CAR_Public/120427.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, April 27, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 83

                             Headlines

1ST NATIONAL: Sued for Non-Compliance of ADA Law on ATMs
60 EAST: Plaintiffs Seek Consolidation of Five Class Suits
250 WEST: Plaintiffs Seek Consolidation of Five Class Suits
APPLE: Wants iPhone Antitrust Class Action Dismissed
ARDEA BIOSCIENCES: Faces Shareholder Class Action in California

AT&T CORP: 9th Cir. Altered Denial of Motion to Compel Arbitration
BANK OF AMERICA: Faces Class Action Over Forced Flood Insurance
BEST BUY: Minnesota Ct. Grants Motion to Dismiss Securities Suit
BNSF RAILWAY: 7th Cir. Upholds Dist. Ct. Ruling in "Irish" Suit
BP: Shrimp Processors Challenge Oil Spill Settlement Terms

CIGNA HEALTHCARE: Judge Sends Gender Bias Suit to Arbitration
CKE RESTAURANTS: Continues to Face Employment-Related Suits
EMPIRE STATE: Plaintiffs Want Consolidation of Five Class Suits
FULL TILT: Poker Players File Class Action Over Frozen Accounts
GEMS SENSORS: Recalls 25,000 Pressure Detectors/Transducers

GENERAL ELECTRIC: Judge Tosses Securities Class Action
GEOVERA SPECIALTY: Faces Class Action Over Insurance Provision
GRAIN PROCESSING: Faces Class Action Over Plant Emissions
GROUPON INC: Improves Voucher Consumer Disclosure After Lawsuits
HSBC MORTGAGE: Faces Class Action Over Illegal Foreclosures

IMMUCOR INC: Appeal in Securities Litigation Remains Pending
IMMUCOR INC: Final Hearing on $22-Mil. Settlement Set for June
IMMUCOR INC: Two Remaining Acquisition-Related Suits Dismissed
INTERMIX MEDIA: Revised Allocation Plan in "Brown" Suit Approved
KAISER FOUNDATION: Faces Overtime Class Action in California

LEIGHTON HOLDINGS: Won't Face Audit Issues, KPMG Says
LENOVO: Recalls 13,000 ThinkCentre M70z/M90z Desktop Computers
LG ELECTRONICS: Sued Over Antitrust and Consumer Laws Violations
LOUISE PARIS: Recalls 13,000 Girls' Jackets Sold at Ross Stores
M&T BANK: 11 Cir. Vacates Denial of Motion to Compel Arbitration

NEW YORK: Class Action Over NYPD Summon Quotas Okayed
PASSAIC COUNTY, NJ: Judge Okays Deal to Improve Jail Conditions
PHILIP MORRIS: App. Ct. Rejects Counsel Disqualification Order
PUMA NORTH: Recalls 5,000 V-Konstruct Training Jackets
SCME MORTGAGE: Faces Suit Over Sunnyvale, California Property

STANFORD GROUP: 5th Cir. Reverses Dismissal Order on 3 Class Suits
TEKELEC: Trial Court Dismisses Amended Securities Class Lawsuit
THORNBURG MORTGAGE: Investors Agree to Settle Class Action
TRANSOCEAN LTD: N.Y. Court Dismissed Suit On Deep Horizon Incident
VIST FINANCIAL: Committee Formed to Probe Merger-Related Claims

WAGGA CITY COUNCIL: SES Set to Hold Meetings Over March Flood
YUUKA COSMETICS: Faces Class Action Over Wheat Facial Soap

* Hungarian Banks May Face Class Actions in Future

                          Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: SC Appeals Court Affirms Order v. SESI
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Rejects GRC Insurers' Summary Judgment Bid
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio High Court Reverses Sager Receiver Ruling
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Del. Ct. Junks Exposure Claims v. Cleaver-Brooks
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Del. Court Strips Grgich Claims v. Crane

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mo. Ct. Throws Away Insurer's Expert Testimony
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hercules Unit Still Defends Mississippi Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: MRC Global Had 981 Claims Pending at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NL Industries Had 1,125 Exposure Cases Pending
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parker Drilling Had 15 Suits Pending at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Graybar Had 2,500 Individual Cases Pending Dec.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Great Lakes Has 39 Pending PI Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: International Shipholding Faces Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Arabian American Unit Still Defends Texas Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EMC Insurance Had $7.6MM Reserves at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Intricon Corp. Still Faces PI Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Downtown St. Louis Is Now Clear of Lethal Fibers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM Says Palliative Care Has Helped Many Clients
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 'Apparent Manufacturer' Theory Beat Pfizer's Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Demands Hard Copies of Safety Procedures

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Experts Predict "Asbestos Tsunami" to Hit Asia
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Minn. Governor Blocks "Innocent Successor" Bill
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parishioners Rally Against Stowey Quarry Project
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 50% of Workforce Back, Barangaroo Project Resumes
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Analysis On Long-Term Ecological Disaster Victims

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victims Need Not Recall Full Exposure Details
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Belluck Calls for Carcinogen-Free Workplaces Law
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plaintiff Firms Gather for 2012 Annual Retreat
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bids Sought for Happy Valley Lots Fibro-Test
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ministry of Defence Pays for Second-Hand Exposure

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harley O Staggers Bldg Prepped for Abatement Work
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ARD Lawsuit in Japan Wins JPY180-Mil. Settlement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hornell Officials Seek Help With Abatement Costs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Resolution on Rosemount Plan Expected April 24
ASBESTOS UPDATE: UPSM Treatment Trial Shows 80% Response Rate

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Seoul to Replace All Slate Roof Homes By 2014
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Doubts Viability of Thermochemical Conversion
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos' Long-Term Killing Spree Has Just Begun
ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Regulation Changes Fairly Limited


                          *********

1ST NATIONAL: Sued for Non-Compliance of ADA Law on ATMs
--------------------------------------------------------
Kristen Doerschner, writing for Timesonline.com, reports that an
Ambridge man has filed class action federal lawsuits against 10
banks, including three in Beaver County, for failing to comply
with a law that requires banks to have automatic teller machines
which are accessible to blind people.

Robert Jahoda filed the first lawsuit March 26 against the Home
Savings and Loan Company of Youngstown, Ohio.  Since that time he
has also filed suit against 1st National Community Bank, Charleroi
Federal Savings Bank, Fidelity Bank, Commercial Bank & Trust of
Pennsylvania, First Commonwealth, PNC, Citizens Bank, First
Niagara and Huntington National Bank.

Mr. Jahoda went to ATMs in several counties including a 1st
National Community Bank in Midland, a Citizens Bank in Economy and
Home Savings and Loan in Beaver.

Banks were given a deadline under the American's with Disabilities
Act to have their ATMs in compliance with ADA requirements by
March 15.  Those compliance requirements include voice guidance
and Braille signage and controls.

According to the lawsuits, Mr. Jahoda, who is blind, is seeking a
declaration the ATMs are in violation of the federal law and an
injunction requiring the banks to update or replace their machines
to bring them into compliance.

The lawsuits cite specific problems with the lack of Braille
controls and voice guidance, such as, if a person enters a wrong
Personal Identification Number, the machine may retain their card,
or if a person enters a wrong transaction key, the machine has no
way to know an incorrect selection was made.

Mr. Jahoda is asking for the costs of filing the suit, attorney's
fees and "whatever other relief the court deems just, equitable
and appropriate."

Mr. Jahoda is represented by the law firm of Carlson Lynch LTD in
Pittsburgh.


60 EAST: Plaintiffs Seek Consolidation of Five Class Suits
----------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs of five putative class action lawsuits involving 60
East 42nd St. Associates L.L.C. moved for consolidation of the
cases and for appointment of co-lead counsel, according to the
Company's April 11, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

60 East 42nd St. Associates L.L.C. was originally organized as a
partnership.  On October 1, 1958, the Company acquired fee title
to One Grand Central Place (the "Building"), formerly known as the
Lincoln Building, at 60 East 42nd Street, in New York and the land
thereunder (the "Property").  On November 28, 2001, the Company
converted to a limited liability company under New York law.  The
conversion did not change any aspect of the assets and operations
of the Company other than to protect its participants from
liability to third parties.  The Company's members ("Members") are
Peter L. Malkin and Anthony E. Malkin (collectively, the
"Agents"), each of whom also acts as an agent for holders of
participations in his respective member interest in the Company
(the "Participants").  The Company leases the Property to Lincoln
Building Associates L.L.C. ("Lessee") pursuant to an operating
lease as modified (the "Lease"), which is currently set to expire
on September 30, 2033.

Lessee is a New York limited liability company whose members
consist of, among others, entities for the benefit of members of
Peter L. Malkin's family.  The Members in the Company hold senior
positions at Malkin Holdings LLC ("Malkin Holdings" or the
"Supervisor"), which provides supervisory and other services to
the Company and to Lessee.

Five putative class actions have been brought by Participants in
the Company and several other entities supervised by Malkin
Holdings that own fee or leasehold interests in various properties
located in New York City, the first of which was filed March 1,
2012 (the "Class Actions").  As now pending in New York State
Supreme Court, New York County, each Class Action challenges the
proposed consolidation of those and other properties supervised by
Malkin Holdings into a real estate investment trust (the "REIT")
and the initial public offering of shares in Empire State Realty
Trust, Inc., a Maryland corporation which intends to qualify for
U.S. tax purposes as a REIT.  The plaintiffs assert claims against
Malkin Holdings, Malkin Properties, L.L.C., Malkin Properties of
New York, L.L.C., Malkin Properties of Connecticut, Inc., Malkin
Construction Corp., Anthony E. Malkin, Peter L. Malkin, Estate of
Leona M. Helmsley, Empire State Realty OP, L.P., and the REIT
("Defendants") for breach of fiduciary duty and/or aiding and
abetting breach of fiduciary duty, alleging, inter alia, that the
terms of the transaction are unfair to the Participants and overly
favorable to Malkin Holdings and related parties.  The complaints
seek money damages and injunctive relief preventing the proposed
transaction.

On April 3, 2012, plaintiffs moved for consolidation of the
actions and for appointment of co-lead counsel.  Defendants intend
to consent to consolidation, and have no position with respect to
appointment of co-lead counsel.

The Company says the Class Actions are in a very preliminary
stage, with no responses to the complaints having been filed to
date.  Defendants have stated they believe the Class Actions are
without merit and intend to defend them vigorously.


250 WEST: Plaintiffs Seek Consolidation of Five Class Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs moved for consolidation of five putative class action
lawsuits involving 250 West 57th St. Associates L.L.C. and for
appointment of co-lead counsel, according to the Company's
April 11, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

On September 30, 1953, 250 West 57th St. Associates L.L.C.
acquired fee title to the building known as 250 West 57th Street
(the "Building"), formerly known as the Fisk Building, and the
land thereunder located at 250-264 West 57th Street, in New York,
(collectively, the "Property").  The conversion of the Company
into a limited liability company under New York law in November
2001 did not change any aspect of the assets and operations of the
Company other than to protect its participants from any future
liability to a third party.  The Company's members are Peter L.
Malkin and Anthony E. Malkin (collectively, the "Agents"), each of
whom also acts as an agent for holders of participations in their
respective member interest in the Company (the "Participants").

The Company does not operate the Property and leases the Property
to Fisk Building Associates L.L.C. (the "Lessee") under a long-
term net operating lease.  Lessee is a New York limited liability
company whose members consist of, among others, Anthony E. Malkin
and entities for the benefit of members of Peter L. Malkin's and
Anthony E. Malkin's family.  In addition, both of the Agents hold
senior positions at Malkin Holdings LLC ("Malkin Holdings" or the
"Supervisor"), which provides supervisory and other services to
the Company and the Lessee.

Five putative class actions have been brought by participants in
the Company and several other entities supervised by Malkin
Holdings that own fee or leasehold interests in various properties
located in New York City, the first of which was filed March 1,
2012 (the "Class Actions").  As now pending in New York State
Supreme Court, New York County, each Class Action challenges the
proposed consolidation of those and other properties supervised by
Malkin Holdings into a real estate investment trust (the "REIT")
and the initial public offering of shares in Empire State Realty
Trust, Inc., a Maryland corporation which intends to qualify for
U.S. tax purposes as a REIT.  The plaintiffs assert claims against
Malkin Holdings, Malkin Properties, L.L.C., Malkin Properties of
New York, L.L.C., Malkin Properties of Connecticut, Inc., Malkin
Construction Corp., Anthony E. Malkin, Peter L. Malkin, Estate of
Leona M. Helmsley, Empire State Realty OP, L.P., and the REIT
("Defendants") for breach of fiduciary duty and/or aiding and
abetting breach of fiduciary duty, alleging, inter alia, that the
terms of the transaction are unfair to the participants and overly
favorable to Malkin Holdings and related parties.  The complaints
seek money damages and injunctive relief preventing the proposed
transaction.

On April 3, 2012, plaintiffs moved for consolidation of the
actions and for appointment of co-lead counsel.  Defendants intend
to consent to consolidation, and have no position with respect to
appointment of co-lead counsel.

The Company says the Class Actions are in a very preliminary
stage, with no responses to the complaints having been filed to
date.  Defendants have stated they believe the Class Actions are
without merit and intend to defend them vigorously.


APPLE: Wants iPhone Antitrust Class Action Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------
The American Lawyer reports that Apple is hoping that an
arbitration clause in AT&T Mobility's contract with its iPhone
customers can stop a proposed class action in its tracks -- again.
In a motion to dismiss, Apple argues that the new complaint is a
"brazen" attempt by the plaintiffs to circumvent the judge's
earlier order decertifying the class.


ARDEA BIOSCIENCES: Faces Shareholder Class Action in California
---------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Ardea Biosciences is selling
itself too cheaply through an unfair process to Astrazeneca, for
$32 a share or $1.26 billion, shareholders say in a class action
in Superior Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Walker v. Ardea Biosciences, Inc., et
al., Case No. 37-2012-00096151 (Calif. Super. Ct., San Diego
Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/24/SCA.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Randall J. Baron, Esq.
          A. Rick Atwood, Jr., Esq.
          David T. Wissbroecker, Esq.
          Edward M. Gergosian, Esq.
          ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN & DOWD LLP
          655 West Broadway, Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 231-1058


AT&T CORP: 9th Cir. Altered Denial of Motion to Compel Arbitration
------------------------------------------------------------------
In the consolidated lawsuit MARYGRACE CONEFF, et al., on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated v. AT&T CORP., NEW
CINGULAR WIRELESS SERVICES, INC., et al., Case No. 09-35563, the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district
court order refusing to enforce an arbitration agreement contained
in the parties' contracts.

Plaintiffs are customers of New Cingular and AT&T Mobility LLC.
They entered into service agreements with the Defendants.  Under
the lawsuit, they allege unjust enrichment and breach of contract
on state-law unconscionability grounds.  AT&T moved to compel
arbitration.  The district court invalidated the entire
arbitration agreement.  AT&T appealed.

On appeal, the Ninth Circuit noted that the Plaintiffs hails from
different states and the contracts contain choice-of-law
provisions.  "Procedural unconscionability, then, presents a
threshold choice of law question," the Ninth Circuit said.

The Ninth Circuit, thus, remanded the case to the district court
to apply Washington choice-of-law rules to Plaintiffs' procedural
unconscionability arguments.

A copy of the Ninth Circuit's March 16, 2012, Opinion is available
at http://is.gd/g8Zvgtfrom Leagle.com.

Counsel for Defendants are:

          Evan M. Tager, Esq.
          MAYER BROWN LLP,
          Washington, D.C.
          Tel No: (202) 263-3240
          E-mail: etager@mayerbrown.com

Counsel for Plaintiffs are:

          F. Paul Bland, Jr., Esq.
          PUBLIC JUSTICE, P.C.
          1825 K Street, NW, Suite 200
          Washington, DC 20036
          Tel No: (202) 797-8600
          Fax No: (202) 232-7203
          E-mail: pbland@publicjustice.net

               - and -

          Leslie A. Bailey, Esq.
          PUBLIC JUSTICE, P.C.
          Oakland, California
          E-mail: lbailey@publicjustice.net


BANK OF AMERICA: Faces Class Action Over Forced Flood Insurance
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nichols Kaster, PLLP filed a class action against Bank of America
for allegedly misrepresenting that flood insurance was required
for borrowers' housing cooperative units.

The lawsuit alleges that Bank of America then force-placed flood
insurance coverage on the Lemmers' cooperative unit even though no
flood insurance was required in the first place, and accepted a
commission for purchasing this unnecessary insurance at the
Lemmers' expense.

Not only did Bank of America illegally buy the insurance, it took
a commission for doing so.

On April 20, 2012, Plaintiffs Pamela and Mark Lemmer filed a class
action lawsuit against Bank of America, N.A. in United States
District Court in the Western District of North Carolina.

According to the Complaint, Bank of America falsely represented to
the Lemmers that flood insurance was required for their
cooperative unit by their mortgage and/or federal law, even though
their mortgage agreement does not contain a flood insurance
requirement and federal law does not require flood insurance for
cooperative units.  The lawsuit alleges that Bank of America then
force-placed flood insurance coverage on the Lemmers' cooperative
unit even though no flood insurance was required in the first
place, and accepted a commission for purchasing this unnecessary
insurance at the Lemmers' expense.  "Not only did Bank of America
illegally buy the insurance, it took a commission for doing so,"
said Plaintiffs' attorney Kai Richter -- krichter@nka.com

In their class action Complaint, the Lemmers seek relief on behalf
of themselves and other housing cooperative borrowers across the
country who have been similarly affected by Bank of America's
alleged conduct.  Based on this alleged conduct, Plaintiffs'
Complaint asserts claims against Bank of America for breach of
contract/breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and
fraud.

"In today's economic environment, many homeowners are struggling
to make their mortgage payments, and it is wrong for Bank of
America to add to their burden by demanding wholly unnecessary and
unauthorized flood insurance that is not required by borrowers'
mortgages or federal law." said Mr. Richter.  "It is particularly
egregious that Bank of America is accepting commissions in
connection with force-placed coverage." continued Mr. Richter.

The case is entitled Lemmer et al v. Bank of America N.A., No.
3:12-cv-000242-MOC-DSC (W.D.N.C.).  Plaintiffs are represented by
the law firms of Nichols Kaster, PLLP of Minneapolis, Minnesota
and Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP of Boston, Massachusetts.  The firm
of Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP of Raleigh, North Carolina also
represents the Plaintiffs.


BEST BUY: Minnesota Ct. Grants Motion to Dismiss Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Donovan W. Frank dismissed a class action complaint alleging
violations of the securities laws against Best Buy Co., Inc., et
al.

The class action, commenced on behalf of all person who acquired
Best Buy common stock between September 14, 2010 and December 13,
2010, is captioned IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund, Marian Haynes, and
Rene LeBlanc, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. BEST BUY CO., INC.; Brian J. Dunn; Jim Muehlbauer; and
Mike Vitelli, Case No. Civil No. 11-429 (DWF/FLN) (Minn.)  Marion
Haynes is lead plaintiff.

The Court found that the Plaintiffs have failed to plead facts
sufficient to show that Defendants had knowledge of any
information that rendered the Company's public statements false or
misleading when they were made.

Moreover, the Court denied Plaintiffs request for leave to further
amend their amended complaint.  Judge Buchwald does not believe
the interests of either party would be served by allowing
Plaintiffs to file a second amended complaint.

A copy of the Court's March 20, 2012 Memorandum Opinion and Order
is available at http://is.gd/ODD8POfrom Leagle.com.


BNSF RAILWAY: 7th Cir. Upholds Dist. Ct. Ruling in "Irish" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kenneth Irish, et al. sued BNSF Railway Company, Burlington
Northern, Santa Fe Railway Company, along with two Burlington
Northern employees, under theories of negligence and nuisance for
damage that occurred to their homes after a BNSF trestle became
clogged with debris during a rainstorm, resulting in widespread
flooding.  The district court concluded that section 88.87 of the
Wisconsin Statutes provides the exclusive remedy for claims
resulting from the construction and maintenance of railroad
grades, and that because the plaintiffs had failed to follow the
governing notice procedures for claims under that statute, relief
was unavailable to the plaintiffs. Irish v. BNSF Ry. Co., 2010 WL
4293578 (W.D. Wis. Oct. 21, 2010).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the
district court's ruling.

A copy of the Seventh Circuit's March 21, 2012 order is available
at http://is.gd/Y5ah1efrom Leagle.com.


BP: Shrimp Processors Challenge Oil Spill Settlement Terms
----------------------------------------------------------
Michael Kunzelman, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
a group of Gulf Coast shrimp processors asked a federal judge on
April 23 to hold off on giving his preliminary approval to
portions of BP's proposed class-action settlement of economic
damage claims spawned by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal calls for BP to pay $2.3 billion for certain seafood-
related claims, but a court filing by the American Shrimp
Processors Association argues its members are unfairly excluded
from that part of the settlement.

The group says the proposed formula for compensating shrimp
harvesters, boat captains and others eligible for shares of the
$2.3 billion is more generous than the formula that would be
applied to claims by shrimp processors and other businesses that
don't qualify for the seafood program.

"The two groups are part of the same shrimp supply chain and share
virtually identical future economic loss risk; however, their
compensation for future economic loss risks is widely disparate
for a number of reasons under the proposed Class Settlement," the
association's attorneys wrote.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier scheduled a hearing on April 25
on last week's request by BP and the Plaintiffs' Steering
Committee for his preliminary approval.

The association, which represents about 42 shrimp docks,
processors and related companies, is asking for more time to
possibly modify the settlement's terms to satisfy their
objections.  Florida Attorney General Pamela Jo Bondi also has
urged Judge Barbier to hold off on giving preliminary approval to
the deal before "other interested stakeholders" can review and
comment on its terms.

