CAR_Public/120420.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, April 20, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 78

                             Headlines

AIR VENTURI: Recalls 100 Evanix Speed and Conquest Air Rifles
AMERICAN CAPITAL: June 7 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
AMERICAN HONDA: Files Motion to Dismiss Sidelite Class Action
APPLE INC: Sued in Canada Over E-Book Price-Fixing Conspiracy
AVIVA PLC: Continues to Defend Class Action and Other Suits

CANADA: B.C. RCMP Mounties to Probe Sexual Harassment Claims
CENTRO: PwC Admits No Liability in Shareholder Class Action
CLARCOR INC: Still Awaits Approval of Deal in Price Fixing MDL
CREDIT SUISSE: ADR-Related Class Litigation Dismissed in July
CREDIT SUISSE: AOL-Related Suit vs. US Unit Still Pending

CREDIT SUISSE: Awaits Ruling in Idaho Homeowners Suit vs. Bank
CREDIT SUISSE: Continues to Defend RMBS-Related Class Suits
CREDIT SUISSE: IPO-Related Suit vs. US Unit Concluded in January
DEAN FOODS: Dairy Farmers Have Until May 1 to File for Refund
ENTRUST GROUP: Faces Class Action Over Self-Directed IRAs

EXPRESS INC: Illinois Court Grants Certification in "Wynn" Suit
FEDERAL EXPRESS: Paystub Class Settlement Got Prelim. OK in Jan.
GENERAL MILLS: Trial in YoPlus Yogurt-Related Suit Set for June
GEOKINETICS INC: Continues to Defend Wage & Hour Suit in Calif.
GROUPON: Hagens Berman Files Securities Class Action in Illinois

HARLAND CLARKE: LaserPro-Related Class Suits Remain Pending
IMPAC MORTGAGE: Trial in "Gilmor" Suit to Commence August 13
IMPAC MORTGAGE: Continues to Defend "Baker" Suit in Missouri
ING GROEP: Continues to Defend Class Suits Pending in New York
INTRALINKS HOLDINGS: Awaits Ruling on Lead Plaintiff Bids in N.Y.

IOWA: Judge Rejects Hiring Bias Class Action Lawsuit
IPAYMENT HOLDINGS: "Bruns" Class and Insurer Suits Dismissed
IPAYMENT HOLDINGS: "Tisa's Cakes" Class Suit Settled in January
JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Siskinds Launches Mesh Class Action in Canada
KANSAS, MO: Police Board Faces Insurance Class Action

MIDAS INC: Class Standing Denied in Brake Customers Suit in Dec.
MIDAS INC: Compiles Discovery Documents in Canadian Class Suit
MIDAS INC: Faces TBC Merger-Related Class Suit in Delaware
MIDAS INC: Faces TBC Merger-Related Class Suit in Illinois
MURRUMBIDGEE IRRIGATION: Yenda Landholder Launches Class Action

NEVADA PROPERTY: Arbitration in The Cosmopolitan Suits Ongoing
OKLAHOMA: Balks at Out-of-State Experts' $355,000 Fee
PSAGOT: Heirs of Provident Fund Owners File Class Action
SOUTHERN STAR: "Price" Class Actions Remain Pending
SPECIALIZED BICYCLE: Recalls 600 Bicycle Brake Levers

SPI ELECTRICITY: Gov't. Seeks AUD22 Mil. in Bushfire Compensation
UNIONBANCAL CORP: Has Yet to Submit Settlement of Suit vs. Bank
UNITED SERVICE: Sued in Wash. for Denying Personal Injury Claims
WHIRLPOOL: Faces Class Action Over KitchenAid Dishwasher Defect

* Securities Class Actions Up 10% in 2011, PwC Study Reveals
                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio Ct. Junks State's Appeal v. Titan Wrecking
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Junks Exposure Claim v. Crane Co.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Misconception May Cause Mesothelioma Misdiagnosis
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM Updates Website On Mesothelioma Treatment
ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGill University Still Under A Cloud of Doubt

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mower County to Rule On Landfill Permit April 24
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Distributes Free "Cure 4 Meso" Bracelets
ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Vet Sues Ministry of Defence for Wife's Death
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Vonco/Veit States Guidelines for Friable Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bill Allows Usage of Naturally Occurring Asbestos

ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGill Univ Review Saw No Evidence of Misconduct
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Libby Commissioners Urge More Action From EPA
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Weitz & Luxenberg Wins Settlement of 12 Cases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Firms Carp NT Worksafe on New Rules
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Underground Pipe Fibro Spill Raised No Alarms

ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Says Others Will Follow US Ban
ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Take-Home Case" Against CSX Faces Challenges
ASBESTOS UPDATE: High Disposal Costs Caused Rise of Rogue Dumpers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Coulombe Complains of Being 'Misunderstood'
ASBESTOS UPDATE: St. Louis Incident Cleanup to be Done April 9

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Many Ships Have Fake "Asbestos Free" Certificates
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup of Downtown St. Louis Completed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Investigation Still On for Cause of Pipe Breach
ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Ohio Bill to Wear Down Plaintiffs' Cases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Weitz & Luxenberg Wins Settlement for 3 Clients

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Environmasters Gets Carroll County Abatement Job
ASBESTOS UPDATE: American Home Has No More For WTC Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Alaska Bill Raises Long-Term Health Concerns
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2nd Cir. Rules Pfizer Liable Under Sec. 524(g)
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union to Commence Work After Demands Are Met

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens at NVMC Might Relocate The Islanders


                          *********

AIR VENTURI: Recalls 100 Evanix Speed and Conquest Air Rifles
-------------------------------------------------------------
About 100 units of Evanix Speed and Conquest Air Rifles were
voluntarily recalled by distributor, Air Venturi of Warrensville
Heights, Ohio, and manufacturer, Meca Evanix of South Korea, 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 safety switch can be overcome by pulling the trigger with
force, allowing the rifle to fire, resulting in a serious injury
or death.

Air Venturi has not received any reports of the safety switch
being overcome.

This recall involves Evanix Speed .177, .22 and .25 caliber rifles
and Evanix Conquest .177, .22 and .25 caliber rifles.  The rifle
is a pre-charged pneumatic air rifle powered by a compressed air
cylinder.  Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12730.html

The recalled products were manufactured in South Korea and sold at
Air Venturi, Pyramyd Air, Top Airgun and Straight Shooters stores
from January 2012 though March 2012 for about $1,800.

Consumers should stop using the rifles immediately and contact Air
Venturi for a free repair.  Shipping boxes and postage will be
provided free of charge to the consumer.  All identified owners
have been contacted.  For more information, contact Air Venturi
collect at (216) 292-2570 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern
Time Monday through Friday or visit Air Venturi's Web site at
http://www.airventuri.com/


AMERICAN CAPITAL: June 7 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
--------------------------------------------------------
Izard Nobel LLP and Brower Piven on April 16 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. (THE "SHARES")
BETWEEN OCTOBER 31, 2007 AND NOVEMBER 7, 2008, INCLUSIVE (THE
"SETTLEMENT CLASS" AND THE "SETTLEMENT CLASS PERIOD").

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 (the "Settlement Hearing") to
determine (1) whether the settlement of the Litigation in the
amount of $18,000,000, plus any accrued interest thereon (the
"Settlement") 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 ("Co-Lead
Counsel") for an award of attorneys' fees, costs and expenses (the
"Fee and Expense Motion") and for an award to Plaintiffs relating
to their representation of the Settlement Class ("Plaintiffs'
Expense Motion") 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 (the
"Settlement Stipulation") 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 (the "Notice").  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


AMERICAN HONDA: Files Motion to Dismiss Sidelite Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Katie O'Mara, writing for glassBYTEs.com, reports that American
Honda Motor Co., Inc., has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint
in a recent sidelite defect lawsuit.  Two consumers had filed a
class action lawsuit against Honda claiming that the window
regulator in certain vehicles is defective and results in the
sidelite falling into the door frame or becoming stuck in the
fully-open position.

In Honda's motion to dismiss, the automotive manufacturer points
out that the plaintiffs' warranties had expired at the time of
failure and that one of the plaintiffs purchased the vehicle in a
state other than California, thus making her ineligible to file a
class action suit under the California Legal Remedies Act (CLRA).
Honda also claims that the plaintiffs do not support their claims
with factual evidence.

"Plaintiffs fail to identify any specific representations
concerning a characteristic their vehicles do not have," reads
Honda's motion to dismiss.  "They point only to vague and non-
specific descriptions such as that the vehicles were 'reliable,'
'rugged,' 'durable,' and has 'extended maintenance intervals.'"

Honda goes on to claim that a failed window regulator would not
make the vehicle unsafe and that the National Highway Safety
Administration, "has also rejected plaintiffs' conclusory
assertion that side windows compromise an integral part of the
occupant protection system."

"To argue that a side window regulator that may fail and leave the
side window down for a short period of time before it can be
repaired is no different than arguing that a side window that the
occupant can roll down is defective because a rolled-down side
window 'compromise[s]' the occupant protection system," read the
court documents.

Phyllis Grodzitsky of California, owner of a Honda Odyssey, and
Jeremy Bordelon of Tennessee, owner of a Honda Element, alleged
that they reported repeated failures of window regulators in their
vehicles.  Ms. Grodsitsky further claims that she contacted her
local Honda service manager and claims she was told, "all [Honda
Odysseys] have that problem."

"Honda knew of the window regulator defect, yet failed to disclose
and concealed the defect from class members and the public and
Honda continued to market and misrepresent the class vehicles as
'reliable' and 'durable' vehicles, which they are not," reads the
complaint.

The vehicle models in question include the Honda Odyssey, Pilot,
Element, Accord, CR-V, Civic and Acura MDX between the years of
1994-2007.

A hearing is scheduled for May 14.


APPLE INC: Sued in Canada Over E-Book Price-Fixing Conspiracy
-------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action accuses Apple,
HarperCollins et al. of conspiring to fix the price of e-books in
Canada, in British Columbia Supreme Court.

A copy of the Complaint in McCabe v. Apple Inc., et al., Case No.
S-12266Z (B.C. Sup. Ct.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/17/eBook.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Reidar M. Mogerman, Esq.
          CAMP FIORANTE MATTHEWS MOGERMAN
          #400 - 856 Homer Street
          Vancouver, BC V6B 2W5
          Telephone: (604) 689-7555
          E-mail: service@cfmlawyers.ca


AVIVA PLC: Continues to Defend Class Action and Other Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Aviva plc has been named as a defendant in lawsuits, including
class actions and individual lawsuits.  The Company has been
subject to regulatory investigations or examinations in the
various jurisdictions where the Company operates.  These actions
arise in various contexts, including in connection with the
Company's activities as an insurer, securities issuer, employer,
investment adviser, investor and taxpayer.  Certain of these
lawsuits and investigations seek significant or unspecified
amounts of damages, including punitive damages, and certain of the
regulatory authorities involved in these proceedings have
substantial powers over the conduct and operations of the
Company's business.

Due to the nature of certain of these lawsuits and investigations,
the Company says it cannot make an estimate of loss or predict
with any certainty the potential impact of these lawsuits or
investigations.

No further updates were reported in the Company's March 21, 2012,
Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended September 30, 2011.


CANADA: B.C. RCMP Mounties to Probe Sexual Harassment Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Press reports that British Columbia's top RCMP
officer is appointing 100 Mounties to investigate sexual
harassment complaints in an effort to improve a culture condemned
by some as intolerably sexist.

RCMP Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens says he's talked to
hundreds of women who work for the force in British Columbia and
they've told him the work environment has to change.

CBC News first broke the story of widespread alleged sexual
harassment inside the force when Cpl. Catherine Galliford, a
former media relations officer, spoke out about enduring sexual
harassment and abuse from senior officers.

Her account touched off a series of lawsuits including a class-
action that could involve more than 100 women.

Mr. Callens said the allegations became public only weeks after he
took command in British Columbia and he set about finding out what
was going on.

The investigators will form the crux of a broader plan being
hammered out under the direction of Mr. Callens in response to the
internal workplace assessment he initiated earlier this year.

He said he convened focus groups that involved about 400 female
RCMP members across the province over two months aimed at
uncovering the extent of gender-based harassment.

"I acknowledge, without reservation, that we have some issues that
we need to deal with," he said on April 15 in an interview with
The Canadian Press.

"I'm committed to ensuring that we take the type of action that
our employees deserve."

With his own 21-year-old daughter applying to become an RCMP
member, Mr. Callens agreed that the environment that has been
allowed to persist is not one in which he'd want her to work.

"I have responsibilities to the members and employees of the RCMP
. . . and that is to ensure there is a healthy and respectful
workplace for them to come to every day," he said.

"As a responsible parent, there are additional interests for me to
ensure that the changes that we need to make get made."

Lawyer David Klein filed a suit in late March and said he expects
more than 100 current and former female RCMP members will join.
The suit is on behalf of Janet Merlo, a 19-year officer from
Nanaimo, B.C.

Ms. Merlo alleges she endured sexist comments, pranks, derogatory
remarks and double standards, including getting yelled at when she
told her supervisor she was pregnant.

"I'm sure that any steps the RCMP takes to reduce the amount of
gender-based harassment and discrimination within the force would
be positively received by my clients," Mr. Klein said on April 15.

The internal assessment ordered by Mr. Callens was conducted by
the RCMP diversity co-ordinator, who was tasked with establishing
the depth and scope of harassment and asked to compile
recommendations towards bringing it to an end.

Former Nanaimo RCMP constable Janet Merlo has initiated a lawsuit
alleging widespread systemic discrimination by the RCMP against
female members, civilian members and civil service employees.
(CBC) It found there is "broad-based discomfort" and a "lack of
confidence" in the current reporting system, that the process
takes far too long and that victims lack communication after
making a complaint, Mr. Callens said.

The focus groups also felt the force had failed historically to
clearly define the difference between workplace conflict,
harassment and other issues that arise when supervisors talk about
aspects of a members' performance, he added.

But he added that it would be an "exaggeration" to say harassment
is rampant in every aspect of the force.

Among recommendations Mr. Callens will now consider include the
creation of a reporting system outside victims' chain of command,
the establishment of a confidential means for victims to seek
information and advice, and that the force does more harassment
awareness and prevention work.

By the end of May, 100 current RCMP officers in the 6,500-member
B.C. force will be trained to investigate harassment complaints by
an external professional from Alberta in addition to their regular
duties.  The investigators are both women and men and hold a
series of different ranks.

A further recommendation suggests hiring designated harassment and
conflict resolution investigators on a full-time basis.

Currently, the force has only two dedicated harassment officers,
as well as professional standards investigators who typically
examine matters of conduct related to the RCMP Act but who assist
the harassment officers if required.

"Having 100 of these (new) individuals out there to not only
conduct the investigations but to bring some focus to bear on what
we need to do to resolve the conflict is critical in addressing
whatever it is that is occurring on a much more timely basis,"
Mr. Callens said.

That could include initiating code of conduct investigations, he
said.

Mr. Callens said there's a possibility the force will see a spike
in complaints when the new system is implemented because victims
may be more willing to come forward.

He said he expects to have more details of the plan to address
sexual harassment hammered out over the coming weeks.

He wasn't immediately able to provide the exact cost of the new
training.

"It would be irresponsible for me to suggest that I can make those
changes overnight," he said.  "It's going to require a long-term
commitment and I'm certainly committed to that."

Mr. Callens said he has shared the assessment findings with
national RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, who vowed to address
complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace when he was
appointed.

"I think that as we develop new systems and approaches in this
province, they will be considered for their application in other
parts of the country," Mr. Callens said.


CENTRO: PwC Admits No Liability in Shareholder Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Sarah Danckert, writing for The Australian, reports that Centro
auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers has for the first time admitted
negligence during the class action claim levelled against the
accounting powerhouse and the shopping centre owner over Centro's
erroneous 2007 accounts.

However, in its mea culpa PwC stopped short of admitting any
liability to shareholders bringing the claim against both Centro
and PwC, arguing the then company auditor was on retainer to
Centro and not to its shareholders.

The accounting powerhouse now concedes it should have identified
that AUD3.1 billion in short-term debts had been incorrectly
classified as non-current in the company accounts, counsel for PwC
Richard McHugh told the Federal Court in Melbourne on April 16.

"My client accepts for the purposes of the proceeding that audit
staff were provided with information at a particular date which
means more should have been done in relation to the
classification," Mr. McHugh said.

"And that amounts to a breach of retainer and a breach of duty."

It also has argued that the accounting errors in themselves did
not cause the loss shareholders allege they suffered.

Hundreds of shareholders have joined two separate class action
claims launched by Maurice Blackburn and Slater & Gordon, said to
total more than AUD600 million, against Centro and PwC.

Shareholders allege that millions were lost after they learned in
December 2007 the company's accounts has misstated its short-term
debt position and the company was having trouble refinancing just
under AUD6 billion in debt that was to fall due by year end.

In court on April 16, PwC challenged whether it was possible to
"disaggregate" any losses that were caused by the accounting
errors when on the same day the company released a statement on
the misclassification it also revealed it could not refinance its
debts, was planning asset sales and would not pay out its forecast
distributions for the first half of fiscal 2008.  "What actually
caused the loss was refinancing problems and everything that went
with it," Mr. McHugh said.

Mr. McHugh also pointed to shareholder testimony that one of the
key reasons for buying shares in Centro was because of the
company's history in paying considerable distributions and its
ability to refinance its considerable debt load.

In addition, Mr. McHugh argued that PwC partner Stephen Cougle was
not directly responsible for the errors in the accounts because
when the first $1bn-plus error was discovered by PwC, Mr. Cougle
had asked his staff if there were further issues in the accounts
and was assured there were not.

Judge Michelle Gordon took umbrage with the line of argument,
threatening to hold Mr. McHugh and instructing solicitors King &
Wood Mallesons personally liable for any costs if the argument was
unsuccessful.

The court also heard suggestions that minutes of Centro's August
board meeting, where Mr. Cougle told the board the accounts were
in order, did not reflect a true version of events.

The notes show Mr. Cougle made the assurances after a board
discussion on refinancing.  But according to PwC, Mr. Cougle was
not present during the board's discussion on refinancing and as
such couldn't have known to include any reference to refinancing
issues in the accounts.

Earlier, the court heard shareholder claimants were considering
altering their claim against Centro and PwC after further
discovery found PwC documents that would bolster their case.  They
are now considering recalling former Centro chief financial
officer Romano Nenna, and current finance team member Paul
Belcher.

The case continues.


CLARCOR INC: Still Awaits Approval of Deal in Price Fixing MDL
--------------------------------------------------------------
CLARCOR Inc. is still awaiting approval of its settlement of a
multidistrict class action lawsuit involving a subsidiary,
according to the Company's March 23, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
March 3, 2012.

On March 31, 2008, S&E Quick Lube, a filter distributor, filed a
lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
alleging that virtually every major North American engine filter
manufacturer, including the Company's subsidiary, Baldwin Filters,
Inc. (the "Defendant Group" and "Baldwin," respectively), engaged
in a conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids and allocate U.S.
customers for aftermarket filters.  The lawsuit is a purported
class action on behalf of direct purchasers of filters from the
Defendant Group.  Parallel purported class actions, including on
behalf of indirect purchasers of filters, have been filed by other
plaintiffs against the Defendant Group in a variety of
jurisdictions in the United States and Canada.  In addition, the
Attorneys General of the State of Florida and the County of
Suffolk, New York, filed complaints against the Defendant Group
based on these same allegations, and the Attorney General of the
State of Washington requested various documents, information and
cooperation, which the Company agreed to provide.  All of the U.S.
cases, including the actions brought by and/or on behalf of
governmental entities, were consolidated into a single multi-
district litigation in the Northern District of Illinois (the
"Court").  The Company has consistently denied any wrongdoing
whatsoever and has vigorously defended the action.

On June 24, 2011, William Burch, a former employee of two other
defendants in the Defendant Group and the key initiator of the
lawsuits, and key witness for the plaintiffs, pleaded guilty to a
charge brought by the United States Attorney for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania of making false statements to the United
States Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice ("DOJ").
In pleading guilty to this charge, Mr. Burch admitted that he
fabricated certain key evidence relevant to the lawsuits at issue
and thereafter lied about it to the DOJ.  On October 26, 2011, Mr.
Burch was sentenced to two years in prison in respect of this
crime.

On October 7, 2011, Baldwin entered into a settlement agreement
("Settlement Agreement") with the putative plaintiff classes
involved in the action, including the State of Florida.  Pursuant
to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Baldwin denied any
wrongdoing whatsoever but agreed to pay a total of $625,000, which
was fully reserved in fiscal year 2011, to a settlement fund to be
divided among the plaintiff classes in exchange for a full and
complete release of all claims with prejudice.  Two other members
of the Defendant Group, Donaldson Company, Inc. ("Donaldson") and
Cummins, Inc., also entered into substantially identical
settlement agreements with the putative plaintiff classes at the
same time as Baldwin.

The Company says it entered into the Settlement Agreement to free
itself from the expense of ongoing litigation, which was
anticipated to be many times greater than the agreed settlement
amount.  The Company has paid the majority of the settlement
amount into escrow.  The Settlement Agreement will become
effective after the Court enters a final judgment order approving
the Settlement Agreement and dismissing the causes of action
against Baldwin with prejudice and without costs, and the time for
appealing the foregoing expires.  The Company is unable to predict
when these conditions will be satisfied, but the Company is
unaware of any objections or obstacles, and believes that these
conditions will be satisfied in due course and in keeping with
normal judicial time lines.


