40, according to the lawsuit filed last
month in federal court in White Plains.

Ms. Castillo Fierros and Ms. Escobar were considered full-time
manual workers who processed and packaged seafood, among other
duties.  They earned the minimum wage at the time, $7.25 per hour,
said Milan Bhatt, co-executive director of the Worker Justice
Center of New York in Kingston, who is working on the case.

Dominick Chiappone, who is identified in court papers as a manager
of 3 Kids Corp., said the lawsuit "has no merit," then referred
questions to lawyer Paul Ernenwein.

Mr. Ernenwein said the company only gave employees opportunities
to work eight-hour shifts.

In 2008, 3 Kids Corp. received a $187,500 grant from the Empire
State Development Corp. to buy equipment and machinery and pay for
building renovations.

The business typically employs about 20 people, Mr. Bhatt said.
He said he likely won't know how many workers could potentially
join the lawsuit unless the court requires 3 Kids Corp. to turn
over certain documents.


AMBASSADORS GROUP: Still Awaits Final OK of Securities Suit Deal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ambassadors Group, Inc. is still awaiting final court approval of
its settlement of a securities class action lawsuit pending in
Washington, according to the Company's March 12, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

On July 14, 2009, a securities class action was filed against the
Company and certain of its executive officers on behalf of all
persons or entities who purchased the Company's Common Stock
between February 8, 2007, and October 23, 2007, in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.  On
February 11, 2010, the Company, and certain of its executive
officers, moved to dismiss the class action.  On June 2, 2010, the
Court issued an order denying these motions to dismiss.  The
current amended complaint alleges that the defendants violated
federal securities laws by making untrue statements of material
fact and/or omitting to state material facts, thereby artificially
inflating the price of the Company's Common Stock.  On March 17,
2011, the class was certified for persons who purchased the
Company's Common Stock between July 24, 2007, and October 23,
2007.

The parties had commenced discovery when, on April 14, 2011, an
agreement was reached to settle the action following a mediation
before a retired federal judge.  Under the terms of the
settlement, the Company's insurance carriers have agreed to pay
the settlement amount of $7.5 million, in complete settlement of
all claims, without any admission of wrongdoing or liability by
the Company or any party in the action.  Throughout the
litigation, the Company and the individual defendants have denied,
and continue to deny, the allegations made against them.

The Company says it agreed with the insurance carriers to settle
the action on these terms, because it was in the best interests of
the Company to avoid the burdens, risk, uncertainties and expense
that would be inherent in continued litigation.  The settlement
agreement, which includes a release for all defendants and other
provisions common in such agreements, was preliminarily approved
by the Court on September 6, 2011, and notice was provided to all
class members.  The Court held a hearing to consider final
approval of the settlement, the plan of allocation, and the motion
for the award of plaintiffs' attorneys' fees on November 30, 2011,
but delayed ruling on these matters pending submission of
additional materials by the lead plaintiff.  Lead plaintiff
submitted the requested additional materials on December 30, 2011,
and January 17, 2012, and final action with regard to approval of
the settlement and related matters is pending with the Court.  As
the settlement is covered and was funded by the Company's
insurance carrier, the settlement is not expected to have a
material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial
condition or results of operations.

Ambassadors Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EPAX) --
http://www.ambassadorsgroup.com/-- is an education company
located in Spokane, Washington.  Ambassadors Group is the parent
company of People to People Ambassador Programs, new subsidiary
World Adventures Unlimited, Inc., and BookRags, an educational
research Web site.  The Company also oversees the Washington
School of World Studies, an accredited travel study and distance
learning school.


AMERICAN CAPITAL: June 7 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
--------------------------------------------------------
Izard Nobel LLP and Brower Piven on April 9 issued a statement
regarding the American Capital Class Action Settlement.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND

WARD KLUGMANN, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. AMERICAN CAPITAL, LTD., MALON, WILKUS,
JOHN R. ERICKSON, IRA WAGNER, SAMUEL A. FLAX, and RICHARD E.
KONZMANN, Defendants. Civil Action No. 8:09-CV-00005-PJM

SUMMARY NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION
AND SETTLEMENT HEARING

TO: ALL PERSONS AND ENTITIES WHO PURCHASED SHARES OF THE PUBLICLY-
TRADED COMMON STOCK OF AMERICAN CAPITAL, LTD. BETWEEN OCTOBER 31,
2007 AND NOVEMBER 7, 2008, INCLUSIVE.

You are hereby notified, pursuant to Court Order, that a hearing
will be held on June 7, 2012, at 10:30 a.m., before the Honorable
Peter J. Messitte, United States District Court Judge, United
States District Court, District of Maryland, Courtroom 4C, 6500
Cherrywood Lane, Greenbelt, MD 20770 to determine (1) whether the
settlement of the Litigation in the amount of $18,000,000, plus
any accrued interest thereon should be approved as fair,
reasonable, and adequate to the Settlement Class; (2) whether the
proposed Plan of Allocation is fair, reasonable, and adequate; (3)
whether the motion of Co-Lead Counsel for the Settlement Class for
an award of attorneys' fees, costs and expenses and for an award
to Plaintiffs relating to their representation of the Settlement
Class should be approved; and (4) whether the Litigation and the
claims of the Members of the Settlement Class against Defendants
should be dismissed on the merits and with prejudice as set forth
in the Stipulation of Settlement filed with the Court.

If you purchased Shares during the period from October 31, 2007
through November 7, 2008, inclusive, your rights may be affected
by the proposed Settlement and release of claims, as set forth in
the Notice of Pendency of Proposed Settlement of Class Action and
Settlement Hearing.  To share in the distribution of the
Settlement Fund, Members of the Settlement Class must establish
their rights and submit the Proof of Claim and Release form
accompanying the Notice, which must be postmarked on or before
July 20, 2012.

If you desire to be excluded from the Settlement Class, you must
submit a request for exclusion by May 24, 2012, in the manner and
form explained in the detailed Notice.  All members of the
Settlement Class who have not requested exclusion from the
Settlement Class will be bound by any judgment entered in the
Litigation pursuant to the Settlement Stipulation between the
parties.

Any objection to the Settlement, the Plan of Allocation, the Fee
and Expense Motion, or the Plaintiffs' Expense Motion must be
filed with the clerk of the Court and served upon each of the
following law firms no later than May 24, 2012, at the addresses
listed below:

    Clerk of the United States District Court District of Maryland
    6500 Cherrywood Lane
    Greenbelt, MD 20770

    Jeffrey S. Nobel, Esq.
    IZARD NOBEL LLP
    29 South Main Street, Suite 215
    West Hartford, CT 06107

    Charles Piven, Esq.
    BROWER PIVEN
    1925 Old Valley Road
    Stevenson, MD 21153

If you are a member of the Settlement Class and have not yet
received the Notice, you may obtain a copy by visiting
http://www.AmericanCapitalSecuritiesLitigation.comor by writing:
to:

          American Capital, Ltd.
          Securities Litigation Claims Administrator
          c/o GCG P.O. Box 9868
          Dublin, OH 43017-5768

For further information, you may also contact a representative of
Co-Lead Counsel:

          Jeffrey S. Nobel, Esq.
          Izard Nobel LLP
          29 South Main Street, Suite 215
          West Hartford, CT 06107
          Telephone: (860) 493-6292
          E-mail: jnobel@izardnobel.com

          Charles Piven, Esq.
          Brower Piven
          1925 Old Valley Road
          Stevenson, MD 21153
          Telephone: (410) 332-0030
          E-mail: piven@browerpiven.com

PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT, THE CLERK'S OFFICE OR
DEFENDANTS REGARDING THIS NOTICE

Dated: March 14, 2012 By Order of the United States District
Court, District of Maryland


APPLE REIT SEVEN: Dismissal Plea Briefing to Be Done by June 18
---------------------------------------------------------------
Briefing on any motion to dismiss the consolidated class action
lawsuit styled In re Apple REITs Litigation will be concluded by
June 18, 2012, according to Apple REIT Seven, Inc.'s March 12,
2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

On December 13, 2011, the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York ordered that three putative class
actions, Kronberg, et al. v. David Lerner Associates, Inc., et
al., Kowalski v. Apple REIT Ten, Inc., et al., and Leff v. Apple
REIT Ten, Inc., et al., be consolidated and amended the caption of
the consolidated matter to be In re Apple REITs Litigation.  The
District Court also appointed lead plaintiffs and lead counsel for
the consolidated action and ordered lead plaintiffs to file and
serve a consolidated complaint by February 17, 2012.  The parties
agreed to a schedule for answering or otherwise responding to the
complaint and that briefing on any motion to dismiss the complaint
will be concluded by June 18, 2012.  The Company was previously
named as a party in the Kronberg, et al. v. David Lerner
Associates, Inc., et al. class action lawsuit but was later
dismissed from that action in October 2011.

On February 17, 2012, lead plaintiffs and lead counsel in the In
re Apple REITs Litigation, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-02919-KAM-JO,
filed an amended consolidated complaint in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the
Company, Apple Suites Realty Group, Inc., Apple Eight Advisors,
Inc., Apple Nine Advisors, Inc., Apple Ten Advisors, Inc., Apple
Fund Management, LLC, Apple REIT Six, Inc., Apple REIT Eight,
Inc., Apple REIT Nine, Inc. and Apple REIT Ten, Inc., their
directors and certain officers, and David Lerner Associates, Inc
and David Lerner.  The consolidated complaint, purportedly brought
on behalf of all purchasers of Units in the Company and the other
Apple REIT Companies, or those who otherwise acquired these Units
that were offered and sold to them by David Lerner Associates,
Inc., or its affiliates and on behalf of subclasses of
shareholders in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Florida,
asserts claims under Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act
of 1933.  The consolidated complaint also asserts claims for
breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary
duty, negligence, and unjust enrichment, and claims for violation
of the securities laws of Connecticut and Florida.  The complaint
seeks, among other things, certification of a putative nationwide
class and the state subclasses, damages, rescission of share
purchases and other costs and expenses.

On February 16, 2012, one shareholder of the Company and Apple
REIT Six, Inc., filed a putative class action lawsuit captioned
Laurie Brody v. David Lerner Associates, Inc., et al., Case No.
1:12-cv-782-ERK-RER, in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York against the Company, Apple REIT Six,
Inc., Glade M. Knight, Apple Suites Realty Group, Inc., David
Lerner Associates, Inc., and certain executives of David Lerner
Associates, Inc.  The complaint, purportedly brought on behalf of
all purchasers of Units of the Company and Apple REIT Six, Inc.,
or those who otherwise acquired these Units, asserts claims for
breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach of
fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, negligence, breach of written
or implied contract (against the David Lerner Associates, Inc.
defendants only), and for violation of New Jersey's state
securities laws.  Counsel for the plaintiff in Laurie Brody v.
David Lerner Associates, Inc., et al. has consented to
consolidating this case into the In re Apple REITs Litigation.

The Company believes that any claims against it, its officers and
directors and other Apple entities are without merit, and intends
to defend against them vigorously.  At this time, the Company
cannot reasonably predict the outcome of these proceedings or
provide a reasonable estimate of the possible loss or range of
loss due to these proceedings, if any.


APPLE REIT SIX: Briefing on Dismissal Bid to Be Done by June 18
---------------------------------------------------------------
Briefing on any motion to dismiss the complaint in the
consolidated class action lawsuit styled In re Apple REITs
Litigation will be concluded by June 18, 2012, according to Apple
REIT Six, Inc.'s March 12, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

On December 13, 2011, the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York ordered that three putative class
actions, Kronberg, et al. v. David Lerner Associates, Inc., et
al., Kowalski v. Apple REIT Ten, Inc., et al., and Leff v. Apple
REIT Ten, Inc., et al., be consolidated and amended the caption of
the consolidated matter to be In re Apple REITs Litigation.  The
District Court also appointed lead plaintiffs and lead counsel for
the consolidated action and ordered lead plaintiffs to file and
serve a consolidated complaint by February 17, 2012.

The parties agreed to a schedule for answering or otherwise
responding to the complaint and that briefing on any motion to
dismiss the complaint will be concluded by June 18, 2012.  The
Company was previously named as a party in the Kronberg, et al. v.
David Lerner Associates, Inc., et al. class action lawsuit.

On February 17, 2012, lead plaintiffs and lead counsel in the In
re Apple REITs Litigation, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-02919-KAM-JO,
filed an amended consolidated complaint in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the
Company, Apple Suites Realty Group, Inc., Apple Eight Advisors,
Inc., Apple Nine Advisors, Inc., Apple Ten Advisors, Inc., Apple
Fund Management, LLC, Apple REIT Seven, Inc., Apple REIT Eight,
Inc., Apple REIT Nine, Inc. and Apple REIT Ten, Inc., their
directors and certain officers, and David Lerner Associates, Inc.
and David Lerner.  The consolidated complaint, purportedly brought
on behalf of all purchasers of Units in the Company and the other
Apple REIT Companies, or those who otherwise acquired these Units
that were offered and sold to them by David Lerner Associates,
Inc., or its affiliates and on behalf of subclasses of
shareholders in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Florida,
asserts claims under Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act
of 1933.  The consolidated complaint also asserts claims for
breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary
duty, negligence, and unjust enrichment, and claims for violation
of the securities laws of Connecticut and Florida.  The complaint
seeks, among other things, certification of a putative nationwide
class and the state subclasses, damages, rescission of share
purchases and other costs and expenses.

On February 16, 2012, one shareholder of the Company and Apple
REIT Seven, Inc., filed a putative class action lawsuit captioned
Laurie Brody v. David Lerner Associates, Inc., et al., Case No.
1:12-cv-782-ERK-RER, in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York against the Company, Apple REIT
Seven, Inc., Glade M. Knight, Apple Suites Realty Group, Inc.,
David Lerner Associates, Inc., and certain executives of David
Lerner Associates, Inc.  The complaint, purportedly brought on
behalf of all purchasers of Units of the Company and Apple REIT
Seven, Inc., or those who otherwise acquired these Units, asserts
claims for breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach
of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, negligence, breach of
written or implied contract (against the David Lerner Associates,
Inc. defendants only), and for violation of New Jersey's state
securities laws.  Counsel for the plaintiff in Laurie Brody v.
David Lerner Associates et. al. has consented to consolidating
this case into the In re Apple REITs Litigation.

The Company believes that any claims against it, its officers and
directors and other Apple entities are without merit, and intends
to defend against them vigorously.  At this time, the Company
cannot reasonably predict the outcome of these proceedings or
provide a reasonable estimate of the possible loss or range of
loss due to these proceedings, if any.


AVON PRODUCTS: Faces 2nd Suit Over Failure to Negotiate With Coty
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Linda Schwartz, On Behalf of Herself and All Others Similarly
Situated v. Avon Products, Inc., Andrea Jung, Douglas R. Conant,
W. Don Cornwell, V. Ann Hailey, Fred Hassan, Maria Elena
Lagomasino, Ann S. Moore, Gary M. Rodkin, Paula Stern and Lawrence
A. Weinbach, Case No. 651152/2012 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., April 9, 2012)
is brought to enjoin Avon's Board of Directors from breaching
their fiduciary duties in connection with a proposed buyout of the
publicly owned shares of Avon's common stock by Coty Inc.

This action is a result of the Individual Defendants' downright
refusal to engage in any negotiations or substantive discussion
with Coty about the Proposed Transaction of Avon for a significant
premium, Ms. Schwartz contends.  Rather than considering the
premium being offered to shareholders, or even attempting to
negotiate a higher bid, the Defendants, within an hour of
receiving the bid, flatly rejected the Proposed Transaction, she
adds.

Ms. Schwartz is a shareholder of Avon common stock.  She is a
resident of Nassau County, New York.

Avon, a New York corporation, is a manufacturer and marketer of
beauty and related products.  The Individual Defendants are
directors and officers of Avon.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Mark C. Gardy, Esq.
          James S. Notis, Esq.
          Kira German, Esq.
          GARDY & NOTIS, LLP
          501 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1408
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 905-0509
          Facsimile: (212) 905-0508
          E-mail: mgardy@gardylaw.com
                  jnotis@gardylaw.com
                  kgerman@gardylaw.com

               - and -

          Charles A. Germershausen, Esq.
          GARDY & NOTIS, LLP
          560 Sylvan Avenue
          Englewood Cliffs, NJ
          Telephone: (201) 567-7377
          Facsimile: (201) 567-7337
          E-mail: cgermershausen@gardylaw.com


CABOODLE'S: May Face Class Action Over Animal Cruelty
-----------------------------------------------------
News4Jax.com reports that Elise Perkins, who is dedicated to
taking care of cats, was devastated to see undercover video
recorded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals at
Caboodle Ranch, a so-called cat sanctuary in Madison County.

"It's horrific," Ms. Perkins said.  "It's my worst nightmare come
true.  It's what I have seen."

Troubled but not surprised by the ill cats, Ms. Perkins said she's
planning to be part of a class action lawsuit against Caboodle's
owner, Craig Grant.

Mr. Grant pleaded not guilty on April 3 to multiple animal cruelty
charges.  He's continuing to fight for custody of nearly 700 cats
that were stripped from his care by deputies.

"They really need to be at the ranch where they're happy," Mr.
Grant said of the cats.

Ms. Perkins hopes that never happens.

She started a Web site to document what she calls evidence,
gathering names for the suit that the cats' former owners intend
to file.

"Our goal is to make sure Grant never owns cats again and that he
is held accountable for what he's done, either through the justice
system, which will hopefully work its way through, and we want to
get that 501.3c status revoked," Ms. Perkins said.

While she continues her research on the ranch, rescue teams say
many of the cats removed in February are still being treated in
Jacksonville.

They said Mr. Grant allowed "unsanitary conditions . . . to spiral
out of control."

Ms. Perkins said she won't give up her crusade until she knows for
sure the cats will be OK.


CALAMOS ASSET: Awaits Plaintiffs' Next Move in "Brown" Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
Calamos Asset Management, Inc., is waiting for plaintiffs' next
move in the class action lawsuit relating to auction rate
preferred securities, according to the Company's March 12, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company and Calamos Advisors LLC, an indirect subsidiary, were
named as defendants in a class action complaint filed on July 15,
2010 (Christopher Brown et al. v John P. Calamos, Sr. et al., No.
10-CV-04422 (N.D. Ill.)) by a putative common shareholder of the
Calamos Convertible Opportunities and Income Fund (CHI).  This
action was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiff in the U.S. District
Court and re-filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
on September 13, 2010 (Christopher Brown et al. v John P. Calamos,
Sr. et al., Civil Action No. 10CH39590).  Other defendants include
CHI, current and former trustees of CHI, John P. Calamos, Sr.,
Weston W. Marsh, John E. Neal, William R. Rybak, Stephen B.
Timbers, David D. Tripple, Joe F. Hanauer, and unspecified
defendants John and Jane Does 1-100.  The plaintiff alleges that
the Company and Calamos Advisors aided and abetted the individual
defendants' alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and were unjustly
enriched in connection with the redemption of auction rate
preferred securities of CHI. As to the Company and Calamos
Advisors, the plaintiff is seeking: (i) declaratory judgments that
the Company and Calamos Advisors aided and abetted the individual
defendants' alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and were unjustly
enriched; (ii) an injunction against the Company and Calamos
Advisors serving as advisor or otherwise earning fees for services
to CHI; (iii) an unspecified amount of monetary relief plus
interest; (iv) an award of attorney's fees and expenses; and (v)
such other and further relief, including punitive damages, as may
be available to the plaintiff and the class that plaintiff seeks
to represent.

On October 13, 2010, the defendants removed this action from the
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, to the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois (Christopher Brown et al. v
John P. Calamos, Sr. et al., No. 10-CV-06558 (N.D. Ill.)) and also
moved to dismiss the complaint.  On November 5, 2010, plaintiff
moved to remand the case to the Circuit Court of Cook County.  On
March 14, 2011, the district court denied plaintiff's motion to
remand and dismissed the case.  Plaintiff appealed that ruling to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and on
November 10, 2011, the Seventh Circuit issued a decision affirming
the dismissal of the case entered by the lower court.  Plaintiff
received an extension up to and including
March 9, 2012, to file a petition for a writ of certiorari in the
United States Supreme Court.

The Company and Calamos Advisors believe that the lawsuit is
without merit and intend to defend themselves vigorously against
its allegations.


CALAMOS ASSET: "Bourrienne" Suit Appeal Dismissed in December
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
dismissed on December 7, 2011, an appeal from the dismissal of a
class action lawsuit commenced by Russell Bourrienne, et al.,
Calamos Asset Management, Inc., disclosed in its March 12, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company and Calamos Advisors LLC, an indirect subsidiary, were
named as defendants in a class action complaint filed on September
14, 2010 (Russell Bourrienne et al. v John P. Calamos, Sr. et al.,
No. 10-CV-5833 (N.D. Ill.)) by a putative common shareholder of
the Calamos Convertible Opportunities and Income Fund (CHI).  This
action was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiff in the U.S. District
Court and re-filed in Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, on
October 18, 2010 (Russell Bourrienne et al. v John P. Calamos, Sr.
et al., No. 10CH45119 ).  Other defendants include current and
former trustees of CHI, John P. Calamos, Sr., Weston W. Marsh,
John E. Neal, William R. Rybak, Stephen B. Timbers, David D.
Tripple, Joe F. Hanauer and unspecified defendants John and Jane
Does 1-100.  The plaintiff alleges that the Company and Calamos
Advisors aided and abetted the individual defendants' alleged
breaches of fiduciary duty and were unjustly enriched in
connection with the redemption of auction rate preferred
securities of CHI. As to the Company and Calamos Advisors, the
plaintiff is seeking: (i) declaratory judgments that the Company
and Calamos Advisors aided and abetted the individual defendants'
alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and were unjustly enriched;
(ii) an injunction against serving as advisor or otherwise earning
fees for services to CHI; (iii) an unspecified amount of monetary
relief plus interest; (iv) an award of attorney's fees and
expenses; and (v) such other and further relief, including
punitive damages, as may be available to the plaintiff and the
class that plaintiff seeks to represent.

On November 12, 2010, the defendants removed this action from the
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, to the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois (Russell Bourrienne et al. v
John P. Calamos, Sr. et al., No. 10-CV-07295 (N.D. Ill.)).
Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, and on
August 4, 2011, the U.S. District Court granted defendant's
motion.  Plaintiff appealed that ruling to the United States Court
of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and on December 7, 2011, the
Seventh Circuit issued an order dismissing the appeal pursuant to
the parties' stipulation of dismissal.


CALAMOS ASSET: Awaits Court Decisions in "Rutgers" Class Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Calamos Asset Management, Inc., is still awaiting court decisions
on their motions to remand and dismiss a class action lawsuit
commenced by Rutgers Casualty Insurance Company, et al., according
to the Company's March 12, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2011.

The Company and Calamos Advisors LLC, an indirect subsidiary, were
named as defendants in a class action complaint filed on August
13, 2010 (Rutgers Casualty Insurance Company et al. v John P.
Calamos, Sr. et al., No. 10-CV-5106 (N.D. Ill.)) by a putative
common shareholder of the Calamos Convertible and High Income Fund
(CHY).  This action was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiff in the
U.S. District Court and re-filed in Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois on December 22, 2010 (Rutgers Casualty Insurance Company
et al. v John P. Calamos, Sr. et al., No. 10CH53998).  Other
defendants include CHY, current and former trustees of CHY, John
P. Calamos, Sr., Nick P. Calamos, Weston W. Marsh, John E. Neal,
William R. Rybak, Stephen B. Timbers, David D. Tripple, Joe F.
Hanauer and unspecified defendants John and Jane Does 1-100.  The
plaintiff alleges that the Company and Calamos Advisors aided and
abetted the individual defendants' alleged breaches of fiduciary
duty and were unjustly enriched in connection with the redemption
of auction rate preferred securities of CHY.  As to the Company
and Calamos Advisors, the plaintiff is seeking: (i) declaratory
judgments that the Company and Calamos Advisors aided and abetted
the individual defendants' alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and
were unjustly enriched; (ii) an injunction against serving as
advisor or otherwise earning fees for services to CHY; (iii) an
unspecified amount of monetary relief plus interest; (iv) an award
of attorney's fees and expenses; and (v) such other and further
relief, including punitive damages, as may be available to the
plaintiff and the class that plaintiff seeks to represent.

On January 21, 2011, the defendants removed this action from the
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois to the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois (Rutgers Casualty Insurance
Company et al. v John P. Calamos, Sr. et al., No. 11-CV-00462
(N.D. Ill.)).  Defendants have also moved to dismiss the
complaint, and plaintiff has moved to remand the case to the
Circuit Court of Cook County.  The case is currently awaiting
decision of those motions.

The Company and Calamos Advisors believe that the lawsuit is
without merit and intend to defend themselves vigorously against
its allegations.


CLUB CAR: Recalls 100 Utility and Transport Vehicles
----------------------------------------------------
About 100 utility and transport vehicles were voluntarily recalled
by Club Car, LLC of Augusta, Georgia, 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 brake pedal mounting blocks can crack and separate, resulting
in a loss of braking ability, resulting in a crash.

Club Car has not received any reports of the brake pedal mounting
blocks breaking.  No injuries have been reported.

The recalled vehicles are various sizes, models and colors of
model year 2012 gas and electric powered utility and transport
vehicles used for short-distance transportation.  The vehicles can
be identified by model and serial number.  The serial number is
above and to the right of the accelerator pedal.  A list of
recalled models and serial numbers is below.

   Model                Model Number      Serial Number Range
   -----                ------------  --------------------------
   Cafe Express         AF            1225-287118 to 1225-287529

   Carryall 1,          FD/FG/HD/HG   1225-287074 to 1225-288151
   Carryall Turf 1

   Carryall 2, Turf 2,  EG/QB/QT/RG   1222-286712 to 1225-288285
   Turf 2 Plus

   Carryall 252,        JK/JL/XG/ZG   1225-287215 to 1225-288287
   Turf 252

   Carryall 6,          JR/JU/JV      1225-287116 to 1225-288112
   Carryall Turf 6

   TransPorter 4        JS/JT         1225-287102 to 1225-287869

   Villager 6 Plus      QS            1225-287558 to 1225-288079

   Villager 8           MG/QE         1225-287531 to 1225-288088

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12729.html

The recalled products were manufactured in the United States of
America and sold at authorized Club Car dealers nationwide in
April and May 2011 for between $6,000 and $11,000.

Club Car is providing a free replacement of the brake pedal
mounting blocks.  The firm is contacting its customers directly.
For more information, contact Club Car toll-free at (800) 227-
0739, ext. 3831, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.clubcar.com/


CRST VAN: EEOC Asks Court to Reconsider Class Action Ruling
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission asked a federal appeals court on April 9 to reconsider
a ruling that could hurt its ability to pursue class-action
discrimination lawsuits on behalf of workers in the Midwest.

The agency filed a petition asking the 8th Circuit Court of
Appeals to reconsider a February ruling that dismissed a lawsuit
filed on behalf of more than 100 women who claimed they were
sexually harassed by male drivers at an Iowa trucking company.

The 2-1 ruling set a new standard requiring EEOC to identify every
affected worker, investigate their claims and seek informal
settlements before suing a company.  The ruling affects lawsuits
filed anywhere in the federal circuit that stretches from Arkansas
to the Dakotas and sets a higher bar than the agency faces
elsewhere.

EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez said the standard would make
it more expensive and time-consuming to bring large-scale
harassment and discrimination cases.  The agency has not yet
issued guidance to investigators about the new standard, hoping
the ruling will be overturned, he said.

"The panel's unprecedented imposition of this new requirement will
impede EEOC's ability to enforce . . . civil rights laws in
workplaces with the most widespread discrimination," agency
lawyers argued in the April 9 filing.

Federal rules say petitions for rehearing are granted infrequently
and discouraged except for those cases "necessary to maintain and
secure the uniformity of decisions or that raise questions of
exceptional importance."  The judges who originally heard the case
could take a second look or a majority of the 11 active judges on
the court could decide to review the case.

Business groups are closely watching the case at a time when the
EEOC has brought more class-action discrimination cases.  They say
the agency has been overly aggressive at times, bringing lawsuits
that can cost millions before identifying the scope of the legal
problems at issue.

The agency last year filed a record-high 23 systemic
discrimination cases, Mr. Lopez said.  Recent cases have led to a
$20 million judgment against Verizon, Inc. over an attendance
policy that allegedly discriminated against disabled workers and a
$3 million settlement for black workers passed over for janitorial
jobs at Chicago's O'Hare airport.

The April 9 filing is the latest development in a lawsuit that
accuses Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based CRST Van Expedited, Inc. of
subjecting female truck drivers to a hostile workplace by failing
to stop rampant sexual harassment in its training program.

Current and former female drivers say male trainers pressured them
to have sex, made constant sexual remarks, groped and even
assaulted them during cross-country drives that could last for
weeks.  The EEOC lawsuit was filed before the agency knew how many
employees would be part of the case.  The agency eventually
identified 270 women, though only 150 showed up for depositions.

The agency's tactics angered U.S. District Judge Linda Reade, who
called them a "sue first, ask questions later litigation
strategy," dismissed the lawsuit and ordered the EEOC to reimburse
the trucking company $4.4 million in legal fees.  The appeals
court largely upheld Judge  Reade's decision dismissing the case,
but threw out the fee award.

EEOC alleged on April 9 that the trucking company misled its
investigator by claiming executives were aware of fewer internal
harassment complaints than had been lodged.

"It is particularly inappropriate to fault EEOC for not
identifying victims during the investigation when CRST knowingly
withheld that information," the filing said.  "The majority's rule
all but encourages employers to lie to EEOC during investigations
with the hope of benefiting later if EEOC attempts enforcement in
court."

The company's top lawyer, Eric Baker, said on April 9 he had
expected the petition for rehearing but declined additional
comment.  In an interview last month, he said the firm took
complaints seriously and would be exonerated.


DELPHI FINANCIAL: Settles Class Action Over Tokio Marine Buyout
---------------------------------------------------------------
Delphi Financial Group, Inc., Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. and the
other named defendants have agreed to settle In re Delphi
Financial Group Shareholder Litigation, Consolidated C.A. No.
7144-VCG, the consolidated action brought in connection with the
merger of Delphi and a subsidiary of Tokio Marine.  If the
settlement is finalized and approved, Delphi's Class A
stockholders and option holders as of the effective time of the
merger, other than the defendants to the consolidated action and
their affiliates, will receive their pro rata portion of a payment
equal to $49 million less plaintiffs' counsel fees and expenses,
which have not yet been determined.  The payment will be made
after and subject to approval of the settlement agreement by the
Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.  A hearing to consider
the settlement is expected to occur subsequent to the closing of
the merger.  The amount of plaintiffs' counsel fees and expenses
will be determined at or after the time the Court of Chancery
approves the settlement agreement.

The settlement is contingent upon, among other things, definitive
documentation, completion of the merger and approval by the Court
of Chancery of the State of Delaware.  In the event the court does
not approve the settlement or the other conditions are not
satisfied, the Delphi defendants will continue to vigorously
defend all claims.

The payment described above is separate and distinct from the
merger consideration payable to Delphi's Class A stockholders.
Under the terms of the previously announced merger agreement with
Tokio Marine and TM Investment (Delaware) Inc., a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Tokio Marine, Class A stockholders will receive
$43.875 per Class A share.  In addition, Class A stockholders will
receive $1.00 in cash per Class A share pursuant to a one-time
special dividend from Delphi for each share of Class A stock they
own.

Delphi also announced on April 9 that the merger has been approved
by the insurance regulators of the states of Illinois, Missouri,
New York and Texas and the Cayman Islands and that the applicable
waiting period under the competition laws of Hawaii has expired.
The closing of the merger remains subject to approval by the
Financial Services Agency of Japan and the satisfaction of other
customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close
in the second quarter of 2012.

                About Delphi Financial Group, Inc.

Delphi Financial Group, Inc. -- http://www.delphifin.com-- is a
financial services company focused on specialty insurance and
insurance-related businesses. Delphi is a leader in managing all
aspects of employee absence to enhance the productivity of its
clients and provides the related group insurance coverages: long-
term and short-term disability, life, excess workers' compensation
for self-insured employers, large casualty programs including
large deductible workers' compensation, travel accident, dental
and limited benefit health insurance.  Delphi's asset accumulation
business emphasizes individual annuity products.


DIAMOND FOODS: Settlement Notification Program Begins
-----------------------------------------------------
A notification program began on April 9, as ordered by the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California, to
purchasers of Diamond of California brand walnut products about a
proposed class action settlement of Zeisel v. Diamond Foods, Inc.,
Case No. 3:10-cv-1192-JSW.

This lawsuit claims that Diamond made false and misleading
statements on package labels and the company's Web site relating
to the health benefits of walnut consumption.  Diamond denies it
did anything wrong, defended itself throughout the litigation and
asserts that its labels and Web site were truthful and consistent
with the law.  The court has not decided who is right, and this
settlement does not mean Defendant did anything wrong.

The proposed settlement includes all consumers who, for personal
or household use, purchased Diamond of California brand walnuts,
which include, but are not limited to, Shelled, Halves, Chopped,
Finely Diced, Chips, Nut Topping, and In-the-Shell Walnuts
products in the United States from March 22, 2006 through January
30, 2012.  Together these people are called a "Class" or "Class
Members." Purchasers who bought these walnut products for resale
are not included.

Notices informing Class Members of their legal rights are
scheduled to appear in national publications, leading up to a
court hearing on August 24, 2012, when the court will decide
whether to grant final approval of the settlement.

If approved, the Settlement will make payments to Class Members
who timely submit valid Claim Forms.  Those included in the
Settlement may send in a claim form to ask for a payment, or they
can exercise other legal rights such as asking to be excluded
from, or objecting to, the settlement.  The deadline to submit
claims is September 7, 2012.  The deadline for exclusions and
objections is July 30, 2012.

The Court appointed the law firms Stember Feinstein Doyle Payne &
Kravec, LLC, Braun Law Group, P.C., and the Law Offices of Janet
Lindner Spielberg as "Class Counsel" to represent the people
included in the settlement.  More information, including a
detailed notice and a claim form is available at
http://www.WalnutLabelingSettlement.com

Those included in the settlement may also call 1-855-879-4045 or
write to:

          Zeisel v. Diamond Foods, Inc. Claims Administrator
          P.O. Box 43053
          Providence, RI 02940-3053


ERIE COUNTY, NY: S.C.'s Strip Search Ruling to Affect Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------------
Buffalo News reports that two class-action lawsuits that involve
thousands of former jail inmates in Erie and Niagara counties have
been weakened by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows jails to
conduct strip-searches on inmates held on minor offenses.

The federal lawsuits over strip-searches in Erie and Niagara
counties have been on hold for a year as attorneys in the cases
awaited the decision from the nation's highest court on a similar
case, which involved a New Jersey man who was forced to undress
for a strip-search after he was arrested on a warrant for an
unpaid fine.

A divided Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that visual strip-searches can
be done on inmates entering a jail's general population regardless
of the level of offense for which they're being held.

That ruling will have an effect on the class-action claims in Erie
and Niagara counties, according to attorneys involved on both
sides in the local cases, but they paint different pictures of the
extent of the impact here.

The Supreme Court ruling "validates" the conduct of law
enforcement officers at the jails, said James P. Domagalski, a
Hiscock and Barclay attorney who is defending the counties.

"This decision will demonstrate that law enforcement in both Erie
and Niagara counties were acting appropriately in the interest of
not only the officers running the jail, but also the other
prisoners and the actual detainees themselves, to make sure that
contraband was not brought into the facility," Mr. Domagalski
said.

But there are important distinctions between the Supreme Court
case involving New Jersey resident Albert W. Florence and the way
strip-searches were done in Erie County, according to an attorney
who helped bring the lawsuits against Erie and Niagara counties.

"Obviously the Florence case has an important effect on the Erie
County jail case, in that the searches that were at issue have
now, unfortunately, been declared legal by a one-vote majority of
the United States Supreme Court," said Elmer Robert Keach, one of
several attorneys representing former inmates at the jails.  "But
that doesn't end the inquiry because the searches were not done,
as the searches of Florence [were], on individuals who were in
privacy by themselves."

Mr. Keach said he plans to pursue the Erie County case based on
evidence that he said will show incoming inmates at the Erie
County facilities were strip-searched in groups in front of other
detainees.

"That's obviously an additional level of humiliation," Mr. Keach
said.

Mr. Keach said he plans to pursue the Niagara County case based on
the allegation that arrestees were strip-searched there regardless
of whether they were heading into the jail's general population --
a scenario that the Supreme Court's ruling did not address.

The local cases were certified as class-action lawsuits,
potentially affecting an estimated 30,000 former inmates who
entered the jail facilities in Erie County between July 22, 2001,
and May 1, 2004, and an estimated 4,000 who entered the Niagara
County jail after May 2003.

In the New Jersey case, Florence was strip-searched in two county
jails after being arrested on a warrant for an unpaid fine that he
had, in fact, paid.  The court majority said the circumstances of
the arrest were of little importance.

"Correctional officials have a legitimate interest, indeed a
responsibility, to ensure that jails are not made less secure by
reason of what new detainees may carry in on their bodies,"
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in the court's decision.

Previously, some lower federal courts had ruled that arrestees
accused of minor offenses could only be strip-searched if there
was a reasonable suspicion they held contraband.

The new ruling provoked concern from Supreme Court Justice Stephen
G. Breyer that it would create a "policy that would subject those
arrested for minor offenses to serious invasions of their personal
privacy."

Erie County Undersheriff Mark Wipperman said current policy at the
Erie County Holding Center is that incoming inmates are subjected
to a pat-down frisk over one layer of clothing.  A supervisor must
sign off on a strip-search if there is suspicion of contraband,
Mr. Wipperman said.


FACEBOOK: Vows to Fight "Sponsored Story" Class Action
------------------------------------------------------
Gillian Shaw, writing for Vancouver Sun, reports that Facebook has
vowed to fight back against a lawsuit seeking to end its practice
of turning Facebook users into brand ambassadors when they hit the
"like" button for a product or service.

"This case has no merit and we will defend ourselves against it
vigorously," Facebook told The Vancouver Sun in an e-mailed
response to a request for an interview.

At issue in the suit, filed in B.C. Supreme Court, is Facebook's
handling of users' privacy under its policy of equating a Facebook
"like" with permission to use a person's name and photo in what
Facebook refers to as "sponsored stories" that appear on friends'
pages.  Companies or organizations can pay Facebook to have those
sponsored stories show up repeatedly on the friends' pages.

There is no opt-out provision in Facebook's privacy settings to
protect people who may not want their likes to be used as brand or
product endorsements.

The issue is also being followed by the Office of the Information
and Privacy Commissioner for B.C., which has the power to launch
its own investigation into the controversial practice.

And it has raised the ire of Facebook users who are calling lawyer
Luciana Brasil to voice their disapproval of the practice that has
the social networking giant facing a class-action lawsuit brought
by Ms. Brasil on behalf of Vancouver's Debbie Douez.

Ms. Brasil's law firm Branch MacMaster is compiling a database of
potential claimants in the proposed class action, which was filed
last week.

"The first thing we are asking them to do is to stop doing that,"
Ms. Brasil said of Facebook's practice of using its members'
photos and names in the so-called "sponsored stories."

"We are seeking an injunction, if the court concludes we are
right, then we are asking the court to make them stop. We are also
asking them for damages."

Ms. Douez said she only discovered her photo and name were
appearing on friends' Facebook pages when a friend asked her about
her endorsement of a company.

"My friend said, 'I saw your ad with Tough Mudder.  Are you doing
some-thing with them?'" said Ms. Douez.

Ms. Douez said users should be able to opt out of having their
names and photos associated with advertising such as the sponsored
stories.

"You can't opt out of it," she said.  "They say in their FAQ
[frequently asked questions] that this is one thing you can't opt
out of.  This has to change.

"I think they have completely over-stepped their privilege here."

Facebook users who play games, share a Web site, RSVP to a
Facebook page event or participate in other activities can also
find their names and photos in the sponsored stories ads.

The lawsuit is based on British Columbia's Privacy Act, alleging
it breaches section three of the act, which covers unauthorized
use of people's names or portraits.  But the privacy
commissioner's office said Facebook's use of its users'
information is also covered by B.C.'s Personal Information
Protection Act (PIPA), which comes under the commissioner's
jurisdiction, and Canada's Personal Information and Protection
Electronics Documents Act, which comes under the federal privacy
commissioner's act.

B.C.'s privacy commissioner doesn't oversee the province's Privacy
Act.

"We have not initiated an investigation but we are aware of the
issue and we will be keeping an eye on it as the situation
develops," said Caitlin Lemiski, policy analyst with the office of
B.C.'s privacy commissioner.

"We do have the power to initiate our own investigations, regard-
less of whether or not we receive a complaint."

People "like" brands or products on Facebook for a variety of
reasons: It could be a requirement to enter a con-test as is the
case with the Canucks Facebook page or a current one by Air Wick
that requires a "like" to enter a contest to win a trip to Rome.

You may not even know what Air Wick is, but as the price of
entering that contest, you've given Facebook permission to make
you a spokesperson promoting the brand.

Ms. Brasil said it isn't clear to users that when they hit the
"like" button their names and images are going to be used in the
sponsored stories, meaning many Facebook members may not realize
they are endorsing a product.

"Just because you 'like' something doesn't necessarily mean you
want to advertise it," she said.  "You may like a particular kind
of cereal, but that doesn't mean tomorrow morning you're going to
walk into a supermarket and give a license to the manufacturer to
put your name and face on a cereal box."

Ms. Lemiski said while PIPA allows organizations to obtain implied
consent, "they must be able to demonstrate that consent is in a
form that the individuals could reasonably be considered to
understand."

And if you don't want your name and photo used to promote products
or services on Facebook? Don't hit the "like" button.

"My advice would be to do one's best to try to read and understand
the rules that govern your social media and other Web sites," said
Vancouver lawyer Marko Vesely.  "It's not always easy, but if it
matters to you, it is worth the effort.

"People may want to be a little more careful about what they
choose to 'like' and endorse and sign up for," he said.

Ms. Brasil said similar class actions against Facebook are being
filed in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Facebook faces a similar court action in the United States.  Last
December, a judge there blocked Facebook's bid for dismissal of a
lawsuit concerning its use of sponsored stories.


GROUPON INC: Girard Gibbs Files Class Action in Illinois
--------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Girard Gibbs LLP has filed a class action lawsuit
against Groupon, Inc. on behalf of investors who purchased Groupon
common stock between November 4, 2011 and March 30, 2012.  The
lawsuit charges Groupon, and certain of its officers and
directors, and the underwriters of Groupon's initial public
offering with violations of federal securities laws for false and
misleading statements related to Groupon's financial results and
internal controls.

The lawsuit, captioned Einspahr v. Groupon, Inc. et al., is
pending in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois.  The complaint alleges that defendants
violated the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 by issuing a series of misrepresentations and
omissions related to Groupon's internal controls, financial
results and business.

In November 2011, Groupon went public with an offering of 35
million shares priced at $20 per share, netting Groupon $658
million and its underwriters $42 million.  In a press release and
its first annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on March 30, 2012, Groupon announced that it was
revising its fourth quarter 2011 financial results, resulting in a
$14.3 million reduction to its fourth quarter revenues.  Groupon
also disclosed that its auditors found a material weakness in its
internal controls, and that it could not assure the accuracy of
its financial statements.

On April 2, 2012, the first trading day following Groupon's
announcement, the company's stock price dropped by nearly 17% to
$15.27, well below its $20 IPO price and the class period high of
$26.19.

"The fact that Groupon had to revise its numbers so soon after its
initial public offering raises significant questions about its
financial reporting," said attorney Jonathan Levine of Girard
Gibbs.  "It is crucial that investors in public companies are
provided with the most accurate information available when they
are making the decision to invest."

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions
concerning your rights as an investor in Groupon, please contact
Girard Gibbs LLP ( http://www.girardgibbs.com/case/97/groupon-
lawsuit/) or call toll-free at (866) 981-4800.  Any member of the
putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff
through counsel of his or her choice, or may choose to do nothing
and remain an absent class member.  If you would like to serve as
lead plaintiff in this action, you must move the Court no later
than June 4, 2012.  A copy of the complaint is available from the
Court, or can be viewed on Girard Gibbs LLP's Web site:
http://www.GirardGibbs.com

Girard Gibbs is a national litigation firm representing consumers,
investors, employees, and small businesses in cases involving
securities litigation, consumer protection, personal injury,
antitrust, and employment laws.


MAHINDRA SATYAM: Aberdeen Seeks $150 Million in Fraud Damages
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Economic Times reports that a group of investors led by
Scottish investment house Aberdeen Asset Management have claimed
damages from Mahindra Satyam in connection with losses they
allegedly suffered on account of the 2009 fraud perpetrated by
erstwhile Satyam promoter.

The investors claim losses in excess of $150 million and interest
at the rate of 8%, Satyam informed Indian stock exchanges on
April 7.  The claim notice relates to legal action initiated by
Aberdeen Global and others before the High Court of Justice,
Queen's Bench Division, Commercial Court in the UK.

This is the latest in a series of legal hurdle that Satyam had to
navigate in its journey since the fraud and it is expected to pose
a fresh challenge to the recently announced merger with Tech
Mahindra, whose parent Mahindra Group acquired the fraud-hit
Satyam in a government mediated auction in April 2009.

It is not clear if Aberdeen was part of a class action suit
initiated by investors in the US that Satyam had settled for $125
million.

Other legal settlements that Satyam entered into post-fraud
include damages of about $10 million paid to the US market
regulator Securities Exchange Commissions and a $70 million to
settlement with British telecommunications software firm Upaid in
an unrelated, intellectual property rights violation case.

In its earnings disclosures, Satyam has acknowledged the legal
action initiated by Aberdeen, but has maintained that it is
difficult to calculate the potential liability arising from such
claims because of subjectivity involved in arriving at damages
caused.

Besides legal damages claimed by investors in erstwhile Satyam's
shares and American Depository Receipts listed on the New York
Stock Exchange, the software services firm is also facing a tax
claim of INR617 crore from Indian tax authorities.  Satyam has
contested the claims but have submitted bank guarantees for the
amount as directed by the Supreme Court.

Merger of Satyam and Tech Mahindra, a specialized information
technology services firm catering to telecommunication industry,
will create an entity with revenues of $2.4billion, making it the
sixth largest India based outsourcing services firm.