In an April 13 court filing, Ms. Bondi said the settlement seems
to apply only to claims from Florida residents and businesses on
the Panhandle or along the west coast of the state, possibly
shutting out thousands of other claimants in other parts of the
state.  Ms. Bondi also expressed concern that Judge Barbier's
preliminary approval would eliminate the interim claims process.

However, the plaintiff's attorneys who brokered the deal say BP
will continue to process and pay interim claims as required by
law.

BP PLC estimates it will pay about $7.8 billion to resolve claims
by more than 100,000 businesses and individuals who blame their
economic losses on the spill unleashed by the April 20, 2010,
blowout of BP's Macondo well.  But the settlement doesn't cap the
amount BP would pay to resolve these private claims.

John Tesvich, owner of Ameripure Oyster Co. in Franklin, La., said
his oyster processing business also would be excluded from the
$2.3 billion portion of the settlement.  But he was keeping an
open mind about what the deal's terms mean for his claim.

"I don't have all the numbers for our company," said Mr. Tesvich,
chairman of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.  "It's very
complicated running the numbers."

The settlement agreement doesn't resolve separate claims against
BP by the Gulf states and the federal government or claims against
BP's partners on the doomed Deepwater Horizon drilling project.

BP and the plaintiffs' attorneys have asked Judge Barbier to delay
trying the remaining claims until after he decides whether to give
his final approval to the settlement, a decision that may not come
until late this year.  On April 23, Judge Barbier set a May 1
deadline for other parties to weigh in on that issue.


CIGNA HEALTHCARE: Judge Sends Gender Bias Suit to Arbitration
--------------------------------------------------------------
The National Law Journal reports that in sending a gender bias
case against CIGNA Healthcare to arbitration, a judge has ruled
that a pattern-or-practice claim is a method of proving an
unlawful discrimination claim in a judicial class action, rather
than a freestanding cause of action -- while noting that the
plaintiff faces a more difficult burden of proof in individual
arbitration.


CKE RESTAURANTS: Continues to Face Employment-Related Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
CKE Restaurants, Inc. continues to face potential class action
lawsuits over employment matters in California, according to the
Company's April 11, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended January 30,
2012.

The Company is currently involved in legal disputes related to
employment claims, real estate claims and other business disputes.
As of January 31, 2012, the Company's accrued liability for
litigation contingencies with a probable likelihood of loss was
$2,409,000, with an expected range of losses from $2,409,000 to
$5,759,000.  With respect to employment matters, the Company's
most significant legal disputes relate to employee meal and rest
break disputes, and wage and hour disputes.  Several potential
class action lawsuits have been filed in the State of California,
regarding such employment matters, each of which is seeking
injunctive relief and monetary compensation on behalf of current
and former employees.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend against all
claims in these lawsuits; however, the Company is presently unable
to predict the ultimate outcome of these actions.

As of January 31, 2012, the Company estimated the contingent
liability of those losses related to litigation claims that are
not accrued, but that the Company believes are reasonably possible
to result in an adverse outcome and for which a range of loss can
be reasonably estimated, to be in the range of $2,550,000 to
$12,700,000.  In addition, the Company is involved in legal
matters where the likelihood of loss has been judged to be
reasonably possible, but for which a range of the potential loss
cannot be reasonably estimated based on current facts and
circumstances.


EMPIRE STATE: Plaintiffs Want Consolidation of Five Class Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs of five putative class action lawsuits involving Empire
State Building Associates L.L.C. moved for consolidation of the
cases and for appointment of co-lead counsel, according to the
Company's April 11, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

Empire State Building Associates L.L.C. was originally organized
on July 11, 1961, as a general partnership.  On October 1, 2001,
the Company converted to a limited liability company under New
York law.  The conversion did not change any aspect of the assets
and operations of the Company other than to protect its investors
from any future liability to a third party.  Through April 16,
2002, the Company owned the tenant's interest in a master
operating leasehold (the "Master Lease") of the Empire State
Building (the "Building"), located at 350 Fifth Avenue, in New
York.  On April 17, 2002, the Company acquired, through a wholly-
owned limited liability company (Empire State Land Associates
L.L.C.), the fee title to the Building, and the land thereunder
(the "Land") (together, the "Real Estate" or "Property"), at a
price of $57,500,000, and obtained a $60,500,000 first mortgage
with Capital One Bank to finance the acquisition and certain
related costs.

The Company does not operate the Building, and subleases the
Building to Empire State Building Company L.L.C. (the "Sublessee")
pursuant to a net operating sublease (the "Sublease") which
included an initial term which expired on January 4, 1992.  The
Company's members are Peter L. Malkin, Anthony E. Malkin and
Thomas N. Keltner, Jr. (collectively, the "Agents"), each of whom
also acts as an agent for holders of participations in his
respective member interest in the Company (the "Participants").
Sublessee is a New York limited liability company in which Peter
L. Malkin is a member and entities for Peter L. Malkin's family
members are beneficial owners.  All of the Members in the Company
hold senior positions at Malkin Holdings LLC ("Malkin Holdings" or
the "Supervisor") (formerly Wien & Malkin LLC), which provides
supervisory and other services to the Company and to Sublessee.

Five putative class actions have been brought by participants in
Empire State Building Associates L.L.C. and several other entities
supervised by Malkin Holdings that own fee or leasehold interests
in various properties located in New York City, the first of which
was filed March 1, 2012 (the "Class Actions").  As now pending in
New York State Supreme Court, New York County, each Class Action
challenges the proposed consolidation of those and other
properties supervised by Malkin Holdings into a real estate
investment trust (the "REIT") and the initial public offering of
shares in Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., a Maryland corporation
which intends to qualify for U.S. tax purposes as a REIT.  The
plaintiffs assert claims against Malkin Holdings, Malkin
Properties, L.L.C., Malkin Properties of New York, L.L.C., Malkin
Properties of Connecticut, Inc., Malkin Construction Corp.,
Anthony E. Malkin, Peter L. Malkin, Estate of Leona M. Helmsley,
Empire State Realty OP, L.P., and the REIT ("Defendants") for
breach of fiduciary duty and/or aiding and abetting breach of
fiduciary duty, alleging, inter alia, that the terms of the
transaction are unfair to the participants and overly favorable to
Malkin Holdings and related parties.  The complaints seek money
damages and injunctive relief preventing the proposed transaction.

On April 3, 2012, plaintiffs moved for consolidation of the
actions and for appointment of co-lead counsel.  Defendants intend
to consent to consolidation, and have no position with respect to
appointment of co-lead counsel.

The Company says the Class Actions are in a very preliminary
stage, with no responses to the complaints having been filed to
date.  Defendants have stated they believe the Class Actions are
without merit and intend to defend them vigorously.


FULL TILT: Poker Players File Class Action Over Frozen Accounts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Whysall, writing for ADINews reports that Black Friday's
consequences seem to still reign over the whole community of
online poker, especially over FTP (Full Tilt Poker).  As there has
been a new law suit that was filed against FTP, accusing specific
entities in FTP.  This class suit action was filed in a Las Vegas
Federal Court.  This class action suit was due to the seizure of
the bank accounts of players on Full Tilt Poker, this of course
aggravated the owners of these account to file this class suit.
The defendants want FTP to pay them their lost funds due to the
seizing of their accounts plus paying for additional damage.

This class suit action is considered the 2nd one, after the last
one being dismissed by the District Judge of the United States in
2011, which was filed by the same defendants.  These persistent
defendants include the poker players of Full Tilt Poker,
Robin Hougdahl, Steve Segal, Todd Terry and Nick Hammer.  All who
have lost their funds or have been denied access to them after the
occurrence of Black Friday.

This class action has named specific names in the Full Tilt Poker
board, specifying the directors Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer.
The class action follows the same footsteps made by the lead
prosecutor of the Black Friday massacre, Preet Bharara from the
Attorney Office of the United States last year in April.  As it
addressed the "Ponzi Scheme" allegations that Full Tilt Poker uses
as well.

It has also been reported that the defendants of this class action
suit have supplied the court with documents that prove that the
directors Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer have practiced
unlawful control over the player's money that was in their Full
Tilt Poker accounts.  Due to these unlawful actions, the players
have lost access or have been denied access to their rightful
funds in their FTP accounts.

There are also documents that the court holds that states that
Howard Lederer has received 42 million dollars, and Chris Ferguson
has received 85 million dollars in profit sharing payouts.  This
money is stated to come from the lost funds of the disgruntled
players who are filing the class action suit among others.  This
is not the only class action suit that is filed against Full Tilt
Poker, as the poker company is facing 3 Federal Court civil suits.
These legal suits are filed by the lawyers of other players who
have lost their funds in their FTP accounts due to Black Friday.


GEMS SENSORS: Recalls 25,000 Pressure Detectors/Transducers
-----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Gems Sensors Inc., of Plainville, Connecticut, announced a
voluntary recall of about 25,000 Gems 3100 Pressure
Detectors/Transducers.  Consumers should stop using recalled
products immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal
to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The transducer can fail to accurately detect water pressure in a
fire suppression sprinkler system.  This could cause the sprinkler
system to fail to activate and pump water to the sprinklers in the
event of a fire.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The Gems 3100 Pressure Transducer is used to detect pressure in a
range of applications, including the detection of water pressure
as part of a fire pump controller in a fire suppression sprinkler
system.  The transducer has "Gems Sensors & Controls," as well as
the 18- digit part number, printed on a label affixed to the
center of the transducer.  Part numbers beginning with "3100" are
included in this recall.  A picture of the recalled products is
available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12156.html

The recalled products were manufactured in England and sold
directly to end-users and through distributors from January 2006
through February 2012 for about $250.

Contact Gems to receive enhanced twice monthly inspection
instructions and information about a free replacement transducer,
when warranted.  End-users who use the 3100 Pressure Transducer in
other applications in which water pressure is measured should
contact Gems to determine if their units are affected.  For
additional information, call the company toll-free at (855) 877-
9666, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through
Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.gemssensors.com/


GENERAL ELECTRIC: Judge Tosses Securities Class Action
------------------------------------------------------
The American Lawyer reports that a group of 26 underwriter-banks
and other defendants accused of misleading investors in a $12
billion offering of General Electric stock scored a big win last
week with a federal judge's decision knocking out securities
claims that survived a January ruling by a now-retired judge.


GEOVERA SPECIALTY: Faces Class Action Over Insurance Provision
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Holleran, writing for The Southeast Texas Record, reports
that two Jefferson County residents have filed a putative class
action suit against their insurance company, alleging a provision
in its policy that prohibits lawsuits more than two years after an
occurrence should be rendered void.

Percy LeBlanc of Neches Avenue in Port Arthur and Douglas and
Sandra Hill of Sunbird Lane in Beaumont claim they purchased an
insurance policy through defendant GeoVera Specialty Insurance Co.

The plaintiffs made a claim on the policy after Hurricane Ike
struck on Sept. 13, 2008, causing damages to their properties,
according to the complaint filed April 4 in Jefferson County
District Court.

Later, a dispute between the plaintiffs and GeoVera arose.  The
plaintiffs then filed a suit against the defendants, the suit
states.

However, a provision in GeoVera's insurance policies prohibits its
insureds from filing a lawsuit more than two years following a
disaster, the complaint says.  The plaintiffs claim the provision
should be void.

"It is impossible for the cause of action to accrue on the day of
the loss, as the contract also requires the insured and the
insurer to perform numerous actions before the suit can be filed,"
the suit states.  "Therefore, the Suit Against Us clause in the
GeoVera policy is void because it limits the time to bring the
suit to less than two years from the time the cause of action
accrues."

The plaintiffs say many people across Texas are subject to the
provisions in the policy.  They want to file a class action on
behalf of those who have a policy with the provision.

They are seeking a declaratory judgment, plus attorneys' fees,
costs and other relief the court deems just.

Gregory F. Cox, Michael R. Ramsey and Katherine D. Ramsey of The
Mostyn Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District
Court.

Case No. A192-266


GRAIN PROCESSING: Faces Class Action Over Plant Emissions
---------------------------------------------------------
Perry Beeman, writing for DesMoinesRegister.com, reports that a
group of Muscatine citizens on April 23 sued Grain Processing
Corp., contending that emissions from the agriculture giant's
plant is harming their health.

It's the second lawsuit filed against the Muscatine mainstay in
four months.  The Iowa Department of Natural Resources sued the
company in December, alleging that the firm had recorded a long
string of environmental violations.

The Muscatine residents will ask Muscatine County District Court
to certify the action as a class action lawsuit.  Grain Processing
has said it plans to spend $100 million on plant upgrades to cut
emissions.

Grain Processing spokeswoman Janet Sichterman said the company had
not been served with the lawsuit early on April 23.  She had no
immediate comment.

Grain Processing has said it plans to spend $100 million on plant
upgrades to cut emissions.  The company makes corn syrups,
starches and alcohols for food, paper, and pharmaceutical
companies.

The named plaintiffs are Laurie Freeman, Joseph Preston, Sharon
Mockmore, Eugene W. Mockmore, Beccy Boysel, Gary D. Boysel, Daryle
Snyder, Linda L. Goreham, Gary R. Goreham, Kelcey Brackett, and
Bobbie Lynn Weatherman.  They contend the emissions hurt property
values and damage property, in addition to threatening people's
health.

Tony Buzbee of The Buzbee Law Firm -- tbuzbee@txattorneys.com --
said, "Our legal team is focused on obtaining fair compensation
for property damages and adverse health affects suffered by our
clients in Muscatine.

The plaintiffs allege testing has shown the health risks are real.
The plant releases volatile organic compounds and other toxic
chemicals, along with soot.

"Once in the air, the polluting chemicals and particles are blown
from the facility onto nearby homes, schools, and churches," the
lawsuit reads.  "Particulate matter, in the form of soot or smoke,
is visibly left on, and in, these structures."

Lawyers for the plaintiffs want the court to include owners of
property within three miles of the Muscatine plant. That would be
6,500 households and 17,000 people, according to the lawsuit.

The case is recorded as Laurie Freeman, et al., v. Grain
Processing Corp.


GROUPON INC: Improves Voucher Consumer Disclosure After Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
NorwalkPlus.com reports that Attorney General George Jepsen
announced on April 23 that Groupon, Inc., has improved the
consumer disclosure information on discount vouchers sold
nationwide after his office raised concerns about the expiration
of discount deals.

Attorney General Jepsen was the first attorney general to address
the expiration issue with Groupon, although it has been the
subject of private litigation across the country, including a
class action lawsuit that the company is currently seeking court
approval to settle. Connecticut is not a party in that lawsuit.

"I am very pleased that my office was able to play an integral
role in vastly improving the voucher form disclosures," Attorney
General Jepsen said.  "Groupon has been very cooperative and
responsive to the issues that we raised.  As a result, American
consumers will benefit from a clearer explanation of what they are
getting for their money."

Groupon introduced the revised vouchers throughout the country
late last week.  A statement advises purchasers that the sales
value -- the amount they paid for vouchers -- may be used with the
designated merchant at any time without expiration, even after the
Groupon promotional value -- the bargain offered by the voucher --
expires.

For example, a consumer may pay $20 for a Groupon voucher
entitling them to $40 worth of goods and services if purchased by
a certain date.  If the voucher has not been used by that date,
the $40 promotional offer expires, but the purchasers may still
redeem the voucher for $20 in goods or services from the issuing
merchant.

The same terms apply to vouchers sold before the language was
revised.  Consumers who experience difficulty in trying to redeem
the purchase value from old vouchers should contact Groupon
customer support at support@groupon.com or call (877) 788-7858.
They may also call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection
Department at 860-808-5400.

In July of 2011, Attorney General Jepsen wrote to Groupon seeking
to determine whether the company's vouchers violated a Connecticut
law prohibiting the sale of gift cards and certificates subject to
an expiration date.  At the time, Attorney General Jepsen said "I
have not prejudged Groupon or reached any conclusions.  I am
hopeful that any issues can be resolved through discussion and
cooperation."

Groupon disputed that Connecticut's gift card law applied to its
vouchers, which have both a sales value and promotional value.  No
court has yet addressed or resolved the question.

"This issue will likely continue to play out in litigation across
the country under the terms of various states' laws, and our
legislature may wish, at some point, to revisit or clarify the
intended scope of Connecticut's gift card statute," the Attorney
General said.

"Reasonable minds may differ about whether Connecticut's gift card
law was intended to apply to these kinds of vouchers," Attorney
General Jepsen said.  "But regardless of any legal uncertainty,
consumers are entitled to a clear explanation of what they are
getting when they purchase a Groupon voucher.  Groupon's new
voucher format does a far better job of providing that information
than the format in use when we began talking with the company."

Assistant Attorneys General Jeremy Pearlman and Jeffrey Zeman
handled this matter for the Attorney General with Assistant
Attorney General Phillip Rosario, head of the Consumer Protection
department.


HSBC MORTGAGE: Faces Class Action Over Illegal Foreclosures
-----------------------------------------------------------
Dionne Cordell-Whitney at Courthouse News Service reports that
HSBC Mortgage Services illegally foreclosed on homes of dozens of
veterans on active duty, without giving them the chance to seek
judicial stay, a National Guardsman claims in a federal class
action.

Lead plaintiff Philip M. Harry claims HSBC Mortgage Services
violates the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Mr. Harry, an Army National Guardsman who served as a sergeant in
Iraq from June 2008 to June 2009, says he learned his home had
been foreclosed upon and sold when his parents forwarded his mail
to him in Iraq.

Mr. Harry says he was ordered to report to Fort Sill, Okla., for
active duty on April 15, 2008, and that HSBC began foreclosing
upon his home that very day.  HSBC "attempted service" at his home
on April 21, but Mr. Harry was not there.

"Mr. Harry received no notice of the pending foreclosure," the
complaint states.  "Interestingly, Mr. Miller's [hired by a law
firm to serve notice of sheriff's sale] affidavit was not
notarized until June 3, 2008."

HSBC bought his home at foreclosure on June 4, 2008, for $32,605,
though its assessed value then for county tax was $141,000, the
complaint states.

Mr. Harry says he had no idea his home was being sold.

The complaint states: "On June 3, 2008, an associate of the firm
of Reiter & Schiller, P.A., executed and later filed an affidavit,
purporting to be upon personal knowledge that, after 'inquiry by'
unidentified 'agents of the mortgagee,' Mr. Harry 'was not in the
military or naval service of the United States.'  See affidavit
attached hereto as Exhibit A.  Such affidavit was factually
incorrect.  It was made without personal knowledge of the facts
and in reckless disregard of its truth and falsity.  Not only was
the affidavit false but, had HSBC Mortgage or its agents checked
easily available records maintained by the Department of Defense,
it would have known that it was false.  Furthermore, defendant
made no attempt to determine Mr. Harry's military status in any
way, including by contacting him directly."

Mr. Harry claims that on April 13, 2011, HSBC Mortgage's corporate
parent, HSBC North America Holdings Inc. (HNAH), entered into a
Consent Order with Board of Governors Federal Reserve System.

According to the complaint: "the Federal Reserve alleged that
HNAH's 'Mortgage Servicing Companies' had engaged in numerous
illegal activities: filing affidavits in state courts 'based on
personal knowledge or based on a review by the affiant of the
relevant books and records, when, in many cases, they were not
based on such knowledge or review;' 'failed to respond to a
sufficient and timely manner to the increased level of
foreclosures by increasing financial, staffing, and managerial
resources to ensure that the Mortgage Servicing Companies
adequately handled the foreclosure process;' failed to have
adequate internal controls, policies and procedures, compliance
risk management, internal audit, training, and board oversight of
the foreclosure process, including sufficient oversight of outside
counsel . . . handling foreclosure related services.'"

At the time, HNAH was the 12th largest services or residential
mortgages in the country, with a portfolio of 892,200 residential
mortgage loans, according to the complaint.

It adds: "As part of the Consent Order, HNAH agreed to an
'independent review of certain residential mortgage foreclosure
actions . . . to determine . . . whether the foreclosure was in
accordance with applicable state and federal laws, including but
not limited to, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act . . .  .'"

Mr. Harry claims that review turned up "a total of 87 foreclosures
with an SCRA identification" -- from HSBC alone, from Jan. 1, 2009
through Dec. 31, 2010.

Mr. Harry claims he and his class have lost their homes, incurred
additional expenses in trying to redeem or reinstate their
mortgages and have suffered damage to their credit.  He seeks
class certification and compensatory and punitive damages for
conversion and violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

For his service in Iraq, Sgt. Harry was awarded the Army
Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National
Defense Service Medal, the national Terrorism Service Medal, the
Army Overseas Service Medal, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal,
according to the complaint.

A copy of the Complaint in Harry v. HSBC Mortage Services, Inc.,
Case No. 12-cv-00990 (D. Minn.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/24/HSBC.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Vildan A. Teske, Esq.
          William H. Crowder, Esq.
          Marisa C. Katz, Esq.
          Colleen Daly, Esq.
          CROWDER TESKE, PLLP
          222 South Ninth Street, Suite 3210
          Minneapolis, MN 55402
          Telephone: (612) 746-1558
          E-mail: crowder@crowderteske.com
                  teske@crowderteske.com
                  katz@crowderteske.com
                  daly@crowderteske.com

               - and -

          Richard J. Fuller, Esq.
          Bert Black, Esq.
          Douglas L. Micko, Esq.
          SCHAEFER LAW FIRM, LLC
          400 South Fourth Street, Suite 202
          Minneapolis, MN 55402
          Telephone: (612) 294-2600
          E-mail: rfuller@schaeferlaw.com
                  bblack@schaeferlaw.com
                  dmicko@schaeferlaw.com


IMMUCOR INC: Appeal in Securities Litigation Remains Pending
------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal from the dismissal of a private securities litigation
against Immucor, Inc. remains pending, according to the Company's
April 11, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended February 29, 2012.