CREDIT SUISSE: ADR-Related Class Litigation Dismissed in July
-------------------------------------------------------------
A putative class action lawsuit commenced by purchasers of
American Depositary Receipts was dismissed in July 2011, according
to Credit Suisse Group AG's March 23, 2012, Form 20-F filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

A putative class action was filed on April 21, 2008, in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY)
against Credit Suisse Group AG (Group) and certain executives by
certain purchasers of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) and
common shares alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
Plaintiffs in this action alleged that the Group's stock price was
artificially inflated as a result of allegedly misleading
disclosures relating to the Company's business and financial
results.  A second putative class action complaint making similar
allegations was filed in May 2008.  These actions were
consolidated in June 2008, and an amended complaint against the
Group and certain executives was filed in October 2008.  In
December 2008, the Group and defendant executives filed a motion
to dismiss the amended complaint.  In October 2009, the SDNY
issued a decision dismissing the case for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction.  In November 2009, plaintiffs filed a motion for
leave to file a second amended complaint, and the Group and
defendant executives opposed that motion.  On February 11, 2010,
the SDNY denied in part and granted in part plaintiffs' motion.
The SDNY found that plaintiff purchasers of ADRs and U.S.
plaintiff purchasers of Group common shares on foreign exchanges
could proceed with their proposed amended claims but that foreign
purchasers of Group common shares on foreign exchanges could not.

In March 2010, the remaining plaintiffs filed their second amended
complaint.  In July 2010, the SDNY (based on the U.S. Supreme
Court's July 2010 decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank)
additionally dismissed the claims of all U.S. purchasers of Group
common shares on foreign exchanges.  On January 6, 2011, following
mediation, the parties agreed in principle to settle this matter.
On March 7, 2011, the parties executed formal settlement
documentation.

On July 18, 2011, the SDNY granted final approval of the
settlement and dismissed with prejudice the entire action.


CREDIT SUISSE: AOL-Related Suit vs. US Unit Still Pending
---------------------------------------------------------
A case brought by purchasers AOL Time Warner Inc.'s stock against
a unit of Credit Suisse Group AG remains pending, according to the
Company's March 23, 2012, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

Putative class action lawsuits were filed against Credit Suisse
Securities (USA) LLC (CSS LLC) in the wake of publicity
surrounding the 2002 industry-wide governmental and regulatory
investigations into research analyst practices, with In re Credit
Suisse - AOL Securities Litigation, filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Massachusetts, being the final
outstanding matter.  The case was brought on behalf of a class of
purchasers of common shares of the former AOL Time Warner Inc.
(AOL) who have alleged that CSS LLC's equity research coverage of
AOL between January 2001 and July 2002 was false and misleading.
The second amended complaint in this action has asserted federal
securities fraud and control person liability claims against CSS
LLC and certain affiliates and former employees of CSS LLC.
Plaintiffs estimated damages of approximately $3.9 billion.

The district court denied CSS LLC's motion to dismiss the
complaint on December 16, 2006.  On September 26, 2008, the
district court granted class certification, and the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the First Circuit subsequently declined to hear CSS
LLC's appeal of that decision.  On November 4, 2008, CSS LLC filed
a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that there was no
evidence that CSS LLC's research coverage of AOL was false or
misleading, and there was no evidence that CSS LLC's research
coverage had any effect on AOL's stock price or caused the losses
asserted by the plaintiff class.  In addition, on April 21 and
June 5, 2009, CSS LLC and the plaintiff class cross-moved to
preclude the testimony of each other's expert witnesses.  On
August 26, 2011, the district court denied CSS LLC's motion for
summary judgment.  On September 28, 2011, the defendants filed a
motion to certify questions for interlocutory appeal, which was
denied on November 21, 2011.

On January 13, 2012, the district court granted summary judgment
in favor of the defendants upon its determination to preclude a
plaintiff expert witness.  On February 16, 2012, the plaintiffs
filed a motion for reconsideration.  On March 1, 2012, the
defendants filed an opposition to plaintiffs' motion.


CREDIT SUISSE: Awaits Ruling in Idaho Homeowners Suit vs. Bank
--------------------------------------------------------------
Credit Suisse Group AG is awaiting a court decision on the
objection filed by its bank subsidiary and other affiliates to a
magistrate judge's report and recommendation in a class action
lawsuit initiated by homeowners in Idaho, according to the
Company's March 23, 2012, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2011.

On January 3, 2010, Credit Suisse AG (Bank), the Swiss bank
subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group AG, and other affiliates were
named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court
for the District of Idaho by homeowners in four real estate
developments, Tamarack Resort, Yellowstone Club, Lake Las Vegas
and Ginn Sur Mer.  The Bank arranged, and was the agent bank for,
syndicated loans provided for all four developments, which have
been or are now in bankruptcy or foreclosure.  Plaintiffs
generally allege that the Bank and other affiliates committed
fraud by using an unaccepted appraisal method to overvalue the
properties with the intention to have the borrowers take out loans
they could not repay because it would allow the Bank and other
affiliates to later push the borrowers into bankruptcy and take
ownership of the properties.  The claims originally asserted by
the plaintiffs include Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations (RICO), fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach
of fiduciary duty, tortious interference and conspiracy, among
others.  Plaintiffs are seeking class action status and have
demanded $24 billion in damages.  Cushman & Wakefield, the
appraiser for the properties at issue, is also named as a
defendant.

An amended complaint was filed against all of the defendants on
January 25, 2010, adding six new homeowner plaintiffs in the same
four real estate developments.  On March 29, 2010, the Bank and
its named affiliates moved to dismiss the amended complaint in its
entirety.  The Bank and its named affiliates argued that the
claims against them fail because they had no relationship with the
plaintiff homeowners, and made no representations to them,
fraudulent or otherwise, so there is no legal basis for the
plaintiffs' claims against them.  The Bank and its affiliates also
argued, among other things, that the plaintiffs failed to plead
the necessary elements of the claims asserted against them in the
amended complaint.  On March 31, 2011, the court dismissed the
RICO claim with prejudice and dismissed certain other claims with
leave to replead.  A third amended complaint was filed on April
21, 2011, adding a Consumer Protection Act claim.  On
May 5, 2011, the Bank and its affiliates moved to dismiss the
third amended complaint.  On July 22, 2011, two developers moved
to intervene in the lawsuit.

On February 17, 2012, the magistrate judge issued a report and
recommendation to deny the motion to intervene and to dismiss
certain of the claims while allowing others to proceed.  The Bank
and its affiliates filed objections to the recommendations on
March 5, 2012, and are awaiting the district court's decision to
adopt or deny the recommendation.


CREDIT SUISSE: Continues to Defend RMBS-Related Class Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Credit Suisse Group AG continues to defend class action lawsuits
arising from its unit's underwriting of other issuers' residential
mortgage-backed securities offerings, according to the Company's
March 23, 2012, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

In putative class actions against Credit Suisse Securities (USA)
LLC (CSS LLC) as an underwriter of other issuers' residential
mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) offerings, CSS LLC generally has
contractual rights to indemnification from the issuers.  However,
some of these issuers are now defunct, including affiliates of
IndyMac Bancorp (IndyMac) and Thornburg Mortgage (Thornburg).
With respect to IndyMac, CSS LLC is named as a defendant in two
purported class actions pending in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York (SDNY) brought on behalf of
purchasers of securities in various IndyMac RMBS offerings.  In
one action, In re IndyMac Mortgage-Backed Securities Litigation,
CSS LLC is named along with numerous other underwriters and
individual defendants related to approximately $9.8 billion of
IndyMac RMBS offerings.  CSS LLC served as an underwriter with
respect to approximately 31% of the IndyMac RMBS at issue or
approximately $3.0 billion.  In addition, certain investors seek
to intervene in the action to assert claims with respect to
additional RMBS offerings, including two RMBS offerings
underwritten by CSS LLC.  In those two offerings, CSS LLC
underwrote RMBS with an aggregate principal amount of $912
million.  The district court has denied these motions to
intervene, and the proposed intervenors are now appealing that
ruling.

In the other action, Tsereteli v. Residential Asset Securitization
Trust 2006-A8, CSS LLC was the sole underwriter defendant related
to a $632 million IndyMac RMBS offering, of which CSS LLC
underwrote $603 million of certificates.  The court in the In re
IndyMac action has dismissed claims as to certain RMBS
securitizations, including all offerings in which no named
plaintiff purchased securities, and in both actions has limited
the theories on which claims as to other offerings may proceed.
Discovery has commenced in both actions and plaintiffs have filed
motions for class certification.  With respect to Thornburg, CSS
LLC is a named defendant in a putative class action pending in the
U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico along with a
number of other financial institutions that served as depositors
and/or underwriters for approximately $5.5 billion of Thornburg
RMBS offerings.  CSS LLC served as an underwriter with respect to
approximately 6.4% of the Thornburg RMBS at issue or approximately
$354 million.  Defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint was
granted in part, with leave to replead, and denied in part.

One class action lawsuit pending in the SDNY against CSS LLC and
certain affiliates and employees, New Jersey Carpenters Health
Fund v. Home Equity Mortgage Trust 2006-5, relates to a single
$784 million RMBS offering sponsored and underwritten by the
Credit Suisse defendants.  Defendants' motion to dismiss was
granted in part for claims related to RMBS offerings in which a
named plaintiff was not a purchaser and to limit the theories on
which the remaining claims may proceed.  The SDNY granted
plaintiff's motion for class certification in the lawsuit.


CREDIT SUISSE: IPO-Related Suit vs. US Unit Concluded in January
----------------------------------------------------------------
A consolidated class action litigation over initial public
offerings involving Credit Suisse Group AG's U.S. subsidiary was
concluded in January 2012, according to the Company's March 23,
2012, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Beginning in January 2001, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC (CSS
LLC), one of its affiliates and several other investment banks
were named as defendants in a large number of putative class
action complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York (SDNY) concerning initial public
offering (IPO) allocation practices.  In April 2002, the
plaintiffs filed consolidated amended complaints alleging various
violations of the federal securities laws resulting from alleged
material omissions and misstatements in registration statements
and prospectuses for the IPOs and, in some cases, follow-on
offerings, and with respect to transactions in the aftermarket for
those offerings.  The complaints contained allegations that the
registration statements and prospectuses either omitted or
misrepresented material information about commissions paid to
investment banks and aftermarket transactions by certain customers
that received allocations of shares in the IPOs.  The complaints
also alleged that misleading analyst reports were issued to
support the issuers' allegedly manipulated stock price and that
such reports failed to disclose the alleged allocation practices
or that analysts were allegedly subject to conflicts of interest.

In September 2008, a settlement in principle was reached between
the plaintiffs and the underwriter and issuer defendants, and in
October 2009, the SDNY issued an order granting final approval of
the settlement.  Certain members of the settlement class filed
appeals challenging the SDNY's approval of the settlement.  These
appeals have since been resolved or dismissed, although one such
appellant attempted to file a petition for review by the U.S.
Supreme Court.  That petition was initially rejected as
procedurally defective.

On January 18, 2012, the Clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court
determined that the petition had been untimely and therefore was
not eligible for resubmission.  On January 27, 2012, plaintiffs
notified the SDNY that the settlement had thereby been final and
effective, permitting the distribution of the funds to claimants
and terminating the litigation for all purposes.  Resolution of
this matter was covered by existing provisions.


DEAN FOODS: Dairy Farmers Have Until May 1 to File for Refund
-------------------------------------------------------------
The News Courier reports that area dairy farmers have the
opportunity to participate in a voluntary settlement against
multiple companies said to have underpaid on the purchase of raw
Grade A milk.

Settlement Recovery Group, LLC, which states in a press release
that it helps farmers and others recover the settlement money,
said dairy farmers have until May 1 to file for a refund in the
Southeast Dairy Class Action Antitrust Settlement that involves
Federal Milk Orders 5 and 7.

SRG said $145 million is available to repay eligible dairy farmers
who were underpaid for raw Grade A milk.

According to SRG, the companies targeted in the settlement
include: Dean Foods Co., National Dairy Holdings LP, Dairy Farmers
of America Inc., Dairy Marketing Services LLC, Mid-Am Capital LLC,
Southern Marketing Agency Inc., James Baird, Gary Hanman and
Gerald Bos, Dairy.com Inc., The Kroger Co., Prairie Farms Dairy
Inc., Robert W. Allen, Jay Bryant, Herman Brubaker, Gregg L.
Engles, Michael J. McCloskey, Allen A. Meyer and Pete Schenkel.

Settlement Recovery Group, which says it takes no money upfront,
does receive a portion of any recovered funds received by farmers.

According to the organization, there is no charge or penalty to
clients if no funds are recovered.

Area dairy farmers that believe they may be eligible for a refund
from sales to the listed companies can call 212-805-7209, or
e-mail mark.elis@srgllc.com or visit the Web site
http://www.DairyFarmerRefund.com


ENTRUST GROUP: Faces Class Action Over Self-Directed IRAs
---------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action claims
The Entrust Group and affiliates "reported substantial increases"
for years in the class' self-directed individual retirement
accounts, though the money actually "had been stolen by fraudsters
months or years before."

A copy of the Complaint in Brissette, et al. v. The Entrust Group,
Inc., et al., Case No. 12-cv-03305 (C.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/17/IRAs.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          David K. Dorenfeld, Esq.
          Michael W. Brown, Esq.
          SNYDER DORENFELD, LLP
          5010 Chesebro Road
          Agoura Hills, CA 91301
          Telephone: (818) 865-4000
          E-mail: brads@sd4law.com
                  michaelb@sd4law.com

               - and -

          Cathy J. Lerman, Esq.
          CATHY JACKSON LERMAN, PA
          7857 W. sample Rd., Suite 140
          Coral Springs, FL 33065
          Telephone: (954) 663-5818
          E-mail: clerman@lermanfirm.com

               - and -

          James P. Gitkin, Esq.
          SALPETER GITKIN, LLP
          Museum Plaza - Suite 503
          200 S. Andrews Avenue
          Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
          Telephone: (954) 467-8622


EXPRESS INC: Illinois Court Grants Certification in "Wynn" Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois granted conditional collective action certification in
the lawsuit initiated by Eric Wynn, et al., according to Express,
Inc.'s March 23, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the year ended January 28, 2012.

In a complaint filed on July 7, 2011, in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois styled as
Eric Wynn, et al., v. Express, LLC, Express was named as a
defendant in a purported nationwide collective action alleging
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and of applicable
Illinois state wage and hour statutes related to alleged off-the-
clock work.  The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and
attorneys' fees.  In March 2012, the court granted conditional
collective action certification.

Express is vigorously defending these claims.  At this time,
Express is not able to predict the outcome of this lawsuit or the
amount of any loss that may arise from it.


FEDERAL EXPRESS: Paystub Class Settlement Got Prelim. OK in Jan.
----------------------------------------------------------------
A California court preliminarily approved in January 2012 Federal
Express Corporation's proposed settlement of a class action
lawsuit over employee paystubs, according to the Company's
March 23, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended February 29, 2012.

A federal court in California ruled in April 2011 that paystubs
for certain Federal Express Corporation ("FedEx Express")
employees in California did not meet that state's requirements to
reflect pay period begin date, total overtime hours worked and the
correct overtime wage rate.  The ruling came in a class action
lawsuit filed by a former courier seeking damages on behalf of
herself and all other FedEx Express employees in California that
allegedly received noncompliant paystubs.  The court certified the
class in June 2011.  The court has ruled that the Company is
liable to the State of California, and there will be a ruling as
to whether the Company is liable to class members who can prove
they were injured by the paystub deficiencies.  The judge has not
yet decided on the amount, if any, of liability to the State of
California or to the class, but has wide discretion.  Prior to any
decision on the amount of liability, the Company reached an
agreement to settle this matter for an immaterial amount in
October 2011, subject to approval by the court.

The court preliminarily approved the proposed settlement in
January 2012.  Class notices were mailed in March 2012.


GENERAL MILLS: Trial in YoPlus Yogurt-Related Suit Set for June
---------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action lawsuit relating to General Mills,
Inc.'s YoPlus yogurt product is scheduled for June 2012, according
to the Company's March 21, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended February
26, 2012.

The Company is a party to various pending or threatened legal
actions in the ordinary course of its business.  In the Company's
opinion, there were no claims or litigation pending as of February
26, 2012, that were reasonably likely to have a material adverse
effect on its consolidated financial position or results of
operations.  These matters include a class action lawsuit filed on
January 14, 2010, in the United States District Court, Central
District of California, alleging that the Company made false and
misleading claims about the digestive health benefits of the
Company's YoPlus yogurt product.  The YoPlus matter is scheduled
to go to trial in June 2012.

The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses against
these allegations and will vigorously defend its position.  As of
February 26, 2012, the Company has not recorded a loss contingency
for this matter.


GEOKINETICS INC: Continues to Defend Wage & Hour Suit in Calif.
---------------------------------------------------------------
On July 13, 2011, Geokinetics Inc. was named as a defendant in a
lawsuit styled Moncada, et al. v. Petroleum Geo-Services, et al.
filed in the Superior Court of California in Kern County.  This is
a wage-and-hour class action lawsuit where the plaintiffs claim
that they were not properly compensated from June 2009 to April
2010 for meal and rest breaks, in addition to overtime pay.  The
Company says it intends to vigorously defend itself in this
proceeding.

No further updates were reported in the Company's March 23, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2011.


GROUPON: Hagens Berman Files Securities Class Action in Illinois
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro has filed a securities class-action
lawsuit against Groupon on behalf of investors.

The complaint, filed April 16, 2012, in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that Groupon,
certain of its officers, directors and underwriters of Groupon's
Initial Public Offering (IPO) violated the federal securities laws
by issuing false and misleading statements to investors.

Investors who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of Groupon
common stock between November 4, 2011, and March 30, 2012, and who
have suffered substantial financial losses are encouraged to
contact Hagens Berman Partner Reed Kathrein by calling (510) 725-
3000.  Investors may also contact the firm via e-mail at
GRPN@hbsslaw.com or by visiting http://www.hbsslaw.com/GRPN
The deadline to move the court for lead plaintiff is June 4, 2012.

Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as
lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to
do nothing and remain an absent class member.

Hagens Berman's lawsuit alleges that Groupon and its underwriters
failed to disclose negative trends in the company's business and
weakness in its internal financial controls, causing its stock to
trade at artificially high prices during the Class Period.

Groupon went public in November 2011.  The company initially
priced its stock at $20.00 per share, but the stock price rose as
high as $27.78 during the Class Period.

On March 30, 2012, Groupon shocked the market with an announcement
that it would revise its fourth quarter, 2011 financial results.
The revision, the company said, would include a reduction in
revenue and an increase in operating expenses.  Groupon also
noted, "In conjunction with the completion of the audit of
Groupon's financial statements for the year ended December 31,
2011 by its independent auditor, Ernst & Young LLP, the Company
included a statement of a material weakness in its internal
controls over its financial statement close process in its Annual
Report on Form 10-K for year ended December 31, 2011."

Following the announcement, Groupon's stock declined sharply,
losing nearly 17 percent of its value on April 2, 2012, closing at
$15.27.  The stock has continued to decline, and on April 16,
2012, closed at $12.67.

"We believe that in advance of its IPO, Groupon knew of serious
weaknesses in its business model, but kept investors in the dark,"
said Mr. Kathrein.  "Our lawsuit seeks to recover the losses of
shareholders who were misled about the company's financial results
and outlook."

                          Whistleblowers

Persons with knowledge that may help the investigation are
encouraged to contact the firm.  The SEC recently finalized new
rules as part of its implementation of the whistleblower
provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill.  The new
rules protect whistleblowers from employer retaliation and allow
the SEC to reward those who provide information leading to a
successful enforcement with up to 30 percent of the recovery.

                       About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP -- http://www.hbsslaw.com-- is an
investor-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities.
The firm represents whistleblowers, workers and consumers in
complex litigation.


HARLAND CLARKE: LaserPro-Related Class Suits Remain Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------
A series of commercial borrowers in various states that allegedly
obtained loans from financial institutions employing the LaserPro
software of Harland Financial Solutions, Inc. ("HFS"), a wholly
owned subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings Corp., have commenced
individual or class actions against their financial institutions
alleging that the loans were deceptive or usurious in that they
failed to disclose properly the effect of the "365/360" method of
calculating interest.  In some cases, the financial institutions
have made warranty claims against HFS related to these actions.
Some of the actions commenced by the commercial borrowers have
been dismissed, and many of the remainder, and the related
warranty claims, are at early stages, so that the likely progress
of those pending matters is not yet clear.  The Company has not
accepted any of the warranty claims.  One of the financial
institutions has commenced an arbitration against the Company
relating to a commercial borrower claim against it under the terms
of the Company's agreement with the financial institution, and
another financial institution has filed a motion in the action
brought by its commercial borrower seeking to assert a third-party
claim against the Company.  In the latter action, the Company has
moved to stay the third-party claim pending arbitration.  At the
appropriate time, the Company intends to deny liability to both
financial institutions, but the Company is not able at this early
stage to assess whether it may have any liability to either
institution or the amount of any such liability, but it believes
it is remote that either claim will result in material liability.
Due to the preliminary nature of the remaining matters, the
Company believes it is remote that any of the remaining warranty
claims will result in any material liability for the Company.

