CAR_Public/120511.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, May 11, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 93

                             Headlines

AIR CANADA: Faces C$20MM Class Action Over Sudden Jet Plunge
AN OLIVE GARDEN: Sued for Exposing Patrons to Hepatitis A
APPLE: Judge Allows Privacy Class Action to Proceed
ARCADIA RESOURCES: Expects Settlement to Take Effect on May 17
AVIS BUDGET: Sued for Charging Undisclosed Convenience Fee

BANK OF AMERICA: Judge Narrows "Privacy Assist" Class Action
CANADA: Court Favors Disabled Veterans' Class Action
CARRIER IQ: Faces Another Suit Over Hidden Software in Phones
CELL THERAPEUTICS: "Sabbagh" Suit Deal Final Hearing on July 20
CENTRO: Settles Shareholder Class Action for AUD20 Million

CENTRO: Lawyers Argue Over Details of Settlement Payouts
CHESAPEAKE ENERGY: Pomerantz Law Firm Updates Class Action
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN: Appeal in Employees' Suit Remains Pending
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN: ADA Violation Class Suits Still Pending
CNO FINANCIAL: Unit Inks Tentative Settlement of "Nicholas" Suit

CNOOC LTD: Has Not Yet Received Robbins Geller's Class Complaint
COMCAST SPECTACOR: Stern & Eisenberg Files Fraud Class Action
CROWNE PLAZA: Berkshire Court Affirms Class Action Settlement
DRYSHIPS: Faces Two Securities Class Suits in Missouri
DRYSHIPS INC: Defends Suit Over Unit's Merger with OceanFreight

EBAY INC: Class Suits vs. PayPal Remain Pending in California
EBAY INC: Plaintiffs Appeal Decision in Class Suit vs. StubHub
ECOPETROL SA: Faces Class Action Over Pamplonita River Oil Spill
GREG MORTENSON: Judge Dismisses Fraud Class Action
HONEYWELL INT'L: Awaits Approval of Quick Lube MDL Settlement

HONEYWELL INT'L: Fairness Hearing in "Allen" Suit Set for July
HONEYWELL INT'L: "UAW" Class Suit Still Pending in Michigan
HOT CHOCOLATE: Recalls 1,700 M.M.M. Boys' Jogging Suits
HOUSTON AMERICAN: Kantrowitz, Goldhamer Files Class Action
HOUSTON AMERICAN: Stull, Stull & Brody Files Class Action

IKEA US: Class Action Over Customers' Zip Codes Can Proceed
INTERCON INC: Recalls 2,350 Sonoma Valley Swivel Top Bar Stools
LA FASHION: Recalls 2,300 Girls' Winter Jackets with Drawstrings
LA JOLLA SPORT: Recalls 600 O'Neill Boy's Hooded Flannel Shirts
LANY GROUP: Recalls 210 Girls' "Goddess" Hooded Sweatshirts

PAYPAL: Settlement Preliminary Approval Hearing Set for June 12
PERKINS COIE: Sued for Failing to Reimburse Business Expenses
PERKINS COIE: Faces Class Action Over Unlawful Wage Deductions
SEARS ROEBUCK: Can't Halt Copycat Class Actions Over Washers
SURF MANOR: Faces Class Action Over Bedbug Infestation

TELEFONICA BRASIL: Appeal in Sao Paulo Prosecutor Suit Pending
TELEFONICA BRASIL: Continues to Defend SISTEL Plan-Related Suits
U-HAUL INT'L: 1st Circuit Revives Truck Rental Price-Fixing Suit
W. ROSS: Court Certifies Class Action Over Blind Student Abuses
YMI JEANSWEAR: Recalls 500 "YMI" Girls' Hooded Sweatshirts

                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Solution Sought for Abatement Issues at PS 29
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup Complete at Razed Margaret River Shire
ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Hazards Found in Nashua's "Boiler House"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ministry Denies Fibro Problem in Swaziland
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ArvinMeritor's Plea vs. $4.5MM Verdict Denied

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Call to Exempt ARD Sufferers From Bill Changes
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM to Attend May Harvard Medical ARD Conference
ASBESTOS UPDATE: A Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos 2012
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Work on Contaminated Hancher Auditorium to Start
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pottstown School Board Opens to Abatement Bids

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Korean PM Enforces Rule on Asbestos Regulations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Film About Eternit Case In Italy Screened
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Cost Issues Delay Hoffman Park Project
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogenic Materials Delay Evans Center Work
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mower County Votes Down Veit Landfill's Request

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bristol MPs Junk Stowey Quarry Proposal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: No Alarms Raised Over Fibro Found in Larkin High
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Ct. Reverses Ruling on Evidence
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ariz. Appeals Court Affirms Jurisdiction Ruling
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Ct. Retains Jurisdiction of Thompson Suit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeal From Denial of Insurance Claim Junked
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Ct. Affirms Discovery Ruling in CSX Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Ct. Remands Bouchard Suit v. Lockheed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Court Won't Review Pretrial Ruling
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Ct. Affirms Judgment v. ArvinMeritor

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plaintiffs Have Burden to Provide Discovery Docs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Inmate's Claim v. Mayor Bloomberg
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3rd Cir. Sides With Federal-Mogul in Insurer Row
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suit Stayed to Allow Plaintiff to Seek Discovery
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ruppel v. CBS Suit Goes Back to State Court