Private securities litigation in the United States District Court
of North Georgia against the Company and certain of its current
and former directors and officers asserts federal securities fraud
claims on behalf of a putative class of purchasers of the
Company's Common Stock between October 19, 2005, and June 25,
2009.  The case alleges that the defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended, by failing to disclose that Immucor had violated the
antitrust laws, and challenges the sufficiency of the Company's
disclosures about the results of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration inspections and the Company's quality control
efforts.  In June 2011, the Court dismissed the complaint and
closed the case. Plaintiffs filed a motion to reconsider, which
was denied.  In September 2011, plaintiffs filed a notice of
appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh
Circuit.

The Company says it will defend the case vigorously if it is
reinstated.  At this time, the Company cannot reasonably assess
the timing or outcome of this litigation or its effect, if any, on
its business.


IMMUCOR INC: Final Hearing on $22-Mil. Settlement Set for June
--------------------------------------------------------------
A hearing for final approval of Immucor, Inc.'s $22 million
settlement of a consolidated class action lawsuit alleging
violations of the Sherman Act will be held in June 2012, according
to the Company's April 11, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended February
29, 2012.

Beginning in May 2009, a series of class action lawsuits was filed
against the Company, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc. and Johnson
& Johnson Health Care Systems, Inc. alleging that the defendants
conspired to fix prices at which blood reagents are sold,
asserting claims under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, and seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief, treble damages, costs, and
attorneys' fees.  All of these actions make substantially the same
allegations.  These actions were consolidated in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

On January 11, 2012, Immucor entered into a settlement agreement
with the plaintiff class representatives in these actions.  Under
the terms of the settlement agreement, which are subject to final
approval by the court following notice to potential class members,
the Company will pay $22 million into a settlement fund in
exchange for a release by all potential class members of the
direct purchaser claims related to the products and acts
enumerated in the Complaint, as well as a dismissal of the case
with prejudice.  The release would not cover potential class
members that affirmatively opt out of the settlement.  The $22
million is reflected in "certain litigation expenses" on the
Company's condensed consolidated statements of operations and in
"accrued expenses and other current liabilities" on its condensed
consolidated balance sheets.

In March 2012, the Court granted preliminary approval of the
settlement and ordered that a hearing on final approval be held in
June 2012 following notice to potential class members.


IMMUCOR INC: Two Remaining Acquisition-Related Suits Dismissed
--------------------------------------------------------------
In March 2012, one of the remaining acquisition-related class
action lawsuits was dismissed with prejudice and in April 2012,
the other remaining case was voluntarily dismissed without
prejudice, Immucor, Inc. disclosed in its April 11, 2012, Form 10-
Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended February 29, 2012.

The Company was acquired on August 19, 2011, through a merger
transaction with IVD Acquisition Corporation ("Merger Sub"), a
wholly owned subsidiary of IVD Intermediate Holdings B, Inc. (the
"Parent").  The Parent is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of
IVD Holdings, Inc. which was formed by investment funds affiliated
with TPG Capital, L.P. ("TPG Capital").  The acquisition was
accomplished through a merger of the Merger Sub with and into the
Company, with the Company being the surviving company (the
"Acquisition").  As a result of the merger, the Company became a
wholly owned subsidiary of Parent.

In July 2011, in connection with the Acquisition, a series of six
class action lawsuits were filed in the Superior Courts of Fulton
County and Gwinnett County, Georgia, captioned as Hillary Kramer
v. Immucor, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 2011CV203124 (Fulton
County), Babette C. Schorsch v. Immucor, Inc., et al., Civil
Action No. 11A0776-1 (Gwinnett County), Allan Pillay v. Immucor,
Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 2011CV203339 (Fulton County), Larry
Macintyre v. Immucor, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 2011CV203397
(Fulton County), Irene Dixon v. Immucor, Inc., et al., Civil
Action No. 2011CV203567 (Fulton County), and Gilbert Rosenthal v.
Immucor, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 11A079463 (Gwinnett
County).  All of these actions were brought on behalf of the
Company's public shareholders against, in various combinations,
the Company, its individual directors, certain of its executive
officers, TPG Capital and certain of its affiliates.  The actions
asserted claims for breaches of fiduciary duties against the
Company's board of directors in connection with the Acquisition,
and for aiding and abetting the purported breaches of fiduciary
duties by the TPG Capital defendants.  Some of the actions also
included allegations that the Company's Schedule 14D-9 filed with
respect to the Acquisition failed to provide certain allegedly
material information.  The plaintiffs sought, among other things,
preliminary and permanent relief, including injunctive relief
enjoining the consummation of the Acquisition, rescission of the
Acquisition and costs, expenses and disbursements of the action.

The Pillay case was dismissed without prejudice in August 2011;
the Kramer, Macintyre and Dixon cases were dismissed without
prejudice in September 2011; the Schorsch case was dismissed with
prejudice in March 2012 and the Rosenthal case was dismissed
without prejudice in April 2012.


INTERMIX MEDIA: Revised Allocation Plan in "Brown" Suit Approved
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge George H. King of the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California, approved a revised plan for the allocation
of settlement proceeds among members of the class in a lawsuit
against certain former Intermix Media, Inc. directors and
officers.

The case is captioned JIM BROWN, Individually and On Behalf of All
Others Similarly Situated v. BRETT C. BREWER, et al, Case No.
2:06-cv-03731 (C.D. Calif.).  The lawsuit was brought on behalf of
persons who held Intermix common stock at any time from July 18,
2005 through September 30, 2005.  It alleges violations of
securities laws.

Judge King approved and found that the class settlement is fair,
reasonable, and in the best interests of the class members.  He
also approved the revised Plan of Allocation as fair and adequate.
Upon the consummation of the class settlement, the complaint will
be deemed dismissed with prejudice.

The Court further awarded Plantiff's lead counsel attorney fees of
27% of the Settlement Fund, plus expenses in the amount of
$851,286 with interest.

The Court also awarded Plaintiff Jim Brown $10,000 for his time
and expenses in representing the Class.

A copy of the Court's March 19, 2012 judgment is available at
http://is.gd/71krpMfrom Leagle.com.

Lead Counsel for Plaintiff are:

          Darren J. Robbins, Esq.
          Randall J. Baron, Esq.
          Ellen Gusikoff Stewart, Esq.
          David T. Wissbroecker, Esq.
          Eun Jin Lee, Esq.
          ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN & DOWD LLP
          655 West Broadway, Suite 1900,
          San Diego, CA
          Tel No: (619)231-1058
          Fax No: (619)231-7423
          E-mail: darrenr@rgrdlaw.com
                  randyb@rgrdlaw.com
                  ellene@grdlaw.com
                  dwissbroecker@rgrdlaw.com
                  elee@rgrdlaw.com


KAISER FOUNDATION: Faces Overtime Class Action in California
------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Kaiser Foundation Hospitals
stiff "appointment center supervisors" for overtime, a class
action claims in Federal Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Martel v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals,
et al., Case No. 12-cv-03504 (C.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/24/KaiserCA.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Miriam L. Schimmel, Esq.
          Cory G. Lee, Esq.
          Katherine Den Bleyker, Esq.
          Tarek H. Zohdy, Esq.
          INITIATIVE LEGAL GROUP APC
          1800 Century Park East, 2nd Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 556-5637
          E-mail: mschimmel@initiativelegal.com
                  corylee@initiativelegal.com
                  kdenbleyker@initiativelegal.com
                  tzohdy@initiativelegal.com


LEIGHTON HOLDINGS: Won't Face Audit Issues, KPMG Says
-----------------------------------------------------
Damon Kitney, writing for The Australian, reports that the former
auditor of Leighton Holdings says it has nothing to fear from a
looming class action against the construction giant and has denied
it should have demanded the company disclose financial problems
with key projects earlier last year.

As rival accounting firm and former Centro auditor Price-
waterhouseCoopers has become embroiled in a wave of negative
publicity in a class action case against the property group, KPMG
national chairman Peter Nash denied the firm could face similar
issues in an upcoming action by Maurice Blackburn against
Leighton.

"No, because I think we have executed an outstanding audit,"
Mr. Nash told The Australian.

The class action relates to the company's shock announcement in
April last year that it expected to post an annual loss of AUD427
million, after booking surprise losses on its Victorian
desalination plant, the Brisbane Airport Link project and further
writedowns on its Middle East joint venture.

Maurice Blackburn is claiming that Leighton management should have
informed the market about the problems as early as November 2010.

Last month, Leighton was fined AUD300,000 and signed an
enforceable undertaking with the Australian Securities &
Investments Commission to implement changes to its continuous
disclosure procedures after the corporate regulator found there
should have been immediate disclosure in March last year of AUD1.1
billion of writedowns on the three big projects.  It has since
announced further shock writedowns on the projects.

The company is also being investigated by the Australian Federal
Police over bribery allegations involving its offshore subsidiary
in Iraq.

Maurice Blackburn principal Andrew Watson has claimed the ASIC
action strengthened its case and reinforced the firm's belief that
Leighton did indeed know of its weaker position before the market
was informed.

But Mr. Nash stressed KPMG had no role in policing the company's
disclosure practices.

"It is an important point that when it comes to continuous
disclosure, auditors don't have obligations around continuous
disclosure.  That is not in your auditor's obligations," he said.

At its annual general meeting next month, Leighton will ratify a
proposal to sever the group's 20-year relationship with KPMG,
stripping the accounting firm of more than AUD3 million a year in
audit fees.

Deloitte will replace its rival as Leighton's auditor after the
group said it wanted its new auditor to be "aligned" with its
parent, Spanish conglomerate ACS.

Deloitte audits ACS's accounts, as well as those of Leighton's
major shareholder, German construction giant Hochtief, which the
Spanish company took control of last year following a hostile
takeover bid.

Mr. Nash said the change was inevitable and stressed it had
nothing to do with the disclosure issues surrounding the company.

"It is completely separate," Mr. Nash said.  "Changing auditors
when you have majority ownership is the normal course for audit
relationships.

"It was more unusual to have the Leighton relationship where we
remained auditors after Hochtief acquired their majority ownership
(more than a decade ago).

"So in one sense it was inevitable that would change."


LENOVO: Recalls 13,000 ThinkCentre M70z/M90z Desktop Computers
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Lenovo, of Morrisville, North Carolina, announced a voluntary
recall of about 13,000 units of Lenovo ThinkCentre M70z and M90z
computers.  About 50,500 were previously recalled in March 2012
[http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12129.html].
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

A defect in an internal component in the power supply can overheat
and pose a fire hazard.

The firm received reports of one fire incident and one smoke
incident in the U.S.  No injuries have been reported.

The recalled all-in-one desktop computers, or PCs, are flat-panel
monitors with the PC integrated into the monitor housing itself.
The power supplies are also inside the monitor or PC housing.  The
computer chassis has a matte black finish with the brand name
"ThinkCentre" in the lower left hand corner of the monitor front.
The recalled desktop model numbers, M90z and M70z, along with the
serial number and manufacturing date code can be found on a label
on the underside of the unit.

             Models           Date Codes
         -------------       ------------
         M70z and M90z       1001 to 1012
         M70z and M90z       1101 to 1112
         M70z and M90z       1201 to 1203
         M70z and M90z        001 to 012
         M70z and M90z        101 to 112
         M70z and M90z        201 to 203

Consumers will need to check the serial number on their computer
with Lenovo to determine if it is subject to this recall.

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12159.html

The recalled products were manufactured in Mexico and sold online
at Lenovo's Web sites, by telephone and direct sales through
Lenovo authorized distributors nationwide from May 2010 through
March 2012 for about $500 for the M70z model and $800 for the M90z
model.

Consumers should immediately stop using the computers, unplug the
power supply and contact the firm to determine if your computer is
included in the recall and to schedule an appointment for a free
replacement of the power supply.  Because additional systems and
manufacturing dates have been added to the recall, even those
customers who contacted Lenovo regarding the March 2012 recall
[http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12129.html]should
contact Lenovo again to verify if their system is part of this
expanded program.  For additional information, contact Lenovo
toll-free at (855) 248-2194 anytime, or visit the firm's Web site
at http://www.lenovo.com/aiopsurecall/


LG ELECTRONICS: Sued Over Antitrust and Consumer Laws Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gio's, Inc., a California corporation; Giovanni Constabile on
behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v. LG
Electronics, Inc.; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Samsung SDI Co.,
Ltd.; Samsung Electronics America, Inc.; Samsung SDI America,
Inc.; Samtel Color, Ltd.; Toshiba Corporation; Toshiba America
Electronic Components, Inc.; Toshiba America Information Systems,
Inc.; Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display Co., Ltd.; MT Picture
Display Corporation of America (New York); MT Picture Display
Corporation of America (Ohio); Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.,
Ltd.; Panasonic Corporation of North America; Beijing-Matsushita
Color CRT Company, Ltd.; Orion Electric Co., Ltd.; Orion America,
Inc.; Hitachi Ltd.; Hitachi America, Ltd.; Hitachi Asia, Ltd.;
Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd.; Chunghwa Picture Tubes (Malaysia)
Sdn. Bhd.; LP Displays International, Ltd.; Koninkliike Philips
Electronics N.V.; Philips Electronics North America; Irico Group
Corp.; Irico Display Devices Co., Ltd.; Thai CRT Company, Ltd.;
and Tatung Company of America, Inc., Case No. 3:12-cv-01998 (N.D.
Calif., April 23, 2012) is brought for damages and injunctive
relief under state and federal antitrust, unfair competition, and
consumer protection laws.

The lawsuit is brought as a class action on behalf of individuals
and entities that indirectly purchased products containing cathode
ray tubes ("CRT Products") in the United States of America from
the Defendants, their predecessors, or their controlled
subsidiaries and affiliates during the period beginning at least
January 1, 1995, through the present.  The Plaintiffs allege that
during the Class Period the Defendants conspired to fix, raise,
maintain or stabilize prices of CRT Products sold in the United
States.  Because of Defendants' unlawful conduct, the Plaintiffs
and other Class Members paid artificially inflated prices for CRT
Products and have suffered antitrust injury to their business or
property, the Plaintiffs argue.

Gio's is a California corporation doing business in the City and
County of San Francisco.  Giovanni Constabile is a resident of the
state of California.  During the relevant period, the Plaintiffs
indirectly purchased CRT Products from one or more of the
Defendants or their co-conspirators and have been injured by
reason of the antitrust violations alleged in the complaint.

The LG and Samsung entities, except for their American
subsidiaries, are corporations organized under the laws of Korea.
Samtel is an Indian company.  Toshiba Corporation is a business
entity organized under the laws of Japan.  Toshiba America
Electronics and Toshiba America Information are California
corporations.

Matsushita-Toshiba was established as a CRT joint venture between
Defendants Matsushita and Toshiba and is a Japanese entity.  MT
Picture New York and MT Picture Ohio are dissolved corporations
owned by Matsushita-Toshiba.  Matsushita Electric is a Japanese
entity.  Panasonic is a Delaware corporation and a wholly owned
subsidiary of Matsushita Electric.  Beijing-Matsushita is a
Chinese company.

Orion Electric is a Japanese company.  Orion America is an Indiana
corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of Orion Electric.
Hitachi, Ltd. is a business entity organized under the laws of
Japan.  Hitachi America, a New York corporation, is a wholly owned
and controlled subsidiary of Hitachi.  Hitachi Asia is a
Singaporean company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi.

Chunghwa Picture Tubes is a business entity organized under the
laws of Taiwan.  Chungwha Malaysia is a Malaysian company and a
wholly owned subsidiary of Chungwha Picture Tubes.

LP Displays was a created joint venture between LG Electronics and
Royal Philips Electronics of The Netherlands, which became an
independent company organized under the laws of Hong Kong.
Koninklijke Philips, also known as Royal Philips Electronics N.
V., is a company organized under the laws of The Netherlands.
Philips Electronics NA is a Delaware corporation and a wholly
owned subsidiary of Royal Philips.

Irico Group and Irico Display are Chinese entities.  Thai CRT is a
Thai company.  Tatung Company of America is a California
corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of Tatung Company of
Taiwan.

During the Class Period, the Defendants manufactured, sold and
distributed CRT Products to customers throughout the United
States.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Lingel H. Winters, Esq.
          LINGEL H. WINTERS, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
          275 Battery Street, Suite 2600
          San Francisco, CA
          Telephone: (415) 398-2941
          Facsimile: (415) 393-9887
          E-mail: sawmill2@aol.com


LOUISE PARIS: Recalls 13,000 Girls' Jackets Sold at Ross Stores
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Louise Paris Ltd., of New York, announced a voluntary recall of
about 13,000 units of "Me Jane" and "B-Hip Kids by Me Jane" girls'
jackets with faux fur trim.  Consumers should stop using recalled
products immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal
to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The jackets have drawstrings at the waist that could become
snagged or caught in small spaces or vehicle doors and pose an
entanglement hazard to young children.  In February 1996, CPSC
issued guidelines [http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/208.pdf]about
drawstrings in children's upper outerwear.  In 1997, those
guidelines were incorporated into a voluntary standard.  Then, in
July 2011, based on the guidelines and voluntary standard, CPSC
issued a federal regulation.  CPSC's actions demonstrate a
commitment to help prevent children from strangling or getting
entangled on neck and waist drawstrings in upper outerwear, such
as jackets and sweatshirts.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

This recall involves two girls' polyfill jackets with faux-fur
trim around the hoods and drawstrings at the waist.  They were
sold under the labels "Me Jane Kids" or "B-Hip Kids by Me Jane",
and the labels bearing these names are found at the back neck of
the garments.  The jackets were sold in youth sizes 4- 6X and 7-
16.  These jackets were also labeled by sizes S, M, L.  One style
labeled "Me Jane Kids" is fleece with front drawstrings with
toggles at the ends and sold in the following colors: green,
charcoal grey and black.  Other "Me Jane Kids" or "B-Hip Kids by
Me Jane" brand labeled bubble jackets have drawstrings on the
back, no toggles and were sold in the following colors: purple,
black, pink, coffee, and cream.  Pictures of the recalled products
are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12157.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively at Ross Stores, Inc. nationwide from November 2011
through January 2012 for about $20.

Consumers should immediately remove the drawstrings from the
jackets to eliminate the hazard and contact Louise Paris for
instructions on how to receive a full refund.  For additional
information, please contact Louise Paris at (877) 537-7517 between
9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, or at
complaints@louiseparis.com


M&T BANK: 11 Cir. Vacates Denial of Motion to Compel Arbitration
----------------------------------------------------------------
Maxine Given filed a putative class action against Manufacturers
and Traders Trust Company (M&T Bank), alleging that M&T Bank
improperly charged its checking account customers overdraft fees.
The district court denied M&T Bank's renewed motion to compel
arbitration, finding that Ms. Given's claims are not within the
scope of the parties' arbitration agreement. The bank appealed
that denial.

In a March 21, 2012 per curiam decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Eleventh Circuit vacated the district court's denial of
the renewed motion to compel arbitration.  The matter is remanded
for proceedings consistent with the Eleventh Circuit's opinion.

The Eleventh Circuit agreed with M&T Bank that under the
delegation provision of the arbitration agreement, the decision of
whether Ms. Given's claims are within the scope of the arbitration
agreement is a decision for an arbitrator.  "The district court
erred in making that decision itself," the Eleventh Circuit held.

The case is captioned MAXINE AARONS GIVEN, Individually and on
behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v. M & T BANK CORPORATION,
etc., et al., MANUFACTURERS AND TRADERS TRUST COMPANY, a.k.a. M &
T BANK, Case No. 11-14282, Non-Argument Calendar, MDL No. 2036
(11th Cir).

A copy of the Eleventh Circuit's March 21, 2012 decision is
available at http://is.gd/EkgpNofrom Leagle.com.


NEW YORK: Class Action Over NYPD Summon Quotas Okayed
-----------------------------------------------------
Bruce Golding, writing for New York Post, reports that a judge on
April 23 gave the green light to a class-action lawsuit that
accuses the NYPD of imposing quotas on the number of summonses
that had to be issued by its cops.

Under the ruling by Manhattan federal judge Robert Sweet, those
eligible to join the suit include everyone whose summonses were
dismissed "upon a judicial finding of facial insufficiency and who
were ticketed without probable cause" since May 25, 2007.

Nine people sued the city in 2010 over claims that police officers
trying to meet quotas slapped them with trumped-up summonses for
disorderly conduct or an open-container violation.

The city had no comment.


PASSAIC COUNTY, NJ: Judge Okays Deal to Improve Jail Conditions
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a federal judge in New Jersey
approved an agreement on April 23 that requires officials to
improve conditions at the Passaic County Jail and places the
Paterson facility under a court-appointed monitor.

The reforms were ordered following a class-action lawsuit filed in
2008 by the American Civil Liberties Union and other human rights
advocates on behalf of eight inmates at the jail.  Seton Hall Law
School's Center for Social Justice and Princeton-based law firm
Dechert LLP also represented the inmates.

The lawsuit called conditions at the time "an affront to human
decency," arguing that the aging, deteriorating structure was
dangerous, unsanitary and overcrowded, and that inmates were
forced to live in inhumane conditions.

The settlement, which does not involve money, focuses on several
of those conditions.  It requires numerous upgrades including new
fire detection, alarm and ventilation systems.  It also calls for
more medical and mental health staff at the jail and various
incentives to avoid overcrowding.

The ACLU hailed the settlement "a huge victory" for inmates.