No further updates were reported in the Company's March 21, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2011.


IMPAC MORTGAGE: Trial in "Gilmor" Suit to Commence August 13
------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action lawsuit commenced by Michael P. and
Shellie Gilmor captioned Gilmor, et al. v. Preferred Credit Corp.,
et. al., is scheduled to commence on August 13, 2012, according to
Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc.'s March 21, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2011.

Gilmor, et al. v. Preferred Credit Corp., et. al., Case No. 4:10-
CV-00189 (Gilmor), currently pending in the United States District
Court for the Western District of Missouri, is a putative class
action against Preferred Credit and others charging violations of
Missouri's Second Mortgage Loan Act.  In a Sixth Amended Complaint
(Complaint), plaintiffs Michael P. and Shellie Gilmor and others
bring a lawsuit against Preferred Credit, as the originator of
various second mortgage loans in Missouri, and against: IMPAC
Funding Corporation; IMPAC Mortgage Holdings; IMPAC Secured
Assets; IMPAC Secured Assets CMN Trust Series 1998-1
Collateralized Asset-Backed Notes, Series 1998-1; IMH Assets Corp;
Impac CMB Trust Series 1999-1; Impac CMB Trust Series 1999-2;
Impac CMB Trust Series 2000-1; Impac CMB Trust Series 2000-2;
Impac CMB Trust Series 2001-4; Impac CMB Trust Series 2002-1;
Impac CMB Trust Series 2003-5, (collectively, the IMPAC
Defendants), among numerous others, as alleged holders of notes
associated with second mortgage loans originated by Preferred
Credit.  Plaintiffs complain that at closing Preferred Credit
charged them fees and costs in violation of Missouri's Second
Mortgage Loan Act.  Additionally, Plaintiffs obtained
certification of a class of all persons similarly situated.
Plaintiffs allege that the IMPAC Defendants are liable to
Plaintiffs and members of the putative class as alleged holders of
notes associated with second mortgage loans originated by
Preferred Credit.  Plaintiffs seek on behalf of themselves and the
members of the putative class, among other things, disgorgement or
restitution of all improperly collected charges, the right to
rescind all affected loan transactions, the right to offset any
finance charges, closing costs, points or other loan fees paid
against the principal amounts due on the loans if rescinded,
actual and punitive damages, and attorneys' fees.  Plaintiffs
filed a motion for class certification, which was granted.  On
February 26, 2010, U.S. Bank National Association ND and other
defendants removed the case to federal court.  The case remains
pending in federal court.  Trial is scheduled to commence on
August 13, 2012.

The Gilmor purported class action lawsuit alleges that the
mortgage loan originators violated the respective state's statutes
by charging excessive fees and costs when making second mortgage
loans on residential real estate.  The complaints allege that IFC
was a purchaser, and is a holder, along with other affiliated
entities, of second mortgage loans originated by other lenders.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuits are seeking damages that include
disgorgement of interest paid, restitution, rescission, actual
damages, statutory damages, exemplary damages, pre-judgment
interest and punitive damages.  No specific dollar amount of
damages is specified in the complaints.

No further updates were reported in the Company's latest SEC
filing.

The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to the above
claims and intends to defend these claims vigorously and as such
the Company believes the final outcome of such matters will not
have a material adverse effect on its financial condition or
results of operations.  Nevertheless, litigation is uncertain and
the Company may not prevail in the lawsuits and can express no
opinion as to their ultimate resolution.  An adverse judgment in
any of these matters could have a material adverse effect on the
Company's financial position and results of operations.


IMPAC MORTGAGE: Continues to Defend "Baker" Suit in Missouri
------------------------------------------------------------
Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. continues to defend a class action
lawsuit commenced by James and Jill Baker and others in Missouri,
according to the Company's March 21, 2012, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

Baker, et al. v. Century Financial Group, et al., Case No. 4:04-
CV-W-0201-SOW (Baker), currently pending in the Circuit Court of
Clay County, Missouri, is a putative class action against Century
Financial and others charging violations of Missouri's Second
Mortgage Loan Act.  In particular, in a Fourth Amended Complaint
(Complaint), Plaintiffs James and Jill Baker and others bring a
lawsuit against Century Financial, as the originator of various
second mortgage loans in Missouri, and against IMPAC Funding
Corporation ("IFC"), IMH Assets Corporation, IMPAC Mortgage
Holdings, Inc., IMPAC Secured Assets Corporation, and two
terminated IMPAC trusts (collectively, the IMPAC Defendants),
among others, as alleged holders of notes associated with second
mortgage loans originated by Century Financial.  The Plaintiffs'
allegations are similar to those asserted by the Plaintiffs in the
Gilmor action.  Plaintiffs seek on behalf of themselves and the
members of the putative class, among other things, disgorgement or
restitution of all allegedly improperly-collected charges, the
right to rescind all affected loan transactions, the right to
offset any finance charges, closing costs, points or other loan
fees paid against the principal amounts due on the loans if
rescinded, actual and punitive damages, and attorneys' fees.

The case was subsequently removed to federal court and later
remanded by the federal court to the Circuit Court of Clay County,
Missouri.  The IMPAC Defendants filed an Answer on
March 7, 2005.  Limited discovery has taken place since this date,
including additional discovery responses by certain IMPAC
Defendants during 2008.

The Baker purported class action lawsuit alleges that the mortgage
loan originators violated the respective state's statutes by
charging excessive fees and costs when making second mortgage
loans on residential real estate.  The complaints allege that IFC
was a purchaser, and is a holder, along with other affiliated
entities, of second mortgage loans originated by other lenders.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuits are seeking damages that include
disgorgement of interest paid, restitution, rescission, actual
damages, statutory damages, exemplary damages, pre-judgment
interest and punitive damages.  No specific dollar amount of
damages is specified in the complaints.

No further updates were reported in the Company's latest SEC
filing.

The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to the above
claims and intends to defend these claims vigorously and as such
the Company believes the final outcome of such matters will not
have a material adverse effect on its financial condition or
results of operations.  Nevertheless, litigation is uncertain and
the Company may not prevail in the lawsuits and can express no
opinion as to their ultimate resolution.  An adverse judgment in
any of these matters could have a material adverse effect on the
Company's financial position and results of operations.


ING GROEP: Continues to Defend Class Suits Pending in New York
--------------------------------------------------------------
ING Groep N.V. continues to defend class action lawsuits pending
in New York, according to the Company's March 21, 2012, Form 20-F
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended September 30, 2011.

Proceedings in which ING is involved, include complaints and
lawsuits concerning the performance of certain interest sensitive
products that were sold by a former subsidiary of ING in Mexico.
Proceedings also include lawsuits that have been filed by former
employees of an Argentina subsidiary, whose employment was
terminated as a result the Republic of Argentina's nationalisation
of the pension fund system.  Litigation has been filed by the
purchaser of certain ING Mexican subsidiaries who claims that the
financial condition of the subsidiaries was not accurately
depicted.  Further, purported class litigation has been filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York alleging violations of the federal securities laws with
respect to disclosures made in connection with the 2007 and 2008
offerings of ING's Perpetual Hybrid Capital Securities.  The Court
has determined that the claims relating to the 2007 offerings were
without merit and has dismissed them.  The challenged disclosures
that survived the Court's ruling relate solely to the June 2008
offering, and primarily to ING Group's investments in certain
residential mortgage-backed securities.

Additional purported class litigation challenges the operation of
the ING Americas Savings Plan and ESOP and the ING 401(k) Plan for
ILIAC Agents.  The District Court has dismissed the latter case
and plaintiffs have appealed.  Also an administrator of a plan
under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
("ERISA") has filed a lawsuit seeking to represent a class of
ERISA plan administrators claiming that an ING subsidiary has
breached certain of its ERISA duties.

The Company says these matters are being defended vigorously;
however, at this time, ING is unable to assess their final
outcome.  Therefore, at this moment it is not practicable to
provide an estimate of the (potential) financial effect.


INTRALINKS HOLDINGS: Awaits Ruling on Lead Plaintiff Bids in N.Y.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
IntraLinks Holdings, Inc. is anticipating the filing of a
consolidated and amended class action complaint following the
appointment of a lead plaintiff in two class action lawsuits
pending in New York, according to the Company's March 21, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2011.

On December 5, 2011, the Company became aware of a purported class
action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the South
District of New York (the "SDNY" or the "Court") against the
Company and certain of its current and former executive officers.
The complaint (the "Wallace Complaint") alleges that the
defendants made false and misleading statements or omissions in
violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The plaintiff
seeks unspecified compensatory damages for the purported class of
purchasers of the Company's common stock during the period from
February 17, 2011, through November 10, 2011 (the "Allegation
Period").  On December 27, 2011, a second purported class action
complaint (the "Thaler Complaint"), which makes substantially the
same claims as, and is related to, the Wallace Complaint, was
filed in the SDNY against the Company and certain of its executive
officers seeking similar unspecified compensatory damages for the
Allegation Period.

On February 3, 2012, four different shareholders filed motions to
be appointed lead plaintiff pursuant to the provisions of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and the Court
has not yet decided those motions.  The Company anticipates that
the lead plaintiff will then file a consolidated and amended class
action complaint.

The Company believes these claims are without merit and intends to
defend these lawsuits vigorously.


IOWA: Judge Rejects Hiring Bias Class Action Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------
Jeff Eckhoff, writing for Des Moine Register, reports that a Polk
County judge has rejected a wide-ranging, class-action lawsuit
alleging that Iowa's failure to monitor its state hiring system
improperly allowed decades "of implicit bias" to creep into
personnel decisions and unintentionally harm blacks.

District Judge Robert Blink issued a 56-page ruling in which he
rejects an opportunity "to broaden the horizons of Iowa's legal
landscape premised on (plaintiffs') belief in our state's
progressive stance on civil rights."  The judge instead found that
an admittedly "uncommon approach" by plaintiffs in Pippen v. State
of Iowa failed to prove what is necessary to win a discrimination
lawsuit under state and federal law.

A 20-year-old federal statute allows wronged workers to win
damages for unintended discrimination if they can prove that a
"particular employment practice" causes a disparate impact on a
particular group and if the employer simultaneously fails to prove
that that practice is "job-related for the position in question
and consistent with business necessity."

Plaintiffs in the Pippen case, who alleged that the whole system
was at fault rather than a specific part, failed to attack a
particular practice, Judge Blink ruled.  And they therefore failed
to generate a recognizable claim under state and federal law.

"Based upon the record evidence, the Court concludes that
plaintiffs have failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence
that subjective, discretionary decision-making, permitted by the
state's abdication of statutory or regulatory responsibilities and
obligations and/or failure to follow its own policies, caused
disparate impact or adverse impact discrimination," the judge
wrote.

The decision, which is destined for appeal, ends the first stage
of the largest part of a four-year-old, class-action lawsuit
charging that Iowa essentially abdicated the responsibility of
monitoring its hiring bureaucracy and therefore tainted job
decisions in 37 state government agencies and departments.  Court
papers say the case involved up to 6,000 African Americans who
sought jobs or promotions between 2003 and 2007 and could have
been worth as much as $71 million if Judge Blink had agreed with
the plaintiffs.

Lawyers in the case, who are still moving forward with a host of
individual discrimination claims by the Pippen plaintiffs, did not
immediately comment because they had not read the ruling.

The plaintiffs have scheduled press conferences for this
afternoon.

Lawyers for the Pippen plaintiffs launched the lawsuit in 2007
based on a claim that Iowa's failure to police its own system left
hiring open failed to "implicit bias" that can make people
subconsciously favor whites over blacks.  The state also failed to
require training, testing and documentation of decisions by
managers, chief attorney Thomas Newkirk argued at the beginning of
trial last fall.  All of those things, Mr. Newkirk argued,
essentially created an environment where no one was watching
Iowa's hiring managers.

"There are simply too many holes and too many missing pieces in a
system that's supposed to work as an integrated whole,"
Mr. Newkirk said in September.

University of Washington psychologist Anthony Greenwald testified
for the plaintiffs that, based to his nationwide research, roughly
three-quarters of the people able to affect hiring decisions in
Iowa's state government have an implicit bias that makes them
favor whites over blacks -- a bias that could make them
discriminate against African-American job applicants without even
realizing it.

Mr. Greenwald stopped short, however, when asked in court whether
he could directly prove that bias is responsible for the
statistically low number of blacks who win jobs when they apply
for positions with the state.

"I would be reluctant to make that contention in the journal
publication context, because I think that requires a higher
standard of proof," Mr. Greenwald testified.  "I can say that it
is plausible that implicit bias is a cause of discrimination in
the state of Iowa.  I regard that as a plausible hypothesis that I
would love to test."

Mr. Greenwald's testimony was followed by a Rutgers University
labor economist who said that blacks who seek work in Iowa's
government are statistically less likely to get interviews, less
likely to get hired and, if they do get hired, will likely earn
less money than their white peers.  The chance of gaps that size
occurring in a racially neutral process, according to reports by
economist Mark Killingsworth, is less than two in a billion.

Witnesses throughout the trial testified that qualified blacks
repeatedly have been denied job interviews and promotions in Iowa
government, but state officials contended that the statistics fall
well short under of what's needed to prove racial discrimination.

Deputy Iowa Attorney General Jeffrey Thompson argued in court that
a host of reasons could exist for why blacks fare differently
statistically when it comes to some kinds of hiring decisions.
Mr. Thompson contended that the law requires plaintiffs to prove a
specific racial bias in terms of specific policies or decisions.

Court papers filed mid-trial in a bid to get the lawsuit thrown
out cited a plaintiff-paid statistician's report as failing to
identify "what has, or what has not, caused the bottom line
disparity" between the hiring of blacks and whites.

"In this way, it is impossible to know whether any of defendant's
actions (let alone which ones) contributed in any way to the
disparity, or whether other factors (such as demographics, the
private employment market, applicant behavior, etc.) explain the
differences," the motion said.

"This case amounts to a challenge to literally any discrete
decision made by any decision-maker at any step in the state
hiring practice," Mr. Thompson said in his opening statement to
Blink.

"If plaintiffs are to be taken at their word, your honor, what
they are asking you to do is take over the state hiring system in
its entirety, to explain why a particular applicant didn't get a
five instead of a three in customer service," Mr. Thompson said.

Witnesses also attacked Iowa's practice of lumping all minorities
together in setting diversity goals for "underutilized" jobs --
positions where Iowa has fewer minorities on the payroll than it
demographically should.

University of Washington psychologist Cheryl Kaiser testified that
the combined numbers, which include women, Latinos and Asians,
mask a disproportionately bad situation for blacks.

But Joe Ellis, state government's chief affirmative action officer
before he retired in 2009, testified that the practice was born
out of court cases requiring that affirmative action hiring goals
have a statistical significance behind them.  State officials
became concerned, Ellis said, that Iowa's small nonwhite
populations would lead to percentages too small to justify a push
for more diverse hiring.

"We wanted to set more goals," he said.

Judge Blink's ruling rejects the notion that the hiring system
used by Iowa's state government, which includes a series of
interlocking tests, applications and procedures that vary slightly
among different departments, could not be separated out for
review.

"It is plaintiffs' burden to either identify the offending
particular employment practice or demonstrate that the components
of the process cannot be analyzed separately," Judge Blink wrote.
"In this case, plaintiffs elected to pursue a theory of recovery
based on proving that the state's merit-based hiring system, its
'decision-making process' was 'not capable of separation for
analysis.'  It can be, and was, through evidence in this trial,
separated for analysis."

Judge Blink found that statistical disparities between the success
of black and white job applicants are "not systemic but parochial
to the agencies.  It was clear from the record that some
departments were more proactive in exercising best practices, in
part due to the frame of mind of the individual managers in those
departments.  . . . Plaintiffs did not identify why certain
agencies had differing outcomes.  The causes could be anything as
egregious as explicit bias or as benign as extremely specific job
requirements."


IPAYMENT HOLDINGS: "Bruns" Class and Insurer Suits Dismissed
------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit commenced by Dana Bruns and a related
lawsuit against an insurer have been dismissed, iPayment Holdings,
Inc. disclosed in its March 23, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

The Bruns Lawsuit was initially filed in Orange County, California
Superior Court, on or about February 22, 2000, by plaintiff Dana
Bruns on her behalf and on behalf of a purported class of persons
in California who, during the five years prior to the filing of
the lawsuit, allegedly received fax transmissions from third-party
defendant Fax.Com and its advertisers, including the Company's
subsidiary, E-Commerce Exchange Inc. ("ECX").  The plaintiff
alleged that the defendants sent "fax blast" transmissions to
telephone facsimile machines in violation of the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act of 1991 ("TCPA").  The plaintiff sought
injunctive relief, damages, attorneys' fees and costs (i) under
the TCPA and California's Unfair Competition Act and (ii) for
negligence.

As previously described in Amendment No. 1 to the Company's
Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed with the SEC on
November 23, 2011, the California Court of Appeals issued an
opinion affirming in full the trial court's order dismissing the
plaintiff's action and the order of final judgment in September
2011, which opinion became final in October 2011.  The plaintiff
filed a petition for review with the California Supreme Court,
which was denied on November 16, 2011.  As a result, the trial
court's prior order of final judgment dismissing the litigation
with prejudice became final on February 29, 2012, and therefore,
all claims against ECX have been finally dismissed.

                     TIE Declaratory Action

Following the filing of the Bruns Lawsuit in February 2000, ECX
tendered the Bruns Lawsuit to Truck Insurance Exchange, a member
of Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, as a "covered" claim
under insurance policies then in effect that indemnified ECX for
"losses" and for costs of defense for "covered" claims.  TIE
agreed, subject to a reservation of rights, to assume the defense
of ECX in the litigation and has paid all costs of the defense
since April 2000.  On or about January 29, 2010, TIE brought a
declaratory judgment action in Orange County, California Superior
Court, against ECX and Dana Bruns (individually and as alleged
class representative of all others similarly situated), asserting
that the insurance policies issued to ECX do not cover the claim
tendered by ECX relating to the underlying Bruns Lawsuit.  TIE
sought (i) a judicial declaration that it did not have a duty to
defend ECX in the Bruns Lawsuit and that it had a right to
withdraw its defense of ECX in such case and (ii) reimbursement
from ECX of fees and costs incurred by TIE to defend ECX in the
Bruns Lawsuit.

Since the Company's last report on the TIE declaratory action in
Amendment No. 1 to its Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed
with the SEC on November 23, 2011, all claims and matters in the
subject litigation have been fully settled and released pursuant
to a settlement agreement entered into by ECX and TIE in February
2012.  A request for dismissal was filed with the Superior Court
on February 29, 2012, and the dismissal was entered by the court
on the same date.

The Company does not expect the terms of the settlement to have a
material adverse effect on its business, financial condition or
results of operations.


IPAYMENT HOLDINGS: "Tisa's Cakes" Class Suit Settled in January
---------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit commenced by L. Green, doing business as
Tisa's Cakes, against iPayment Holdings, Inc.'s subsidiaries was
settled in January 2012, according to the Company's March 23,
2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

The matter known as the Tisa's Cakes Class Action is related to a
purported class action lawsuit initially filed on or about
December 30, 2009, by plaintiff L. Green (d/b/a Tisa's Cakes) in
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York,
naming the Company's operating company, iPayment Inc., and one of
its subsidiaries, Online Data Corporation ("ODC"), as defendants.
The plaintiff asserted claims for unjust enrichment and for
declaratory judgment in connection with an early termination fee,
allegedly imposed under a contract between the plaintiff and ODC
and contracts between each class member and ODC, which fee the
plaintiff alleged constitutes an unlawful penalty.

Since the Company's last report on the Tisa's Cakes class action
in Amendment No. 1 to its Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed
with the SEC on November 23, 2011, all claims and matters in the
subject litigation have been resolved amicably through a
confidential settlement in which neither side admitted any
liability or wrongdoing.  A stipulation of dismissal with
prejudice was filed with the District Court on January 12, 2012,
and the subject litigation was finally settled in January 2012.

The Company does not expect the terms of the settlement to have a
material adverse effect on its business, financial condition or
results of operations.


JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Siskinds Launches Mesh Class Action in Canada
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Siskinds LLP has launched a class action against
Johnson & Johnson Inc. and related entities regarding their
transvaginal mesh products.

Transvaginal mesh products (also referred to as pelvic mesh
products, vaginal mesh, a "hammock", or a "sling") are used to
treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in
women.  These products are alleged to have high failure, injury,
and complication rates, which could result in frequent and often
debilitating re-operations and potentially cause severe and
irreversible injuries, conditions and damage.

The Statement of Claim alleges that Johnson & Johnson failed to
adequately warn patients and physicians of the magnitude of the
risk of serious side effects when using one of their transvaginal
mesh products compared to alternative treatments.  Possible side
effects include mesh erosion through the vaginal wall, infection,
pain, bladder perforation, vaginal scarring, pain during sexual
intercourse, and other problems which may lead to a significant
decrease in quality of life due to discomfort and pain.  Matthew
Baer -- matt.baer@siskinds.com -- a lawyer with Siskinds LLP,
describes the purpose of the proceeding as "We believe that
through this lawsuit Johnson & Johnson will be required to explain
to Canadians what it knew about the risks associated with using
their transvaginal mesh products and when they first became aware
of those risks.  In this case, as with all of these types of
cases, we are concerned about whether Canadians were adequately
warned of the risks associated with using the products in
question."