MBIA INC: Discovery Cut-Off in "Aurelius" Suit Set for Nov. 9
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court of the Southern District of New
York set a discovery cut-off date of November 9, 2012, in the
class action lawsuit commenced by Aurelius Capital Master, Ltd. et
al., according to MBIA Inc.'s February 29, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2011.

On March 11, 2009, a complaint was filed in the United States
District Court of the Southern District of New York against MBIA,
MBIA Corp. and National, entitled Aurelius Capital Master, Ltd. et
al. v. MBIA Inc. et al., 09-cv-2242 (S.D.N.Y.).  The lead
plaintiffs, Aurelius Capital Master, Ltd., Aurelius Capital
Partners, LP, Fir Tree Value Master Fund, L.P., Fir Tree Capital
Opportunity Master Fund, L.P., and Fir Tree Mortgage Opportunity
Master Fund, L.P. (the "Aurelius Plaintiffs"), purport to be
acting as representatives for a class consisting of all holders of
securities, instruments, or other obligations for which MBIA
Corp., before February 18, 2009, issued financial guarantee
insurance other than United States municipal/governmental bond
securities. The complaint alleges that certain of the terms of the
transactions entered into by MBIA Corp., which were approved by
the New York State Department of Insurance, constituted fraudulent
conveyances under Sections 273, 274 and 276 of the New York Debtor
and Creditor Law and a breach of the implied covenant of good
faith and fair dealing under New York common law.  The Complaint
seeks, inter alia, (a) a declaration that the alleged fraudulent
conveyances are null and void and set aside, (b) a declaration
that National is responsible for the insurance policies issued by
MBIA Corp. up to February 17, 2009, and (c) an award of damages in
an unspecified amount together with costs, expenses and attorneys'
fees in connection with the action.

In light of the June 28, 2011 Court of Appeals decision in the
lawsuit captioned entitled ABN AMRO Bank N.V. et al. v. MBIA Inc.
et al., on July 27, 2011, the court entered an amended case
management plan and scheduling order setting a discovery cut-off
of November 9, 2012.  On August 8, 2011, Fir Tree Value Master
Fund, L.P., Fir Tree Capital Opportunity Master Fund, L.P., and
Fir Tree Mortgage Opportunity Master Fund, L.P. voluntarily
dismissed all claims against defendants without prejudice.

MBIA Inc. provides financial guarantee insurance, as well as
related reinsurance, advisory and portfolio services, for the
public and structured finance markets, and asset management
advisory services, on a global basis.  The Company was
incorporated as a business corporation under the laws of the state
of Connecticut in 1986, and is based in Armonk, New York.


MBIA INC: Motion to Dismiss 2005 Securities Suit Remains Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
MBIA Inc.'s motion to dismiss a consolidated securities class
action lawsuit commenced in 2005 remains pending, according to the
Company's February 29, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2011.

The Company was named as a defendant, along with certain of its
current and former officers, in private securities actions that
were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York as In re MBIA Inc. Securities Litigation;
(Case No. 05 CV 03514(LLS); S.D.N.Y.) (filed October 3, 2005).
The plaintiffs asserted claims under Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.
The lead plaintiffs purport to be acting as representatives for a
class consisting of purchasers of the Company's stock during the
period from August 5, 2003, to March 30, 2005 (the "Class
Period").  The lawsuit asserts, among other things, violations of
the federal securities laws arising out of the Company's allegedly
false and misleading statements about its financial condition and
the nature of the arrangements entered into by MBIA Corp. in
connection with a health care transaction loss.  The plaintiffs
allege that, as a result of these misleading statements or
omissions, the Company's stock traded at artificially inflated
prices throughout the Class Period.

The defendants, including the Company, filed motions to dismiss
this lawsuit on various grounds.  On February 13, 2007, the Court
granted those motions, and dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety,
on the grounds that plaintiffs' claims are barred by the
applicable statute of limitations.  The Court did not reach the
other grounds for dismissal argued by the Company and the other
defendants.  On November 12, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal on
statute of limitations grounds, but remanded the case to allow the
plaintiffs to file an amended complaint.  The Second Consolidated
Amended Class Action Complaint was filed on
February 18, 2009.  On September 24, 2009, the Court dismissed
plaintiffs' complaint with prejudice.  On November 2, 2009, the
plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit.  On June 22 and 24, 2010, individual
defendants Juliette Tehrani and David Elliot, respectively, were
voluntarily dismissed from the litigation.  On February 28, 2011,
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the
district court's grant of the Company's motion to dismiss and
remanded the case back to the district court for reconsideration
of the statute of limitations analysis in light of the intervening
U.S. Supreme Court decision in Merck & Co. v. Reynolds as well as
to consider additional arguments in favor of dismissal propounded
by the Company.  On June 10, 2011, defendants filed a renewed
motion to dismiss the complaint.

MBIA Inc. provides financial guarantee insurance, as well as
related reinsurance, advisory and portfolio services, for the
public and structured finance markets, and asset management
advisory services, on a global basis.  The Company was
incorporated as a business corporation under the laws of the state
of Connecticut in 1986, and is based in Armonk, New York.


MCAFEE INC: Judge Refuses to Approve Class Action Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
Maria Dinzeo at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
judge refused to approve a settlement of class claims that McAfee
and an advertiser conspired to rook customers and share their
billing information.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who said the settlement agreement
"does not pass muster," found it impossible to differentiate
between class members who actually downloaded the advertiser's
software and those who did not.

The 2010 lawsuit alleges that McAfee partnered with online
advertiser Arpu dba TryAndBuy.com.  After customers bought
McAfee's anti-virus program, an Arpu ad for a separate product
would pop up.  Customers say they clicked the "Try It Now" pop-up
and unwittingly bought the Arpu product called PerfectSpeed
because they thought clicking was a necessary step toward
downloading McAfee's anti-virus software.  Arpu charged $4.95 a
month for PerfectSpeed after a 30-day free trial, using the credit
card information already on file with McAfee, according to the
suit.

Class members who did not download the software reached a $1.2
million settlement with McAfee and Arpu in July 2011.  A separate
class of customers who downloaded Arpu's software never reached a
final agreement.

"It is not even possible to know, therefore, what percentage of
the settlement class is entitled to recover the settlement
benefits, and what percentage is not entitled to recover anything
under the terms of the agreement," Judge Koh wrote.

"Fundamentally, the situations of the two subclasses are distinct
because they raise different claims.  Those who did not download
the Arpu software claim that they were charged for something that
they never received.  In contrast, the downloaders are in a
different position."

"Some class members may have been misled into believing that the
software was provided by McAfee; never intended to purchase the
software despite the download; or did not intend to transfer their
credit or debit card information to a third party," she added.
"On the other hand, other downloaders may have knowingly and
purposefully downloaded the Arpu software with the intention to
pay the monthly charges after the 30-day free trial period ended.
Thus, the claims of the subclasses are not common."

Judge Koh also found that the class representatives, Melissa
Ferrington, Cheryl Schmidt, Christopher Bennett and Christi Hall,
all belong to the subclass that did not download the Arpu software
and do not represent the claims of the entire class.

"Because the class representatives are entitled to recover under
the terms of the settlement, while the remaining class members may
not, the claims of the named plaintiffs are not typical of the
claims of the class as a whole," she wrote.

Judge Koh rejected the non-downloaders' claims that it was fair
for the others to receive nothing from the settlement.

"While the court agrees that the claims of the downloader subclass
are relatively weak, that does not necessarily mean that the
downloaders suffered no compensable harm," she wrote.  "The
downloader subclass may still have claims arising out of the
McAfee program that will be extinguished through the class
settlement here.  The claims of the downloader subclass are not so
meritless that releasing the claims for no consideration is fair
and reasonable."

A copy of the Order Denying Final Approval Without Prejudice in
Ferrington, et al. v. McAfee, Inc., et al., Case No. 10-cv-01455
(N.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/10/510-cv-01455.pdf


METLIFE HOME: Faces Class Action in California Over Foreclosures
----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that in a "lawless rush to seize
homes," MetLife Home Loans, UTLS Default Services and the McCarthy
& Holthus law office foreclose without obtaining assignment of the
mortgage and power of sale of the property, a class action claims
in Los Angeles Superior Court.


MGM RESORTS: Motions to Dismiss Consolidated Suit Remain Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
Motions to dismiss a consolidated securities litigation remain
pending, MGM Resorts International disclosed in its February 29,
2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

In 2009 various shareholders filed six lawsuits in Nevada federal
and state court against the Company and various of its former and
current directors and officers alleging federal securities laws
violations and/or related breaches of fiduciary duties in
connection with statements allegedly made by the defendants during
the period August 2007 through the date of such lawsuit filings in
2009 (the "class period").  In general, the lawsuits assert the
same or similar allegations, including that during the relevant
period defendants artificially inflated the Company's common stock
price by knowingly making materially false and misleading
statements and omissions to the investing public about the
Company's financial statements and condition, operations,
CityCenter, and the intrinsic value of the Company's common stock;
that these alleged misstatements and omissions thereby enabled
certain Company insiders to derive personal profit from the sale
of Company common stock to the public; that defendants caused
plaintiffs and other shareholders to purchase Company common stock
at artificially inflated prices; and that defendants imprudently
implemented a share repurchase program to the detriment of the
Company.  The lawsuits seek unspecified compensatory damages,
restitution and disgorgement of alleged profits and/or attorneys'
fees and costs in amounts to be proven at trial, as well as
injunctive relief related to corporate governance.

In November 2009, the U.S. District Court for Nevada consolidated
the Robert Lowinger v. MGM MIRAGE, et al. (Case No. 2:09-cv-01558-
RCL-LRL, filed August 19, 2009) and Khachatur Hovhannisyan v. MGM
MIRAGE, et al. (Case No. 2:09-cv-02011-LRH-RJJ, filed October 19,
2009) putative class actions under the caption In re MGM MIRAGE
Securities Litigation, Case No. 2:09-cv-01558-GMN-LRL.  The cases
name the Company and certain former and current directors and
officers as defendants and allege violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  These cases were transferred in July 2010
to the Honorable Gloria M. Navarro.  In October 2010 the court
appointed several employee retirement benefits funds as co-lead
plaintiffs and their counsel as co-lead and co-liaison counsel.
In January 2011, lead plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended
complaint, alleging that between August 2, 2007, and March 5,
2009, the Company, its directors and certain of its officers
artificially inflated the market price of the Company's securities
by knowingly making materially false and misleading public
statements and omissions concerning the Company's financial
condition, its liquidity, its access to credit, and the costs and
progress of construction of the CityCenter development.  The
consolidated amended complaint asserts violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 thereunder.

On March 15, 2011, all defendants moved to dismiss the
consolidated amended complaint on the grounds that it fails to
allege facts upon which relief could be granted under the federal
securities laws, and on the further ground that the complaint
fails to satisfy the heightened pleading standards mandated by the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act ("PSLRA").  The motions
to dismiss emphasize three primary arguments: 1) the complaint
fails to allege that the defendants made false or misleading
statements of fact, as opposed to statements concerning plans and
expectations that did not anticipate the severity of the financial
crisis of 2008-2009 and the challenges presented by constructing
CityCenter; 2) the complaint fails to allege facts supporting a
"strong inference" of wrongful intent, as the PSLRA requires; and
3) the complaint fails to plead adequately that the alleged
wrongdoing was the cause of the decline in the price of the
Company's publicly traded securities.  The parties completed the
briefing in support of, and in opposition to, the motions to
dismiss, and requested oral argument on the motions.  The motions
to dismiss remain pending, without scheduling of oral argument or
ruling on the motions without oral argument to date.

                        About MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) --
http://www.mgmresorts.com/-- has significant holdings in gaming,
hospitality and entertainment, owns and operates 15 properties
located in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan, and has 50%
investments in four other properties in Nevada, Illinois and
Macau.


MOHAWK INDUSTRIES: Faces New Polyurethane Class Suit in Canada
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mohawk Industries, Inc. is facing an additional class action
lawsuit in Canada brought on behalf of purchasers of polyurethane
foam products, according to the Company's February 29, 2012, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2011.

Beginning in August 2010, a series of civil lawsuits were
initiated in several U.S. federal courts alleging that certain
manufacturers of polyurethane foam products and competitors of the
Company's carpet underlay division had engaged in price fixing in
violation of U.S. antitrust laws.  Mohawk has been named as a
defendant in seven of the 43 cases filed (the first on August 26,
2010), as well as in two consolidated amended class action
complaints, the first filed on February 28, 2011, on behalf of a
class of all direct purchasers of polyurethane foam products, and
the second filed on March 21, 2011, on behalf of a class of
indirect purchasers.  All pending cases in which the Company has
been named as a defendant have been filed in or transferred to the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for
consolidated pre-trial proceedings under the name In re:
Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 1:10-MDL-02196.

In these actions, the plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and/or a
class of purchasers, seek three times the amount of unspecified
damages allegedly suffered as a result of alleged overcharges in
the price of polyurethane foam products from at least 1999 to the
present.  Each plaintiff also seeks attorney fees, pre-judgment
and post-judgment interest, court costs, and injunctive relief
against future violations.  In April 2011, the Company filed a
motion to dismiss the class action claims brought by the direct
purchasers, and in May 2011, the Company moved to dismiss the
claims brought by the indirect purchasers.  On July 19, 2011, the
Court issued a written opinion denying all defendants' motions to
dismiss.

In December 2011, the Company was named as a defendant in a
Canadian Class action, Hi! Neighbor Floor Covering Co. Limited, v.
Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company, et al., filed in the
Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, Canada, that alleges similar
claims against the Company as raised in the U.S. actions and seeks
unspecified damages and punitive damages.  The Company denies all
of the allegations in these actions and will vigorously defend
itself.

The Company believes that adequate provisions for resolution of
all contingencies, claims and pending litigation have been made
for probable losses and that the ultimate outcome of these actions
will not have a material adverse effect on its financial condition
but could have a material adverse effect on its results of
operations in a given quarter or year.

Mohawk Industries, Inc. -- http://www.mohawkind.com/-- is a
supplier of flooring for both residential and commercial
applications.  Mohawk offers a complete selection of carpet,
ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone, vinyl, and rugs.  These
products are marketed under the premier brands in the industry,
which include Mohawk, Karastan, Lees, Bigelow, Dal-Tile, American
Olean, Unilin and Quick Step.  Mohawk's unique merchandising and
marketing assist the Company's customers in creating the
consumers' dream.  Mohawk provides a premium level of service with
its own trucking fleet and local distribution.


NBT BANCORP: Awaits Ruling on Motion to Dismiss Suit vs. Bank
-------------------------------------------------------------
NBT Bancorp Inc. is awaiting a court decision on its motion to
dismiss a purported class action lawsuit filed against its
subsidiary, according to the Company's February 29, 2012, Form 10-
K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company's subsidiary, NBT Bank, N.A. (the "Bank"), has been
named as a defendant in a purported class action lawsuit.  The
complaint was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York,
County of Delaware, on September 12, 2011, and alleges that the
Bank engaged in certain unfair practices and failed to make
adequate disclosure to customers concerning its overdraft fee
assessment practices.  The complaint seeks certification of a
class of national checking account holders who have incurred
overdraft fees and a subclass of such customers who reside in New
York.  In addition, the complaint seeks actual and punitive
damages, disgorgement, interest and costs including attorneys'
fees.  The Company filed a motion in September 2011 to dismiss the
complaint in its entirety, the motion was argued in January 2012,
and the judge reserved decision.

The Company believes the claims to be without merit and intends to
defend the action vigorously.


NEWELL RUBBERMAID: Defends Three Product Liability Class Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is defending three product liability class
action lawsuits, according to the Company's February 29, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company is currently a party to two purported state class
actions and one purported national Canadian class action.  The
cases include allegations that a certain model car seat sold by an
affiliate of the Company did not satisfy all requisite government
safety standards.

The Company says it is vigorously defending all three actions.


OLD REPUBLIC: Consumer Suit vs. ORNTIC Remains Stayed in Calif.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The remaining purported consumer lawsuit filed against a
subsidiary of Old Republic International Corporation remains
stayed in California, according to the Company's February 29,
2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Beginning in early February 2008, some 80 purported consumer class
action lawsuits were filed against the title industry's principal
title insurance companies, their subsidiaries and affiliates, and
title insurance rating bureaus or associations in at least 10
states.  The Company's principal title insurance subsidiary, Old
Republic National Title Insurance Company ("ORNTIC"), was a named
defendant in actions filed in five of the states.  The lawsuits
were substantially identical in alleging that the defendant title
insurers engaged in illegal price-fixing agreements to set
artificially high premium rates and conspired to create premium
rates which the state insurance regulatory authorities could not
evaluate and therefore, could not adequately regulate.  Most of
the lawsuits have since been dismissed, and the dismissals are
currently being appealed.  Of those remaining, ORNTIC is currently
among the named defendants in only one of these actions, in
California.  The anti-trust allegations in the California action
have been dismissed and only the allegations of improper business
practices under state law remain.  On June 28, 2011, the Federal
District Court for the Northern District of California granted a
motion to stay the litigation and compel arbitration of individual
claims, thus precluding the certification of a class action.  The
other lawsuits in which ORNTIC was a named defendant have all been
dismissed at the trial court level.

Old Republic International Corporation is among U.S.'s 50 largest
publicly held insurance organizations, with a substantial interest
in major segments of the industry.  The Company is primarily a
commercial lines underwriter, serving many of America's leading
industrial and financial services companies as valued customers.


OLD REPUBLIC: ORHP Faces Another Class Suit in California
---------------------------------------------------------
Old Republic International Corporation's subsidiary is facing
another class action lawsuit in California, according to the
Company's February 29, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

National class action lawsuits have been filed against the
Company's subsidiary, Old Republic Home Protection Company
("ORHP"), in the California Superior Court, San Diego, and the
U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Alabama.  The California
lawsuit (Campion v. Old Republic Home Protection) has been filed
on behalf of all persons who made a claim under an ORHP home
warranty contract from March 6, 2003, to the present.  The lawsuit
alleges breach of contract, breach of the implicit covenant of
good faith and fair dealing, violations of certain California
consumer protection laws, and misrepresentation arising out of
ORHP's alleged failure to adopt and implement reasonable standards
for the prompt investigation and processing of claims under its
home warranty contracts.  The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages
consisting of the rescission of the class members' contracts,
restitution of all sums paid by the class members, punitive
damages, and declaratory and injunctive relief.  ORHP removed the
action to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
California, and on January 6, 2011, the Court denied plaintiff's
motion for class certification.  The Alabama lawsuit (Barker v.
Old Republic Home Protection) alleges that ORHP paid fees to real
estate brokers to market its home warranty contracts and that the
payment of such fees was in violation of Section 8(a) of the Real
Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA").  The lawsuit seeks
unspecified damages, including treble damages under RESPA.  No
class has been certified in the Alabama action.  Neither action is
expected to result in any material liability to the Company.

On January 27, 2012, a purported national class action lawsuit was
filed in the Federal District Court, Northern District of
California, Oakland Division, by the same plaintiff and the same
law firm that filed the lawsuit against ORHP in California.  This
second lawsuit names as defendants the Company and five of its
subsidiaries (Campion v. Old Republic International Corporation,
Old Republic Home Protection Company, Inc., Old Republic National
Title Insurance Company, Mississippi Valley Title Insurance
Company, American Guaranty Title Insurance Company, and Republic
Mortgage Insurance Company).  The lawsuit alleges unfair, unlawful
and fraudulent business practices in violation of California's
Business & Professions Code -- substantially similar to the
allegations in plaintiff's lawsuit against ORHP in the Federal
District Court for the Southern District of California -- and the
payment of commissions and kickbacks in violation of the
California Insurance Code and the RESPA.  The lawsuit seeks
declaratory injunctive relief, restitution and treble damages in
unspecified amounts, and costs and fees.

Old Republic International Corporation is among U.S.'s 50 largest
publicly held insurance organizations, with a substantial interest
in major segments of the industry.  The Company is primarily a
commercial lines underwriter, serving many of America's leading
industrial and financial services companies as valued customers.


OLD REPUBLIC: ORNTIC Appeals Order Certifying Class in Texas Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of Old Republic International Corporation is
appealing an order certifying a class in a lawsuit pending in
Texas, according to the Company's February 29, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

Purported class action lawsuits are pending against the Company's
principal title insurance subsidiary, Old Republic National Title
Insurance Company ("ORNTIC"), in federal courts in two states --
Pennsylvania (Markocki et al. v. ORNTIC, U.S. District Court,
Eastern District, Pennsylvania, filed June 8, 2006), and Texas
(Ahmad et al. v. ORNTIC, U.S. District Court, Northern District,
Texas, Dallas Division, filed February 8, 2008).  The plaintiffs
allege that ORNTIC failed to give consumers reissue and/or
refinance credits on the premiums charged for title insurance
covering mortgage refinancing transactions, as required by rate
schedules filed by ORNTIC or by state rating bureaus with the
state insurance regulatory authorities.  The Pennsylvania lawsuit
also alleges violations of the federal Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act ("RESPA").  The Court in the Texas lawsuit
dismissed similar RESPA allegations.  Classes have been certified
in both actions, but the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted
ORNTIC's motion appealing the Texas class certification.

Old Republic International Corporation is among U.S.'s 50 largest
publicly held insurance organizations, with a substantial interest
in major segments of the industry.  The Company is primarily a
commercial lines underwriter, serving many of America's leading
industrial and financial services companies as valued customers.


OLD REPUBLIC: Units Face Three RESPA-Violations Class Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Old Republic International Corporation's subsidiaries are facing
three purported class action lawsuits alleging violations of the
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, according to the Company's
February 29, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Three purported class action lawsuits alleging Real Estate
Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA") violations were filed, on
December 9, 2011, December 30, 2011 and January 13, 2012, in the
Federal District Courts for the Central District of California,
Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Western District of
Pennsylvania, respectively.  The lawsuits target J.P. Morgan Chase
Bank, N.A., the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. as successor to
National City Bank, N.A. and Citibank, N.A., respectively, each of
their wholly-owned captive insurance subsidiaries and a number of
the mortgage guaranty insurance companies, including the Company's
mortgage insurance subsidiaries, Republic Mortgage Insurance
Company and Republic Mortgage Insurance Company of North Carolina
(together "RMIC") --(Samp, Komarchuk, Whitaker v. J.P. Morgan
Chase Bank, N.A. et al.; White, Hightower v. The PNC Financial
Services Group, Inc. et al.; Menichino v. Citibank, N.A., et al.)
The lawsuits, filed by the same law firms in each case, are
substantially identical in alleging that the mortgage guaranty
insurers had reinsurance arrangements with the defendant banks'
captive insurance subsidiaries under which payments were made in
violation of the anti-kickback and fee splitting prohibitions of
Sections 8(a) and 8(b) of RESPA.  Each of the three lawsuits seeks
unspecified damages, costs, fees and the return of the allegedly
improper payments.  A class has not been certified in any of the
three lawsuits.

Old Republic International Corporation is among U.S.'s 50 largest
publicly held insurance organizations, with a substantial interest
in major segments of the industry.  The Company is primarily a
commercial lines underwriter, serving many of America's leading
industrial and financial services companies as valued customers.


PALM COAST, FL: Wants Red-Light Camera Suit Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------
Frank Fernandez, writing for The Daytona Beach News-Journal,
reports that Palm Coast is asking a judge to toss out a red-light
camera class-action lawsuit against the city, citing a favorable
ruling by an appeals court.

William G. Mayfield sued the city in 2009 over its use of red-
light cameras at some intersections to ticket people either
running lights or turning right on red without sufficiently
slowing.  Mr. Mayfield also sued American Traffic Solutions, which
provides the red-light cameras for Palm Coast.  Last month,
American Traffic Solutions opted to settle with Mr. Mayfield and a
hearing will be scheduled in Flagler County circuit court to
discuss some of the terms.

But Palm Coast, which had been considering a settlement, opted to
fight on.  The 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the
city of Aventura in South Florida and against the plaintiff in a
similar case, City Attorney William Reischmann said during a
recent workshop.

"It was very favorable to local governments," Mr. Reischmann said
of the court's decision.

He said the plaintiffs in the case of Aventura versus Masone asked
for a rehearing and to move the issue to the state Supreme Court.
But all the motions were denied.

That's good news for the city's legal battle against Mayfield,
which is in Flagler County Circuit Court.

"That means that until some other appeal that would come up to
another district court of appeal, that is the law right now in the
state of Florida from this court of appeal, which creates binding
precedent upon circuit courts," Mr. Reischmann said.

The fight is not over but it's a good sign, he said.

"Certainly no guarantees or no promises," Mr. Reischmann said.
"But it's moving in a direction that seems to be a positive
direction, as far as precedent.  And that's always a great thing
when you are in the middle of litigation."

Mayfield's attorney, Jason Weisser, did not return a call seeking
comment.

Palm Coast was the first city in Flagler or Volusia counties to
install the controversial cameras.  Besides Palm Coast, Daytona
Beach and Holly Hill also have cameras.  DeLand is considering
them.

In Palm Coast, red-light camera citations take a $158 bite out of
a driver's budget. That goes up to $254 if the motorist doesn't
pay in 60 days.

Palm Coast has 10 cameras monitoring six intersections: southbound
Belle Terre Parkway at Easthampton Boulevard; Palm Coast Parkway
and Cypress Point Parkway; Belle Terre Parkway and Cypress Point
Parkway; Palm Coast Parkway and Old Kings Road; Eastbound Palm
Coast Parkway and Belle Terre Parkway; and westbound Palm Coast
Parkway and Belle Terre Parkway.

The motion to dismiss Mayfield's lawsuit was filed recently by
Palm Coast.

"The Florida Constitution grants expansive powers to
municipalities," the city's motion states.

The city cites the similar lawsuit against the city of Aventura.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal, in ruling in Aventura's favor,
said that "municipalities enjoy broad home rule powers, the
regulation of vehicular traffic is a well-established legitimate
exercise of municipal police power."

The court decided that a city's power to operate red-light cameras
"was neither expressly nor impliedly (sic) pre-empted by state
law."

The appeals court also said that there is no need for a police
officer to witness a person running the red light by a camera.

The court also ruled against Masone and for Aventura on another
key issue, saying that the city did not create a new court to hear
appeals concerning red-light camera infractions but was rather
using existing mechanisms.

The city's attorney goes on to argue that Mayfield's lawsuit
should be dismissed because he has "no private right of action" to
continue the lawsuit.

The city also said that Mayfield cannot hold the city liable for
his claim that the city "improperly billed" him.


POPULAR INC: Settles "Almeyda-Santiago" Suit for $0.4 Million
-------------------------------------------------------------
Popular, Inc. settled the class action lawsuit captioned Almeyda-
Santiago v. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico for $0.4 million,
according to the Company's February 29, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2011.

On October 7, 2010, a putative class action for breach of contract
and damages captioned Almeyda-Santiago v. Banco Popular de Puerto
Rico, was filed in the Puerto Rico Court of First Instance against
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, the principal banking subsidiary of
Popular, Inc. (the "Corporation").  The complaint essentially
asserts that plaintiff and others similarly situated who he
purports to represent have suffered damages because of Banco
Popular's allegedly fraudulent overdraft fee practices in
connection with debit card transactions.  Such practices allegedly
consist of: (a) the reorganization of electronic debit
transactions in high-to-low order so as to multiply the number of
overdraft fees assessed on its customers; (b) the assessment of
overdraft fees even when clients have not overdrawn their
accounts; (c) the failure to disclose, or to adequately disclose,
its overdraft policy to its customers; and (d) the provision of
false and fraudulent information regarding its clients' account
balances at point of sale transactions and on its Web site.
Plaintiff seeks damages, restitution and provisional remedies
against Banco Popular for breach of contract, abuse of trust,
illegal conversion and unjust enrichment.  On January 13, 2011,
Banco Popular submitted a motion to dismiss the complaint, which
is still pending resolution.

In January 2012, the parties to the Almeyda action entered into a
memorandum of understanding.  Under the terms of this memorandum
of understanding, subject to certain customary conditions,
including court approval of a final settlement agreement, and in
consideration for the full and final settlement and release of all
defendants, the parties agreed that the amount of $0.4 million
will be paid by defendants, which amount, net of attorneys' fees,
shall be donated to one or more non-profit consumer financial
counseling services organizations based in Puerto Rico.  A
settlement stipulation and a joint motion for preliminary approval
of such settlement were to be filed with the Court by March 14,
2012.


POPULAR INC: Still Awaits Final Okay of ERISA Suit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Popular, Inc. is awaiting final approval of its settlement of a
consolidated class action suit alleging violations of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act, according to the Company's
February 29, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Between May 14, 2009, and September 9, 2009, five putative class
actions and two derivative claims were filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico
Court of First Instance, San Juan Part, against Popular, Inc. (the
"Corporation"), and certain of its directors and officers, among
others.  The five class actions were consolidated into two
separate actions: a securities class action captioned Hoff v.
Popular, Inc., et al. (consolidated with Otero v. Popular, Inc.,
et al.) and an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
class action entitled In re Popular, Inc. ERISA Litigation
(comprised of the consolidated cases of Walsh v. Popular, Inc., et
al.; Montanez v. Popular, Inc., et al.; and Dougan v. Popular,
Inc., et al.).

On October 19, 2009, plaintiffs in the Hoff case filed a
consolidated class action complaint which included as defendants
the underwriters in the May 2008 offering of Series B Preferred
Stock, among others.  The consolidated action purported to be on
behalf of purchasers of Popular's securities between January 24,
2008, and February 19, 2009, and alleged that the defendants
violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act by
issuing a series of allegedly false and/or misleading statements
and/or omitting to disclose material facts necessary to make
statements made by the Corporation not false and misleading.  The
consolidated action also alleged that the defendants violated
Section 11, Section 12(a)(2) and Section 15 of the Securities Act
by making allegedly untrue statements and/or omitting to disclose
material facts necessary to make statements made by the
Corporation not false and misleading in connection with the May
2008 offering of Series B Preferred Stock.  The consolidated
securities class action complaint sought class certification, an
award of compensatory damages and reasonable costs and expenses,
including counsel fees.  On January 11, 2010, the defendants moved
to dismiss the consolidated securities class action complaint.  On
August 2, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto
Rico granted the motion to dismiss filed by the underwriter
defendants on statute of limitations grounds.  The Court also
dismissed the Section 11 claim brought against Popular's directors
on statute of limitations grounds and the Section 12(a)(2) claim
brought against Popular because plaintiffs lacked standing.  The
Court declined to dismiss the claims brought against Popular and
certain of its officers under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act
(and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder), Section 20(a) of the
Exchange Act, and Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act,
holding that plaintiffs had adequately alleged that defendants
made materially false and misleading statements with the requisite
state of mind.

On November 30, 2009, plaintiffs in the ERISA case filed a
consolidated class action complaint.  The consolidated complaint
purported to be on behalf of employees participating in the
Popular, Inc. U.S.A. 401(k) Savings and Investment Plan and the
Popular, Inc. Puerto Rico Savings and Investment Plan from January
24, 2008, to the date of the Complaint to recover losses pursuant
to Sections 409 and 502(a)(2) of ERISA against Popular, certain
directors, officers and members of plan committees, each of whom
was alleged to be a plan fiduciary.  The consolidated complaint
alleged that defendants breached their alleged fiduciary
obligations by, among other things, failing to eliminate Popular
stock as an investment alternative in the plans.  The complaint
sought to recover alleged losses to the plans and equitable
relief, including injunctive relief and a constructive trust,
along with costs and attorneys' fees.  On December 21, 2009, and
in compliance with a scheduling order issued by the Court, Popular
and the individual defendants submitted an answer to the amended
complaint. Shortly thereafter, on December 31, 2009, Popular and
the individual defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
consolidated class action complaint or, in the alternative, for
judgment on the pleadings.  On May 5, 2010, a magistrate judge
issued a report and recommendation in which he recommended that
the motion to dismiss be denied except with respect to Banco
Popular de Puerto Rico, as to which he recommended that the motion
be granted.  On May 19, 2010, Popular filed objections to the
magistrate judge's report and recommendation.  On September 30,
2010, the Court issued an order without opinion granting in part
and denying in part the motion to dismiss and providing that the
Court would issue an opinion and order explaining its decision.
No opinion was, however, issued prior to the settlement in
principle.

The derivative actions (Garcia v. Carrion, et al. and Diaz v.
Carrion, et al.) were brought purportedly for the benefit of
nominal defendant Popular, Inc. against certain executive officers
and directors and alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, waste of
assets and abuse of control in connection with Popular's issuance
of allegedly false and misleading financial statements and
financial reports and the offering of the Series B Preferred
Stock.  The derivative complaints sought a judgment that the
action was a proper derivative action, an award of damages,
restitution, costs and disbursements, including reasonable
attorneys' fees, costs and expenses.  On October 9, 2009, the
Court coordinated for purposes of discovery the Garcia action and
the consolidated securities class action.  On October 15, 2009,
Popular and the individual defendants moved to dismiss the Garcia
complaint for failure to make a demand on the Board of Directors
prior to initiating litigation.  On November 20, 2009, plaintiffs
filed an amended complaint, and on December 21, 2009, Popular and
the individual defendants moved to dismiss the Garcia amended
complaint.  At a scheduling conference held on January 14, 2010,
the Court stayed discovery in both the Hoff and Garcia matters
pending resolution of their respective motions to dismiss.  On
August 11, 2010, the Court granted in part and denied in part the
motion to dismiss the Garcia action.  The Court dismissed the
gross mismanagement and corporate waste claims, but declined to
dismiss the breach of fiduciary duty claim.  The Diaz case, filed
in the Puerto Rico Court of First Instance, San Juan, was removed
to the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.  On
October 13, 2009, Popular and the individual defendants moved to
consolidate the Garcia and Diaz actions.  On October 26, 2009,
plaintiff moved to remand the Diaz case to the Puerto Rico Court
of First Instance and to stay defendants' consolidation motion
pending the outcome of the remand proceedings.  On September 30,
2010, the Court issued an order without opinion remanding the Diaz
case to the Puerto Rico Court of First Instance.  On
October 13, 2010, the Court issued a Statement of Reasons In
Support of Remand Order.  On October 28, 2010, Popular and the
individual defendants moved for reconsideration of the remand
order.  The court denied Popular's request for reconsideration
shortly thereafter.

On April 13, 2010, the Puerto Rico Court of First Instance in San
Juan granted summary judgment dismissing a separate complaint
brought by plaintiff in the Garcia action that sought to enforce
an alleged right to inspect the books and records of the
Corporation in support of the pending derivative action.  The
Court held that plaintiff had not propounded a "proper purpose"
under Puerto Rico law for such inspection.  On April 28, 2010,
plaintiff in that action moved for reconsideration of the Court's
dismissal.  On May 4, 2010, the Court denied plaintiff's request
for reconsideration.  On June 7, 2010, plaintiff filed an appeal
before the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals.  On June 11, 2010,
Popular and the individual defendants moved to dismiss the appeal.
On June 22, 2010, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal.  On
July 6, 2010, plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the Court's
dismissal.  On July 16, 2010, the Court of Appeals denied
plaintiff's request for reconsideration.

At the Court's request, the parties to the Hoff and Garcia cases
discussed the prospect of mediation and agreed to nonbinding
mediation in an attempt to determine whether the cases could be
settled.  On January 18 and 19, 2011, the parties to the Hoff and
Garcia cases engaged in nonbinding mediation before the Honorable
Nicholas Politan.  As a result of the mediation, the Corporation
and the other named defendants to the Hoff matter entered into a
memorandum of understanding to settle this matter.  Under the
terms of the memorandum of understanding, subject to certain
customary conditions including court approval of a final
settlement agreement in consideration for the full settlement and
release of all defendants, the parties agreed that the amount of
$37.5 million would be paid by or on behalf of defendants.  On
June 17, 2011, the parties filed a stipulation of settlement and a
joint motion for preliminary approval of such settlement, which
the Court granted on June 20, 2011.  On or about July 5, 2011, the
amount of $37.5 million was paid to the settlement fund by or on
behalf of defendants.  Specifically, the amount of $26 million was
paid by insurers and the amount of $11.5 million was paid by
Popular (after which approximately $4.7 million was reimbursed by
insurers per the terms of the relevant insurance agreement).  On
January 18, 2011, certain individual shareholders filed a lawsuit
captioned Montilla-Rojo et al. v. Popular, Inc., et al., against
the Corporation and certain officers asserting claims under the
federal securities laws similar or identical to those in the Hoff
action.  On February 25, 2011, those shareholders filed an amended
complaint asserting additional legal theories.  On
June 19, 2011, certain of those shareholders sought leave to
intervene in the securities class action.  On June 28, 2011, the
Court denied their motion to intervene as untimely.  On or about
October 11, 2011, certain individual shareholders, including
shareholders represented by counsel in the Montilla-Rojo action,
filed requests to opt-out of the proposed settlement in the Hoff
securities class action.  Other purported shareholders represented
by the same counsel, filed an objection to the settlement.  On
November 22, 2011, the plaintiffs in the Montilla-Rojo action
filed a second amended complaint asserting additional legal
theories.  On December 2, 2011, the parties to the Montilla-Rojo
action filed a joint motion to stay the proceedings in light of
the pending appeal in the related Hoff securities class action.
The Court granted the motion to stay on December 13, 2011.  With
the January 27, 2012 voluntary dismissal of the appeal, the stay
was lifted and defendants' response to the Montilla-Rojo second
amended complaint is pending.

On November 2, 2011, the Court in the Hoff securities class action
announced at a hearing on the proposed settlement that it would
deny certain individual shareholders' requests to opt out,
overrule the objection to the settlement and grant final approval
in a written order to follow, which order and final judgment were
issued on the same date.  On November 29, 2011, the individual
shareholders whose requests to opt-out were rejected and the
objectors to the settlement appealed from the final judgment to
the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  On
December 21, 2011, the lead plaintiffs in the Hoff action filed a
motion for an order requiring the objectors to post a bond to
cover the costs associated with the objectors' appeal, which the
Court granted on January 9, 2012.

On January 17, 2012, the objectors moved for reconsideration of
the order requiring them to post a bond.  On January 24, 2012, the
Court denied the objectors' motion for reconsideration.  On
January 27, 2012, the objectors filed a motion informing the Court
that they would voluntarily dismiss the appeal with prejudice,
which the Court noted on January 30, 2012.

In April 2011, the parties to the Garcia and Diaz actions entered
into a separate memorandum of understanding.  Under the terms of
this memorandum of understanding, subject to certain customary
conditions, including court approval of a final settlement
agreement, and in consideration for the full and final settlement
and release of all defendants, Popular agreed, for a period of
three years, to maintain or implement certain corporate governance
practices, measures and policies, as set forth in the memorandum
of understanding.  Aside from the payment by or on behalf of
Popular of approximately $2.1 million of attorneys' fees and
expenses of counsel for the plaintiffs, all of which were covered
by insurance), the settlement did not require any cash payments by
or on behalf of Popular or the defendants.  On June 14, 2011, a
motion for preliminary approval of settlement was filed.  On July
8, 2011, the Court granted preliminary approval of such settlement
and set the final approval hearing date for September 12, 2011.
On that same date, the Court granted final approval of the
settlement.  On September 23, 2011, the court in Diaz entered a
separate judgment approving the final settlement as well.

Prior to the Hoff and derivative action mediation, the parties to
the ERISA class action entered into a separate memorandum of
understanding to settle that action.  Under the terms of the ERISA
memorandum of understanding, subject to certain customary
conditions including court approval of a final settlement
agreement and in consideration for the full settlement and release
of all defendants, the parties agreed that the amount of $8.2
million would be paid by or on behalf of the defendants.  The
parties filed a joint request to approve the settlement on April
13, 2011.  On June 8, 2011, the Court held a preliminary approval
hearing, and on June 23, 2011, the Court preliminarily approved
such settlement.  On June 30, 2011, the amount of $8.2 million was
transferred to the settlement fund by insurers on behalf of the
defendants.  A final fairness hearing was set for August 26, 2011.
On that date, the Court stated that it would approve the
settlement but requested that plaintiffs' counsel submit certain
supporting documentation prior to issuing its final approval.
Such final approval is still pending.

Popular does not expect to record any material gain or loss as a
result of the settlements.  Popular has made no admission of
liability in connection with these settlements.

At this point, the settlement agreement in the ERISA class action
is not final and is subject to a number of future events,
including the issuance of the final approval order and/or the
expiration of the time to appeal such orders.  The settlements in
the Hoff class action and the derivative actions have been finally
approved and the period for any appeal has expired.


POPULAR INC: Still Awaits Order on "Lamadrid" Suit Dismissal Bids
-----------------------------------------------------------------
On December 13, 2010, Popular, Inc. (the "Corporation") was served
with a class action complaint captioned Garcia Lamadrid, et al. v.
Banco Popular, et al. which was filed in the Puerto Rico Court of
First Instance.  The complaint generally seeks damages against
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, the Corporation's principal banking
subsidiary, other defendants and their respective insurance
companies for their alleged breach of certain fiduciary duties,
breach of contract, and alleged violations of local tort law.
Plaintiffs seek in excess of $600 million in damages, plus costs
and attorneys fees.

More specifically, plaintiff -- Guillermo Garcia Lamadrid and
Benito del Cueto Figueras -- are suing Defendant BPPR for the
losses they (and others) experienced through their investment in
the RG Financial Corporation-backed Conservation Trust Fund
securities.  Plaintiffs essentially claim that Banco Popular
allegedly breached its purported fiduciary duty to keep all
relevant parties informed of any developments that could affect
the Conservation Trust notes or that could become an event of
default under the relevant trust agreements; and that in so doing,
it acted imprudently, unreasonably and with gross negligence.
Popular and the other defendants submitted separate motions to
dismiss on or about February 28, 2011.  Plaintiffs submitted a
consolidated opposition thereto on April 15, 2011.  The parties
were allowed to submit replies and surreplies to such motions, and
the motion has now been deemed submitted by the Court and is
pending resolution.

No further updates were reported in the Company's February 29,
2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.


PRICELINE: Savannah Reaches Partial Class Action Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Alice Massimi, writing for WSAV News 3, reports that the City of
Savannah could be on the winning side of a class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit involves sales tax collected by discount hotel booking
Web sites like Priceline and hotels.com.

The suit, which has been settled in some cities, alleges travel
sites collected hotel/motel taxes but then did not distribute the
correct amount to local governments.

Cities like Charleston have already received $657,000 in back
taxes and Hilton Head received $350,000.

According to Savannah City officials, a partial settlement has
been reached.

It's not known how much Savannah will receive but it will be
distributed between the city, the chamber and the trade and
convention center.


RASHIDA SAMJI: Faces Class Action Over Ponzi Scheme
---------------------------------------------------
The LINK reports that a South Asian (Ismaili) woman from Vancouver
is facing allegations that she bilked C$83 million out of
investors in a Ponzi scheme that promised huge returns from
connections to B.C. wineries.

The LINK initially reported the story of "fraudster" Notary public
Rashida Samji weeks ago after it was uncovered and originally
reported by the Vancouver Sun's investigative business writer
David Baines.

Ms. Samji was suspended from practice in February and is set to go
before a hearing of the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) on
May 1.

The BCSC alleges that between 2003 and the beginning of this year,
Ms. Samji took in cash from 218 investors, promising guaranteed
returns of between 12 and 30 per cent annually.  She allegedly
told the targets the money would be kept safe in a notary trust
account and would be used as collateral by the Mark Anthony Group
and other wineries when they sought loans in foreign countries,
reported CTV news.

Instead, Ms. Samji allegedly stowed the cash in two personal
accounts under the names of her two companies, and paid investors
their returns with money from the new backers she brought in.  The
Mark Anthony Group, which owns the Mission Hill Winery, had no
knowledge of the claims Ms. Samji was making, according to the
BCSC.

The securities watchdog is also accusing Ms. Samji of falsifying
documents and creating a false land title search to back up a
fraudulent mortgage.

Ms. Samji was a notary public for 24 years before submitting her
resignation in March.

Her alleged scam also spelled the end of the financial planning
career of Arvindbhai (Arvin) Bakorbhai Patel, who received a
lifetime market ban on April 4 for his role in the scheme.

Mr. Patel admitted to the BCSC that during his time as a mutual
fund salesman for Coast Capital Savings, he brought in about 90
clients for Ms. Samji.  Those investors included his family and
coworkers, who are now out a total of about C$28.9 million.

Mr. Patel is now permanently banned from trading securities,
acting as director for any company and engaging in any investor
relations.

Both Mr. Patel and Ms. Samji are named as defendants in a proposed
class action lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in March by
investors seeking their money back.

Delta residents Lawrence Brian Jer and Jun Jer are named as the
representative plaintiffs in the claim, and they allege that they
invested C$350,000 in the scheme.  The Jers claim they received
about C$156,000 in "interest," but the rest was lost.

The BCSC accused Mr. Patel of doing "little to no" due diligence
about the quality of the investment scheme and making
misrepresentations to clients about their investments.

He has received a permanent ban from trading securities in the
province, or from working in the securities or investor relations
field.

The BCSC said Mr. Patel voluntarily transferred his legal interest
in five properties to a court-appointed receiver, but was not
assessed an additional fine because he has substantial liabilities
and "no reasonable prospect" of being able to pay an additional
amount.

Ms. Samji and Mr. Patel are also facing lawsuits -- including a
class-action suit -- launched by investors.  The class-action suit
also names Coast Capital Savings.  The Notaries Societies of BC
have not been named to the suit.

Police are also investigating and looking into criminal charges
for the accused.


SCANA CORP: South Carolina Suit vs. SCE&G and SCI Settled
---------------------------------------------------------
SCANA Corporation has settled a purported class action lawsuit
commenced by Douglas E. Gressette and Mark Rudd against its
subsidiaries, according to the Company's February 29, 2012, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2011.

In May 2004, a purported class action lawsuit currently styled as
Douglas E. Gressette and Mark Rudd, individually and on behalf of
other persons similarly situated v. South Carolina Electric & Gas
Company and SCANA Communications, Inc. was filed in South
Carolina's Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the Ninth Judicial
Circuit.  The plaintiffs alleged that SCE&G made improper use of
certain electric transmission easements and rights-of-way by
allowing fiber optic communication lines and/or wireless
communication equipment to transmit communications other than
SCE&G's electricity-related internal communications and asserted
causes of action for unjust enrichment, trespass, injunction and
declaratory judgment.  While SCE&G and SCI believe their actions
were consistent with governing law and the applicable documents
granting easements and rights-of-way, this case, with Circuit
Court approval in August 2010, has been settled as to all
easements and rights of ways currently containing fiber optic
communications lines in South Carolina.  This settlement did not
have a material impact on the Company's results of operations,
cash flows or financial condition.