Bill Maer, a spokesman for the Passaic County Sheriff's Office,
which operates the jail, said most of the allegations predated the
current sheriff, and facility improvements and the reduction of
the inmate population had been under way before the settlement.

The jail was designed to hold about 900 inmates but has
occasionally housed more than 2,000.  The more than 50-year-old
building was one of the nation's largest holders of immigration
detainees after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.  That surge was
followed by hunger strikes and other protests alleging
mistreatment and overcrowding.

In 2006, the jail stopped housing immigrants facing deportation
after a controversy over treatment of foreign detainees there.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Hayden even reduced an inmate's
sentence based on the situation, calling conditions at the jail
"shameful."

The settlement was reached in February; U.S. District Judge Dennis
Cavanaugh signed off on it on April 23.


PHILIP MORRIS: App. Ct. Rejects Counsel Disqualification Order
--------------------------------------------------------------
Norman R. Broin, et al., petitioned for certiorari review of an
order disqualifying their attorneys in a 1991 class action brought
by numerous flight attendants against several tobacco companies.

In a March 21, 2012 ruling, the District Court of Appeal of
Florida, Third District, quashed the trial court order because it
departs from essential requirements of law.

"Here, petitioners' right to be represented by experienced counsel
of their choice is outweighed by any prejudice to the respondents.
[Counsel to the flight attendants] [Philip] Gerson and [Steven]
Hunter are familiar with the history of this litigation, have
demonstrated their ability to effectively advocate for their
clients, and seek to provide greater benefits to all class
members. Conversely, prejudice to the respondents is minimal," the
Appellate Court opined.

The matter is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

The case is captioned Norma R. Broin, et al, petitioners v.
Phillip Morris Companies, Inc., et al., respondents, Case Nos.
3D11-2129, 3D11-2141 (Fla. 3d DCA). Plaintiffs complained of
sustaining diseases caused by exposure to second hand cigarette in
some airline cabins.

A copy of the Appellate Court's March 21, 2012 order is available
at http://is.gd/xvaIutfrom Leagle.com.

Counsel for the Petitioners are:

          Edward S. Schwartz, Esq.
          GERSON & SCHWARTZ
          1980 Coral Way
          Miami, Florida 33145
          Tel No: (305) 539-8000
          Fax No: (305) 371-5749
          E-mail: eschwartz@gslawusa.com

               - and -

          Steve Hunter, Esq.
          HUNTER, WILLIAMS & LYNCH
          75 Valencia Avenue, Suite 1150
          Coral Gables, Florida 33134
          Tel No: (305) 371-1404
          Fax No: (305) 371-1307

Counsel for Respondents are:

          John W. Kozyak, Esq.
          KOZYAK TROPIN & THROCKMORTON, P.A.
          2525 Ponce de Leon, 9th Floor
          Miami, Florida 33134
          Tel No: (305) 377-0654
          E-Mail: jk@kttlaw.com

               - and -

          David J. Sales, Esq.
          DAVID J. SALES, P.A.
          1001 North U.S. Highway One, Suite 200
          Jupiter, FL 33477

               - and -

          Christian D. Searcy, Esq.
          SEARCY DENNEY
          E-mail: CDS@searcylaw.com

                -- and --

          Miles A. McGrane, III, Esq.
          MCGRANE NOSICH & GANZ
          75 Valencia Ave., Ste. 1100
          Coral Gables, FL 33134


PUMA NORTH: Recalls 5,000 V-Konstruct Training Jackets
------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
PUMA North America, Inc., of Westford, Massachusetts, announced a
voluntary recall of about 5,000 PUMA USA V-Konstruct Training
Jackets with Pockets.  Consumers should stop using recalled
products immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal
to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The jacket has a drawstring at the waist that has toggles and is
not stitched to the back of the jacket.  The drawstring could
become snagged or caught in small spaces or vehicle doors and it
poses an entanglement hazard.  In February 1996, CPSC issued
guidelines [http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/208.pdf]about
drawstrings in children's upper outerwear.  In 1997, those
guidelines were incorporated into a voluntary standard.  Then in
July 2011, based on the guidelines and voluntary standard, CPSC
issued a federal regulation.  CPSC's actions demonstrate a
commitment to help prevent children from strangling or getting
entangled on neck and waist drawstrings in upper outerwear, such
as jackets and sweatshirts.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

This recall involves the USA V-Konstruct Training Jacket with
Pockets model numbers 65110201, 65110202, 65110203, 65110204 and
65110205.  The model numbers are printed on the white care label
that is stitched into a side seam towards the bottom of the
jacket.  The model numbers appear to the right of the words "(PVC
Free)" and below the words "ART.NO."  The recalled jackets have a
short collar, full length zipper, two pockets, a mesh panel
running along the back of the shoulders and under the sleeves and
an elastic cord with toggles at the waist.  The PUMA logo is
featured on the upper right chest and left sleeve.  The jackets
were sold in YS (youth small), YM (youth medium) and YL (youth
large) and in color combinations red/black, green/black,
blue/black, navy/gray and black/gray.  A picture of the recalled
products is available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12160.html

The recalled products were manufactured in Vietnam, Malaysia and
China and sold at clothing retail stores nationwide and online
from January 2007 through January 2012 for between $12 and $55.

Consumers should stop using these recalled youth jackets
immediately and return the product to the retailer to obtain a
full refund.  For additional information, contact PUMA North
America Inc. toll-free at (855) 351-7489 between 9:00 a.m. and
5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, visit the Company's
Web site at http://www.puma.com/or e-mail the firm at
productissue@puma.com


SCME MORTGAGE: Faces Suit Over Sunnyvale, California Property
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jose Garcia and Consuelo Garcia, individuals, on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated v. SCME Mortgage
Bankers, Inc., as the Original Lender; Stewart Title Company of
San Diego, as the Original Trustee; Fidelity National Title, Title
Company; Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP, as the PSA Master
Servicer; Aurora Loan Services as sub Servicer; Greenwich Capital
Financial Products, Inc. PSA Sponsor and Seller; Greenwich Capital
Acceptance, Inc., as PSA Depositor; Deutsche Bank National Trust
Company, as PSA Trustee; Deutsche Bank National Trust Company PSA
Custodian; Harborview Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-5, as the PSA Trust
Issuing Entity; Theodore Schultz, as Vice President of MERS, Inc.;
Irene Guerrero the Notary of the Assignment of Deed of Trust;
Karla Sanchez, as Assistant Secretary of Quality Loan Service
Corporation; Michelle Nguyen the Notary of the Trustee's Deed Upon
Sale; and Does 1 through 100, inclusive, Case No. 5:12-cv-01988
(N.D. Calif., April 20, 2012) is brought for declaratory judgment,
injunctive and equitable relief, and for compensatory, special,
general and punitive damages.

The Plaintiffs dispute the title and ownership of a real property
located at 598 E. Duane Avenue, in Sunnyvale, California, in that
the originating mortgage lender and others alleged to have
ownership, have unlawfully sold, assigned and transferred their
ownership and security interest in a promissory note and deed of
trust related to the Property.  Thus, the Plaintiffs argue, the
Defendants do not have lawful ownership or a security interest in
the Plaintiffs' Home.  The Plaintiffs add that the Defendants
cannot show proper receipt, possession, transfer, negotiations,
assignment and ownership of the borrower's original promissory
note and deed of trust, resulting in imperfect security interests
and claims.

The Plaintiffs are residents of the country of Santa Clara,
California.

SCME is the originator of a loan involving the Property.  Stewart
Title Company and Fidelity National oversaw the recording and
processing of the Deed and the Note.  Countrywide Home Loans and
Aurora Loan are the present purported Master Servicers of the
mortgage.  Greenwich Capital Financial is the present purported
Securitization Seller of a portion of the mortgage loans, while
Greenwich Capital Acceptance is the present purported
Securitization Depositor.  Deutsche Bank is the present purported
PSA Trustee and Custodian of the mortgage.  Harborview is the
present purported PSA Issuing Trust of the mortgage.

Mr. Schultz, as executor of the recorded Assignment of Deed of
Trust and as a vice president of MERS, is suspected as Robo-
Signor.  Ms. Guerrero, as the Notary of the recorded Assignment of
Deed of Trust, is suspected as Robo-Signor.  Ms. Sanchez, as
executor of the recorded Trustee's Deed Upon Sale and as Assistant
Secretary of Quality Loan Services Corporation, is suspected as
Robo-Signor.  Ms. Nguyen, as the Notary of the recorded Trustee's
Deed Upon Sale, is suspected as Robo-Signor.  All of the
Defendants are purported participants in the imperfect
securitization of the Note.

The Plaintiffs are not represented by any law firm.


STANFORD GROUP: 5th Cir. Reverses Dismissal Order on 3 Class Suits
------------------------------------------------------------------
A consolidated appeal arises out of an alleged multi-billion
dollar Ponzi scheme perpetrated by R. Allen Stanford through his
various corporate entities.  Three class action lawsuits deal with
the scope of the preclusion provision of the Securities Litigation
Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA).  All three cases seek to use state
class-action devices to attempt to recover damages for losses
resulting from the Stanford Ponzi scheme.

Because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that
the purchase or sale of securities (or representations about the
purchase or sale of securities) is only tangentially related to
the fraudulent scheme alleged by the Appellants, it opined that
SLUSA does not preclude the Appellants from using state class
actions to pursue their recovery.

The appeals case is numbered 11-10932, Consolidated with 11-11031,
Consolidated with 11-11048, and are captioned:

(1) JAMES ROLAND; MICHAEL J. GIAMBRONE; THOMAS E. BOWDEN,
Individually and On Behalf Of Thomas E. Bowden S.E.P. I.R.A.; T.
E. BOWDEN, SR., Ret. Trust; G. KENDALL FORBES, Individually and on
Behalf of G. Kendall Forbes I.R.A.; ET AL, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v. JASON GREEN; CHARLES JANTZI; TIFFANY ANGELLE; JAMES FONTENOT;
THOMAS NEWLAND; GRADY LAYFIELD; HANK MILLS; JOHN SCHWAB; RUSS
NEWTON; JIM WELLER; SEI INVESTMENTS COMPANY; CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS
AT LLOYDS LONDON, in Syndicates 2987, 1866, 1084, 1274, 4000 &
1183; ET AL, Defendants-Appellees LEAH FARR; ET AL, Plaintiffs-
Appellants, v. JASON GREEN; DIRK HARRIS; TIMOTHY E. PARSONS;
CHARLES JANTZI; TIFFANY ANGELLE; GRADY LAYFIELD; HANK MILLS; JOHN
SCHWAB; RUSS NEWTON; JIM WELLER; SEI INVESTMENTS COMPANY; CERTAIN
UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYDS LONDON, in Syndicates 2987, 1866, 1084,
1274, 4000 & 1183; ET AL, Defendants-Appellees

(2) SAMUEL TROICE; HORACIO MENDEZ; ANNALISA MENDEZ; PUNGA PUNGA
FINANCIAL, LIMITED, individually and on behalf of a class of all
others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. PROSKAUER
ROSE, L.L.P.; THOMAS V. SJOBLOM; P. MAURICIO ALVARADO; CHADBOURNE
AND PARKE, L.L.P., Defendants-Appellees

(3) SAMUEL TROICE; MARTHA DIAZ; PAULA GILLY-FLORES; PUNGA PUNGA
FINANCIAL, LIMITED, Individually and on behalf of a class of all
others similarly situated; PROMOTORA VILLA MARINO, CA; DANIEL
GOMEZ FERREIRO; MANUEL CANABAL, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v. WILLIS OF COLORADO INCORPORATED; WILLIS GROUP HOLDGINGS
LIMITED; AMY S. BARANOUCKY; ROBERT S. WINTER; BOWEN, MICLETTE &
BRITT, INCORPORATED; WILLIS LIMITED, Defendants-Appellees.

Accordingly, the Fifth Circuit reversed the trial court dismissal
judgments on the cases.  The Troice cases are remanded to the
district court, and the Roland case is remanded to the state
court.

A copy of the Fifth Circuit's March 19, 2012 order is available at
http://is.gd/UGl43Hfrom Leagle.com.


TEKELEC: Trial Court Dismisses Amended Securities Class Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chief District Judge James C. Dever, III, dismissed without
prejudice the amended complaint in the class action lawsuit
captioned PIPEFITTERS LOCAL NO. 636 DEFINED BENEFIT PLAN, and
NORFOLK COUNTY RETIREMENT SYSTEM, Plaintiffs, v. TEKELEC, FRANCO
PLASTINA, WILLIAM H. EVERETT, and GREGORY RUSH, Defendants, Case
No. 5:11-CV-4-D (E.D.N.C.).

The complaint, filed in 2011, alleges various securities law
violations occurring from February 11, 2010 to August 5, 2010
against the Defendants.

The amended complaint's facts are improperly group pled, Judge
Dever held.  "Pipefitters and Norfolk have failed to specify when
and on what basis each defendant knew or was reckless in not
knowing that his statement was false or misleading.  Pipefitters
and Norfolk have also failed to allege specifically which of
defendants' actions caused Pipefitters's and Norfolk's alleged
injury."

Tekelec is a publicly traded telecommunications corporation.  Mr.
Plastina is the company's former president and chief executive
officer; Mr. Everett is the company's former chief financial
officer; and Mr. Rush was the company' former corporate
comptroller.

Plaintiffs may address the errors identified by the court, make
any other changes plaintiffs deem appropriate, and file a second
amended complaint, Judge Dever ordered.  If plaintiffs choose to
file a second amended complaint, plaintiffs must do so on or
before April 30, 2012, he specified.

A copy of the District Court's March 26, 2012 ruling is available
at http://is.gd/3sZNNOfrom Leagle.com.

Plaintiffs are represented by:

          David A. Rosenfeld, Esq.
          ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN & DOWD LLP
          58 South Service Road, Suite 200
          Melville, NY 11747
          Tel No: (631) 367-7100
          E-mail: DRosenfeld@rgrdlaw.com

               - and -

          Jonathan Gardner, Esq.
          Mindy S. Dolgoff
          LABATON SUCHAROW LLP
          140 Broadway
          New York, NY 10005
          Tel No: (212) 907-0839
          Fax No: (212) 883-7039
          E-mail: jgardner@labaton.com

               - and -

          L. Bruce McDaniel, Esq.
          MCDANIEL & ANDERSON, L.L.P.
          4942 Windy Hill Dr.
          Raleigh, NC 27609
          Tel No: (919) 872-3000
          Fax No: (919) 790-9273
          E-mail: mcdas@mcdas.com

Defendants are represented by:

          David H. Kistenbroker, Esq.
          Carl E. Volz, Esq.
          Michael J. Lohnes, Esq.
          Richard L. Farley, Esq.
          KATTEN MUCHIN ROSENMAN LLP
          525 West Monroe Street
          Chicago, IL 60661-3693
          Tel No: (312) 902-5200
          Fax No: (312) 902-1061
          E-mail: david.kistenbroker@kattenlaw.com
                  carl.volz@kattenlaw.com
                  michael.lohnes@kattenlaw.com
                  richard.farley@kattenlaw.com


THORNBURG MORTGAGE: Investors Agree to Settle Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
The American Lawyer reports that a class action on behalf of
investors in bankrupt Thornburg Mortgage is ending with a whimper,
with the three remaining individual defendants agreeing last week
to a proposed $2 million class settlement.  If it's approved by a
federal district court judge, the settlement would wipe out what's
left of the four-year-old case.


TRANSOCEAN LTD: N.Y. Court Dismissed Suit On Deep Horizon Incident
------------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald dismissed a securities class action
against Transocean Ltd. and its current and former Chief Executive
Officers arising from a tragic accident on the vessel known as
Deepwater Horizon on April 20, 2010.

"We hold that Lead Plaintiff has failed to state a claim of
securities fraud against Transocean and its current and former
CEOs.  We once again caution that this holding has no bearing on
whether Transocean has substantive liability for the Macondo
accident.  Despite Lead Plaintiff's attempts to conflate the two
issues, they are wholly separate," Judge Buchwald opined.

Lead Plaintiff Danica Pension A/S brought the action on behalf of
a putative class of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired
shares in Transocean, an offshore drilling contractor, between
August 5, 2009 and July 23, 2010.  The lawsuit is captioned Donald
P. Foley, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated
v. Transocean Ltd., Steven L. Newman and Robert L. Long, Case No.
10-Civ-5233 (S.D.N.Y.)

A copy of Judge Buchwald's March 20, 2012 Memorandum and Order is
available at http://is.gd/MSYA4Jfrom Leagle.com.


VIST FINANCIAL: Committee Formed to Probe Merger-Related Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
VIST Financial Corp.'s board of directors formed a special
litigation committee to review and investigate the allegations
made against its directors in a class action lawsuit arising from
the Company's proposed merger with Tompkins Financial Corporation,
according to the Company's April 11, 2012, Form 8-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

A putative shareholder derivative and class action lawsuit
relating to the Company's proposed merger with Tompkins Financial
Corporation ("Tompkins") was filed in the Court of Common Pleas of
Berks County, Pennsylvania, on February 2, 2012, against eleven of
the Company's directors ("Director Defendants"), Tompkins, TMP
Mergeco, Inc., and the Company (as a nominal defendant).  The
complaint alleges that the consideration the Company's
shareholders will receive in connection with the merger agreement,
dated January 25, 2012, between the Company, Tompkins and TMP
Mergeco, Inc. is inadequate and that the Director Defendants
breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders and to the Company
in negotiating and approving the merger agreement, including
agreeing to allegedly preclusive merger terms, and engaging in
self-dealing.  Plaintiff also contends that by entering into the
merger agreement with Tompkins, the Director Defendants committed
corporate waste.  The complaint also alleges that Tompkins and TMP
Mergeco, Inc. aided and abetted the alleged breaches by the
Director Defendants.  The complaint seeks various forms of relief,
including injunctive relief that would, if granted, prevent the
merger from being consummated in accordance with the agreed-upon
terms.

On March 21, 2012, the Company's board of directors formed a
special litigation committee (the "Committee") to review and
investigate the allegations made against the Director Defendants
and other parties, and to decide what actions, if any, should be
taken in response to such claims.  At the meeting on March 20,
2012, director Andrew J. Kuzneski, III, was appointed as a member
of the Committee.


WAGGA CITY COUNCIL: SES Set to Hold Meetings Over March Flood
-------------------------------------------------------------
ABC Riverina reports that the Murrumbidgee State Emergency Service
(SES) Controller has spoken about the need for residents,
particularly at North Wagga and Gumly Gumly to be flood ready.

James McTavish has told ABC News there are a number of options
that should be explored by Wagga City Council to better protect
the community.

Currently in North Wagga, some residents are considering putting
their homes on stilts -- one person has advertised a block for
sale already.

Mr. McTavish says the North Wagga flood was a one in a 40 year
event and residents need to consider this against the cost of
stilts.

"It is a very expensive option to raise a property and indeed in
most flood prone areas, most local governments require people
build well above the one in 100 year flood level so as to reduce
the impact on property," he said.

"In many of the cases it is a balancing of the cost of doing the
works compared to the benefit of keeping them flood free."

The SES is planning to hold a series of public meetings for
Riverina residents to have their say over how it can improve its
response to major flooding.

Despite no loss of life in the March flood in this region, there
has been criticism of the lack of local knowledge by some SES
volunteers.

Mr. McTavish says it is very important the SES takes the time to
get feeback from the community.

"We'll be doing some online collection methodology, we've got
people in the field now, collecting information from local
landholders," he said.

"We are also planning to conduct town hall style meetings with
particular agencies and people and we'll be making sure we pass
all of this information to the local emergency committees, as is
the usual arrangement to make sure the people who are responsible
for local action are fully aware of what's going on."

Mr. McTavish says he is not sure if a proposed class action
against Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) is the way to go.

Thousands of residents at Yenda had to be evacuated and many
claim, MI's infrastructure only made things worse.

Murrumbidgee Irrigation has defended its actions since the threat
of legal action.

Mr. McTavish says while he understands residents anger and
frustration, a class action could do more harm than good.

"I certainly support Mr. Piccoli's comment where MI is a
cooperative owned by irrigators and I suspect any class action or
negative impact would unfortunately have a negative impact on all
irrigators," he said.

"I certainly believe because of the nature of the country in the
irrigation area, built infrastructure certainly changed the impact
of flood water, that's an inevitable conclusion that people have
reached."


YUUKA COSMETICS: Faces Class Action Over Wheat Facial Soap
----------------------------------------------------------
Christopher Wanjek, writing for LiveScience Bad Medicine, reports
that a class-action lawsuit over a bar of facial soap in Japan is
making some there question the meaning of "all natural."

The soap that has gone on trial this month is Cha no Shizuku,
roughly translated as "a drop of tea," a green tea-based cleansing
bar popular among Japanese women and valued for its so-called
natural purity.

Unfortunately for the manufacturer, it was a drop of wheat, not
tea, in the soap that apparently has caused an outbreak of
allergic reactions, many resulting in hospitalization.  The soap
went on sale in 2004, but only in the last year have most of the
allergic reactions surfaced, likely the result of repeated use of
the soap, Japanese scientists say.  Some users now might have a
permanent food allergy to wheat as a result.

A similar wheat product, called hydrolyzed wheat protein, is in
several soaps and cosmetics sold in the United States, unbeknownst
to many consumers.  This wheat product, essentially fragments of
wheat proteins with water molecules, is used to enhance foaming
and moisturizing.

According to Japanese news outlets, the maker of Cha no Shizuku,
Yuuka Cosmetics, began a recall of its product in May 2011.  More
than 500 people with no history of food allergies have claimed to
have had allergic reactions to its soap, and nearly 70 have been
hospitalized, some after falling unconscious.