It is too early at this stage to quantify the claims of potential
class members, but it is anticipated that the amount is
significant.  Canadians who have experienced adverse events from a
transvaginal mesh product are encouraged to visit
http://www.classaction.caor to call 1-800-461-6166 ext 2381 for
English enquiries or ext 2409 for French enquiries.


KANSAS, MO: Police Board Faces Insurance Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------
Fox 4 News reports that the City of Kansas City and its Board of
Police Commissioners face a class-action lawsuit, and it's from
thousands of local police officers who say they are being forced
to change their current health insurance.

Through attorney Sean McCauley, thousands of officers said they
have thought about looking for jobs outside the agency because of
the news.

Mr. McCauley said members of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge
No. 99 said they don't want city health insurance.  Mr. McCauley
details the claims in a nine-page lawsuit filed Monday morning in
Jackson County Circuit Court.

It alleges it's unlawful to consolidate the police department's
health insurance with the city's.  But the board voted for it last
week.

Mr. McCauley said this will save the city money, but not officers.
In fact, Mr. McCauley said this will drive up health care costs.
He also adds, the board and the city never dealt with them in good
faith manner.

Mr. McCauley said there are more than 1,000 members from all ranks
impacted, but this vote affects a total of about 5,000 officers,
which includes many who are retired.

"This is a situation where these guys have gained a great deal of
experience and have a lot of opportunities but when they look at
their future they don't see it being very bright given the way the
city and the police department, more specifically the police
board, has dealt with them," he said.

For decades, the board has provided health care to its officers by
contracting with private insurance carriers.

The board and the city have a window of time to respond to this
lawsuit.  The city attorney's office did not return calls.

The board's labor counsel, Mark Flaherty, said he got an
electronic copy of the lawsuit, but would not be able to comment
at this time.


MIDAS INC: Class Standing Denied in Brake Customers Suit in Dec.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles
denied class certification in December 2011 in a class action
lawsuit brought by brake customers, Midas, Inc. disclosed in its
March 21, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

A purported class action lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court
of California for the County of Los Angeles in June 2006 that
alleged that certain franchised California Midas shops
intentionally issued invoices to certain brake customers that
incorrectly indicated that the customers had received Midas-
branded brake products when, in fact, they had received inferior
non-Midas brake products.  The plaintiffs sought unspecified
damages.  The Company had successfully challenged the legal
sufficiency of the plaintiffs' claims by getting the plaintiffs'
third amended complaint dismissed in February 2009.  The
plaintiffs then filed a fourth amended complaint in March of 2009.

In December 2011, the Court denied class certification on numerous
grounds.  If plaintiffs appeal the denial of class certification,
Midas says it intends to vigorously defend the appeal.


MIDAS INC: Compiles Discovery Documents in Canadian Class Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Midas, Inc. disclosed in its March 21, 2012, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011, that it is currently in the process of
compiling historical documents as a result of the plaintiffs'
discovery request.

A class action lawsuit was filed against the Company in the
Ontario Superior Court of Justice by two Canadian Midas
franchisees on May 31, 2007.  The plaintiffs alleged various
violations of the Midas Franchise and Trademark Agreement and
applicable law and sought class certification and monetary damages
of approximately $168 million.  Specifically, the plaintiffs
allege that the Company breached its duty of good faith and fair
dealing by terminating its supply system and replacing it with an
agreement with Uni-Select, including, without limitation, by (i)
retaining the full 10% royalty paid by franchisees after the
Company ceased to sell products to class members, (ii) receiving
rebates from suppliers on account of plaintiffs' purchases of
products, and (iii) funding its warranty program with such
rebates.

The class certification hearing took place in February 2009 and
the court released its certification ruling on March 26, 2009.  Of
the many claims asserted by the plaintiff, the only claim for
which class certification was granted was the issue of whether
Midas Canada breached its common law and statutory duties of good
faith and fair dealing when it implemented its new supply chain
program in 2003.  All other causes of action were rejected by the
court.

The Company says it is currently in the process of compiling
historical documents as a result of the plaintiffs' discovery
request.  The Company continues to believe this lawsuit is without
merit.


MIDAS INC: Faces TBC Merger-Related Class Suit in Delaware
----------------------------------------------------------
Midas, Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit in Delaware over its
proposed merger with a TBC Corporation subsidiary, according to
the Company's March 21, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

On March 12, 2012, Midas, Inc. ("MDS") entered into an Agreement
and Plan of Merger (the "Merger Agreement"), with TBC Corporation,
a Delaware corporation, or TBC, and Gearshift Merger Corp., a
Delaware corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of TBC,
referred to as the Purchaser.  TBC is a subsidiary of Sumitomo
Corporation of America.  Pursuant to the terms of the Merger
Agreement, and on the terms and subject to the conditions thereof,
among other things, the Purchaser will commence a cash tender
offer, referred to as the Offer, to acquire all of the outstanding
shares of common stock of MDS, including with the associated
preferred share purchase rights, collectively the Shares, at a
price of $11.50 per share in cash (the "Tender Offer Price")

On March 20, 2012, a purported shareholder class action lawsuit
was filed in the Court of Chancery of the state of Delaware naming
MDS, MDS' directors, TBC Corporation and Gearshift Merger Corp. as
defendants.  The lawsuit alleges, among other things, MDS'
directors breached their fiduciary duties and TBC Corporation and
Gearshift Merger Corp. aided and abetted the directors' alleged
breaches of fiduciary duty in connection with MDS' entry into the
Merger Agreement.  The plaintiffs seek to enjoin the transactions
contemplated by the Merger Agreement and unspecified damages.

The Company believes this lawsuit is without merit and intends to
pursue a vigorous defense.


MIDAS INC: Faces TBC Merger-Related Class Suit in Illinois
----------------------------------------------------------
Midas, Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit in Illinois over its
proposed merger with a TBC Corporation subsidiary, according to
the Company's March 21, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

On March 12, 2012, Midas, Inc. ("MDS") entered into an Agreement
and Plan of Merger (the "Merger Agreement"), with TBC Corporation,
a Delaware corporation, or TBC, and Gearshift Merger Corp., a
Delaware corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of TBC,
referred to as the Purchaser.  TBC is a subsidiary of Sumitomo
Corporation of America.  Pursuant to the terms of the Merger
Agreement, and on the terms and subject to the conditions thereof,
among other things, the Purchaser will commence a cash tender
offer, referred to as the Offer, to acquire all of the outstanding
shares of common stock of MDS, including with the associated
preferred share purchase rights, collectively the Shares, at a
price of $11.50 per share in cash (the "Tender Offer Price")

On March 15, 2012, a purported shareholder class action lawsuit
was filed in the Circuit Court of DuPage County, Illinois, naming
MDS, MDS' directors, TBC Corporation and Gearshift Merger Corp. as
defendants.  The lawsuit alleges, among other things, MDS'
directors breached their fiduciary duties and MDS, TBC Corporation
and Gearshift Merger Corp. aided and abetted the directors'
alleged breaches of fiduciary duty in connection with MDS' entry
into the Merger Agreement.  The plaintiffs seek to enjoin the
transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement and unspecified
damages.

The Company believes this lawsuit is without merit and intends to
pursue a vigorous defense.


MURRUMBIDGEE IRRIGATION: Yenda Landholder Launches Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
ABC News reports that a Yenda landholder launching a class action
against Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI), has accused the company of
negligence during the March floods.

Paul Rossetto says he has about 50 people interested in taking
part in the legal action and is currently helping barristers
prepare a brief of evidence about the disaster.

He says he has the support of Member for Murrumbidgee Adrian
Piccoli for the research and investigation part of his inquiry,
but not for the class action.

Mr. Rossetto has accused MI of blocking the East Mirrool Canal
Regulator, built as a flood mitigation device during the 1950s and
that exacerbated flooding in the township.

He also says the company failed to develop a proper management
plan for the Mirrool Creek system.

Mr. Rossetto says the flooding of Yenda, should not have occurred.

"MI, being an irrigation corporation is operating under immunity
from the New South Wales state government, except in the case of
negligence or lack of duty of care," he said.

"So we feel very, very strongly this blocking of the regulator is
a very strong case, showing a lack of duty of care."

Mr. Rossetto says he fears Murrumbidgee Irrigation isn't doing
enough to change its canal management system after the March
floods.

"Murrumbidgee Irrigation has gone and blocked the regulator
again," he said.

"Now I consider that is totally irresponsible.

"So we're in the same situation if it were to rain again next
month or next year, Yenda would be at risk.

"And this is the question a lot of people are saying, if we
rebuild our houses and there's no significant changes upstream,
we're just going to get flooded again."

Murrumbidgee Irrigation distanced itself from Mr. Rossetto's
allegations.

The water provider has released a statement, which says while it
sympathises with those who have been affected, the flood event was
an act of nature.

The statement says MI is working to repair its damaged
infrastructure and says all critical decisions made during the
flood were made by the local emergency services operations
command, under the direction of the State Emergency Service.

Murrumbidgee Irrigation estimates in excess of 100,000 megalitres
of water passed through its canal system during the event.

The Member for Murrumbidgee Adrian Piccoli says he does not
support the class action against Murrumbidgee Irrigation.

"In no way do I support a class action against Murrumbidgee
Irrigation," he said.

"At the end of the day Murrumbidgee Irrigation is owned by
irrigators, a class action will simply cost money for no
particularly good outcome."

Mr. Piccoli says there are lessons to be learnt from the floods,
but a class action is not the answer.

"I think a proper analysis has to be done of the actions of the
SES and the actions of council and the actions of Murrumbidgee
Irrigation," he said.

"But we've got to remember it was an unprecedented event and it's
easy to make decisions in hindsight.

"But I would certainly accept that not all of the decisions that
were made, the same decisions would have been made six weeks later
now that we know exactly what happened.

"But all of this analysis has got to be done properly."


NEVADA PROPERTY: Arbitration in The Cosmopolitan Suits Ongoing
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nevada Property 1 LLC continues to engage in various arbitration
and other dispute resolution proceedings to resolve lawsuits and
claims related to its property known as The Cosmopolitan of Las
Vegas, according to the Company's March 23, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2011.

Nevada Property 1 LLC, a limited liability company organized in
Delaware, (the "Company") owns and operates The Cosmopolitan of
Las Vegas (the "Property" or "The Cosmopolitan") which commenced
operations on December 15, 2010.  Prior to December 15, 2010, the
Property was in its construction and pre-opening stage.

The entity that previously owned the Property was Cosmo Senior
Borrower LLC, a limited liability company organized in Delaware
("CSB"), which acquired the Property from its affiliate, 3700
Associates, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (the
"Previous Owner"), in December 2005.

During the period from 2005 to 2007, the Previous Owner and CSB
entered into binding purchase and sale contracts (the "Purchase
Contracts") for the purchase and sale of 1,821 condominium-hotel
units during the development and construction stage of the
Property.  These Purchase Contracts were acquired by the Company
in connection with acquisition of the Property at the foreclosure
sale on September 3, 2008.  The total sales proceeds associated
with the Purchase Contracts, if all of the Purchase Contracts were
to close pursuant to their terms, would be approximately $1.4
billion.  Upon or shortly after signing the Purchase Contracts,
the purchasers deposited into escrow 20% of the applicable
purchase price as a non-refundable earnest money deposit, which
totaled approximately $307 million at December 31, 2008, including
interest accrued thereon.  Beginning in late 2008, certain
purchasers, both individually and as part of several large-scale
class actions, filed legal actions and arbitrations against the
Company seeking to rescind the Purchase Contracts and receive a
return of their earnest money deposits.  The purchasers claimed,
among other things, that the opening of The Cosmopolitan had been
unreasonably delayed, which was alleged to be a breach by the
Company of the Purchase Contracts.  The Company has and continues
to vigorously defend these claims.

The Company entered into settlement discussions with class counsel
and various purchasers and their respective counsel in an effort
to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation to gain a measure of
certainty around completion and operation of The Cosmopolitan and
address the stated desire of the majority of the purchasers to
cancel their Purchase Contracts.  On December 14, 2009, the
District Court of Clark County, Nevada, entered a final order
approving a class settlement between the Company and a settlement
class comprised of 1,050 purchasers in the West Tower of the
Property, whereby such purchasers received a return of 74.4% of
their earnest money deposit, less attorneys' fees, with the
Company retaining the remaining 25.6% of the earnest money
deposits, plus 100% of the interest accrued thereon.  In April
2010, the Company finalized a class action settlement with 427
condominium purchasers in the East Tower of the Property, with
said purchasers receiving 68.0% of their principal deposits, and
the Company retaining 32.0% of same, plus all interest thereon
resulting in a net gain of approximately $18.0 million which the
Company recognized as net settlement income in the consolidated
statement of operations.

On July 14, 2010, some of the remaining condominium purchasers
filed a lawsuit with the District Court, Clark County, Nevada,
seeking an injunction against Deutsche Bank, Nevada Voteco and the
Company.  The lawsuit alleges that the Company is converting their
respective condominium units into hotel rooms.  These condominium
purchasers are seeking injunctive relief to prevent the Company
from using their respective condominium units as hotel rooms, to
prevent the Company from accessing their deposit funds which were
placed in escrow and to compel the Company to make certain real
estate disclosures.  On July 19, 2010, three of the remaining
condominium purchasers filed a civil lawsuit with the Superior
Court of California, County of Los Angeles, against Deutsche Bank
and the Company alleging that their respective condominium units
are being converted into hotel rooms.  The lawsuit further alleges
that Deutsche Bank and the Company have fraudulently retained
deposits paid by the condominium purchasers in 2005.  The lawsuit
seeks and an unspecified amount of damages, punitive damages and
attorney fees.

Since July 2010, the plaintiffs have requested two preliminary
injunctions.  In the first preliminary injunction, plaintiffs
sought to prevent the Company from renting the condominium units
the plaintiffs were under contract to purchase until the
plaintiffs had the opportunity to close, and from seizing
plaintiffs' earnest money deposits.  That preliminary injunction
was granted.  The second preliminary injunction sought to compel
the Company to make certain real estate disclosures, permit more
time for pre-closing inspections to allow for sound testing of the
units; however, that preliminary injunction request was denied.
Several condominium purchasers have also commenced confidential
arbitrations alleging that the Company defaulted under the
condominium unit purchase contracts and are seeking a refund of
their deposits.  In addition, one purchaser has commenced a
confidential arbitration proceeding seeking an order compelling
the Company to complete a penthouse unit.

For each of these claims and the other claims, the Company
believes that it has a strong legal defense, and intends to
vigorously defend its position.  Management does not believe that
these claims will have a material adverse impact on the condensed
consolidated financial position, cash flows, or the results of
operations of the Company.

Since the time of the class action settlements, some of the
purchasers within the East and the West Towers who had previously
opted out of the settlement offers, have settled their claims with
the Company in individual transactions on terms identical to the
applicable class action settlement resulting in an additional $4.3
million in net settlement income in 2010.  As of
December 31, 2010, there were 214 condominium-hotel units under
the original purchase contracts.

In 2011, 17 condominium units were purchased at a sales price of
$16.0 million, which generated a net gain of $8.2 million.  In
addition, three condominium-hotel units were settled through
arbitration, resulting in $0.1 million in settlement income.

In the first quarter of 2012, buyers representing 178 condominium-
hotel units in The Cosmopolitan agreed to settle and release their
claims against the Company arising under their agreements to
purchase the condominium hotel units.  Under the terms of the
settlements, buyers of units in the West Tower received a refund
of 50% of their principal earnest money deposits and buyers of
units in the East Tower received a refund of 40% of their
principal earnest money deposits.  The Company retained 50% of the
principal deposits, plus 100% of all interest, under the West
Tower purchase contracts, and 60% of the principal deposits, plus
100% of all interest, under the East Tower purchase contracts,
resulting in a net gain of $13.1 million which the Company will
recognize as net settlement income in the 2012 consolidated
statement of operations.

As of March 23, 2012, there were 16 condominium hotel units
remaining under contract at The Cosmopolitan.  The Company is
actively engaged in various arbitration and other dispute
resolution proceedings with respect 11 of those units.  Those
proceedings are in varying stages and the Company disputes the
allegations made by the buyers in those proceedings.  The Company
expects that some of the units remaining under contract will be
settled under the same terms of the 2012 settlements and intends
to initiate arbitration proceedings against the buyers of any
remaining units who do not agree to settle and release their
claims as provided.


OKLAHOMA: Balks at Out-of-State Experts' $355,000 Fee
-----------------------------------------------------
Randy Ellis, writing for NewsOK, reports that out-of-state experts
hired to oversee reforms of Oklahoma's troubled child welfare
system billed the state more than $355,000 for their team's first
three months of work after a settlement was reached in a Tulsa
class-action lawsuit.

The cost is expected to reach nearly $1.5 million by the end of
the first year.

"Ungodly," Department of Human Services Commissioner Richard
DeVaughn said of the oversight fees.  "That's why I voted no and
raised so much hell . . . Where's that money going to come from?
... It doesn't make any sense."

Current Commission Chairman Brad Yarbrough disagreed.

DHS officials, the agency's settlement attorney, the state
attorney general's office and DHS commissioners all reviewed the
appropriateness of the contract that calls for paying three out-
of-state experts $315 an hour to oversee DHS child welfare
reforms, he said.

Under the contract, DHS also is paying for the experts'
professional and administrative staff and consultants, as well as
funds to cover travel, conferences, meetings and materials.

"The hourly rate that was outlined in the contract was determined
to be a fair and just compensation based on comparable rates being
paid to other consultants doing the same type work," Mr. Yarbrough
said.

                        Budget Submitted

A budget submitted by the three out-of-state experts called for
DHS to pay their team $1,485,984 the first year, including
$1,185,984 for professional services fees, $155,000 for travel,
$140,000 for consultant fees and $5,000 for conferences, meetings
and materials.

The three experts are to be paid $315 an hour for eight days of
work a month, two data and verification experts are to be paid the
same hourly rate for four days of work a month, senior staff
members are to be paid $175 an hour for 15 days of work a month,
analysts are to be paid $67 an hour for six days a month and an
administrator is to be paid $110 an hour for four days a month.

DHS Commissioner Jay Dee Chase said the fees being paid to the
three out-of-state experts work out to more than $20,000 a month,
each, for just eight days a month of work.

"I think $20,000 a month for eight days work at a time when
taxpayers in this state are strapped and unemployment is where it
is, . . . I think that's a lot of money," Mr. Chase said.

Mr. Chase said he also finds it disturbing that under terms of the
settlement, it will be up to the three out-of-state monitors to
decide when their job is done.

"Three years from now, if DHS has fulfilled all of the 15
requirements that they ask of us, they can decide that their jobs
are not done and they can keep their jobs for another year or two.
I can't imagine anything nicer than a job paying $20,000 a month
for eight days, and you decide when the job's over," he said.


PSAGOT: Heirs of Provident Fund Owners File Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Hila Raz, writing for Haaretz.com, reports that Psagot isn't
making reasonable efforts to find heirs of pension fund and
provident fund account owners, according to a NIS3.8 billion
class-action suit filed against the company in Tel Aviv District
Court.

Furthermore, Psagot makes it difficult for heirs to receive the
money, alleges Lili Levy, one of the plaintiffs.  Ms. Levy says
she found out her mother had a provident fund through Psagot only
by chance -- seven years after her mother died.

"Instead of trying to find heirs and inform them that the deceased
had an account, Psagot is doing exactly the opposite, and is
actively cutting off contact, creating obstacles and making
difficulties for people who are trying to receive basic
information on accounts held by the deceased," states the suit.

"Psagot stopped sending reports altogether on important matters
relating to accounts held by the deceased and by customers who
halted contact; secretly raised management fees contrary to the
law; blocked online access to these accounts; and, even worse,
made phone inquiries related to deceased customers a complicated
task," it states.

The class-action sum includes NIS3.17 billion thought to be held
in accounts owned by deceased customers, and is based on Knesset
Research and Information Center data.  Another NIS630 million is
being demanded of Psagot for retaining money improperly, and
NIS40 million is for increasing fees since November 2008.

The research center estimates that pension funds hold NIS20
billion in money belonging to people with whom they've lost all
connection.  Furthermore, the funds have no interest in the
rightful owners finding out about their money: So long as these
companies have the money, they can charge management fees and also
don't have to worry about the money being withdrawn.  In many
cases, the funds also take advantage of the situation to raise the
fees to the maximum allowed by law.

This January, the Finance Ministry announced a plan that would
address this issue, scheduled to go into effect in 2013.  Under
the scheme, pension funds that have seen no activity over five or
10 years will start paying reduced fees of 0.2%, which is supposed
to give the companies an incentive to find the owners.

As for Levy's attempts to access her late mother's money, the
lawsuit says that after she learned the account contained
NIS150,000, she found out that Psagot had been charging 1.6%
annual fees on the account for years -- nearly twice what it had
been originally charging.

She had "great difficulty receiving basic information from the
company about how it manages the accounts of deceased customers,"
the suit states.


SOUTHERN STAR: "Price" Class Actions Remain Pending
---------------------------------------------------
Southern Star Central Corp. continues to defend itself against two
class action suits commenced by Will Price, et al., according to
the Company's March 23, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2011.