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Motion to Reconsider Order in GRC Suit Junked
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Ct. Says Joint Sec. 998 Offer Is Valid
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Breach of Contract Claims v. Estate Seller Junked
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeal Ct. Affirms Ruling Favoring Foster Wheeler
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Ct. Affirms Ruling v. Pneumo Abex

ASBESTOS UPDATE: OneBeacon's A&E Reserves Were $800MM at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Met-Pro Corp. Had 130 Pending Cases at March 22
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Andrea Electronics Still Defends "Edwards" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ACTU Calls for Nationwide Fibro Audit and Removal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 18 New Cases Filed in St. Louis Circuit Court

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogenic Fibers Close Bloomfield Post Office
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Fly-Tipper Tagged & Fined GBP1,020
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Duke Study Factors Experience Among Doctors
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Motion for Default Judgment v. Demott Denied
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Commercial Welding Owes No Interest to Widow

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Appeals Ct. Reverses Ruling Favoring BNSF
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Ct. Refuses to Remand Suit v. Westinghouse
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Junks Insurers' Motion to Revise GRC Order
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Inmate May Proceed With Exposure Claim
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kansas Court Junks Inmate's Asbestos Tort Claim

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Insurers' Motion to Revise January Order Denied
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Junks Crane Co.'s Objection in Pease Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Excludes Portion of Thomas Testimony
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EIA Says USC's Recent $102K Fine Is Warranted
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aussies Ask Gov-Sponsored Nationwide Abatement

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Potential Buyers Seen for Contaminated Courthouse
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazards at Saphire-Woolgoolga Upgrade Contained
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Swindon Lawyers Deem "Mesothelioma Peak" Starts
ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Takes a U-Turn on Bill Changes for Hampshire
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Man Exposed at Age 15, Dies of Mesothelioma at 81

ASBESTOS UPDATE: U.S. Auto Parts Unit Still Defends Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Steel Partners' Unit Still Defends 1,020 Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Two Cases Remain Pending Against Katy Industries
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Katy Industries Still Won't Indemnify Sterling
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 50 Cases Remain vs. Former Katy Industries Unit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Colonial Commercial Unit Still Defends PI Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kaanapali Land Continues to Defend PI Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Industries Continues to Face Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 10 Active Suits Pending vs. Kaiser Ventures
ASBESTOS UPDATE: W.R. Grace to Use Adjusted Free Cash Flow

ASBESTOS UPDATE: H.B. Fuller Sees $0.7MM Liability at March 3
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Everest Re Had $479MM Reserves at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: $322 Million Verdict Reversed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Halton District Official Snuffs Abatement Unease
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Supervisor Justifies Abatement Monitor Contract

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Seven Former Employees Sue BNSF Railway
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mud Army at Risk of ARD During 2010 Flood Cleanup
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pleasant Hill School Cleanup Put Off
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Alaska Permits Use of Naturally Occurring Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chetrit Not Responsible for Chelsea Hotel Cleanup

ASBESTOS UPDATE: HMGB1 Protein Identified for Cancer Treatment
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CSX's Racketeering Case Survives Dismissal Bid
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Yellowstone Won't Accept Contaminated Courthouse
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Grafton Woman Denies Improper Fibro Removal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Threatens Rosemount Athletic Complex

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kendall Cracker Factory Owner to Get TIF Money
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Appeals Court Reinstates Suits v. Hennessy
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Ct. Reverses Ruling Favoring Hennessy
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazmat Dumping in West Australia Increases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Progress Energy Halts Sutton Plant Construction

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aussie Group Warns Far West Residents of Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Clyde Bergemann Fined AU$64,000 for Fibro Import
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Removal in New York More Expensive
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Buffalo Spent $73MM in 12 Yrs to Remove Old Bldgs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Builder Charged Over Cleanup Without Survey

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fitness Center Reopens 5 Months After Fibro Find
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Memphis Firm to Develop Old Tampa Courthouse
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Belluck & Fox Verdicts Among 2011 Top NY Verdicts
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rockingham-Lunex Fined $35K for Improper Disposal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Shipyard Worker Seeks Workmates Help on Claim

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Counsel to Carpenter Killed by Cancer Seeks Help
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Demolition of Carroll County Courthouse Begins
ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Cedar Rapids Library to Open in 2013
ASBESTOS UPDATE: OSHA Probes Fibro Discovered in Alcoa's NY Plant
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Canton Central School Cleanup to Begin in June

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Arizona Appeals Court Refers Widow to New Mexico
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Study Says Fibro Exposure Risks Other Illnesses
ASBESTOS UPDATE: High Court Says Hardie Directors Breached Duties
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Concerns Raised Over Ithaca Bldg Demolition
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Article Accounts Victim's Legal Struggles

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pro-Asbestos Lobby Group to Close Operations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plan to Renovate Lincoln Alliance Bldg Collapsed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Libby Seeks to Cut Current & Future Exposure Risk
ASBESTOS UPDATE: No Plans to Remove Fibro From R-Building for Now

                          *********
  
AIR CANADA: Faces C$20MM Class Action Over Sudden Jet Plunge
------------------------------------------------------------
CBC News reports that a Toronto law firm has filed a C$20-million
class action lawsuit against Air Canada on behalf of the 95
passengers who suffered injuries after the plane they were on took
a sudden plunge.