Currently, 10 other Japanese companies selling cosmetics with
wheat have since recalled some of their products as a precaution.
The Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has warned
consumers not to use Cha no Shizuku.

The hydrolyzed wheat in question in Japan is called Glupal-19S, as
reported in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.  Japanese
scientists speculate that this unique formulation can accumulate
in the mucous membranes of a person's eyes and nose after repeated
washings and eventually trigger an allergic reaction, as mild as
hay fever or severe enough to lower blood pressure to a dangerous
level.

Even people who aren't allergic to the wheat protein gluten can
develop a permanent allergy from such intimate exposure, doctors
say.  Over time, the body might say, "Hey, what is this foreign
protein accumulating here? I should start resisting it."

Cosmetics in the United States use only the generic term
"hydrolyzed wheat protein" in their labeling.  There are at least
a dozen studies dating back to 2000 warning that hydrolyzed wheat
protein is a potential allergen, although there have been no known
outbreaks in the United States.

                        FDA of little help

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate soap.  By
FDA standards, soap is defined by its intended use: soap is oil,
lye and water with the sole purpose of cleaning. Any additive or
any other claim -- such as deodorizing, moisturizing, or
beautifying -- places soap in the realm of a cosmetic.

The FDA does regulate cosmetics, albeit casually, stepping in only
when problems arise.  As such, manufacturers can make claims of
their products being hypoallergenic, or not likely to cause
allergies, a term with no standard definition and not recognized
by the FDA to mean anything specific.

Japanese scientists writing in the March 2012 issue of the Journal
of University of Occupational and Environmental Health said that
anyone with a gluten allergy should avoid cosmetics containing
wheat.

Some soaps and shampoos in the United States, however, sound good
enough to eat, with exotic ingredients such as rosemary and
nettles.  Depending on their formulation, as the Japanese case
demonstrates -- that is, whether "natural" is really natural --
these products ultimately could be as harmful as a human-made
chemical additive.


* Hungarian Banks May Face Class Actions in Future
--------------------------------------------------
Edith Balazs, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that the
Hungarian prosecutor's office started an investigation into
domestic commercial lenders over foreign-currency loans, Magyar
Nemzet reported, citing the person who requested the probe.

The investigation, involving all domestic banks, is focused on
possible tax evasion, the Budapest-based newspaper said, citing
Arpad Kasler, head of a lobby group representing borrowers.

Mr. Kasler expects class action cases against individual banks in
the future, according to Nemzet.

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: SC Appeals Court Affirms Order v. SESI
-------------------------------------------------------
Southern Environmental Services, Inc., appeals from an order of
the Administrative Law Court finding the Company in violation of
the South Carolina regulations governing asbestos removal
projects, which was issued following a contested case hearing on
the final decision of the South Carolina Department of Health and
Environmental Control.  SESI argues the ALC erred in determining:
(1) SESI violated the asbestos regulations when the physical and
air sample results collected by DHEC were excluded because chain
of custody regarding the analysis of materials allegedly
containing asbestos was not established; (2) DHEC inspectors need
not be licensed to enforce the asbestos regulations; (3) DHEC's
search of SESI's headquarters was constitutional; (4) SESI failed
to comply with permit and license regulations for the Wade Hampton
High School project; and (5) SESI violated the asbestos
regulations when the evidence established a subcontractor was
responsible for the polyethylene sheeting in the apartment at
Quail Hollow Apartments.

In an April 4, 2012 decision, the Court of Appeals of South
Carolina affirmed the ALC order holding that the DHEC properly
construed the laws governing asbestos removal projects; and the
ALC did not err in finding SESI failed to comply with the asbestos
regulations when it completed the project without a license.
Because the evidence supports the ALC's finding that SESI failed
to remove the polyethylene sheeting after completing its asbestos
work, the Appellate Court found that the ALC did not err in
affirming DHEC's determination that SEIS was in violation of the
regulations.

The case is South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental
Control, Respondent, v. Southern Environmental Services, Inc.,
Appellant, Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-220 (S.C. App. Ct.).  A
copy of the April 4 Decision is available at http://is.gd/XZanS4
from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Rejects GRC Insurers' Summary Judgment Bid
-----------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Edmund V. Ludwig denied a second motion for summary
judgment filed by all 11 defendants in the insurance coverage
action, General Refractories Company, v. First State Insurance
Co., et al., Civil Action No. 04-3509 (E.D. Pa.).  GRC is a
manufacturer and supplier of asbestos-containing products.  A copy
of Judge Ludwig's March 27, 2012 memorandum is available at
http://is.gd/jkIXHrfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ohio High Court Reverses Sager Receiver Ruling
---------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal asks the Supreme Court of Ohio whether the court of
appeals correctly affirmed the decision of the trial court to
appoint a receiver for Sager Corporation for the purpose of
accepting service of process and marshaling assets consisting of
unexhausted liability-insurance policies for asbestos-related
claims filed against Sager.  Sager was an Illinois corporation
that filed for dissolution in 1998 and, pursuant to Illinois law,
was no longer amenable to suit after 2003.  In characterizing its
own opinion, the appellate court plainly stated, "The appeal
before us has the peculiar procedural posture of the receivership
being the only issue."

When the trial court appointed a receiver for Sager, it concluded
that Sager's conduct in Ohio vested the court with jurisdiction to
wind up Sager's affairs in Ohio and found that pursuant to R.C.
1701.88(B), Sager had the capacity to be sued under Ohio law.  In
affirming the trial court, the appellate court found that R.C.
2735.01(E) provided authority for the trial court to appoint a
receiver for a dissolved corporation.

In an April 3, 2012 decision, the state Supreme Court reversed the
judgment of the appellate court.  "Fundamental to our analysis is
the principle that we must afford full faith and credit to laws in
our sister states and that a dissolved foreign corporation that is
no longer amenable to suit in its state of incorporation is
likewise not amenable to suit in Ohio," said Justice Terrence
O'Donnell, who wrote the decision.  "Thus, because these claims
had not been commenced against Sager as of June 17, 2003, and no
judgment had been entered against it, and because these claimants
are now precluded from obtaining a judgment against Sager in this
case, the appointment of a receiver to accept service of process
and to marshal assets -- including unexhausted liability-insurance
policies -- is barred.  In conformity with constitutional
requirements of due process and the Full Faith and Credit Clause,
the law of the state of incorporation controls whether a
corporation is amenable to suit.  Here, we apply Illinois
corporate law and conclude that claims filed against a dissolved
Illinois corporation more than five years after dissolution are
barred."

The case is In Re All Cases Against Sager Corporation, No. 2010-
1705 (Ohio).  A copy of Justice O'Donnell's Decision is available
at http://is.gd/7GigKifrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Del. Ct. Junks Exposure Claims v. Cleaver-Brooks
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Horold Howton worked on various ships in the Navy.  He served as a
shipfitter and chief petty officer from 1958-1974.  In a lawsuit,
Mr. Howton alleges asbestos exposure from Crane Co.'s valves and
Cleaver-Brooks' boilers among others.  The Defendants move for
summary judgment on product nexus grounds and assert the
"component parts defense" as grounds for not owing a duty to Mr.
Howton for asbestos-containing parts added to their products after
sale.

In an April 2, 2012 memorandum opinion, Judge John A. Parkins,
Jr., of the Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County, found
Mr. Howton has not made a prima facie case for product nexus with
a Cleaver-Brooks original-asbestos containing part or component
part.  Accordingly, Judge Parkins granted summary judgment as to
Cleaver-Brooks.  Judge Parkins denied in part Crane's summary
judgment as to product nexus with original asbestos-containing
parts and granted in part as to component parts not supplied by
Crane because Crane is not liable under Maritime law for the
asbestos-containing component parts added to its products after
sale.

The case is In Re Asbestos Litigation: Harold Howton and Shirley
Howton Limited to: Crane Co. Cleaver-Brooks, Inc., C.A. No. N11C-
03-218 ASB (Del. Super. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Parkins' Decision
is available at http://is.gd/iZxf8Jfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Del. Court Strips Grgich Claims v. Crane
---------------------------------------------------------
Reed Grgich worked in various capacities at International Smelting
and Refining in Tooele, Utah from 1963-1973.  Mr. Grgich alleges
asbestos exposure from Crane Co. valves.  Crane sought summary
judgment on product nexus grounds and asserts the "component parts
defense" as grounds for not owing a duty to Mr. Grgich for
asbestos-containing parts added to its products after market.

In an April 2, 2012 memorandum opinion, Judge John A. Parkins,
Jr., of the Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County, denied
in part the summary judgment as to product nexus with original
asbestos-containing parts and granted in part as to component
parts not supplied by Crane because the court finds Crane is not
liable under Utah law for the asbestos-containing component parts
added to its products after sale.

The case is In Re Asbestos Litigation: Reed Grgich Limited to:
Crane Co., C.A. No. N10C-12-011 ASB (Del. Super. Ct.).  A copy of
Judge Parkins' Decision is available at http://is.gd/4hmvdufrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mo. Ct. Throws Away Insurer's Expert Testimony
---------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge John A. Ross, in an April 3, 2012 memorandum and
order, granted the motion filed by the Brauer Supply 542(g)
Asbestos Personal Injury Trust to exclude the report and testimony
of Atlanta International Ins. Co.'s expert Richard L. Thomas.
Atlanta International has identified Mr. Thomas as one of its
experts to offer his opinion on whether Brauer made material
misrepresentations during the process of applying for insurance
policies issued by Atlanta International and Pennsylvania General
Insurance Company, also one of the defendants.

Judge Ross pointed out that Mr. Thomas' report does not address
insurance industry practices or underwriting guidelines.  Mr.
Thomas, the Court noted, employs no specialized knowledge to reach
his conclusions, and merely tells the jury what result to reach
with regard to the alleged misrepresentations.  His testimony is
"superfluous" in that it does not assist the trier of fact as
required by Rule 702, Judge Ross concluded.

The case is Brauer Supply Company 542(g) Asbestos Personal Injury
Trust, Plaintiff, v. Atlanta International Ins. Co., et al.,
Defendants, No. 4:09-CV-1640-JAR (E.D. Mo.).  A copy of Judge
Ross' Decision is available at http://is.gd/wD7oWffrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hercules Unit Still Defends Mississippi Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of Hercules Offshore, Inc., continues to defend
exposure cases pending in Mississippi, according to the Company's
March 1, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Robert E. Aaron et al. vs. Phillips 66 Company et al. Circuit
Court, Second Judicial District, Jones County, Mississippi.
This is the case name used to refer to several cases that were
filed in the Circuit Courts of the State of Mississippi originally
involving 768 plaintiffs grouped into 21 suits that alleged
personal injury or whose heirs claimed their deaths arose out of
exposure to asbestos contained in drilling mud additives,
occurring in the course of their employment by the defendants
between 1965 and 2002. Each individual was subsequently required
to file a separate lawsuit, and the original 21 multi-plaintiff
complaints were then dismissed by the Circuit Courts. The amended
complaints resulted in one of the Company's subsidiaries being
named as a direct defendant in three cases. More than five years
has passed since the court ordered that amended complaints be
filed by each individual plaintiff, and the original complaints.
No additional plaintiffs have attempted to name TODCO as a
defendant and such actions may now be time-barred. The complaints
generally allege that the defendants used or manufactured drilling
mud additives that contained asbestos for use in connection with
offshore and land based drilling operations, and have included
allegations of negligence, products liability, strict liability
and claims allowed under the Jones Act and general maritime law.
The plaintiffs generally seek awards of unspecified compensatory
and punitive damages. In each of these cases, the complaints have
named other unaffiliated defendant companies, including companies
that allegedly manufactured the drilling related products that
contained asbestos. All of these cases are being governed for
discovery and trial setting by a single Case Management Order
entered by a Special Master appointed by the Court to preside over
all the cases. The Company intends to defend vigorously and does
not expect the ultimate outcome of these lawsuits to have a
material adverse effect on its consolidated results of operations,
financial position or cash flows.

Hercules Offshore, Inc., is a provider of shallow-water drilling
and marine services to the oil and natural gas exploration and
production industry globally.  It provides these services to
national oil and gas companies, major integrated energy companies
and independent oil and natural gas operators.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: MRC Global Had 981 Claims Pending at Dec. 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
MRC Global Inc., at the end of 2011, was a defendant in lawsuits
involving 981 claims alleging personal injury caused by asbestos,
according to the Company's March 5, 2012, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "We are involved in various legal proceedings
and claims, both as a plaintiff and a defendant, which arise in
the ordinary course of business. These legal proceedings include
claims that individuals brought against a large number of
defendant entities, including us, seeking damages for injuries
that certain products containing asbestos allegedly caused. As of
December 31, 2011, we are a defendant in lawsuits involving
approximately 981 of these claims. Each claim involves allegations
of exposure to asbestos-containing materials by an individual or
his or her family members. The complaints typically name many
defendants. In a majority of these lawsuits, little or no
information is known regarding the nature of the plaintiff's
alleged injuries or their connection with products that we
distributed. Through December 31, 2011, lawsuits involving 11,831
claims have been brought against us. No asbestos lawsuit has
resulted in a judgment against us to date, with the majority being
settled, dismissed or otherwise resolved. In total, since the
first asbestos claim brought against us in 1984 through December
31, 2011, approximately $1.8 million has been paid to asbestos
claimants in connection with settlements of claims against us
without regard to insurance recoveries. Of this amount,
approximately $1.4 million has been paid to settle claims alleging
mesothelioma, $0.4 million for claims alleging lung cancer and
$0.1 million for non-malignant claims.

"There has been an increase in the number of claims filed since
the fiscal year ending December 31, 2007. We believe that this
increase is primarily due to an increase in the marketing efforts
by personal injury law firms in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Although we do not know whether this is a trend that will continue
in the near term, in the long term, we anticipate that asbestos-
related litigation against us will decrease as the incidence of
asbestos-related disease in the general U.S. population
decreases."

MRC Global Inc. is the largest global industrial distributor of
pipe, valves and fittings and related products and services to the
energy industry based on sales.  Through its North American and
International segments, the Company serves more than 12,000
customers through over 400 service locations throughout North
America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NL Industries Had 1,125 Exposure Cases Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
NL Industries, Inc., continues to defend asbestos personal injury
lawsuits, according to the Company's March 6, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "We have been named as a defendant in various
lawsuits in several jurisdictions, alleging personal injuries as a
result of occupational exposure primarily to products manufactured
by our former operations containing asbestos, silica and/or mixed
dust. In addition, some plaintiffs allege exposure to asbestos
from working in various facilities previously owned and/or
operated by us. There are 1,125 of these types of cases pending,
involving a total of approximately 2,350 plaintiffs. In addition,
the claims of approximately 7,700 plaintiffs have been
administratively dismissed or placed on the inactive docket in
Ohio, Indiana and Texas state courts. We do not expect these
claims will be re-opened unless the plaintiffs meet the courts'
medical criteria for asbestos-related claims. We have not accrued
any amounts for this litigation because of the uncertainty of
liability and inability to reasonably estimate the liability, if
any. To date, we have not been adjudicated liable in any of these
matters.

"We have sought and will continue to vigorously seek, dismissal
and/or a finding of no liability from each claim. In addition,
from time to time, we have received notices regarding asbestos or
silica claims purporting to be brought against former
subsidiaries, including notices provided to insurers with which we
have entered into settlements extinguishing certain insurance
policies. These insurers may seek indemnification from us."

NL Industries, Inc., is primarily a holding company. It operates
in the component products industry through its majority-owned
subsidiary, CompX International Inc. (NYSE Amex: CIX). It operates
in the chemicals industry through its non-controlling interest in
Kronos Worldwide, Inc.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parker Drilling Had 15 Suits Pending at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Parker Drilling Company continues to defend 15 asbestos-related
lawsuits, according to the Company's March 6, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "We are from time to time a party to various
lawsuits that are incidental to our operations in which the
claimants seek an unspecified amount of monetary damages for
personal injury, including injuries purportedly resulting from
exposure to asbestos on drilling rigs and associated facilities.
At December 31, 2011, there were approximately 15 of these
lawsuits in which we are one of many defendants. These lawsuits
have been filed in the United States in the State of Mississippi.
The subsidiaries named in these asbestos-related lawsuits intend
to defend themselves vigorously and, based on the information
available to us at this time, we do not expect the outcome to have
a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of
operations or cash flows. However, we are unable to predict the
ultimate outcome of these lawsuits. No amounts were accrued at
December 31, 2011."

Parker Drilling Company is a provider of contract drilling and
drilling-related services currently operating in 11 countries. It
has operated in over 50 foreign countries and the United States
since beginning operations in 1934, making it among the most
geographically experienced drilling contractors in the world.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Graybar Had 2,500 Individual Cases Pending Dec.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Graybar Electric Company, Inc., continues to defend asbestos-
related lawsuits, according to the Company's March 8, 2012, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "With respect to asbestos litigation, as of
December 31, 2011, approximately 2,500 individual cases and 146
class actions are pending that allege actual or potential
asbestos-related injuries resulting from the use of or exposure to
products allegedly sold by us.  Additional claims will likely be
filed against us in the future.  Our insurance carriers have
historically borne virtually all costs and liability with respect
to this litigation and are continuing to do so.  Accordingly, our
future liability with respect to pending and unasserted claims is
dependent on the continued solvency of our insurance carriers.
Other factors that could impact this liability are: the number of
future claims filed against us; the defense and settlement costs
associated with these claims; changes in the litigation
environment, including changes in federal or state law governing
the compensation of asbestos claimants; adverse jury verdicts in
excess of historic settlement amounts; and bankruptcies of other
asbestos defendants.  Because any of these factors may change, our
future exposure is unpredictable and it is possible that we may
incur costs that would have a material adverse impact on our
liquidity, financial position, or results of operations in future
periods."

Graybar Electric Company, Inc., is engaged in the distribution of
electrical, communications and data networking products, and the
provision of related supply chain management and logistics
services, primarily to electrical and comm/data contractors,
industrial plants, federal, state and local governments,
commercial users, telephone companies, and power utilities in
North America.  All products sold by the Company are purchased by
the Company from others.  The Company's business activity is
primarily with customers in the United States of America.  Graybar
also has subsidiary operations with distribution facilities in
Canada and Puerto Rico.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Great Lakes Has 39 Pending PI Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation continues to defend
39 pending asbestos-related cases, according to the Company's
March 9, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

"The Company or its former subsidiary, NATCO Limited Partnership,
was named as a defendant in approximately 251 asbestos-related
personal injury lawsuits, the majority of which were filed between
1989 and 2000. The claims were filed on behalf of seamen or their
personal representatives alleging injury or illness from exposure
to asbestos while employed as seamen on Company-owned vessels. In
these cases, the Company is typically one of many defendants,
including manufacturers and suppliers of products containing
asbestos, as well as other vessel owners. Following certain
administrative proceedings, counsel for plaintiffs agreed to name
a group of cases that they intended to pursue and to dismiss the
remaining cases without prejudice. Plaintiffs have currently named
39 cases against the Company that they intend to pursue, each of
which involves one plaintiff. The remaining cases against the
Company were dismissed. Plaintiffs in the dismissed cases could
file a new lawsuit if they develop a new disease allegedly caused
by exposure to asbestos on board our vessels. The Company does not
believe that it is probable that losses from these claims could be
material, and an estimate of a range of losses relating to these
claims cannot reasonably be made. Management does not believe that
any of the 39 lawsuits, individually or in the aggregate, will
have a material impact on our business, financial position,
results of operations or cash flows."

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation is a provider of dredging
services in the United States. The Company is engaged in the
business of marine construction, primarily dredging, and
commercial and industrial demolition. It operates in two segments:
dredging and demolition. Great Lakes provides dredging services in
the East, West, and Gulf Coasts of the United States and
worldwide.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: International Shipholding Faces Exposure Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
International Shipholding Corporation continues to defend
asbestos-related lawsuits, according to the Company's March 9,
2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "We have been named as a defendant in numerous
lawsuits claiming damages related to occupational diseases,
primarily related to asbestos and hearing loss.  We believe that
most of these claims are without merit, and that insurance and the
indemnification of a previous owner of one of our subsidiaries may
mitigate our exposure.  Based on consultation with outside legal
counsel, we have estimated our current overall exposure to the
lawsuits in question, after considering insurance coverage for
these claims, to be approximately $256,000.  We believe those
estimates are reasonable and have established reserves
accordingly.  Our reserves for these lawsuits as of December 31,
2011 and 2010 were approximately $256,000 and $284,000,
respectively.  There is a reasonable possibility that there will
be additional claims associated with occupational diseases
asserted against us. However, we do not believe that it is
reasonably possible that our exposure from those claims will be
material because (1) the lawsuits filed since 1989 claiming
damages related to occupational diseases in which we have been
named as a defendant have primarily involved seamen that served
on-board our vessels and the number of such persons still eligible
to file a lawsuit against us is diminishing and (2) we believe
such potential additional claims, if pursued, would be covered
under either or both of (i) an indemnification agreement with a
previous owner of one of our subsidiaries or (ii) one or more of
our existing insurance policies with deductibles ranging from
$1,500 to $25,000 per claim."