In the putative class action captioned Will Price, et al. v. El
Paso Natural Gas Co., et al., Case No. 99 C 30, District Court,
Stevens County, Kansas, or Price Litigation I, filed May 28, 1999,
the named plaintiffs, or Plaintiffs, have sued over 50 defendants,
including the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Southern Star
Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. ("Central").  Asserting theories of
civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting, accounting and unjust
enrichment, their Fourth Amended Class Action Petition alleges
that the defendants have under measured the volume of, and
therefore have underpaid for, the natural gas they have obtained
from or measured for Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs seek unspecified
actual damages, attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest,
and reserved the right to plead for punitive damages.  On August
22, 2003, an answer to that pleading was filed on behalf of
Central.  Despite a denial by the Court on April 10, 2003, of
their original motion for class certification, the Plaintiffs
continued to seek the certification of a class.  The Plaintiffs'
motion seeking class certification for a second time was fully
briefed and the Court heard oral argument on the motion on April
1, 2005.  On September 18, 2009, the Court denied the Plaintiffs'
motion for class certification. The Plaintiffs filed a motion to
reconsider that ruling on October 2, 2009.

The defendants, including Central, filed a response in opposition
to the Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration on January 18, 2010.
The Plaintiffs filed a reply, and oral argument, which was
presented before a different judge, was heard on February 10,
2010.  By order dated March 31, 2010, the Court denied the
Plaintiffs' October 2, 2009 motion to reconsider the earlier
denial of class certification.  The Plaintiffs did not file for
interlocutory review of the March 31, 2010 order, but through
their counsel they have initiated certain discovery to which
Central and other defendants have objected.  In late June of 2011,
certain defendants other than Central filed motions for summary
judgment seeking, among other things, a ruling on the legal issue
of whether or not Plaintiffs' civil conspiracy claim could be
based upon their underlying unjust enrichment claim.

In January of 2012, the Court issued an order concluding that
under Kansas law a conspiracy claim could be so based.  These
defendants petitioned for interlocutory review of that ruling, but
the Court of Appeals of Kansas denied their request on February
23, 2012.  It is unknown whether Plaintiffs will follow through on
discovery and/or otherwise proceed with the litigation on a non-
class basis.

In the putative class action captioned Will Price, et al. v. El
Paso Natural Gas Co., et al., Case No. 03 C 23, District Court,
Stevens County, Kansas, or Price Litigation II, filed May 12,
2003, the named Plaintiffs from Case No. 99 C 30 (Price Litigation
I) have sued the same defendants, including Central.  Asserting
substantially identical legal and/or equitable theories, as in
Price Litigation I, this petition alleges that the defendants have
under measured the British thermal units, or Btu, content of, and
therefore have underpaid for, the natural gas they have obtained
from or measured for Plaintiffs.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified
actual damages, attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest,
and reserved the right to plead for punitive damages.  On November
10, 2003, an answer to that pleading was filed on behalf of
Central.  The Plaintiffs' motion seeking class certification,
along with Plaintiffs' second class certification motion in Price
Litigation I, was fully briefed and the Court heard oral argument
on this motion on April 1, 2005.

On September 18, 2009, the Court denied the Plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.  The Plaintiffs filed a motion to reconsider
that ruling on October 2, 2009.  The defendants, including
Central, filed a response in opposition to the Plaintiffs' motion
for reconsideration on January 18, 2010.  The Plaintiffs filed a
reply, and oral argument, which was presented before a different
judge, was heard on February 10, 2010.  By order dated March 31,
2010, the Court denied the Plaintiffs' October 2, 2009 motion to
reconsider the earlier denial of class certification.  The
Plaintiffs did not file for interlocutory review of the March 31,
2010 order, but through their counsel they have initiated certain
discovery to which Central and other defendants have objected.  In
late June of 2011, certain defendants other than Central filed
motions for summary judgment seeking, among other things, a ruling
on the legal issue of whether or not Plaintiffs' civil conspiracy
claim could be based upon their underlying unjust enrichment
claim.

In January of 2012, the Court issued an order concluding that
under Kansas law a conspiracy claim could be so based.  These
defendants petitioned for interlocutory review of that ruling, but
the Court of Appeals of Kansas denied their request on February
23, 2012.  It is unknown whether Plaintiffs will follow through on
discovery and/or otherwise proceed with the litigation on a non-
class basis.


SPECIALIZED BICYCLE: Recalls 600 Bicycle Brake Levers
-----------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Specialized Bicycle Components Inc., Morgan Hill, California,
announced a voluntary recall of about 600 Bicycle Brake Levers.
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

The adjuster cap and brake cable can slide out of position and
make the brakes non-operational.  This can cause a rider to lose
control of the bicycle and crash.

Specialized is aware of one incident worldwide in which the rider
lost the function of both brakes.  The firm has received no
reports of injury or property damage.

The recalled products are Tektro TL-83 brake levers.  TL-83 levers
are designed exclusively for use with aerodynamic handlebars
(aerobars) sold as original equipment on 2010 and 2011 S-Works
Shiv bicycle frame modules and 2012 S-Works Shiv TT bicycle frame
modules.  They are also sold as aftermarket service parts for
these modules.  The levers are modified versions of the TL-720
brake lever.  They are black aluminum and have a quick release
slot at the top of the lever arm.  Model number "TL-720" can be
read on the side of the lever arm when braking action is applied.
Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12151.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at
authorized Specialized Bicycle Components retailers from April
2010 to February 2012.  The bicycle frame modules sold for between
$5,500 and $6,100.  The brake levers sold for about $80 as service
parts.

Consumers should immediately stop riding bicycle frame modules
equipped with TL-83 brake levers and return the levers or modules
to authorized Specialized Bicycle Components retailers for free
replacement brake levers.  For more information and to find the
nearest authorized Specialized Bicycle Components retailer,
contact Specialized customer service between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00
p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday at (877) 808-8154 or visit
the firm's Web site at http://www.specialized.com/


SPI ELECTRICITY: Gov't. Seeks AUD22 Mil. in Bushfire Compensation
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Andrea Petrie, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reports that
the legal firm representing almost 1,500 litigants in a bushfire
class action against the electricity company responsible for the
felled powerline which started the Kinglake East-Kinglake Black
Saturday blaze, has welcomed legal action by the State Government
for compensation.

The fire -- the deadliest in the state on Black Saturday, and
which claimed more lives than any other bushfire in Australia's
history -- killed 119 people, destroyed 1,242 homes and burned a
total of 125,383 hectares.

The Government on April 16 lodged a writ in the Victorian Supreme
Court seeking more than AUD22 million in compensation from
electricity company SPI Electricity, trading as SP AusNet, and its
contractor, Utility Services Corporation Limited, claiming they
breached their duty of care by failing to maintain the power line
which it claims caused the fatal blaze on February 7, 2009.

The writ states the compensation is for loss and damages relating
to schools, parks and roads destroying or damaged in the blaze.

Rory Walsh, Senior Associate at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, said on
April 17: "We are pleased that the State of Victoria, having
completed its pre-trial investigations, agrees with the plaintiff
that the blame for the Kilmore East-Kinglake Black Saturday
Bushfire, rests with SP Ausnet".

"We are surprised that it has taken the state so long to come to
this position, given they have been a party to the class action
proceeding for over 19 months and participated in the Victorian
Bushfire Royal Commission, which found that the Kilmore East-
Kinglake Black Saturday Bushfire was caused by a conductor
failure, in the electrical distribution network owned and
maintained by SP Ausnet," he said.

The Government's move is expected to have little impact on the
class action.

"We do not see why the state now seeking to recover its losses,
should impact upon the trial of the class action which has been on
foot for more than three years and which is fixed for hearing on
January 29, 2013," Mr. Walsh said.

"The trial of the class action is likely to run in excess of four
months.

"We see no reason why the state's claim would need to be heard
with or at the same time as that of the class action, which is
being brought on behalf of all of those who suffered loss as a
result of the Kilmore East-Kinglake Bushfire.  The losses incurred
by the state should be treated no differently from any other group
member and the state should wait its turn along with every other
claimant to recover their losses pending determination of SP
Ausnet's liability in the trial fixed for 29 January 2013," he
said.

Maurice Blackburn is acting for 1,497 people who suffered injuries
and losses in the blaze.

The total losses sustained by group members in the bushfire was
estimated at the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission hearings as
as high as $1 billion.


UNIONBANCAL CORP: Has Yet to Submit Settlement of Suit vs. Bank
---------------------------------------------------------------
UnionBanCal Corporation has yet to file its proposed settlement of
a class action lawsuit filed against its commercial bank,
according to the Company's March 23, 2012, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

The class action captioned Larsen v. Union Bank, N.A., was filed
on July 15, 2009, by Union Bank customer Cynthia Larsen.  In
October 2009, the action was transferred from the Northern
District of California to the Multidistrict Litigation action
(MDL) in the Southern District of Florida.  Omnibus motions to
dismiss the complaints in many of the lawsuits included in the
MDL, including Larsen, were denied on March 12, 2010.  Plaintiffs
allege that, by posting charges to their demand deposit accounts
in order from highest to lowest amount, the Bank charged them more
overdraft fees than it would have charged had the Bank posted
items to their accounts in chronological order.  On
July 13, 2011, the district court granted plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.

On November 2, 2011, a Notice of Settlement in the Larsen case was
filed with the court.  The proposed settlement, which will be
memorialized in a written settlement agreement and related
documents, and in which Union Bank admits no liability, is subject
to court approval.  If approved by the court, the settlement will
provide for Union Bank's payment of $35 million to create a common
fund for the benefit of the proposed settlement class of all Union
Bank customers in the U.S. who had one or more consumer accounts
and who, from July 16, 2005, through August 13, 2010, incurred an
overdraft fee as a result of Union Bank's prior practice of
sequencing debit card transactions in a customer's account from
highest to lowest amount.

UnionBanCal Corporation is a California-based, financial holding
and commercial bank holding company whose major subsidiary, Union
Bank, N.A., is a commercial bank.  Union Bank provides a wide
range of financial services to consumers, small businesses,
middle-market companies and major corporations, primarily in
California, Oregon, Washington, and Texas, as well as nationally
and internationally.


UNITED SERVICE: Sued in Wash. for Denying Personal Injury Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action claims the
United Service Automobile Association and USAA affiliates
systematically, and retroactively, deny policyholders' claims for
personal injuries, in King County Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Cote v. United Service Automobile
Association, et al., Case No. 12-2-12637-2 (Wash. Super. Ct., King
Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/17/InsureCA.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Robert B. Kornfeld, Esq.
          KORNFELD, TRUDELL, BOWEN & LINGEBRINK, PLLC
          3724 Lake Washington Blvd. NE
          Kirkland, WA 98033
          Telephone: (425) 893-8989
          E-mail: rob@kornfeldlaw.com

               - and -

          William Houck, Esq.
          HOUCK LAW FIRM, PS
          4045 262nd Ave. SE
          Issaquah, WA 98029
          Telephone: (425) 392-7118
          E-mail: houcklaw@gmail.com


WHIRLPOOL: Faces Class Action Over KitchenAid Dishwasher Defect
---------------------------------------------------------------
CTV.ca Calgary reports that a class action lawsuit has been
launched in the United States by several people whose dishwashers
started on fire and the problem was also reported in Calgary.

The control panel of Janet Kelly-Cameron's KitchenAid dishwasher
inexplicably ignited in January 2011.

Kelly-Cameron had a hard time getting the manufacturer, Whirlpool,
to take responsibility.

"The response I got was that it was an electrical fire and
possibly mice had eaten through the wires," said Ms. Kelly-
Cameron.

Susan Stevens' KitchenAid dishwasher caught fire in 2010 and she
says it also started in the control panel.

"I smelled a burning smell and when I turned around I saw smoke
pouring out of the dishwasher," said Ms. Stevens.

CTV Calgary Consumer Specialist Lea Williams-Doherty looked into
the problem over a year ago.

Lea asked Whirlpool whether a defect exists in these dishwashers
and the company never addressed the question.

Now, several news stations in the United States have done similar
stories about the dishwashers catching fire and a class action
lawsuit has been filed against Whirlpool in California.

The lawsuit alleges these dishwashers contain defective control
boards that spontaneously overheat and ignite and that Whirlpool
has concealed this fact from the public.

Steve Chambers is one of the plaintiffs.

"Their position is just to deny it, just to blatantly deny that
there's a problem and that's a really dangerous position," said
Mr. Chambers.

Ms. Williams-Doherty contacted Whirlpool again and asked if
there's a defect that causes some dishwashers to catch fire.

Once again, Whirlpool didn't address the question but this time,
in an e-mailed statement, the company acknowledged fires have
occurred but downplayed their severity saying no serious injury
has been caused by an overheated control board.

Whirlpool says, its "dishwashers are designed and tested to
contain a rare event, within the appliance."

The government agency that investigates appliance complaints in
Canada is the Electrical Safety Authority.

When Ms. Williams-Doherty contacted the ESA about this last time,
it confirmed it had several investigations underway.


* Securities Class Actions Up 10% in 2011, PwC Study Reveals
------------------------------------------------------------
Ellen Rosen, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that federal
securities class-action cases increased by about 10 percent from
those filed in 2010, according to a study released April 11 by PwC
US.

Almost 200 cases were filed last year, as reported by PwC's 16th
annual study of securities-litigation cases.

In particular, 48 mergers and acquisition cases were filed last
year, 17 percent more than 2010.

The number of cases relating to the financial crisis seems to be
ebbing.  Only nine cases were filed last year.

In a statement, PwC partner Patricia Etzold said, "the dramatic
rise in M&A cases signals that this 'new' focus of litigation may
be here for some time to come."  She added, "In light of the
uptick in cases, companies may need to factor litigation risk into
the timeline and costs associated with any transaction."


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio Ct. Junks State's Appeal v. Titan Wrecking
----------------------------------------------------------------
The State of Ohio appeals from a judgment of the Montgomery County
Court of Common Pleas, which concluded after a bench trial that
Titan Wrecking and Environmental, LLC, did not improperly handle
asbestos-containing materials during the course of removing floor
tile from Cleveland Elementary School prior to demolishing the
building.

In a March 30, 2012 opinion, the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second
District, Montgomery County, affirmed the trial court's judgment
holding that the trial court had the opportunity to view the
witnesses and observe their demeanor, gestures and voice
inflections, and use these observations in weighing the
credibility of the testimony.  The Appellate Court acknowledged
that there was conflicting evidence as to whether the floor tile
had become friable, and it will not reverse the trial court's
finding on friability based solely on the ground that the trial
court could have reasonably found otherwise.  The trial court's
conclusion that the floor tile was not rendered friable was
supported by competent, credible evidence, the Appellate Court
said.

The case is STATE OF OHIO, ex rel. MIKE DEWINE, Plaintiff-
Appellant, v. TITAN WRECKING & ENVIRONMENTAL, LLC, Defendant-
Appellee, C.A. No. 24661 (Ohio App. Ct.).  A copy of the March 30
Opinion is available at http://is.gd/x6a6Bifrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Junks Exposure Claim v. Crane Co.
-----------------------------------------------------------
In the asbestos-related personal injury action captioned THOMAS
STRINGER and MARCIA STRINGER, Plaintiffs, v. A.O. SMITH WATER
PRODUCTS CO, et al., Defendants, No. 190444/10, Sequence No. 002
(N.Y. Sup. Ct.), Crane Company sought summary judgment on the
ground that there is no evidence that Thomas Stringer was exposed
to asbestos from a Crane Co. product.

In a March 29, 2012 decision and order, Judge Sherry Klein Heitler
of the Supreme Court, New York County, granted the motion holding
that there has been no positive identification placing Mr.
Stringer near Crane Co. pumps or valves while they were being
insulated or gasketed with asbestos.  Mr. Stringer's testimony in
this respect is limited strictly to insulation being applied to
pipes, the Court noted.  It would therefore be speculative to
infer Crane Co.'s liability in this case, the Court said.

A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/k3TAvUfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Misconception May Cause Mesothelioma Misdiagnosis
------------------------------------------------------------------
Mass-torts and personal-injury litigation law firm Weitz &
Luxenberg, PC, intends to launch multiple initiatives aimed at
boosting public awareness about asbestos and asbestos-related
diseases.

Frank M. Ortiz, Esq. -- fortiz@weitzlux.com -- one of the firm's
top asbestos lawyers, said that the awareness initiatives are
imperative -- not only because asbestos has yet to be banned in
the United States, but because public misconceptions concerning
the toxic industrial mineral may in itself impair the ability of
physicians to effectively treat asbestosis and related diseases.

The misdiagnosis of asbestosis is a common problem, according to
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in part because symptoms --
coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain -- resemble those of
other, more common diseases.

"Diagnosis can also be elusive due to the lack of public awareness
about asbestosis," said Ortiz.  "Not knowing about the disease and
its cause can result in patients failing to mention to their
doctor a history of asbestos exposure."

Ortiz added that Weitz & Luxenberg "wishes to take the occasion of
this Asbestos Awareness Week to help spread the message about
asbestos and the harm it causes.  Thousands of people every year
are killed by asbestos, many without even knowing they are in
danger."

Weitz & Luxenberg maintains a massive asbestos litigation practice
that annually helps thousands of people harmed by asbestosis, lung
cancer or mesothelioma, Ortiz noted.

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral commonly used as an
insulating material.  It can fragment into deadly microscopic
sized fibers.  If inhaled, these fibers can cause lung cancer,
mesothelioma, or asbestosis.  National Asbestos Awareness Week --
authorized by Congress to call attention to the health plight of
the millions of people exposed to the toxic mineral (thousands of
whom die each year) -- aims to curtail the impact of these
diseases by promoting awareness about the dangers of asbestos.

                  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: CPSM Updates Website On Mesothelioma Treatment
---------------------------------------------------------------
Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason (CPSM), asbestos attorneys
fighting on behalf of clients nationwide, have just updated their
website to add a resource page explaining thoracic surgery as a
treatment for mesothelioma.

Jack Clapper, founder and pioneering asbestos attorney in
California, says "my experience over the last 30 years has been
that when clients are first given a diagnosis of mesothelioma by a
doctor, most of them as well as their family members are
overwhelmed at trying to understand all the medical terms being
both spoken by the doctor as well as written in reports.  It is
our goal to help clients and their loved ones understand what they
are being told by doctors, which is why we keep adding resource
pages explaining all the most common and newest frontline
therapies used to diagnose and treat mesothelioma."

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer caused by
exposure to asbestos that has little effective treatment options
and, for most, short survival times.  While not a cure, thoracic
surgery has been shown to be an effective treatment for
mesothelioma, successfully slowing down cancer progression and
extending survival times for many patients.

Dr. John Roberts, a leading thoracic surgeon from the Department
of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery of Vanderbilt Hospital in
Nashville, Tenn., speaks to the role of thoracic surgery in
correctly diagnosing mesothelioma: "pathologic differentiation
between the other causes of malignant pleural effusions can not
usually be done by thoracentesis but requires pleural tissue,
obtained either by pleural biopsy or thoracoscopy."  Results of
his work published in a study in Chest Journal emphasized the
importance of thoracic surgery in correct staging, diagnosing, and
treating mesothelioma.

Jack Clapper goes on to explain that when patients get their first
reports from the diagnosing oncologist, that many terms can be
used that all describe mesothelioma, such as:

   -- Malignant epithelioid mesothelioma
   -- Mesothelioma with epithelioid features
   -- Diffuse epithelioid malignant mesothelioma
   -- Mesothelial proliferation consistent with mesothelioma

All the terms above all point to the same disease, malignant
pleural mesothelioma (MPM), which affects the lining surrounding
the lungs.  With such complex diagnosis terms, patients and family
members need help deciphering what it all means.  CPSM offers
brochures, free of cost, to anyone diagnosed that explains the
disease as well as spells out in simple terms all possible
mesothelioma treatment and legal options.

Physicians and surgeons specializing in the treatment of
mesothelioma, such as David Sugarbaker, M.D. (Chief of Thoracic
Surgery at the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH)) all agree that
after diagnosis, if the patient is eligible, the first line of
treatment recommended will be surgery to remove the malignant
mesothelial cells and tumors in and around the lungs as much as
possible.  Thoracic surgery is one option.  Thoracic surgery
removes all visible tumors and some of the surrounding tissue
around the lung.  Surgery is usually followed with chemotherapy
and radiation therapy to treat any remaining microscopic cancer
cells left behind.

To read more about undergoing thoracic surgery, as well as other
treatment options, visit the mesothelioma treatment section of
CPSM's website.  Feel free to call one of CPSM's expert asbestos
attorneys at 1-800-440-4262.  They are very knowledgeable about
the most effective treatments, and can also walk you through the
steps of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, which can then cover the
costs of mesothelioma treatments not covered by insurance.  For
more information or a brochure, contact CPSM today.

           About Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason

For the past 30 years, CPSM has been exclusively dedicated to
bringing those diagnosed with mesothelioma the most accurate,
detailed yet easy to understand information about asbestos,
mesothelioma treatments, mesothelioma lawsuits and asbestos
bankruptcy trusts.  CPSM understands that being diagnosed with
mesothelioma can be overwhelming, and therefore provides legal
advice and informational brochures at no cost to help families
find the right treatment, get the best legal representation, and
access finances to cover medical costs.  If you or a loved one has
been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease, call CPSM today
at 1-800-440-4262.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGill University Still Under A Cloud of Doubt
---------------------------------------------------------------
Henry Gass of The McGill Daily reports that McGill announced the
conclusion of its review into alleged asbestos research misconduct
in the morning of April 4, and will seek further guidance as to
whether an official investigation should be launched.