SOTHEBY'S INC: Awaits Dismissal Bid Ruling in Royalties Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Sotheby's Inc. is awaiting a court decision on its motion to
dismiss a class action lawsuit over artwork resale royalties,
according to the Company's February 29, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2011.

Estate of Robert Graham, et al. v. Sotheby's, Inc. is a purported
class action commenced in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California in October 2011 on behalf of U.S.
artists (and their estates) whose artworks were sold by Sotheby's
in the State of California or at auction by California sellers and
for which a royalty was allegedly due under the California Resale
Royalties Act (the "Resale Royalties Act").  Plaintiffs seek
unspecified damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief for
alleged violations of the Resale Royalties Act and the California
Unfair Competition Law.

In January 2012, Sotheby's filed a motion to dismiss the action on
the grounds, among others, that the Resale Royalties Act violates
the United States Constitution and is pre-empted by the United
States Copyright Act of 1976.  In February 2012, the plaintiffs
filed their response to Sotheby's motion to dismiss.

The Company says it is currently not possible to make an estimate
of the amount or range of loss that could result from an
unfavorable outcome of this matter.  Sotheby's believes that there
are meritorious defenses to the claims asserted by plaintiffs, and
they are being vigorously defended.


STORM FINANCIAL: Investigation Sought Into Witness Intimidation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rae Wilson, writing for Sunshine Coast Daily, reports that the
legal team in a class action against two of the three banks caught
up in the Storm Financial debacle has asked the corporate watchdog
to investigate allegations of intimidation against a star witness.

Lawyer Stewart Levitt, from Sydney-based firm Levitt Robinson,
said the Australian Securities and Investments Commission should
look into claims against one of the banks, which the bank has
denied.

He said Federal Court Justice John Reeves wanted the case brought
before him if ASIC planned to take action.

April 5 was another directions hearing in the Federal Court in
Brisbane in the case against the Commonwealth and Macquarie banks,
which are accused of supporting the unregistered managed
investment scheme.

Levitt Robinson is also poised to begin a class action against the
Bank of Queensland.

Mark Weir, a Palmwoods grandfather-of-four, is a regular face at
the directions hearings at the Federal Court, having lost millions
of dollars when Storm Financial collapsed in 2008.

The Sunshine Coast man said a public meeting about the case at
Redcliffe on April 4 held by the Levitt Robinson team was a great
"rev up" to keep people motivated in what was a lengthy court
proceeding.

"Given many of us are in our fourth year, we were reassured we are
closer to the end than the beginning," he said.

"A lot of the heavy lifting has been done and the judicial process
will grind forward in its cumbersome fashion.

"We were told the continued legal costs will be painful but
investors can feel confident they have a legal team second to
none.  They have every reason to have hope."

Mr. Levitt said about 300 people went to the public meeting and he
remained astounded by the level of optimism and commitment his
clients showed.

"It was pretty much a tribute to all these guys who are years into
it but still committed," he said.


VIKING RANGE: Recalls 2,000 Dishwashers Due to Fire Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Viking Range Corporation of Greenwood, Mississippi, announced a
voluntary recall of about 2,000 Viking dishwashers.  Consumers
should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

An electrical component in the dishwasher can overheat, posing a
fire hazard.

Viking has received 21 reports of incidents, including five
reports of property damage from fires.  No injuries have been
reported.

The recall includes Viking 24" Professional, Designer and Custom
Panel dishwashers manufactured between May and September 2010.
They were sold in black, white and 24 other custom colors,
stainless steel and with custom wood panels.  The name "Viking"
appears on the control panel at the top of the door.  The model
and serial number are located on the identification plate mounted
on the inside on the left side of the dishwasher door opening.
The first six numbers in the serial number are the manufacture
date in mmddyy format, e.g., serial number 052610 was manufactured
on May 26, 2010.  Model and manufacture dates included on this
recall are:

      Model Numbers     Date Codes - first six digits
     Starting With*:          of serial number:
     ---------------    -----------------------------
          DDB325            052610 through 091510
          DFB450            052610 through 091510
          VDB325            052610 through 091510
          VDB450            052610 through 091510

* Model numbers ending with an E are not included on the recall.

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12147.html

The recalled products were manufactured in the United States of
America and sold at appliance and specialty retail stores
nationwide from June 2010 through March 2012 for between $1,425
and $2,000.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled dishwashers
and contact Viking's hotline for a free in-home repair.  For
additional information, contact Viking toll-free at (800) 241-7239
from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday or
visit Viking's Web site at http://www.vikingrange.com/


VOLKSWAGEN AG: Recalls 15 Defective Routan Minivans
---------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Welsh, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reports that
Volkswagen AG is recalling certain Routan minivans from the 2012
model year because of a possible defect that could cause the
vehicle to lose a wheel.

In a document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, the car maker said the recall includes 15 vehicles
built from Nov. 15 to Nov. 21 of last year.  These vans may have
been assembled with right rear hubs and bearings that were not
properly machined.  As a result, the parts may not be as durable
as expected.

The hub assemblies may experience excessive wear that could result
in wheel separation and an increased risk of a crash, Volkswagen
said.

Under the recall, dealers will replace the right rear hub and
bearing assembly free of charge.  The recall is expected to begin
this month.

VW is also recalling 153 diesel-powered Passat cars from the 2012
model year to correct a potential fuel system problem that could
cause leaks.  The company said it manufactured the affected cars
from Jan. 18 through June 1, 2011.

The recall includes 153 vehicles built with diesel fuel filters
that may not seal correctly.  As a result, fuel may leak and
increase the chance of a fire.

Volkswagen said it expects to begin the recall next month.
Dealers will replace the fuel filter elements free of charge.  For
information about either recall, customers may contact Volkswagen
at 800-822-8987.

WALTER ENERGY: Awaits Ruling on Motion to Dismiss "Moore" Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Walter Energy, Inc. is awaiting a court decision on its
subsidiary's motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit commenced by
Louise Moore, according to the Company's February 29, 2012, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company and Walter Coke Inc. were named in a lawsuit filed by
Louise Moore on April 26, 2011 (Louise Moore v. Walter Energy,
Inc. and Walter Coke, Inc., Case No. 2:11-CV-01391) in the federal
District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.  This is a
putative civil class action alleging state law tort claims arising
from the alleged presence on properties of substances, including
arsenic, BaP, and other hazardous substances, allegedly as a
result of current and/or historic operations in the area conducted
by the companies and/or their predecessors.  This action is still
in the earliest stages of litigation.  On June 6, 2011, the
plaintiff filed an amended complaint eliminating Walter Energy as
a defendant and amending the claims alleged against Walter Coke to
relate to Walter Coke's alleged conduct for the period commencing
after March 2, 1995.

Based on initial evaluation, management believes that both
procedural and substantive defenses are available to the Company
and Walter Coke expects to vigorously defend this matter.  No
specific dollar value has been claimed in the lawsuit's demand for
monetary damages.  On June 20, 2011, Walter Coke filed a Motion to
Dismiss which, was heard on October 28, 2011.  A ruling has not
been received.


WALTER ENERGY: Faces "Rush" Shareholder Class Suit in Alabama
-------------------------------------------------------------
Walter Energy, Inc. is facing a putative shareholder class action
lawsuit commenced by Peter Rush in Alabama, the Company disclosed
in its February 29, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

On January 26, 2012, a putative class action was filed against
Walter Energy and some of its current and former senior executive
officers in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Alabama (Rush v. Walter Energy, Inc., et al.).  The three
executive officers named in the complaint are: Keith Calder,
Walter's former CEO; Walter Scheller, the Company's current CEO;
and Neil Winkelmann, former President of Walter's Canadian and
European Operations (collectively the "Individual Defendants").
The complaint was filed by Peter Rush, a purported shareholder of
Walter Energy who seeks to represent a class of Walter
shareholders who purchased the common stock of Walter between
April 20, 2011, and September 21, 2011.

The complaint alleges that Walter and the Individual Defendants
made false and misleading statements regarding the Company's
operations outlook for the second quarter of 2011.  The complaint
further alleges that the Company and the Individual Defendants
knew that these statements were misleading and failed to disclose
material facts that were necessary in order to make the statements
not misleading. Plaintiff claims violations of Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the 1934 Act.  The Court has not
yet appointed lead plaintiff or lead plaintiff's counsel.
Defendants have yet to be served with a complaint in this action.

Walter Energy and the other named defendants believe that there is
no merit to the claims alleged and intend to vigorously defend the
action.


WALTER ENERGY: Hearing on Certification Motion Set for June
-----------------------------------------------------------
A hearing on a plaintiff's motions to proceed with securities
claims and to certify the securities and oppression claims as
class actions was rescheduled for June 2012, Walter Energy, Inc.
disclosed in its February 29, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2011.

In November 2009, the Company's subsidiary, Western Coal Corp.,
was named as a defendant in a statement of claim issued by a
plaintiff who seeks leave of the Ontario Courts to proceed with a
securities class action.  This claim also named Western Coal's
former President and director, John Hogg, and two of its non-
executive directors, John Brodie and Robert Chase, as defendants.

The plaintiff subsequently delivered an amended claim that added
new allegations that seeks to have the amended claim certified as
a class action separately from the proposed securities class
action allegations.  The new allegations focused on certain
transactions the plaintiff claims were oppressive and unfair to
the interests of shareholders.  The amended claim included
additional defendants of Western Coal's former Chairman, John
Byrne, its remaining non-executive directors John Conlon and
Charles Pitcher, Audley European Opportunities Master Fund
Limited, Audley Capital Management Limited, and Audley Advisors
LLP.

The proposed securities claims allege that those persons who
acquired or disposed of Western Coal shares between November 14,
2007, and December 10, 2007, should be entitled to recover $200
million for general damages and $20 million in punitive damages.
The plaintiff alleges that Western Coal's consolidated financial
statements for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 and the
accompanying news release issued on November 14, 2007,
misrepresented Western Coal's financial condition and that Western
Coal failed to make full, plain and true disclosure of all
material facts and changes.

The plaintiff's oppression claims are advanced in respect of
security holders in the period between April 26, 2007, and
July 13, 2009.  The claims are that the defendants caused Western
Coal to enter into transactions that had a dilutive effect on the
interests of shareholders.  The damages associated with these
alleged dilutive effects have not been developed or quantified.

The plaintiff's motions to proceed with securities claims and also
to certify the securities and oppression claims as class actions
were rescheduled to allow the plaintiff additional time to answer
the Company's position.  This has now been done.  The hearing
dates are set for June 2012.

Western Coal and the other named defendants continue to, and will
vigorously defend the allegations.  They maintain that there is no
merit to the claims and that the damages are without foundation
and excessive.  Accordingly, the Company has made no provision for
the claims in its financial statements.


* Bisphenol A FDA Decision to Discourage Class Actions
------------------------------------------------------
Pat Rizzuto, writing for Bloomberg BNA, reports that the Food and
Drug Administration's recent decision to reject a requested ban on
the use of bisphenol A in food packaging is likely to further
dissuade people from filing personal injury claims and class-
action lawsuits involving the chemical, attorneys told BNA
April 4.

The decision is unlikely, however, to alter consumer marketing
pressures that are encouraging manufacturers to find alternative
chemicals for BPA, they said.

Leonard Kurfirst, Anthony Hopp, and Brent Austin, partners in the
Litigation Department and Product Liability/Toxic Tort Practice
Group at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, discussed judicial and
commercial trends involving BPA and ways FDA's decision might
affect those developments.

On March 30, FDA denied the Natural Resources Defense Council's
2008 petition to ban bisphenol A from food-contact materials.
NRDC said many scientific studies show the chemical is causing a
wide range of health problems.

FDA said NRDC failed to provide sufficient evidence that bisphenol
A harms human health to persuade the agency to pursue a rulemaking
to ban the chemical (36 CRR 385, 4/2/12).

                     Deterrents to Litigation

FDA's decision is likely to further deter personal injury claims
or class action lawsuits involving bisphenol A, Messrs. Kurfirst,
Hopp, and Austin told BNA.  The attorneys have tracked BPA issues
for several years, although they have not litigated any cases
involving the chemical.

In 2008, more than a dozen putative class actions across the
country were filed against the manufacturers of baby bottles and
sports bottles containing BPA, Mr. Kurfirst said.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
disallowed those claims, and unless some evidence emerges that
bisphenol A clearly causes harm and that manufacturers knew that
information and failed to disclose it, Mr. Kurfirst and his
colleagues said they do not expect more cases to be filed.

Mr. Austin said it is expensive to file and pursue class actions,
and since they have not been successful so far, parties
considering filing new cases are likely to have second thoughts.

Most of these cases were consolidated before Judge Ortrie Smith in
the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Mr.
Kurfirst said.  Plaintiffs had argued they would not have
purchased the bottles if the alleged hazards of BPA had been
properly disclosed, he said.

                      Legal Defeats in 2011

In July, the judge refused to certify several proposed multi-state
class actions, citing the plaintiffs' failure to demonstrate that
common issues of law and fact controlled the litigation (In re
Bisphenol-A (BPA) Polycarbonate Plastic Products Liability
Litigation, W.D. Mo., MDL No. 1967, 7/5/11).

Judge Smith rendered a similar ruling in December regarding a
proposed class that was limited to Missouri plaintiffs, Mr.
Kurfirst said (36 CRR 33, 1/9/12).

"Consistent with [our] observations over the last four years,
there is nothing to suggest that a significant number of personal
injury lawsuits will be filed anytime soon," he said.

"FDA's ruling last Friday makes it even more unlikely that this
trend will change," Mr. Kurfirst added.

"The medical literature has failed to demonstrate that any
specific illness or disease is likely to develop in humans at the
low levels of exposure that may occur from using food and beverage
containers that contain BPA," he said.

                 10 Full-Time Workers, $40 Million

Mitchell Cheeseman, a chemist who joined Steptoe & Johnson LLP in
2010 after working at FDA for 20 years, primarily on food additive
issues, told reporters April 5 that about 10 full-time FDA staff
members have focused on analyzing BPA since 2007 and the federal
government has spent more than $40 million to fund studies
evaluating the safety of the chemical.

That effort has led the agency to conclude that current uses are
safe, although it will obtain additional information over the next
few years from ongoing studies, Mr. Cheeseman said during a press
briefing organized by the International Food Information Council.
The council is a nonprofit educational organization funded
primarily by the food industry but also through grants from the
government and private foundations.

Mr. Kurfirst said the documents FDA released explaining its
decision laid out a well-supported, logical analysis explaining
why the scientific evidence NRDC's petition relied on did not
support a ban.

FDA's letter to NRDC essentially applied the "Bradford Hill
criteria" to the human studies that the council cited,
Mr. Kurfirst said.  The criteria, developed by British
epidemiologist Austin Bradford Hill in 1965, provide guidelines to
evaluate the scientific strength of studies that suggest a causal
relationship between exposures to a chemical or agent and a
subsequent human illness or disease.

                     Application of Criteria

Courts apply the criteria via the Reference Manual on Scientific
Evidence, which helps attorneys and judges understand when there
is sufficient scientific evidence to support an allegation of
harm, Mr. Kurfirst said.

As for the animal and in vitro studies cited by NRDC, FDA relied
largely upon its Redbook 2000, or Guidance for Industry and Other
Stakeholders Toxicological Principles for the Safety Assessment of
Food Ingredients, which provides toxicological principles to
assess the safety of food ingredients, Mr. Kurfirst said.

If the assessment by Mr. Kurfirst and his colleagues is correct,
and the wave of litigation against BPA has crested, the
possibility of other litigation remains.

On April 4, NRDC spokeswoman Suzanne Struglinski told BNA the
council continues to evaluate its legal options.

NRDC is pressing FDA to divulge information that will help that
evaluation, NRDC attorney Nicholas Morales said.

FDA is providing NRDC with exposure data, health effects
information, regulatory cost projections, and other documents
through a 2011 Freedom of Information Act challenge NRDC filed in
federal district court, Morales told BNA (Natural Resources
Defense Council v. FDA, S.D.N.Y., No. 11-cv-08662, order issued
2/21/12).

On Feb. 21, the court set a timelime by which FDA had to begin
providing various types of documents.  The first package of
information was due April 2, with additional documents being
provided through July 16.

By Aug. 15, NRDC must notify FDA whether it intends to challenge
any withholdings or the adequacy of the agency's efforts to
provide information authorized under FOIA.

                     Commercial Implications

The commercial implications of FDA's decision, meanwhile, are
separate from its legal impact.

Messrs. Kurfirst, Austin, and Hopp predicted that despite FDA's
assurances concerning the safety of BPA, the chemical's use is
likely to decline.

"BPA is being chased out of the marketplace by consumer
advocates," Mr. Hopp said.

Consumers are worried about bisphenol A, and retailers and other
companies are pushing for alternatives, he said.

Four food-additive petitions filed with FDA ask the agency to ban
various uses of bisphenol A, arguing that marketplace has already
or is in the process of abandoning them.

Under regulations FDA issued to implement Section 409(i) of the
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a petitioner may propose
that FDA amend a food additive regulation if the petitioner can
demonstrate that there are "old uses" of the additive that the
marketplace has "abandoned."

               Examples of Marketplace Abandonment

The American Chemistry Council filed a petition in 2011 asking FDA
to ban bisphenol A's use in "sippy cups" and baby bottles as a
formal recognition that companies no longer use the chemical to
make those products.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) also used the marketplace abandonment
argument in three food-additive petitions he filed March 16 that
asked FDA to no longer allow the use of bisphenol A in:

materials contacting infant and toddler food;
small, reusable household food containers; and
beverage storage containers.

As evidence, Mr. Markey's petitions described baby bottles and
other food packages made with chemicals other than BPA that are
available on the market (36 CRR 362, 3/26/12).

Eleven states have already passed legislation or issued
administrative orders banning some uses of BPA, focusing primarily
on baby bottles and sippy cups, according to SaferStates, a
network of diverse environmental health coalitions and
organizations.

                        Next Steps Outlined

FDA determined the American Chemistry Council's petition contained
sufficient evidence that soliciting public comment on its proposed
ban of particular BPA uses was warranted.  FDA is accepting
comment on that petition through April 17.

FDA was still reviewing Mr. Markey's petitions as of April 4, an
agency spokesman told BNA.  If the agency accepts the petitions
for review, it would probably publish a notice in the Federal
Register by mid-May, he said.

Lynn Bergeson, an attorney with Bergeson and Campbell P.C.,
offered thoughts on whether the approach FDA offered to release a
decision on a controversial issue offered lessons for other
federal agencies finding themselves in similar position.

"Regardless of whether you concur with the decision to deny NRDC's
petition to revoke all regulations authorizing the use of BPA,
FDA's rollout of its decision was well done," Ms. Bergeson said.

"The decision itself is principled and well-written and the
wording decisive and clear. FDA appears to have made a decision
firmly to reject the petition and not be tempted to provide a
little something for everyone to help ensure a softer landing,"
she said.

She also praised the agency for providing notice of when it would
release the decision.  That enabled interested parties to prepare
and "perhaps avoid some of the chaos that typically ensues when
significant regulatory or policy issues seemingly drop from the
sky with no warning," Ms. Bergeson added.


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chiquita Expects Dismissal of 650 Cases in 2012
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chiquita Brands International, Inc., expects more than 650 cases
alleging injury or illness from asbestos exposure to be dismissed
within this year without payment, according to the Company's
February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "For more than 20 years, a number of claims
have been filed against the company on behalf of merchant seamen
or their personal representatives alleging injury or illness from
exposure to asbestos while employed as seamen on company-owned
ships at various times from the mid-1940s until the mid-1970s. The
claims are based on allegations of negligence and unseaworthiness.
In these cases, the company is typically one of many defendants,
including manufacturers and suppliers of products containing
asbestos, as well as other ship owners. Six of these cases are
pending in state courts in various stages of activity. Over the
past thirteen years, 26 state court cases have been settled and 44
state court cases have been resolved without any payment. In
addition to the state court cases, there are federal court cases
(known as the "MARDOC" cases), which are managed under the
supervision of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. A total of 5,451 MARDOC cases have been brought
against the company, of which 4,121 have been dismissed; 46 of
these cases had earlier been re-activated against the company, of
which 35 cases were dismissed without any settlement payment. The
court recently began issuing scheduling orders in connection with
the company's remaining approximately 1,300 MARDOC cases, more
than half of which are expected to be dismissed without payment
during 2012. As a matter of law, punitive damages are not
recoverable in seamen's asbestos cases. Although the company has
very little factual information with which to evaluate these
maritime asbestos claims, management does not believe, based on
information currently available to it and advice of counsel, that
these claims will, individually or in the aggregate, have a
material adverse effect on the consolidated financial statements
of the company."

Chiquita Brands International, Inc., and its subsidiaries operate
as a leading international marketer and distributor of (1) bananas
and other fresh produce sold under the Chiquita(R) and other brand
names in nearly 70 countries and (2) packaged salads sold under
the Fresh Express(R) and other brand names primarily in the United
States.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tenneco Continues to Defend Exposure Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tenneco Inc. continues to defend asbestos-related lawsuits,
according to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal year
ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "[W]e are subject to a number of lawsuits
initiated by a significant number of claimants alleging health
problems as a result of exposure to asbestos. In the early 2000's
we were named in nearly 20,000 complaints, most of which were
filed in Mississippi state court and the vast majority of which
made no allegations of exposure to asbestos from our product
categories. Most of these claims have been dismissed and our
current docket of active and inactive cases is less than 500 cases
nationwide. A small number of claims have been asserted by
railroad workers alleging exposure to asbestos products in
railroad cars manufactured by The Pullman Company, one of our
subsidiaries. The balance of the claims is related to alleged
exposure to asbestos in our automotive products. Only a small
percentage of the claimants allege that they were automobile
mechanics and a significant number appear to involve workers in
other industries or otherwise do not include sufficient
information to determine whether there is any basis for a claim
against us. We believe, based on scientific and other evidence, it
is unlikely that mechanics were exposed to asbestos by our former
products and that, in any event, they would not be at increased
risk of asbestos-related disease based on their work with these
products. Further, many of these cases involve numerous
defendants, with the number of each in some cases exceeding 100
defendants from a variety of industries. Additionally, the
plaintiffs either do not specify any, or specify the
jurisdictional minimum, dollar amount for damages. As major
asbestos manufacturers and/or users continue to go out of business
or file for bankruptcy, we may experience an increased number of
these claims. We vigorously defend ourselves against these claims
as part of our ordinary course of business. In future periods, we
could be subject to charges to earnings if any of these matters
are resolved unfavorably to us. To date, with respect to claims
that have proceeded sufficiently through the judicial process, we
have regularly achieved favorable resolutions. Accordingly, we
presently believe that these asbestos-related claims will not have
a material adverse impact on our future consolidated financial
condition, results of operations or cash flows."

Tenneco Inc., is one of the world's largest producers of emission
control and ride control products and systems for light,
commercial and specialty vehicle applications.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Berkshire Recorded $13.9B Liabilities at Dec. 31
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. recorded liabilities for environmental,
asbestos and latent injury claims and claims expenses net of
reinsurance recoverables at approximately $13.9 billion at
December 31, 2011, according to the Company's February 27, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "We are exposed to environmental, asbestos and
other latent injury claims arising from insurance and reinsurance
contracts. Liability estimates for environmental and asbestos
exposures include case basis reserves and also reflect reserves
for legal and other loss adjustment expenses and IBNR reserves.
IBNR reserves are determined based upon our historic general
liability exposure base and policy language, previous
environmental loss experience and the assessment of current trends
of environmental law, environmental cleanup costs, asbestos
liability law and judgmental settlements of asbestos liabilities.

"The liabilities for environmental, asbestos and latent injury
claims and claims expenses net of reinsurance recoverables were
approximately $13.9 billion at December 31, 2011 and $12.4 billion
at December 31, 2010. These liabilities included approximately
$12.3 billion at December 31, 2011 and $10.7 billion at December
31, 2010 of liabilities assumed under retroactive reinsurance
contracts. The increase in liabilities in 2011 was primarily due
to new retroactive reinsurance contracts entered into in 2011.
Liabilities arising from retroactive contracts with exposure to
claims of this nature are generally subject to aggregate policy
limits. Thus, our exposure to environmental and latent injury
claims under these contracts is, likewise, limited. We monitor
evolving case law and its effect on environmental and latent
injury claims. Changing government regulations, newly identified
toxins, newly reported claims, new theories of liability, new
contract interpretations and other factors could result in
significant increases in these liabilities. Such development could
be material to our results of operations. We are unable to
reliably estimate the amount of additional net loss or the range
of net loss that is reasonably possible."

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is a holding company owning subsidiaries
engaged in a number of diverse business activities. The most
important of these are insurance businesses conducted on both a
primary basis and a reinsurance basis. Berkshire also owns and
operates a large number of other businesses engaged in a variety
of activities. Berkshire is domiciled in the state of Delaware,
and its corporate headquarters is located in Omaha, Nebraska.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: MeadWestvaco Had 510 Pending Cases at Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
MeadWestvaco Corporation was facing 510 asbestos-related personal
injury lawsuits as of the end of 2011, according to the Company's
February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "As with numerous other large industrial
companies, the company has been named a defendant in asbestos-
related personal injury litigation. Typically, these suits also
name many other corporate defendants. To date, the costs resulting
from the litigation, including settlement costs, have not been
significant. As of December 31, 2011, there were approximately 510
lawsuits. Management believes that the company has substantial
indemnification protection and insurance coverage, subject to
applicable deductibles and policy limits, with respect to asbestos
claims. The company has valid defenses to these claims and intends
to continue to defend them vigorously. Additionally, based on its
historical experience in asbestos cases and an analysis of the
current cases, the company believes that it has adequate amounts
accrued for potential settlements and judgments in asbestos-
related litigation. At December 31, 2011, the company had recorded
litigation liabilities of approximately $34 million, a significant
portion of which relates to asbestos. Should the volume of
litigation grow substantially, it is possible that the company
could incur significant costs resolving these cases. After
consulting with legal counsel and after considering established
liabilities, it is our judgment that the resolution of pending
litigation and proceedings is not expected to have a material
adverse effect on the company's consolidated financial condition
or liquidity. In any given period or periods, however, it is
possible such proceedings or matters could have a material effect
on the results of operations."

MeadWestvaco Corporation is a global packaging company that
provides packaging solutions to many of the world's most
recognized brands in the healthcare, beauty and personal care,
food, beverage, tobacco and home and garden industries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EnPro Had $158MM Insurance at Dec. 31 for Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
EnPro Industries, Inc., at December 31, 2011, had $158 million of
insurance coverage it believes is available to cover current and
future asbestos claims against its subsidiary GST LLC, according
to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal year ended December
31, 2011.

The Company states: "On June 5, 2010 (the "Petition Date"), three
of our subsidiaries -- GST LLC, The Anchor Packing Company, and
Garrison Litigation Management Group, Ltd. -- filed voluntary
petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States
Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western
District of North Carolina as a result of tens of thousands of
pending and expected future asbestos personal injury claims.

"Those subsidiaries manufactured and/or sold industrial sealing
products that contained encapsulated asbestos fibers. The
Company's subsidiaries' exposure to asbestos litigation and their
relationships with insurance carriers are managed through
Garrison.

"The filing of the Chapter 11 cases automatically stayed the
prosecution of pending asbestos bodily injury and wrongful death
lawsuits, and initiation of new such lawsuits, against GST.
Further, the Bankruptcy Court has issued an order enjoining
plaintiffs from bringing or further prosecuting asbestos products
liability actions against affiliates of GST, during the pendency
of the Chapter 11 proceedings, subject to further order of the
Bankruptcy Court.

"To date, neither GST LLC nor Anchor has been required to pay any
punitive damage awards. Since the first asbestos-related lawsuits
were filed against GST LLC in 1975, GST LLC and Anchor have
processed more than 900,000 asbestos claims to conclusion
(including judgments, settlements and dismissals) and, together
with their insurers, have paid over $1.4 billion in settlements
and judgments and have incurred over $400 million in fees and
expenses.

"During the pendency of the Chapter 11 proceedings, certain
actions proposed to be taken by GST not in the ordinary course of
business will be subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court. As a
result, during the pendency of these proceedings, the Company will
not have exclusive control over these companies.

"Accordingly, the Company's investment in GST was deconsolidated
from its financial results beginning on the Petition Date. As a
result, the Company's financial results for the year ended
December 31, 2010, which include the results from GST only through
the Petition Date, may not be comparable to those of prior,
current and future year periods.

"Of the more than 90,000 open cases at the Petition Date, the
Company is aware of approximately 4,900 that involve claimants
alleging mesothelioma. A large majority of the amount of
settlement payments made by GST LLC in recent years have been paid
in connection with mesothelioma claims.

"During the first half of 2010, GST LLC began three trials. In a
Texas mesothelioma case, the jury awarded the plaintiff $3
million; GST LLC's 45% share of this verdict was $1.35 million.
GST LLC appealed. Two mesothelioma trials in Philadelphia settled
during trial prior to a verdict.

"GST LLC won defense verdicts in ten of nineteen cases tried to
verdict in the period from January 1, 2006 through the Petition
Date. In the ten successful jury trials, the juries determined
that either GST LLC's products were not defective, that GST LLC
was not negligent, or that GST LLC's products did not cause the
claimants' injuries. GST LLC's share of the nine adverse verdicts,
most of which are being appealed, ranged from zero to $1.35
million and averaged about $490,000.

"GST LLC won reversals in two of three recent appellate decisions.
In September 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Sixth Circuit overturned a $500,000 verdict against GST LLC that
was handed down in 2009 by a Kentucky federal court jury. The
federal appellate court found that GST LLC's motion for judgment
as a matter of law should have been granted because the evidence
was not sufficient to support a determination of liability. The
Sixth Circuit's chief judge wrote that, "On the basis of this
record, saying that exposure to Garlock gaskets was a substantial
cause of [claimant's] mesothelioma would be akin to saying that
one who pours a bucket of water into the ocean has substantially
contributed to the ocean's volume." In March 2010, the Illinois
Court of Appeals, in a unanimous decision, overturned a $500,000
verdict entered against GST LLC in 2008, granting a new trial. In
May 2011, a three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals
upheld GST LLC's $700,000 share of a jury verdict, which included
punitive damages, in a lung cancer case against GST LLC in
Kentucky state court. GST LLC has appealed that decision further.
At December 31, 2011, three additional GST LLC appeals are pending
from adverse decisions totaling $2.4 million.

"At December 31, 2011, the Company had approximately $158 million
of insurance coverage the Company believes is available to cover
current and future asbestos claims against GST LLC and certain
expense payments. GST has collected insurance payments totaling
$32.7 million since the Petition Date. Of the $158.0 million of
collectible insurance coverage, the Company considers $154.6
million (98%) to be of high quality because the insurance policies
are written or guaranteed by U.S.-based carriers whose credit
rating by S&P is investment grade (BBB) or better, and whose AM
Best rating is excellent (A-) or better. The Company considers
$3.4 million (2%) to be of moderate quality because the insurance
policies are written with various London market carriers. Of the
$158.0 million, $122 million is allocated to claims that have been
paid by GST LLC and submitted to insurance companies for
reimbursement and the remainder is allocated to pending and
estimated future claims. The insurance available to cover current
and future asbestos claims is from comprehensive general liability
policies that cover Coltec Industries Inc. and certain of its
other subsidiaries in addition to GST LLC for periods prior to
1985 and therefore could be subject to potential competing claims
of other covered subsidiaries and their assignees."

EnPro Industries, Inc., is involved in the design, development,
manufacturing, and marketing of proprietary engineered industrial
products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Noble Corp. Had 23 Pending Suits at Dec. 31
------------------------------------------------------------
Noble Corporation, in its February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011, states: "We are from time to time a party to
various lawsuits that are incidental to our operations in which
the claimants seek an unspecified amount of monetary damages for
personal injury, including injuries purportedly resulting from
exposure to asbestos on drilling rigs and associated facilities.
At December 31, 2011, there were approximately 23 of these
lawsuits in which we are one of many defendants. These lawsuits
have been filed in the United States in the states of Louisiana,
Mississippi and Texas. We intend to defend vigorously against the
litigation. We do not believe the ultimate resolution of these
matters will have a material adverse effect on our financial
position, results of operations or cash flows."

Noble Corporation, a Swiss corporation, is an offshore drilling
contractor for the oil and gas industry.  It performs contract
drilling services with its fleet of 79 mobile offshore drilling
units and one floating production storage and offloading unit
located worldwide.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Domtar Units Remain Subject to Exposure Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Domtar Corporation's subsidiaries remain subject to asbestos-
related personal injury claims, according to the Company's
February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Various asbestos-related personal injury claims have been filed in
U.S. state and federal courts against Domtar Industries Inc. and
certain other affiliates of the Company in connection with alleged
exposure by people to products or premises containing asbestos.
While the Company believes that the ultimate disposition of these
matters, both individually and on an aggregate basis, will not
have a material adverse effect on its financial condition, there
can be no assurance that the Company will not incur substantial
costs as a result of any such claim. These claims have not yielded
a significant exposure in the past. The Company has recorded a
provision for these claims and any reasonable possible loss in
excess of the provision is not considered to be material.

Domtar Corporation designs, manufactures, markets and distributes
a wide variety of fiber-based products including communication
papers, specialty and packaging papers and adult incontinence
products. It is the largest integrated marketer and manufacturer
of uncoated freesheet paper in North America for a variety of
customers, including merchants, retail outlets, stationers,
printers, publishers, converters and end-users.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Transocean Units Still Defend Suits in Miss.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Transocean Ltd.'s subsidiaries continue to defend themselves
against asbestos-related lawsuits pending in Mississippi,
according to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal year
ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "In 2004, several of our subsidiaries were
named, along with numerous other unaffiliated defendants, in 21
complaints filed on behalf of 769 plaintiffs in the Circuit Courts
of the State of Mississippi and which claimed injuries arising out
of exposure to asbestos allegedly contained in drilling mud during
these plaintiffs' employment in drilling activities between 1965
and 1986.  Each individual plaintiff was subsequently required to
file a separate lawsuit, and the original 21 multi-plaintiff
complaints were then dismissed by the Circuit Courts.  The amended
complaints resulted in one of our subsidiaries being named as a
direct defendant in seven cases.  We have or may have an indirect
interest in an additional 12 cases.  The complaints generally
allege that the defendants used or manufactured asbestos-
containing drilling mud additives for use in connection with
drilling operations and have included allegations of negligence,
products liability, strict liability and claims allowed under the
Jones Act and general maritime law.  The plaintiffs generally seek
awards of unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

"In each of these cases, the complaints have named other
unaffiliated defendant companies, including companies that
allegedly manufactured the drilling-related products that
contained asbestos.  All of these cases are being governed for
discovery and trial setting by a single Case Management Order
entered by a Special Master appointed by the court to reside over
all the cases, and none of the seven cases in which we are a named
defendant have been scheduled for trial or pre-trial discovery.
The preliminary information available on these claims is not
sufficient to determine if there is an identifiable period for
alleged exposure to asbestos, whether any asbestos exposure in
fact occurred, the vessels potentially involved in the claims, or
the basis on which the plaintiffs would support claims that their
injuries were related to exposure to asbestos.

"However, the initial evidence available would suggest that we
would have significant defenses to liability and damages.  None of
our companies have manufactured or distributed drilling mud or
additives for same, and the handling of such additives by one of
our employees would be a relatively infrequent occurrence that
likely would have involved a non-asbestos product.  In 2011, the
Special Master issued a ruling that a Jones Act employer
defendant, such as us, cannot be sued for punitive damages, and we
expect this ruling to apply to each of our seven cases.  To date,
seven of the 769 cases have gone to trial against defendants who
allegedly manufactured or distributed drilling mud additives.
None of these cases have involved an individual Jones Act employer
and we have not been a defendant in any of these cases.  Two of
the cases resulted in defense verdicts and one case ended with a
hung jury.  Four cases resulted in verdicts for the plaintiff.
Because the jury awarded punitive damages, two of these cases
resulted in a substantial verdict in favor of the plaintiff,
however both of these verdicts have since been vacated by the
trial court.  One was vacated on the basis that the plaintiff
failed to meet its burden of proof.

"While the court's decision is consistent with our general
evaluation of the strength of these cases, it is currently being
reviewed on appeal.  The second plaintiff verdict was vacated
because the presiding judge was removed from hearing any asbestos
cases due to a conflict of interest.  The two remaining plaintiff
verdicts are under appeal by the defendants.  We intend to defend
these lawsuits vigorously, although there can be no assurance as
to the ultimate outcome.  We historically have maintained broad
liability insurance, although we are not certain whether insurance
will cover the liabilities, if any, arising out of these claims.
Based on our evaluation of the exposure to date, we do not expect
the liability, if any, resulting from these claims to have a
material adverse effect on our consolidated statement of financial
position, results of operations or cash flows."

Transocean Ltd. is an international provider of offshore contract
drilling services for oil and gas wells.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Transocean Unit Had 950 Pending Suits at Dec. 31
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of Transocean Ltd. was facing 950 asbestos-related
lawsuits at the end of 2011, according to the Company's
February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "One of our subsidiaries was involved in
lawsuits arising out of the subsidiary's involvement in the
design, construction and refurbishment of major industrial
complexes.  The operating assets of the subsidiary were sold and
its operations discontinued in 1989, and the subsidiary has no
remaining assets other than the insurance policies involved in its
litigation, with its insurers and, either directly or indirectly
as the beneficiary of a qualified settlement fund, funding from
settlements with insurers, assigned rights from insurers and
"coverage-in-place" settlement agreements with insurers, and funds
received from the commutation of certain insurance policies.  The
subsidiary has been named as a defendant, along with numerous
other companies, in lawsuits alleging bodily injury or personal
injury as a result of exposure to asbestos.

"As of December 31, 2011, the subsidiary was a defendant in
approximately 950 lawsuits.  Some of these lawsuits include
multiple plaintiffs and we estimate that there are approximately
2,114 plaintiffs in these lawsuits.  For many of these lawsuits,
we have not been provided with sufficient information from the
plaintiffs to determine whether all or some of the plaintiffs have
claims against the subsidiary, the basis of any such claims, or
the nature of their alleged injuries.  The first of the asbestos-
related lawsuits was filed against this subsidiary in 1990.
Through December 31, 2011, the amounts expended to resolve claims,
including both defense fees and expenses and settlement costs,
have not been material, all known deductibles have been satisfied
or are inapplicable, and the subsidiary's defense fees and
expenses and costs of settlement have been met by insurance made
available to the subsidiary.  The subsidiary continues to be named
as a defendant in additional lawsuits, and we cannot predict the
number of additional cases in which it may be named a defendant
nor can we predict the potential costs to resolve such additional
cases or to resolve the pending cases.  However, the subsidiary
has in excess of $1.0 billion in insurance limits potentially
available to the subsidiary.

"Although not all of the policies may be fully available due to
the insolvency of certain insurers, we believe that the subsidiary
will have sufficient funding from settlements and claims payments
from insurers, assigned rights from insurers and "coverage-in-
place" settlement agreements with insurers to respond to these
claims.  While we cannot predict or provide assurance as to the
final outcome of these matters, we do not believe that the current
value of the claims where we have been identified will have a
material impact on our consolidated statement of financial
position, results of operations or cash flows."

Transocean Ltd. is an international provider of offshore contract
drilling services for oil and gas wells.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: BNSF Railway Continues to Defend PI Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
BNSF Railway Company continues to defend asbestos-related claims,
according to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal year
ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "The Company is party to a number of personal
injury claims by employees and non-employees who may have been
exposed to asbestos. The heaviest exposure for BNSF Railway
employees was due to work conducted in and around the use of steam
locomotive engines that were phased out between the years of 1950
and 1967. However, other types of exposures, including exposure
from locomotive component parts and building materials, continued
after 1967 until they were substantially eliminated at BNSF
Railway by 1985.

"BNSF Railway assesses its unasserted asbestos liability exposure
on an annual basis during the third quarter. BNSF Railway
determines its asbestos liability by estimating its exposed
population, the number of claims likely to be filed, the number of
claims that will likely require payment and the estimated cost per
claim. Estimated filing and dismissal rates and average cost per
claim are determined utilizing recent claim data and trends.

"From these assumptions, BNSF Railway projected the incidence of
each type of disease to the estimated population to arrive at an
estimate of the total number of employees that could potentially
assert a claim. Historical claim filing rates were applied for
each type of disease to the total number of employees that could
potentially assert a claim to determine the total number of
anticipated claim filings by disease type. Historical dismissal
rates, which represent claims that are closed without payment,
were then applied to calculate the number of future claims by
disease type that would likely require payment by the Company.
Finally, the number of such claims was multiplied by the average
settlement value to estimate BNSF Railway's future liability for
unasserted asbestos claims.

"The most sensitive assumptions for this accrual are the estimated
future filing rates and estimated average claim values. Asbestos
claim filings are typically sporadic and may include large batches
of claims solicited by law firms. To reflect these factors, BNSF
Railway used a multi-year calibration period (i.e., the average
historical filing rate for the period 2004-2006) because it
believed it would be most representative of its future claim
experience. In addition, for non-malignant claims, the number of
future claims to be filed against BNSF Railway declines at a rate
consistent with both mortality and age as there is a decreasing
propensity to file a claim as the population ages. BNSF Railway
believes the average claim values by type of disease from the
historical period 2005-2007 are most representative of future
claim values. Non-malignant claims, which represent approximately
90 percent of the total number and 75 percent of the cost of
estimated future asbestos claims, were priced by age of the
projected claimants. Historically, the ultimate settlement value
of these types of claims is most sensitive to the age of the
claimant.

"During the third quarters of 2011, 2010 and 2009, the Company
analyzed recent filing and payment trends to ensure the
assumptions used by BNSF Railway to estimate its future asbestos
liability were reasonable. In 2011, 2010 and 2009, management
determined that the liability remained appropriate and no change
was recorded. The Company plans to update its study again in the
third quarter of 2012.

"Throughout the year, BNSF Railway monitors actual experience
against the number of forecasted claims and expected claim
payments and will record adjustments to the Company's estimates as
necessary.

"Based on BNSF Railway's estimate of the potentially exposed
employees and related mortality assumptions, it is anticipated
that unasserted asbestos claims will continue to be filed through
the year 2050. The Company recorded an amount for the full
estimated filing period through 2050 because it had a relatively
finite exposed population (former and current employees hired
prior to 1985), which it was able to identify and reasonably
estimate and about which it had obtained reliable demographic data
(including age, hire date and occupation) derived from industry or
BNSF Railway specific data that was the basis for the study. BNSF
Railway projects that approximately 60, 80 and 95 percent of the
future unasserted asbestos claims will be filed within the next
10, 15 and 25 years, respectively."

BNSF Railway Company, formerly known as The Burlington Northern
and Santa Fe Railway Company and the Burlington Northern Railroad
Company (BNRR) was incorporated in the State of Delaware on
January 13, 1961. BNSF Railway is a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC, successor company to Burlington
Northern Santa Fe Corporation.  BNSF Railway operates one of the
largest railroad systems in North America.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chubb Corp. Still Faces Personal Injury Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Chubb Corporation continues to be exposed to asbestos-related
claims, according to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

"Asbestos remains the most significant and difficult mass tort for
the insurance industry in terms of claims volume and dollar
exposure. Asbestos claims relate primarily to bodily injuries
asserted by those who came in contact with asbestos or products
containing asbestos. Tort theory affecting asbestos litigation has
evolved over the years. Early court cases established the
"continuous trigger" theory with respect to insurance coverage.
Under this theory, insurance coverage is deemed to be triggered
from the time a claimant is first exposed to asbestos until the
manifestation of any disease. This interpretation of a policy
trigger can involve insurance policies over many years and
increases insurance companies' exposure to liability. Until
recently, judicial interpretations and legislative actions
attempted to maximize insurance availability from both a coverage
and liability standpoint.

"New asbestos claims and new exposures on existing claims have
continued despite the fact that usage of asbestos has declined
since the mid-1970's. Many claimants were exposed to multiple
asbestos products over an extended period of time. As a result,
claim filings typically name dozens of defendants. The plaintiffs'
bar has solicited new claimants through extensive advertising and
through asbestos medical screenings. A vast majority of asbestos
bodily injury claims have been filed by claimants who do not show
any signs of asbestos related disease. New asbestos cases are
often filed in those jurisdictions with a reputation for judges
and juries that are extremely sympathetic to plaintiffs.

"Our most significant individual asbestos exposures involve
products liability on the part of "traditional" defendants who
were engaged in the manufacture, distribution or installation of
asbestos products. We wrote excess liability and/or general
liability coverages for these insureds. While these insureds are
relatively few in number, their exposure has become substantial
due to the increased volume of claims, the erosion of the
underlying limits and the bankruptcies of target defendants.

"Our other asbestos exposures involve products and non-products
liability on the part of "peripheral" defendants, including a mix
of manufacturers, distributors and installers of certain products
that contain asbestos in small quantities and owners or operators
of properties where asbestos was present. Generally, these
insureds are named defendants on a regional rather than a
nationwide basis. As the financial resources of traditional
asbestos defendants have been depleted, plaintiffs are targeting
these viable peripheral parties with greater frequency and, in
many cases, for large awards.

"Asbestos claims against the major manufacturers, distributors or
installers of asbestos products were typically presented under the
products liability section of primary general liability policies
as well as under excess liability policies, both of which
typically had aggregate limits that capped an insurer's exposure.
In recent years, a number of asbestos claims by insureds are being
presented as "non-products" claims, such as those by installers of
asbestos products and by property owners or operators who
allegedly had asbestos on their property, under the premises or
operations section of primary general liability policies. Unlike
products exposures, these non-products exposures typically had no
aggregate limits on coverage, creating potentially greater
exposure. Further, in an effort to seek additional insurance
coverage, some insureds with installation activities who have
substantially eroded their products coverage are presenting new
asbestos claims as non-products operations claims or attempting to
reclassify previously settled products claims as non-products
claims to restore a portion of previously exhausted products
aggregate limits. It is difficult to predict whether insureds will
be successful in asserting claims under non-products coverage or
whether insurers will be successful in asserting additional
defenses. Accordingly, the ultimate cost to insurers of the claims
for coverage not subject to aggregate limits is uncertain.

"In establishing our asbestos reserves, we evaluate the exposure
presented by each insured. As part of this evaluation, we consider
a variety of factors including: the available insurance coverage;
limits and deductibles; the jurisdictions involved; past
settlement values of similar claims; the potential role of other
insurance, particularly underlying coverage below our excess
liability policies; potential bankruptcy impact; relevant judicial
interpretations; and applicable coverage defenses, including
asbestos exclusions.