Air Canada originally told passengers that the plunge, on Flight
AC878 between Toronto and Zurich in January 2011, was caused by
unexpected turbulence.

But the Transportation Safety Board of Canada issued a report in
April saying the terrifying episode happened when a co-pilot woke
up and was confused enough to think the plane was about to collide
with a U.S. military aircraft.

Lawyer Darcy Merkur -- dmerkur@thomsonrogers.com -- of the firm
Thomson, Rogers, which filed the claim, says the passengers who
have come forward "feel completely manipulated, completely lied to
and they are pissed off; they want a corporation like Air Canada
to be accountable for misleading them."

"We feel the suit was the right thing to do," says Ashlyn O'Mara
who was on the flight, "there is a group of us."

In the class action suit filed in court on May 7, Thomson, Rogers
says that Air Canada covered up the cause of the incident.

The suit has not been certified as a class action suit and the
allegations have not been proven in court.

The suit names Ms. O'Mara of Toronto as a claimant.  She has told
CBC News that she had her seatbelt fastened and was awake when the
plane plunged in the middle of the night.

Ms. O'Mara told the CBC in an exclusive interview that part of the
class action suit is about how passengers were treated by Air
Canada.

"The company did not reach out to many of the passengers,
including myself, to see if we were OK or to ask if there was
anything they could do."

Ms. O'Mara also points out she is concerned about public safety
and pilot fatigue.  "It should be a wakeup call to everyone that
something isn't right and that pilot fatigue is a serious problem
that can affect anyone who flies."

According to CTV News, sixteen people were injured after the
Boeing 767 plane dipped about 120 meters from its assigned
altitude before the captain was able to pull it up again.

Fourteen passengers and two flight attendants, who were not
wearing seatbelts, were injured during the brief but turbulent
incident.

According to the lawsuit, the 46-second plunge tossed several
passengers out of their seats, catapulting them into the ceiling,
and projected various objects through the cabin.

A Transportation Safety Board report conducted last month said the
plane began its abrupt descent after a first officer spotted an
oncoming aircraft and mistakenly perceived it to be on a collision
course with the Air Canada flight.

The first officer, who had just woken up from a scheduled nap,
took action to avoid what was thought to be a potential collision.

The pilot also initially mistook the planet Venus for another
plane, the report said.

An Air Canada spokesman said afterward that the sudden drop was
caused by turbulence, rather than pilot error.  The actual cause
of the drop was not reported until the Transportation Safety Board
report was released on April 16, 2012.

Some passengers have complained that they were given indemnity
waivers to sign without knowing what had happened.

The class action lawsuit claims Air Canada covered up the true
cause of the terrifying episode and demands punitive damages for
the company's handling of the incident.


AN OLIVE GARDEN: Sued for Exposing Patrons to Hepatitis A
---------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that An Olive Garden in Cumberland
County exposed patrons to hepatitis A, a class claims in Superior
Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Prescott v. GMRI, Inc., et al., Case
No. 12-CvS-2240 (N.C. Super. Ct., Cumberland Cty.), is available
at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/05/08/olivegarden.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Mark C. Kurdys, Esq.
          ROBERTS & STEVENS, P.A.
          P.O. Box 7647
          Asheville, NC 28802
          Telephone: (828) 252-6600


APPLE: Judge Allows Privacy Class Action to Proceed
---------------------------------------------------
Wendy Davis, writing for MediaPost, reports that consumers who
filed a class-action privacy lawsuit against Apple can proceed
with their case, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of
California set a trial date of Sept. 16 in the case, which was
brought by iPhone and iPad users who alleged their privacy was
violated when their devices' unique identifiers -- 40-character
strings of letters and numbers -- were transmitted to app
developers and their affiliates.

Last year, Judge Lucy Koh in San Francisco threw out an earlier
version of the potential class-action on the grounds that the
users didn't show how they were harmed by the alleged
transmissions.  But the dismissal was without prejudice, which
left the users free to beef up their allegations and try again.

They amended their complaint by alleging that they were harmed
because they wouldn't have paid as much as they did for iPads or
iPhones had they known that the devices were capable of
transmitting the information.

The consumers also argued that the transmitting data like gender,
age, ZIP code, searches performed "and selections of movies,
songs, restaurants or even versions of the Bible" consumed battery
power, storage and bandwidth.

Apple argued that the consumers still hadn't sufficiently alleged
that they suffered any economic injury.

Judge Koh apparently rejected Apple's argument on that point, but
hasn't yet issued a written opinion spelling out her reasoning.
Judge Koh reportedly narrowed the case by dismissing some of the
consumers' claims.

Although Apple is fighting the lawsuit, the company also recently
started rejecting apps that access unique device identifiers, or
UDIDs.  The move has left some mobile ad networks scrambling to
find new tracking methods.  A few of the newer options -- such as
tracking iPhone users based on their MAC addresses or their
phone's digital fingerprints -- are seen as threats to privacy,
largely because people have no easy way of deleting a MAC address
or digital fingerprint.