Dean of Medicine and Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) David
Eidelman wrote in a statement published Wednesday, April 4, that,
"Although the report does not identify evidence of research
misconduct, it is my conclusion that the Faculty does not
currently have all required records and data in hand to assess
definitively in regard to research integrity."

Almost two months ago, Eidelman appointed Rebecca Fuhrer, chair of
McGill's Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and
Occupational Health, to conduct a preliminary review of the
research of John Corbett McDonald, an emeritus professor in the
department.

Now, Eidelman said he is seeking further guidance from Abraham
Fuks, McGill's Research Integrity Officer (RIO).

McDonald retired from McGill in September 1988, after over two
decades as a McGill epidemiology professor.  According to a
February episode of CBC's The National, McDonald received at least
$1 million between 1966 and 1972 for research into the health
effects of chrysotile asbestos from the Quebec Asbestos Mining
Association, which received a large portion of its funding from
the asbestos mining giant Johns-Manville.

McDonald's research concluded that chrysotile asbestos is less
harmful than other forms of asbestos, and only deadly when a
person is exposed to large quantities of it.

Kathleen Ruff, senior advisor on human rights for the Ottawa-based
Rideau Institute, said that, "around the world McGill and
professor McDonald's work has been seen as an obstacle to making
progress on protecting people from asbestos."

In an interview with The Daily on Wednesday afternoon, April 4,
Eidelman said he contacted Fuks last week with questions of how to
proceed and "whether a full investigation was necessary or not."

In his announcement, Eidelman added, "This is not a request to the
RIO for an official investigation at this time."

Eidelman said he is acting under Section 4.2 of McGill's
Regulations Concerning Investigation of Research Misconduct, which
states that, "Where a person is unsure whether a suspected
incident constitutes Research Misconduct, he or she should seek
guidance from the RIO."

Eidelman said that in order to assess if there has been a breach
of research integrity, they would need access to original data, as
well as "information about relationships between that person and
industry."  According to Eidelman, Fuhrer's review looked mostly
at published works and externally-submitted information.

"Based on what we can see, we certainly do not see evidence of a
breach of research integrity," he continued.

There is no mention of a "preliminary review" into research
misconduct in McGill's Regulations Concerning Investigation of
Research Misconduct, and Eidelman said the decision to conduct a
preliminary review was "a choice that I made when I first was
presented with the information."

"Usually what we do is we try to put together a package before we
send it to the [RIO], even when there's a formal allegation," he
continued.

Eidelman said that the CBC documentary didn't qualify as a
"legitimate formal allegation of misconduct."

"But it is something we take very seriously, which is why I
immediately asked that we start putting together the information,
even in the absence of an allegation," he said.

The review was criticized by a group of academics and health
professionals, who sent McGill a letter calling for an external
review of the allegations against McDonald.

Fernand Turcotte, a lead signatory of the letter and professor
emeritus of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the
Université Laval, said his first reaction is "to trust the honesty
of all the mechanisms that are in place."

"I am not surprised that Dr. Fuhrer hit the edge of the cliff
without having access to all the information that she needed to be
able to assume or to finish the mandate that was given to her.  It
seems to me that the Dean will have no choice but to refer the
matter to the Research Integrity Officer of the University," said
Turcotte.

"I think it matters a hell of a lot that McGill University - which
is an institution that belongs to all of us - gets rid of the
smear that it happens to be the last major university adopting a
denialist position on the asbestos question," he continued.

Eidelman said that calling for an external review is not in
McGill's regulations.

"We don't usually go directly to an external review.  Instead, we
try to decide whether, under the regulations, there's a reason for
the Research Integrity Officer to be involved," said Eidelman.

This is not the first allegation levied against McDonald's
research at McGill.  In 2002, David Egilman, a clinical associate
professor at Brown University and co-signer of the February letter
to McGill, wrote then-associate dean of graduate studies and
research alleging that McDonald had manipulated data and cited
supporting data that did not exist.

McGill responded 16 months later stating that his grievance was
"unfounded."  In an interview with the Montreal Gazette after the
launch of Fuhrer's review, Eidelman addressed Egilman's
allegations, saying, "If you ask me, we are unlikely to find
anything this time either."

Eidelman defended his comments in his interview with The Daily.

"What I stand by is the comment that the investigation has been
done in the past and that we would take this very seriously," said
Eidelman.

"I also said that we would start from scratch and not assume
anything based on the previous review, which is what we've done,"
he continued.

Ruff, also a co-signer of the February letter, said she hoped the
RIO's involvement would be "a step on the path to a proper
investigation."

"It is time for McGill to do the right thing, and until it does
this cloud will certainly continue to hang over McGill," she said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mower County to Rule On Landfill Permit April 24
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Kay Fate of The Post-Bulletin, Austin, Minn., reports living less
than a half-mile away from the Vonco/Veit landfill, Bill Ryther
and his wife, Bonnie, are concerned about plans to allow friable
asbestos to be disposed of at the site.

"Whether you talk nice about it or not, asbestos is a killer
product," said Bill Ryther.

The owners of the landfill north of Austin on U.S. 218 have
applied for a modification to a conditional use permit that would
allow the site to accept friable asbestos.  The original permit
was issued in June 2003.

Though the Mower County Planning Commission, in March, voted to
deny the request, the final decision rests with the Mower County
Board.  Its decision will come April 24.

On April 3, the Rythers shared concerns about the asbestos
material, which, if airborne, could cause significant respiratory
illness.

Though Vonco officials have agreed to additional, stricter
conditions to accepting the material, Bill Ryther is skeptical.

"Who will enforce the conditions you put on them?" he asked board
members.  "They don't take good care of the conditions there now."

Ryther claims the facility years ago promised to plant trees
around the entire site, fence it and blacktop the driveway.  None
of those was done, he said.

Bonnie Ryther spoke of the "high inhalation risk" of friable
asbestos particles.  "This is an illegal taking of our land,
really," she said.  "We haven't been derogatory or shot guns at
them or anything.  I don't think we're asking too much to ask you
to stop this one thing."

Ian Vagle, with Vonco Inc., said the company cares about the
public and the environment, "but first and foremost, our employees
will be taken care of.  We're thinking about their health and
safety, too."

He cited a letter from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
dated Oct. 28 that says it considers the CUP amendment "a minor
modification, since it will not result in an actual or potential
increase in the emission or discharge of a pollutant into the
environment."

Vagle said the landfill would at least double the amount of MPCA-
required soil cover and refuse delivery if the winds are more than
10 mph, in addition to other regulatory conditions.

Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen called the planning
commission's findings "essentially vague.  They didn't consider
(the outcome) if the (additional) conditions could be met," she
said.

"The board needs to consider those conditions, to see if they
allay their concerns and the reasons for a potential denial," she
said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Distributes Free "Cure 4 Meso" Bracelets
------------------------------------------------------------------
In 2005 the United States Senate designated the first week in
April as Asbestos Awareness Week, an attempt to educate Americans
about the toxic material used in a variety of applications such as
building materials and vehicle brakes.  This week of designation
comes several months after Midwest law firm, Gori Julian &
Associates, P.C. -- http://www.gorijulianlaw.com-- launched its
own independent awareness campaign aimed at raising funds for
research of Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is caused by
exposure to asbestos.

The firm has invested in "Cure 4 Meso" wristbands that they will
distribute for free upon request to those interested in raising
awareness about the disease.  Gori Julian & Associates will then
make a donation to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
(MARF) for each bracelet distributed nation-wide.  The campaign
began in September 2011, and will continue indefinitely.

"In recognition of Asbestos Awareness Week we wanted to remind the
general public about the harm of asbestos exposure and bring light
on the important work and research underway by MARF.  We proudly
support their efforts and encourage people across the country to
contact us for an awareness bracelet so we can make a donation to
this important cause, while also spreading the word about their
work," said Randy Gori of Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.

MARF is a nation-wide non-profit organization dedicated to
providing education and support for those suffering with
mesothelioma and their families, and by advocating for federal
funding for mesothelioma research.

Gori adds, "With more than 2,000 new cases diagnosed each year,
the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation's work is more
important than ever.  We hope the nation will help us in raising
awareness and take our willingness to make a contribution to
mesothelioma research on their behalf as a way of paying tribute
to all of those who have suffered, or are currently suffering,
from this terrible disease."

To request a free "Cure 4 Meso" bracelet and that a donation be
made to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, please visit
http://www.cure4meso.com/or call 877-456-5419.

For more information about the Mesothelioma Applied Research
Foundation, please visit http://www.curemeso.org/

Gori Julian & Associates, located at 156 North Main Street in
downtown Edwardsville, was formed in summer 2008 by Randy Gori and
Barry Julian.  The firm practices asbestos, pharmaceutical and
other occupational disease litigation in Madison and St. Clair
counties in Illinois and St. Louis, Mo. Gori Julian & Associates
also has an office in St. Peters, Mo.  For more information,
please call 877-456-5419.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Vet Sues Ministry of Defence for Wife's Death
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Nick Sommerlad of The Daily Mirror relates as if losing your wife
of 46 years isn't bad enough, former soldier John Todd has to live
with the knowledge that Helene died from asbestos she inhaled
while washing his overalls.

The Ministry of Defence has admitted responsibility for exposing
the pair of them to asbestos between 1968 and 1979, while he
served as a sergeant with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical
Engineers in Germany.  John, 68, worked on tanks and other
military vehicles where asbestos was widely used.

Helene, 66, from Durranhill, Carlisle, died of malignant
mesothelioma in 2010, just seven months after being told she had
the disease which is caused by asbestos and currently kills 2,300
people a year.

John said: "I still desperately miss Helene and I can't help but
feel guilty that she was exposed to the dust on my work clothes.

"I don't know what to do with myself.  I had so little time to
adjust to losing her.  Nothing can make up for the fact that she's
no longer in my life, and I would give anything to have her back."
John has hired solicitors at Irwin Mitchell and is suing the
Ministry of Defence for damages.

But, if he had died, Helene wouldn't have been entitled to a penny
thanks to "crown immunity" which protects the Ministry of Defence
from personal injury cases.

"Quite right too," John told us. "I was paid to die, but she
wasn't."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Vonco/Veit States Guidelines for Friable Asbestos
------------------------------------------------------------------
Kay Fate of The Post-Bulletin, Austin, Minn., reports that the
ongoing battle between an area landfill and its neighbor will
continue for at least two more weeks.

Vonco/Veit, which operates a demolition debris facility on U.S.
218 north of Austin, has applied for an amendment to a conditional
use permit first issued in June 2003.  In it, landfill operators
are requesting that, in addition to accepting bituminous material
and concrete, the site be allowed to accept friable asbestos
material and do additional crushing of other materials.

Friable asbestos is a term used to describe any asbestos-
containing material that when dry, can be easily crumbled or
pulverized to powder by hand.  If the particles become airborne,
they pose a significant risk to the human respiratory system.

The landfill currently accepts non-friable asbestos, which
contains a binder or hardening agent.

That's more than enough, argue Bonnie and Bill Ryther, who live
just south of the facility.  They intend to fight the request
every step of the way, citing health and environmental issues.

Previously, the Mower County Planning Commission denied Vonco's
request on a 3-0 vote, citing that to allow it would be "injurious
to neighbors," substantially diminish property values and impede
the use and development of surrounding properties, among other
factors.

The final decision, however, is left to the Mower County Board.
On April 3, board members heard both sides of the argument.
They'll gather more information before making a ruling April 24.

Kristen Nelsen, Mower County attorney, cautioned the board against
accepting the planning commission's decision at face value.

"I have some concerns regarding their findings," she said. "I
don't believe they're sufficient to either approve or deny the CUP
on either side.  Their findings do not have a sound basis."

Angie Knish, who handles the county's environmental services,
confirmed that the sticking point is the friable asbestos, not the
increased crushing.

While the only way to dispose of the friable asbestos is to bury
it, citizens have concerns about groundwater contamination, she
said, though research has shown that's not an issue.

It's the airborne particles that present the health risk.  "The
Minnesota Department of Health and the Environmental Protection
Agency both say no levels are considered safe," Knish said.

Vonco officials present at Tuesday's meeting said the material
would only be accepted wet in fiber drum barrels or 6-millimeter-
thick bags and be taken to a pit in a special cordoned-off area.
The delivery would be rejected if improperly packaged.

Once dumped, it would be "immediately covered with soil, and never
be touched with machines," said Ian Vagle, of Vonco.  No access to
the public would be allowed while it's transferred,

The company, which operates four other facilities in Minnesota,
has agreed to follow additional conditions for the amended permit.

Though Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says deliveries may be
made with winds up to 20 mph, Vonco would drop the limit to 10
mph.  The required 6-inch deep cover soil would be increased to 12
inches, Knish said.

In addition, Nelsen said, there's a similar facility directly west
of Vonco that's allowed to take friable asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bill Allows Usage of Naturally Occurring Asbestos
------------------------------------------------------------------
Dave Donaldson at alaskapublic.org reports that on April 5, the
House agreed that mining of asbestos can be allowed in some places
where it's too expensive to get a replacement for the materials
containing it.

The bill addresses a problem for communities where asbestos occurs
naturally -- but its presence has stopped construction on roads
and other public projects that need local gravel.  The bill sets
up a process for determining whether asbestos is safe enough.  The
bill's sponsor, Kotzebue Democrat Reggie Joule, says Ambler has
been particularly stymied by existing restrictions.

This creates a voluntary program that allows certain areas to use
naturally occurring asbestos gravel for construction projects.  It
provides immunity to landowners, people involved in the
construction process and for the state of Alaska as it relates to
injuries, deaths or sicknesses.  And what this really does at the
end of the day is give hope to some of those projects that have
been waiting for almost ten years.

Anchorage Democrat Les Gara unsuccessfully pressed for an
amendment that would at least hold public meetings to hear from
the people who might be affected by the presence of asbestos that
the project was coming.  He argued that there is no scientifically
proven safe level of asbestos that might be picked up by the wind
when it is processed.  And he says the bill takes away any legal
claims the public might have later.

If somebody ends up breathing in asbestos and getting asbestosis,
there will be no recourse.  All liability is taken away.  No
compensatory damages for anybody that gets the disease.  So a
small protection would be for at least the public to come out and
listen and speak out before a plan is adopted in their community.

Joule opposed the change saying the results could be reached
through the regulatory process.

The bill allows a community to ask the state to declare the
presence of naturally occurring asbestos.   The state Department
of Transportation can only initiate the rating when there is no
community that would be impacted by the declaration - such as land
along the Dalton Highway.  The declaration would require the
community to address safety and handling issues.

While Ambler has been the focus of the bill, asbestos occurs in
several parts of the state.  Joule's staff mentions the Brooks
Range, areas around Dillingham, some places within the Mat-Su and
Juneau where a road project was recently delayed for several
months while an asbestos-free gravel was found for the job.

The bill passed with only two votes against it.  The Senate has
not yet heard it.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGill Univ Review Saw No Evidence of Misconduct
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Postmedia News reports McGill University's preliminary review of
the work of retired professor John Corbett McDonald has not found
evidence of research misconduct -- but enough information is
missing that the university is going to continue to study the case
with additional guidance from the Research Integrity Officer.

The university has been under fire after a documentary on Radio-
Canada recently said McDonald was improperly influenced by his
ties to the asbestos industry and that some of McGill's
researchers have colluded with the asbestos industry to play down
the mineral's devastating health impacts.  McGill received a
formal complaint by dozens of academics, physicians and
researchers accusing some McGill researchers of being controlled
by the asbestos industry.

So while David Eidelman, the dean of medicine, said in a memo to
the McGill community on April 4 that he was not making a request
for an official investigation, he did acknowledge that "it is my
conclusion that the faculty does not currently have all required
records and data in hand to assess definitively in regard to
research integrity."

He said the preliminary review was to determine whether the matter
should be referred to the RIO, but he said if there is uncertainty
whether a suspected incident constitutes research misconduct,
guidance should be sought from the RIO, which is now the next
step.

Critics of McGill's role in defending the interests of the
asbestos industry had suggested the review would be a "whitewash."

Asbestos opponent Kathleen Ruff has said McGill's review should
include scrutiny of McDonald's efforts to discourage improved
health and safety regulations on asbestos in other countries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Libby Commissioners Urge More Action From EPA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pat Guth of The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance says that in a town
already paralyzed by the decades-long presence of the W.R. Grace
and Company asbestos-tainted vermiculite mine, Libby, MT officials
noted another blow in their effort to move on when they recently
discovered more asbestos in the building that once housed the now-
closed Asa Wood Elementary School -- a building they hope to re-
purpose sometime in the near future.

According to a story on KPAX-TV, plans to go forward with the
building's re-use have been put on hold for the time being and the
EPA along with the Libby School District and county commissioners
are trying to figure out how to best handle the situation.  Some
of the EPA's plans have local officials worrying about the health
and safety of the town where more than 400 have already died of
asbestos-caused mesothelioma and another 1,800 or so are sick due
to asbestos exposure.

"The EPA is talking about, we're just going to flush some walls,
and then they can take those down and take them to the dump and
based on the letter that I saw, that I got, I don't think so,
we're not interested in taking something that may be contaminated
and putting it into our regular dumpsite," said commissioner Tony
Berget.  He noted that there was additional discussion about
removing the asbestos and disposing of it at the original mine
site.

In general, however, the county commissioners, while willing to
pitch in and help, think the EPA isn't doing enough to assist with
this particular situation.  Libby residents have had plenty of
past experience with the slow movement of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, an organization many believe have taken way too
long to clean up the W.R. Grace and Company Superfund Site, the
worst environmental disaster in the history of the U.S.

"I would like to see the EPA step up to the plate a little more on
this.  I was a little disappointed in the letter I saw," Berget
said, emphatically.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Weitz & Luxenberg Wins Settlement of 12 Cases
--------------------------------------------------------------
Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., announced the successful settlement of 12
plaintiffs' cases, each claiming that years of unwitting exposure
to asbestos led to a form of cancer -- called mesothelioma -- that
affects the lining of the lungs.

Weitz & Luxenberg's trial team, led by Adam Cooper --
acooper@weitzlux.com -- said that the last of 50-plus agreed to
terms while the jury was being selected for their clients' trial.
The twelve men, who worked in a variety of industries from
construction work to military service, all developed mesothelioma
as a result of their years of handling asbestos.

This group of cases (Index # 190061-11, e.g., Sup. Ct. NY) was
especially significant, according to Cooper, not because of its
scale, but because news of the settlement comes during Asbestos
Awareness Week, a congressionally-enacted initiative to spread
awareness about the toxic insulator that is the only known cause
of mesothelioma.

"This case is important because of its ability to send a message,"
said Cooper.  "Here a dozen men were wrongfully exposed to
asbestos.  It happened because these corporations failed to warn
them about the hazards of asbestos and because public ignorance
about asbestos meant that no one else stepped in.

"Weitz & Luxenberg's goal is to do exactly that -- step in.  It is
our intent to spread the word about asbestos so corporations can't
get away with manufacturing and selling toxic materials, and to
hold them accountable when they do."

Cooper was joined by Danny Kraft, Jr. -- dkraft@weitzlux.com --
and Patti Burshtyn -- pburshtyn@weitzlux.com -- on Weitz &
Luxenberg's trial team.  The trial was held before Hon. Marcy
Friedman.

                   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 (at) weitzlux (dot) com and ask for a free legal
consultation.  More information at http://www.weitzlux.com/


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Firms Carp NT Worksafe on New Rules
--------------------------------------------------------------
Alyssa Betts at ntnews.com.au reports that the industry is warning
jobs will be lost and businesses will go to the wall under new
asbestos removal rules.

Major training organization, HB-G Safety Solutions, says clients
aren't sure they're working legally.  It has twice sought
clarification from regulator NT WorkSafe -- but has had no
response.

The Master Builders Association says the new requirements are
impractical and warned they could lead to more dodgy or illegal
removals and dumping.

Before the new laws came into force in January, a person could
supervise the removal of asbestos if they had an asbestos removal
license.  But now a person must have held their license for
between one and three years.

Businessman Gerry Koukouvas, whose building firm employs 30
people, said he had no warning of the changes.  He said it had
cost him about $300,000 in missed contract opportunities in the
past three weeks.  "It's ridiculous without a period of grace to
adjust," he said.

The NT adopted the laws, which were to be mirrored in other
states, to help streamline processes across the country and make
workplaces safer.

But shadow attorney-general John Elferink said it had left
businesses unable to operate because they couldn't supervise their
own removal jobs.

WorkSafe on April 5 refused to be interviewed.

Attorney-General Rob Knight's spokesman Mark Wilton said it was an
operational issue.  "It's WorkSafe's responsibility to sort it
out," he said.  But he said the Government would be guided by
industry if changes to rules were needed.

Mr. Koukouvas got his removal license in October so the company
could do a complete job, from demolition through to carpentry,
tiling or plastering without having to subcontract for expensive
asbestos removal.  "We're not a back-yarder," he said.  "We spent
over $20,000 on equipment and trained four guys (in removing
asbestos)."  Now he no longer qualifies to be a supervisor and has
to consider extra costs of flying someone from interstate to do
the job.