"Various U.S. federal proposals to solve the ongoing asbestos
litigation crisis have been considered by the U.S. Congress over
the years, but none have yet been enacted. The prospect of federal
asbestos reform legislation remains uncertain. As a result, we
have assumed a continuation of the current legal environment with
no benefit from any federal asbestos reform legislation.

"Our actuaries and claim personnel perform periodic analyses of
our asbestos related exposures. The analyses during 2011 noted
modest adverse developments related to a small number of accounts.
Based on these developments, we increased our net asbestos loss
reserves by $22 million in 2011. The analyses during 2010 and 2009
noted no significant developments that required a change in our
estimate of ultimate liabilities related to asbestos claims."

The Company reported net loss reserves at end of year of $605
million and gross loss reserves at end of year of $627 million.

The Chubb Corporation is a holding company for a family of
property and casualty insurance companies known informally as the
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies (the P&C Group). Since 1882,
the P&C Group has provided property and casualty insurance to
businesses and individuals around the world. According to A.M.
Best, the P&C Group is the 12th largest U.S. property and casualty
insurance group based on 2010 net written premiums.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co.'s Liability Was $894MM at Dec. 31
------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co., at the end of 2011, had an aggregate asbestos liability
of $894 million, according to the Company's February 27, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "Estimation of our exposure for asbestos-
related claims is subject to significant uncertainties, as there
are multiple variables that can affect the timing, severity and
quantity of claims. We have retained the firm of Hamilton,
Rabinovitz & Associates, Inc. ("HR&A"), a nationally recognized
expert in the field, to assist management in estimating our
asbestos liability in the tort system. HR&A reviews information
provided by us concerning claims filed, settled and dismissed,
amounts paid in settlements and relevant claim information such as
the nature of the asbestos-related disease asserted by the
claimant, the jurisdiction where filed and the time lag from
filing to disposition of the claim. The methodology used by HR&A
to project future asbestos costs is based largely on our
experience during a base reference period of eleven quarterly
periods (consisting of the two full preceding calendar years and
three additional quarterly periods to the estimate date) for
claims filed, settled and dismissed. Our experience is then
compared to the results of previously conducted epidemiological
studies estimating the number of individuals likely to develop
asbestos-related diseases. Using that information, HR&A estimates
the number of future claims that would be filed against us through
our forecast period and estimates the aggregate settlement or
indemnity costs that would be incurred to resolve both pending and
future claims based upon the average settlement costs by disease
during the reference period.

"In conjunction with developing the aggregate liability estimate,
we also developed an estimate of probable insurance recoveries for
our asbestos liabilities. As of December 31, 2011, we had an
aggregate asbestos receivable of $225 million. In developing this
estimate, we considered our coverage-in-place and other settlement
agreements, as well as a number of additional factors. These
additional factors include the financial viability of the
insurance companies, the method by which losses will be allocated
to the various insurance policies and the years covered by those
policies, how settlement and defense costs will be covered by the
insurance policies and interpretation of the effect on coverage of
various policy terms and limits and their interrelationships."

Crane Co. is a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered
industrial products.  It is comprised of five segments --
Aerospace & Electronics, Engineered Materials, Merchandising
Systems, Fluid Handling and Controls.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co. Had 58,658 Pending Claims at Dec. 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co. had 58,658 pending asbestos-related claims at the end of
2011, according to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company was a defendant in cases
filed in numerous state and federal courts alleging injury or
death as a result of exposure to asbestos. Activity related to
asbestos claims during the periods indicated was as follows:

                                     Year Ended
                                 December 31, 2011
                                 -----------------
             Beginning claims               64,839
             New claims                      3,748
             Settlements*                   (1,117)
             Dismissals                    (11,059)
             MARDOC claims**                 2,247
             Ending claims                  58,658

* Includes Earl Haupt judgment.
** As of January 1, 2010, the Company was named in 36,448
   maritime actions which had been administratively dismissed by
   the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
   Pennsylvania ("MARDOC claims"), and therefore were not
   included in "Beginning claims". As of December 31, 2011,
   pursuant to an ongoing review process initiated by the Court,
   26,605 claims were permanently dismissed, 3,200 claims were
   restored to active status and 3 new filings in 2011 were added
   to active status (and have been added to "Ending claims"). In
   addition, the Company was named in 8 new maritime actions in
   2010 (not included in "Beginning claims") which had been
   administratively dismissed upon filing in 2010. The Company
   expects that more of the remaining 6,648 maritime actions will
   be activated, or permanently dismissed, as the Court's review
   process continues.

Of the 58,658 pending claims as of December 31, 2011,
approximately 20,800 claims were pending in New York,
approximately 10,000 claims were pending in Texas, approximately
5,500 claims were pending in Mississippi, and approximately 5,300
claims were pending in Ohio, all jurisdictions in which
legislation or judicial orders restrict the types of claims that
can proceed to trial on the merits.

Substantially all of the claims the Company resolves are either
dismissed or concluded through settlements. To date, the Company
has paid two judgments arising from adverse jury verdicts in
asbestos matters. The first payment, in the amount of $2.54
million, was made on July 14, 2008, approximately two years after
the adverse verdict in the Joseph Norris matter in California,
after the Company had exhausted all post-trial and appellate
remedies. The second payment, in the amount of $0.02 million, was
made in June 2009 after an adverse verdict in the Earl Haupt case
in Los Angeles, California on April 21, 2009.

During the fourth quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008,
the Company tried several cases resulting in defense verdicts by
the jury or directed verdicts for the defense by the court, one of
which, the Patrick O'Neil claim in Los Angeles, was reversed on
appeal. In an opinion dated January 12, 2012, the California
Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal and
instructed the trial court to enter a judgment of nonsuit in favor
of the defendants.

On March 14, 2008, the Company received an adverse verdict in the
James Baccus claim in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with
compensatory damages of $2.45 million and additional damages of
$11.9 million. The Company's post-trial motions were denied by
order dated January 5, 2009. The case was concluded by settlement
in the fourth quarter of 2010 during the pendency of the Company's
appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. The settlement is
reflected in the settled claims for 2010.
On May 16, 2008, the Company received an adverse verdict in the
Chief Brewer claim in Los Angeles, California. The amount of the
judgment entered was $0.68 million plus interest and costs. The
Company is pursuing an appeal in this matter.

On February 2, 2009, the Company received an adverse verdict in
the Dennis Woodard claim in Los Angeles, California. The jury
found that the Company was responsible for one-half of one percent
(0.5%) of plaintiffs' damages of $16.93 million; however, based on
California court rules regarding allocation of damages, judgment
was entered against the Company in the amount of $1.65 million,
plus costs. Following entry of judgment, the Company filed a
motion with the trial court requesting judgment in the Company's
favor notwithstanding the jury's verdict, and on
June 30, 2009, the court advised that the Company's motion was
granted and judgment was entered in favor of the Company. The
trial court's ruling was affirmed on appeal by order dated
August 25, 2011. The plaintiffs have appealed that ruling to the
Supreme Court of California, which has accepted review of the
matter.

On March 23, 2010, a Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, state
court jury found the Company responsible for a 1/11th share of a
$14.5 million verdict in the James Nelson claim, and for a 1/20th
share of a $3.5 million verdict in the Larry Bell claim. On
February 23, 2011, the court entered judgment on the verdicts in
the amount of $0.2 million against the Company, only, in Bell, and
in the amount of $4.0 million, jointly, against the Company and
two other defendants in Nelson, with additional interest in the
amount of $0.01 million being assessed against the Company, only,
in Nelson. All defendants, including the Company, and the
plaintiffs have taken timely appeals of certain aspects of those
judgments. Those appeals are pending.

On August 17, 2011, a New York City state court jury found the
Company responsible for a 99% share of a $32 million verdict on
the Ronald Dummitt claim. The Company has filed post-trial motions
seeking to overturn the verdict, to grant a new trial, or to
reduce the damages, which the Company argues are excessive under
New York appellate case law governing awards for non-economic
losses. The Court held oral argument on these motions on October
18, 2011, and a written decision is expected to be issued. The
Company anticipates that it will likely appeal any judgment that
may be entered on the verdict.

Such judgment amounts are not included in the Company's incurred
costs until all available appeals are exhausted and the final
payment amount is determined.

The gross settlement and defense costs incurred (before insurance
recoveries and tax effects) for the Company for the years ended
December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009 totaled $105.5 million, $106.6
million and $110.1 million, respectively. In contrast to the
recognition of settlement and defense costs, which reflect the
current level of activity in the tort system, cash payments and
receipts generally lag the tort system activity by several months
or more, and may show some fluctuation from quarter to quarter.
Cash payments of settlement amounts are not made until all
releases and other required documentation are received by the
Company, and reimbursements of both settlement amounts and defense
costs by insurers may be uneven due to insurer payment practices,
transitions from one insurance layer to the next excess layer and
the payment terms of certain reimbursement agreements. The
Company's total pre-tax payments for settlement and defense costs,
net of funds received from insurers, for the years ended December
31, 2011, 2010 and 2009 totaled a $79.3 million net payment, $66.7
million net payment and a $55.8 million net payment (reflecting
the receipt of $14.5 million in 2009 for full policy buyout from
Highlands Insurance Company ("Highlands"), respectively.

The amounts shown for settlement and defense costs incurred, and
cash payments, are not necessarily indicative of future period
amounts, which may be higher or lower than those reported.
Cumulatively through December 31, 2011, the Company has resolved
(by settlement or dismissal) approximately 84,000 claims, not
including the MARDOC claims. The related settlement cost incurred
by the Company and its insurance carriers is approximately $330
million, for an average settlement cost per resolved claim of
approximately $4,000. The average settlement cost per claim
resolved during the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009
was $4,123, $7,036 and $4,781 respectively. Because claims are
sometimes dismissed in large groups, the average cost per resolved
claim, as well as the number of open claims, can fluctuate
significantly from period to period. In addition to large group
dismissals, the nature of the disease and corresponding settlement
amounts for each claim resolved will also drive changes from
period to period in the average settlement cost per claim.
Accordingly, the average cost per resolved claim is not considered
in the Company's periodic review of its estimated asbestos
liability.

Crane Co. is a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered
industrial products.  It is comprised of five segments --
Aerospace & Electronics, Engineered Materials, Merchandising
Systems, Fluid Handling and Controls.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: IPALCO Unit Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
IPALCO Enterprises, Inc.'s subsidiary, Indianapolis Power & Light
Company ("IPL") is a defendant in less than fifty pending lawsuits
alleging personal injury or wrongful death stemming from exposure
to asbestos and asbestos containing products formerly located in
IPL power plants, according to the Company's February 27, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "IPL has been named as a "premises defendant",
which means that IPL did not mine, manufacture, distribute or
install asbestos or asbestos containing products. These suits have
been brought on behalf of persons who worked for contractors or
subcontractors hired by IPL. IPL has insurance which may cover
some portions of these claims; currently, these cases are being
defended by counsel retained by various insurers who wrote
policies applicable to the period of time during which much of the
exposure has been alleged.

"It is possible that material additional loss with regard to the
asbestos lawsuits could be incurred. At this time, an estimate of
additional loss cannot be made. IPL has settled a number of
asbestos related lawsuits for amounts which, individually and in
the aggregate, were not material to IPL or IPALCO's results of
operations, financial condition, or cash flows. Historically,
settlements paid on IPL's behalf have been comprised of proceeds
from one or more insurers along with comparatively smaller
contributions by IPL. Additionally, approximately 40 cases were
dropped by plaintiffs in 2010 without requiring a settlement. We
are unable to estimate the number of, the effect of, or losses or
range of loss which are reasonably possible from the pending
lawsuits or any additional asbestos suits. Furthermore, we are
unable to estimate the portion of a settlement amount, if any,
that may be paid from any insurance coverage for any known or
unknown claims. Accordingly, there is no assurance that the
pending or any additional suits will not have a material adverse
effect on IPALCO's results of operations, financial condition, or
cash flows."

IPALCO is a holding company incorporated under the laws of the
state of Indiana in 1983. Its principal subsidiary is Indianapolis
Power & Light Company ("IPL"), a regulated electric utility with
its customer base concentrated in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Substantially all of its business consists of the generation,
transmission, distribution and sale of electric energy conducted
through IPL.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Freeport-McMoran Unit Still Faces Lawsuits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.'s subsidiary continues to
defend asbestos-related lawsuits, according to the Company's
February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Since approximately 1990, Freeport-McMoRan Corporation (FMC) and
various subsidiaries have been named as defendants in a large
number of lawsuits that claim personal injury either from exposure
to asbestos allegedly contained in electrical wire products
produced or marketed many years ago or from asbestos contained in
buildings and facilities located at properties owned or operated
by FMC affiliates, or from alleged asbestos in talc products. Many
of these suits involve a large number of codefendants. Based on
litigation results to date and facts currently known, FCX believes
there is a reasonable possibility that losses may have been
incurred related to these matters; however, FCX also believes that
the amounts of any such losses, individually or in the aggregate,
are not material to its consolidated financial statements. There
can be no assurance, however, that future developments will not
alter this conclusion.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. is an international mining
company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.  It is one of the
world's largest copper, gold and molybdenum mining companies in
terms of reserves and production.  Its portfolio of assets
includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, significant
mining operations in North and South America, and the Tenke
Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC).


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trimas Corp. Had 1,112 Pending Cases at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trimas Corporation, at the end of 2011, was a party to
approximately 1,112 pending cases involving an aggregate of
approximately 8,048 claimants alleging personal injury from
exposure to asbestos containing materials formerly used in gaskets
(both encapsulated and otherwise) manufactured or distributed by
certain of its subsidiaries for use primarily in the petrochemical
refining and exploration industries, according to the Company's
February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

In addition, the Company acquired various companies to distribute
its products that had distributed gaskets of other manufacturers
prior to acquisition. The Company believes that many of the
pending cases relate to locations at which none of its gaskets
were distributed or used.

The Company may be subjected to significant additional asbestos-
related claims in the future, the cost of settling cases in which
product identification can be made may increase, and the Company
may be subjected to further claims in respect of the former
activities of its acquired gasket distributors. The Company is
unable to make a meaningful statement concerning the monetary
claims made in the asbestos cases given that, among other things,
claims may be initially made in some jurisdictions without
specifying the amount sought or by simply stating the requisite or
maximum permissible monetary relief, and may be amended to alter
the amount sought. The large majority of claims do not specify the
amount sought.

Of the 8,048 claims pending at December 31, 2011, 66 set forth
specific amounts of damages (other than those stating the
statutory minimum or maximum). 42 of the 66 claims sought between
$1.0 million and $5.0 million in total damages (which includes
compensatory and punitive damages), 19 sought between $5.0 million
and $10.0 million in total damages (which includes compensatory
and punitive damages) and 5 sought over $10.0 million in total
damages (which includes compensatory and punitive damages). Solely
with respect to compensatory damages, 42 of the 66 claims sought
between $50,000 and $600,000, 21 sought between $600,000 and $5.0
million and 3 sought over $5.0 million.

Solely with respect to punitive damages, 42 of the 66 claims
sought between $1.0 and $2.5 million, 19 sought between $2.5
million and $5.0 million and 5 sought over $5.0 million. In
addition, relatively few of the claims have reached the discovery
stage and even fewer claims have gone past the discovery stage.
Total settlement costs (exclusive of defense costs) for all such
cases, some of which were filed over 20 years ago, have been
approximately $6.1 million. All relief sought in the asbestos
cases is monetary in nature.

To date, approximately 40% of the Company's costs related to
settlement and defense of asbestos litigation have been covered by
its primary insurance. Effective February 14, 2006, the Company
entered into a coverage-in-place agreement with its first level
excess carriers regarding the coverage to be provided to the
Company for asbestos-related claims when the primary insurance is
exhausted. The coverage-in-place agreement makes asbestos defense
costs and indemnity insurance coverage available to the Company
that might otherwise be disputed by the carriers and provides a
methodology for the administration of such expenses. Nonetheless,
the Company believes it is likely that there will to be a period
within the next one or two years, prior to the commencement of
coverage under this agreement and following exhaustion of the
Company's primary insurance coverage, during which the Company
likely will be solely responsible for defense costs and indemnity
payments, the duration of which would be subject to the scope of
damage awards and settlements paid.

Based on the settlements made to date and the number of claims
dismissed or withdrawn for lack of product identification, the
Company believes that the relief sought (when specified) does not
bear a reasonable relationship to its potential liability. Based
upon the Company's experience to date, including the trend in
annual defense and settlement costs incurred to date, and other
available information (including the availability of excess
insurance), the Company does not believe that these cases will
have a material adverse effect on its financial position and
results of operations or cash flows.

Trimas Corporation is a global manufacturer and distributor of
products for commercial, industrial and consumer markets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: XL Group Had 1,038 Open Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------
XL Group Plc, as of December 31, 2011, had 1,038 open claim files
for potential asbestos exposures, according to the Company's
February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company's reserving process includes a continuing evaluation
of the potential impact on unpaid liabilities from exposure to
asbestos and environmental claims, including related loss
adjustment expenses. Liabilities are established to cover both
known and incurred but not reported claims.

A reconciliation of the opening and closing unpaid losses and loss
expenses related to asbestos and environmental exposure claims for
the years indicated:

                                        Year Ended
                                     December 31, 2011
                                     -----------------
     Net unpaid losses and loss
     expenses at beginning of year         $84,075,000

     Net incurred losses and
     loss expenses                             (41,000)

     Less net paid losses and
     loss expenses                           6,256,000

     Net increase (decrease) in
     unpaid losses and loss expenses        (6,297,000)
                                         -------------
     Net unpaid losses and
     loss expenses at end of year           77,778,000

     Unpaid losses and loss expenses
     recoverable at end of year            134,323,000
                                         -------------
     Gross unpaid losses and loss
     expenses at end of year              $212,101,000
                                         =============

Reserves for incurred but not reported losses, net of reinsurance,
were $47.2 million, $54.9 million and $68.5 million in 2011, 2010
and 2009, respectively. Unpaid losses recoverable are net of
potential uncollectible amounts.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 1,038 open claim files
for potential asbestos exposures and 362 open claim files for
potential environmental exposures. Approximately 43%, 44% and 50%
of the open claim files are due to precautionary claim notices in
2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Precautionary claim notices are
submitted by the ceding companies in order to preserve their right
to receive coverage under the reinsurance contract.

Such notices do not contain an incurred loss amount to the
Company. The development of the number of open claim files for
potential asbestos claims is:

                                            Asbestos Claims
                                            ---------------
     Total number of claims outstanding
     at December 31, 2008                         1,546

     New claims reported in 2009                    221

     Claims resolved in 2009                       (330)
                                            ---------------
     Total number of claims outstanding
     at December 31, 2009                         1,437

     New claims reported in 2010                    125

     Claims resolved in 2010                       (362)
                                            ---------------
     Total number of claims outstanding
     at December 31, 2010                         1,200

     New claims reported in 2011                    106

     Claims resolved in 2011                       (268)
                                            ---------------
     Total number of claims outstanding
     at December 31, 2011                         1,038
                                            ===============

The Company's reserving process includes a continuing evaluation
of the potential impact on unpaid liabilities from exposure to
asbestos and environmental claims, including related loss
adjustment expenses. Liabilities are established to cover both
known and incurred but not reported claims.

The Company's exposure to asbestos and environmental claims arises
from three sources:

   (1) Reinsurance contracts written, both on a proportional and
       excess basis, after 1972. The Company discontinued writing
       contracts with these exposures in 1985. Business written
       was across many different policies, each with a relatively
       small contract limit. The Company's reported asbestos
       claims relate to both traditional products and premises
       and operations coverage.

   (2) Winterthur -- business of Winterthur purchased by the
       Company from AXA Insurance (formerly Winterthur Swiss
       Insurance Company) in 2001. AXA reimburses the Company for
       asbestos claim payments pursuant to the Sale and Purchase
       Agreement.

   (3) During 2006, the Company acquired $40.2 million in losses
       through a loss portfolio transfer contract of which $18.3
       million in losses related to asbestos and environmental
       claims. Given the terms of the policy, the combined
       aggregate limit on the total acquired reserves is limited
       to $60.0 million, not including coverage for claims
       handling costs over a defined period.

The estimation of loss and loss expense liabilities for asbestos
and environmental exposures is subject to much greater uncertainty
than is normally associated with the establishment of liabilities
for certain other exposures due to several factors, including: (i)
uncertain legal interpretation and application of insurance and
reinsurance coverage and liability; (ii) the lack of reliability
of available historical claims data as an indicator of future
claims development; (iii) an uncertain political climate which may
impact, among other areas, the nature and amount of costs for
remediating waste sites; and (iv) the potential of insurers and
reinsurers to reach agreements in order to avoid further
significant legal costs. Due to the potential significance of
these uncertainties, the Company believes that no meaningful range
of loss and loss expense liabilities beyond recorded reserves can
be established. As the Company's net unpaid loss and loss expense
reserves related to asbestos and environmental exposures are less
than 1% of the total net reserves at December 31, 2011 and 2010,
further adverse development is not expected to be material to the
Company's overall net loss reserves. The Company believes it has
made reasonable provision for its asbestos and environmental
exposures and is unaware of any specific issues that would
significantly affect its estimate for loss and loss expenses.

XL Group plc, through its subsidiaries, is a global insurance and
reinsurance company providing property, casualty and specialty
products to industrial, commercial and professional firms,
insurance companies and other enterprises on a worldwide basis.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Minerals Technologies Has 27 Pending Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Minerals Technologies Inc. currently has 27 pending asbestos
claims, according to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "Certain of the Company's subsidiaries are
among numerous defendants in a number of cases seeking damages for
exposure to silica or to asbestos containing materials.  The
Company currently has 77 pending silica cases and 27 pending
asbestos cases.  To date, 1,389 silica cases and 8 asbestos cases
have been dismissed. One new silica case and one new asbestos case
were filed in the fourth quarter of 2011.  Most of these claims do
not provide adequate information to assess their merits, the
likelihood that the Company will be found liable, or the magnitude
of such liability, if any.  Additional claims of this nature may
be made against the Company or its subsidiaries.  At this time
management anticipates that the amount of the Company's liability,
if any, and the cost of defending such claims, will not have a
material effect on its financial position or results of
operations.

"The Company has not settled any silica or asbestos lawsuits to
date.  We are unable to state an amount or range of amounts
claimed in any of the lawsuits because state court pleading
practices do not require identifying the amount of the claimed
damage.  The aggregate cost to the Company for the legal defense
of these cases since inception was approximately $0.2 million, the
majority of which has been reimbursed by Pfizer Inc pursuant to
the terms of certain agreements entered into in connection with
the Company's initial public offering in 1992.  Our experience has
been that the Company is not liable to plaintiffs in any of these
lawsuits and the Company does not expect to pay any settlements or
jury verdicts in these lawsuits."

Minerals Technologies Inc. is a resource- and technology-based
company that develops, produces and markets worldwide a broad
range of specialty mineral, mineral-based and synthetic mineral
products and supporting systems and services.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gardner Denver Continues to Defend PI Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gardner Denver, Inc., continues to defend asbestos-related
lawsuits, according to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

"The Company is a party to various legal proceedings, lawsuits and
administrative actions, which are of an ordinary or routine nature
for a company of its size and sector. In addition, due to the
bankruptcies of several asbestos manufacturers and other primary
defendants, among other things, the Company has been named as a
defendant in a number of asbestos personal injury lawsuits. The
Company has also been named as a defendant in a number of silica
personal injury lawsuits. The plaintiffs in these suits allege
exposure to asbestos or silica from multiple sources and typically
the Company is one of approximately 25 or more named defendants.
In the Company's experience to date, the substantial majority of
the plaintiffs have not suffered an injury for which the Company
bears responsibility.

"Predecessors to the Company sometimes manufactured, distributed
and/or sold products allegedly at issue in the pending asbestos
and silica litigation lawsuits (the "Products"). However, neither
the Company nor its predecessors ever mined, manufactured, mixed,
produced or distributed asbestos fiber or silica sand, the
materials that allegedly caused the injury underlying the
lawsuits. Moreover, the asbestos-containing components of the
Products, if any, were enclosed within the subject Products.
The Company has entered into a series of agreements with certain
of its or its predecessors' legacy insurers and certain potential
indemnitors to secure insurance coverage and/or reimbursement for
the costs associated with the asbestos and silica lawsuits filed
against the Company. The Company has also pursued litigation
against certain insurers or indemnitors where necessary. The
latest of these actions, Gardner Denver, Inc. v. Certain
Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, et al., was filed on July 9,
2010, in the Eighth Judicial District, Adams County, Illinois, as
case number 10-L-48 (the "Adams County Case"). In the lawsuit, the
Company seeks, among other things, to require certain excess
insurer defendants to honor their insurance policy obligations to
the Company, including payment in whole or in part of the costs
associated with the asbestos lawsuits filed against the Company.
In October 2011, the Company reached a settlement with one of the
excess insurer defendants for approximately the amount of such
defendant's policy that was subject to the lawsuit.

"The Company believes that the pending and future asbestos and
silica lawsuits are not likely to, in the aggregate, have a
material adverse effect on its consolidated financial position,
results of operations or liquidity, based on: the Company's
anticipated insurance and indemnification rights to address the
risks of such matters; the limited potential asbestos exposure
from the Products; the Company's experience that the vast majority
of plaintiffs are not impaired with a disease attributable to
alleged exposure to asbestos or silica from or relating to the
Products or for which the Company otherwise bears responsibility;
various potential defenses available to the Company with respect
to such matters; and the Company's prior disposition of comparable
matters. However, due to inherent uncertainties of litigation and
because future developments, including, without limitation,
potential insolvencies of insurance companies or other defendants,
an adverse determination in the Adams County Case, or other
inability to collect from the Company's historical insurers or
indemnitors, could cause a different outcome, there can be no
assurance that the resolution of pending or future lawsuits will
not have a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated
financial position, results of operations or liquidity. However,
at this time, based on presently available information, the
Company views this possibility as remote."

Gardner Denver designs, manufactures and markets engineered
industrial machinery and related parts and services. The Company
is one of the world's leading manufacturers of highly engineered
compressors and vacuum products for industrial applications.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: AK Steel Still Defends Personal Injury Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
AK Steel Holding Corporation continues to defend asbestos-related
claims, according to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

Since 1990, AK Steel (or its predecessor, Armco Inc.) has been
named as a defendant in numerous lawsuits alleging personal injury
as a result of exposure to asbestos. The great majority of these
lawsuits have been filed on behalf of people who claim to have
been exposed to asbestos while visiting the premises of a current
or former AK Steel facility. Approximately 40% of these premises
suits arise out of claims of exposure at a facility in Houston,
Texas that has been closed since 1984. The majority of asbestos
cases pending in which AK Steel is a defendant do not include a
specific dollar claim for damages. In the cases that do include
specific dollar claims for damages, the complaint typically
includes a monetary claim for compensatory damages and a separate
monetary claim in an equal amount for punitive damages, and does
not attempt to allocate the total monetary claim among the various
defendants.

It has been AK Steel's experience to date that only a small
percentage of asbestos plaintiffs ultimately identify AK Steel as
a target defendant from whom they actually seek damages and most
of these claims ultimately are either dismissed or settled for a
small fraction of the damages initially claimed.

                                       2011     2010     2009
                                       ----     ----     ----
   New Claims Filed                      31      122      252
   Pending Claims Disposed Of            44      179      179
   Total Amount Paid in Settlements  $0.7MM   $0.8MM   $0.7MM

Since the onset of asbestos claims against AK Steel in 1990, five
asbestos claims against it have proceeded to trial in four
separate cases. All five concluded with a verdict in favor of AK
Steel. AK Steel intends to continue to vigorously defend the
asbestos claims asserted against it. Based upon its present
knowledge, the Company believes it is unlikely that the resolution
in the aggregate of the asbestos claims against AK Steel will have
a materially adverse effect on the Company's consolidated results
of operations, cash flows or financial condition. However,
predictions as to the outcome of pending litigation, particularly
claims alleging asbestos exposure, are subject to substantial
uncertainties. These uncertainties include (1) the significantly
variable rate at which new claims may be filed, (2) the effect of
bankruptcies of other companies currently or historically
defending asbestos claims, (3) the uncertainties surrounding the
litigation process from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from case
to case, (4) the type and severity of the disease alleged to be
suffered by each claimant, and (5) the potential for enactment of
legislation affecting asbestos litigation.

AK Steel Holding Corporation is a corporation formed under the
laws of Delaware in 1993 and is an integrated producer of flat-
rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels and tubular
products through its wholly-owned subsidiary, AK Steel
Corporation.  AK Steel is the successor through merger in 1999 to
Armco Inc., which was formed in 1900.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Affirms Order v. Asbestos Plaintiff
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth
Department, on March 16, 2012, affirmed the order appealed from in
the case of IN RE: EIGHTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ASBESTOS LITIGATION.
LINDA FISCHER, AS EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF ROBERT A. FREIHEIT,
DECEASED, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT, v. AMERICAN PREMIUM UNDERWRITERS,
INC., FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE PENN CENTRAL CORPORATION, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS, AND KOHLER CO., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, CA 11-01911
(N.Y).  A copy of the March 16 Order is available at
http://is.gd/3lVPX6from Leagle.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ga. Court Affirms Ruling v. Union Carbide
----------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Georgia, in a memorandum dated March 20,
2012, affirmed an order granting the motion of Rhonda and Gary
Fields for partial summary judgment and an order denying Union
Carbide Corporation's motion for summary judgment.

The Appellate Court held that, in light of the expert testimony
that exposure to Union Carbide's product, when combined with other
asbestos fibers, could have contributed to Mrs. Fields'
mesothelioma, the Fieldses have demonstrated the existence of a
genuine issue for trial as to causation.  Thus, the trial court
properly denied Union Carbide's motion for summary judgment, the
Appellate Court concluded.

The appeal arises from a pending products liability lawsuit that
the Fieldses filed against a number of manufacturers, suppliers,
and sellers of certain asbestos-containing products, including
Union Carbide Corporation, Georgia-Pacific, LLC, CBS Corporation,
a Delaware Corporation, f/k/a Viacom, Inc., Successor by Merger to
CBS Corporation, a Pennsylvania Corporation, f/k/a Westinghouse
Electric Corporation, and Kuhlman Electric Corporation.  The
Fieldses moved for partial summary judgment on the issue of
nonparty fault, seeking to preclude Defendants from presenting the
potential fault of numerous nonparty entities for purposes of
apportioning Defendants' potential damages.  The trial court
granted the Fieldses' motion.  Defendants appeal this ruling.

The case is UNION CARBIDE CORPORATION et al. v.
FIELDS et al., A11A2025, and KUHLMAN ELECTRIC CORPORATION, v.
FIELDS et al., A11A2026 (Ga.).  A copy of the March 20 Decision is
available at http://is.gd/CMeZWPfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ill. High Ct. Allows Daughter to Amend Complaint
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Annette Simpkins filed a three-count complaint against CSX
Transportation, alleging negligence, wanton and willful conduct,
and strict liability for her exposure to take-home asbestos on the
clothing of her husband, who worked for defendants from 1958 to
1964.  Annette Simpkins died of mesothelioma and her daughter,
Cynthia Simpkins, was substituted as the plaintiff as the special
administrator of Annette's estate.  The circuit court of Madison
County granted defendant's motion to dismiss.  The appellate court
reversed and remanded the cause to the circuit court.  The Supreme
Court of Illinois granted CSXT's petition for leave to appeal.

In a March 22, 2012 opinion, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed
the appellate court's reversal of the trial court's judgment but
held that the allegations in plaintiff's complaint are
insufficient to establish that defendant owed a duty of care to
Annette.  Accordingly, the Supreme Court remanded the cause to the
circuit court to allow plaintiff to amend her complaint.

The case is CYNTHIA SIMPKINS, Appellee, v. CSX TRANSPORTATION,
INC., Appellant, No. 110662 (Ill.).  A copy of the March 22
Opinion is available at http://is.gd/JIFjNNfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Board Grants $900K Cleanup of Granite Cty Schools
------------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Merkel at The Suburban Journals reports that the last of the
asbestos soon will be gone from the Granite City public schools.

The Granite City school board voted on March 21 to award $893,351
in contracts to remove floor tiles containing asbestos at Grigsby
Middle School and Frohardt, Maryville, Prather, Wilson and Worthen
elementary schools.

Around 200,000 square feet of floor tile will be removed and
replaced this summer and in the summer of 2013, said Brad
Eavenson, district director of building services.

The district started to remove asbestos from buildings in the late
1980s when it took out exposed pipe insulation.

The winning low bids are: Envirotech Inc., Worthen and Maryville
schools, $287,890; Midwest Service, Frohardt and Wilson schools,
$227,100; Cenpro, Prather, $152,500; and Spray Services, Grigsby,
$225,861.

The money will come from $6 million in building improvement bonds
the school board issued last spring.

The board also approved contracts for two other projects funded by
the bond issue to low bidders:

     -- Kehrer Brothers, $266,900, to replace roofs on Frohardt
        and Worthen elementary schools.

     -- P & H Masonry Inc., $68,900, to supply and install brick
        veneer on the columns of the high school cafeteria.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio Senate Reviews The Full Disclosure Bill
-------------------------------------------------------------
Michael P. Tremoglie of Legal Newsline reports that the Ohio
Senate heard testimony March 14 about a bill passed by their
colleagues in the House which concerns full disclosure by
plaintiffs in asbestos litigation.

The bill imposes certain requirements for the plaintiffs in
relation to filing claims with asbestos trusts.  The proposed
legislation now being considered requires that defendants must be
informed of all claims submitted to asbestos trusts before and
during the trial.

Defense counsel may also request plaintiffs file a claim with any
asbestos trust, from which the defense counsel believes the
plaintiffs are eligible to receive damages.

The language of the bill states, "a claimant shall provide to all
of the parties in the action a sworn statement by the claimant,
under penalty of perjury, identifying all existing asbestos trust
claims made by or on behalf of the claimant and all trust claims
material pertaining to each identified asbestos trust claim.  The
sworn statement shall disclose the date on which each asbestos
trust claim against the relevant asbestos trust was made and
whether any request for a deferral, delay, suspension, or tolling
of the asbestos trust claims process has been submitted."

Furthermore it provides that, "If the claimant, subsequent to the
submission of the sworn statement under division (A)(1)(a) of this
section, files with or submits to any asbestos trust additional
asbestos trust claims not previously disclosed, the claimant shall
provide to all of the parties in the asbestos tort action an
amendment updating the sworn statement and identifying the
additional asbestos trust claims."

HB 380 also mandates, "Any defendant in an asbestos tort action
may file a motion with the court, with notice to the claimant and
to all of the parties in the action, for an order to stay the
proceedings.  A defendant's motion to stay the proceedings shall
set forth credible evidence that demonstrates all of the
following: (1) The identities of all asbestos trusts not
previously disclosed by the claimant pursuant to section 2307.952
of the Revised Code against which the claimant has not made any
asbestos trust claims but against which the defendant in good
faith believes the claimant may make a successful asbestos trust
claim."

Douglas Simek of the Cleveland law firm of Sutter O'Connell thinks
the law is "a great idea."  He said that this is already being
done in the county where he litigates cases.

"Cuyahoga County (Ohio) courts have already ruled that this
information is discoverable and admissible at trial," he said.

But trial lawyers do not think it is such a great idea.  John Van
Doorn is the Executive Director of the Ohio Association for
Justice, the advocacy group for Ohio trial lawyers.

"HB 380 represents an effort by defendants and insurers to reduce
payments to asbestos victims under the guise of increasing the
transparency of the asbestos bankruptcy process," he said.  "Their
efforts are the latest in their campaign to deprive victims of
adequate compensation for their astronomical medical costs."

Mark Behrens -- mbehrens@shb.com -- is a partner in the Public
Policy Group of Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., in Washington, D.C.
He testified on March 13 before the Ohio Senate about the bill.

"Because the trusts operate opaquely and make little effort to
compare their claims amongst each other or to claims made in the
tort system, the trust system is fertile ground for inequity," he
told the Senate committee.

He provided an example of one company that reported a random
sampling of discovery responses by plaintiffs who sued them that
indicated massive inconsistencies.  He said of 255 plaintiffs who
also filed claims against an asbestos trust only 19 had disclosed
their exposure.

Behrens noted that each trust operates independently and that
plaintiffs' attorneys are members of the Trust Advisory
Committees.  These committees are very influential in trustee
selection.  They also essentially manage the audit and quality
control for the trusts.

"While involved in trust governance," he informed the committee,
"plaintiffs' attorneys are also actively engaged in soliciting
trusts claims through television and Internet advertising, filing
trust claims, and receiving contingent fees from trusts'
payments."

Alluding to what Simek said, Behrens testified that plaintiffs and
the trusts have not cooperated in making this information
available, despite the acknowledgement by the courts of the
propriety of the discovery.

Behrens also said that this current system can be easily
manipulated.

He observed that "the trusts' standards are less than demanding."
He also remarked that the lack of transparency by the trusts
provides an inducement to be contrary.

"Abuse of the trust process has the potential to impact both
defendants and bankruptcy trusts, as starkly demonstrated in the
Ohio case of Kananian v. Lorillard Tobacco Co.," Behrens told the
senators.

"As I'm sure you're aware, in that case, Judge Harry Hanna barred
a prominent California asbestos personal injury law firm from
practicing before his court after he found that the firm and one
of its partners failed to abide by the rules of the court
proscribing dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation.

"Judge Hanna's ruling received national attention for exposing
'one of the darker corners of tort abuse' in asbestos litigation:
inconsistencies between allegations made in open court and those
submitted to trusts set up by bankrupt companies to pay asbestos-
related claims."

He added that this case was not an isolated one.  He mentioned
another in which defendants wanted discovery of trust claims.

Despite prior rulings making trust claims material available, it
was necessary to file motions to compel the plaintiff's counsel to
produce the information.

According to Behrens, during a hearing on the matter, the
plaintiff's counsel said he had been slow in producing the
material because he disagreed with the court.  But Behrens alleged
another motivation.

"The reason for the counsel's reluctance to produce the trust
materials became clear when the documents were produced shortly
before trial," Behrens said.

"There were substantial and inexplicable discrepancies between the
positions taken in court and before the trusts.  Despite specific
and explicit discovery requests, the plaintiff had failed to
disclose nine trust claims.  In addition, the exposure period
alleged in the litigation was significantly and materially
different from the exposure period alleged in the trust claims."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Staff Should Stay Away From Water Corp. Site
-------------------------------------------------------------
Felicity Harrold at InMyCommunity.com.au reports that up to
70 workers walked off the job at the Water Corporation site in
Balcatta, Washington, over fears of asbestos exposure from the
demolition of buildings.

At least four buildings on the Balcatta Road site are being
demolished as part of a $21 million redevelopment project and
asbestos particles have been found in the walls.

The staff that walked off site were from Programmed, which last
year won a major contract as the Water Corporation's partner in
providing operational and maintenance services.

They work as maintenance officers off site but enter the yard
daily to collect gear and vehicles.

On the afternoon of March 14, programmed workers held a meeting
and decided not to enter the yard until they received a report
deeming the site was clear of asbestos exposure.

On March 15 and 16, staff remained in the carpark as an
independent safety officer inspected the site and prepared a
report.

"We are willing to undertake any duties that do not require us on
site," Programmed staff member Chris Papamarkos said.

"We want to be told it's a safe site before we walk inside the
yard."

Australian Workers' Union secretary Steven Price said Programmed
workers had fears over the way the asbestos removal was being
handled.

"They say they will not return to the site until it's been given a
clean bill of health," Mr. Price said.

"They believe it's too dangerous for their safety at the moment."

Asbestos Diseases Society occupational health and safety officer
Bruce Horgan said he inspected the site on March 15 and was
writing a full report on his findings.

He has recommended staff not return until it was clear there was
no level of asbestos exposure.

"There are no safe levels of asbestos," Mr. Horgan said.

"Even if there is a tiny bit of asbestos particles in the
material, then we treat the entire site as an asbestos site."

However, the Water Corporation insists workers are not at risk.

"Before works started, we sought expert advice, who advised how to
undertake the works safely," Perth regional manager Chris Smith
said.

"We are following the procedures and would not undertake work if
we thought there was any risk to staff."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contamination Problems at Surf Coast Almost Over
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ali Deane of Surf Coast Times reports that the Surf Coast
communities are moving forward from asbestos adversities as the
Jan Juc cleanup commenced morning of March 19 and Anglesea Skate
Park was slated to re-open last week.

Soil along hundreds of meters of trench line in Jan Juc Creek
reserve will be removed after asbestos fragments were discovered
in the poor quality fill used by RACV contractors last month, and
replaced with clean soil.  RACV has advised that the imported fill
will be removed and transported to an approved commercial disposal
site.

Mayor Cr Brian McKiterick said council required the RACV to
restore the reserve according to a Remediation Action Plan.

"We will also require the RACV to restore the reserve to its
former state -- which would include the use of good quality loam
and turf to replace the contaminated fill used on the works," Cr
McKiterick said.

Although signage in the reserve warns "Danger asbestos dust
hazard", the Surf Coast Shire received an RACV commissioned
analysis of fill dumped at the Jan Juc Creek Reserve which
confirmed it contained no released asbestos fibers.  Test results
indicated the majority of the reserve was clear of contamination,
however, access to the site is expected to remain restricted until
rectification work is completed.

Meanwhile, cleanup of a small amount of asbestos sheeting
fragments found on the Anglesea skate park site has been recently
completed and the Surf Coast Shire will re-open the area in coming
days.  Mayor Cr Brian McKiterick, said council had taken immediate
and responsible action to ensure the park was safe.

The news comes as relief for Paul Weight, Chairperson of the
Anglesea Skate Park Committee.  "Stage one involving fixing the
halfpipe and flooding issues was our first priority, and a great
initiative involving local plumbers and electricians," Mr. Weight
said.

"We are very thankful the skate park can be re-opened and everyone
can get back to enjoying everything that skating offers."

Stage two comprising the re-mounding of the skate park and
landscaping, and stage three, the construction of a freestyle
skate park area, shelter and events stage can now go ahead, with
completion expected at the end of July.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Falling Walls, Toxic Fibers Close Talyor Primary
---------------------------------------------------------------
ABC News reports that engineering reports have revealed the walls
of two main buildings at a south Canberra primary school are at
risk of collapse.

Talyor Primary School at Kambah was closed at short-notice last
week amid concerns about water damage and asbestos contamination.

More than 220 students and staff have been moved to the newly
constructed Namadgi School about 2 kilometers away.

Air quality testing has allayed fears of exposure to airborne
asbestos fibers.

But a report by Robson Environmental, posted on the school's
website, says further deterioration to structural timber due to
water damage could weaken external walls to the point they might
collapse.

It expresses concern about whether walls can continue to support
windows weighing several hundred kilograms each.

It says the structural integrity of the building and mould
contaminated carpets present an immediate concern.

"The continuing penetration of water into the wall cavity and
adjacent carpeted areas is producing a potential exposure risk of
building occupants to mould spores and their metabolic by-
products," the report says.

"Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers is considered to be an
insignificant concern during normal operation of the building,
provided the perimeter wall panels and sheets remain in a stable
condition.

"In the circumstances of further significant cracking and possible
collapse there is a potential for an elevated exposure risk to
airborne asbestos fibers."

The report recommends further engineering testing and inspections
be undertaken to further access the extent of the damage.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ocean Spring Police Station Upgrade Done In June
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Cherie Ward of The Mississippi Press reports that renovations
slated to transform the former police station on Dewey Avenue into
a state-of-the-art downtown substation has begun.

The old station -- behind City Hall -- closed in February when the
new police department on U.S. 90 was opened.

The new, two-building public safety complex includes an 8,500-
square-foot firehouse and emergency operations center, an 18,000-
square-foot police station -- complete with lock-down jails -- and
a 12,000-square-foot courtroom.

The fire department and emergency operations center opened in
December.  The complex totals 38,500 square feet, adjacent to the
Ocean Springs Civic Center.

About $250,000 will be spent on the old station's transformation,
and Police Chief Lionel Cothern said first step was to remove all
remaining furniture, computers and other items to clear the path
for an asbestos removal team to work.

Officers Shane Tiner, Josh Fox and Will Collier spent the morning
and afternoon of March 19 removing the items, which included court
docket books and arrests files dating back to the 1970s.

"There's a lot of history here," said Tiner as he carried an
armload of large file books.

Cothern said most of the building has asbestos in the floor tiles
and in 1 room it visibly hangs from the ceiling.

"Part of the building was built in 1965," Cothern said.  "The old
part will have to be gutted."

The building is about currently 6,000 square feet.  Cothern said
when the renovations are completed, only about 4,500 square feet
will remain.

The plan is to demolish a 1,500-square-foot portion on the south
side of the property, which will make room for a 75-vehicle
parking lot.  The chief said it will cost $3,800 to knock down
that section.

"It will give us more parking downtown for festivals and events,"
Cothern said.  "It'll be a nice parking lot.  The demolishing will
begin as soon as the asbestos is removed."

Cothern said 2 of the former offices will be gutted and merged to
become a storage area for segways and all-terrain vehicles.

"Everything we need downtown will stay here," Cothern said.

Remaining offices will be remodeled and patrol officers and
investigators will have assigned areas.

"They can come in and write reports and meet with people without
making them drive to the other side of town," Cothern said.

Holding cells and evidence rooms are also planned.

When the renovations are completed mid-summer, the substation will
be home to 8 Ocean Springs officers who are assigned to cover the
downtown area and up to 25 reserve officers.

The former courtroom will be utilized as new offices for the Civil
Service Commission.  A portion of the old courtroom will become an
area to test people applying for city positions.

"And we're looking at moving the voting precinct from Villa Marie
because there is no parking there," Cothern said.  "If that
happens, voting will be in the civil service room."

Alderman Chic Cody, who visited to check on the project's
progress, said the new substation will be well received by the
downtown community.

"We need to keep a police presence on this end of town," Cody
said.  "There's lots of banks and restaurants downtown and the
police needs to be nearby."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Will Confirm Safety of Libby in One Year
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center reports that The
people of Libby, Montana may be able to breathe a little easier
-- or may not -- when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
releases its final assessment of the amphibole asbestos situation
in the small Montana town that is at the center of the largest
environmental disaster in the country.

According to a report in the Western News, Victor Kettellapper,
the EPA team leader in Libby, told city officials and others with
a vested interest in the report, that they could expect the final
assessment to be complete within a year.  He notes that they are
still awaiting reports on toxicity levels, issued by the agency's
Science Advisory Board (SAB).  These determine what levels of
amphibole asbestos are tolerable.