Apple isn't the only company to face a privacy lawsuit relating to
mobile devices.  Google also is defending itself against a
potential class-action by Android users who allege that their
devices tracked their location.  That case is pending in front of
U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco.

Also, a resident of Austin, Texas recently sued a slew of app
developers and tech companies -- including Path, Hipster, Twitter
and Facebook -- for allegedly collecting or storing mobile users'
address books.

The Recorder reports that a California federal judge said last
week she'd dismiss the federal claims against Apple and all the
claims against 22 co-defendants in the suit.


ARCADIA RESOURCES: Expects Settlement to Take Effect on May 17
---------------------------------------------------------------
The effective date of a settlement of a wage and hour class action
lawsuit filed against a subsidiary of Arcadia Resources Inc. is
expected to be May 17, 2012, the Company disclosed in its
April 20, 2012, Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission.

The Company was served with a complaint filed in the Marin County
Superior Court of the State of California styled Douglas et al.
vs. Arcadia Health Services, Inc., Case No. CIV 1102982 on
June 20, 2011.  The first amended complaint is brought as a
purported class action on behalf of California employees of
Arcadia Health Services, Inc. ("AHSI"), an indirect wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Company.  The complaint alleges that (a) AHSI
failed to properly compensate the plaintiff and purported class
members for meal period and rest breaks under Sections 226.7 and
512 of the California Labor Code, (b) AHSI failed to pay
continuing wages under California Labor Code Section 203, (c) AHSI
failed to pay overtime compensation in accordance with California
Labor Code Section 1194, (d) that the foregoing allegations also
constitute a violation of California Business and Professional
Code Section 17200, (e) that AHSI failed to satisfy the
obligations under California Labor Code Section 226 with respect
to itemized wage statements, and (f) AHSI is liable for civil
penalties inder the private attorney general provisions of Section
2699 of the California Labor Code (the "Lawsuit").  The plaintiff
seeks to represent two classes of claimants, one representing
claimants under the California Labor Code claims set forth in (a)
through (c) and another representing claimants under Section 17200
under the California Business and Professional Code.  The Lawsuit
has been removed to federal court and is now pending in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California (the
"District Court").

On November 8, 2011, AHSI entered into a Settlement Agreement and
General Release (the "Agreement" or "Settlement") with Ruth L.
Douglas ("Douglas") individually and on behalf of others similarly
situated (the "Class") providing for both the settlement of the
Lawsuit.  On January 17, 2012, the District Court entered an order
(i) giving preliminary approval to the Settlement, (ii)
conditionally certifying a class for settlement purposes
consisting of any person employed by AHSI between
June 15, 2007, and January 17, 2012, (iii) directing that notice
of the Settlement and preliminary approval be provided to the
putative class members and (iv) setting a hearing to consider
final approval of the Settlement for April 17, 2012.

The Agreement provides for, among other things, the (1) dismissal
by Douglas and qualified members of the Class for asserted claims
in the Lawsuit; (2) agreement to amend the Complaint to add the
additional claims for relief of alleged damages under California
Labor Code section 226 and alleged civil penalties under
California Labor Code section 2699; and (3) a complete release of
AHSI, Arcadia Services, Inc., RKDA, Inc and the Company from any
and all claims, debts, liabilities, demands, obligations,
guarantees, costs, expenses, attorneys' fees, penalties, damages,
restitution, injunctive relief, or a remedy of any other type
which are based on, arise out of, or are related to the causes of
action of the Lawsuit, including but not limited to, claims made
pursuant to the California Labor Code for failure to pay overtime
compensation, failure to provide adequate meal periods and/or rest
periods, failure to provide accurate wage statements, and failure
to pay final wages in a timely fashion; and claims under
California Business and Professions Code.

Pursuant to the Agreement, AHSI has agreed to pay a total sum of
$623,000 ("Settlement Payment"), which shall be funded as follows:
(1) $23,000 was paid following the execution of the Agreement; (2)
$150,000 shall be paid within five business days of the Effective
Date, into a to-be-established escrow interest-bearing account;
(3) $225,000 shall be paid into the interest-bearing escrow
account within 8 months of the Effective Date; and (4) $225,000
shall be paid into the interest-bearing escrow account within 14
months of the Effective Date.  Funding of the Settlement Payment
is solely the obligation of AHSI.

The Effective Date of the Settlement ("Effective Date") is the
date upon which:  (a) the Settlement is finally approved by the
District Court substantially in accordance with the terms of this
Settlement; and (b) the District Court's entry of Judgment and
Dismissal of the Lawsuit ("Judgment"), substantially in accordance
with the terms of this Settlement, become final.  For purposes of
defining the Effective Date, the date upon which the Settlement
and Judgment become final is the last date of (a) final approval
by the District Court if there are no objections made and no
further objections can be made; (b) if there are objections to the
Settlement which are not withdrawn, and if no appeal, review or
writ is sought from the Judgment, the day after the period for
appeal has expired; or (c) if an appeal, review or writ is sought
from the Judgment, the day after the Judgment is affirmed or the
appeal, review or writ is dismissed or denied and the Judgment is
no longer subject to further judicial review.