Master Builders Association boss Graham Kemp questioned the sense
of a time requisite for supervisors.  He said it should be based
on skills and practical experience that could be gained through a
training course.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Underground Pipe Fibro Spill Raised No Alarms
--------------------------------------------------------------
Daviv Hunn of The Post-Dispatch reports that several crews worked
to power-wash, vacuum and wipe down a one-block section of
downtown St. Louis on April 6, the day after a ruptured
underground pipe sent a plume of steam, dirt and asbestos fiber
four stories into the air.

The city's health director, Pam Walker, announced on Friday,
April 6, that the steam blast had broken the pipe's insulation and
released asbestos, which settled over cars, sidewalks and streets
in the block south of Convention Plaza and west of North 11th
Street.

It was unclear exactly how much asbestos fill had spilled from the
insulation.  Walker said tests turned up small but detectable
amounts.  She urged loft residents in the immediate area to close
windows and stay off their porches until testing and cleanup were
finished.

Still, she said the health risk was "very minimal."

"Once it settles, it doesn't really move much," Walker said,
noting that the fiber was probably earthbound by 7 a.m. of
April 5.  "And it's not contagious.  Once it's not airborne, it's
really not a risk."

"I really don't think this should be a concern for people," she
added.

The pipe is part of a 17-mile-long underground steam loop that has
provided heat to downtown since 1922.  It still serves about 125
customers, including hotels, sports facilities, offices and many
public buildings -- courts, City Hall, the Justice Center, the
Gateway Arch and Soldiers Memorial.

The system is fueled by a natural gas power plant at 1 Ashley
Place downtown, said a spokesman for Trigen-St. Louis Energy
Corp., a subsidiary of Boston-based Veolia Energy North America
and the underground loop's current operator.  The plant burns
natural gas to generate electricity.  Heat produced in the process
is used to make steam.

The 11th Street section burst about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, April 5,
Walker said.  The blast broke through the dirt, blew off a manhole
cover, buckled the asphalt and streamed out of fissures on 11th.
By 7:30 a.m., Trigen had shut valves and isolated the break.

Walker said Trigen had airborne asbestos tests done by 8:45 a.m.
All came back negative, she said.  It took longer to get back the
ground-test results.  But by Thursday afternoon, asbestos fibers
were found in swabs of the ground around the site, and Walker said
the testing expanded.  The results did not come back until late
Thursday night.

Late Friday morning (April 6), the health department announced the
findings.

Walker said that this was the first such break in her tenure as
health director and that in hindsight, she would have demanded the
ground-swab tests earlier.

Still, downtown's main strip, Washington Avenue, bustled with
traffic in the afternoon of April 6, despite the lifts, trucks and
roped-off 11th Street just one block north.  The manager at the
Peruvian restaurant Mango, which sits just south of the steam pipe
break, said lunch had been busy -- about 70 diners.

He was more worried about dinner.  The restaurant had already
gotten calls asking if it was open for the evening.  "Yes, we are
still open!" said manager Andrew Viragh.  "We have lots of fish
for Holy Week."

And many walking down Washington either didn't know of the break,
or weren't concerned.

"We know as much as you do," said Nick Kapfer, 29, out walking his
dogs.  "The only thing we've been told is to watch the news."

Mike Calvin, 61, drove in from the Lafayette Square neighborhood
for lunch at The Dubliner, on the corner of 11th and Washington.
He said he had just heard the news before heading out and wasn't
worried.

"It's an old city.  There's old buildings," he said. "If it
becomes a big health hazard, they'll address it."

Still, for others, just the word worried them.  "Asbestos has a
bad reputation," said John Do, 32, who lives in the Bee Hat Lofts,
just above The Dubliner.

Experts, however, said people shouldn't be overly alarmed.

"A one-time exposure will not adversely affect your health
status," said Dr. Peter G. Tuteur, a professor at Washington
University.  He said the serious diseases caused by asbestos -
mesothelioma and asbestosis -- occur from "persistent chronic
exposure" to airborne fibers.  Tuteur said people who worked in
heavy industry, where asbestos was constantly moved or put in the
air, were at risk.

"But we don't see a lot of that anymore in the United States," he
added.

Even if you are exposed, Tuteur said, asbestos-related diseases
don't typically manifest until 20 years later.

A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency said the
agency was aware of the situation in St. Louis but had not been
called in to assist with cleanup.  Chris Whitley, a spokesman for
the agency, said the risk of exposure was minimal unless someone
had been in close contact with asbestos dust.

Walker said that as of Friday afternoon, no one had called the
city with exposure concerns.  She said the Fire Department arrived
within five minutes of the pipe rupture and cordoned off the
streets immediately.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said through a spokeswoman for Mayor
Francis Slay that firefighters' clothes and equipment were
decontaminated after exposure, and that those exposed would go
through "precautionary health screenings and tests" next week.

But Chris Molitor, president of the International Association of
Fire Fighters Local 73, said some firefighters were concerned.
"That's just one of the types of hazards we face every day, on any
given call," he said.

On Friday afternoon, workers were hoping to peel back the asphalt
and get to the break underneath.  They planned to have the pipe
fixed by the end of the weekend.

Old steam pipes wrapped with asbestos run underground throughout
downtown, and breaks are hard to predict.  Still, Walker said, the
city anticipates that Trigen will analyze the defect in the pipe
and report back to Rich Bradley, the city's chief engineer.

"He's holding them accountable for that," Walker said.  "They're
supposed to give him a report about why this happened."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Says Others Will Follow US Ban
----------------------------------------------------
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center relates that Arthur Frank,
M.D., co-chairman of the science advisory board at the Asbestos
Disease Awareness Organization, served as a medical consultant
with Toyota in the 1980s when the company opened a new automotive
plant in Kentucky.

One of his first suggestions was starting the assembly line with
asbestos-free brake pads, setting an example that he expected
other automobile manufacturers would follow.

"They said 'Oh, we can't do that because those other, ceramic
brake pads squeak sometimes, and our sales staff can't sell the
new cars with squeaky brakes,' " Frank recalled.  "That put an end
to the discussion pretty quickly."

Frank and others engaged in the fight against asbestos spoke at
the eighth annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference in
Los Angeles, California.

The conference was hosted by the Asbestos Disease Awareness
Organization, a group founded by Linda Reinstein, whose husband
died of mesothelioma.  Reinstein has made it her mission to speak
out for victims and potential victims of asbestos exposure and to
make sure the world knows that others are joining the battle as
well.

"People can make money from asbestos," Frank said.  "That's why
it's still being used.  That's why it's still coming into this
country.  Money has come before public health.  As hard as we try
(to make it disappear), it's not going away anytime soon.  I hope
eventually it does -- but it's not likely to happen in our
lifetime."

More than 25 years later, money and greed -- and a disregard for
human health -- still dominate a discussion about asbestos, a
frustration that haunts Frank and everyone else who has worked to
end the misery that the toxic mineral has caused for generations.

An estimated 10,000 people in the United States die each year from
asbestos-related diseases.  Although it now is banned in more than
50 countries, the United States is not one of those, still
allowing its use.

Frank, who is also chairman of the Department of Environmental and
Occupational Health at Drexel University, is a long-time leader in
the fight against the use of asbestos.  He received the Irving
Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award at the ADAO conference.

"It's hard to imagine that 55 countries are smarter than America,
but it's true.  They have banned it.  We have not," Frank said.
"That says something about our politics, our approach to health
and well-being, our world."

The theme of the conference, "An International Public Health
Crisis," was more than appropriate, judging by the long line of
speakers, honorees and advocates that included medical
professionals, scientists, researchers, environmentalists and
victims of asbestos poisoning.

Attendees at the conference came from nine countries.

The goal was raising awareness and detailing advances being made
in limiting exposure to asbestos and the medical treatment of
victims.  Yet it also was a stark reminder that the battle still
being waged in the United States remains only a small part of a
much bigger stage.

"It's a global tragedy that will continue to grow," said Matt
Peacock, journalism professor at the University of Technology in
Sydney Australia who has chronicled the asbestos-industry for many
years.  "It's not shrinking, it's growing.  Asbestos use in many
countries is expanding.  It's easy to say 'We're making progress
here.'  But you have to look at the global picture."

Russia, Brazil, India, China and other still-developing countries
in Southeast Asia and Africa are either increasing their usage or
exporting the product to those who are, sacrificing future health
for short-term economic gains, following a path that more
industrialized countries took a generation before.

"I think we're beginning to see that if the rest of the world
doesn't wake up, we'll have a global tragedy on our hands," said
Hedy Kindler, M.D., an ADAO science advisory board member at the
Chicago Medical Center.  "It's going to be a horrible problem in
these countries in 20 years."

Although asbestos use in the United States is reduced
significantly from a few decades ago, the importation of it has
accelerated in each of the past two years, back above the 1,000-
ton mark.  And no amount of asbestos exposure is considered safe

Particularly alarming were the recent assertions by both Frank and
Michael Harbut, M.D., an occupational specialist at Wayne State
University.  They said that asbestos exposure is causing cancers
beyond just mesothelioma, the disease most tied to asbestos.  It
is also linked to ovarian cancer, various GI tract cancers, kidney
and colon cancers.

"All cancers have an increased risk with an exposure to asbestos,"
Harbut said.  "If you've been exposed to asbestos, you have a risk
of an asbestos-related disease."

Peacock believes that even though the United States has yet to ban
asbestos, it will take the leadership of the United States to put
a significant dent in the problem from a global perspective.

"If the United States does impose a ban, many other will follow,"
Peacock said.  "It is still the largest economy in the world, with
resources and a global reach that is needed to take the lead in a
global tragedy."

ADAO remains the loudest voice for awareness in this country.
Among the topics presented at the conference:

   -- The need for better enforcement of current regulations.
   -- Confronting the asbestos-cement industry.
   -- Novel treatments for mesothelioma.
   -- Platforms for Asbestos Education, Training and partnership.
   -- Preventing occupational disease.

As Frank pointed out, even if asbestos were banned today, there
would be 25 million tons of it in buildings throughout the United
States.  And abatement of it all would take generations.

"Right now, there still is so much more work to do," Frank said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Take-Home Case" Against CSX Faces Challenges
--------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Roberts for The Injury Board writes that before asbestos
became widely and publicly known as a hazardous, cancer-causing
substance, hundreds of thousands of people around the world faced
long-term asbestos exposure and developed terminal illnesses as a
result.  Asbestos litigation offers an opportunity for victims of
that exposure to recover from companies that frequently knew -- or
should have known -- the risks that their employees were exposed
to on a daily basis.

But it wasn't just the employees who were exposed.  When workers
went home, they carried asbestos dust with them on their clothes
and on their bodies.  As a result, friends and family members were
also exposed and we now see a special class of asbestos cases in
the courts from these individuals.  These are known as "take-home
asbestos cases" and brought by family members injured because
asbestos was brought into their homes.

In March, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a decision on a case
(Simpkins v. CSX Transportation) that is allowing a take-home
asbestos claim to move forward for trial.  The suit alleges that
Mrs. Simpkins contracted mesothelioma cancer due to exposure to
asbestos brought home on her husband's body and clothing.  As a
result, she filed several claims -- including a negligence claim
-- against CSX Transportation, the company who employed her
husband between 1958 and 1964.  Mrs. Simpkins died, and the suit
was resumed by her daughter.

CSX argued that the case should be dismissed because Mrs. Simpkins
herself never worked for CSX and never even set foot on the
company's premises, that it had no duty to protect her from
asbestos exposure.

Proving that a defendant had a "duty of care" is an essential
element that a plaintiff in any negligence case has to prove.  The
plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to protect the
plaintiff from whatever harm she suffered.  The challenge of take-
home asbestos cases is trying to establish how wide that duty of
care extends.  And in the case the Supreme Court decided, the
question remains somewhat open.  CSX argued that it simply did not
owe a duty of care.  The Court sided with the daughter and said
CSX might have a duty of care, if facts are proven to back up the
claim.

Now the case goes back down to the trial court where the daughter
has another chance to allege that while Mrs. Simpkins' husband
worked at the company from 1958-1964, the company should have
foreseen that she was at risk of asbestos exposure and
mesothelioma.  It's definitely a win for take-home asbestos
plaintiffs because the Court clearly left the door open for these
cases to proceed.  But, it doesn't come without its challenges of
trying to prove what companies knew or should have known about
asbestos nearly half a century ago.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: High Disposal Costs Caused Rise of Rogue Dumpers
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Natalie O'Brien of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that tons of
asbestos-contaminated materials are being illegally dumped across
the state, exposing current and future generations to the deadly
fibers.

Rogue dumpers, commercial contractors and home renovators are
putting lives at risk as they dodge costly disposal fees.

An investigation by The Sun-Herald has established that 80 clean-
up notices -- a third of all the notices issued by the NSW
Environmental Protection Authority in the past five years -- have
been for illegal or improper asbestos disposal.

A group of professional waste transporters became so fed up with
rogues in their industry that they organized undercover
surveillance to follow trucks working for a company they suspected
of illegal dumping.  Their investigator followed and filmed one
truck until it illegally dumped waste at Maroota, north-west of
Sydney.

Their surveillance was handed to the Western Sydney Regional
Illegal Dumping Squad -- better known as the RID Squad -- and
resulted in the offenders being caught, fined and forced to clean
it up.  But many offenders are never caught.

When broken down, asbestos dust fibers can be carried in the air
and, if breathed in, can cause the deadly lung disease
mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer.

"There are people who are not even born yet that will come down
with asbestos-related diseases because of this," warns Barry
Robson, president of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of
Australia.  "It should have stopped by now."  But it hasn't, and
Mr. Robson calls it a "time bomb".

In the past year asbestos has been found in:

   -- Garden mulch sold to residents by Bega Valley Shire Council;

   -- A thousand tons of contaminated sand that was spread across
a sporting oval at Rockdale.  The culprit could not be identified
so it was cleaned up at the council's expense;

   -- Skip bins across Sydney;

   -- Kerbside pick-ups for recycling;

   -- Garden sheds and under homes;

   -- A 30,000-ton pile dumped on a private property at Mangrove
Mountain on the Central Coast;

   -- Stockpiled and buried on Norfolk Island properties because
of a lack of funding to take it off the island; and

   -- Backyards, often rising to the surface.  Asbestos
removalists say this is a particular problem on the Central Coast,
where waste from demolished asbestos homes is often buried on
site.  One 80-year old woman, who asked not to be named, told The
Sun-Herald she had been pulling pieces of asbestos fibro out of
her garden in Gosford for years.

In an operation late last year, the RID Squad's investigators and
EPA officers covertly tracked vehicles dumping waste illegally in
eight locations across Sydney's west.  Asbestos was found at three
of the sites.

The state government does not keep central records that can
analyze or track asbestos dumping offences.  The Sun-Herald
manually trawled through the EPA's clean-up notices to determine
how many related to asbestos and found the number of dumpings on
the increase, at least on private properties.

There have been 35 notices issued since January last year.  But
there are no systems in place to tally dumpings on public land.
However, the RID Squad, formed in 1999 by the state government and
seven councils to fight illegal dumping, estimates it has
investigated about 150 cases involving asbestos in the past year.

"For the government not to have at hand the extent of illegal
dumping is reckless," says the Greens environment spokeswoman Cate
Faehrmann.

In the past five years the EPA has launched 11 prosecutions
against seven defendants with AUD230,900 in fines issued and 450
hours of community service ordered.  There are 16 charges of
illegal dumping of asbestos currently before the Land and
Environment Court.

Criminal proceedings have also begun against a consultancy, Aargus
Pty Ltd, which allegedly provided false reports claiming a
property was asbestos-free.  It is yet to enter a plea.

Tony Khoury, from the Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association of
NSW, said the single biggest factor behind the illegal dumping of
asbestos -- whether it is a home renovator or a rogue operator --
is the high price of disposal.  Tipping fees alone are between
AUD200 and AUD400 a ton, but removing an average asbestos roof can
cost about AUD45 a square meter -- amounting to as much as
AUD5000.  The state government needed to subsidize the cost so
"price is not a disincentive to public safety", Mr. Khoury said.

The Cancer Council's spokesman, Terry Slevin, also called for
incentives for people to do the right thing.

The effects of asbestos have long haunted NSW, the first place in
Australia to begin mining asbestos.  In 2010 the NSW Ombudsman,
Bruce Barbour, issued a report, "Responding to the asbestos
problem; the need for significant reform in NSW."  He said the
"amount of asbestos remaining in NSW is immense."

The Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, in its 2010/11 annual
report, said 700 Australians were diagnosed that year with
mesothelioma and 1,500 with lung cancer caused by asbestos.  It
predicts the number will continue to rise, as the disease can take
decades to develop.  Mr. Barbour estimated about 200,000 tons of
asbestos-contaminated waste is being properly sent to landfill
each year.  But waste industry sources estimate that at least
twice that amount is being illegally dumped.

Last year a company owned by the Dial a Dump entrepreneur Ian
Malouf's wife, Larissa, was ordered to clean up a stockpile of
170,000 cubic meters of asbestos-contaminated waste at its
Alexandria property.

Two government inquiries, one state and one federal, are under way
into asbestos management.  The NSW inquiry is examining the impact
of tipping fees on illegal dumping and ways to encourage proper
disposal.  All waste, including asbestos, is subjected to a AUD82-
a-ton recycling levy.  Asbestos then attracts additional fees.

The Minister for the Environment, Robyn Parker, said the anecdotal
evidence was that "illegal dumpers are motivated by the desire to
avoid all waste costs, not just the levy."

The NSW government has also set up the Heads of Asbestos Co-
ordination Authority.

Its chairman, Peter Dunphy, said: "We are developing a model
policy to show councils what they should be doing.  One of the
problems has been that the issue is just pushed between agencies."

Asbestos fibers are small and light. The dust can stay in the air
for a long time.  People become affected by the dust when they
inhale it.  Those most at risk are people whose work has brought
them into contact with asbestos fibers and people who have lived
or worked near asbestos-related operations.

The families of people who have been exposed to asbestos dust may
also be at risk if there is asbestos dust on their clothes.

The main illnesses associated with asbestos exposure are
asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.  It can take from 15 to
60 years after the first exposure for fatal diseases to develop.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Coulombe Complains of Being 'Misunderstood'
------------------------------------------------------------
Rachel Browne of The Sydney Morning Herald writes that a few
people outside Canada have heard of the dot on the map called
Asbestos.

But, for a small town, Asbestos has been the subject of a big
controversy over the past few years.  Located between Montreal and
Quebec in eastern Canada, Asbestos was once the site of the
world's largest asbestos mine, the two-kilometer-wide hole in the
ground known as the Jeffrey Mine.

Asbestos has been phased out of most Western countries over the
past decade.  The material was banned in Australia in 2003, with
European countries following in 2005.  It is allowed for limited
purposes in the US and Canada.

But asbestos is still used in large quantities in developing
countries and the Canadian government has repeatedly come under
fire for exporting the material to countries such as India and
China.  Canada has argued that the asbestos mineral being
exported, chrysotile, is safe when properly handled.

The Jeffrey Mine closed last year for financial reasons, but the
local government of Quebec is trying to lure investment to fund a
reopening.

The Jeffrey Mine's president, Bernard Coulombe, complained the
negative image of asbestos was bad for business.  "We are so
criticized, so misunderstood, so tarnished," he said this month.

The World Health Organization estimates 107,000 people die each
year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and
asbestosis as a result of exposure at work.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: St. Louis Incident Cleanup to be Done April 9
--------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Hillig of The Post-Dispatch reports that crews, on Saturday,
April 7, continued to clean up the residue of an underground pipe
rupture that spewed steam, dirt and asbestos pipe insulation over
a one-block area of downtown St. Louis on Thursday, April 5.

Pam Walker, the city's health director, said a few asbestos fibers
were found on an outside wall of the Lucas Lofts, 1123 Washington
Avenue.  She said that wall and a wall of the Globe Building, 710
North Tucker Boulevard, would be getting a thorough power washing.

Crews had sprayed down the Midwest Litigation Services Center at
711 North 11th Street on April 6.  Walker said all the cleanup
work was expected to finish by April 8.

Residents of the area of Convention Plaza and North 11th Street
were urged to close windows and stay off their balconies until the
cleanup was complete, but Walker described the public health risk
as "very minimal."

Pedestrian and vehicle traffic were restricted in the area.

Stephanie Aigner, a resident of the nearby Lucas Lofts, said she
appreciated that residents were offered free garage parking at
10th and St. Charles streets.

"We're happy they're taking every precaution," she said.

Walker said airborne asbestos fibers typically fall to ground
within 20 minutes.  No airborne asbestos had been detected, but
monitoring continued, she said.

The broken pipe was part of a 17-mile-long underground steam loop
that has provided heat to downtown users since 1922.  The steam
comes from a natural gas power plant at 1 Ashley Place.  The
system is operated by Trigen-St. Louis Energy Corp., a subsidiary
of Boston-based Veolia Energy North America.

The pipe under 11th Street burst about 6:30 a.m. April 5.  A
Trigen crew shut off valves and isolated the break by about 7:30
a.m.

Asbestos causes asbestosis and mesothelioma, but experts believe
those ailments are contracted through chronic, persistent exposure
to airborne asbestos.