"They (SAB) met in February, and it will take up to six months to
get the reports, so then we hope to digest and respond to it.
We're hopeful to have (risk assessment) in about a year," he said.
"The main thing is it will establish the potential risk to the
community," Ketellapper said.  "It will establish whether added
cleanup is needed and where our additional focus will need to be."

Ketellapper says he believes life has already gotten better for
Libby residents and will continue to improve.  However, locals
were disappointed when the EPA refused to place local physician,
Dr. Brad Black, on the Science Advisory Board.  They believed he
was the most knowledgeable about the situation in Libby, caused by
exposure to asbestos-tainted vermiculite from a mine owned by W.R.
Grace and Company. Grace was the maker of Zonolite insulation and
other similar products.  About 400 Libby residents have already
died from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Another 1,800 or so are sick.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Has Killed 141 UK Carriageworkers
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sokolove Law at Cisionwire.com reports that the total number
of UK carriagework employees from York who have passed away from
asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma has now topped 140,
and the true number of deaths may be much higher.

According to the York Press, Arnie "Tivvy" Gomersall worked as a
coachbuilder in York factories for years, continually exposing
himself to asbestos in the process.  Following Gomersall's recent
passing due to mesothelioma, Paul Cooper -- a carriageworks trade
union official -- said that he was the 141st carriageworks
employee to pass away from an asbestos related disease.

While that number may seem high, Cooper warned that the true
number of deaths attributed to asbestos exposure was likely much
higher, as that figure only showed the number of people who had
died from mesothelioma and been investigated by inquests in York.

"[The number] excludes people whose mesothelioma may not have been
picked up by doctors, which does happen sometimes," Cooper said.
"There will also be others who moved away from York years ago, or
who died while being treated in hospitals elsewhere."

The dangers of asbestos are not limited only to UK carriageworks
factories, and are experienced by those who worked in U.S.
factories during much of the 20th century as well.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CAW Says Many Exposed Workers Never Filed Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sarah Bridge of CBC News Canada reports that Rick Garant can
vividly recall the asbestos-filled dust that swirled around the
old brake factory where he worked in Tilbury, Ont., near Windsor,
in the 1980s.  "White masks used to go black by the end of the
shift," he says.  "I'd blow my nose and the Kleenex would be
black."

The Tilbury plant produced brake pads for commercial trucks and
like many other brake manufacturers, used asbestos as a friction
material until the late-1980s.

Though Canadian brake manufacturers have stopped using asbestos in
brake pads, an Ontario MPP tabled a bill on Wednesday, March 21,
that if passed will ban the millions of dollars worth of asbestos
pads that continue to enter the country each year via imports.

In the meantime, an increasing number of former Ontario brake
workers are getting sick, more than 25 years after they were
exposed to asbestos at work.

Garant, 48, is not one of them and remains healthy.  But as
president of the CAW local in Tilbury from the early 1990s until
2007, he filed more than a dozen workers' compensation claims for
sick employees at the plant.  "Lots of people died," he says.  "I
dealt with guys with pleural plaques, asbestosis, mesothelioma,
lung cancer."

For many, the diseases took them by surprise, Garant says.  "They
thought they had a stomach flu that just never went away."

The deadly impact of asbestos brakes is visible at the local
Tilbury CAW office, where headshots of the brake plant retirees
are displayed on a wall.  "When the individuals have passed away
they mark them in yellow," Garant says.  "Knowing the individuals,
it's shocking to see how many have died of a disease."

One of the photographs on the wall shows Kevin Smyth, 54, who was
the first person from the plant to file an occupational disease
claim with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

In March 2000, when he was 42, Smyth left work to see a family
doctor about his shortness of breath.  He ended up in the
emergency room at a local hospital.  "I had no idea that was my
last day at the plant," he says.

Smyth was diagnosed with lung cancer, and was forced to undergo
painful surgeries and treatments to deal with a collapsed lung and
a tumor, which he describes as having resembled a meatball lodged
in his windpipe.

The cancer was attributed by WSIB to asbestos exposure at the
plant, a fact that Smyth says he never expected.

"It's really an eerie feeling at first," he says.  "You think, 'Oh
my God.'  I thought everything was good [at work]."  As the first
WSIB claim from the plant to be accepted for asbestos exposure
Smyth's diagnosis set a scary precedent.  As he puts it, "You find
out what everyone else could face."

When the Tilbury plant closed in 2009, many of the employee
records were lost.  So local union members, including Smyth, are
working with Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers
(OHCOW) to try to determine how many more illnesses are still out
there that could merit workers' compensation claims.

"I think there will be some more cases," Smyth says, citing the
lag period of nearly three decades for some asbestos-related
diseases to appear.  "We're getting to the outer end of the
spectrum now, the latency period," he says.

The former Tilbury plant is one of a few brake plants in Southern
Ontario in which workers were at one time exposed to asbestos.

In St. Catharine's, Ont., 10 former auto workers, who were exposed
to asbestos brakes at the General Motors factory between the 1960s
and 1980s, have filed claims for asbestos-related diseases.  Most
of them worked on the assembly lines, putting the brakes on
vehicles.

All but two of these cases are mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of
the lining of the lung linked to asbestos exposure.

Bruce Allen, vice president of CAW Local 199 in Niagara says he
thinks they're just seeing the beginning of these claims.  "The
numbers are still relatively small, but the frequency of the
claims has gone up," he says.  "Over time there's going to be
hundreds."

According to the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of
Canada, asbestos-related deaths accounted for about 340 deaths in
2005, or 61% of deaths from occupational diseases that year.

According to Dr. Marc de Perrot of the University Health Network
in Toronto, the numbers of mesothelioma cases in Canada are
increasing exponentially, and quite rapidly.

The hazards of exposure to asbestos in friction products has been
known for decades.  In 1948, General Motors' chief industrial
hygienist took note of the dangers created by brake materials in
the factory.

But many brake manufacturers kept using the fibers for decades
after that.  Garant points out that, of the Tilbury plant retirees
who have passed away from cancer, there are a number who never
filed claims.

"Can I say [it was caused by the] workplace? No," he says.  "But I
can't say that it wasn't."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crown Wins ASD Liability Cap Bill in Idaho
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that bottle-cap maker Crown Holdings
might want to pop the top off a celebratory bottle, after a bill
to limit its asbestos liability in Idaho cleared the Senate and
headed to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for signature.

The measure cleared the chamber 19-15 on March 20, reflecting a
strong minority's reluctance to help it off the legal hook.

The House had approved the bill 47-22 in February.

For years, the Pennsylvania-based company has sought protection
from claims filed by lung-disease patients.

Though it has just a handful of claims from Idaho, it also wants
protections here from having to make future payments related to
its ill-fated purchase of an asbestos-tainted company in 1963.

That's resulted in $700 million in payouts, with 50,000 claims
still pending.

Crown has won protections in 14 states.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Reform on Madison Trial Reservation System Urged
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Christina Stueve of The Madison / St. Clair Record reports More
than 40 asbestos defendant companies hope to prove to Madison
County Associate Judge Harrison that the court's trial reservation
system is no longer being used for its original purpose -- to
resolve local asbestos controversies.

The companies' attorneys filed court papers opposing a recent
asbestos preliminary order, assigning trial weeks for 2013, as
drafted in December by Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

An 18-page brief was signed by Robert Shultz, Jr. --
rshultz@heylroyster.com -- of Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen in
Edwardsville; Raymond Fournie -- rfournie@armstrongteasdale.com --
of Armstrong Teasdale Schafly & Davis in St. Louis; Daniel Donahue
of Foley & Mansfield in St. Louis; and Steven Hart --
shart@smsm.com -- of Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney of
Chicago.

"Without reform, Madison County will unfortunately continue as the
destination for asbestos cases arising from coast to coast," the
brief states.

Harrison, who replaced Crowder as asbestos judge in December, on
Monday, March 26, will hear all objections, exceptions and motions
directed at Crowder's order assigning more than 500 trial slots
for 2013.

Crowder was reassigned to hear chancery, eminent domain and
miscellaneous remedy cases after having accepted $30,000 in
campaign contributions from the area's three largest asbestos
firms days after she granted those firms 82% of trial slots for
2013.

She entered the preliminary order Dec. 1; she accepted donations
on Dec. 5 and 6. She was reassigned on Dec. 12.

Crowder later returned the donations and has denied any connection
between her ruling and the donations.

The practice of reserving large numbers of trial slots for
asbestos lawsuits has attracted hundreds of out-of-state asbestos
cases to Madison County with no connection to Illinois, according
to the attorneys who signed the brief.

They wrote in their filing that no local need justifies reserving
more than 500 asbestos trial slots in Madison County for 2013.
They also wrote that no evidence shows the number of non-trial
asbestos cases in Madison County warrants a large pre-assignment
of trial slots.

The system of assigning trial dates on a reservation basis
perpetuates Madison County's reputation as an "open jurisdiction"
for asbestos litigation and imposes the burden of that litigation
on Madison County citizens' trial dates, they wrote.

They urge Harrison to reform the system of awarding trial dates
and predict that the reservation system will continue to draw
cases to Madison County from around the country.

The asbestos defense attorneys suggest a trial calendar that
limits the number of asbestos-related trial settings in Madison
County for 2013, giving preference to Illinois residents, stopping
the reservation of trial dates for plaintiffs' firms for out-of-
state asbestos claimants, providing a minimum of 12 months to
prepare a case for trial and requiring plaintiffs' counsel to
identify the trial order of cases 60 days before trial.

Affirming the preliminary 2013 trial calendar will exacerbate the
influx of out-of-state asbestos cases into Madison County, they
wrote.  As a snapshot of the asbestos docket reveals, the number
of asbestos-related cases in Madison County is disproportionate to
its population and the incidence of asbestos-related disease in
Illinois, they wrote.

According to statistics provided by the defense attorneys, in
2008, 158 Illinois residents were diagnosed with mesothelioma.  In
2011, plaintiffs filed 953 asbestos-related lawsuits in Madison
County, and at least 553 of these cases alleged the underlying
disease was mesothelioma, three and a half times the number of
mesothelioma diagnoses in all of Illinois during 2008.

Madison County's trial slot reservation system leads to an influx
of asbestos cases, they say.  The court created the 2012 trial
calendar for Madison County asbestos cases on March 29, 2011.  As
of Feb. 1, 2012, 435 asbestos cases were set for trial to fill
those slots on the 2012 asbestos trial calendar.

Of those 435 asbestos cases, 280 were filed after the entry of the
March 29, 2011 trial calendar.  In other words, they wrote, about
65% of the asbestos cases first set for trial in 2012 did not
exist when its trial slot was created.

The practice of reserving hundreds of trial dates more than one
year in advance for unfiled asbestos cases creates an artificial
oversupply of trial dates on compressed pretrial schedules that
attracts cases with little or no connection to Madison County, the
attorneys wrote.

A review of 73 cases on three 2012 trial dockets revealed that
just nine of those cases had a connection to Madison County, the
lawyers wrote.  On those three dates, 64 plaintiffs with no
connection to Madison County were using the resources of a local
judiciary intended for plaintiffs whose claims are connected to
the forum, they wrote.

"It is wasteful for defendants to pay Illinois attorneys to travel
around the country taking depositions of plaintiffs who reside
within miles of their own county courthouse.  It is time to
acknowledge that the temptation to establish procedures that were
intended to make the management of a large number of cases more
efficient has had the exact opposite effect," the lawyers wrote.

Aside from clogging the court with hundreds of out-of-state
asbestos cases, Madison County asbestos litigation imposes costs
onto county and state residents, they wrote.

The court should adopt a 2013 trial calendar to eliminate the
incentive for out-of-state attorneys to steer their cases through
Madison County, give priority to Illinois residents, and protect
defendants from forum shopping and administrative procedures that
tilt the litigation landscape in the plaintiffs' favor, they
wrote.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calgary Univ Unveils Preliminary Air Test Results
------------------------------------------------------------------
CBC News Calgary reports that The University of Calgary says an
independent air quality review of Craigie Hall has come back as
"very good."

But it's only the first phase of an extensive investigation.

Officials decided to have the review done after some staff members
raised concerns about possible exposure to asbestos during
renovations at the university building in 2003.

The investigation followed the death of Amelia Labbe in November
of pulmonary fibrosis -- a scarring of the lungs.  Craigie Hall at
the University of Calgary was built about 50 years ago, when
asbestos was still in common use.

Her husband, John Labbe, said doctors didn't determine what caused
the disease, but he believes it was her work environment.  Amelia
Labbe ran the Spanish Centre in the building.

Rachel Schmidt, head of the French, Italian and Spanish department
at the time, also had questions about the renovation project.

"Ceiling tiles and accumulated dust from the ceiling space had
spilled into the work area and had basically resulted in air
quality in which those of us who were within the entire wing could
not breathe," she said in a previous interview.

Schmidt even shut down the department for a few days during the
renovation until the debris was cleaned up, but said the dust
lingered.

She said no one warned her during the renovations that there might
be asbestos in the building, which was built when the cancer-
causing substance was still widely used as insulation.

Results of tests conducted earlier this month show the building
meets occupational health and safety standards and the air does
not contain asbestos.

However, the tests did not uncover what the air quality was like
when renovations were done in 2003.

Rae-Ann Aldridge, the director of the university's Department of
Environment, Health and Safety, said the next phase includes a
doctor looking at air quality results compiled during the time of
the renovation and employee interviews.  She says the final report
should be finished next month.

"So our intention is to allow an independent expert really to take
a look at this information as a whole, and give us his opinion on
the information and provide recommendations," she said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ingersoll-Rand, 84 Other Companies Face Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kyla Asbury of The West Virginia Record reports that a Brockway,
Pa., couple is suing 85 companies they claim are responsible for a
lung cancer diagnosis.

Ward T. McFadden was diagnosed with lung cancer in October 2011,
according to a complaint filed Feb. 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

McFadden and his wife, Margaret E. McFadden, claim he was exposed
to asbestos during his working career and that the exposures were
a substantial contributing factor in his development of lung
cancer.

The defendants allowed Ward McFadden to be exposed to and to
inhale dust and asbestos fibers, which caused his lung injury,
according to the suit.

The McFaddens claim the defendants failed to advise Ward McFadden
of the dangers of asbestos and failed or omitted to provide him
with the knowledge as to what would be reasonably safe and
sufficient wearing apparent and proper protective equipment.

The defendants also failed and omitted to take reasonable
precautions or to exercise reasonable care to publish, adopt and
enforce a safety plan and a safe method of handling and installing
asbestos and asbestos materials, according to the suit.

The McFaddens are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.  They
are being represented by Brian A. Prim.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The 85 companies named as defendants in the suit are A.O. Smith
Corporation; Ajax Magnethermic Corporation; Allied Glove
Corporation; American Optical Corporation; Aqua-Chem, Inc.;
Armstrong International, Inc.; Armstrong Pumps, Inc.; Atlas
Industries, Inc.; Beazer East, Inc.; Brand Insulations, Inc.;
Cashco, Inc.; Catalytic Construction Company; CBS Corporation;
Certainteed Corporation; Champlain Cable Corporation; Copes-
Vulcan, Inc.; Crane Co.; Crown Cork & Seal Company; Dravo
Corporation; Durametallic Corporation; E.W. Bowman; Eaton
Corporation; Eichleay Corporation; Electrolux Home Products;
Emhart Inc.; F.B. Wright Company; Fairmont Supply; Flowserve U.S.,
Inc.; Flsmidth, Inc.; FMC Corporation; Gardner Denver, Inc.;
George V. Hamilton, Inc.; Goulds Pumps, Inc.; Greene Tweed &
Company; Grinnell Corporation; Honeywell, Inc; Howden North
America, Inc.; Hunter Sales Corporation; I.U. North America, Inc.;
IMO Industries, Inc.; Industrial Holdings Corporation; Ingersoll-
Rand; ITT Corporation; Joy Technologies; Kentile Floors, Inc.;
M.S. Jacobs & Associates, Inc.; Mallinckrodt US LLC; Marley
Cooling Tower; McCann Shields Paint Company; McCarls, Inc.;
McJunkin Red Man Corporation; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company;
Milwaukee Valve Company; Minnotte Contracting Corporation; Mueller
Steam Specialty; Nagle Pumps, Inc.; Nitro Industrial Coverings,
Inc.; Ohio Valley Insulating Company; Owens-Illinois, Inc.;
Plotkin Brothers Supply, LLP; Powell Valve Company; Power Piping;
Premier Refractories, Inc.; Riley Stoker Corporation; Safety First
Industries, Inc.; Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc.; Sealite, Inc.;
Spirax Sarco, Inc.; Square D Company; Stockham Valves & Fittings;
Sundyne Corporation; Surface Combustion, Inc.; Tasco Insulation,
Inc.; the Sager Corporation; Treco Construction Services, Inc.; UB
West Virginia, Inc.; Unifrax Corporation; Union Carbide
Corporation: United States Steel Corporation; Vimasco Corporation;
Warren Pumps LLC; Washington Group International; WMX
Technologies, Inc.; Yarway Corporation; and Zurn Industries, Inc.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-370


ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Scandal" Prompts Thomson Ltd to Help UK Schools
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Environmental engineering company Thomson Ltd has launched a
special offer on March 20 to schools in England to help them deal
with asbestos safely and meet Health and Safety Executive
guidelines.

Yorkshire-based Thomson Ltd has provided asbestos-related services
for over 35 years.  The specialist is offering an on-site expert
assessment of each school's current asbestos procedures and
documentation plus the installation of its own iStar Asbestos
Management software for a nominal cost of just GBP1000 (ex VAT).

The Department of Education estimates that more than 75% of UK
schools contain asbestos and Thomson's initiative comes after MPs
described the situation as a "national scandal" in February.  The
all-party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health
called for a scheme to remove the potentially lethal material, for
better information for parents, teachers and staff, and for more
asbestos management inspections.

This followed a report by the Asbestos in Schools pressure group
in October highlighting the deaths of 140 teachers from the rare
asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in the past 10 years.
Children are more vulnerable: Research suggests that for every
death of a teacher from asbestos-related diseases, nine children
could die.

Thomson Ltd chairman Richard Thomson is forthright when it comes
to the subject of asbestos. He describes the substance as a plague
on his own generation of workers in the engineering and
construction industries.  Prompted by the latest round of the
long-running controversy surrounding asbestos in Britain's
schools, he decided to act.

Thomson says: "The key to this crisis is an up-to-date risk
register that's available to all interested parties and good
planning.  After ten years of using iStar Asbestos Management for
clients like Leeds City Council, London Waste and Bradford
University, we thought it would be a good time to put our money
where our mouths were and offer some practical help to schools."

A survey of 16 schools in 2010 by the Asbestos Training and
Consultancy Association (ATAC) found none was meeting health and
safety rules on managing the substance.  In response to the MPs'
report on asbestos in schools in February, ATAC said it could
provide "literally hundreds" of examples each year where effective
management controls had either broken down or were not present at
all.

Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, affected schools
should maintain an asbestos risk register plus an asbestos plan
that sets out in detail how the risks from asbestos-containing
materials will be managed.  Dutyholders have to provide accurate
information to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb asbestos
on its location and condition.  Thomson Ltd's iStar Asbestos
Management software performs all these roles so that schools can
be confident that they comply with HSE regulations.

There can be confusion as to who is responsible as asbestos
dutyholder for a school.  For many, it is the local authority.
However, when budgets for building management have been delegated
to the school by their local authority, both parties have
dutyholder responsibilities.  For academies, free schools,
voluntary-aided and foundation schools, the school governors are
the asbestos dutyholders.

The Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC), the national asbestos
trade union campaign group, is currently fighting government
proposals to place the full responsibility on school governors in
all state-funded schools.  For independent schools, it can be the
proprietor, governors or trustees.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that inhaling asbestos
is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK at
around 4,000 each year.  In Thomson Ltd's experience, many
organizations are not following strict HSE guidelines.  There may
be little knowledge of the responsibilities of the organization's
asbestos dutyholder or even who the dutyholder is.  This is just
as common in the public sector as it is in the private sector.

Thomson Ltd's offer of an asbestos management overhaul for GBP1000
(ex VAT) is open to all primary schools and secondary schools in
England.  In the first instance, schools should fill in the form
at http://www.thomson-group.co.uk/contact_form.htmlon the Thomson
website, or email info(at)thomson(hyphen)group(dot)co(dot)uk or
call 01977 686100 and ask to speak to the asbestos services team.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Everest Survivor Dies of Mesothelioma
------------------------------------------------------
Stephanie Gardiner of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that
Australian mountain climber Lincoln Hall has died from
mesothelioma.  He was 56.

The world-renowned mountaineer, who was a member of the 1984 first
Australian Everest expedition, died "peacefully" in Royal Prince
Alfred Hospital in Sydney on Wednesday, March 21, said Australian
Himalayan Foundation chairman Simon Balderstone.

His wife, sons and close friend and fellow mountaineer Greg
Mortimer were with him.

"Lincoln was well-known for his feat of survival on Everest in
2006, when, after summitting the mountain he collapsed just below
the summit and had apparently died, only to be found alive the
next morning by climbers on their way up the mountain," Mr.
Balderstone said.

Mr. Hall's lawyer, Theodora Ahilas --
lolsen@mauriceblackburn.com.au -- from Maurice Blackburn, which
recently concluded an asbestos compensation claim for Mr. Hall,
said his disease was allegedly linked to asbestos exposure as a
child.

"Lincoln was an amazing man who was able to remember a remarkable
amount of detail about his exposure to asbestos as a child," she
said.  "It was alleged that in 1965 and 1966, Mr. Hall assisted
his father to build two cubby houses using asbestos cement flat
sheets on their property in Red Hill in the ACT."

Canberra Climbers' Association president Zac Zaharias said Mr.
Hall would always be regarded as a prominent climber.  He said Mr.
Hall would be remembered not only for his amazing feats on
Everest, but for his drive and moving writing.

He was also a compassionate man in his role as director of the
Australian Himalayan Foundation, set up to help impoverished
communities, he said.

In 2006, a rescue team of sherpas helped the veteran climber
descend 1700 meters from where he had collapsed after a successful
climb to the summit.  It had been reported 24 hours earlier that
Mr. Hall had died on the mountain.

He had to be carried over several obstacles and restrained when he
became delirious from altitude sickness.  But word got back from
the highest camp on the peak that he had walked the last few
hundred meters into North Col camp before collapsing.  He was left
for dead on the mountain at 8700 meters when he broke down while
descending from the 8848-metre summit.  Those with him could not
move him after he became delirious, a sign of oedema, or fluid on
the brain.  His companions in a Russian-led expedition were forced
to leave him on the mountain overnight.

The next morning another group of climbers found him, still
clinging to life, and a rescue party brought him down.

In a 2007 interview on ABC TV's Enough Rope, Mr. Hall said he was
attracted to climbing mountains because of the physical dangers,
but also the challenges, like "mental fortitude, physical
fortitude, judgment".

"It's the intensity of the experience, at a sustained level.  The
experience is incredibly intense because it is so dangerous," Mr.
Hall said.  Away from the mountains, Mr. Hall said his wife and
their two sons made "the world go round".

Asked how she felt when her husband left the family to go
climbing, his wife, Barbara Scanlan, said she knew she could never
change that part of him.  "I guess climbing and, more so,
mountaineering is such an integral part of Lincoln and what makes
him tick," she said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ARD Health Costs to Offset Any Economy Today
-------------------------------------------------------------
IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis (Bankok) reports that even
though public health experts recognize how deadly asbestos can be,
its use is on the rise in the construction industry throughout
Asia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates some 107,000 workers
die annually from asbestos-related diseases, out of 125 million
people who encounter it in the workplace.

The European Union, Australia, Japan, South Korea and an
increasing number of countries have outlawed it, according to
London-based NGO International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS).

The asbestos industry paid US$70 billion over four decades in
damages and litigation costs in the U.S., where asbestos is
regulated but not banned, according to the Washington, D.C.-based
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

But despite the ban, asbestos is still an important component of
the construction and manufacturing industries, said Sugio Furuya,
coordinator of the Tokyo-based Asia Ban Asbestos Network (A-BAN).

"In fact, Asia and the Middle East consume the asbestos that is
not used elsewhere anymore," he added.

"Our main worries are China, India and Russia, that account for
60% of world asbestos consumption and have very little regulation
over its use," added Laurie Kazan-Allen, IBAS coordinator.

"Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka are also
consuming a lot and without a tight legal framework."

Asbestos is used to produce wall coverings, roofing plates, water
pipes, heat conservation and insulation material.

In studies from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, at
least one case of mesothelioma occurred for every 170 tons of
asbestos used.

Based on this internationally accepted formula, Asia and the
Middle East's current asbestos consumption would lead to 8,000
mesothelioma cases annually.

An incurable form of cancer, mesothelioma can lay dormant for
decades before turning fatal and is stealthy in its transmission.
"It [exposure] can also be indirect, like a woman who regularly
washed the asbestos-impregnated clothes of her husband," said
Domyung Paek, professor of occupational and environmental medicine
at Seoul University.

Other asbestos-related diseases include cancer of the lungs,
larynx and ovaries and asbestosis (when lung tissue becomes
fibrous).

Not all asbestos is deadly, according to the Canadian government-
backed Chrysotile Institute (CI), an asbestos industry association
which says the only kind still used today (white asbestos or
chrysotile) is safe.

"Chrysotile, is a valuable material.  It is cheap and long-
lasting," said Clement Godbout, president of CI.  "And if you
follow safe use procedures, health effects are trivial, if any
. . . The alternatives to asbestos are much more expensive."

But WHO has noted all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic and
potentially fatal depending on exposure.

"Asbestos is the first cause of work-related diseases and the
second most carcinogenic substance in the environment [after
tobacco] in industrialized countries.  The asbestos lobby has,
however, been able to delay any legal measure by several decades.
That is why civil society movements in Asia must be watchful,"
said Kazan-Allen of IBAS.

"Productivity requirements in the construction industry in Asia
are too high.  There is no way to use asbestos safely.  The long-
term public health costs will offset any economy made today," said
Seoul University's Paek.

In 2010, almost half of asbestos production was in Russia (49%).
Other big producers were China (20%), Brazil (13%), Kazakhstan
(10%), and Canada (5%).  Most of it was used in China (29%), India
(17%), Russia (14%), Kazakhstan (7%), Brazil (7%), Indonesia (5%),
Uzbekistan (5%), Thailand (4%), Vietnam (4%), Ukraine (3%), Sri
Lanka (2%) and Iran (1%).

Asbestos consumption has been stable since 1998, at around two
million tons per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Of the 12 top consumers worldwide of white asbestos, only Thailand
and Vietnam have taken action to reduce or ban its use.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bill Introduced to Ban Carcinogenic Brake Pads
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chantal Mack of Postmedia News reports that a private member's
bill was introduced in the Ontario legislature on March 21 that,
if passed, would be the first in Canada to prevent the importation
of brake pads containing asbestos.

"What the bill does is it gives -- within the Highway Traffic Act
of Ontario -- the (provincial) Ministry of Transportation the
ability to set standards for brakes.  But explicitly, it includes
that the brake pads shall not contain any asbestos," said Liz
Sandals, the Liberal provincial member from Guelph, Ont., who
introduced the bill.

In Ontario, it is not permissible to manufacture brake pads
containing asbestos but they continue to be imported.

Kathleen Ruff, senior human rights adviser to the independent
research group the Rideau Institute, believes it is impossible to
safely regulate the use of asbestos.

"We have been told that asbestos is safe when combined with other
material as it's the asbestos dust that's harmful," Ruff
explained.

"But there is no guarantee when it comes to brake pads.  They wear
over time, releasing dust, releasing the asbestos fibers into the
air and it causes a lot of harm."

When asbestos is inhaled, it increases the risks of getting
asbestosis, which is a scarring of the lungs that makes breathing
difficult.  It also can cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the
lining of the chest or abdominal cavity, as well as other forms of
cancer.

Ruff said people who are affected and harmed by asbestos "often
don't have a clue."

Sandals explained that the "poor mechanic who's changing the brake
pads has no idea where the brakes came from in the first place.

"If the brake pads were manufactured in Ontario it's a non-issue.
But if the brake pads are manufactured outside of Canada, we have
no idea what the content is," Sandals said.

"People understand that this seems to be a very peculiar gap in
Canadian law.  You can import into Canada something you can't
actually make in Canada because it's unsafe."

Sandals said the best way to address the issue is to "create a
standard that says you cannot have brake pads that contain
asbestos."

According to Health Canada, brake pads are vehicle parts and, as
such, are excluded from the application of the Canada Consumer
Product Safety Act and its regulations, such as the Asbestos
Products Regulations.

"Transport Canada is responsible for administering the Motor
Vehicle Safety Act, which regulates the manufacture and
importation of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment," said
Health Canada spokesman Gary Holub.

Federal New Democratic Party MP Paul Martin has been fighting to
ban asbestos since 1997.

Upon hearing about the bill Martin said: "I was very pleased with
the initiative taken in Ontario as asbestos is Canada's dirty
little secret and biggest shame.  Maybe, just maybe, Canadians
will finally take note of the horrendous asbestos problem."

                           *     *     *

Sarah Bridge of CBC News Canada reports that most mechanics
contacted by CBC News believed that asbestos was already banned
from brake pads years ago.  But figures from Statistics Canada
show that more than C$2.6 million worth of asbestos brake pads
entered the country in 2011.

The federal government doesn't require Canadian border agents to
verify whether companies are properly labeling these imports as
containing asbestos.

Sandals says that when brakes are manufactured in Ontario, we know
that they don't contain asbestos.  "That's because of all the
health and safety legislation around manufacturing in Ontario,"
she says.  "But if they come from somewhere else in the world, we
really have no idea what's in the brakes."

The lack of regulation makes it impossible for auto mechanics to
tell whether dust released from car and truck brakes contains
toxic fibers.

This worries Toronto mechanic Frank Esposito, who says he doesn't
take any chances with brake dust.  "I just have the mentality that
it's always dangerous, so work with caution," he says.  "At the
end of the night I make sure I don't bring my clothes home because
I don't want to bring [the dust] home.  And I wear a mask."

The risks are real.  Retired mechanic Shannon Groves says people
didn't know about the consequences of inhaling brake dust back
when he was a young boy helping out in his father's garage in
Russell, Ont., southeast of Ottawa.

Nearly two years ago, Groves was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a
deadly lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.

Doctors told Groves, 38, that his asbestos exposure was likely due
to decades of working with brakes.  "Usually this cancer is
diagnosed in your 60s or 70s," he says, referring to the long
latency period.  But having worked in the shop as a kid, he says,
"I've got my 30 years in already."

Along with chemotherapy and radiation, Groves endured a nine-hour
surgery in 2011, in which doctors removed one of his lungs, and
all the tissue lining his heart and abdomen.  Despite the
treatments, he says there is a 70% chance the cancer will return
in the next three years.

Other diseases have also been linked to mechanics' exposure to
asbestos brake dust, such as asbestosis and lung cancer.
According to the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of
Canada, 58 auto mechanics died of asbestos-related diseases
between 1996 and 2010.

When watching a brake job, it's clear how mechanics might breathe
in the deadly dust.  Brake pads wear down after regular brake use,
and the dust that is produced contains a mix of the fibers inside
of them.  As soon as a mechanic removes the circular brake drum
from a car wheel to reveal the brake parts, black dust is
released.

Experts have debated the usefulness of masks and gloves when it
comes to preventing exposure to asbestos brake dust.

"They're not particularly effective," says Paul Demers, director
of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Toronto.

Though Demers says proper respirators can prevent asbestos
inhalation, the fibers can stick to clothing and equipment long
after a car has left the garage bay.

"Once the dust is in that general environment there's going to be
things that disturb it back into the air," he says.  "The best
idea is to get rid of asbestos-containing products."

Canadian and American manufacturers have largely replaced friction
materials in brake pads with safer alternatives to asbestos, and
the asbestos-containing pads that come into Canada from overseas
make up only about 9% of the import value for aftermarket brake
pads.

But Demers says, "Even at very low levels, if you expose people to
asbestos, you're going to get cases of mesothelioma."

Busy mechanics like Esposito would rather the threat was prevented
altogether.

"I would hope the government would implement [rules] to make sure
100% that it's not in the materials . . . sold in Canada," he
says.

States like California and Washington have chosen to ban asbestos
and other harmful chemicals from brake linings.

In a statement, Health Canada told CBC News that, "The primary
risks associated with asbestos in brake pads would occur during
the manufacturing process."

"Science has established that asbestos is only dangerous when
fibers are present in the air that people breathe," the statement
said.  "If asbestos fibers are enclosed or tightly bound in a
product, there are no significant health risks."

Winnipeg Centre MP Pat Martin, who was exposed to asbestos as a
young man working in a Canadian asbestos mine, disagrees with this
statement.

"This is one of the 'safe use' canards of asbestos products," he
says. "There is no way to seal asbestos where it will remain
permanently sealed."

Brake pads are meant to wear down, which can cause asbestos fibers
to be released, Sandals notes.  "If your brakes are working
properly, [then] every time you apply the brakes there's
friction," says Sandals.  "Gradually the material on the brake
pads deteriorates, and that ends up in your wheel well."

Once you bring your car to the shop for a brake change, says
Sandals, "The auto mechanic is working in that wheel well that is
full of asbestos dust."

Martin says that an Ontario bill banning asbestos in brakes is a
move in the right direction, but it's not enough.

"If it starts [in Ontario], it'll spread," he says. "But . . . it
doesn't let the federal government off the hook.

"They should be the champions of the people who are being exposed,
and get out from under this class-A carcinogen altogether."

This story is the first in a three-part series, Exposed: On the
Job, about carcinogens in Canadian workplaces.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Goodyear Tire & Rubber, 81 Others Face Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kyla Asbury of The West Virginia Record reports that a Bluefield
couple is suing 82 companies they claim are responsible for a lung
cancer diagnosis.

On Aug. 15, 2011, Romie Coe was diagnosed with lung cancer,
according to a complaint filed Feb. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Coe and his wife, Joyce Ann Coe, claim he was exposed to asbestos
and/or asbestos-containing products during his working career from
1945 until 1984.

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

The Coes 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 Coes are seeking a jury trial to resolve all issues involved.
They are being represented by Victoria L. Antion --
motleyrice@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 82 companies named as defendants in the suit are 3M Company;
A.O. Smith Corporation; A.W. Chesterton Company; Ajax Magnethermic
Corporation; Allied Chemical Corporation; Amchem Products, Inc.;
Armstrong International, Inc.; Ashland, Inc.; Aurora Pump Company;
BW IP, Inc.; Catalytic Construction Company; Caterpillar, Inc.;
Certainteed Corporation; Cleaver-Brooks Company, Inc.; Copes-
Vulcan, Inc.; Crane Co.; Dravo Corporation; Eaton Electrical,
Inc.; Flowserve Corporation; Flowserve US, Inc.; FMC Corporation;
Ford Motor Company; Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation; Gardner
Denver, Inc.; General Electric Company; General Refractories
Company; Gordon Gasket & Packing Co.; Goulds Pumps, Inc.; Greene
Tweed & Company; Grinnell, Inc.; Hercules, Inc.; Honeywell
International f/k/a Allied Signal, Inc.; Honeywell International,
Inc.; Howden North America, Inc.; IMO Industries, Inc.; Industrial
Holdings Corporation; Ingersoll Rand Company; Insul Company, Inc.;
Invensys Systems, Inc.; ITT Corporation; J.H. France Refractories;
Joy Technologies, Inc.; McJunkin Corporation; Metropolitan Life
Insurance Company; Nagle Pumps; National Service Industries
Venture, Inc.; Nitro Industrial Coverings, Inc.; Ohio Valley
Insulating Company; Owens-Illinois, Inc.; Pneumo Abex Corporation;
Premier Refractories, Inc.; Rapid American Corporation; Rhone-
Poulenc, Inc.; Riley Power, Inc.; Rockwell Automations, Inc.;
Roper Pump Company; Rust Constructors, Inc.; Rust Engineering &
Construction, Inc.; Rust International, Inc.; Schneider Electric
USA, Inc.; Spirax Sarco, Inc.; State Electric Supply Company;
Sterling Fluid Systems LLC; Sundyne Corporation; SVI Corporation;
Swindell Dressier International Company; Tasco Insulations, Inc;
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Co.; The William Powell Company; Trane
U.S. Inc.; Union Boiler Company; Union Carbide Chemical and
Plastics Company, Inc.; Uniroyal, Inc.; United Conveyer
Corporation; United Engineers & Constructors and Washington Group
International; Viacom, Inc.; Viking Pump, Inc.; Vimasco
Corporation; Warren Pump; West Virginia Electric Supply Company;
Yarway Corporation; and Zurn Industries, LLC.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-383


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Caterpillar, 47 Other Companies Face Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kyla Asbury of The West Virginia Record reports that a Flatwoods,
Ky., woman is suing 48 companies she claims are responsible for
her husband's lung cancer and death.

On Feb. 2, 2011, Lloyd Edwin Barker was diagnosed with lung
cancer, from which he died on March 1, 2011, according to a
complaint filed Feb. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Earnestine Barker claims the 48 defendants exposed her late
husband to asbestos and/or asbestos-containing products during his
employment as a crane leader, steel worker and laborer from 1953
until 1993.

The defendants knew or should have known of the harm of exposure
to asbestos and/or asbestos-containing products, according to the
suit.

Earnestine Barker claims 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.

Earnestine Barker is seeking a jury trial to resolve all issues
involved.  She is being represented by Victoria L. Antion --
motleyrice@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 48 companies named as defendants in the suit are A.K. Steel
Corporation; A.W. Chesterton Company; Amdura Corporation; Atlas
Turner, Inc.; Bucyrus International, Inc.; Caterpillar Inc.; Clark
Equipment Company; Cleaver-Brooks Company, Inc.; Columbus McKinnon
Corporation; Crane Co.; Dravo Corporation; Flowserve FSD
Corporation; FMC Corporation; Foscco, Inc.; Foster Wheeler Energy
Corporation; General Electric Company; Goulds Pumps, Inc.;
Hercules, Inc.; Honeywell International; IMO Industries, Inc.;
Industrial Holdings Corporation; Ingersoll-Rand Company; Insul
Company, Inc.; ITT Corporation; McJunkin Red Man Corporation;
Morgan Engineering, Inc.; NACCO Materials Handling Group, Inc.;
Nitro Industrial Coverings, Inc.; Oglebay Norton Company; Owens-
Illinois, Inc.; Pettibone/Traverse Lift, LLC; Premier
Refractories, Inc..; Reading Crane and Engineering Company; Riley
Power Inc.; Rust Constructors, Inc.; Rust Engineering &
Construction, Inc.; Rust International, Inc.; Schneider Electric
USA, Inc.; State Electric Supply Company; Sterling Fluid Systems
(US) LLC; Sunbeam Corporation; Tasco Insulations, Inc.; The
Alliance Machine Company; UB West Virginia, Inc.; United Engineers
& Constructors and Washington Group International; Vimasco
Corporation; West Virginia State Electric Supply Company; and Yale
Materials Handling Corporation.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-381


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1st Week of April Is 'Asbestos Awareness Week'
---------------------------------------------------------------
The first week of April this year will be Asbestos Awareness Week,
thanks to a resolution passed by the U.S. Senate last week, said
Shrader & Associates attorney Justin Shrader.  The resolution is
the eighth of its kind passed since 2005.  Asbestos fibers were a
common industrial material for many decades, but have been found
to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and other diseases.  The
awareness week is a great way to improve the public's
understanding of the threat asbestos poses to health, Shrader
said.

"Many people don't realize how much of a problem asbestos
continues to be in the United States," Shrader said.  "Some uses
of asbestos are still legal in manufacturing and many products and
buildings created before the 80s are likely to contain the fiber."

Exposure to asbestos is dangerous because its long, thin fibers
embed themselves in the lining of the lung when they are inhaled.
The fibers irritate the tissue, eventually causing the development
of a tumor.  Symptoms of mesothelioma may not show for decades
after exposure, when the cancer is fairly advanced and the
prognosis is often poor.

"Because asbestos exposure can have such serious health effects,
those responsible for the exposure often face legal consequences
for their negligence," Shrader said.  "We believe in fighting for
the compensation that our clients need to begin covering their
medical expenses and other damages."

The attorneys at Shrader & Associates are dedicated to helping
those exposed to asbestos.  Anyone who feels his or her safety may
have been risked or who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma
should accept a free complimentary legal consultation to learn
more about his or her options.  Shrader & Associates can be
reached by phone at (888) 637-6236 or online at
http://www.shraderlaw.com/

Shrader & Associates is a leading national law firm that
specializes in representing individuals harmed by dangerous
products and toxic chemicals.  These dedicated professionals have
extensive experience handling personal injury and product
liability lawsuits.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM Adds New Mesothelioma Data on Website
-----------------------------------------------------------
Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive disease caused by
asbestos exposure, often diagnosed after a immunohistochemistry
panel is taken that can distinguish it from other lung carcinomas
and adenocarcinoma (ADCA).  According to a study published in
Anatomic Pathology, "The correct diagnosis is primarily a
difficult challenge for the pathologist.  The most common problem
is probably that of distinguishing between an epithelial
type...and metastatic adenocarcinoma."

Because getting a correct diagnosis of epithelial mesothelioma is
crucial for early intervention and using the right treatment, CPSM
has added fact sheets to their website explaining what epithelioid
mesothelioma is and what adenocarcinoma is.  As stated in the
information section for patients at the MD Anderson Cancer Center,
a medical facility that specializes in treating mesothelioma,
there are three main histological types of mesothelioma:

     -- Epithelioid Mesothelioma: 60% to 70% of cases, usually
        has the best outcome.

     -- Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma: 10% to 15% of cases, more
        aggressive.

     -- Biphasic or mixed Mesothelioma: 10% to 15% of cases,
        extremely aggressive.

Mesothelioma is caused when asbestos fibers lodge in the
mesothelium, or thin membrane lining that surrounds the internal
body organs, most commonly the lungs, heart and abdomen.  The
mesothelium contains epithelial cells, hence the name for this
kind of malignancy.  Because malignant epithelioid mesothelioma is
the most common, Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason is expanding the
information on their website to help patients and their family
members to understand the diagnosis quickly and easily.

CPSM has represented several clients in mesothelioma lawsuits who
were originally mistakenly given a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma,
which delayed more immediate intervention, hence their desire to
provide as much information as possible to improve client's
chances of correct diagnosis and longer survival.

For more information on all types of mesothelioma, visit CPSM's
website.  Patients diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma have a
right to file an asbestos lawsuit or bankruptcy claim against the
large corporations who made the products that caused illness or
death.  Contact CPSM today at 1-800-440-4262 to speak with a
mesothelioma attorney or to receive a no cost evaluation.

            About Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason

CPSM are pioneers in asbestos litigation, helping those diagnosed
with all types of mesothelioma including Pleural Mesothelioma,
Peritoneal Mesothelioma, Pericardial Mesothelioma and Testicular
Mesothelioma for more than 30 years.  Clients injured by asbestos
can also have asbestosis, a debilitating disease caused by
scarring of the lungs, and other types of non-small cell lung
cancer. CPSM is dedicated to helping those suffering from asbestos
related illnesses to recover money from the large corporations
responsible for their injuries.

CPSM has just updated their website to help those newly diagnosed
with epithelial mesothelioma, the most common type of asbestos
cancer.  Since adenocarcinoma can be made as an improper diagnosis
for what is actually mesothelioma, CPSM also added a fact sheet
that explains the difference between the two.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: FDA Toxin Test Results on Cosmetics Inconclusive
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Hall of The Mesothelioma Center reports that The U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it concluded testing
dozens of cosmetic products for asbestos contamination.

Following up on concerns raised about the safety of some
cosmetics, the FDA quietly had laboratory testing performed on
approximately 34 different products between Sept. 28, 2009, and
Sept. 27, 2010.

Asbestos, a naturally occurring yet toxic mineral, could
theoretically end up in makeup products because of its
relationship to talc, which is widely used in cosmetics to absorb
moisture and improve the textural feel of products.

Both minerals are naturally located in close proximity of each
other in the earth.

Because asbestos exposure has been linked to numerous health
concerns including lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis and
pleural plaques, its use in cosmetic products could have
tremendous health ramifications for consumers.  Some research has
even shown potential connections to gastrointestinal cancers and
other diseases.

In its testing of the cosmetics, the FDA worked with a third party
to conduct a survey of cosmetic-grade raw material talc and talc
that was already contained within makeup.

The FDA began by finding cosmetic talc supplies through the 2008
edition of International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and
Handbook.  Seven were found through this channel, two more were
found through online search.

Four of the nine companies agreed to participate with the FDA's
request.

AMA Analytical Services, Inc., was contracted to perform the
actual laboratory testing, since the FDA's cosmetic lab doesn't
have the proper equipment required to accurately obtain the
results.

Among the 34 total cosmetic products that were tested included eye
shadow, blush, foundation, face powder and body powder.

All the various samples were examined and analyzed three times
according to methods published by reputable agencies like the New
York Department of Health and the Environmental Laboratory
Approval Program.

Survey testing found that no asbestos fibers were found in any
samples of the cosmetic products that contained talc, which bodes
well for all cosmetic consumers.

However, the FDA has labeled the results as "informative" but not
conclusive because only four out of the requested nine
participated in the study.

The agency states that the results do not definitively prove
whether asbestos-containing talc is or is not being marketed and
sold across retailers in the United States.

Just as this concern has been raised in the past, it is likely to
be raised again in the future until widespread and complete
testing is conducted across all major cosmetic suppliers and
brands.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: IL SC Grants Defendant CSX's Motion for Dismissal
------------------------------------------------------------------
Jessica M. Karmasek of Legal Newsline reports that the Illinois
Supreme Court, in a ruling Thursday, March 22, deemed a
plaintiff's allegations in a case over asbestos exposure
"insufficient."

In a nine-page opinion, the Court majority said Annette Simpkins'
three-count complaint filed in 2007 against defendant CSX
Transportation failed to establish that the company owed a duty of
care to her.

Simpkins, later substituted by her daughter Cynthia, alleged
negligence, wanton and willful conduct, and strict liability for
her exposure to take-home asbestos on the clothing of her husband,
Ronald, who worked for CSX from 1958 to 1964.

Just months after filing the lawsuit, Annette Simpkins died of
mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

CSX argues that because it had no direct relationship with Annette
Simpkins, it cannot be liable for her injury.