On April 17, 2012, the District Court held a hearing to consider
final approval of the Settlement.  Following the hearing, the
District Court entered an order dated April 17, 2012 (the
"Approval Order") (a) approving the Settlement and certifying a
class ("Class") defined to include all former and current
employees of AHSI from June 15, 2007, to January 17, 2012; (b)
releasing and discharging claims against AHSI, Arcadia Resources,
Inc., RKDA, Inc. and Arcadia Services, Inc., and related parties
as set forth in the Settlement; (c) entering the Approval Order as
a final judgment and barring and permanently enjoining members of
the Class who have not filed a timely and valid request for
exclusion from prosecuting claims that are settled and/or released
pursuant to the Settlement; (d) approving an award of attorneys
fees and an enhancement award to the named plaintiff; and (e)
dismissing the action on the merits and with prejudice and without
costs other than as provided in the Settlement.  For purposes of
the payments under the Settlement, the Effective Date is expected
to be May 17, 2012.


AVIS BUDGET: Sued for Charging Undisclosed Convenience Fee
----------------------------------------------------------
Jodd Readick on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. Avis Budget Group Inc. and Avis Rent A Car System,
LLC, Case No. 651517/2012 (May 4, 2012)  is brought on behalf of
those New York residents charged a "convenience fee" for the
Company's electronic toll collection devices ("ETD") provided in
certain rental cars.

ETD systems are used on most tolled roads, bridges, and tunnels in
the northeastern U.S., south to Virginia and West Virginia, and
west to Illinois.

While other taxes and fees are disclosed in the rental agreement
and other documents, the fees for using the ETD are not disclosed
in the agreement or during the rental process, Mr. Readick
alleges.  He contends that the Defendants have continued to
improperly charge customers without disclosure.

Mr. Readick is a resident of New York County, in New York.  He
asserts that Avis has improperly charged him an ETD "convenience
fee," in New York, in addition to actual toll charges, without
proper disclosure.

Avis rents cars to consumers nationwide.  Avis has significant
operations and revenue in New York.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Simon Ginsberg, Esq.
          Ted McCullough, Esq.
          McCULLOUGH GINSBERG MONTANO & PARTNERS LLP
          320 East 53rd Street, Suite 100
          New York, NY 10022
          Telephone: (646) 435-0300
          Facsimile: (646) 349-2217
          E-mail: sginsberg@mgpllp.com
                  tmccullough@mgpllp.com


BANK OF AMERICA: Judge Narrows "Privacy Assist" Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Nick McCann at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
judge tossed out parts of a class action by customers who claim
Bank of America charges for "Privacy Assist" services without
informing them, and refuses to refund the money when they catch
on.

The class claims Bank of America has been withdrawing $8.99 from
their accounts every month for "Privacy Assist," which includes
credit monitoring and free access to online credit reports.

Privacy Assist Premier offers identity theft insurance for $12.99
a month, and Privacy Assist Complete includes anti-virus software
for $18.99.

Some plaintiffs say they have overdrawn on their bank accounts
because of these automatic withdrawals, also known as "electronic
funds transfers."

The complaint was dismissed and later amended to add three
plaintiffs and remove the initial lead plaintiff.  Bank of America
moved to dismiss the third amended complaint.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Spero partly granted the bank's motion
in an order last week, finding that two of the three plaintiffs
could not relitigate certain claims.

Unless the plaintiffs bring new or different evidence, the judge
found they could not sue the bank for unjust enrichment,
conversion, or violations of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act
because they consented to Privacy Assist.

The judge found the same two plaintiffs, Patricia VanHorn and
Patrick Mulcahy, failed to state a claim for unfair competition
because their allegations are based on lack of consent.

However, part of plaintiff Richard Albaugh's claims can stand
because he sufficiently stated claims for state law violations.

Mr. Albaugh, unlike the other plaintiffs, has standing to pursue a
claim under California's Legal Remedies Act because he alleges
that the Bank refused to refund the fees for Privacy Assist and
received overdraft charges, the judge found.

The part of Mr. Albaugh's unfair competition claim based on fraud
was dismissed with leave to amend.

Judge Spero declined to dismiss the claims against FIA Card
Services, because the amended complaint sufficiently states that
the company placed fraudulent charges to Mr. Albaugh's FIA
account.

A copy of the Order Re Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Third Amended
Complaint in Chavez v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., Case
No. 10-cv-00653 (N.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/05/08/310-cv-00653.pdf


CANADA: Court Favors Disabled Veterans' Class Action
----------------------------------------------------
Joe Beauchene, writing for Chilliwack Times, reports that this
week, the Federal Court of Canada ruled favorably in the class
action suit captioned Dennis Manuge v. Her Majesty the Queen in
regards to Service Income Security Insurance Plan and the long-
term disability payment being clawed back.

Mr. Manuge along with 4,500 other disabled veterans have been
waging this court battle with the Harper Government since 2007.

The government was wrong to litigate in the first instance, and
now the court has ruled in favor of the veteran.

It is sad that veterans are forced to go to federal court with a
class action suit to receive support funding they clearly deserve.
This decision is a shameful comment that the Harper government is
unwilling to fully compensate Canada's veterans.