Walker said the water used in the cleanup was being filtered three
times before disposal.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Many Ships Have Fake "Asbestos Free" Certificates
------------------------------------------------------------------
Natalie O'Brien of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that
Australian maritime workers are still being exposed to deadly
asbestos fibers aboard foreign registered ships which have been
discovered carrying fake documents certifying they are asbestos
free.

The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers has warned
that vessels, including tugs brought into the country, continue to
put seafarers' lives at risk.

The union's claims are in a public submission to a federal
government inquiry into asbestos management.

The institute's submission says the International Maritime
Organization has sent out warnings that asbestos has been found in
ship fire blankets, wall and ceiling coverings, insulation
materials and fuses.

Federal laws were introduced in 2005 to stop the importation of
vessels containing asbestos.  But the institute said ships
continue to arrive for operation in Australia with materials
containing asbestos despite carrying "asbestos free" certificates.

"There are many examples of these certificates having been proven
to be false by subsequent inspection by reputable Australian
authorities," it said.

The institute's submission said there was a problem in enforcing
Australian health and safety laws on foreign-flagged ships, which
was undermining efforts to achieve asbestos-free workplaces.

The submission revealed that eight tugs brought from other
countries with asbestos-free certificates were discovered during
inspections to be riddled with asbestos -- but were still allowed
to operate.

The institute's assistant federal secretary, Martin Byrne, raised
the issue with the Seacare Authority and Australian Maritime
Safety Authority last year, warning "the issue of asbestos is not
just a blight on our industrial history but is a continuing
concern for seafarers who live and work 24/7 on board these
vessels."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup of Downtown St. Louis Completed
--------------------------------------------------------
Michelle Munz of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that crews
have finished the cleanup on Sunday, April 8, of dirt and asbestos
pipe insulation that spewed over a one-block area of downtown St.
Louis after a steam pipe ruptured on April 5.  Officials are
awaiting test results of surface samples to make sure the area is
free of contamination.

Parts of Convention Plaza, North 11th Street and Lucas Avenue near
where the pipe ruptured will remain closed until the tests are
completed, said Dan Dennis, general manager of Trigen-St. Louis
Energy Corp., which operates a 17-mile-long underground steam loop
that has provided heat to downtown users since 1922.

"We hope the samples will be returned quickly, and we get a clean
bill of health," Dennis said.  Because of the Easter holiday, a
laboratory could not start the tests until April 9, he said.

Continuous monitoring of air samples shows no asbestos in the air,
Dennis said.  Asbestos causes asbestosis and mesothelioma, but
experts say those ailments are contracted through persistent
exposure to airborne asbestos.

Crews have not yet been able to inspect the pipe to investigate
why the rupture occurred and how long repairs might take, he said.
The pipe is 12 to 15 feet underground, and dirt must be slowly
removed by asbestos-certified excavators and properly disposed of.
The last rupture in the system occurred in 1997, near St. Charles
and Eighth streets, throwing concrete more than 40 feet in the
air.  A cap had broken on a pipe, Dennis said, which prompted the
repair of 117 similar caps across the system.

Dennis said workers expect to be able to inspect the pipe on
April 9.  "Hopefully we can learn something from it and prevent
something like it from happening in the future," Dennis said.
"But we have to get in and see."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Investigation Still On for Cause of Pipe Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
KSDK.com reports that it has been an uneasy Easter Sunday for
those living near a steam pipe break in downtown St. Louis.

Cleanup crews are finishing their work but, 11th and Convention
Streets are still closed until test results are in.

A plume of steam towered over 11th Street near Lucas Avenue on
Thursday shutting down the street after a pipe burst.

"It kind of freaked me out," said Celia Montes, a resident at
the Lucas Lofts.  Workers have been right outside her door since
April 5.

"It made me a little bit nervous considering the fact that people
are cleaning up and they have the hazmat masks on and we're free
to come in and out," said Montes.

The workers are wearing masks because after they fixed the leak,
swab samples found small amounts of ground level asbestos.

"They told us not to open our windows and they told us not to be
in the balconies so that led me to believe it wasn't really a safe
area," said Montes.

"Apparently asbestos causes cancer but, hopefully I am OK.
Hopefully I haven't inhaled too much air around here," said Nathan
Ziebold, a resident at Lucas Lofts.

Health officials say so far initial air quality tests have come
back clean.

Crews worked for three days straight, including through the
holiday, to make sure the area gets cleaned up and is safe as fast
as possible.

"They are here on Easter and they have families as well so they
are making a good sacrifice to try to make any hazardous materials
out where the general public can be hurt by them so good for them
and I am saying thank you," said Ziebold.

Crews are still investigating how the pipe broke.

"I am hoping I don't get sick and I am hoping it's just over
with," said Montes.

The asbestos samples taken on Sunday will be analyzed on Monday,
April 9.  If the samples come back positive crews will be back in
the area cleaning again.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Ohio Bill to Wear Down Plaintiffs' Cases
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Toledo Blade reports that a bill before the Ohio Senate would
provide an unwarranted safety net for asbestos makers that have
not already sought federal bankruptcy protection.  The measure
would create new bureaucratic obstacles to asbestos litigation in
Ohio courts.  It isn't needed.

The bill, which the state House has approved, would empower
lawyers for asbestos companies to seek to delay cases in state
courts while they demand more information from plaintiffs about
actions taken in federal courts.  The point seems to be to
discourage plaintiffs from pressing their cases.

Advocates of the bill claim Ohio's compensation system for
asbestos victims is neither fair nor efficient.  They say the
legislation they seek would reduce abuses caused by what they call
an asbestos-litigation industry.

They note that Missouri's Madison County is home to one of every
four lawsuits related to mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer
connected to asbestos.  Plaintiffs' law firms are allowed to
reserve court time there even before cases are filed.  Yet in
addressing one set of problems, Ohio lawmakers must take care not
to create another.

There are established scientific links between asbestos and
mesothelioma.  Yet over the past 25 years in courts across the
country, plaintiffs have had to start from scratch to prove those
links, over and over again.

Last year, a judge in Philadelphia ruled that mesothelioma victims
there do not have to prove each time how that form of cancer comes
from asbestos exposure.  Ohio needs a similar standard, not
further roadblocks.

Ohio lawmakers accommodated corporations in 2004 when they
required plaintiffs to produce more medical evidence in asbestos
cases than problematic X-rays.  More than 30,000 of 44,000 pending
cases were dismissed.  New case filings have slowed.

Asbestos victims and their families should not be denied justice.
The state has done enough to protect businesses that may have
wronged those victims.  The new bill should be rejected.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Weitz & Luxenberg Wins Settlement for 3 Clients
----------------------------------------------------------------
Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., a nationally recognized mass tort and
personal injury litigation law firm, announced the successful
settlement of three lawsuits filed against major asbestos and
manufacturing corporations on behalf of the firm's clients.  The
firm described the settlement as comprising a "favorable and
substantial" amount.

The complaints allege that the plaintiffs -- long-time workers in
industries that exposed them to toxic asbestos insulation --
ultimately developed asbestos-related cancers that led to their
deaths.  Matt MacIntyre -- mmacintyre@weitzlux.com -- head of
Weitz & Luxenberg's trial team, said that the settlement would
pass to the clients' families.

Anthony Lamano served in the Navy from 1955-57, then worked for
years as a boiler technician in Long Island before developing lung
cancer.  His lawsuit (Index #98-121906, Sup. Ct. NY) was filed and
reached the jury selection phase before the defendants named in
the complaint agreed to settle.

Two other clients' cases were filed alongside Mr. Lamano's.

Lawrence Johnson (Index # 03-100769, Sup. Ct. NY) worked for major
power houses and construction sites as an insulator, later
developing mesothelioma, a cancer whose only known cause is
asbestos.

William Barthold (Index # 02-105877, Sup. Ct. NY) worked as a
pipefitter after serving in the Navy from 1942-46.  He also died
of lung cancer.

MacIntyre, who was joined by Mike Fanelli -- mfanelli@weitzlux.com
-- on Weitz & Luxenberg's trial team, said the firm could take
pride in securing the favorable settlements, but that their
thoughts were with their clients' families.

"I'm happy Weitz & Luxenberg was able to help our clients'
families by securing these settlements, but we realize that
financial compensation for lung cancer or mesothelioma is
secondary to the important issues -- promoting health and justice.
Our thoughts go out to our clients, who have been resolute
throughout this process."

                  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(at)weitzlux9dot)com and ask for a free legal
consultation.  More information at http://www.weitzlux.com/


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Environmasters Gets Carroll County Abatement Job
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Winston Jones of Times-Georgian reports that The Carroll County
Board of Commissioners on April 9 approved a Carrollton firm,
Asbestos and Demolition, Inc./Environmasters, as low bidder, at
$69,420, to remove asbestos from the old Carroll County courthouse
and annex before the annex is demolished later this spring.

The asbestos abatement is part of the general contractor's bid in
the $16.9 million judicial center project.

The vote to approve was 6-0 at the 6 p.m. regular BOC meeting,
with District 5 Commissioner Kevin Jackson absent due to his son
being in the process of deployment to Afghanistan.

"The general contractor wants the work done as soon as possible so
he can get done with the demolition," said Randy Simpkins, project
manager.  "We anticipate the demolition can be done in three weeks
after the asbestos is removed."

Simpkins said recently that the judicial center project is being
completed in four-phases.  The first phase was the construction of
the new building and the second phase was moving offices into the
new building in early March.

The third phase will be the asbestos abatement and demolition of
the old courthouse annex constructed in the 1970s.

The fourth, and final stage, of the project will be the
construction of a main foyer to the new building and extending it
out about 28 feet into the area where the old annex had been
located.

"The fourth phase will probably begin in June and go through the
end of the year," Simpkins said.

He said there is a "fair amount" of asbestos in the old courthouse
building and annex that has to be removed.

"It includes the fire door cores, the glue on the bottom of floor
tiles and a lot was used in the tape around the roof," Simpkins
said.  "It causes no problems if you don't disturb it, but since
we're going to be demolishing the old annex, it's going to be
disturbed, so we have to get a contractor to remove it."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: American Home Has No More For WTC Asbestos Claims
------------------------------------------------------------------
Dan McCue of the Courthouse News Service reports that American
Home Assurance, which issued the original general liability policy
for construction of the World Trade Centers, claims in court that
it has no obligation to defend or indemnify any more asbestos
claims from the site because its policy had a limit of $10 million
per occurrence.

In its claim in New York County Court, American Home Assurance
says it issued an insurance policy to the Port Authority of New
York and New Jersey in 1966 for construction of the towers that
were destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

American Home claims that September 1969 to April 1970 co-
defendant Mario & Dibono Plastering Co. applied asbestos-
containing insulation on the exterior columns and beams of the
first 39 floors of Tower One of the WTC, and possibly elsewhere at
the site.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Port Authority, DiBono and other
defendants in the present complaint, including Alcoa, and Tishman
Realty & Construction Co. (the construction manager for the
project) "have been subject to thousands of asbestos-related
personal injury claims allegedly arising from exposure to asbestos
at the WTC site," the complaint states.

"In general, subject to all its terms, conditions and exclusions,
the policy includes a $10 million per occurrence limit for WTC
asbestos claims.  To date, American Home has paid in excess of $10
million to indemnify insureds in response to WTC asbestos claims.

Its obligations, if any, are exhausted and no coverage is
available under the policy for pending WTC asbestos claims," the
insurer says.

American Home seeks declaratory relief, and wants to recoup
uncovered defense and indemnity payments it already has made in
excess of obligations under the policy.

It is represented by Mary Beth Forshaw -- mforshaw@stblaw.com --
with Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Alaska Bill Raises Long-Term Health Concerns
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Hall of The Mesothelioma Center reports that the Alaska House
of Representatives passed a bill that allows for the use of
naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) throughout the state in
instances where it becomes too expensive to utilize replacement
materials.

The bill, effectively known as HB 258, was sponsored by Kotzebue
Democrat Reggie Joule.  It passed on April 5 with only two
opposing votes.  Despite the consensus within the House, some
worry that the larger health concerns are being overlooked.

No scientific evidence suggests that safe levels of asbestos
exposure are attainable.

Asbestos exposure is linked to the development of numerous
respiratory diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer,
asbestosis and pleural plaques.

The manner in which the fibers damage the human organs may result
in the disease taking as long as 50 years to manifest.

Alaska contains multiple geographical areas with NOA, including in
Juneau, along the Dalton Highway and Ambler.  The new bill will
allow this asbestos to be used for gravel and similar purposes.

The language in the bill demonstrates its purposes specifically
for Alaska's Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

"We tried to craft a balance that meets the needs of a community,
with the health of a community.  That health concern has to be at
the forefront," Joule said.

"Asbestos is naturally-occurring in the Upper Kobuk region, so
they've been basically shut down for any capital projects because
of it - so what we're saying is if the percentage is .24, then its
gravel aggregate."

Joule's stance is defended by the fact that Alaska ranks 50th in
the United States for mesothelioma and asbestos-related deaths.

Furthermore, the bill does provide some limitations to the use of
NOA and requires contractors and agencies to report certain data
relating to asbestos use to the Department of Transportation and
Public Facilities.

The bill may have also received a majority consensus because the
foundation of the law resembles that of similar bills in other
states.

Virginia and California have been regulating the use of naturally
occurring asbestos for many years.

However, some argue that any bill allowing for the increased use
of a toxic material will likely come with some consequences.

Anchorage Democrat Les Gara has raised multiple concerns with
Joule's bill, citing its effect on residents' legal options if
they become sick from asbestos exposure.

"If you end up breathing in asbestos and getting asbestosis, you
have no recourse.  All liability is taken away.  So you have no
compensatory damages if you get the disease.  So a small
protection would be for at least the public to come out and listen
and speak out before a plan is adopted in their community," Gara
said.

The Anchorage representative raises a point that may concern some
valid residents.  However, because of the extensive latency period
associated with asbestos-related diseases, this is a concern of
residents that may not become relevant for decades to come.

The Senate has not yet heard its version of the bill and must
approve it for it to become law.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2nd Cir. Rules Pfizer Liable Under Sec. 524(g)
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ben Berkowitz for Reuters reports that a federal appellate court
ruled on Tuesday, April 10 that drugmaker Pfizer can face asbestos
liability suits in state court over products once manufactured by
a bankrupt subsidiary, dragging out a dispute that has already
lasted more than 30 years.

At issue is insulating products made by Pfizer unit Quigley Co.
Inc. that contained asbestos.  Quigley, which Pfizer bought in
1968, at one time faced suits by more than 160,000 plaintiffs.  It
filed for bankruptcy in 2004.

Pfizer reached a deal that year with lawyers representing more
than 80% of claimants, which provided for about $430 million in
settlement payments.  Quigley filed for bankruptcy protection as
part of that arrangement, which was aimed at resolving cases
dating back to the late 1970s.

The bankruptcy court later ruled that an injunction it issued in
the case stayed some suits that were still pending against Pfizer.
In May 2011, a federal judge in New York reversed that order,
and the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling on
April 10.

Pfizer said in a statement it was evaluating its options.

"It is important to note that the court's ruling is procedural and
does not address the merits of the underlying claims, which we
strongly dispute," the company said.  "In the history of this
litigation, Pfizer has never been found derivatively or directly
liable for injuries allegedly caused by Quigley's asbestos-
containing products."

The suits in question were filed starting in 1999 by plaintiffs
lawyer Peter Angelos in Pennsylvania state court.  Angelos, one of
the best-known asbestos lawyers in the country, also owns the
Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

Angelos, according to the 2nd Circuit, had argued Pfizer was
liable because the company allowed its label to be put on
Quigley's asbestos-contaminated products, and therefore was not
covered by the injunction protecting Quigley from lawsuits.

The appellate court ruled that Angelos was correct under the
language of what is known as "524(g)," the section of the
bankruptcy code that deals specifically with asbestos liability
cases.

"We are confident that the Angelos reading of the statutory
language at issue here is the correct one," the court's three
judges said in the 34-page ruling.

The case is In re Quigley Company Inc, U.S. Court of the Appeals
for the Second Circuit, Nos. 11-2635, 11-2767.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union to Commence Work After Demands Are Met
-------------------------------------------------------------
Elise Scott of The Australian Associated Press reports that around
150 workers were removed from the site on Sydney's harbourside on
the morning of April 10 after the Construction, Forestry, Mining
and Energy Union (CFMEU) detected asbestos during a site
inspection.

The union said testing performed by site manager Lend Lease since
April 10 has shown 12 of 15 test sites showed contamination by
toxic chemicals, including asbestos and high levels of lead.

The union's demands before work can resume on the site include
that staff lunch rooms must be cleansed; that there must be an
assessment of the site by an independent occupational hygienist;
and that workers should receive a dangerous chemical education
program - which has already been agreed to by Lend Lease.

CFMEU NSW secretary Brian Parker said the union made "no
apologies" for their stop work action, given the severity of the
consequences of exposure to workers.

"I've seen what this terrible disease does to people," Mr. Parker
told AAP after the meeting.

"Big corporations have responsibilities to the working class
people."

Workers attended a stop work meeting on site on April 11 and voted
unanimously to down tools until the CFMEU's demands were met.

The union is also demanding full documentation of which chemicals
have been detected and the swabbing down of all machinery, lunch
rooms and changing stations that may have been exposed on site.

Mr. Parker said the union wouldn't put a time frame on the stop
work action, but that work wouldn't commence until its demands
were met.

"I don't know how long it will take, but I'm not willing to put
anyone at risk," he said.

Lend Lease said on April 10 that it informed all workers of the
dangers of asbestos as part of its induction process.

But Mr. Parker said the company had not been open enough about
site contamination with the workers, WorkCover or the CFMEU.

All workers will be offered lung functioning tests and chest x-
rays to document the current state of their lungs.

Those records can then be compared with future tests to show any
future lung deterioration as a result of exposure to the dangerous
material.

But Mr. Parker said workers' family members could also suffer long
term effects of asbestos exposure.

"It's not only potentially a very scary situation for the workers
to be in," he said.

"Some of these workers wear their soiled clothes home to their
families, they've got kids, they've got wives . . . they take them
home and expose their family as well."

Barry Robson from the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia
told AAP exposure to as little as one asbestos fiber could result
in serious health problems later in life.

He said families of workers who had been exposed faced a real risk
of consequential exposure and therefore potential health issues.

"They won't know for the next 20, 30 maybe 40, 50 years."

Comment on the stop work meeting is currently being sought from
Lend Lease.

Lend Lease says it has told the union it would instigate further
precautionary testing of the site equipment and supplementary
training by a union-approved occupational hygienist.

The company anticipates that work will recommence on the site
soon.

The company's head of development David Hutton said that at the
meeting with the union, he reiterated that Lend Lease complies
with all environmental legislation.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens at NVMC Might Relocate The Islanders
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center reports that the New York
Islanders of the National Hockey League could be moving -- at
least temporarily -- to a new home next season because of the
lingering asbestos problems at their aging Nassau Veterans
Memorial Coliseum.

The New York Department of Labor began an investigation of the
Coliseum in Long Island March 30 after more than 75 workers there
filed a lawsuit, claiming asbestos in the building made for unsafe
working conditions.

"The whole place is covered with it (asbestos)," plaintiff
attorney Joseph Dell told The Brooklyn Paper.  "The county is
responsible for keeping Nassau Coliseum safe, but it never
renovated it, or did an asbestos abatement."

An exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, can cause
a variety of serious respiratory health problems, including
mesothelioma cancer.

The Nassau Coliseum was built in 1972, at the height of America's
infatuation with asbestos, which was used in thousands of
products, including all kinds of commercial and residential
construction.

The Islanders finished their season at the coliseum.  They did not
qualify for the playoffs, and won't play again until early next
fall.  If the asbestos abatement process goes beyond the summer,
or if the asbestos problem is deemed too severe, the Islanders
likely will move into nearby Brooklyn, in the soon-to-be-finished
Barclays Center.

It won't be the first time that the presence of asbestos has cause
a problem for a professional sports team.  Because of asbestos
falling from the ceiling at New York's Madison Square Garden, a
basketball game last season between the New York Knicks and the
Orlando Magic had to be postponed just several hours before it was
scheduled to start.

The Barclays Center already is scheduled to become the new home of
the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association.
Although it is configured to seat more than 18,000 for basketball,
it would hold considerably fewer people for hockey because of the
way it was built.  The Islanders already were scheduled to play
one exhibition there.

Nassau County officials, who are part of the lawsuit, have told
the Brooklyn Paper that only small amounts of asbestos were found
in their inspection, and all were in areas that are off-limits to
the general public.

County investigators also said that the building was safe,
although lab tests, according to the Brooklyn Paper, showed
asbestos exposure in hallways, catwalks, and several seating
sections.

The Islanders have been seeking a new arena on Long Island for
several years, but voters have rejected the idea of funding one
with public money.

More than 1,000 people have worked at the Nassau Coliseum since it
opened.  The team's current lease there expires in 2015.

Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner last month told media
members that he would welcome the chance to host an NHL team.
Despite the uncertainty, the Islanders already are selling season
tickets for next season with the Nassau Coliseum seating chart.

Experts have said that no amount of asbestos in the air is
considered safe.  Although it was once admired for its heat
resistance, durability and affordability, the dangers of asbestos
became clear in the '70s, and its use dropped dramatically.


                           *********

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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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