And because she was not an employee, never visited its premises
and was not a "vicarious beneficiary" of any duty it owed her
husband, CSX asserts it owed her no duty.

Simpkins, in turn, argues that CSX created the risk of harm at
issue and, in such a case, a preexisting special relationship is
not a prerequisite to a finding that there was a duty owed by
defendant to plaintiff.

The Madison County Circuit Court granted CSX's motion to dismiss.
An appellate court later reversed and remanded the case to the
circuit court.  CSX then appealed to the state's high court.

The Court affirmed the appellate court's reversal but remanded the
case to the circuit court to allow Simpkins to amend her
complaint.

"The concept of duty in negligence cases is involved, complex and
nebulous," Justice Rita B. Garman wrote for the majority.

At issue is the relationship between the defendant CSX and
plaintiff Simpkins, the Court said.

"We have recognized four relationships that give rise to an
affirmative duty to aid or protect another against an unreasonable
risk of physical harm: 'common carrier and passenger, innkeeper
and guest, custodian and ward, and possessor of land who holds it
open to the public and member of the public who enters in response
to the possessor's invitation.'

"We have also recognized a duty to a third party to control the
individual who is the source of the harm when a defendant has a
special relationship with that person, such as a parent-child
relationship and a master-servant or employer-employee
relationship."

The next question, the Court said, is whether the defendant, by
its act or omission, contributed to a risk of harm to this
particular plaintiff.

In this case, CSX argues that Simpkins' complaint is insufficient
because it relies on the "conclusory allegation" that the company
"knew or should have known" of the dangers of secondhand asbestos
exposure.

"Defendant is correct," Garman wrote.  "Plaintiff has failed to
allege facts specific enough to analyze whether, if those facts
were proven true, defendant would have been able to reasonably
foresee plaintiff's injury."

However, the Court said CSX was wrong in just now making the
argument.

"Because foreseeability is such an integral factor to the
existence of duty and because the weight to be accorded to that
foreseeability (as well as to the other factors) depends on the
particular circumstances of the case, without more detailed
pleadings we cannot determine whether, if all well-pled facts are
taken as true, a duty of care ran from defendant to plaintiff in
this case," Garman wrote.

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and Justices Lloyd A. Karmeier
and Mary Jane Theis concurred.

Justice Charles E. Freeman dissented, along with Justice Anne M.
Burke.

"In remanding this case to allow for amending the complaint, the
Court does not answer the substantive question of whether a legal
duty exists at all for secondhand asbestos exposure, ostensibly
the reason we granted leave to appeal," Freeman wrote.

Remand, he argues, is inappropriate here.

"The facts as already alleged put the issue of liability for
secondhand asbestos exposure squarely before the Court for
determination," Freeman wrote.

The justice said he would hold that no duty exists in this case
and that the circuit court correctly granted CSX's motion to
dismiss.

Justice Robert R. Thomas took no part in the decision.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Firefighter's COD caused by Toxic Fibers
------------------------------------------------------------
The Sentinel at Thisisstaffordshire.co.uk reports that asbestos
has been blamed for the death of a former firefighter and factory
worker after years of exposure.  Harry Boulton, aged 67, of Butt
Lane, Kidsgrove, died on Feb. 10.

Speaking at his inquest, daughter Deborah Turner said her father
had provided maintenance on the looms at a nylon factory in Talke
after leaving school at 15.

She said: "He told me on a number of occasions while working on
the looms he would handle asbestos."  Mr. Boulton worked at the
factory for 10 years until he became a firefighter.

His health deteriorated last November and he was diagnosed with
widespread cancer.  He was taken to Blurton-based Douglas
Macmillan Hospice where he spent his last day.

Deputy Coroner Anthony Curzon recorded a verdict of industrial
disease.  The cause of death was cancer of the lungs caused by
asbestos exposure and tobacco.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Break-In In Niagara School May Have Stirred Fibro
------------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick Moussignac at WGRZ.com reports that a break in and an act
of vandalism at a former High School in Niagara Falls caused a
brief asbestos scare there on March 23.  The concern was enough to
shut down half of a city block, and nearby playground.

The Niagara Falls City School District told 2 On Your Side no one
is quite sure when the actual break in occurred.  It is believed
to have happened sometime on March 21.

A group of kids not only broke into the school, but also walked
out with material they used to write graffiti over portions of the
sidewalk on the property.

Yellow tape surrounded the former South Junior High School
building on Portage Road, because the material used to write
graffiti on the sidewalks was being tested for asbestos.

Although it appeared to be written in chalk, a spokesperson for
the Niagara Falls City School District said the writings were
actually done with pieces of thermal insulation from inside the
building.

Judie Gregory said the district was made aware of the vandalism by
a tree removing crew from the city.  Gregory did confirm that the
district still owns the building which hasn't been used since
1988.  Over the years asbestos has been removed from the building,
and Gregory said that raised a concern.

"Certainly anytime that there's a situation with hazardous
material that's very serious, that's something we would take very
seriously.  Again we're absolutely confident that this is highly
unlikely to be asbestos, but we are following our procedures and
getting it tested and taking all necessary and taking all
necessary and due precautions just to keep everyone safe."

Yellow tape also blocked the entrances of a small playground on
the school's property. Although no graffiti was found in that area
several yards away from the building, it too was closed as a
precaution.

Pieces of the thermal insulation were collected by the State
Asbestos Incident Report Center for testing.  The results have yet
to be released.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Non-Friable Fibro Found in Oswego DSS Building
---------------------------------------------------------------
Debra J. Groom of The Post-Standard reports that asbestos has been
found in some ceiling tiles in the older section of the Oswego
County Department of Social Services building in Mexico.

County Administrator Philip Church said the tiles tested positive
for low-level asbestos content less than 2%.  He also said the
ceiling tiles pose no health threat unless they are damaged or
moved.

The county is taking several steps to address the issue, including
developing a maintenance safety plan for replacing the tiles.  Air
quality was tested in that section of the building and Church said
"air monitoring test results found no asbestos."

The county also is reviewing maintenance records for all county
facilities to determine if other buildings may be affected.

All Department of Social Services employees were notified.  Labor
union leaders representing DSS employees also were notified.

"If a potential safety or health issue is discovered, the County
works to identify the problem, promptly notify its employees, and
resolve the issue as soon as possible," Church said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rhode Island Reports Top 10 Deadliest Jobs
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mark Hall of The Mesothelioma Center reports that the death of two
welders helped place welding, along with nine other careers, among
the top 10 deadliest jobs in Rhode Island, according to local
reports from that state.

More than 30,000 workplace injuries have been reported in these
top ten occupations in the state.  Even worse, dozens of Rhode
Island residents have lost their lives because of work-related
duties.

Because asbestos has heat-resistant and insulating
characteristics, it was widely used throughout countless
industrial settings.  Exposure to this substance has been
conclusively linked to multiple cancers and diseases, including
lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural plaques.

Across the nation, these diseases are statistically more common
among construction workers, automobile mechanics and electricians,
rather than white-collar careers.  In Rhode Island, the same
results likely apply.

The deadliest jobs in the state include some commonly-perceived
dangerous jobs, in addition to some less-obvious occupations.

Truck drivers, construction workers, delivery service workers and
electricians are all at the top of the list, with jobs like
janitors and non-construction laborers towards the bottom.

The top 10 list was compiled utilizing data from the Rhode Island
Department of Labor and Training between 2001 and 2010.

Some are surprised by the report's results, with added confusion
coming from two interesting explanations of the analysis.

First, the report found that the most common reason for
occupational injuries and deaths involved the failures by
employees and employers to even recognize the presence and
existence of these hazards.

For example, in the case of automobile mechanics, it may not be
widely known that brake pads and other car parts may be
constructed partially of asbestos.  So continuous handling of
these supplies and breathing in resulting fumes can cause
tremendous health concerns over the course of decades.  Without
the knowledge of the asbestos parts, better safety measures were
not put in place.

The second is the lack of action even when the hazard is known.
Reports show that employees are often aware of these workplace
dangers but don't speak up, and therefore, nothing gets done to
improve the situation.

A common reason for this lack of communication involves foreign
laborers, many of whom may not speak English.

Because many of these workers have language barriers and fear
complications with their immigration status and say nothing about
the fatally-dangerous work environments.

These workers have been known to be in occupations like waste
removal, asbestos abatement and other jobs where the proper
equipment and training is essential to safely perform the job
task.  Unfortunately, the training and equipment isn't always
provided.

An additional insight into the numbers noted that unionized
industries tended to have safer environments that invested more in
training programs, resulting in less workplace accidents and
deaths.

Rhode Island's Deadliest Jobs (2001-10)
  
Job / Occupation             # of Deaths   Total # of Injuries
Truck Drivers                   5                4,134
Construction Laborers           3                1,978
Delivery Service Workers        3                7,130
Electricians                    3                2,207
Welders & Cutters               2                1,546
Automobile Mechanics            2                2,288
Janitors & Maintenance Workers  2                9,701
Non-Construction Laborers       2                  602
Moving Equipment Operators      2                  631
Ushers (death due to fire)*     2                   23

TOTAL                          26               30,240

*This figure is considered an anomaly because the deaths were
caused by an accidental fire unrelated to the daily duties of the
position.

Most of the Rhode Island occupations noted for workplace accidents
and deaths can also be seen at a national level, especially with
regards to exposure to asbestos and related toxins.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
has stated that over 75 different occupational groups likely have
had asbestos exposure, putting these workers at risk of developing
one or more of the asbestos-related diseases.

Because the mineral's fibers are microscopic, the presence of
asbestos fibers in the air may not be apparent.  Continual intake
over the course of a career can severely increase the chance of
developing an asbestos-related disease.

These diseases commonly take up to 50 years to become evident,
posing additional problems related to treatment.

Asbestos was so widely used during the 1900s that experts believe
that it can still be found in thousands of products, potentially
causing harm today, years after its discontinued production.
Mesothelioma, a cancer known to be caused by asbestos exposure,
affects approximately 3,000 Americans every year, most of whom
developed the disease from workplace hazards.

Anyone who was involved in the manufacturing or distribution of
asbestos-containing materials is at risk of exposure and should
consider receiving regular screenings for asbestos diseases.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Law Firm Shared Stolen Files From Rival
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Reynolds of the Courthouse News Service reports that an
attorney claims in Superior Court that a law firm specializing in
asbestos claims shared confidential client files stolen from a
competitor, and fired him after he discovered the data on the
firm's servers.

Attorney Joseph C. Maher II sued Weitz & Luxenberg, Perry Weitz --
clientrelations@weitzlux.com -- Arthur Luxenberg --
clientrelations@weitzlux.com -- and Benno Ashrafi --
BAshrafi@weitzlux.com -- also an attorney.

Ashrafi, now managing attorney of the defendant firm's Los Angeles
office, stole the files from his former employer, Waters, Krause &
Paul, according to the complaint.

Waters, Krause & Paul is not a party to the case.

Maher claims he was forced out of Weitz & Luxenberg as "part of a
Machiavellian plot" after he discovered the files had been swiped
from Waters, Krause & Paul.

Maher claims his employers tried to stop him from disclosing the
alleged theft as part of his termination agreement.

Maher says he worked for Weitz & Luxenberg for a year and half on
the recommendation of famed legal clerk and activist Erin
Brockovich, who works, or worked, as a consultant for the firm,
according to a 2008 article in the ABA Journal.

"On Aug. 27 and again on Aug. 29, 2011, plaintiff Maher
discovered, on the Weitz & Luxenberg Los Angeles office T:/drive
computer file, the contents of the Waters, Krause & Paul law firm
computer files that seemed to be a wholesale copy of the entire
and complete Waters, Krause & Paul confidential and/or proprietary
asbestos legal practice," the complaint states.  "As emails, later
discovered, bear out, these Waters, Krause & Paul files were
uploaded from defendant Benno Ashrafi's personal external hard-
drive to the Weitz & Luxenberg servers and computer network as
hereinbefore described, with the knowledge and approval of Perry
Weitz and Arthur M. Luxenberg."

Maher claims the information included Waters, Krause & Paul
databases, client files, settlement documents and confidential
patient information, including medical records and Social Security
numbers.

Maher claims that the data on the firm's network and servers was
made available to more than 370 employees, so that "a janitor, law
clerk, secretary or any other personnel in the office could access
this data, take this data for their own personal use and/or steal
a copy of the data for themselves and then sell their services to
yet another law firm who stood to gain from the misuse of the
Waters, Krause & Paul clients."

Maher claims the stolen information also allowed Weitz and
Luxenberg to solicit Waters, Kraus & Paul clients.

"The enormity and breathtaking scope of stealing the entirety of
the Waters, Krause & Paul clients is massive from an
anticompetitive and unfair trade practices perspective," according
to the 59-page complaint.  "The asbestos litigation arena is an
area that is continuing and which does not end with a settlement.
Unlike a single class action that ends when it is settled,
asbestos mesothelioma lawsuits are individual cases, and by
current epidemiologic estimates, the disease of mesothelioma will
continue almost at its current rate until 2040, and will continue
after that but will decrease.  Here, all of the client files
contained the confidential settlements.  Therefore, defendants
could 'reverse engineer' the profitability of Waters, Krause &
Paul, and with the market strength that defendants have, they can
engineer national settlements so as to undercut Waters, Krause &
Paul in an attempt to drive down Waters, Krause & Paul settlements
which would be severely injurious to Waters, Krause & Paul.
Additionally with such confidential settlement information,
defendants could use that information to court and solicit also
take away known attorney and prospective referrals from Waters,
Krause & Paul.  This anticompetitive effect could be so
significant as to reach well into multiples of tens of millions of
dollars over time. . . .

"The asbestos exhibits stolen from Waters, Krause & Paul have a
cost over time in the multiple millions of dollars, having come
from hard-fought discovery against opposing lawyers and their
clients over decades, as well as from highly paid experts."

Attached as an exhibit to the complaint is a copy of an email
dated Sept. 2, 2011, at 1:45 p.m., from Maher to Perry Weitz,
Arthur Luxenberg and two others, "their partner Robert Gordon and
the managing attorney in New York," according to the complaint.

Maher writes in the email: "I am reporting to you a very serious
matter that requires your immediate care.  It has come to my
attention that virtually the entirety of the Waters, Krause & Paul
firm files were copied and taken from WKP and are now on the Weitz
& Luxenberg network and servers, accessible on a firm wide basis
for any person to view and copy.  This information appears to
include WKP databases and client files containing confidential
settlement documents and memoranda and personal records such as
medical, social security and tax info, etc.  Given the scope and
magnitude of the WKP files and info on our network, it appears the
firm has rec'd confidential and proprietary materials belonging to
WKP, This places the firm, as well as myself, at great risk and
makes me nervous. Please look into this immediately. Joe Maher,"
according to Exhibit 1, attached to the complaint.

Arthur Luxenberg's emailed response, dated six minutes later,
states: "Have u spoken to Benno about this?" according to the
exhibit.

Maher says in his complaint that the firm "did not seem alarmed by
the situation, and made excuses for defendant Benno Ashrafi's
behavior."

Maher claims he was fired less than two months later, while
Ashrafi was promoted.

Maher claims the firm negotiated an "all encompassing" and "take
it or leave it" severance package and separation agreement to
intimidate him into silence.

"The agreement was an effort by defendants to control plaintiff
Maher and prevent him from making any moral or ethical disclosure
that may be required by the Rules of Professional Conduct
regarding the stolen data or the despicable conduct of the thief,
defendant Ashrafi.  The sole purpose of this was to ensure the
defendants ability to continue to use the stolen data and profit
by it as described hereinabove," the complaint states.

Maher seeks punitive damages for breach of implied contract,
wrongful termination against public policy, implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing, fraud, unjust enrichment, unjust
enrichment for wages earned, tortious interference with contract,
and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

He is represented by Emanuel Barling Jr.

Weitz & Luxenberg did not immediately respond to a request for
comment.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Strand Theatre to Be Tested for Carcinogens
------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Eichenberger of ThisWeek Community Newspapers Delaware County
commissioners on March 19 voted to allocate $1,800 for asbestos
and lead testing at the Strand Theatre.

The money will come out of the $150,000 the commissioners set
aside in October 2010 for renovation of the Strand, that would
promote the building's safety and accessibility for the elderly
and the disabled.

"Typically, what happens with old buildings is that you find
things you don't expect," county economic development director Gus
Comstock said of the Strand, which opened at 28 E. Winter St. in
April 1916.  "We need to do an asbestos and lead test on suspected
areas to clear that."

Commissioner Tommy Thompson asked Comstock, "At this point, is
there any friable asbestos in the Strand?"

Comstock said, "Generally you'll find asbestos in the pipe
coverings and insulation of many older buildings."

"So it's encapsulated?" Thompson asked.

"Yes, and what you don't want is for it to become airborne, which
is why we're doing the testing," Comstock said.  "There are
special techniques used to handle materials contaminated by lead
or asbestos."

Comstock said the procedure was required for all projects funded
in part by the federal government.

"The testing is designed to keep the contaminated materials out of
the waste stream," he said.

County economic development Coordinator Dottie Brown said the
initial testing will be unobtrusive.  The consulting company
Chryatech Inc. will take cotton swab samples at the Strand for
analysis at its lab in Hebron.

If asbestos or lead is found, removal of the contaminated material
would be done during non-business hours. (The Strand has operated
continuously for 96 years and counting.)

The Strand was purchased in 2002 by Ohio Wesleyan University,
which helped create the Strand Theatre and Cultural Arts
Association, the nonprofit that currently owns the theater.

"Testing for asbestos and lead is a precaution that's necessary,"
Thompson said.  "If we're going to have a usable facility for
public use, this needs to be done and will help restore and
maintain the old Strand Theatre."

Thompson and Commissioner Ken O'Brien voted for the expenditure;
Commissioner Dennis Stapleton was absent.

Also at the meeting, Thompson and O'Brien voted to release to the
public the results of an environmental review for $42,900 in
Ostrander street improvements, funded by a federal Community
Development Block Grant.

The review projected no significant environmental impact.

Releasing the results is a formality that allows the project to
get under way, Comstock said.

"I think it's important that whenever we are able to work with one
of our smaller communities, we do so," Thompson said, "Our
relationship with those smaller communities is important and we
need to enhance them."

The money for the Ostrander project comes out of the $153,000 in
the CDBG's "Small Cities" fund.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Coliseum Workers Prepares to Sue Nassau County
---------------------------------------------------------------
Greg Cergol of NBC New York reports that State inspectors began an
asbestos investigation at Nassau Coliseum on March 23, prompted by
complaints from workers, a state department of Labor spokesman
said.

About a dozen workers told NBC New York that several areas of the
more than 4-year-old arena are covered with what they believe is
dangerous asbestos.  Photos provided by their lawyer showed a
white substance on the floor and walls of the coliseum's boiler
room.

The asbestos probe began as thousands of parents and their
children visited the arena for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum
and Bailey Circus.

"It's really shocking and upsetting," said Stephanie Coons, a
pregnant mother of two children.  "I am sorry to hear that."

The workers expressed concerns for their health and safety.  Two
of their longtime colleagues, they said, have contracted
mesothelioma and cancer and the workers suspect the building
played a role.

"We've raised questions about it for years and were always told it
was nothing," said one worker.

"Sometimes we have to drill into it and the fibers fly
everywhere," said another.  "When blowers are used to clean up,
the asbestos is sent into the air."

According to the website for the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, "when asbestos-containing materials are damaged or
disturbed by repair, remodeling or demolition activities,
microscopic fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the
lungs, where they can cause significant health problems."

None of the workers wanted their identities revealed, saying they
feared for their jobs.

Earlier this year, however, one worker collected samples of the
white material and brought it to three labs for testing.

According to that worker's lawyer, the testing confirmed dangerous
levels of potentially airborne asbestos in work areas like the
coliseum's boiler room and loading dock as well as stairwells and
other places accessible to the public.

"I don't think it's a safe place for my workers," said Garden City
attorney Joseph Dell, who represents electricians, plumbers,
stagehands, carpenters and other coliseum workers now preparing to
sue the coliseum's owner, Nassau County.

"I don't know if the public is at risk," said Dell.  "My concern
is for those working in it every day.  They make their livings in
that building and they don't want it shut down.  They just want
answers."

Federal inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration has opened their own investigation at the coliseum.

"OSHA opened an inspection at the coliseum on March 20 in response
to a worker complaint," said spokesman Edmund Fitzgerald in a
statement.  "The purpose will be to determine if there are any
violations of workplace health and safety standards."

In a statement, Nassau County did not address the asbestos
questions.

"The administration has long stated the need for a new sports
entertainment arena, as the Nassau coliseum is the oldest un-
renovated sports facility in the nation," said Brian Nevin, a
spokesman for County Executive Edward Mangano.

The coliseum's primary tenant, the NY Islanders, called for a
complete review of the asbestos claims.

"The Islanders expect that the building owner, Nassau county and
the building facility manager, SMG, will review the allegations
and take any and all appropriate action.  The safety of our fans,
players and employees is paramount," said the Islanders senior
vice-president, Michael Picker.

Calls to coliseum manager, SMG, were not returned.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Children in Niagara Falls Played With Carcinogens
------------------------------------------------------------------
Eli George of WIVB.com reports that parents assumed their kids
were just having fun, drawing on the sidewalk with chalk outside a
former high school in Niagara Falls.  As it turns out, the
children were exposing themselves to dangerous asbestos.

As Tammy Shermer watched clean-up crews remove dangerous asbestos
along Portage Road on Saturday, she couldn't help but still be
concerned.

"I just thought some kids brought chalk and they were having fun
playing sidewalk chalk," she exclaimed.

Those kids included her daughter.  And that chalk was actually
asbestos, wrapped around pipes deep inside a tunnel within the
former Niagara Falls South Junior High School building.  Vandals
presumably broke in to steal the pipes, ditching the insulation
outside the building.  The innocent kids picked it up to play.

Shermer worried, "It just shocks me.  I'm scared for my daughter.
What's to come of her health later on?"

The answer to that question is complicated.

Kevin O'Connor of Watts A&E said, "The problem with asbestos
exposure is symptoms of related illnesses don't appear for up to
40 years later."

O'Conner explained illness from asbestos usually happens when
someone is exposed in a tight area, like a factory, not in open
air like this case.  The cleanup consists of wetting the sidewalks
and combing through the grass like an Easter Egg hunt.

Superintendent of Schools Cynthia Bianco says parents have been
supportive of their response, saying, "We're taking all the
appropriate, necessary steps to make sure it's cleaned up and
becomes safe again."

As for Shermer, that's not quite enough to calm her fears.

"Not just for my daughter but these little kids who are 5 and 6.
What's going to happen? They didn't tell me anything.  Anything I
heard, I found out from the news," she said.

Crews expected to finish the cleanup by the end of the month.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trigger Case Rule May Cost Insurers GBP5 Billion
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Independent (London) reports that thousands of families
whose relatives were killed by asbestos cancers will win a
landmark compensation victory, sources have told The Independent
on March 25.  The Supreme Court will rule on March 28 that
insurers who offered cover at the time victims inhaled the deadly
fibers will have to pay compensation.

Four insurance companies have been fighting to minimize payouts to
6,000 families who have a member who has died or is suffering from
mesothelioma, a cancer resulting from exposure to asbestos.  Once
the court rules against the insurers, the compensation bill could
be in excess of GBP600m.  If you include future claims that will
be brought, up to 25,000 families could be affected by the ruling,
pushing the potential bill to GBP5 billion.

The Independent has been campaigning since 2009 for insurance
companies to pay out to victims whose firms they supposedly
covered when they were negligently exposed to asbestos dust.

The test case, which has gone to the High Court and the Court of
Appeal, has been running since 2006 and is one of the most
protracted in legal history.  Most of the cancer patients affected
by its ruling have now died, and it is their relatives who have
been waiting on the result.

Asbestos exposure is the biggest killer in the British workplace,
causing more than 4,000 deaths every year -- more than road
traffic accidents.  The fibers can be in a person's lungs for half
a century before causing cancer, so that deaths in the UK are not
expected to peak until 2016.

It has been known that asbestos dust caused fatal lung cancers
since 1955, and its "evil effects" were observed in factories as
early as 1898.  Because of this, employers -- or if they no longer
exist, their insurers -- are liable to compensate those needlessly
killed by it.

The insurers argued that an employer's liability was restricted to
when the cancerous tumors started to develop, instead of when
victims were exposed to the dust.  Decades can pass before the
cancer develops.

Many building firms that employed people to work with asbestos
fibers in the 1960s and 1970s no longer exist.  As a result, if
the families had lost the court battle they would have been left
with no compensation at all, despite their employers having paid
insurers to protect against worker injury in good faith.

MMI, Builders Accident, Excess and the Independent Insurance
Company are the four firms that brought the litigation.  The move
was seen as so controversial that most insurers distanced
themselves from the case, including the Association of British
Insurers.

Insurance executives are paid extra for saving their company money
in asbestos payments.  Ian Willett, an executive at MMI, even
admitted the successful outcome of this case was likely to affect
his bonus.

Carolann Hepworth, a solicitor for John Pickering acting for one
of the families in the test case, said: "Millions of pounds have
been wasted chasing this case when families could have just been
compensated.  [Insurance companies] were meeting the claims before
this cynical attempt to avoid them.  They took huge premiums for
many years."

Compensation payments for the aggressive cancer mesothelioma,
which can be triggered by inhaling a single fiber of asbestos, are
usually in the region of GBP200,000.  It is likely the court will
make an order that the payment of damages have to be made to the
families at the heart of the case within two weeks.

Ian McFall, the head of asbestos policy at Thompson's solicitors,
said: "It's the most important test case in the history of
asbestos litigation.  There's a huge amount riding on it for the
victims and their families, who have suffered immeasurably and
waited so long."

From 1967 until 2006, insurers had been paying out routinely on
cases such as these.  But an unrelated case, which said that
people with mesothelioma only "suffered injury" at the time tumors
started to develop, gave them a loophole to bring a case.

The IoS understands that, unlike the Court of Appeal judgment in
2010, which left it very ambiguous as to who would receive
compensation, the Supreme Court will make a clear ruling returning
the law to the status quo which operated before the case was
brought.

The ongoing battle has become known as the Trigger Case, since it
centers around whether a person should claim from the insurer in
place at the time of the exposure which 'triggers' a cancer or at
the time of the later onset of illness.

Tony Whitston, of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum, said:
"A judgment in favor of mesothelioma sufferers in the Trigger Case
would avert a potential disaster for mesothelioma sufferers and
their families.  It would end years of heartache and misery for
thousands of families who are still grieving their loss and
enduring the stress of this case being dragged through the courts
by insurers.

"It is time to nail the lie that insurers simply wish to pay
compensation to mesothelioma sufferers without delay: their only
concern is to limit their liability to pay compensation, and they
don't give a damn if thousands die uncompensated while they drag
grieving families through the courts year after year."

This ruling will also pave the way for government measures on
asbestos compensation, which have been on hold pending the result
of this case.  Proposals were made under the Labour government for
a "fund of last resort" for all asbestos cancer victims who could
not trace the insurance policies that their employers took out.
The coalition told campaigners that no progress would be made on
this policy until the Trigger Case was concluded.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Belluck & Fox Greets Advancements in ARD Research
------------------------------------------------------------------
New York mesothelioma attorney Joseph W. Belluck said he welcomes
recent reports of the advances being made in personalized
medicine.

Personalized medicine is treatment tailored to an individual's
DNA.  This emerging frontier in cancer treatment could ultimately
help patients with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related
diseases, Belluck said.

"It's clear that there is no one silver bullet to cure cancer,"
said Belluck, a partner of Belluck & Fox, LLP, a nationally
recognized New York personal injury firm that focuses on
mesothelioma lawsuits.

"However, these advances in personalized medicine give us hope
that many cancer patients will eventually be able to manage their
disease, as diabetics do today, and live normal lives," the
attorney said.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung and abdomen.
The aggressive cancer is associated with inhaling microscopic
asbestos fibers.

Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 people are diagnosed each year in the
U.S. with mesothelioma, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.  Most victims are older workers, retired
workers and veterans who were exposed to toxic asbestos in a
workplace or in the military, Belluck said.

The new interest in personalized medicine results from several
factors, according to a new article in the March/April edition of
Technology Review.  The journal is published by Massachusetts
Institute of Technology.

There has been a steep drop in the cost of decoding DNA.
Researchers have developed a stronger understanding of the
genetics of cancer.  And drug makers are focusing on developing
drugs that target gene defects that cause cells to become
cancerous, the article states.

Before Apple founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer last
year, Jobs paid scientists more than $100,000 to decode all the
DNA of his cancerous cells and normal cells in hopes of finding
information to suppress his advancing cancer, according to the
article. But today, the cost would be much lower.

Foundation Medicine, a biotechnology company, is now offering DNA
testing of tumor tissue to identity genetic mutations and help
oncologists select anti-cancer drugs that target the identified
DNA defects, the article reports.  Foundation Medicine expects to
process about 5,000 samples this year at a cost of $5,000 a
sample.

Drug companies have been utilizing the testing to get genetic
explanations of why some patients respond well to their cancer
drugs, but not others, the article says.

"While many of the drugs targeting specific gene defects remain in
early testing, personalized medicine is an approach that holds
much promise," Belluck said.

"At Belluck & Fox, we pride ourselves on providing professional
and personalized legal representation of victims of mesothelioma
and asbestos-related disease.  We assist each client based on
their specific set of facts.  These facts include their asbestos
exposure and the progression of their disease. "

                   About Belluck & Fox, LLP

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

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

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

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


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dismissal of JCI Defense Cost Claim Upheld
-----------------------------------------------------------
John Crane, Inc., appealed from an order dismissing its $1.08
million claim for defense costs against the liquidating estate of
Integrity Insurance Company, its insurance provider for asbestos-
related personal injury claims.  In a March 22, 2012 memorandum,
the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, affirmed the
dismissal order holding that the policy issued Twin City Fire
Insurance Company does not obligate it to assume the defense of
any claim.  The Appellate Court also declined to remand the matter
for reevaluation at this late date, more than two years after the
claims filing deadline has passed.

The case is IN THE MATTER OF THE LIQUIDATION OF INTEGRITY
INSURANCE COMPANY/JOHN CRANE, INC., Docket No. A-0839-11T1 (N.J.
Sup. Ct.).  A copy of the March 22 Decision is available at
http://is.gd/QEybXjfrom Leagle.com.

JCI is represented by:

         Edward B. Mueller, Esq.
         NISEN & ELLIOTT, L.L.C.
         200 West Adams Street, Suite 2500
         Chicago, IL 60606
         Tel: (312) 346-7800
         Fax: (312) 346-2325
         E-mail: emueller@nisen.com

Thomas B. Considine, Commissioner of Banking and Insurance of the
State of New Jersey in his capacity as Liquidator of Integrity
Insurance Company, is represented by:

          David M. Freeman, Esq.
          MAZIE SLATER KATZ & FREEMAN, L.L.C.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Upholds Failure to Warn Claim v. Colgate
----------------------------------------------------------------
In a personal injury action, Colgate-Palmolive Co. moves pursuant
to Section 3211(a) of the NY Civil Practice Law and Rules to
dismiss plaintiffs' claim that Colgate failed to provide plaintiff
Arlene Feinberg with an adequate warning of the hazards associated
with asbestos on the label for its Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder
product on the ground that Plaintiff's claim is preempted by
federal law.

In a March 22, 2012 memorandum, Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of the
Supreme Court for the New York County denied Colgate's motion
because it seeks to apply a 1997 Preemption Clause to events that
had their genesis more than 45 years before it existed, and which
ceased to occur almost every 20 years before Congress sought to
legislate the labeling of cosmetic products.  Colgate's alleged
wrongful conduct occurred before the Preemption Clause went into
effect, thus it is clear that the Federal Food, Drug, and
Cosmetics Act does not apply in this case, Judge Heitler held.

The case is ARLENE FEINBERG AND JACOB FEINBERG, Plaintiffs, v.
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE CO., ET AL., Defendants, 190070/11 (N.Y. Sup.
Ct.).  A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/bkgRP0from Leagle.com.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

         Robert Komitor, Esq.
         Audrey P. Raphael, Esq.
         James M. Kramer, Esq.
         LEVY PHILLIPS & KONIGSBERG
         800 Third Avenue, 11th Floor
         New York, NY 10022
         Tel: (212) 605-6200

The Defendant is represented by:

         Adam M. Abensohn, Esq.
         Christine Chung, Esq.
         QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN, LLP
         51 Madison Avenue, 22nd Floor
         New York, NY 10010
         Tel: (212) 849-7000
         Fax: (212) 849-7100
         E-mail: adamabensohn@quinnemanuel.com
                 christinechung@quinnemanuel.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio Ct. Affirms Judgment Favoring Union Carbide
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiff-appellant, Patricia Bier, individually and as the
executrix of the estate of Feruccio Bier, appeals from a trial
court decision granting summary judgment in favor of defendant-
appellee, Union Carbide Corporation.  She raises a single
assignment of error that the trial court erred in granting
appellee's motion for summary judgment when genuine issues of
material fact as to whether asbestos fibers supplied by appellee
were a proximate cause of decedent's mesothelioma exist.  In a
March 22, 2012 opinion, the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth
District, Cuyahoga County, affirmed the trial court's order after
finding Ms. Bier's sole assignment of error unpersuasive.

The case is ESTATE OF FERUCCIO BIER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v.
AMERICAN BILTRITE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES, No. 97085 (Ohio
App. Ct.).  A copy of the March 22 Opinion is available at
http://is.gd/xV9X84from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Ct. Junks Insurers' Bid to Dismiss GRC Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Each of the defendants in GENERAL REFRACTORIES COMPANY v. FIRST
STATE INSURANCE CO., et al., Civil Action No. 04-3509 (E.D. Pa.),
moves for summary judgment asserting that one or more exclusions
in the policies sold to General Refractories Company, a
manufacturer and supplier of asbestos-containing products,
preclude coverage.  The Defendants say the plain language of each
exclusion unambiguously eliminates coverage for all of the
asbestos-related claims.

GRC sued its insurance carriers for a declaration of excess
liability insurance coverage for asbestos-related claims.  GRC is
a defendant in some 33,000 asbestos-related lawsuits throughout
the United States.  It purchased the insurance policies between
1979 and 1985.

In a March 21, 2012 memorandum, Judge Edmund V. Ludwig of the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied the
motions holding that substantially all of the proffered evidence
presents triable disputes as to the meaning and application of
each exclusion at issue.  The question whether the exclusionary
terms contain ambiguity as applied to the allegations used in the
lawsuits cannot be determined on this record, Judge Ludwig stated.
Rulings on the meaning of the various exclusionary terms, and
whether those terms are clear and unambiguous, will be reserved
for trial, he added.

A copy of Judge Edmund's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/Ct5rfAfrom Leagle.com.  An accompanying order is
available at http://is.gd/bFXa2kfrom Leagle.com.

GRC is represented by:

         Mark E. Gottlieb, Esq.
         Michael Conley, Esq.
         William H. Pillsbury, Esq.
         OFFIT KURMAN PA
         Ten Penn Center
         1801 Market Street, Suite 2300
         Philadelphia, PA 19103
         Tel: (267) 338-1318
         Fax: (267) 338-1335
         E-mail: mgottlieb@offitkurman.com
                 mconley@offitkurman.com
                 wpillsbury@offitkurman.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ky. Appeals Ct. Rules on Garlock Matter
--------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Kentucky addressed appeals on remand from
the Kentucky Supreme Court pursuant to an order of that Court
entered November 23, 2011.  In CertainTeed Corp. v. Dexter, 330
S.W.3d 64 (Ky. 2010), the Supreme Court vacated a decision of the
Appellate Court, which had reinstated a jury verdict in favor of
Ava Nell Dexter and James M. Dexter, executor of the estate of
James G. "Dayton" Dexter.  In the Appellate Court's original
opinion, it did not reach the claims of error asserted by Garlock
Sealing Technologies, LLC.

In a March 23, 2012 opinion, the Appellate Court affirmed the
judgment of the Marshall Circuit Court holding that, in its
appellate brief, Garlock failed to comply with CR 76.12(4)(c)(v).

The Appellate Court pointed out that in the "argument" portion,
Garlock did not set forth a citation to the record indicating
where and how it preserved these issues for appeal; likewise,
Garlock failed to include citations to the evidence in the record
that supported its arguments.  The Appellate Court, noting that
the record in the case is massive, said it cannot scour a nearly
8,000-page written record or view a three-week trial to determine
whether Garlock properly preserved these issues by bringing the
alleged errors to the judge's attention during trial.  Nor is the
Appellate Court persuaded manifest injustice occurred or that the
punitive damage award was unconstitutional.  In sum, the Appellate
Court declined to further address any issues not presented in
accordance with CR 76.12(4)(c)(v).

The case is GARLOCK SEALING TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Appellant, v. AVA
NELL DEXTER, INDIVIDUALLY; JAMES M. DEXTER, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE
OF JAMES G. DEXTER, DECEASED, Appellees. AND AVA NELL DEXTER,
INDIVIDUALLY; JAMES M. DEXTER, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF JAMES G.
DEXTER, DECEASED, Appellants, v. GARLOCK SEALING TECHNOLOGIES,
LLC, Appellee. AND GARLOCK SEALING TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, CROSS-
APPELLANT, v. AVA NELL DEXTER, INDIVIDUALLY; JAMES M. DEXTER,
EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF JAMES G. DEXTER, DECEASED, CROSS-
APPELLEES, Nos. 2006-CA-000918-MR, 2006-CA-000962-MR, 2006-CA-
001025-MR (Ky.).  A copy of the March 23 Decision is available at
http://is.gd/w17G8pfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Allows Claims v. Crane Co. to Proceed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co. moves pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(4) and (8) to dismiss a
within action bearing Index No. 123078/01 as duplicative of a
prior multi-plaintiff action bearing Index No. 111230/01 pending
against it in the Supreme Court for the New York County.  Crane
Co. also moves pursuant to CPLR 3212 for summary judgment on the
ground that it is not liable for products that it did not
manufacture, supply or specify for use with its products.
Plaintiffs Gertrude Kraljic, as executrix for the estate of Jerry
Chierchia, and Joan Chierchia, posit that Crane Co. knew or should
have known that asbestos-containing components would be integrated
with its products for their intended use and had a duty to warn
against same.

In a March 26, 2012 decision and order, New York Supreme Court
Judge Sherry Heitler denied Crane Co.'s motion for summary
judgment and motion to dismiss the action for reasons stated in
previously decided near-identical issues that Crane Co. had a duty
to warn Mr. Chierchia of the hazards associated with asbestos.

Judge Heitler noted that the Court has addressed near-identical
issues in Sawyer v A. C.& S., Inc., Index No. 111152/99 (Sup. Ct.
NY Co. June 24, 2011) and Defazio v A.W. Chesterton, Index No.
127988/02 (Sup. Ct. NY Co. August 12, 2011), holding in both cases
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.  As in those cases,
the submissions on this motion show that Crane Co. designed and
supplied its products with asbestos-containing gaskets, packing,
insulation, and cement, the Court pointed out.  Crane Co.'s
assertions that its valves did not require asbestos-containing
insulation or packing to operate properly and that it did not
specify the use of same on its products are therefore insufficient
to shield it from suit, the Court further noted.

The New York Supreme Court also ordered that Mr. Chierchia is
severed from the prior multi-plaintiff action bearing Index No.
111230/01 and all of Mr. Chierchia's asbestos-related claims
therein are permitted to be individually pursued, as they have
been, by his estate, under Index No. 123078/01.

The case is GERTRUDE KRALJIC, as Executrix for the Estate of JERRY
CHIERCHIA, and JOAN CHIERCHIA, Individually, Plaintiffs, v. A.C. &
S., Inc., et al., Defendants, 123078/01, Motion Seq. No. 001 (N.Y.
Sup. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/Svow7lfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Second-Hand Victims Will Have Their Day In Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sanford J. Schmidt of The Telegraph reports that after an Illinois
Supreme Court ruling, a local law firm will get a chance to prove
in court that a railroad had a duty of care to a Granite City
woman who died of cancer, allegedly by inhaling asbestos when she
washed her husband's clothes.

The ruling may have an impact on other asbestos cases, according
to The Chicago Law Bulletin.

"The implications are great and very important," said Ted Gianaris
-- tgianaris@simmonsfirm.com -- a partner in The Simmons Firm,
which represented the victim.

"The Illinois Supreme Court gives great guidance to how trial
courts should look at this issue, and it should be very persuasive
nationwide," Gianaris said.

Timothy Eaton, the attorney who handled the appeal for the
plaintiff, said lawyers will get a chance to establish whether the
defendant, CSX, owed a general, or ordinary, duty of care to
people other than employees who worked directly around asbestos.

Lawyers call such cases "take-home" or "secondhand" asbestos
cases.

"Victims of take-home asbestos exposure will continue to have
their day in court in Illinois.  A majority of Supreme Court
justices found that an employer has an obligation to warn workers
and their families about the dangers linked to take-home asbestos
exposure," said Mark Motley, a spokesman for the Simmons Firm,
which took the case to court in Madison County.

The case is that of the estate of Annette Simpkins of Granite
City, the wife of a railroad worker, Ronald Simpkins, who
allegedly came in contact with asbestos used for brakes and
insulation in railroad equipment.  Ronald Simpkins worked for the
CSX railroad from 1958 to 1964.

The suit was filed against CSX in 2006.

However, former Madison County Circuit Judge Dan Stack dismissed
the case after the defense argued that CSX did not owe a direct
duty of care to Annette Simpkins.  He called the case "a good case
for the Supreme Court."

Annette Simpkins died of lung cancer in 2007.  Her daughter became
the plaintiff as administrator of her mother's estate.  Gianaris
said the firm has experts lined up to testify that asbestos caused
Simpkins' lung cancer.  The Supreme Court ruled that the trial-
level lawyers should have a chance to show that the railroad owed
a general duty of care to people who may be made sick by exposure
to asbestos.

The lawyer who handled the appeal after Stack dismissed the case
said the railroad did not need to have a direct relationship to
establish a duty of care.

The Supreme Court opinion marked the first time CSX has argued it
had no direct duty of care to the deceased cancer victim.
Gianaris said defense attorneys have been making increasing use of
the "direct duty of care" argument in recent years.

In the Simpkins case, the high court agreed that the railroad had
no direct duty of care, but the lawyers on the trial level should
have a chance to show that the railroad had a general, or
ordinary, duty of care.

"It goes back to the courts' ordinary duty of care, which is what
we've been relying on from the beginning," said J. Timothy Eaton
-- teaton@shefskylaw.com -- the lawyer who handled the appeal.

"If a course of action creates a foreseeable risk of injury, the
individual engaged in that course of action has a duty to protect
others from such injury," the Supreme Court opinion stated.

Eaton said establishing that CSX knew the dangers of asbestos
prior to 1965 should be easy to do.

Gianaris said his firm will amend its suit and be ready for trial
in a few months.

"The Supreme Court made a thoughtful decision that adds protection
for any family member who becomes ill from a toxic exposure
through no fault of his own," Gianaris said.  "The railroad wanted
blanket immunity, claiming its responsibility ended with its
workers.  The railroad wants to forget that it knew asbestos was
deadly and was likely to leave the rail yard and make it home with
the workers."

A spokeswoman for the railroad said its officials do not comment
on pending cases.

The vote in the Supreme Court was 4-2, with Justices Charles E.
Freeman and Anne M. Burke dissenting.  Justice Freeman wrote that
no relationship existed between the plaintiff and the defendant
and that the railroad could not have foreseen the dangers to
others because the dangers of the carcinogen were not known until
1965, after Ronald Simpkins left his job.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: DR1 Airs Documentary of FLSmidth's Amiandos Mine
-----------------------------------------------------------------
(joseph)

A Brussels News Agency article relates that FLSmidth, a global
engineering firm based in Copenhagen, is being accused of the
deaths of hundreds of Cypriot miners who worked at an asbestos
mine the company used to own and run, Copenhagen Post reported.

The allegations were made in a documentary, 'Den Danske Dodsmine'
(The Danish Deathmine) that was broadcast on the night of March 19
on DR1 (Dominican Republic News) in which the film crew visited
former workers of the Amiandos mine who now suffer from asbestos-
related cancers.

The relatives of those who have died are now threatening to sue
FLSmidth for allowing the miners to work without any protection in
full knowledge that asbestos can be lethal to breathe in.

"The Cypriot government needs to make contact with the Danish
company, as FLSmidth has to pay for the many lives that they have
destroyed in Cyprus," George Perdikes, MP, for the Cyprus Green
Party, said according to DR1.  "There are hundreds, maybe
thousands, of people who have died because of the mine."

The documentary crew met many former miners who now suffer from
asbestos-related diseases who blame FLSmidth for not informing
them of the dangers of working in the mine.

"They told us nothing about the danger from asbestos," former
miner Giannis Vrontis said.  "If they had told us, I would have
never worked in the mine."

Cypriot authorities have no exact figures on how many people have
died as a result of the mine, as many asbestos deaths caused by
lung cancer were formerly classified as pneumonia.

But a lung surgeon speaking to the filmmakers confirmed treating a
number of patients for cancers that could only have been caused by
exposure to asbestos.

FLSmidth's CEO Bjarne Moltke denied that the company is
responsible for any compensation claims, stating that any
responsibility was handed over to the new owner when they sold the
mine in 1986.

A document from a 1971 conference of asbestos employers, released
by DR1, reveals that asbestos companies were well aware of the
damage to health that asbestos caused.

In another document from 1969, the CEO of company Dansk Eternit
Fabrik, then owned by FLSmidth, admitted to knowing of the damage
caused by asbestos.  The document enabled Danish asbestos workers
to successfully sue FLSmidth for damages in 1989.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Advocate Says Eitanit Fully Contaminated Nahariya
------------------------------------------------------------------
Ronny Linder-Ganz at HAARETZ.com (Galilee) relates that when Orit
Reich, then a young mother, returned in 1991 to live in Nahariya,
the city where she grew up, she discovered chunks of asbestos in
her backyard.  When she asked about them, she was told they had
been thrown up some time ago by a bulldozer brought in to widen a
walkway and left that way.

Reich, who is now 58, knew about asbestos and its health risks.
Having grown up in Nahariya, she knew about people who had died
after working for years at the asbestos manufacturing plant
Eitanit.  But she began to realize the problem extended far beyond
the factory itself.

How did the asbestos get into a residential backyard in the first
place?  It was common for workers who lived in the neighborhood to
take home bags of asbestos waste, which they mixed with cement and
used to reinforce the walkways to their homes, stores and the
like, Reich learned.