Government has a moral debt owed to the country's brave sons and
daughters, who have sacrificed life, limb, and sanity for country.
This gratitude for services rendered must be paid down in the same
manner the government deals with any other debt, and that is
paying in full for what is owed.

It is time for the Harper government to stop swindling the
country's veterans and give them the due respect they so deserve.


CARRIER IQ: Faces Another Suit Over Hidden Software in Phones
-------------------------------------------------------------
In Mo Khang, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated v. Carrier IQ, Inc., HTC America, Inc., and Does 1 to 10,
inclusive, Case No. 3:12-cv-02269 (N.D. Calif., May 4, 2012)
accuses the Defendants of being involved in, and liable for, the
installation, use, and maintenance of a hidden Rootkit Software on
Plaintiffs and the proposed class' mobile devices.

The unauthorized software intercepts the mobile phone users'
private and sensitive data without their knowledge or consent, Mr.
Khang alleges.  He argues that the Defendants acted both
independently and jointly in the wrongful acts alleged in the
lawsuit by installing the hidden Rootkit Software on mobile
devices and by intercepting, using, and storing sensitive
information, personal identifying information, personal
information from the mobile devices without the users' authority
or consent.

Mr. Khang is a resident of Los Angeles, California.  He owns and
uses a Droid Incredible mobile phone manufactured by HTC.  He
asserts that the Rootkit Software is installed on his Droid
Incredible mobile phone without his knowledge or consent.

Carrier IQ, a California corporation based in Mountain View,
designed and sells the Rootkit Software.  HTC  is a Washington
corporation.  The Plaintiff is currently unaware of the true names
of the Doe Defendants.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Lionel Z. Glancy, Esq.
          Marc L. Godino, Esq.
          GLANCY BINKOW & GOLDBERG LLP
          1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 201-9150
          Facsimile: (310) 201-9160
          E-mail: info@glancylaw.com

               - and -

          Marc I. Gross, Esq.
          Jason S. Cowart, Esq.
          Matthew L. Tuccillo, Esq.
          POMERANTZ HAUDEK GROSSMAN & GROSS LLP
          100 Park Avenue, 26th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 661-1100
          Facsimile: (212) 661-8665
          E-mail: migross@pomlaw.com
                  jscowart@pomlaw.com
                  mltuccillo@pomlaw.com

               - and -

          Patrick V. Dahlstrom, Esq.
          Leigh Handelman Smollar, Esq.
          Joshua B. Silverman, Esq.
          POMERANTZ HAUDEK GROSSMAN & GROSS LLP
          One North LaSalle Street, Suite 2225
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 377-1181
          Facsimile: (312) 377-1184
          E-mail: pdahlstrom@pomlaw.com
                  lsmollar@pomlaw.com
                  jbsilverman@pomlaw.com


CELL THERAPEUTICS: "Sabbagh" Suit Deal Final Hearing on July 20
---------------------------------------------------------------
A hearing to consider final approval of Cell Therapeutics, Inc.'s
settlement of a consolidated securities class action lawsuit is
scheduled for July 20, 2012, according to the Company's April 20,
2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

In March 2010, three purported securities class action complaints
were filed against the Company and certain of its officers and
directors in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Washington.  On August 2, 2010, Judge Marsha Pechman
consolidated the actions, appointed lead plaintiffs, and approved
lead plaintiffs' counsel.  On September 27, 2010, lead plaintiff
filed an amended consolidated complaint, captioned Sabbagh v. Cell
Therapeutics, Inc. (Case No. 2:10-cv-00414-MJP), naming the
Company, Dr. James A. Bianco, Louis A. Bianco, and Craig W.
Philips as defendants.  The amended consolidated complaint alleges
that defendants violated the federal securities laws by making
certain alleged false and misleading statements related to the FDA
approval process for Pixuvri.  The action seeks damages on behalf
of purchasers of the Company's stock during a purported class
period of March 25, 2008, through March 22, 2010.  On October 27,
2010, defendants moved to dismiss the amended consolidated
complaint.  On February 4, 2011, the Court denied in large part
the defendants' motion.  Defendants answered the amended
consolidated complaint on March 28, 2011, and discovery commenced,
with trial set for June 25, 2012.

On December 14, 2011, the parties filed a letter with the Court
indicating they had agreed to the general terms of a settlement,
and asking the Court to remove the case deadlines from the Court
calendar.  On February 14, 2012, plaintiffs filed a motion for
preliminary approval of the settlement, along with related
documents.  On March 16, 2012, the Court granted preliminary
approval of the settlement, granted conditional certification to
the proposed class, and approved the proposed forms of notice to
the class.  The Court has scheduled a hearing regarding the
settlement for July 20, 2012, and will thereafter rule on whether
the settlement will receive final approval.  The negotiated terms
of the settlement include a $19 million payment to the class,
which the Company expects to be paid by the Company's insurance
carriers.  Because the Company expects that the negotiated
settlement will be paid by the Company's insurance carriers, there
is no estimated loss to the Company.


CENTRO: Settles Shareholder Class Action for AUD20 Million
----------------------------------------------------------
Ben Butler, Leonie Wood and Georgia Wilkins, writing for The
Sydney Morning Herald, report that shareholders have ended their
epic legal stoush with property group Centro, striking a AUD200
million settlement that is the largest securities class action
result recorded in Australia.