Through its subsidiaries, International Shipholding Corporation
operates a diversified fleet of U.S. and International Flag
vessels that provide international and domestic maritime
transportation services to commercial and governmental customers
primarily under medium to long-term time charters or contracts of
affreightment.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Arabian American Unit Still Defends Texas Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
An indirect subsidiary of Arabian American Development Company
continues to defend itself against a lawsuit alleging asbestos
exposure, according to the Company's March 9, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company's domestic activities are primarily conducted through
a wholly owned subsidiary, Texas Oil and Chemical Co. II, Inc.
(the "Petrochemical Company"), which owns all of the capital stock
of South Hampton Resources, Inc. ("South Hampton").  South Hampton
owns and operates a specialty petrochemical facility near Silsbee,
Texas which produces high purity petrochemical solvents and other
petroleum based products including isopentane, normal pentane,
isohexane and hexane which may be used in the production of
polyethylene, packaging, polypropylene, expandable polystyrene,
poly-iso/urethane foams, and in the catalyst support industry.
The Company's petrochemical products are typically transported to
customers by rail car, tank truck and iso-container.  South
Hampton owns all of the capital stock of Gulf State Pipe Line
Company, Inc. ("Gulf State") which owns and operates three
pipelines that connect the South Hampton facility to a natural gas
line, to South Hampton's truck and rail loading terminal and to a
major petroleum products pipeline owned by an unaffiliated third
party.

On September 14, 2010, South Hampton received notice of a lawsuit
filed in the 58th Judicial District Court of Jefferson County,
Texas which was subsequently transferred to the 11th Judicial
District Court of Harris County, Texas.  The suit alleges that the
plaintiff became ill from exposure to asbestos.  There are
approximately 44 defendants named in the suit.  South Hampton has
placed its insurers on notice of the claim and plans to vigorously
defend the case.

Arabian American Development Company manufactures various
specialty petrochemical products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EMC Insurance Had $7.6MM Reserves at Dec. 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
EMC Insurance Group Inc. carried asbestos and environmental
reserves for direct insurance and assumed reinsurance business
totaling $7,672,000, at the end of 2011, according to the
Company's March 14, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

Toxic tort claims include those where the claimant seeks
compensation for harm allegedly caused by exposure to a toxic
substance or a substance that increases the risk of contracting a
serious disease, such as cancer.  Typically the injury is caused
by latent effects of direct or indirect exposure to a substance or
combination of substances through absorption, contact, ingestion,
inhalation, implantation or injection.  Examples of toxic tort
claims include injuries arising out of exposure to asbestos,
silica, mold, drugs, carbon monoxide, chemicals and lead.

Since 1989, the pool participants have included an asbestos
exclusion in liability policies issued for most lines of business.
The exclusion prohibits liability coverage for "bodily injury",
"personal injury" or "property damage" (including any associated
clean-up obligations) arising out of the installation, existence,
removal or disposal of asbestos or any substance containing
asbestos fibers.  Therefore, the pool participants' current
asbestos exposures are primarily limited to commercial policies
issued prior to 1989.  At present, the pool participants are
defending approximately 1,180 asbestos bodily injury lawsuits,
some of which involve multiple plaintiffs.  Seven former
policyholders and one current policyholder dominate the pool
participants' asbestos claims.  Most of the lawsuits are subject
to express reservation of rights based upon the lack of an injury
within the applicable policy periods, because many asbestos
lawsuits do not specifically allege dates of asbestos exposure or
dates of injury.  The pool participants' policyholders named as
defendants in these asbestos lawsuits are typically peripheral
defendants who have little or no exposure and are routinely
dismissed from asbestos litigation with nominal or no payment
(i.e., small contractors, insulators, electrical welding
suppliers, furnace manufacturers, and gasket and building supply
companies).

During 2003, the pool participants were presented with several
hundred plaintiff lawsuits filed against three former
policyholders representing approximately 66,500 claimants related
to exposure to asbestos or products containing asbestos.  The vast
majority of the 66,500 claims are the result of multi-plaintiff
lawsuits.  These claims are based upon nonspecific asbestos
exposure and nonspecific injuries.  As a result, management did
not establish a significant amount of case loss reserves for these
claims.  Several of the multi-plaintiff lawsuits (including the
vast majority of those associated with one former policyholder)
were dismissed.  As of December 31, 2011, approximately 2,250 of
the claims remain open.  During 2006, the pool participants
received notice that another former policyholder was a named
defendant in approximately 33,000 claims nationwide.  As of
December 31, 2011, approximately 4,710 of these claims remain
open, though a settlement for these claims has been reached and is
awaiting final approval by all parties to the lawsuit.

Prior to 2008, actual losses paid for asbestos-related claims had
been minimal due to the plaintiffs' failure to identify an
exposure to any asbestos-containing products associated with the
pool participants' current and former policyholders.  However,
paid losses and settlement expenses have increased significantly
since 2008 as a result of claims attributed to two former
policyholders.

One of these former policyholders, a broker of various products,
including asbestos, settled a claim for approximately $450,000
(the Company's share) in 2008.  Prior to 2008, the asbestos
exposure associated with this former policyholder had been thought
to be relatively small.  At December 31, 2011, five additional
claims associated with this former policyholder remain open,
though similar exposure on these claims is not anticipated.

The other former policyholder, a furnace manufacturer, had
multiple claims settle for a total of approximately $991,000 (the
Company's share) during the period 2009 through 2011.  The
asbestos exposure associated with this former policyholder has
increased in recent years, and this trend may possibly continue
into the future with increased per plaintiff settlements.
Settlement expense payments associated with this former
policyholder have increased significantly since 2008 and have been
the primary driver behind recently implemented reserve increases.
The primary cause of this increase in paid settlement expenses is
the retention of a National Coordinating Counsel (NCC) in 2008 due
to this former policyholder's exposure in numerous jurisdictions.
The NCC has provided, and continues to provide, significant
services in the areas of document review, discovery, deposition
and trial preparation.  Approximately 260 asbestos exposure claims
associated with this former policyholder remain open.  Whenever
possible, the pool participants have participated in cost sharing
agreements with other insurance companies to reduce overall
asbestos claim expenses.

The pool participants are defending approximately 67 claims as a
result of lawsuits alleging "silica" exposure in Texas and
Mississippi jurisdictions, some of which involve multiple
plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs allege employment exposure to
"airborne respirable silica dust," causing "serious and permanent
lung injuries" (i.e., silicosis).  Silicosis injuries are
identified in the upper lobes of the lungs, while asbestos
injuries are localized in the lower lobes.

The plaintiffs in the silicosis lawsuits are sandblasters, gravel
and concrete workers, ceramic workers and road construction
workers.  All of these lawsuits are subject to express reservation
of rights based upon the lack of an injury within the applicable
policy periods because many silica lawsuits, like asbestos
lawsuits, do not specifically allege dates of exposure or dates of
injury.  The pool participants' policyholders (a refractory
product manufacturer, small local concrete and gravel companies
and a concrete cutting machine manufacturer) that have been named
as defendants in these silica lawsuits have had little or no
exposure and are routinely dismissed from silica litigation with
nominal or no payment.  While the expense of handling these
lawsuits is high, it is not proportional to the number of
plaintiffs, and is mitigated through cost sharing agreements with
other insurance companies.

Since 2004, the pool participants have included a "pneumoconiosis
dust" exclusion to their commercial lines liability policies in
the majority of jurisdictions where such action was warranted.
This exclusion precludes liability coverage due to "mixed dust"
pneumoconiosis, pleural plaques, pleural effusion, mesothelioma,
lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, tuberculosis or pleural
thickening, or other pneumoconiosis-related ailments such as
arthritis, cancer (other than lung), lupus, heart, kidney or
gallbladder disease.  "Mixed dust" includes dusts composed of
asbestos, silica, fiberglass, coal, cement, or various other
elements.  It is anticipated that this mixed dust exclusion will
further limit the pool participants' exposure in silica claims,
and may be broad enough to limit exposure in other dust claims.

The Company's exposure to asbestos and environmental claims
through assumed reinsurance is very limited due to the fact that
the Company's reinsurance subsidiary entered into the reinsurance
marketplace in the early 1980's, after much attention had already
been brought to these issues.

At December 31, 2011, the Company carried asbestos and
environmental reserves for direct insurance and assumed
reinsurance business totaling $7,672,000, which represents 1.3% of
total loss and settlement expense reserves.  The asbestos and
environmental reserves include $2,982,000 of case loss reserves,
$2,569,000 of IBNR loss reserves and $2,121,000 of bulk settlement
expense reserves.  Ceded reinsurance on these reserves totaled
$739,000.  Loss and settlement expense reserves were increased in
2011 because of deterioration in the implied survival ratio.

The pool participants' non-asbestos direct product liability
claims are considered to be highly uncertain exposures due to the
many uncertainties inherent in determining the loss, and the
significant periods of time that can elapse between the occurrence
of the loss and the ultimate settlement of the claim.  The
majority of the pool participants' product liability claims arise
from small to medium-sized manufacturers, contractors, petroleum
distributors, and mobile home and auto dealerships.  No specific
claim trends are evident from the pool participants' manufacturing
clients, as the claims activity on these policies is generally
isolated and can be severe.  Specific product liability coverage
is provided to the pool participants' mobile home and auto
dealership policyholders, and the claims from these policies tend
to be relatively small.  Certain construction defect claims are
also reported under product liability coverage.  During 2011, 38
of these claims were reported to the pool participants.

EMC Insurance Group Inc. is an insurance holding company that was
incorporated in Iowa in 1974 by Employers Mutual Casualty Company
(Employers Mutual) and became a public company in 1982 following
the initial public offering of its common stock.  EMC Insurance
Group Inc. is 61% owned by Employers Mutual, a multiple-line
property and casualty insurance company organized as an Iowa
mutual insurance company in 1911 that is licensed in all 50 states
and the District of Columbia.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Intricon Corp. Still Faces PI Suits
----------------------------------------------------
Intricon Corporation continues to defend asbestos-related
lawsuits, according to the Company's March 14, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company is a defendant along with a number of other parties in
lawsuits alleging that plaintiffs have or may have contracted
asbestos-related diseases as a result of exposure to asbestos
products or equipment containing asbestos sold by one or more
named defendants. These lawsuits relate to the discontinued heat
technologies segment which was sold in March 2005. Due to the
noninformative nature of the complaints, the Company does not know
whether any of the complaints state valid claims against the
Company.

Certain insurance carriers have informed the Company that the
primary policies for the period August 1, 1970-1973, have been
exhausted and that the carriers will no longer provide a defense
under those policies. The Company has requested that the carriers
substantiate this situation. The Company believes it has
additional policies available for other years which have been
ignored by the carriers. Because settlement payments are applied
to all years a litigant was deemed to have been exposed to
asbestos, the Company believes when settlement payments are
applied to these additional policies, the Company will have
availability under the years deemed exhausted. The Company does
not believe that the asserted exhaustion of the primary insurance
coverage for this period will have a material adverse effect on
its financial condition, liquidity, or results of operations.
Management believes that the number of insurance carriers involved
in the defense of the suits and the significant number of policy
years and policy limits, to which these insurance carriers are
insuring the Company, make the ultimate disposition of these
lawsuits not material to the Company's consolidated financial
position or results of operations.

IntriCon Corporation is an international company engaged in
designing, developing, engineering and manufacturing body-worn
devices. The Company serves the body-worn device market by
designing, developing, engineering and manufacturing micro-
miniature products, microelectronics, micro-mechanical assemblies
and complete assemblies, primarily for bio-telemetry devices,
hearing instruments and professional audio communication devices.
The Company, headquartered in Arden Hills, Minnesota, has
facilities in Minnesota, California, Maine, Singapore, Indonesia
and Germany, and operates through subsidiaries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Downtown St. Louis Is Now Clear of Lethal Fibers
-----------------------------------------------------------------
David Hunn of The Post-Dispatch reports that workers have cleaned
asbestos fibers off a block in downtown St. Louis, city leaders
said on April 11.

The sections of Lucas Avenue and North 11th Street closed after a
steam pipe rupture spewed asbestos were reopened after Pam Walker,
the city's health director, said the most recent round of testing
found no detectable asbestos fibers.

The pipe broke on April 5, blowing off a manhole, sending a cloud
of steam four stories above downtown streets, and carrying with it
some of the asbestos fiber insulation surrounding the pipe.

The city closed the streets, mounted asbestos air monitors and
began swabbing surfaces for fibers.

By Friday morning, April 6, surface test results showed asbestos
fibers throughout the one-block area just southwest of the pipe
break.  Air monitors at the site still haven't found any airborne
asbestos, Walker said.

Crews hired by the steam pipe operator, Trigen-St. Louis Energy
Corp., worked through the weekend to clean the streets and
building walls.

Meanwhile, 11th Street will remain closed north of Lucas Avenue
until workers repair the broken pipe.  Officials said that could
take a week to 10 days.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM Says Palliative Care Has Helped Many Clients
------------------------------------------------------------------
Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason (CPSM) are leading mesothelioma
lawyers who fight for just compensation for their clients who have
been injured by asbestos exposure and are diagnosed with
mesothelioma.  CPSM attorneys are dedicated to providing the most
up-to-date resources to clients and their family members and have
just added a new page detailing an essential component to any
mesothelioma treatment:  Palliative Care.

Barry Matson, one of the asbestos attorneys at CPSM who does the
majority of research and investigation for cases, sustains ongoing
contact with clients long after their mesothelioma lawsuits and
bankruptcy claims have successfully been settled.  He says, "One
of the most consistent comments I get from loved ones of clients
is how much palliative care helped.  They say it not only helped
by lessening the symptoms of mesothelioma and treatments like
shortness of breath, nausea, pain and fatigue but also gave them
much needed extra support during such a challenging time."

Palliative care often also includes some element of support around
the issues of grief and bereavement as well as decreasing
discomfort with pain and symptoms.  Palliative care allows for the
most possible comfort in all types of settings, from hospitals to
outpatient clinics to individual's homes.  Many organizations that
offer palliative care, also often referred to as end-of-life care,
for patients who are at the end stage of mesothelioma will provide
their services in the home, a preference for many.

According to the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative
Medicine, only some insurance plans will cover the cost of
palliative care.  Part of the legal representation services
provided by Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason helps families coping
with mesothelioma to explore all their financial options as well
as to recover significant settlements to cover the cost of both
traditional and supplemental treatments.

              About Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason

CPSM is committed to helping their clients not only win just
verdicts but to get the highest standard of mesothelioma care
possible.  After 30 years of representing asbestos victims, CPSM
are experts in their field and have developed an extensive library
of resources to help those newly diagnosed with mesothelioma.  For
more information or to speak directly with an asbestos attorney,
call 1-800-440-4262 today.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 'Apparent Manufacturer' Theory Beat Pfizer's Case
------------------------------------------------------------------
Insurance Journal Online says that a New York federal appellate
court ruling on April 10 could allow more asbestos liability suits
to proceed against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The appellate court's decision affirms the previous ruling last
year from U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York.  The ruling found that the Pfizer is not immune from
asbestos liability suits over its bankrupt unit Quigley Co.

The appellate court's decision explained that, in the decades from
the 1930's through the 1970's, some Quigley products, including a
product known as "Insulag," which was primarily used as an
insulator in high heat environments, contained asbestos. Pfizer
acquired Quigley in 1968, the latter becoming Pfizer's wholly
owned subsidiary.

Post-acquisition, various marketing materials for Quigley
products, including Insulag, "began to include the Pfizer name,
logo, and trademark," according to the court documents.

After the hazardous effects of asbestos became widely known, more
than 160,000 plaintiffs filed asbestos-related suits against
Quigley.  Many of these suits also named Pfizer as a defendant.
Quigley filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004.

Pfizer, on behalf of Quigley, reached a monetary settlement with
the majority of plaintiffs, offering some $430 million, as Quigley
filed for bankruptcy to seek injunction protection from further
lawsuits.

The bankruptcy court ruled that Quigley's bankruptcy protection
prevented certain types of Quigley-related asbestos lawsuits
against Pfizer.

But a leading lawyer for plaintiffs, a famed asbestos liability
attorney Peter Angelos, cited the "apparent manufacturer" theory
of liability.  He argued that since Quigley had used the Pfizer
name and logo on its product packaging, the drugmaker is still
liable for lawsuits.

"At least some of these suits sought to hold Pfizer liable in
connection with products containing asbestos and manufactured by
Quigley under an 'apparent manufacturer' theory of liability as
set out in Restatement (Second) of Torts Sec. 400," according to
the federal appeals court.

"The Angelos suits alleged that Pfizer's logo appeared on
Quigley's advertising and the packages of Quigley's asbestos-
containing products.  Under Sec. 400, "[o]ne who puts out as his
own product a chattel manufactured by another is subject to the
same liability as though he were its manufacturer," the federal
appeals court stated in its ruling on April 10.

The case is In re Quigley Company, U.S. Court of the Appeals for
the Second Circuit.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Demands Hard Copies of Safety Procedures
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ahn Jae Wook of DesignBuild Source reports that a union is
recommending that workers at the Barangaroo project in central
Sydney refuse to resume work until formal procedures to prevent
asbestos exposure are put in writing.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union has blasted
project owner Lend Lease, saying there were no asbestos monitors
where the asbestos had been found and that nothing had been done
about previous detections of the material on the site.  The union
also claimed workers had not received any training concerning how
to handle the dangerous material.

According to a report on Australian Associated Press (AAP), around
150 workers stopped work and were removed from the site after
asbestos was detected during an inspection by the union on
April 10.  A stop work meeting was held at the site on Wednesday
morning, April 11.

According to the report, CFMEU NSW State Secretary Brian Parker
has demanded that formal procedures to detect and deal with
asbestos on the site be put in writing.  Parker is confident that
work will not resume on the site until this is done.

"We want the procedures in writing, to say what the procedures are
and how they're going to be carried out, so that there is no
further exposure," the report quotes Parker as saying.

Lend Lease says it has monitoring devices stationed throughout the
site to detect asbestos, adding that it informs all workers of the
dangers of asbestos as part of its induction process into the
company.

Parker says, however, that the union did not see any monitors
where asbestos was found, and workers have told him that nothing
has been done about previous detections of asbestos on the site.

As for training, Parker says none of the workers he spoke to had
received any instruction at all about how to work with asbestos.

"They certainly haven't had any asbestos training, not the 150
workers we spoke to," he says.

The AAP report says all workers will be tested with lung
functioning tests and chest X-rays for asbestos exposure, a
process that could take months.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Experts Predict "Asbestos Tsunami" to Hit Asia
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sujeet Rajan of International Business Times reports that India
and China are headed for "an absolute catastrophe of death and
disease" because of likely massive jump in asbestos-related
diseases in the coming decades, says a report written by Pulitzer
winning journalist Gary Cohn.

Citing numerous scientific studies and two of the world's most
prominent experts on public health and asbestos exposure, Cohn
writes in a news blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance that
India and China are the two countries where the consequences are
going to be felt the most in Asia, where cancer from asbestos is
going to ravage economies.

Cohn, who is currently a professor of journalism at the USC
Annenberg School of Journalism, has also won the Barlett & Steele
Awards for Investigative Business Journalism and the George Polk
Award for environmental reporting.

"What we can expect is very predictable -- an absolute catastrophe
of death and disease" for India and China, Dr. Arthur Frank,
chairman of environmental and occupational health at Drexel
University, has been quoted as telling Cohn.

This is primarily because India, China, and other countries on the
continent continue to use -- or in some cases, even increase --
their dependence on asbestos for cheap roofing insulation, in
cement, and other widespread applications.

An estimated 107,000 people worldwide die each year from asbestos-
related diseases, a number that will continue to grow if efforts
to curb its usage fail.  While already substantial, this
assessment is probably low, according to leading public-health
experts, as it is difficult to categorically track deaths from
asbestos-related diseases in Asia because India, China and other
countries do not to keep reliable data on them, says Cohn.

Another expert, Dr. Amir Attaran, a scientist, lawyer and
acknowledged expert on global health issues, said that the
consequences of continued heavy use of asbestos will be felt
particularly hard in India, a growing nation of 1.2 billion people
with few limits or controls on the use of asbestos.

"It's a scientific failure, a clinical failure, and a social and
moral failure of India.  It is a failure of culture and science,"
Attaran tells Cohn.

When asked about the consequences of the country's widespread use
of asbestos, Attaran, a leader in the fight to stop exports of the
material to Third World countries, says: "In disease terms,
incalculable.  India has no public health controls.  They will pay
dearly for this with an epidemic of mesothelioma."

Cohn notes that asbestos has historically been used as cheap
insulation material in construction, ships and cars.  In the
United States and Europe, it has been banned for most uses because
of its clear-cut links to mesothelioma and other diseases, but it
is still widely used in Asia and other nations because it is
effective, yet relatively inexpensive.

In Asia, it is used primarily for cheap roofing insulation, and in
cement and power plants.  The health hazard of exposure is
compounded by the fact that Asian workers often toil in factories
with poor ventilation.

A few Asian nations, such as Japan and South Korea, have banned
asbestos, but they are the exceptions.

In recent years, numerous studies have documented the anticipated
rise in mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases over the
next several decades in Asia.  One recent study, in the Journal of
the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, said that Asia, where
there are many large, developing countries, currently accounts for
about 64% of the world's asbestos use.  This represents a steady
increase -- the continent accounted for a 33% share from 1971 to
2000, and 14% from 1920 to 1970.

Medical experts say that it generally takes people 20 to 50 years
after exposure to asbestos to develop mesothelioma and other
asbestos-related diseases.  This timetable clearly forecasts that
Asia's current rate of usage is likely to lead to a huge hike in
asbestos-related diseases in the coming decades, Cohn says.

Ken Takahashi, the lead author and acting director of the World
Health Organization Collaborative Center for Occupational Health,
has said that Asia can anticipate an "asbestos tsunami" in the
coming decades.

In response, WHO has identified asbestos as one of the most
dangerous occupational carcinogens in the world, and says there is
an urgent need to stop asbestos use in order to curtail the
enormous associated health damages.