Having grasped the problem, residents organize to eliminate the
asbestos.  They received no help from the company, the city or the
state, and paid for the work themselves.  Eventually, Reich
relates, they came to realize it wasn't only the paths in which
asbestos had been used.  "The entire neighborhood was
contaminated," she says, and the same could be said for the city
as a whole.

In 1996 Reich established the Association for the Quality of Life
and Environment in Nahariya.  Its first battle was keeping a
playground from going up near an asbestos dump.  It was the
opening salvo in a war to rid not only Nahariya, but the entire
Western Galilee, of the asbestos riddling the area.  The cancer-
causing substance was used in vast quantities in greenhouses and
chicken coops, in schools and in homes.

Hundreds of deaths in the area have been attributed to asbestos-
related illness.

"As far as disease levels are concerned, Nahariya is like
Chernobyl," Reich claims.  "Hundreds of workers at the plant and
residents, some of them very young, have gotten sick and died.
Many family members of plant workers also became sick, because the
workers would come home with clothing contaminated with asbestos
fibers.  People live in a constant state of anxiety because the
cancer caused by asbestos can incubate for 40 years."

Her claims are supported by 2009 figures from the Health
Ministry's National Cancer Registrar.  The Nahariya area has the
second-highest incidence in the world of mesothelioma, a rare form
of cancer that is caused mostly by exposure to asbestos.  Experts
fear the incidence of the deadly disease in the city will increase
in the years to come because of its long incubation period.

The incidence rate of mesothelioma in the Acre region, which
includes Nahariya, was 5.72 per 100,000 residents in 2002-2008,
compared with 0.55 per 100,000 in the Tel Aviv region.

A year ago area residents received some good news.  After years of
battling in the Knesset, a law requiring the state to remove the
asbestos from the region was passed.  The law's most important
provision concerned funding: The state and the affected local
authorities would pay half the removal costs, with the other half
being picked up by the company that had created the problem in the
first place.

The law doesn't cite the company's name, but that's no secret.
It's Eitanit Construction Products, formerly known as Isasbest,
which is owned by the Federmann family.  That's the same family
that owns the Dan hotel chain, and they are one of Israel's
wealthiest.

Eitanit, the only company in Israel to make asbestos products,
operated in Nahariya from 1952 until 1997, when the plant was
closed.  The company remains a going concern.  So under the law
Eitanit must foot half the bill of the asbestos removal, up to a
ceiling of NIS150 million.

Getting the law passed was not born an easy matter.  "I was
present at all the Knesset debates on the law.  The company
attended them all, with a battery of lawyers, lobbyists and
representatives of management," says Keren Halperin-Museri, legal
counsel for the Israel Union of Environmental Defense (Adam Teva
V'Din ).  "Five to eight people would sit in a row at the table,
and that was just their physical presence."

On the one hand, explains Halperin-Museri, Eitanit argued then and
argues now that it shouldn't have to shoulder any responsibility
at all.  Meanwhile, it haggled with the state over the manner in
which it would bear responsibility.

"The state wanted the company to put up money but it preferred to
provide labor -- to clean up itself," she says.  "The state
refused and decided to regulate the issue in law."

While the battle raged on, the cleanup began (as Esti Aharonovich
and Zafrir Rinat have reported extensively in Haaretz).  It's very
expensive and difficult, because asbestos is treated with almost
the same caution as radioactive material, says Reich.  The
cleaners must wear hazmat suits and conduct special measurements.
The asbestos is sealed in special bags and transported in special
trucks to a special site, she says.

According to Adam Teva V'Din, as the cleanup progresses its
importance has become even more clear.  Digging exposes more and
more of the stuff, much more than initially thought, Halperin-
Museri says.  "It's in the houses, the public institutions,
actually it's everywhere."

Yet the future of the cleanup project is unclear.  Eitanit had
fought against enactment of the law and lost, but isn't giving up.
Some months ago it petitioned the High Court of Justice to void
the law, claiming the contamination isn't its fault.  The company
operated for decades in full compliance with the law, they say: It
was the "buyers" (individuals, local authorities and some state
agencies ) who bought the asbestos -- sometimes through third
parties -- who made dangerous use of the stuff.  The company did
not itself disseminate the asbestos or use it in construction
projects throughout the north, Eitanit argues.

Through its lawyers, including Pini Rubin, Eitanit also claims
that it stopped selling asbestos for use in paving roads (the most
hazardous use of all ) more than 30 years ago, and that 15 years
have passed since it stopped selling asbestos.  By imposing
cleanup costs of up to NIS150 million on the company, it argues,
the court is retroactively imposing responsibility on the company
that nobody would have imagined under law, before enactment of the
new law.

Eitanit attacks the law on two grounds: impairment of intellectual
rights because of the "retroactive and arbitrary imposition of a
gargantuan charge, unprecedented in legal annals . . . without
guilt of responsibility . . . it did not contaminate"; and
impairment of equality, since most of the cost is imposed on
Eitanit and is not shared with asbestos importers or users.

The IUED calls the petition to void the law "scandalous."

"The plant operated for decades explicitly knowing that it was
hazardous," claims Halperin-Museri.  "At first they thought
asbestos was only dangerous at the level of employment, to the
workers, but the knowledge that it's also dangerous at the
environment level has existed since the 1950s."

She claims Eitanit marketed the stuff throughout the Western
Galilee as a low-cost material: "They called on people to use it
and explained how," Halperin-Museri claims.  "In 1964 the company
published an advertisement that started with the words 'waste
asbestos' and offered it for 10 agorot per cubic meter.  It wrote
that the asbestos was suitable to be scattered on dirt roads in
the fields, orchards and gardens.  Yet at Eitanit they claim they
didn't know about and aren't responsible for the use others made
of the substance."

Rebutting Eitanit's petition, the IUED brings evidence that
Eitanit's owners had known perfectly well about the problems.  For
instance, the company directed its plant managers in the 1970s to
find a site, distant from the town, to bury waste asbestos and
told them to make sure the asbestos was removed daily.

Reich feels the law is the state's way to correct an old problem
that did not find a solution in court.  She praises the
determination of the Environmental Protection Ministry in recent
years but is frustrated that the state didn't sue Eitanit and
Federmann.  No amount of money can give the residents back their
health but at least they should have been forced to bear
responsibility, she argues.

If Eitanit prevails in the High Court the cleanup could stop, to
the detriment of the people of Nahariya, the Galilee and all of
Israel, warns the IUED in its rebuttal to the petition.  It could
send polluters the message that, barring an explicit prohibition
in law, they may freely engage in hazardous activities, knowingly
or not.

IUED executive director Amit Bracha says the resources the company
put into fighting the law would have been put to better use
helping the people exposed to the hazard.

Why should taxpayers have to pay half the cost of eliminating the
ecological disaster the company created?, Reich says.  She feels
Eitanit came out on top, having to pay only half the costs, and is
"spitting in the state's face" to celebrate that victory.

"We know the area will never be absolutely clean of asbestos,
because microscopic fibers travel in the air and can reach
distances of 10 kilometers," Reich sums up.  "But I'd have
expected the Federmann family, the owners of the company, to at
least accept responsibility and pay for the injustice they did to
the residents of the Western Galilee."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: $7.7MM Central School Redo Awaits May 14 Approval
------------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Perham of the Bath Courier reports that plans for the
proposed $7.7 million renovation to the Hammondsport Central
School building are back on their original track -- for now.

Representatives of William Taylor and Associates and Campus
Construction Management told the Hammondsport Central School board
they now agree on a 14-month schedule beginning this summer.  "We
heard your concerns," Mark Voorhees, the school's project manager
from Campus, told the board.  "We looked at different things.  We
worked out the phasing."

The plan still rests on the state's formal approval of the
project, expected by May 14, and allowing bids to go out roughly
eight days later, Voorhees said.

Earlier, Voorhees had warned the board the late bids could push
back the construction schedule, making initial asbestos removal
and roofing plans more difficult to achieve by summer's end.  But
at the same meeting, project designer William Taylor told the
board Voorhees was not considering other options.  Taylor
maintained the schedule could be reworked, start later and still
be finished before school opens in the fall.

Those differences have been resolved, Voorhees told the board,
standing next to Taylor during his presentation.  The project was
approved by district voters and is needed to bring the 54-year-old
building into compliance with the state Education Department's
recommendations.

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.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Deferiet Municipal Bldg Redo to Complete By June
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Watertown Daily Times reports that the village board accepted bids
from Capital Construction for $289,000 to renovate the municipal
building and Dakota Environmental for $13,000 to clear asbestos
from the building.

Work has begun on the asbestos, and all renovations should be
completed by the end of May.  Phase I of the joint Deferiet-
Herrings water project has begun as well.  Work on well houses 1
and 2 has begun and should be finished by the beginning of June.

The water project will provide Herrings with clean, unfiltered
water.  The village's water supply was tainted 20 years ago when
the Crown Cleaners dry cleaning business dumped chemicals in the
ground.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Madison Awaits Rule on Trial 'Reservation' System
------------------------------------------------------------------
Christina Stueve of The Madison / St. Clair Record reports that 61
asbestos defendants are asking Madison County Associate Judge
Clarence Harrison to revise the court's 2013 advance trial docket.

More than 100 attorneys packed a third floor courtroom on the
morning of Monday, March 26, as both sides of the bar argued their
points in opposition to and support of a preliminary order
established in December by former asbestos Judge Barbara Crowder.

Heyl Royster attorney Robert Shultz -- rshultz@heylroyster.com --
presented his proposal which would eliminate a reservation system
for preferred plaintiff's firms, prioritize cases going to trial
by the oldest ones with Illinois plaintiffs and establish the
identity of cases 60 days in advance of trial.

"Cases with little or no connection to Illinois are drawn to
Madison County," Shultz said.  "Trial dates are marketed.
Annually, defendants are forced to defend hundreds of suits
brought by plaintiffs who live hundreds, if not thousands, of
miles away.

As a result, Shultz said few local citizens bring cases, and few
local industries remain.

According to Shultz's presentation, 158 people are diagnosed
annually with mesothelioma in Illinois, but Madison County has 500
plus trial dates per year for those suffering from the disease.

Madison County has 2% of the population of Illinois, yet it
shoulders nearly 25% of mesothelioma litigation in the nation,
Shultz said.

His presentation drew a reaction from plaintiff attorneys in the
courtroom, including Elizabeth Heller -- elizabeth@ghalaw.com --
of Goldenberg Heller Antognoli & Rowland, P.C. and Barry Julian of
Gori Julian in Edwardsville.

"Mr. Shultz is a very gifted attorney," Julian said.  "Seventy six
point three percent of all people who quote statistics make them
up as they go along," he said.

Heller repeated remarks she made in the fall before Crowder.  "The
sky is not falling.  Cases without merit are getting dismissed or
sent elsewhere," she said.  "The system is working."

Attorney Eric Jackstadt -- ejackstadt@toverdict.com -- of the
Saville and Flint law firm told the court his firm requested three
trial dockets but received two.  "The docketing system has a place
in reality," Jackstadt said.  "We asked for three dockets.  We got
two.  It's never been a problem in the past for individual cases
to be piggybacked."

"What the defense is arguing for will deny asbestos plaintiffs
their significant rights."  Allyson Romani --
Aromani@shraderlaw.com -- pleaded that Harrison set the cases for
trial.  "These cases need to be set for trial," she said.
"Extending trial dates will make it so clients may never see their
trial dates.  Getting rid of the current system will not make
these cases go away.  Consider the rights of every victim who
brings their cases here."

Steven Aroesty -- Saroesty@NapoliBern.com -- of Napoli, Bern,
Ripka, Shkolnik & Associates filed a motion to reconsider
Crowder's order on March 7.  "Victims have finite lifespan,"
Aroesty said.  "Clients need trial settings.  They need to have
access to trial dockets."

For the defense, Raymond R. Fournie --
rfournie@armstrongteasdale.com -- of Armstrong Teasdale said
asbestos litigation has resulted in an excess of 80 bankruptcies
in Madison County.  "The number of cases on the defense side has
been difficult to deal with," Fournie said.

Shultz filed an 18-page brief March 12, opposing Crowder's order.
His brief stated that the court's trial reservation system is no
longer being used for its original purpose, to resolve local
asbestos lawsuits.

The brief was also signed by Fournie, Daniel Donahue of Foley &
Mansfield in St. Louis; and Steven Hart -- shart@smsm.com -- of
Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney of Chicago.

Crowder was reassigned to hear chancery, eminent domain and
miscellaneous remedy cases on Dec. 12 after accepting $30,000 in
campaign contributions from the area's three largest asbestos
firms.  She had granted those firms -- Simmons of Alton and
Goldenberg and Gori and Julian of Edwardsville -- 82% of trial
slots for 2013.

Harrison said he would continue to accept motions regarding the
docket from attorneys.  He said he could not pinpoint a time when
he would reach a decision on Crowder's order.  "I have no idea,"
he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: HNZ States All Tenants Were Informed of Project
----------------------------------------------------------------
Television New Zealand at tvnz.co.nz reports that asbestos roofs
on Porirua state houses are being torn down -- but some say they
have been told nothing about the potential danger to their health.

Laura Haywood, who is 36 weeks pregnant, moved into her Gear
Terrace flat in March and says she was told nothing by Housing New
Zealand about the roof being replaced on her block of four flats.

The first she knew of it was when roofing contractors wearing
protective suits and masks turned up on Friday, March 23.

"All they had was a sign on the lamp-post just saying 'Caution
asbestos', or something like that."

However, HNZ said that all tenants were informed of the
maintenance program to reroof 60 properties in the Wellington-Hutt
Valley region.  It could not provide the cost of the work.

Haywood, 22, had just set up her baby's room and was worried that
dust riddled with asbestos fibers could have contaminated the cot
mattress and bedding.

The roofing material was wrapped in black plastic with a caution
sticker attached.  It was still sitting next to the footpath on
March 26.

Asbestos was commonly used in building materials until it was
banned in the late 1980s, when it was recognized as a carcinogen.

An HNZ spokesperson said the reroofing of three properties on Gear
Terrace was part of a maintenance program in the region.  Before
it began, most of the roofs were identified as possibly containing
asbestos.

"Fifty eight of the houses have concrete tiles which, under the
Asbestos Code of Conduct and Policy, are treated as though they
have asbestos.

"Before commencing the work, our contractor contacted the tenants
to talk them through what work is being done and if there are any
health and safety issues."

The spokesperson said all tenants were spoken to before the work
started and "all gave verbal confirmation that they were happy for
the work to begin".

Haywood's mother, Trina Haywood, said the HNZ property manager did
not say the roof was being replaced when they looked at the flat.

"I bloody asked him.  He could have said right then and there.  I
watched my grandfather die of lung cancer caused by asbestos,
that's probably why I got up in arms quickly.

"You're desperate for a house but you're not going to sacrifice
your health for it, are you?"

Gear Terrace resident Noel Alder, 59, who lives in a single-storey
block of four flats, had his roof replaced last week and said
although contractors told him just before they started work, HNZ
should have warned him.

"I just shut my windows, I didn't want all the crap coming
inside."

New Zealand Demolition and Asbestos Association president Dina
Stil said all nearby residents should be informed about removal
methods and dust control by contractors or HNZ as a common
courtesy.

If roofs were worn or cracked they could easily break apart,
releasing asbestos fibers.  Contractors must adhere to the
association's removal guidelines.

Asbestos was banned in the late 1980s in New Zealand after it was
recognized as causing cancer.  It was commonly used in building
materials before the health risks were known.

National Poisons Centre toxicologist Michael Beasley said the
various types of asbestos posed a danger to people if they were
exposed to it over a long time.  "Generally speaking, the large
majority of concern relates to long-term repeated exposure."

Nearly 1200 people were added to the National Asbestos Register
between 1992 and 2010 with confirmed asbestos-related diseases
such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and lung
abnormalities.  These diseases are crippling, very painful and
usually fatal.  There are no known cures.

Carpenters, plumbers and electricians are most likely to be
affected by asbestos, according to the 2010 annual report on
Asbestos and Occupational Lung Disease in New Zealand.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK's Highest Court Passes Ruling on Landmark Case
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Press Association reports that thousands of relatives of
industrial workers who died of an asbestos-related lung cancer
will get compensation as a result of a "landmark" insurance
liability ruling by the UK's highest court.

The Supreme Court decided that liability was "triggered" when
employees were exposed to asbestos dust, not when symptoms of
mesothelioma emerged sometimes decades later.

Solicitors said the ruling meant that victims were covered by
policies in place when asbestos fibers were inhaled - and
employers' insurers would have to meet compensation claims.

Families said they hoped that the decision by a panel of five
Supreme Court justices in London would end years of litigation and
lead to speedy insurance payouts.

Judges said industrial diseases which could lie dormant for long
periods raised "peculiar" legal difficulties and liability for
deaths caused by mesothelioma -- a "hideous" and "inevitably
fatal" cancer of lung linings -- had "pre-occupied" courts in
recent years.

Union bosses and victims' families criticized insurance firms who
fought the case -- saying they should have accepted responsibility
and spent money given to lawyers on compensation.

"This is a landmark ruling which will affect thousands of victims
of asbestos," said Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite
union.

"It is a disgrace that insurance companies went to such lengths to
shirk their responsibilities.  For callous insurers this means the
responsibility holiday is over."

Municipal Mutual Insurance (MMI), one of four insurance firms
which featured in the litigation, said it had "sought resolution"
of the issue in order to provide "greater certainty".

"Whilst the ruling does not reflect MMI's favored outcome, we
welcome the clarity this judgment brings as it enables MMI to
determine the extent of its liabilities and the available options
for the future of MMI and its business," said a spokeswoman.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADF President Urges NSW Premier's Intervention
---------------------------------------------------------------
David Murray for 702 ABC Sydney reports that asbestos disease
campaigners have appealed to the NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell to
step in and shut down plans to develop the site of a former
asbestos plant in Sydney's north-west.

The NSW Government is considering a proposal for a waste treatment
facility on land at Camellia near Parramatta, once occupied by a
James Hardy asbestos manufacturing plant.  The asbestos plant was
demolished and the site covered with a concrete slab in the late
1990's.

The Asbestos Disease Foundation has warned that developing the
site risks releasing asbestos into the environment and potentially
exposing local residents to the deadly fibers.  President of the
Foundation, Barry Robson says the site should be left alone.

"There is a big possibility, a big possibility that we're going to
create a fourth wave of victims because we disturbed this
contaminated site."

"It just completely shocked us that the Government would allow
this development to go ahead."

Mr. Robson says the Foundation has received numerous letters from
residents near the contaminated site who are worried about the
proposed development.

He says the nature of the development means damage to the concrete
slab containing the asbestos contamination will be inevitable if
works go ahead.  "The concrete cap will be broken.  It's not made
for heavy wear and tear."

Liberal Parramatta MP, Geoff Lee has also spoken out about the
proposal but, not because of asbestos safety fears.  Mr. Lee
argues the contaminated ground can be safely remediated and the
site should be rezoned for housing.  "I share their concerns about
having a waste facility there.  That whole precinct is an ideal
opportunity -- it could be an infill, mixed use, we could put
10,000 houses right across the waterfront."

Mr. Robson has rejected the proposal and says using the area for
housing would put lives at risk.  "Just leave it.  Let the
contamination go into the soil and leave it alone."

He's called on the NSW Premier, Barry, O'Farrell to ensure the
site remains undisturbed.  "He is the Minister for the Western
Suburbs.  Barry, I'd like you to step in and put an end to this
silliness."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Calls for Cleanup of Former Hardie Site
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Associated Press reports that a law firm that has
acted for thousands of asbestos victims has called for a former
asbestos manufacturing site in Sydney's west to be remediated
before it's developed.

The NSW government has proposed building a waste treatment plant
on the site in Camellia, near Parramatta.

The local community is against the proposal, saying the site has
highest level of asbestos contamination in Sydney.

The German company that plans to build the facility has said in
media reports that the proposal would involve building on top of a
concrete cap covering the site, but some sections would still have
to be dug up.

Slater & Gordon lawyer Tim Gauci said James Hardie produced
millions of tons of asbestos products on the site until the mid-
1980s.

He said it was inevitable the pressures of a growing city and
increasing demand for land would lead to the site being developed,
and now was a good opportunity to clean it up.

"It is better that the site is safely remediated with all
contamination removed rather than it be left to an uncertain
future," Mr. Gauci said.

"We are concerned about plans to dig up a site where asbestos
particles still remain in the soil and we are concerned that if it
is not undertaken properly it could mean hundreds of people are
exposed to the deadly dust.

"But with this proposal the NSW government has a unique
opportunity to take control of the remediation, ensure it is safe
and then let its Department of Planning and the community
determine the best use of the land."

Slater & Gordon says it conducted the first successful common law
asbestos litigation case in 1984.

Since then the firm has acted for thousands of people exposed to
and diagnosed with an asbestos related disease and helped
negotiate the James Hardie compensation fund for victims.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 6000 Tons of Hazmat Push Library Cost to $1.3MM
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rick Smith at KCRG.com (Iowa) reports that the opening of the
city's new downtown library is apt to be pushed back as much as
four weeks and into July 2013 because of a $1.3-million surprise
found during the demolition of the former building on the library
site across from Greene Square Park.

Bob Pasicznyuk, the city's library director, on Monday, March 26
said excavation at the building site, which was once home to an
American Legion post and bowling alley and then to TrueNorth
Companies Inc., uncovered a large amount of asbestos-tainted
debris from the Washington School of 1855 and the Washington High
School of 1890 that once sat on the site.  In the school
demolition in 1946, much of the building ended up in the school's
basement and boiler rooms over which the Legion Post building
subsequently was built.

The library's initial contract to remove asbestos from the site
was in the amount of $42,916.  However, removing material led to
the need to remove more and more.  In the end, more than 6,000
tons of material needed to be removed.

Pasicznyuk put the total extra project cost to remove and landfill
debris, provide new fill to the site and pay the building
contractor for project delays at $1.3 million.

"It's one of those things that there's nothing we can do but
legally take care of the matter," the library director said.  "And
wish that asbestos was never invented."

He emphasized that the increased site-preparation cost does not
affect the overall cost of the library project.  He said $3.2
million is provided for in the project budget for contingencies
like the site-preparation surprise.

"We prudently put aside money because we knew something would go
wrong," the library director said.  "I foolishly thought that we
would never have to tap it.  But now I'm being educated why you
put aside a contingency."

The overall cost of the project, Pasicznyuk said, is actually
moving in a positive direction.  The $49.5-million library project
-- which was the total project estimate including pre-construction
expenses and contents -- actually has become a $46-million one
because bids on the project have come in lower than had been
expected in the project planning, the library director said.

The library project is being financed with disaster funds from the
Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state I-JOBS program
as well as from private donations.  No local property-tax revenue
is being used on the project.  The city is using $4-million in
revenue from the city's local-option sales tax on the library
project.  The sales tax is in place for 63 months to provide money
for flood-recovery projects including as matching funds for
projects receiving federal funds, which the library project is.

On the plus side, the debris removal at the library site also has
produced "some nice pieces of granite" that the library may try to
use, said Pasicznyuk.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Campaign for More Mesothelioma Study Launched
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawmakers recently designated the first week of April as National
Asbestos Awareness Week, which mesothelioma advocates hope will
raise public recognition on the dangers of asbestos and the need
for further research to combat the deadly disease mesothelioma.

However, the campaign will also hopefully remind the public that
the dangers of asbestos still exist in many of the products around
us in everyday life.

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed S. Res. 389, which designated
April 1-7 as "National Asbestos Awareness Week."  This marks the
eighth straight year that Congress has passed the measure, which
was sponsored by Senator Max Baucus.

Asbestos is a natural substance which was used in thousands of
products, building materials and industrial applications during
the twentieth century due to its electrical and heat resistant
properties.  The National Cancer Institute estimates millions of
workers have been exposed to the substance since the 1940s.

Unfortunately, the tiny fibers which can come from asbestos have
been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer
that attacks the lining of the organs in the chest and abdomen,
including the heart and lungs.  The disease is terminal and has no
known cure.

Detection of mesothelioma is complicated by the fact that the
disease can take 20 years or more to surface, and often mimics the
symptoms of less severe conditions.  Also, the fact that only
around 3,000 people each year are diagnosed has limited research
into cures.

Campaigns like this are a good start to educating the public to
the need for additional research into a cure for mesothelioma.
Also, they can highlight the dangers that still exist in
structures and products that contain asbestos.

While asbestos use was heavily restricted in the late 1970s and
early 1980s in the United States, it is still used today in many
products like car brakes, shingles, chalkboards and others,
according to the Environmental Protection Agency,
http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/pubs.html

The National Asbestos Awareness Week will begin this year with the
8th Annual International Asbestos Conference in Los Angeles.  The
event will feature discussions and speeches by international
asbestos advocates, medical experts and patients.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ACT Releases School Asbestos Management Plans
--------------------------------------------------------------
(joseph)

ABC News reports that the ACT Government has released documents
outlining the extent of asbestos in Canberra's public schools and
plans to deal with it.

Education Minister Chris Bourke has tabled 68 asbestos management
plans for the ACT's 84 schools in the Legislative Assembly.

The Hazardous Materials Surveys and Management Plans outline the
asbestos building products in affected ACT schools and how to
ensure safety.

Asbestos sheets can deteriorate under intense heat, excessive
water or during renovation work, and release the potentially
deadly fibers.

"In the undisturbed form it is safe.  Part of our plan is to
regularly inspect the asbestos in schools to ensure it is still
safe," Mr. Bourke said.

Mr. Bourke says the asbestos reports have been accessible at the
front office of individual schools, and will soon be available
online .

"We're planning to put them on the Education and Training
Directorate website so they are accessible there, but you can
appreciate that this is a large task and it will take us a little
time to do that," he said.

The documents include the management plan for Taylor Primary
School which was closed this month because of concerns about water
damage to asbestos fiber sheets.

Asbestos management plans are also developed by non-government
schools and are reviewed regularly as part of the school
registration process.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Insurers Face Payouts of Up To GBP5 Billion
------------------------------------------------------------
Owen Bowcott of The Guardian News (UK) reports that insurers may
have to pay out as much as GBP5 billion to relatives of those who
have died from asbestos-related cancers following a supreme court
judgment that will benefit thousands of families.

At the end of a legal battle that has lasted more than five years,
justices at the country's highest court ruled by a four to one
majority that insurance companies' liability had been triggered
when individuals were exposed to asbestos dust -- not when
symptoms of the connected condition, mesothelioma, emerged decades
later.  Some claims date back to the late 1940s.  The supreme
court ruled that the disease could be said to have been
"sustained" or "contracted" -- the wording varied between company
insurance policies -- by an employee in the period when it was
caused or initiated, even if it only developed or manifested
itself later.

Lord Clarke said: "The negligent exposure of an employee to
asbestos during the [insurance] policy period has a sufficient
causal link with subsequently arising mesothelioma to trigger the
insurer's obligation."

Britain and Ireland's largest trade union, Unite, welcomed the
"landmark" ruling, which it said would affect "many of the 2,500
people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year".  Its
challenge was on behalf of the family of Charles O'Farrell, a
retired member who died of mesothelioma in 2003.

Lawyers and the insurance industry have estimated the liability at
between GBP600 million and GBP5 billion.  Municipal Mutual
Insurance (MMI), one of the insurance firms that appealed against
the compensation ordered by lower courts, said it had already been
paying out to local authority employers for mesothelioma claims,
despite not being obliged to do so until the outcome of the case
was known.

O'Farrell's daughter, Maureen Edwards, said: "All I ever prayed
for was the right decision.  This is the right decision.  My dad
worked all his life and was hoping to enjoy retirement before
mesothelioma took him away.

"There was never any question about who was to blame -- all this
long battle was about was insurers wanting to get out of paying.
It is very difficult for us to understand the insurance industry's
attitude to dying people, an attitude that the government [legal
reforms are] going to make worse."

Helen Ashton -- helen.ashton@irwinmitchell.com -- from the law
firm Irwin Mitchell, who represented the lead claimant in the
case, said the ruling provided "clarity, consistency and comfort
for mesothelioma victims and their families".

The ruling was welcomed as a "great relief" by Ruth Durham, who
had continued the legal battle in memory of her father Leslie
Screach.  He died in 2003 after being exposed to asbestos fibers
between 1963 and 1968 while working as a paint sprayer in west
London.

His daughter said: "I was determined to see this through with a
positive outcome for all those who, like my dad, suffered so
terribly because of someone else's negligence.  I miss him every
day and no sum of money will ever bring him back or make up for
what he went through."

Nick Starling, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) director
of general insurance and health, said: "[This] ruling by the
supreme court has confirmed what most in the industry have always
understood -- that the insurer on cover when the claimant was
exposed to asbestos should pay the claim, rather than the insurer
on cover when the mesothelioma develops.

"This case has been pursued by a small group of 'runoff' insurers
acting independently and at odds with the views of the majority of
the UK insurance industry.  We are pleased that the supreme court
has overruled the court of appeal's judgment on this point as it
ensures that claimants should get the compensation they reasonably
expect."

MMI said it had participated in the joint action to determine the
extent of the company's insurance liabilities under policies it
wrote in the period up to September 1992 when it ceased writing
new insurance business.

                         Landmark Victory

Mark Ellis of Mirror Online reports that thousands of new claims
are now expected to be made after judges ruled that insurance
liability was triggered when employees were exposed to asbestos
dust -- not when the symptoms emerged.

It means families of workers who died of asbestos-related cancer
can claim on policies dating back to the 1940s.

The ruling is a victory for the Mirror's Asbestos Timebomb
campaign which is calling for payouts for victims and the removal
of the substance from all public buildings.

Union Unite had launched a legal challenge on behalf of the family
of Charles O'Farrell, a retired member who died of asbestos cancer
mesothelioma aged 81 in 2003.

His daughter, Maureen Edwards, said: "All I ever prayed for was
the right decision.  This is the right decision.

"My dad worked all his life and hoped to enjoy retirement but
mesothelioma took him away.

"There was never any question about who was to blame.  This long
battle was all about insurers wanting to get out of paying."

The families' legal battle was dealt a major blow two years ago
when the Court of Appeal said in some cases insurance liability
was only triggered when symptoms developed -- sometimes decades
after the exposure.

After that decision was overruled by Britain's highest court,
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "It is a disgrace that
insurance firms went to such lengths to shirk their
responsibilities.

"For callous insurers this means the responsibility holiday is
over."

But he added: "Justice for ordinary people and the ability of
unions to bring these cases won't be possible if the Government
succeeds in slamming the door to justice with their legal aid
Bill."

Lawyers say the ruling will have implications for all workplace
illnesses.

The Association of British Insurers welcomed the decision because
it will ensure that "claimants get the compensation they
reasonably expect".  ABI director Nick Starling said: "We are
committed to paying compensation as quickly as possible to people
with mesothelioma who have been exposed to asbestos in the
workplace."  He said the case had been pursued by a small group of
insurers whose views were opposed by the majority of firms in the
ABI.

In Britain around 2,000 people die of asbestos-related cancers
every year.  The average compensation payout is GBP100,000.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Awards Artists, Scientists in 8th AIAAC
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) hosted its 8th
Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference which kicked
off Friday, March 30, in Manhattan Beach, Calif., with activities
planned throughout the weekend.

The international conference provides education and outreach to
families, employers/employees and scientists on a global scale as
part of ADAO's continuing effort to educate the public about the
dangers of asbestos, ban its use, and encourage research efforts
to improve treatment options.

The list of expected attendees included: Debbie Brewer,
Mesothelioma Patient; Niccolo Bruna, Director of "Dust: The Great
Asbestos Trial"; Barry Castleman, ScD; Stacy Cattran, ADAO
Volunteer; Larry Davis, Mesothelioma Patient; Siobhan Doherty,
NATAS; Alec Farquhar, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario
Workers(OHCOW); Arthur Frank, MD, PhD; Fernanda Giannasi, ABREA;
Mitch Golant, PhD, CSC; Rich Haffey, Mystic Air Quality
Consultants; Michael Harbut, MD, MPH, FCCP; Eric Jonckheere,
ABEVA; Sandy Kinart, Victims of Chemical Valley; Brent Kynoch,
Environmental Information Association; Richard Lemen, PhD, MSPH;
Barbara McQueen,(KEYNOTE SPEAKER); Celeste Monforton, MPH, DrPH;
Leah Nielsen, ADAO Volunteer; Andy Oberta, The Environmental
Consultancy; Joao Carlos Duarte Paes, ABIFibro; Matt Peacock,
Reporter, Australian Broadcasting Corporation(KEYNOTE SPEAKER);
Bruno Pesce, AFeVA; Nicola Pondrano, AFeVA; Linda Reinstein, ADAO;
Tony Rich, Industrial Hygienist; Ann Samuelson, ADAO Volunteer;
Sari Sairanen, Canadian Auto Workers'(CAW); Joel Shufro, New York
Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH); Dan
Sterman, MD; Christine Winter, Independent Asbestos Training
Providers; Jordan Zevon, ADAO National Spokesperson and Musician;
Paul Zygielbaum, Mesothelioma Patient.

In addition, seven individuals and one organization were
recognized for their tireless in raising awareness of asbestos
exposure: U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN), presented with
the Tribute of Hope Award for his steadfast commitment and
determination to ban asbestos; Actor Steve McQueen, who lost his
life to mesothelioma, honored posthumously with the Warren Zevon
"Keep me in Your Heart" Memorial Tribute; Dr. Arthur Frank, with
the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his
tireless dedication to increasing asbestos awareness to eliminate
diseases and unending support of the Asbestos Disease Awareness
Organization; Dr. Richard Lemen, with the Dr. Irving Selikoff
Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his tireless dedication to
increasing asbestos awareness to eliminate diseases and unending
support of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization; Dr. Joel
Shufro, NYCOSH, with the Tribute of Inspiration Award for his
tireless efforts to protect workers occupational safety and
health, especially in regards to asbestos exposure; Associazione
Familiari Vittime Amianto (AFEVA), the Tribute of Unity Award for
their tireless efforts, both nationally and internationally, to
protect human rights and seek justice for victims and their
families; Debbie Brewer, a mesothelioma patient, with The Alan
Reinstein Award for her commitment to education, advocacy, and
support to countless patients and families; and Larry Davis, a
mesothelioma patient, with The Alan Reinstein Award for his
commitment to education, advocacy, and support to countless
patients and families.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Part 3A of Planning Law Paralyzes NSW Premier
--------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Bennett for the Australian Associated Press reports that NSW
Premier Barry O'Farrell has hit back at claims he should step in
and stop development at an asbestos-polluted former James Hardie
factory site, saying his hands are tied by the former Labor
government's planning laws.

Unions voted on Thursday night, March 29, to ban work at the site
near Parramatta, in Sydney's west, because the soil is riddled
with asbestos.  Some sections of a concrete cap that covers the
site would have to be dug up for German firm Remondis to build a
new waste treatment plant.

The NSW opposition has accused Mr. O'Farrell of standing idle in
the face of community fears the work could disturb the
contaminated soil.  "The premier must honor the memory of (anti-
asbestos campaigner) Bernie Banton," opposition planning
spokeswoman Linda Burney said.  "He must learn the lesson of
history and rip up this misguided proposal to redevelop the James
Hardie site at once."

But Mr. O'Farrell said the government's "hands are tied", and
nothing could be done to block the proposal being assessed by the
independent Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) as a project of
state significance.

The development application for the waste treatment facility was
lodged before the O'Farrell government scrapped the Part 3A
planning provision, which gave the state's planning minister
consent authority for major projects.  When the unpopular planning
law was abolished last year, Part 3A projects were either sent
back to councils or to the PAC.

"The memory of Bernie Banton would have been upheld if the state
Labor Party hadn't had Part 3A in the Planning Act to enable
developments like this to bypass the planning approval of local
councils," Mr. O'Farrell told reporters in Sydney.

"If this gets the approval it will hang around the neck of
(opposition leader) John Robertson and those members of the former
Labor government, because it has only got there because of the
flawed and damaging planning policies."

On March 29 a full council meeting of Unions NSW voted to impose a
green ban on the Camellia site, meaning none of the organization's
600,000 members will work there until concerns about asbestos have
been addressed.

Asked if he supported the ban, Mr. O'Farrell said: "The unions can
do what the unions want to do."

"What I know is that this should have been a matter that should
have been left to local councils to decide, but it wasn't because
of state Labor's Part 3A in the Planning Act," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Blog Lists Common Mesothelioma Misconceptions
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mesothelioma.net Blog relates that more and more people are
becoming aware of the dangers of asbestos thanks to brave steps
from mesothelioma and asbestosis victims to raise awareness of its
dangers.  And with the recent congressional passage of an official
National Asbestos Awareness Week the first week of April every
year, the cause should become even more recognized among the
general population.  However, the increase in available knowledge
about asbestos dangers has also led to some common misconceptions
about the mineral and its dangers.

FALSE: Young People are Immune from Mesothelioma

The truth is anyone can develop mesothelioma -- including young
people.  In fact, both the United States and Britain have each had
cases of asbestos-induced mesothelioma in children as young as 13.
Although cases of mesothelioma in young people are extremely rare,
they are indeed possible.

However, most cases of mesothelioma develop in the latter stages
of life, between the ages of 50 and 80.  This is because there is
usually long latency period between initial asbestos exposure and
the onset of diseases or complications.  The average latency
period is approximately 30 to 40 years.

FALSE: You Must Have Prolonged Exposure to Asbestos to Develop
Mesothelioma

This is one of the most dangerous misconceptions about asbestos.
It in fact, only takes a single exposure to asbestos fibers to
become at-risk for developing complications.  Once asbestos fibers
are inhaled or ingested, they remain in the body indefinitely,
where they could lead to potentially fatal diseases.  However,
individuals with prolonged or frequent exposure to asbestos are at
a higher risk for developing complications than those with only a
minor exposure.

It is important to take proper safety precautions when around
areas that are even potentially contaminated with asbestos.  Never
attempt to remove asbestos on your own or work around the mineral
with only a respiratory mask.  Instead, use a professional
asbestos abatement service to remove the toxin according to the
standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency.

FALSE: Asbestos is No Longer a Public Health Threat

This could not be further from the truth.  Rather, asbestos is
still very prevalent, although not used to the extent that it once
was.  Asbestos is still used in the manufacturing of thousands of
construction products, including roofing materials.  Furthermore,
asbestos has been used to produce brake pads, although legal
initiatives have been taken to put a halt to that in the future.

Even if you are working with construction and automotive products,
your home, office or school could still have asbestos lurking in
the walls, ceiling and insulation.  Despite bans on asbestos use
in those areas, homes and buildings that were built prior to 1980
likely already had the fibers before they became illegal to use.
However, so long as the fibers are undisturbed, they are not
typically dangerous to building inhabitants.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: McNeese Renovation Releases Suspected Carcinogens
------------------------------------------------------------------
The American Press reports that McNeese State University officials
have closed Kaufman Hall until further notice because removal of a
door led to the release of asbestos, which has contaminated
multiple areas of the building.

Philip Williams, university president, told the American Press
Wednesday, March 28 that a door on the third floor of Kaufman
Hall, which is under renovation, was cut in half on March 5 by
contractors in order to make it easier to be carried down the
stairs.

"There was a release of some material that at the time the
contractors were unsure what it was," Williams said at a meeting
attended by 40-50 faculty, staff and students.  "You all continued
to work.  Nothing was done until we found out on Friday (March 9)
of that week that it was possible that asbestos was inside that
door."

He said there was an immediate decision by the administration to
evacuate the building.

Since then, tests were done on the first floor to see when the
building could be reinhabited and to see how many people were
exposed to the asbestos in the five days leading up to the
evacuation, Williams said.

Employees displaced from the building are either moving elsewhere
on campus or are working from home.  Kaufman Hall houses computer
services workers, scholarship and testing offices, Continuing
Education offices and social science classes.

"We want to make sure that you're safe and you're healthy,"
Williams said at the meeting.  "That has been our primary
concern."

Asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, according to the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  More than 30 workers used
the building before it was evacuated, Williams said.

"I have spoken to employees that may have been exposed more
directly, the ones that may have gone to the third floor and had
more direct exposure, and I have encouraged them to get a baseline
checkup from their physician," Williams told the American Press
after the meeting.

"I don't believe the employee should have to take the bill for
this," he said.  "Ultimately, this is not a university liability
issue.  This is going to be something that, probably, where
liability is found elsewhere."

He said as soon as the administration received the results, they
wanted to share them with the employees.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Harrison Shuts Madison's Reservation System
------------------------------------------------------------------
Nicholas J.C. Pistor of the Post-Dispatch reports that law firms
will no longer be allowed to reserve trial dates for asbestos
cases that aren't on file, a judge ordered late on Thursday,
March 29.

Judge Clarence Harrison dealt a swift blow to the Madison County
asbestos litigation system by ordering all 2013 asbestos cases to
be set on a "case-by-case basis."  The order came just three days
after Harrison heard arguments for and against a previous judge's
order allowing certain law firms to reserve trial dates in 2013,
even though many of the cases weren't on file with the court.

"The court finds no continuing need for the pre-assignment of
trial settings," Harrison wrote.

Previously, a court date could be given to someone who hasn't
filed suit or hasn't even learned he's sick.

Critics said the reservation system, which had been in place for
many years, had helped fuel out-of-state litigation, making
Madison County home to one-fourth of all asbestos lawsuits filed
in the nation.  They said select law firms would often market the
trial dates to prospective clients throughout the nation.  The
county has its own asbestos division with a judge dedicated to
handling those cases.  Proponents said it was a way for dying
plaintiffs to efficiently try their cases by getting them into
court quickly.

Harrison's order stated that the elderly and dying will receive
preference in trial settings when their cases are filed.

Harrison, who was put in charge of the asbestos docket in December
after another judge's fundraising controversy, held a court
conference with lawyers on March 26 to review the order signed by
his predecessor.  Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, who signed the
original order last year, was replaced after it was revealed that
her campaign fund accepted $30,000 in contributions from
plaintiffs' firms just days after she allotted them court slots.
Harrison's order terminated Crowder's action.

Crowder has since been reassigned to handle non asbestos-related
cases.

Last year, 953 asbestos cases were filed, tying the county's
record high in 2003.  At that time, a Post-Dispatch review found
that at least $1 billion in claims were resolved there.  Almost
all were settled before trial.  And almost all involved plaintiffs
who were not from Madison County, suing defendants that did some
kind of business there.

               Plaintiff Attorneys Mum on New Order

Christina Stueve of The Madison / St. Clair Record reports that
local attorneys had mixed reactions after Madison County Associate
Judge Clarence Harrison put a stop to advance asbestos trial
settings.

Defense attorney Raymond Fournie -- rfournie@armstrongteasdale.com
--, a partner at Armstrong Teasdale in St. Louis, said he is not
sure what kind of impact the judge's new order will have.
"Whether it will be negative on defendants still remains to be
seen," Fournie said.

Fournie was among a group of asbestos defense attorneys who had
argued for eliminating the advance reservation system for
preferred plaintiff's firms, saying it encouraged the marketing of
trial slots for claimants with little or no connection to Madison
County.

On March 29, Harrison entered the order terminating the court's
2013 asbestos trial docket stating that he found "no continuing
need for the pre-assignment of trial settings."

In the order, Harrison also indicated that pre-trial mediation
will be available in all asbestos cases.  Mediation will be
available on Fridays, he said.

Fournie called that "a positive thing."

"The judge has seen the further in advance you can do things, the
simpler the trial week is," Fournie said.  "Everything else is
pretty much going to be status quo as far as arguing forum non
conveniens motions as well as motions to dismiss or for summary
judgment."

Plaintiff attorney Richard Saville -- RSaville@ToVerdict.com -- of
Saville and Flint in Glen Carbon said he did not know what to
expect (before Harrison made the order).

"We're a medium sized firm," he said.  "Although the order sure
seems like it's going to change the procedure in Madison County,
it's not going to affect us.  Typically our cases have strong ties
to Illinois.

"We've been pleased with all of the asbestos judges and the way
they handle things, and that includes Judge Harrison."

Goldenberg Heller attorney Elizabeth Heller --
elizabeth@ghalaw.com -- who spoke at the trial docket hearing held
March 26 by Harrison, did not return a phone call to a Record
reporter.

Harrison replaced Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder as head of the
asbestos docket in December.

Crowder was reassigned to hear chancery, eminent domain and
miscellaneous remedy cases after accepting $30,000 in campaign
contributions from the area's three largest asbestos firms.  She
had granted those firms -- Simmons of Alton and Goldenberg and
Gori and Julian of Edwardsville -- 82% of trial slots for 2013.
Crowder later returned the donations.

Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch Director Travis Akin --
takin@illawsuitabusewatch.org -- described Harrison's order as a
"major breakthrough" for reform in Madison County.

"For too long, judges have allowed Metro-East courts to be turned
into a destination docket for personal injury lawyers from all
across the country to clog our courts with cases to be heard," he
said.

"It's bad enough that Judge Crowder's actions to give future trial
slots to big campaign cases that haven't even been filed.  This
ill-advised practice is now coming to an end.  I applaud Judge
Harrison for his decision to end the trial 'reservation' system,"
Akin said.

Heyl Royster attorney Robert Shultz -- rshultz@heylroyster.com --
has been the lead advocate in reforming the court's asbestos
docket.  In March, he filed an 18-page brief opposing Crowder's
order.  His brief stated the court's trial reservation system is
no longer being used for its original purpose, to resolve local
asbestos lawsuits.

The brief was also signed by Fournie, Daniel Donahue of Foley &
Mansfield in St. Louis; and Steven Hart -- shart@smsm.com -- of
Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney of Chicago.

Shultz could not be reached for comment on March 30.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Up to 750 New Mesothelioma Cases Expected Per Yr
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Stephanie Gardiner of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that
Adventurer Lincoln Hall famously defied death on the world's
highest mountain, but what eventually caused his demise was
something so small he could not even see it.

Mr. Hall, 56, famous for his Mount Everest expeditions and his
near death experience below the summit in 2006, recently died from
mesothelioma, linked to asbestos cement flat sheets used to build
cubby houses with his father as a child.

Mr. Hall was part of what is known as the third wave of
mesothelioma sufferers; those who were exposed to asbestos fibers
not as miners or workers, but as "bystanders".

The number of mesothelioma sufferers continues to rise and Nico
van Zandwijk, the director of the Asbestos Diseases Research
Institute, expects data to show there are between 700 and 750 new
cases a year.

That data is being compiled through the Australian Mesothelioma
Registry, which Professor van Zandwijk hopes will also help to
understand whether enough is being done to prevent the disease.