Negotiations over the deal's details were ongoing on May 8, but
sources said Centro's auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, are likely
to bear about a third of the bill.

The rest is likely to be shared between the entity that acquired
the Centro assets after last year's deal with creditors, Centro
Retail Australia, and the entities whose assets it took over,
Centro Retail Group and Centro Properties Group.

The May 8 settlement, brokered by leading Melbourne solicitor Leon
Zwier -- lzwier@abl.com.au -- of Arnold Bloch Leibler, brings to
an end a Federal Court trial costing about AUD1.2 million a week
that had been running since early March and was set to end in late
June.

It follows PwC's admission to the court last month that it had
breached its duty of care to Centro and warnings from the judge
hearing the trial, Justice Michelle Gordon, that she was
considering ordering lawyers for the accounting giant to
personally pay the costs of the case.

Centro was one of the first major companies to collapse after
financial markets peaked in late 2007.

Shares of what was once the world's second-biggest shopping centre
owner, behind Westfield, fell more than 90 per cent in a single
day after Centro's then chief executive Andrew Scott revealed a
failure to disclose the full extent of its debt.

Shareholders, represented by law firms Maurice Blackburn and
Slater & Gordon, alleged Mr. Scott and his fellow directors failed
in their duties when they wrongly classified AUD3.1 billion of
debt as long-term in its 2007-08 accounts.

The property group joined PwC to the lawsuit, alleging the audit
was deficient.  PwC counter-sued Centro and its executives, who it
claimed gave audit partner Stephen Cougle insufficient
information.

Melbourne Law School's Professor Ian Ramsay said the deal would be
the largest in Australian legal history and would set a precedent
for shareholder class actions.

"It really is a major settlement -- a groundbreaking settlement -
in terms of dollar value," Professor Ramsay said.  "It is critical
to know who contributes what. And of course the other issue is the
very high legal costs that have occurred to take us through to
today."

He said the previous benchmark was set by Aristocrat in 2008 with
its AUD144 million settlement.

Sarah Danckert, writing for The Australian, reports that subject
to court approval Centro is expected to pay at least two-thirds,
or AUD134 million, of the settlement and former company auditor
PwC is anticipated to pay out the remaining AUD66 million.

Centro has already made a AUD65.8 million provision in its half-
year accounts for any potential settlement in class action. It is
also understood to have corporate insurance of AUD60 million.

However, it is unclear how much of the tab will be picked up by
Centro Retail Australia, which was born out of last year's
restructure of Centro Properties and Centro Retail.

One source suggested the impact would be minimal and that the new
company might only have to part with AUD33 million while other
Centro entities picked up the remainder.

Centro and PwC are also expected to pay legal costs, said to be in
the tens of millions of dollars.

It is unclear what portion, if any, of the settlement will be paid
by the company's former executives and directors.  One source said
the directors and executives would not be liable.

"As the terms are still being finalized and the settlement
requires court approval, it is not appropriate for us to make any
further comment," it said.

Hundreds of Centro shareholders joined the class action claims
launched against the company and PwC, alleging the company's
misclassification of AUD3.1 billion in short-term debts as non-
current and subsequent refinancing issues wiped out millions in
value.

In a separate report, The Australian's Ms. Danckert disclosed that
Centro went into a trading halt on May 8, ahead of making a full
statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Centro said that it requested the halt "pending an announcement
regarding class action litigation settlement discussions".

The trading halt will remain in place until March 10, or until an
announcement is made.


CENTRO: Lawyers Argue Over Details of Settlement Payouts
--------------------------------------------------------
Sarah Danckert, writing for The Australian, reports that Centro
Retail Australia's record AUD200 million class action settlement
has stalled as lawyers argue over the details of payouts to former
shareholders of the shopping center owner.

After a flurry of activity on May 7, the class action over the
company's 2007 accounting errors and refinancing issues briefly
resumed on May 8 only to be adjourned to this morning in the hope
of an agreement.

Lawyers for shareholders told the court that the deal had
encountered "a few hiccups".  A result is expected today, May 11.

The AUD200 million sum was confirmed on May 9 by lawyers for
shareholders.  The previous record of AUD144 million for a class
action payout was to investors in poker machine maker Aristocrat
Leisure in 2008.

Centro will pay AUD134 million and former auditor
PricewaterhouseCoopers AUD66 million.

Under the agreement, those in Maurice Blackburn's claim pick up
AUD150 million and those with Slater & Gordon reap AUD50 million.

"This sends a strong message that corporations and their advisers
will be held accountable to shareholders if their conduct falls
short of what the law requires," said Maurice Blackburn class
action principal Martin Hyde.

It is understood that either Centro chairman Bob Edgar or chief
executive Steven Sewell instigated the mediation meetings held in
recent weeks that led to the settlement.

Shortly after the deal was announced, rumors flew that Centro's
US-based hedge fund major shareholders were the driving force
behind the settlement.

The speculation came after it emerged that the lawyer who
represented them in last year's AUD2.8 billion debt-for-equity
swap, Leon Zwier from Arnold Bloch Leibler, was a key player in
brokering the agreement.