Cohn himself got a first-hand view of the problem in the late
1990s while investigating India's notorious shipbreaking
facilities in Alang, where thousands of unprotected workers worked
on large, retired vessels with high asbestos content.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Minn. Governor Blocks "Innocent Successor" Bill
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center reports that Minnesota
Governor Mark Dayton did what his counterparts in other states
were afraid to do -- stand up to big business and its lobbying
efforts -- and vetoed legislation that would have reduced the
liability of companies capitalizing on past use of asbestos.

Dayton vetoed Senate Bill 1236, which had passed by a narrow
margin and originally was drafted by the American Legislative
Exchange Council (ALEC).  The pro-business, anti-labor group
already has pushed through similar legislation in Texas, Ohio,
Pennsylvania and Mississippi, where governors failed to protect
victims of asbestos-related diseases.

"The true impact of this legislation should not go without
comment," Dayton wrote in his strongly worded veto.  "I opposed
efforts in the United States Senate to limit exposure of asbestos
manufacturers, and to shift the cost of these injuries to
taxpayers and others."

According to Minnpost.com, it was the seventh bill that Dayton
vetoed in this legislative session that was drafted by ALEC, and
all were designed to limit the rights of individuals in favor of
business.

The most recent bill was referred to as "The Innocent Successor
Asbestos-Related Liability Fairness Act."  It would have protected
companies from liability if they merged with, or bought, other
companies still facing asbestos issues.  It would have been a blow
to individuals seeking compensation from long-ago exposure to
asbestos.

Victim advocate groups were adamantly opposed to the bill, citing
the long latency period (10-50 years) between an exposure to
asbestos and the most serious asbestos-related diseases.

An exposure to asbestos fibers can cause a wide-range of long-term
health issues, including mesothelioma cancer, which has no cure.

In Minnesota, the Bill would have greatly benefited -- and was
pushed by -- Crown Holdings, Inc., which has Crown, Cork and Seal.
Crown, which is based in Philadelphia, has operations in 41
countries and net sales of $8.6 billion.  It has three plants in
Minnesota and is a leading supplier of packaging products for
consumer marketing companies around the world.

Crown already has paid out an estimated $700 million from
asbestos-related liability claims.  It believed the law would have
reduced its future liability in Minnesota, much like it has done
in other states.

Crown actually never made asbestos-related products, but it
acquired Mundet Cork Corporation for $7 million in 1963 to obtain
its bottle cap business.  It also agreed to obtain all of its
assets -- and all of its liabilities. Among those liabilities were
asbestos-related lawsuits caused by the asbestos insulation
products it previously produced.

Proponents of the legislation believe the current laws protecting
individual rights are outdated.  The Senate Bill passed by a 34-27
margin.  The House Bill 1418 passed counterpart bill passed 69-56.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parishioners Rally Against Stowey Quarry Project
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Somerset Guardian at Thisissomerset.co.uk reports that fears
of an adverse effect on tourism and concerns about serious
hazardous waste being secretly buried were raised by campaigners
fighting plans to restore Stowey quarry by filling it with
asbestos.

A packed meeting of Stowey Sutton Parish Council on Wednesday
(April 4) saw numerous parishioners speak out against the plans to
fill the empty quarry with 645,000 tons of asbestos and other
hazardous waste over a ten year period.

Councilors sitting on the small parish council voted unanimously
against the application after hearing from people from the Stop
Stowey Quarry campaign group, who fear for the long term health of
people living in and around the popular beauty spot should Bath
and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) grant permission.  The
parish council cannot decide whether the application should be
granted by B&NES but have the chance to comment on all planning
applications concerning the area.

People at the meeting spoke about the potential risk asbestos
particles being released into the air in the event of an accident
as 50 vehicles a day move to the site along narrow country roads
and reiterated concerns from Bristol Water, which has fears about
soluble hazardous waste leaching into the reservoir.

Celebrity medic, Dr. Phil Hammond, who lives in Bishop Sutton,
told councilors it was hard to quantify the long term health risks
and said there had been health and safety breaches at other such
sites, including one in Evercreech, Somerset.  He called on the
council to work with neighboring parish councils to have a
stronger voice against the plan.  Concerns were also raised that
asbestos from the Hinkley power station could be dumped at the
site or that a lack of monitoring could see all manner of waste
dumped at the site.

Others at the meeting said the 10 jobs that would be created at
the site are nothing when compared to what would be lost from
tourists who are too scared of the dangers to visit the valley.

MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has agreed to pass the petition to parliament.
People have until April 19 to comment on the application.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 50% of Workforce Back, Barangaroo Project Resumes
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Associated Press reports that construction work has
resumed at Barangaroo South after concerns about asbestos exposure
halted work at the site.

Around 150 workers were removed from the site on Sydney's
harbourside after the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy
Union (CFMEU) detected asbestos during a site inspection.

But developer Lend Lease said work has now resumed.

"The asbestos-related concerns raised by the CFMEU have been
reviewed, and the site has shown it is operating safely with no
exposure risk to workers or the community," Lend Lease's head of
development David Hutton said.

"Work on building the perimeter retention wall and piling for the
first commercial tower has now recommenced."

But CFMEU NSW secretary Brian Parker said only 50% of workers were
back at work.

"The site is reopened only for those workers that have already
completed the asbestos awareness and the awareness to toxic
substances (training)," Mr. Parker told AAP.

"All the procedural matters have been explained to them about what
may happen if we come across it.

"We're confident that we're going to find more asbestos and more
issues related to toxic substances on the site."

"But those areas would be cornered off immediately and the issues
would be addressed to make sure there's no further exposure to
anybody else."

If the training is completely successful, the rest of the workers
will be back on site, Mr. Parker said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Analysis On Long-Term Ecological Disaster Victims
------------------------------------------------------------------
ScienceDaily posts that environmental disasters impact individuals
and communities; they also affect how family members communicate
with each other, sometimes in surprising ways, according to a
paper published by a faculty member at the University at Buffalo
in the Journal of Family Issues.

The study is the first systematic analysis of how families
communicate when faced with serious health issues brought on by
"slow moving technological disasters," like environmental
disasters.  The purpose was to identify how people in families
communicate when they are facing these issues in order to better
characterize the social costs of such disasters.

The findings were, in some ways, counterintuitive, says Heather
Orom, PhD, assistant professor of community health and health
behavior in the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions
and lead author on the paper.

"The casual observer might assume that when people become
seriously ill and there are fatalities, that families would come
together and support one another," Orom says.  "But our research
shows that often times, the opposite happens.  That is because
whether it's buried toxic waste, such as in Love Canal or
contaminated drinking water in Woburn, Massachusetts, these slow
moving technological disasters become such a divisive issue in
communities.  The family dynamics totally mirror what happens in
the community."

Orom's research consisted of focus groups conducted with residents
of Libby, Montana, who either had asbestos-related disease, had
family members with the disease or were not affected either way.
Libby, Montana has significantly elevated incidence of several
kinds of asbestos-related disease, such as pleural disease,
asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

For almost 70 years, asbestos-contaminated vermiculite, a mineral
commonly used in insulation, construction and as an additive to
potting soil, was mined and processed in Libby.  As a result,
asbestos-related diseases, which often are fatal, are common among
former mine employees; family members may also have been affected
by the asbestos carried home by workers on their clothes.  Cases
also have been linked to day-to-day exposures among people
residing in the town and surrounding area.

"We found that the people in these situations can be victimized
twice," Orom continues.  "They become ill and then may be
stigmatized because some members of the community view illness
claims as lacking credibility, as baseless attempts to get
compensation that tarnish the reputation of the town."

According to Orom, what typically occurs is that with the news of
contamination, properties are devalued and businesses start
leaving the area.  "Suddenly, you've got two disasters: an
economic disaster and a medical disaster," she says.  "It's not
surprising that some families decide, 'let's stop talking about
it.'  Those who continue to bring it up are then labeled
troublemakers.  Those who are sick and are seen with their oxygen
also get labeled.  So, many people, especially those with
symptoms, start to isolate themselves at home and that affects how
and if they discuss their illness with family members."  Orom adds
that this behavior could prevent people from seeking the medical
or psychological help they need; it also could prevent them from
discussing important measures that other family members should
take, such as screening to find out if they, too, have the
disease.

Orom and her colleagues identified five communication patterns
within the affected families, which they characterized as
open/supportive; silent/supportive; open/conflictual;
silent/conflictual and silent/denial.  They speculated that the
silent and conflictual types of communication could be barriers to
attitudes and behaviors that would promote better health, such as
screening for asbestos-related diseases, and could increase
psychological distress in families.

"There is a reason why people don't like to discuss illness in
general, anyway," says Orom.  "With an environmental disaster,
there is an additional layer creating a propensity for silence.
In our focus groups, we saw instances where families rejected the
legitimacy of the illness and estranged the person who was ill."

Orom notes that the negative effects that come from these kinds of
responses within families do have significance in the larger
community and should be taken into account by policymakers.

"If there are real social and financial costs that result from
these disasters and their effects on family relationships, for
example, if divorces increase as a result, then maybe this kind of
research can help move policies in a direction of being more
protective of communities," she says.

The research was conducted as part of a larger communication
project by the National Center for Vermiculate and Asbestos-
Related Cancers at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in
Detroit.  Funding came from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention.

Co-authors with Heather Orom are Rebecca J.W. Cline of Kent State
University; Tanis Hernandez of the Center for Asbestos-Related
Disease; Lisa Berry-Bobovski and Ann G. Schwartz of the Karmanos
Cancer Institute and John C. Ruckdeschel of Intermountain
Healthcare.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victims Need Not Recall Full Exposure Details
--------------------------------------------------------------
Weitz & Luxenberg, PC, has launched an education initiative
designed to reassure asbestos exposure victims suffering with
mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis that it isn't necessary to
be able to recall the full details surrounding their encounter
with the toxic mineral in order to proceed with a lawsuit against
the corporations responsible for causing the harm.

"A desire to obtain cancer financial assistance is what drives
most asbestos-exposure victims to initially consider a lawsuit,
but we've noticed that many of them hesitate to take the next step
of contacting an asbestos lawyer to discuss the merits of their
case because they mistakenly believe their case will turn out to
be unprovable," said the mass-tort and personal-injury litigation
law firm.

"The reason they think this is because their exposure to asbestos
occurred decades ago and it's only now that they've developed lung
cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis, so they question whether
they'll be able to remember when, where and how they came into
contact with asbestos or be able to find corroborating evidence in
the form of documents and witnesses after so lengthy a time," the
firm said.

"Our position as asbestos lawyers is that if a mesothelioma or
asbestos lung-cancer victim can recall at least a few details of
the exposure, we may be able to fill in the gaps with appropriate
research," the firm said.  "For example, if a person exposed to
asbestos can remember where he or she worked 20, 30, 40 or more
years ago, chances are we can pinpoint the asbestos-containing
products with which he or she came into contact and identify the
corporations responsible for causing the injury."

"This is why we are endeavoring to educate mesothelioma, lung
cancer and asbestosis patients that they should feel confident
about coming forward and talking to us about getting the justice
they deserve -- justice in the form of compensation to pay their
medical bills and to ensure the financial security of the family
they're eventually going to leave behind or may already have left
behind," the firm said.

Weitz & Luxenberg also said that many smokers who develop lung
cancer assume incorrectly that they are barred from suing for an
asbestos-exposure injury.  "Plaintiffs who were occasional
smokers, moderate smokers or heavy smokers can sue and be
compensated if they were harmed by asbestos," the firm said. "For
example, we recently secured a sizable settlement on behalf of
nine New Yorkers -- all but one of them deceased -- who claimed
they developed lung cancer at least in part because of workplace
exposure to asbestos and not solely due to smoking [docket No.
1081362002, New York Supreme Court, Manhattan].  We believe that
smokers and non-smokers alike should never be reluctant to seek
justice for themselves.  The science shows asbestos exposure can
cause lung disease.  Period."

Asbestos-exposure cancers are typically very aggressive, the firm
said.  "They attack the lungs, but it doesn't happen immediately,"
the firm continued.  "Symptoms typically surface decades later."

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral possessing certain properties that
make it ideal for insulating against high heat. "Asbestos has been
used for that purpose over the span of centuries, but not until
the early 1900s did it find wide application in industrial and
consumer products, Weitz & Luxenberg said.  "In the 1980s, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began putting up roadblocks
to its use, but asbestos is still with us and people will continue
to suffer the latent effects of past asbestos exposures well into
the future."

                     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: Belluck Calls for Carcinogen-Free Workplaces Law
-----------------------------------------------------------------
New York mesothelioma lawyer Joseph W. Belluck has voiced support
for an Environmental Health News editorial calling for the U.S.
government to move toward a policy of carcinogen-free workplaces.

"We agree with the team of scholars who said that it is wrong for
allowable cancer risks in the workplace to be greater than what's
considered acceptable for the general public," said Belluck of New
York City's Belluck & Fox, LLP.

The nationally recognized New York City personal injury firm
focuses on helping victims of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining
of the chest and abdomen caused by asbestos exposure.

"Working for a living should not be a lifelong gamble on your
chance of contracting mesothelioma or some other kind of cancer,"
Belluck said.

Four work environment and public health professors from the
University of Massachusetts Lowell recently wrote the opinion
piece.

The article calls for the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH) to revise its occupational cancer
policy.

The authors call for NIOSH to go beyond seeking reductions in
workplace exposure to cancer-causing agents, such as asbestos.
They ask NIOSH to adopt a zero-tolerance policy.

"It is wrong for a public health agency like NIOSH to sanction
cancer risks to workers that are orders of magnitude greater than
what is deemed acceptable for the general public," the authors say
in the March 9 op-ed.  "A new federal policy, if thoughtfully
redesigned, would not only prevent cancer among workers, but also
protect the health of families and communities."

Asbestos is a naturally occurring heat- and fire-resistant mineral
fiber.  It has been used in a variety of industrial and
manufacturing machinery and equipment.

Belluck & Fox has won several major personal injury and wrongful
death lawsuits involving injuries from asbestos exposure.

In August, the firm secured two separate verdicts in the Supreme
Court of New York, New York County, which resulted in more than
$51 million in combined damages. (Dummitt v. A.W. Chesterton, et
al., No. 190196/10; Konstantin v. 630 Third Avenue Associates, et
al., 090134/10).

Belluck said workers most likely to contract mesothelioma are
those who had direct contact with asbestos in an industrial
setting or a factory, such as pipefitters, electricians, plumbers,
foundry workers, machinists and mechanics.

The Environmental Health News editorial describes the wife of a
refinery electrician who contracted mesothelioma from washing her
husband's work clothes.  Asbestos dust had covered the clothes.

"The idea that any worker contracts a fatal disease simply from
showing up and doing their job every day should be absolutely
unacceptable to the U.S. government and its citizens," Belluck
said.

Belluck said mesothelioma patients who think their disease has
resulted from exposure to asbestos in the workplace may have a
right to compensation for their losses, including pain and
suffering.

"Mesothelioma is a deadly and costly disease," the veteran New
York attorney said.  "We will continue to stand by those who are
facing this disease."

                     About Belluck & Fox, LLP

Belluck & Fox, LLP, is a nationally recognized law firm that
represents individuals with asbestos and mesothelioma claims, as
well as victims of crime, motorcycle crashes, lead paint and other
serious injuries.  The firm provides personalized and professional
representation and has won over $400 million in compensation for
clients and their families.

Partner Joseph W. Belluck is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is
listed in Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine's "Best
Lawyers in the New York Area" and in Super Lawyers.  Mr. Belluck
has won numerous cases involving injuries from asbestos, defective
medical products, tobacco and lead paint, including a recent
asbestos case that settled for more than $12 million.

Partner Jordan Fox is a well-known asbestos and mesothelioma
attorney who has been named to the Best Lawyers in America, New
York Magazine's "Best Lawyers in the New York Area" and to Super
Lawyers.  On two separate occasions his verdicts were featured as
the National Law Journal's Largest Verdict of the Year.  He
recently secured verdicts of $32 million and more than $19 million
on behalf of individuals who had contracted mesothelioma from
asbestos exposure.

In September, Belluck & Fox, LLP, won a coveted spot on a list of
America's best law firms, which was published jointly by U.S. News
& World Report and Best Lawyers magazine.  The listing showcased
8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of 81 major
practice areas.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plaintiff Firms Gather for 2012 Annual Retreat
---------------------------------------------------------------
Deborah Schweizer, partner with the California mesothelioma law
firm of Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason, will attend the
American Association for Justice (AAJ) Ninth Annual Leaders Forum
Retreat held in May in Santa Barbara, Calif.  AAJ Leaders Forum is
a premiere network of plaintiff firms in the country dedicated to
defending the civil justice system and the right to trial by jury.
By attending the retreat, Schweizer will meet with other leading
attorneys from around the nation to discuss means of safeguarding
the rights of the injured and assuring their continued access to
the courts.

According to AAJ, "Our mission is to promote a fair and effective
justice system-and to support the work of attorneys in their
efforts to ensure that any person who is injured by the misconduct
or negligence of others can obtain justice in America's
courtrooms, even when taking on the most powerful interests."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bids Sought for Happy Valley Lots Fibro-Test
-------------------------------------------------------------
Pamela Brust of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that
bids will be sought for asbestos testing on the three Happy Valley
properties that are part of the latest round of the federal flood
mitigation buyout program.

Wood County commissioners authorized the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional
Council to seek the bids and approved drawdowns on the grant
funding to purchase two more Happy Valley properties as part of
the current phase of the flood mitigation program.

For the residence at 701 Happy Valley Road, $80,000 is to be paid,
and for 770 Happy Valley Road, $160,000.  The properties are
appraised to determine market value then the appraisal is reviewed
by another independent appraiser before an offer to purchase is
made.  Participation in the flood mitigation project is voluntary
on the part of homeowners.

County officials said they have received some inquiries regarding
possible lease of newly vacated properties now owned by the
county.  The commissioners have agreed to consider granting a
long-term lease to West Virginia University at Parkersburg as part
of the university's agricultural school.  The land would be used
as part of the curriculum and some of the produce grown there will
be available at the local Farmer's Market.

"We still have about 10-11 more applications for the program on
file.  In December, we applied for four more properties," said Tim
Meeks, with the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council.  The council
administers the flood mitigation grant for the county.

A third property in the most recent phase is valued at $47,000,
closing was already scheduled for that site.

The county was earlier awarded $344,050 in federal flood
mitigation funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Through this phase of the program, three additional homes in Happy
Valley were to be purchased and demolished.  The most recent
project must be completed by Dec. 31, 2014.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency flood mitigation program
enables counties to buy out property owners who reside in
repeatedly flooded areas.  The homes are demolished and no one is
permitted to build on the land again as the program's aim is to
save on federal flood claims and related expenses.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ministry of Defence Pays for Second-Hand Exposure
------------------------------------------------------------------
BBC News Cumbria relates that John Todd's wife Helene dutifully
cleaned his overalls when he returned from the Army base where he
worked.  Nearly four decades later the dust from those overalls
would kill her.

"I was paid to be killed in the service of the country, my wife
wasn't," said Mr. Todd, 68.  "But she was killed in the service of
the country keeping me clean, while I did my job."

A former Army mechanic, Mr. Todd, from Carlisle, has won a
compensation claim against the Ministry of Defence following his
wife's death from an asbestos-related disease.

The military vehicles Mr. Todd worked on while stationed in
Germany during the 1970s used asbestos for heat protection.  After
his shift he brought home his dirty overalls, which his wife
cleaned.

In August 2009 she started to notice that things were not, in Mr.
Todd's words, "quite right".

During January 2010 the couple, who were married for more than 40
years, realized that contact would have deadly consequences  for
Mrs. Todd.  Doctors were then consulted and Mrs. Todd was
diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.  She died seven months
later, aged 66.

Before she died Mrs. Todd had begun compensation proceedings
against the MoD.  The case was then taken up by her husband.  "She
was my life," said Mr. Todd, "I will miss her."

Married in July 1966, the couple had met at Victoria bus station
in London a few months earlier.

"I could not believe my luck when I walked past her," Mr. Todd
said as he recounted their first meeting.  "I soon turned around
and went back," he added, with a croak in his voice.

As an Army mechanic for 22 years, Mr. Todd served in the Royal
Electrical and Mechanical engineers.  This took the couple to
various locations around the world.

In 2010, with preparations under way for a compensation claim, Mr.
and Mrs. Todd started to piece together their past.

"We worked it out that the only time that she [Mrs Todd] had ever
been near asbestos was possibly working with my overalls," said
Mr. Todd.

An inquest was held into Mrs. Todd's death in May last year.

"I find it entirely feasible this disease was caused by washing
her husband's overalls," is how Mr. Todd remembers the coroner's
findings.

Despite his wife's death being caused by his work, Mr. Todd said
he was not angry with the MoD.  "It was a way of life, asbestos
was used, asbestos was widely used, it was the magical thing," he
said.

Awarded GBP110,000 by the MoD in an out-of-court settlement, Mr.
Todd is "appreciative" of the arrangements which will see him
receiving about GBP95,000 after deductions.

"They've [the MoD] accepted straight away and they've paid," said
Mr. Todd.  "They've paid a reasonable amount... and I'm happy."

In a statement, the MoD said: "We extend our condolences to Mr.
John Todd on the death of his wife, Helene.

"When compensation claims are submitted, they are considered on
the basis of whether or not the Ministry of Defence has a legal
liability to pay compensation.

"Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we do so.

"The amount of compensation paid is determined by common law
principles which take account of an individual's pain and
suffering, degree of injury, property losses, past and future
financial losses and level of care required."

The Mesothelioma Trust estimates that almost 2,000 people a year
are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harley O Staggers Bldg Prepped for Abatement Work
------------------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Rippin, Monongalia and Preston County Reporter, at WBOY.com
reports that The Harley O Staggers Federal Building in downtown
Morgantown is on its way to becoming asbestos free.