Asbestos is in many houses and landfill sites, he said.

In March, residents of Camellia in western Sydney, expressed their
concerns about a proposal to build a waste treatment plant on a
site once used to manufacture asbestos.

"It's amazing how much asbestos is around [in Australia]; it is
everywhere," Professor van Zandwijk said.

"What is needed is a very good structural approach to asbestos
waste, because in a way asbestos waste is comparable with nuclear
waste because the dangerous potential of asbestos remains."

In recent years a different type of mesothelioma sufferer has
emerged who, like Mr. Hall, was exposed to asbestos through home
renovations or living and working in buildings where it was
present.

The first wave of sufferers were those who handled the raw
material in mines and the second wave of patients were people such
as builders and carpenters who worked with asbestos filled
materials.

Part of the reason the number of cases continues to rise is the
long gap between exposure and the development of the disease,
which can be between 20 and 70 years, Professor van Zandwijk said.

The median gap is 40 years, a period when the fibers cause chronic
inflammation.

"The immune system is trying to defend or trying to eliminate that
fiber, but the fibers are very persistent.

"So it is chronic inflammation during many years which eventually
causes cancer.

"The mechanism of causing cancer is directly related to that
inflammatory process.

"There are many inflammatory changes of those normal cells needed
to become a malignant cell and that takes a long time."

The longer the fiber, the harder it is for the body to fight it
off.

"They are very small and light and you can't see them with the eye
and they are in the air and you can inhale them easily.

"They embed themselves in the body, not in cells.

"The cells surround them and some of those try to ... eat the
fibers, but [if] the fibers are too long they can't be eaten."

The Asbestos Diseases Research Institute at Concord Hospital
Sydney University campus is looking into patients' susceptibility
to the disease, which may be related to differences in individual
immune systems and genetics.

"Australia is among the top countries [that] have had a tremendous
amount of kilograms [of asbestos] per head of the population used
in the previous century.

"And we are now confronted by the legacy of that and we'll have to
be very careful that we have a systematic and prudent way to
control it."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Nassau Coliseum Tests Show Air Quality Safe
------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Brodsky of Nassau Newsday reports that asbestos
contamination has been found in four locations throughout the
Nassau Coliseum, but inspection reports show air quality is safe
in public areas of the arena, according to a consulting firm hired
by Nassau County.

Additional inspections are being conducted by the state Department
of Labor and the federal Occupational Safety and Health
Administration.

An inspection by J.C. Broderick & Associates Inc. of Hauppauge
found asbestos in private corridors and stairwells; in a tunnel
below the exhibition hall, and in an ice plant room, the company's
report states.  Each location measures about 10 square feet and is
used primarily by maintenance staff, the analysis found.

"The areas of concern were immediately isolated and access was
restricted," said firm owner Brendan Broderick.

Deputy County Executive Rob Walker said "the building is safe for
our employees, patrons and users." A remediation plan began
Thursday night.

Broderick said signs were posted to prevent people from entering
contaminated areas.

But Garden City attorney Joseph Dell, who represents 75 arena
employees, contends the contamination is more widespread and may
have affected public areas of the building.

Dell represents electricians, carpenters, plumbers, laborers and
mechanics who claim to have gotten sick from asbestos, a known
carcinogen.  A Zamboni driver with 30 years of experience, he
said, has mesothelioma, while a laborer who has swept the floors
for decades has stage-four lung cancer.

"The clock ticks every day for my clients," said Dell, who is
preparing a class-action suit against Nassau County.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Group Praises Madison Court Reform
---------------------------------------------------
Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal
Reform (ILR), issued the following statement regarding Madison
County Circuit Judge Clarence Harrison's decision to end the pre-
assignment of asbestos trials to plaintiffs' law firms.  Trials
will instead be set on a case-by-case basis.  The decision comes
three months after Judge Barbara Crowder, whose campaign committee
received $30,000 from plaintiffs' lawyers shortly after she
awarded their firms most of the court's 2013 trial times, was
removed from the asbestos docket.

"We applaud Judge Harrison for ending Madison County's
longstanding and troubling practice of assigning asbestos trial
slots to plaintiffs' lawyers rather than to individual plaintiffs.

"This system created an asbestos lawsuit futures market of immense
value and was at the root of the 'cash-for-trials' scandal that
lead to the reassignment of the docket's previous presiding judge.

"By ending a practice that effectively put Madison County court
time up for sale, Judge Harrison has taken an important first step
towards cleaning up the court's misguided approach to resolving
asbestos lawsuits."

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative,
political, judicial, and educational activities at the national,
state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business
federation representing the interests of more than 3 million
businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state
and local chambers and industry associations.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fire, Carcinogens Close Rainbow Springs Facility
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Carlos E. Medina at Ocala.com reports that a small fire at the
Rainbow Springs State Park visitors center in early January grew
into a big problem after asbestos was found in ceiling and
flooring material.

The discovery means the facility at 19158 SW 81st Place Road will
remain closed for several more months until the asbestos is
removed, said Jessica Sims, a spokeswoman for the Florida Park
Service.

"Removal will entail removing ceiling tiles, portions of flooring
treatment and debris from the water and fire damage, and giving
the building's interior a thorough cleaning and wipe-down.  Also,
HVAC filters replacement and system cleaning," Sims said.

The facility, which housed a gift shop and concession area, is not
expected to reopen until the end of the summer.

A heat lamp meant to keep a rare indigo snake warm through a
chilly night caused the fire.  While there was little actual fire
damage, the fire tripped one of the sprinklers, which soaked the
ceiling and floor.

The snake, named Indy, was not hurt and is doing well, Sims said.

"The building was sealed after the fire due to potential asbestos
contamination.  The contamination inspection has been completed,
and the park is waiting on permission to enter the building to
remove all contents.  After removal has been accomplished, the
residual asbestos will be removed," Sims said.

Simpson Environmental Services is doing the asbestos removal and
cleanup at the visitors center, which was built in 1968.

Asbestos was a common material used widely in insulation and
fireproofing through much of the 1900s.  It was used in ceiling
tiles and flooring for its fireproofing qualities.  The material,
which is naturally occurring and mined, is now tightly regulated
after it was linked to serious lung disease, including cancer and
mesothelioma.

Removal and disposal of the material is also highly regulated and
in Florida is overseen by the Department of Management Services.

"It's not something they can do in one day," said David Wiggins,
environmental health and safety supervisor with the department.

The process starts with identification of the asbestos, then plans
for removal are submitted and reviewed.  The site has to be
prepared and tested to make sure none of the asbestos that is
inside gets out.  Finally, the work to remove the material is done
and a final set of tests for asbestos is conducted, including
microscopic analysis.

"About 35 to 45 percent of the work is preparing the area
properly," Wiggins said.  "The State of Florida has very stringent
regulations on asbestos abatement."

At the Rainbow Springs project, workers will seal off the area
where the offending material is located.  Filters and air pumps
will prevent any material from escaping.  Workers will be clothed
in full-body protective wear and will go through a shower facility
before leaving the work area.

"The whole time the contractor will be on site, they will be
pulling air samples inside the containment and around the facility
to make sure no fibers escape into the outside air," Higgins said.

He said there are roughly 25,000 asbestos removal jobs of varying
complexity in the state every year.

The park remains open to visitors for swimming, picnics and more.
Visit http://www.floridastateparks.org/rainbowspringsfor details.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: IBT Contracting Faces GBP14,400 Penalty
--------------------------------------------------------
The Garstang Courier reports that a Barton demolition firm has
been fined more than GBP10,000 after exposing workers to deadly
asbestos while knocking down a former photography factory.

IBT Contracting, which is based at Barton Lane, Barton, was
ordered to pay a GBP10,800 fine and more than GBP3,600 in
prosecution costs after admitting breaching safety regulations
when knocking down the building in the Lake District.

It pleaded guilty to three breaches of regulations for removing
asbestos without a license and exposing both its workers and local
people to deadly fibers during the work in Staveley, near Kendal,
last summer.

Allen Shute, the investigating inspector for the Health and Safety
Executive, said the firm had put people's lives at risk by
"cutting corners".

He said: "Several houses back on to the site of the factory so
local residents were also put at risk, although luckily the level
of their exposure to asbestos fibers is likely to have been
relatively low.

"However, the workers on the site will now have to live with the
knowledge that they may develop a deadly asbestos-related disease
in the years to come because of the actions of IBT Contracting.

"Asbestos was used in ceiling tiles up until the 1980s to help
insulate buildings.

"The tiles only become dangerous if they are broken up and
asbestos fibers are released into the air."

The hearing at Kendal Magistrates Court yesterday heard that IBT
had been given a survey by the owners of the site ahead of the
work taking place, which stated that the building contained 166
square meters of asbestos ceiling tiles.

It failed to arrange for a licensed contractor to remove the tiles
safely, instead releasing deadly fibers into the area.

If breathed in, the fibers can become lodged in lungs or the
digestive tract and may lead to lung cancer or other diseases if
large numbers of fibers are inhaled.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Salinas Armory Abatement Costs Totaled $113,000
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dave Nordstrand of The Californian reports that the stylish,
albeit majestically empty, Salinas Armory is being primed for yet
another role in its lively and varied history.

"Absolutely, this building has a future," John Fair said.  "We're
working to bring it back to useable space."

The city's public works director for 14 years and now retired,
Fair is project manager for getting the 18,000-square-foot Armory
ready for its next mission, to serve as headquarters for the
Salinas Police Activities League (PAL).

PAL programs could be up and running by early summer, said Angel
Gonzalez, a Salinas Police Department officer and PAL director.

The first step in renovation involved a potential problem:
asbestos, Fair said.

Steam radiators originally heated the Armory, and the pipes had
been wrapped in asbestos as fire-proofing and insulation.

"There are two ways to deal with asbestos," Fair said.  "Get rid
of it or encapsulate it."

The asbestos wrapping and the heating fixtures have been removed.
Cement slurry poured under the floor has entombed and rendered
harmless what was left, Fair said.

All paint containing lead was removed, Gonzalez said.

Ridding the structure of asbestos and lead paint, though, bumped
the bill above the $100,000 in seed money granted by the Harden
Foundation, Gonzalez said; another $13,000 had to be found.

The difference was covered by PAL funds collected from previous
fundraisers, he said.

"For the kids, we went the extra mile," he said.

Fair estimates it will take another $200,000 to bring the Armory
to useable status.  To help the process along, Leadership Salinas
Valley's Class XXX will help raise the funds.  The class is
offered through the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce.

"We'd like to bring the kitchen back, too, then rent out the
facility for receptions and weddings," Fair said.

Another way, in other words, to raise future funds for PAL.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement, Other Issues Hound WCPS Main Office
---------------------------------------------------------------
Julie E. Greene of the Herald Mail reports that occasional leaks
in the roof, a poorly rated electrical system, a lack of central
air for the entire office building and lead paint and asbestos
abatement issues are some of the problems at Washington County
Public Schools' Central Office, according to schools officials and
planning documents.

Describing the 820 Commonwealth Ave. administrative center in
January, Board of Education President Wayne Ridenour said it "has
issues.  That's the nice way to put it."

The administrative centers, including a nearby building at 701
Frederick St., have an estimated $4,757,000 in deferred
maintenance, though most of that is for the Commonwealth Avenue
portion, Deputy Schools Superintendent Boyd Michael said.

The Central Office complex, off Commonwealth Avenue, has original
sections from 1938 and 1958 with additions in 1966, 1969 and 1990,
according to the school system's 2011 Educational Facilities
Master Plan.

The complex includes administrative offices, two garage buildings
for the transportation department, a planetarium, an auditorium
for school board meetings and hearings, two other large rooms for
training, a portable building for storage, and another portable
building that houses student personnel workers, Michael said.

The Frederick Street building, which was purchased in 2008, houses
facilities, planning and development offices, including a
maintenance shop, school system spokesman Richard Wright said.

The Frederick Street office is in good condition, Ridenour said.
The building was renovated in 2009, according to the master plan.

The Commonwealth Avenue administrative center's roof, electrical
system, sprinkler (which doesn't exist) and fire alarm system are
described as poor in the master plan.  Heating, air conditioning,
flooring, technology wiring and security are described as
adequate.

The roofs of the transportation department's two garage buildings
are rusty, Michael said.

A portion of the main office building's roof was replaced several
years ago, Michael said.

"We patch and repair and keep on going," he said.

Many of the offices have window air conditioning units, while the
board auditorium and Summit Room, used for training, have separate
central air units, Michael said.

"It's probably not that cost-effective to operate that building
with the way it was constructed," board member Paul Bailey said.
"There would be some benefit going into a building that was more
economical to operate."

Not counting approximately 125 bus drivers and assistants, there
are about 215 employees based at the Central Office, Wright said.
That includes mechanics as well as some employees, such as student
personnel workers, who spend a lot of time at schools or in the
community, he said.

About 60 people are based at the Frederick Street office,
including maintenance workers who go there to pick up a van and
work at schools, Wright said.

The employee figures do not account for a restructuring at the
Central Office that will kick in this July and reduce the number
of administrative positions, Wright said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Critics Say W. R. Grace Kept Evidence From Jury
----------------------------------------------------------------
Theodora Filis for UK Progressive relates:

In February of 2004, W.R. Grace & Co. along with seven current or
former executives were indicted in a federal court in Missoula,
Montana, for breaking environmental laws and conspiring to cover
up what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has described as
the biggest environmental disaster to human health it has ever
faced.

According to the EPA: "W.R. Grace and its executives, as far back
as the 1970's, attempted to hide the fact that toxic asbestos was
present in vermiculite products at the company's Libby, Montana
plant.  The grand jury charged the defendants with conspiring to
conceal information about the hazardous nature of the company's
asbestos contaminated vermiculite products, obstructing the
government's clean-up efforts, and wire fraud.  To date, according
to the indictment, approximately 1,200 residents [out of a
population of about 3,000] of Libby have been identified as
suffering from some kind of asbestos-related abnormality."

A federal jury in Montana acquitted W.R. Grace and three of its
former executives last of knowingly exposing mine workers and
residents of Libby, Montana, to asbestos poisoning and then
covering up their actions.

W.R. Grace purchased the Zonolite mine, a branded trademark
product produced from vermiculite, in 1963.  The mine contained
tremolite asbestos, winchite, and richterite (both fibrous
amphiboles formed underground).  Pure vermiculite does not contain
asbestos and is non-toxic.  Impure vermiculite may contain:
asbestos, minor diopside, and remnants of biotit or phlogopite.

Investigations by the US Federal Government, found air samples
from Libby, Montana, had high levels of fibrous tremolite
asbestos, which is suspected of causing asbestos related diseases
among former Zonolite employees and their families.  In 1999, the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, published a series of articles
documenting extensive deaths and illness from the asbestos
contaminated vermiculite at the Grace mine in Libby, Montana.

Reports claim that asbestos from the now-closed vermiculite mine
on a mountain near Libby has killed 192 people and left at least
375 with fatal diseases.  Thousands more who live or grew up in
Libby are expected to die from asbestos-related diseases in the
coming decades.  The asbestos fibers contaminated not only workers
at the mine, but also their families when they brought home the
asbestos fibers on their clothing and in their hair.  Even local
ball fields and an athletic track were contaminated from fallout
and fill.

Former President Bush, appointed Granta Y. Nakayama, head of the
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), the
enforcement division of the EPA.  At the time of his appointment,
Nakayama was serving as a "Partner for Environmental Law and
Product Safety" at Kirkland & Ellis, a law firm in Washington, DC,
that was representing W.R. Grace in its troubles with the federal
government.  The Senate confirmed Nakayama on July 29, 2005.
Nakayama's law firm helped Grace file for bankruptcy and
restructure so it could continue doing business.

The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act -- the FAIR Act --
sponsored by Patrick Leahy, the highest ranking Democrat in the
Senate, and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter.
Many people in Libby, Montana believe this bill is nothing more
than a way of pretending to help the victims of years of abuse by
mining companies while actually making sure that those companies
don't get sued too badly for all their wrongdoing.

The Fair Act established a $140 billion privately financed trust
fund that would compensate asbestos claimants who agree to give up
their right to sue.  The bill also caps liability for companies
that made or sold products containing asbestos.  Companies
routinely declare bankruptcy to avoid paying huge settlements due
to lawsuits.  To avoid paying out on asbestos claims hundreds of
US companies have filed for bankruptcy.

A report on Nightline said: "The evidence is strong that the
executives at Grace knew about the dangers of their product as far
back as the 1960s, even before they bought the vermiculite mine in
Libby.  They suppressed evidence not only about their product but
about the health of their employees.  For more than thirty years
they knowingly sent out a dangerous product that would be used in
somewhere between 15 and 30 million homes across America..."

Several legal experts have raised questions about the evidence
that was withheld from the jury because the judge deemed it overly
prejudicial.  David Uhlmann, University of Michigan law professor
and former environmental crimes prosecutor at the Justice
Department, told Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrew
Schneider that, "Many questions now linger about what would have
happened if the trial had been conducted in a manner that was fair
to everyone involved."

More than 250,000 asbestos-related suits have been filed against
W. R. Grace.  The company has closed its mine in Libby and has
declared bankruptcy, restructured itself, and continues to make
about $1.4 billion in sales per year.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aargus Pty Falsifies Test Result, Fined AU$370K
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cowra Community News reports that the Environment Protection
Authority (EPA) has brought six criminal proceedings against an
environmental consultant and two of its employees for allegedly
providing false information about asbestos waste.

The EPA alleges that in late 2010 Aargus Pty Ltd and its employees
supplied documentation to a resident in Oakville, in Sydney's
northwest, that falsely stated there was no fibro or asbestos
observed in a stockpile of waste at the resident's property.

Fibro and asbestos were in fact present in the stockpile, the EPA
says in a statement.

The allegations were brought to the EPA's attention by Hawkesbury
City Council and its officers who assisted in the EPA's
investigation.

The EPA has now commenced two criminal proceedings against each
defendant for alleged breaches of section 144AA of the Protection
of the Environment Operations Act 1997 -- one in relation to an
asbestos clearance certificate and one in relation to a soil
classification report.

Both documents are alleged to have been issued in relation to the
waste at Oakville.

Each offence carries a maximum penalty of AU$120,000 for an
individual and AU$250,000 for a corporation.

On March 30, a legal representative for the company and the two
employees appeared before the New South Wales Land and Environment
Court in relation to the allegations.

No plea has been entered at this stage.  The matter has been
adjourned until May.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Charged Glenelg Landfill for Non-Compliance
----------------------------------------------------------------
ABC News reports that the Glenelg Shire has been fined over the
state of its Portland landfill.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined the shire
AU$6,100 for leaving waste exposed.

The EPA's south-west region manager, Eve Graham, says the landfill
on Dereel Road is licensed to accept dangerous waste like
asbestos.

She says an inspection of the site in November revealed it failed
to meet a number of license conditions.

"When the officers inspected the site they saw that there was
tires and sheet metal, pooled waste water and litter across the
site and there was also large amounts of windblown waste being
caught up in the boundary fence, plants, and there was small
amounts of waste also outside the boundary," she said.

She says the landfill must meet the EPA's conditions.

"So we require daily cover because sites that accept waste can
pose environmental hazards if they're not covered at the end of
the day," she said.

"It can cause odor, it can also be a risk to human health,
especially landfill sites like this that can accept asbestos."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parent Incensed by Brookfield School Abatement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bradford L. Miner of the Telegram & Gazette reports that North
Brookfield school officials said replacement of windows at the
elementary school will get under way on April 6, despite the
concern of at least one parent about the removal of asbestos in
the window caulking while school is in session.

School Superintendent John A. Provost said the $500,000 project
involves removal of all windows in the building, which was built
in 1972, and replacing them with energy-efficient windows with
latex caulking.

Allison White, a parent of an elementary school student, said she
has multiple issues with the project, from a notice received last
week dated Jan. 26 to the reluctance of town officials to delay
the work until summer break.

"For them, this is all about money.  I can't believe that town
officials are willing to put money ahead of the safety of our
children, even if there is minimal risk," said Mrs. White.

She said she had complained to Brian Wong, chief of investigations
and enforcement at the Department of Labor Standards' asbestos and
lead program, and was told there are no regulations prohibiting
people being in a building while asbestos abatement work is being
done.

Mrs. White said she was told it was best not to be in a room, in
this case a classroom, while work was in progress.

To that end, she said she sent a letter to Principal James F.
Graham and her child's classroom teacher stating her child should
not be in any room where window replacement work was taking place.

"Lockheed has submitted a comprehensive, 18-point plan for
asbestos mitigation, and Peter Shipman (director of buildings and
grounds for the school district) is willing to meet with anyone
and go over it," Mr. Provost said.

He said the plan had been reviewed and approved by the project
manager, the architect, Woburn-based Covino Environmental
Associates and the state School Building Authority.

Covino, Mr. Provost said, would be the environmental hygienist on
site conducting continuous air quality sampling, as well as
monitoring compliance with the mitigation plan while work was
under way.

Mrs. White also sent a letter to the Board of Selectman
questioning the decision of the School Department to move ahead
with the project while children were attending classes.

Mary F. Walter, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said since
becoming a selectman she has become something of an expert on
asbestos, because of the ongoing cleanup of the 5.3-acre Aztec
Industries/Asbestos site.

"This (school) situation is substantially different than the North
Brookfield Downtown Development site," she said, explaining that
the small amount of asbestos used to maintain the resiliency of
the window caulking was not friable and not subject to being
carried by air currents.

"Mrs. Walter sent a copy of Mrs. White's letter to town counsel
Kopelman and Paige, and the firm responded with a protocol that
people with concerns could use.  "It's my understanding several
parents did just that," the selectman said.

The board's letter to Mrs. White suggested that she take her
concerns to the project manager at the school and if not satisfied
with the answers, take the matter to Mr. Provost.

Aside from state officials, Mrs. White said she had spoken with
several other parents who were also concerned about the project.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Study Connects Asbestos to Heart Disease, Stroke
-----------------------------------------------------------------
AFP reports that already facing heightened risks of cancer,
asbestos workers also run a greater danger of heart disease and
stroke, a British study published on April 3 said.

Researchers looked into more than 15,000 deaths that occurred
among nearly 99,000 workers in the British asbestos industry
between 1971 and 2005.

Almost 4,200 deaths were caused by heart disease and more than
1,000 by a stroke, particularly among women.

Male asbestos workers were 63% likelier to die of a stroke and 39%
likelier to die of heart disease when compared with the general
public, even when smoking was taken into account.  The
corresponding figures for female asbestos workers were 100% and
89%.

The workers were part of a survey set up in 1971 to monitor the
long-term health of people in the asbestos industry.

Most of the male workers had been employed in removing asbestos,
and the female workers were generally employed in manufacturing
that included asbestos.

The investigation, led by Anne-Helen Harding of Britain's Health
and Safety Laboratory, appears in the Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine.

Asbestos was widely used as a fire retardant until the late 20th
century when it began to be outlawed for causing a form of cancer
called mesothelioma and a lung disease called asbestosis.

Doctors have long wondered whether asbestos, as an inflammatory
agent, is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

But the connection has until now never been clear, mainly because
studies lacked information about whether an individual smoked.

Over half of the women in the new study were smokers at the time
of their first medical examination, and these proportions were
almost unchanged when they had their last assessment.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: OSHA Cites A.M. Castle With 22 Health Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Becky Yerak of The Chicago Tribune reports that Federal safety
regulators plan to levy a $127,600 fine against Oak Brook-based
A.M. Castle& Co., alleging that workers at a company site in
Franklin Park "were exposed to asbestos during the removal of
insulation without the use of safety precautions."

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health
Administration announced on April 2 that it had cited the publicly
traded distributor of specialty metal and plastic products with 22
"serious health violations" after an inspection, which was
prompted by a complaint.

An A.M. Castle spokesman said the company has cooperated fully
with OSHA during its investigation and will meet with the
regulator to discuss its findings.  The spokesman said that the
company is committed to worker safety and plans to fix whatever
problems OSHA has uncovered.

"Failing to take proper precautions when removing asbestos puts
workers at risk for respiratory and other serious illnesses,"
Diane Turek, director of OSHA's Chicago north area office in Des
Plaines, said in a statement.

The violations include failing to determine the presence and
quantity of asbestos-containing or presumed asbestos-containing
material; affix warning notices on asbestos-containing piping;
provide a regulated area for asbestos removal operations; monitor
employees and the work area for asbestos exposure during the
removal process; and use a high-efficiency particulate air, or
HEPA, acuum to collect dust during removal.

Also, OSHA said asbestos awareness training was not provided to
employees performing the work, and respirators were not used.
Finally, A.M. Castle didn't provide or require the use of
protective clothing or a decontamination room for workers, OSHA
said.  A "serious" violation occurs when there is "substantial
probability that death or serious physical harm could result from
a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known," OSHA
Web site.

A.M. Castle has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and
penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's
area director or contest the findings.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Weitz & Luxenberg Pushes for Mesothelioma Funding
------------------------------------------------------------------
Weitz & Luxenberg on April 2 announced its ongoing commitment to
an initiative intended to promote asbestos awareness and increase
the availability of funds earmarked for cancer research.  The
announcement comes during National Asbestos Awareness Week.

Weitz & Luxenberg, a leading national mass-tort and personal-
injury litigation law firm, said it is taking this week to
reinforce the importance of spreading the message about the
continued prevalence of asbestos, and highlighting how public
ignorance about asbestos prevents asbestos cancers from getting
adequate research funding.

Pleural mesothelioma -- an aggressive cancer that affects the
lining of the lungs -- is uniquely situated in a public blind spot
and qualifies as an "orphan disease," meaning that it receives
essentially no public funding due to its relative rarity, the firm
said in a prepared statement.

"While diseases like breast cancer receive hundreds of millions of
dollars per year in research funds, according to the National
Cancer Institute, mesothelioma researchers generally have to
squeak by on privately-raised donations supplemented by minimal
governmental support," Weitz & Luxenberg said.  "The result is
that the quantity of high-profile mesothelioma research studies is
limited."

There are, however, some groundbreaking projects being undertaken
by researchers: Weitz & Luxenberg offered the example of a
medicine being developed by Italian biotech company MolMed that
targets for destruction tumor blood vessels (MolMed announced in
October that the drug being tested, NGR-hTNF, was set to undergo
clinical testing).

"Nevertheless, the lack of public support for researching
mesothelioma and banning asbestos can hamstring cancer researchers
trying to find a cure," the firm said.  "One of the big problems
with mesothelioma is the lack of awareness about it.  Asbestos is
directly linked with a disease that is a terrible killer.
Normally a disease like that would be a priority, but since there
is no awareness about asbestos, there is no outcry against it.
And since there is no outcry, there is less funding.  Funding for
research like the MolMed study and other therapies is crucial, and
the first step is making the problem known."

To that end, Weitz & Luxenberg said it sponsored a February
charity race that advanced both goals -- asbestos awareness and
research funding.  Larry Davis, a mesothelioma survivor and the
race's organizer, has worked with partners like Weitz & Luxenberg
to raise over $100,000 for non-chemotherapy mesothelioma research,
the firm reported.

                   About Weitz & Luxenberg

Founded in 1986 by attorneys Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg,
Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., today ranks among the nation's leading
law firms.  Weitz & Luxenberg's numerous litigation areas include:
mesothelioma, defective medicine and devices, environmental
pollutants, accidents, personal injury, and medical malpractice.
Victims of accidents are invited to rely on Weitz & Luxenberg's
more than 20 years of handling such cases -- begin by contacting
the firm's Client Relations department at 1-800-476-6070 or at
clientrelations@weitzlux.com and ask for a free legal
consultation.  More information at http://www.weitzlux.com/


ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Hazards In Piping System Adds $280K to Cost
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Wheaton at MLive.com reports that the city of Jackson could
have to pay $280,000 more than expected to remove asbestos from
the former Consumers Energy building.

A city contractor underestimated the amount of asbestos inside the
building, City Manager Larry Shaffer said, leading to a change
order request from a second contractor for $280,000.

Dore and Associates of Bay City, the same contractor whose project
manager pleaded no contest to stealing copper wire from the
Consumers building, is seeking additional payment as it prepares
to resume asbestos removal.

That would bring the cost of asbestos removal to more than $1.1
million.  The city plans to demolish the building at 212 W.
Michigan Ave.

The project had been shut down since last summer as a result of
investigations into the copper theft and allegations made by the
arrested project manager about the labor practices of Dore and
Associates.

"There's absolutely no question that the initial asbestos
assessment that was done on the building under-estimated the
amount of asbestos in the building," said City Manager Larry
Shaffer.

The city is looking into trying to recover some of the added costs
from ASTI Environmental, the Brighton company that determined how
much asbestos was in the building, Shaffer said.

The owner of ASTI could not be reached for comment.

Dore and Associates got the asbestos removal contract with an
$846,000 bid that was about $500,000 less than the next lowest bid
of $1.37 million.  Six companies submitted bids.

"(Dore) relied on the assessment," Shaffer said. "I guess an
argument could be made -- I don't know how plausible it would be
-- that given Dore's experience with asbestos abatement, that they
would have known or at least suspected that there was more
asbestos in the building than initially thought.  But that's pure
speculation."

Karl Schwartz, vice president of business development for Dore,
said his company discovered the additional asbestos.

"We depend on consultants or the experts when they're paid to do
the assessments," he said.  "And they are the one that decides
(how much asbestos is in a building).

"The increase was for an unknown piping system," he said.  "It was
unknown, and that was the cause for the increase (in cost).  And
the consultant missed it, and we eventually found it during the
course of the work.  There's nothing to the claim that we underbid
to get it and then make it up later."

In court documents, Mike Kollin, the project manager who was
arrested and charged with stealing copper, said he was aware of
plans by Dore & Associates to inflate the cost of the project to
more than $1.25 million.

Kollin, 44, of suburban Cleveland, pleaded no contest to larceny
from a building for taking copper from the old Consumers building.
He was charged with larceny between $1,000 and $20,000 and accused
of trying to sell the stolen copper.

Kollin's attorney has since filed a motion to rescind the no
contest plea.  Kollin has said he followed orders from his boss to
remove the copper and sell it to pay wages and cover expenses
related to the project, an allegation that Schwartz has denied.

The Jackson City Council was scheduled to consider approving the
additional $280,000 in payments to Dore and Associates on April 3,
but the item was removed from the agenda.

There were a couple of items in the change order that needed to be
clarified before the City Council votes, Shaffer said.

The city still has not paid Dore for any of the work.  Officials
said earlier that they wanted to wait until investigations by city
police and the Environmental Protection Agency were completed.

Those investigations are complete and the city is satisfied with
Dore continuing the work, Shaffer said.  City officials believe
that Kollin acted alone in removing the copper, he said.

"We trust that Dore and Associates had no involvement whatsoever,"
Shaffer said.

Officials hope asbestos removal will be completed in early fall.

The demolition is expected to cost about $2 million, but the city
hopes to recoup some of those costs by salvaging copper and steel.
City officials believe there is $200,000 in copper and that much
or maybe more in steel that can be salvaged, Shaffer said.

The city bought the 12-story former Consumers building for
$300,000 in 2004 from its two owners a year after the utility
moved its headquarters to the other side of downtown.  The city
spent tens of thousands of dollars maintaining the building while
trying to find a new tenant.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Baron and Budd Joins ADAO to Advocate GAAW 2012
----------------------------------------------------------------
The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd is proud to join the
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) to recognize Global
Asbestos Awareness Week 2012.  Though many people think that
asbestos is a thing of the past, the reality is that asbestos
remains a current threat to people.  The Environmental Information
Association (EIA) reports that only 25 percent of countries have
banned the use of asbestos worldwide and United States has not
banned the use or import of asbestos.

"Asbestos is truly an international public health crisis," said
John Langdoc -- jlangdoc@baronbudd.com -- mesothelioma lawyer at
Baron and Budd.  "Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the
world have suffered from asbestos cancers, such as mesothelioma,
but the material continues to be used.  Regardless of what the
industry may say, all forms of asbestos are hazardous, there is no
safe level of exposure to asbestos, and there is no such thing as
the 'responsible' use of asbestos.  We stand with ADAO in calling
for a global asbestos ban."

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than
107,000 people die each year from asbestos lung cancer,
mesothelioma and asbestosis resulting from workplace exposure to
asbestos.  In the U.S. alone, approximately 3,000 people are
diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.  And according to the
United States Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. asbestos imports are
increasing.  While much of this asbestos is being used in
construction products, such as roofing materials, a portion of it
ends up in consumer products.

Throughout the firm's 30 year history, Baron and Budd has
thoroughly investigated the asbestos industry and found that the
industry knew their products could kill, yet they hid the truth
for decades and knowingly exposed countless people to asbestos in
the name of profits.  Even today, the industry continues to insist
that chrysotile asbestos is "safe" to use.  Chrysotile asbestos is
still mined in many countries, including Canada, China and Brazil.

Baron and Budd is a 2012 platinum sponsor of ADAO and is proud to
support the organization's efforts to ban asbestos and protect
future generations from this hazardous material.

                     About Baron & Budd, P.C.

The national mesothelioma law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C. has a
more than 30-year history of "Protecting What's Right" for
asbestos sufferers and their families.  As one of the first law
firms to successfully litigate an asbestos lawsuit, Baron & Budd
continues to actively represent veterans, industry workers and
others who are suffering as a result of exposure to asbestos.
Baron & Budd achieved the largest mesothelioma verdict ever in the
state of Texas, a $55 million verdict for an asbestos sufferer and
his family in El Paso, Texas.  Contact Baron and Budd at
1.866.855.1229 for additional information on mesothelioma
treatments, mesothelioma cancer doctors and treatment centers and
mesothelioma attorneys.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Premiers "Dust: The Great Asbestos Trial"
---------------------------------------------------------------
Anti-asbestos campaigners have urged more criminal prosecutions
against the global directors of asbestos corporations, following
the recent conviction of European industrialists Stephen
Schmidheiny and Baron Cartier de Marchienne in Italy.  The call
was made this weekend at a meeting of Asbestos Disease Awareness
Organization (ADAO).

The ADAO has organized a special screening of the documentary
film, Dust: The Great Asbestos Trial.  The screening, made
possible with the help of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, is to
take place April 4 at 7 pm at the Ray Stark Theatre at University
of South California (USC) in Los Angeles, CA.  Directed by Niccolo
Bruna and Andrea Prandstaller, the film tells the story of the
groundbreaking Eternit trial in Italy, in which Schmidheiny and
Cartier de Marchienne were sentenced for having caused the deaths
of over a 1,000 asbestos victims.

"ADAO is delighted to present this daring and groundbreaking
documentary at USC to bring attention to both the superb film and
the global issue of asbestos which has caused the largest manmade
occupational and manmade environmental disaster," commented Linda
Reinstein, President/CEO, ADAO.  "Other countries should follow
Italy's example and prosecute these people, who have knowingly
exposed tens of thousands of people to lethal doses of a product
they know kills."

Following the screening will be a panel discussion hosted by ADAO
that includes Dr. Michael Renov (Professor of Critical Studies and
SCA Vice Dean, Academic Affairs), Niccolo Bruna (Director), and
Linda Reinstein (President/CEO, ADAO).

Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and exposure can cause
mesothelioma and lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian
cancers, as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders.  The
World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around
the world will die each year of an asbestos-related disease,
equaling 300 deaths per day.

To view the full trailer for Dust: The Great Asbestos Trial,
please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAeXrH5rJCo

       About Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

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


ASBESTOS UPDATE: USC Formulates Campus-wide Decontamination Plan
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cassie Cope of The Daily Gamecock reports that About 90 of the 200
buildings on USC's Columbia campus contain asbestos, a material
that can pose health risks when disturbed, and the university has
formulated a plan to ensure that workers handle asbestos according
to defined procedures.

Asbestos was originally used in building materials such as ceiling
and floor tiles installed prior to 1981.  However, the substance
is not dangerous when contained in the materials.

"As long as it's in good condition and it's not disturbed and it's
not getting in the air, it's not a hazard," said Ken Mixon, USC's
industrial hygiene manager.

The university's plan to control maintenance and construction
projects that may interfere with asbestos includes routing all of
USC's work orders -- about 35,000 per year -- through facilities.

This process will make sure that the proper procedures, permits
and surveys are being completed, according to Tom Syfert,
associate vice president for Environmental Health and Safety and
Risk Management.

"We've met with all the contacts in the different departments, and
we've met with the regional campuses.  This is a major update of
the asbestos plan that we've been doing," Syfert said.

The plan includes improving data collected that identify asbestos
areas and bettering the overall data management, consolidating the
information in a database that will show what areas have had
previous asbestos work.

In addition, maintenance and custodial staff will be further
trained in the process of coming into contact with asbestos.

"We've done a lot of training, but we're going to redo some
training just to further reinforce the asbestos awareness for the
people on campus," Syfert said.

The last part of the asbestos plan is submitting initiatives to
obtain additional personnel and increase the man power to help
with the program.

Asbestos removal is an expensive process.  A renovation that
included removing asbestos from the fireproofing of the Jones
Physical Science Center building cost nearly $5 million, according
to Syfert.  The Jones' renovations also included gutting some of
the building and redesigning and rebuilding laboratory space.

"That was a great opportunity to get in there and remove the
fireproofing," Mixon said.  "The building is not completely
asbestos-free, but we got the vast majority out."  All of the
asbestos from Patterson Hall was removed prior to renovations,
according to Syfert.  The total Patterson renovation cost $31.8
million.  Syfert estimated that removing all of the asbestos in
buildings across campus could cost hundreds of millions of
dollars.

"Our plan is to do some risk assessment and decide where it would
be best to sink our money into abatement and try to eliminate
those as they present themselves, but that's down the road," Mixon
said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: W&L PC Raises Mesothelioma's Toll On Women
-----------------------------------------------------------
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a women's health issue, this despite
the fact that the rare cancer each year claims far more adult male
than female lives, the mass-torts and personal-injury litigation
law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, PC, on April 3 said in a statement
marking National Asbestos Awareness Week.

"Women account for as many as one in five mesothelioma deaths,"
said Frank M. Ortiz, Esq., a top litigator and mesothelioma lawyer
with New York-based Weitz & Luxenberg.  "The fact that it affects
women at all makes it a women's health issue deserving of
prominence and action."

Peritoneal mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that invades the
protective lining of the abdomen and pelvis, and it usually
attacks years after exposure to the toxic industrial mineral
asbestos, Ortiz explained.

"People mistakenly think this is just a men's health issue because
the victims come from traditionally male-dominated trades," Ortiz
said.  "But there are reasons it affects women too.  For example,
a man employed as a car mechanic who works on brakes might by the
end of the day be covered from head to toe in asbestos dust
because brake components use asbestos.  That night, his wife might
shake off his shop uniform before laundering it and, in so doing,
come into contact with the lethal dust, now thick in the room's
air.  Two or three or four decades later, she's diagnosed with
mesothelioma."

Ortiz cited statistics suggesting that as many as 1 of every 20
workers exposed to asbestos develops mesothelioma.  In the U.S.,
that translates to as many as 3,000 new cases of the disease
annually, he said, noting that the peritoneal variety accounts for
about one-third of all mesotheliomas.

Asbestos Awareness Week, which began April 1, is an occasion of
special importance to Weitz & Luxenberg because the firm
represents so many asbestos exposure victims who develop
peritoneal mesothelioma.

Meanwhile, Ortiz expressed cautious optimism that strides have
been made toward better treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma.
"Doctors now have a bigger arsenal of treatment options at their
disposal," he said.  "These include surgery, radiation, and both
systemic and targeted chemotherapy.  Even so, peritoneal
mesothelioma almost always ends in death.  The victim usually dies
within a year after first symptoms.  However, with these improved
treatments, patients are living longer, although how much longer
depends in part on whether treatment begins early enough to slow
the progress of the disease."

Asbestos is a mineral coveted since the 19th Century as an
insulating material.  Its use expanded during the 20th Century but
fell off after the 1980s when the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency began banning new uses of the carcinogenic substance,
according to Ortiz.

"Despite EPA efforts to deal with asbestos, the mineral continues
to be used in many commercial, industrial, structural and consumer
applications and, of course, the latent effects of past asbestos
exposures will be felt by victims for years to come," Ortiz said.

                   About Weitz & Luxenberg

Founded in 1986 by attorneys Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg,
Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., today ranks among the nation's leading
law firms.  Weitz & Luxenberg has secured more than $6.5 billion
in verdicts and settlements for its clients.  The firm's numerous
practice areas include: asbestos and mesothelioma, defective
medicines and devices, environmental pollutants, accidents,
personal injury, and medical malpractice.  Victims of accidents
are invited to rely on Weitz & Luxenberg's more than 25 years of
handling such cases -- begin by contacting the firm's Client
Relations department at 1-800-476-6070 or at
clientrelations@Weitzlux.com and ask for a free legal
consultation. More information at http://www.Weitzlux.com/


ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGill Principal Says Initial Review Complete
--------------------------------------------------------------
Monique Beaudin of The Montreal Gazette reports that McGill
University has completed its preliminary review of whether the
work of retired professor John Corbett McDonald was improperly
influenced by his ties to the asbestos industry, and the
administration will soon announce whether a formal investigation
will be launched.

The conclusions of the preliminary review have not been made
public, but critics of McDonald's role in defending the interests
of the asbestos industry point to hints the preliminary review
will be a "whitewash."

In an interview with the McGill Daily, published on March 30,
McGill principal Heather Munroe-Blum said professor Rebecca
Fuhrer, chair of McGill's department of epidemiology,
biostatistics and occupational health, has completed her
preliminary review.

She said David Eidelman, dean of medicine, is now reviewing
Fuhrer's report and "will come out with something in the near
future."

"You remember, it was decades ago, this research, so it was done
in a very different context," Munroe-Blum is quoted as saying.
"And our dean is a respirologist himself, and has a deep concern
about the issues, but the fundamental issue is that of the quality
of the research, and that's being investigated very thoroughly."

Asbestos opponent Kathleen Ruff says McGill's review should
include scrutiny of McDonald's efforts to discourage improved
health and safety regulations on asbestos in other countries.

Ruff, a senior adviser with the Rideau Institute, an Ottawa-based
public policy research and advocacy organization, sent a letter to
Fuhrer and Eidelman on March 30 describing McDonald's testimony
before hearings of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration into whether the U.S. should increase maximum
allowable exposures to asbestos in 1972.

According to a book by science reporter Paul Brodeur called
Expendable Americans, published in 1973 by Viking Press, McDonald
argued at those hearings in favor of keeping the standard at five
fibers of asbestos per cubic centimeter of air for chrysotile
mines and mills, or even loosening the U.S. standard further.

(The standard in the U.S. was more than twice that in Britain at
the time, and 50 times higher than it is now in the U.S. and most
of Canada).

In the book, Brodeur quotes McDonald identifying himself at those
hearings as an "independent research worker.  I do not work, nor
am I associated with any asbestos producer or manufacturer."

At the time he was receiving funding from the Institute of
Occupational and Environmental Health of the Quebec Asbestos
Mining Association, an industry-funded body.

Ruff notes that in 1999, McDonald went to Brazil to make a
presentation to a parliamentary commission there to oppose efforts
by Brazilian public-health officials to ban asbestos.

In 2000, McDonald appeared at a hearing held by the World Trade
Organization to support those who argued countries should not have
the right to ban chrysotile asbestos, she said.

Ruff notes that the Canadian government has expressed outrage at
"foreign subversion" because some Canadian environmental
organizations get a small part of their funding from U.S. donors
and are opposing pipeline projects at Canadian hearings.

"They say this is unacceptable foreign interference in internal
Canadian political decision-making," Ruff told The Gazette.  "What
would they say about the chair of McGill's department of
epidemiology (identifying himself as such) intervening in the
political process in another country in hearings to set policy in
that country?  All motivated by what?  The only gain from opposing
stricter safety regulations in a foreign country would be to save
money and protect profits for the Quebec asbestos industry."

"This same interference to prevent action on asbestos is, of
course, continuing from industry-funded 'scientists,' which is
what makes it really important that McGill be challenged to deal
with this and not whitewash it."

McGill spokesperson Julie Fortier told The Gazette on April 2 that
the university will make the results of the preliminary report
public within the next two weeks.

"Until Dr. Eidelman makes a statement about the report, it is hard
for us to comment on this," Fortier said.

The Gazette has been unsuccessful in attempts to contact John C.
McDonald for comment.  McGill representatives have said he is in
his 90s, lives part of the time in Britain and is no longer active
at the university.

He was at McGill as recently as 2009, when he received an Emeritus
Research Award from the university.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Yellowstone County Faces Health Violation Charges
------------------------------------------------------------------
Clair Johnson of The Billings Gazette reports that Yellowstone
County may be in trouble with state environmental regulators for
having allowed the Billings Fire Department to burn an old house
on the MetraPark grounds for training without first checking to
see if it contained asbestos.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality's March 27
violation letter came after the site already had been cleaned up
and debris removed, said Commissioner Jim Reno.

The house was burned as part of a three-day training exercise for
city Fire Department recruits.

The county had planned to board up the house but then agreed to
let the Fire Department burn it for training, Reno said.

The letter from Larry Alheim, a DEQ enforcement specialist, said
the agency received a complaint that indicated asbestos-containing
material may have been in the house when it was burned.

Alheim could not be reached for comment on April 2.

State open-burning laws require all asbestos-containing material
to be removed before a burn and for suspect materials to be
inspected, Alheim's letter said.  Asbestos fibers could be
released during a burn and present a health hazard to firefighters
and the public, he said.

Exposure to asbestos, a fiber used in building materials, can
cause respiratory illness and cancer.

The regulations also require the owner or operator to have a
facility that is slated for demolition to be inspected by a DEQ-
accredited asbestos inspector and to give prior notice of the
intent to demolish a building.

The DEQ has no record of any prior notice or of an inspection,
Alheim said.

The violation letter was issued based on the agency's initial
determination that a violation occurred, he said.

The state may take enforcement action, including assessing
penalties, for repeat or continuing violations, Alheim said.

"I don't think we ever had the inspection as contemplated in the
statutes," Yellowstone County Deputy Attorney Kevin Gillen said on
April 2.

The county will respond this week to the DEQ.  Gillen said he is
checking with county agencies and the Fire Department to find out
what happened.

Before the burn, the county spent $1,140 to have the roofing
shingles removed, Gillen said.  That action may have been taken
because of asbestos concerns, he said.

The Fire Department is not culpable, Gillen said.

"They simply were presented with an opportunity to assist in
training.  They took it.  The onus would be on Yellowstone County.
The county takes it seriously," he said.


                           *********

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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Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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