Reclaim Company is prepping the building for asbestos removal and
will have 120 days to complete the project.

Monongalia County Commission purchased the building last year and
an architect has been hired to work on the project.

"We're dealing right now; we've selected an architect now we're
dealing with them on costs and how we want to go about the
project," said Bob Doyle, Director of Facilities.  "Either a
master plan for all the county buildings or just a plan for this
building alone."

A tentative plan is to move the offices currently housed at the
courthouse into the new building giving everyone more space.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ARD Lawsuit in Japan Wins JPY180-Mil. Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sokolove Law reports that while asbestos exposure is undoubtedly a
worry for many across the United States, it is also important to
remember that mesothelioma worries caused by asbestos are a
commonality among people living all over the world.

A court in Osaka, Japan recently ruled that the government was
liable for the asbestos-related illnesses developed by 50 former
factory workers and their families.  The asbestos lawsuit brought
by the workers -- who were exposed to asbestos by running the
fiber through spinning mills while working for a transport company
-- claim that the government was aware of the dangers associated
with asbestos by 1959.  However, it did not take action to require
proper safety measures and ventilation devices to be put into
place until 1971.

The asbestos lawsuit resulted in a JPY180 million (approximately
$2.1 million) settlement for the workers, according to The Japan
Times.

In a somewhat similar situation currently unfolding in India,
50 mine workers from Rajasthan recently held a sit-in protest in
front of the National Institute of Occupational Health regarding
concerns that they may be suffering from asbestosis.  Having not
received free health check-ups from the institute since 2005 --
which are required for the confirmation of an asbestosis or
mesothelioma diagnosis before the worker can move ahead with free
treatment and perhaps an eventual asbestos lawsuit -- many of the
workers are demanding new check-ups so they can get the care they
feel they deserve.

The 2005 checkups of 164 mine workers determined that 90 of them
were suffering from asbestosis, according to The Times of India.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hornell Officials Seek Help With Abatement Costs
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew Poole of The Evening Tribune reports that Hornell officials
are hoping Steuben County will chip in with costs related to the
demolition of a dilapidated building on Washington Street.

Demolition costs for 37-39 Washington St. are estimated at
$30,000, with another $7,000 set aside for an asbestos survey and
removal and $1,500 for air monitoring expenses.

The survey results were positive for asbestos, according to a
letter dated April 5 sent to county Administrator Mark Alger from
Jeff Johnson, the city's director of Facilities Management and
Neighborhood Revitalization.

The building, which is expected to be in the July 27 county tax
sale, is uninhabited and condemned and unsuitable for resale.
Officials have been unable to track down John Hoad, the current
owner of the building.

"We just can't afford that type of cost.  We sent this to the
county, asking them to share in that cost," Hogan told the Board
of Public Safety on April 12.

Hogan has communicated with state labor officials, complaining
that the state "makes it much more difficult, even more difficult
than EPA regulations, as far as asbestos goes."

"If we would just follow EPA guidelines for asbestos removal, the
cost of the demolition is estimated to be 35 to 40% cheaper," he
said.

Calls to Alger requesting comment weren't returned by press time.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Resolution on Rosemount Plan Expected April 24
---------------------------------------------------------------
Laurie Blake of The Star Tribune reports that a proposed baseball
complex in Rosemount is on hold because there's asbestos right
next door.

As part of a larger development on land it owns in Rosemount, the
University of Minnesota set aside 28 acres for a city park.  But
it turns out there's asbestos waiting to be removed in a stockpile
of soil on adjoining property owned by the Dakota County Technical
College.

So planning commissioners are withholding approval of the baseball
complex until they're satisfied the park land is free of
contamination.

"We are looking at a kids' ball field," Commissioner Wade Miller
said.  "I want to know that we have taken good precautions.  We
want to be able to look our neighbors in the eye and say this is
going to be a really good park [and that] your children will not
be exposed to a single fiber of asbestos."

The U donated the land to meet the city's park requirements as it
prepares to develop the 5,000 acres it owns along County Road 42
in southeast Rosemount.  The university hopes someday to turn the
area into a master-planned community.

The baseball complex is proposed east of Akron Avenue and a half
mile south of County Road 42.

Plans call for four Little League fields and one large diamond for
older players, complete with stadium seating and a concessions
building.

Work on the first phase -- two smaller fields with 84 parking
spaces, estimated to cost $800,000 -- was set to start this year
after a 2010 soil analysis found the land clean of contaminants.

The land has been the subject of at least three environmental
reviews because it was once part of a larger tract where Gopher
Ordnance Works made munitions for World War II and operated
burning grounds between 1942 and 1945.

With this history in mind, Barr Engineering dug eight trenches in
the soil for a 2010 evaluation and found no problems with lead,
arsenic or other toxins.  But Barr did not scan for asbestos,
saying it comes from building materials, and Gopher Ordnance Works
had no buildings on what is now the city park land.

Since its report was done, 20,000 yards of soil contaminated by
asbestos has been piled up at Dakota County Technical College,
whose property borders the city land on the east.

Gopher Ordnance Works administration buildings had been built on
the east side of the college property, and when the old buildings
were removed asbestos from transite siding materials dropped to
the soil, said Robert Kaiser of American Engineering Testing Inc.,
a consultant for the college.

The college scraped that dirt off the ground last fall in
preparation for building its own baseball diamond, and extensive
testing has found no asbestos remaining in the soil there, Kaiser
said.

But the pile of dirt, a quarter-mile away from the city land, is
considered a hazard by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  On
April 4, the agency gave the college one month to remove the
asbestos.

The college has chosen to screen the soil to remove larger
asbestos particles and take those to a landfill, then cover the
remaining soil with clean dirt and reseed it, Kaiser said.

When the Rosemount Planning Commission meets again on April 24, a
Barr Engineering representative will be there to answer soil
questions, City Planner Eric Zweber said.

If concerns about soil conditions are settled, the plan is to
grade and seed the fields this year for use in 2013.  Eleven
inches of sand mixed with peat would be put down as cover over the
graded areas.

No timeframe has been set for adding the other fields, Zweber
said.  "We want to get Phase One up and running and get people
using it to determine demand."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: UPSM Treatment Trial Shows 80% Response Rate
-------------------------------------------------------------
New York mesothelioma attorney Joseph W. Belluck praised
indications of a major advance in gene therapy for battling the
aggressive, usually fatal form of cancer.

Belluck referred to clinical trial results at the University of
Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  Dr. Daniel Sterman of the school
recently discussed the results in a teleconference.

"This research represents new hope for many who live with
mesothelioma," said Belluck of New York City's Belluck & Fox, LLP.
The nationally recognized law firm represents mesothelioma
patients and other asbestos victims in New York and across the
country.

"While Dr. Sterman cautioned that the results are preliminary,
this news should inspire optimism in many mesothelioma patients,"
Belluck said.

Sterman discussed the research as part of the Mesothelioma Applied
Research Foundation's "Meet the Experts" series earlier this
month.

He said that he expects to formally present results soon that show
an 80% response rate to a combination of gene therapy and standard
chemotherapy in mesothelioma victims.  Sterman's results for tumor
shrinkage would represent a rate that is double the rate of other
treatments, he said.

"Our goal . . . is to turn [mesothelioma] from a death sentence
into a chronic disease that people can live with for years,"
Sterman told the teleconference audience.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen.
It is typically associated with exposure to asbestos, a naturally
occurring heat- and fire-resistant mineral fiber that has been
used in a variety of industrial and consumer products.

Many mesothelioma victims manifest symptoms of the disease years
or even decades after exposure to asbestos in the workplace.  It
is eventually fatal.  However, patients diagnosed early in the
course of the disease can see their lives prolonged with
aggressive therapy.

"Any advance in research is important for those who have this
disease now and for those who may develop it in the years ahead,"
Belluck said.

Belluck added that victims of mesothelioma or asbestosis who think
their disease was caused by workplace asbestos exposure or from
consumer products should seek the help of an experienced
mesothelioma lawyer to evaluate their claim for compensation.

"We've seen the devastating impact of mesothelioma on asbestos
exposure victims and their families, and the ongoing pain and
expense that goes along with it," Belluck said.  "Mesothelioma
victims deserve help with this terrible burden."

                   About Belluck & Fox, LLP

Belluck & Fox, LLP, is a nationally recognized law firm that
represents individuals with asbestos and mesothelioma claims, as
well as victims of crime, motorcycle crashes, lead paint and other
serious injuries.  The firm provides personalized and professional
representation and has won over $400 million in compensation for
clients and their families.

Partner Joseph W. Belluck is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is
listed in Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine's "Best
Lawyers in the New York Area" and in Super Lawyers.  Mr. Belluck
has won numerous cases involving injuries from asbestos, defective
medical products, tobacco and lead paint, including a recent
asbestos case that settled for more than $12 million.

Partner Jordan Fox is a well-known asbestos and mesothelioma
attorney who has been named to the Best Lawyers in America, New
York Magazine's "Best Lawyers in the New York Area" and to Super
Lawyers.  On two separate occasions his verdicts were featured as
the National Law Journal's Largest Verdict of the Year.  He
recently secured verdicts of $32 million and more than $19 million
on behalf of individuals who had contracted mesothelioma from
asbestos exposure.

In September, Belluck & Fox, LLP, won a coveted spot on a list of
America's best law firms, which was published jointly by U.S. News
& World Report and Best Lawyers magazine.  The listing showcased
8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of 81 major
practice areas.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Seoul to Replace All Slate Roof Homes By 2014
--------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Yi of Arirang News (Korea) reports that with the accelerated
pace of urban development in Seoul, many unfortunate residents
have been pushed into small, shanty villages.  This particular
neighborhood is called Bahmgol.  Here, many of the homes use slate
roofs that are made with the class-1 carcinogin, asbestos.

Asbestos was once a popular construction material until it was
found to cause serious health problems, including lung cancer and
other respiratory diseases.  It is now banned in over 60
countries.

Many of the residents have been notified of the toxic nature of
their homes, but they simply don't have enough money to replace
their roofs.

[Interview : Town Resident] "I don't have any money.  If I had
money, I wouldn't spend it.  But since I don't have money, I can't
spend any.  I guess that's two reasons."

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon has announced that the city would
demolish all slate roof homes by 2014 and even cover all the
associated costs, including housing replacement.

It's expected more than 10,000 buildings will be torn down.  The
replacement costs have been estimated at around 4,500 U.S. dollars
per household, for a total of 12.5 million U.S dollars.

[Interview : Kim Woong-nam, Team Leader Seoul Environmental
Management] "In order to minimize any scattering of debris and
contaminants to those who may be vulnerable, the city of Seoul is
volunteering to fully support the replacement process."

Mayor Park went on to say that the initial costs are justified
based on long-term public health concerns.  The redevelopment
notice comes just months after an October report that said more
than 80% of all schools in Seoul contain asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Doubts Viability of Thermochemical Conversion
------------------------------------------------------------------
Brittany Lyte at ctpost.com reports that environmental regulators
voiced concern last week that a new asbestos-neutralizing
technology might not be equipped to remediate toxic soil waste at
Stratford's Superfund site.

The technology, called thermochemical conversion, neutralizes
polychlorinated biphenyls and chrysotile asbestos -- two major
components of Raymark soil waste -- through a heating process.
But it cannot neutralize lead or copper, toxins that are also
prevalent in soil waste at the Raymark site, federal and state
environmental officials told town leaders.

"We have real concerns about the viability of the technology,"
said Larry Brill, chief of remediation for Superfund sites in New
England for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  "This
basically is an incinerator."

If the government were to bring the technology to Stratford, the
processed soil would have to be encapsulated beneath layers of
clean soil and other materials to prevent humans from coming in
contact with the remaining lead and copper contaminants.

"That's always been the problem here," said Ron Jennings, a
longtime EPA project manager for Raymark waste remediation.
"There's no silver bullet for this kind of waste stream."

Save Stratford, a network of residents concerned about toxic waste
in town, has been pushing the EPA to determine whether
thermochemical conversion could be used to detoxify waste at the
Raymark Superfund site and other brownfields in town.

The technology, developed by Seattle-based ARI Technologies, has
been used to remediate asbestos at four hazardous waste sites
including the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and a U.S. Department of
Energy site in West Virginia.

But regulators who've been studying the technology said they are
apprehensive about its ability to neutralize the unique soil waste
blend at the town's Superfund site.

ARI Technologies has never taken on a project as large in scale as
the Raymark site, regulators said.  In fact, thermochemical
conversion has never before been used to neutralize automotive
brake pads, fragments of which are known to exist in Raymark
waste.

"There's an awful lot of uncertainty," said Jim Murphy, a
community outreach coordinator for the EPA.  "We don't know what's
going to happen.  It may work, it may not."

The next step would be to conduct a $100,000 bench test, then a $1
million to $3 million pilot test to determine whether the
technology will work on Raymark waste, regulators said.

Typically it's the vendor's responsibility to fund these tests,
EPA officials said.  But they said it's unclear whether ARI
Technologies is willing and able to cover the cost.

Erin Holroyd, a town resident and co-founder of Save Stratford,
urged regulators to move forward with pilot testing regardless of
whether ARI Technologies will fund it.

"We've clearly (thrown) away more than $100,000 on other things
that have moved us nowhere," Holroyd said.  "So this is just
another option.  This is just another shot.  Why would we not take
it? This is something that is potentially better than anything
else we've had available to us before."

Town Council Chairman Joe Kubic said he would like federal, state
and local officials to work more aggressively toward a remediation
plan, whether it involves thermochemical conversion or another
technology.

"The town of Stratford can't take it anymore," Kubic said.  "We're
looking to you guys for help because I think that's what you're
here for -- to help us.  It's become a crisis, and it's probably
going to get worse for us."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos' Long-Term Killing Spree Has Just Begun
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Lisa Singh of ON LINE Opinion relates that the March death of
Everest man, Lincoln Hall, is a stark reminder that asbestos
kills.  Lincoln cheated death when he survived a night at 8600m
near the summit of Mount Everest, without oxygen or proper
equipment.  But there was no escaping the disease caused by
exposure to asbestos as a nine-year-old.

Australia has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the
world, with around 700 people diagnosed each year.  And as
Lincoln's death some 47 years after helping his father build two
cubby houses with asbestos sheeting reminds us, the time between
exposure and the onset of symptoms can be anywhere from 20 to 50
years.  For those who have already been exposed to this
carcinogen, the reality is that it may be too late.

Thousands of Australians families still face the loss of a loved
one, as experts predict the toll of asbestos-related disease will
not reach its peak until 2020.  An asbestos-related death is both
swift and painful.  Once symptoms show themselves it is usually a
matter of months before death.  Just 5% of those diagnosed with
mesothelioma survive five years or longer.

The dangers associated with asbestos have been known for decades.
In the 1960s mesothelioma was first reported as a fatal cancer of
the lining of the lungs after it was discovered among those
exposed to asbestos in South Africa.  However the effects of
asbestos had troubled many in Australia and across the world since
1898, when British factory safety inspectors were said to have
expressed concerns about the 'evil effects' of asbestos dust.

Australia has a history of mining and importing asbestos -- then a
'wonder material' -- which was used to manufacture a range of
products like roofing and building materials, brake and clutch
linings, vinyl floor tiles, water and sewerage piping and
fireproof clothing.  Asbestos mining ceased in 1983 and in
December 2003 all forms of asbestos were banned from use in
Australia.

Australia has experienced two waves of asbestos-related disease
diagnoses, the first from the mining of asbestos and the
manufacturing of asbestos-related products, and the second from
the use of asbestos in the construction industry.

Last year, the University of Western Australia identified the
beginning of a third wave associated with home renovations.  As
the sad death of Lincoln highlights, this wave has begun and it
has the potential to span future decades.

Between the 1940s and 1980s the majority of Australian homes were
built using some form of asbestos product.  Today, these are the
homes often marketed as a `Renovator's Delight' and thanks to the
inspiration of reality DIY renovation TV shows, these renovations
are increasingly being undertaken by laymen.

Each weekend across our wide country, budding renovators take
sledgehammers to their walls, ripping up tiles in kitchens and
bathrooms and pulling down crumbling sheds.  It's dirty, dusty
work and as people seek to turn their houses into homes, many are
dangerously oblivious to the fact they are inhaling carcinogens.

And it's not just those undertaking the renovations at risk.  If
renovators are unaware of the presence of asbestos, they are
unlikely to take proper precautions for its removal or disposal.
Family, neighbors and people passing by an asbestos filled wheelie
bin or skip on the footpath are also in danger.  Breathing in a
single speck of asbestos dust is sometimes all it takes to begin a
devastating process.

There is an obligation on reality DIY renovation TV shows to
highlight the dangers associated with asbestos.  In 2010, a
contestant of such a show said publicly that there had been an
expectation participants would work in a dusty environment and
remove their masks when they were required to speak to camera.

Such shows are designed to inspire people to renovate which is
why, in a bid to promote their products, prominent hardware
companies form partnerships with such shows.  But failing to
advise viewers of the dangers associated with asbestos, especially
when it has been identified and safely removed `off camera', is
deplorable.  In inspiring people to renovate, there is an
obligation to ensure Australians are aware renovation is not
always as simple as it may be made to look.  There is a need to
ensure this third wave of painful and unnecessary asbestos-related
deaths does not continue in decades to come.

Since being lobbied, Channel Nine has announced it will include
reference to having conducted an asbestos audit on its popular
renovation program, The Block.  The Executive Producer said
viewers would also be advised to be aware of asbestos and seek
advice on its presence and removal before undertaking renovations.

I recently received an email from a young woman who, together with
her fianc‚, had ripped up their kitchen and hallway floors several
years ago.  A decent amount of dust was generated during this
exercise.  This couple had only recently been made aware the
underlay was most likely asbestos.  Now, at the age of 25, this
woman wrote of her distress at the thought of not being able to
watch her children grow up.  She had never known that asbestos had
been used as underlay, so she hadn't given it a second thought.
And why would she?

The Gillard Labor Government commissioned an independent Asbestos
Management Review in 2010 which is expected to hand down its
recommendations by June 30 of this year.  The review aims to
address the enhancement of education and public awareness, the
removal, handling, storage and disposal of asbestos, the mandatory
reporting and disclosure of asbestos and the mandatory collection
of data and reporting on asbestos-related health issues.

Yet for many, the death sentence caused by exposure to asbestos
was written decades ago.  All that can be done is to ensure they
receive adequate compensation.  Research must continue to be
funded in the hope of either a cure or better treatment, and
victims and their families must be provided with appropriate
support.

There is no simple solution when it comes to asbestos, and the
issue is further complicated by legislation falling across all
three tiers of government.  There is also the issue of cost.  The
removal and disposal of asbestos is expensive, which is one of the
reasons people either fail to remove it, or do so themselves.

The death of Lincoln Hall is a tragedy but it will not be in vain
if it helps save lives in raising awareness of the very real risk
associated with asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Regulation Changes Fairly Limited
-----------------------------------------------------
Health and Safety Executive (UK) relates that the Control of
Asbestos Regulations 2012 came into force on April 6, 2012,
updating previous asbestos regulations to take account of the
European Commission's view that the UK had not fully implemented
the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC).

In practice the changes are fairly limited.  They mean that some
types of non-licensed work with asbestos now have additional
requirements, i.e. notification of work, medical surveillance and
record keeping.  All other requirements remain unchanged.

What has stayed the same:

     -- If existing asbestos containing materials are in good
condition and are not likely to be damaged, they may be left in
place; their condition monitored and managed to ensure they are
not disturbed.

     -- If you're responsible for maintenance of non-domestic
premises, you have a 'duty to manage' the asbestos in them, to
protect anyone using or working in the premises from the risks to
health that exposure to asbestos causes.

     -- If you want to do any building or maintenance work in
premises, or on plant or equipment that might contain asbestos,
you need to identify where it is and its type and condition;
assess the risks, and manage and control these risks.

     -- The requirements for licensed work remain the same: in the
majority of cases, work with asbestos needs to be done by a
licensed contractor.  This work includes most asbestos removal,
all work with sprayed asbestos coatings and asbestos lagging and
most work with asbestos insulation and asbestos insulating board
(AIB).

     -- If you are carrying out non-licensed asbestos work, this
still requires effective controls.

     -- The control limit for asbestos is 0.1 asbestos fibers per
cubic centimeter of air (0.1 f/cm3).  The control limit is not a
'safe' level and exposure from work activities involving asbestos
must be reduced to as far below the control limit as possible.

     -- Training is mandatory for anyone liable to be exposed to
asbestos fibers at work.  This includes maintenance workers and
others who may come into contact with or disturb asbestos (e.g.
cable installers), as well as those involved in asbestos removal
work.

What has changed:

     -- From 6 April 2012, some non-licensed work needs to be
notified to the relevant enforcing authority.

     -- From 6 April 2012, brief written records should be kept of
non-licensed work, which has to be notified e.g. copy of the
notification with a list of workers on the job, plus the level of
likely exposure of those workers to asbestos.  This does not
require air monitoring on every job, if an estimate of degree of
exposure can be made based on experience of similar past tasks or
published guidance.

     -- By April 2015, all workers/self employed doing notifiable
non-licensed work with asbestos must be under health surveillance
by a Doctor.  Workers who are already under health surveillance
for licensed work need not have another medical examination for
non-licensed work.  BUT medicals for notifiable non-licensed work
are not acceptable for those doing licensed work.

     -- Some modernization of language and changes to reflect
other legislation, e.g. the prohibition section has been removed,
as the prohibition of supply and use of asbestos is now covered by
REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of
Chemicals Regulations 2006).


                           *********

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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Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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