However, Mr. Zwier is believed to have helped negotiate the deal
pro bono as a promotional exercise for the firm.

Mr. Zwier declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The
Australian.

Legal eyebrows have also been raised over why Centro and PwC chose
to settle at AUD200 million when a much lower figure was broached
three years ago and knocked back by the two corporate heavies.

However, the AUD200 million payment would still be well below the
AUD600 million the class action litigants were said to be seeking.

Thousands of shareholders -- including 5000 in the Slater & Gordon
action -- joined two separate class action claims against the
company.

The alleged AUD3.1 billion misclassification of short-term debt as
non-current in the company's 2007 accounts, coupled with the
refinancing issues, crashed the company's share price at the time.

Analysts on May 9 raised concerns over what impact the payout
would have on Centro's net asset value, last reported at AUD2.53
per share.

Centro entered May 7 trading halt at AUD1.847 per share.

The Bloomberg consensus target price for Centro is AUD1.92.

Joe Schneider and Soraya Permatasari, writing for Bloomberg News,
report that Centro Retail Australia (CRF), formed from a mall
manager's reorganization, and PricewaterhouseCoopers agreed in
principle to a settlement of AUD200 million (US$202) million with
Centro shareholders who claimed they were misled.

The litigants were given until May 9 to complete the details of
the agreement or a trial will continue, Mr. Hyde said.

A trial before Federal Court Justice Michelle Gordon began March 5
and was scheduled to run through June 22 as shareholders of Centro
Properties Group, the former Melbourne-based mall manager, claimed
the company misled them over its debts.  Class-action lawsuits
filed by Maurice Blackburn and Slater & Gordon Lawyers (SGH) were
being tried together, while accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers
was also sued for failing to audit the company properly.

Centro shares fell 76% in Sydney on Dec. 17, 2007 after the
company said it was struggling to refinance debt because of the
collapse of the subprime mortgage market.  The share slump wiped
AUD4.98 billion from the market value of Centro Properties Group
(CNP) and Centro Retail Group at the time.

The company first announced a restructuring plan in 2009 after a
debt-fueled U.S. buying spree backfired when the global financial
crisis caused property values to plummet and borrowing costs to
soar.

That left Centro unable to refinance its liabilities.

Centro, which managed about AUD16.5 billion of shopping malls in
Australia, New Zealand and the U.S., accumulated about AUD16
billion of debt across its businesses.  The company avoided
receivership in December, when shareholders and debt holders
agreed to a plan to swap AUD2.9 billion of debt for equity in a
new company, Centro Retail Australia.

Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI LP, a unit of the world's
biggest private-equity firm, agreed to buy Centro's 588 U.S. malls
in March 2011 for $9.4 billion.  Centro also agreed to swap part
of its debt for 108 Australian properties.

The previous record shareholder settlement in Australia took place
in 2008, when Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. (ALL)'s investors received
AUD144 million, Mr. Ramsay said.

ABC News reports that litigation funder IMF, which backed the
class action, hailed the agreement as a "victory for ordinary
investors".

"The outcome means regulations protecting the market have been
enforced, ensuring greater transparency in corporate disclosure in
the future," IMF's Wayne Attrill said in a statement.

"In upholding the rights of thousands of Australian investors, it
is a victory for the civil justice system."

                        ASIC's Response

Ben Butler, Georgia Wilkins and Leonie Wood, writing for The
Canberra Times, reports that as parties in the Centro class action
finalize details of a AUD200 million settlement, the corporate
regulator has indicated it may take further disciplinary action.

Asked whether it planned action against Centro's former auditor
PricewaterhouseCoopers, a spokesman for the Australian Securities
and Investments Commission said that "any decisions would be made
after careful consideration by the ASIC commissioner".

The spokesman said the corporate regulator could not comment on
future enforcement action.

"More generally, decisions on court action are based on assessing
a few things and they are whether court action is in the public
interest, the regulatory benefit of the action and the scale of
the wrongdoing or loss involved," he said.

On becoming the ASIC chairman a year ago, Greg Medcraft stressed
the importance of policing the "gatekeepers", including auditors,
who act as intermediaries between investors and the financial
markets.

ASIC last year won a civil penalty case in which the Federal Court
found Centro's directors breached their duties by signing 2006-07
accounts that failed to disclose billions of dollars of short-term
debt and failed to reveal crucial post-balance date events.

Lawyers on May 9 were finessing the minutiae of the terms of
settlement, in which PwC is expected to bear one-third of a AUD200
million payout to Centro investors.  The case was due for a brief
hearing on May 10 in the Federal Court.

PwC last month made limited admissions during the class action,
acknowledging that its staff were negligent during the Centro
audit in 2007.  PwC had argued that Centro's board and executives
withheld information about its position from the lead audit
partner, Stephen Cougle, who signed the formal auditor's statement
in the accounts.

But as the enormously expensive Federal Court trial dragged on
into its third month, Justice Michelle Gordon last week issued yet
another warning to parties to try to settle the case.

Shareholders must first be given adequate notice of the proposed
deal before it is formally considered by a judge who, in turn,
must decide if it is fair and reasonable.  The notification
process is likely to take several weeks.


CHESAPEAKE ENERGY: Pomerantz Law Firm Updates Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz Haudek Grossman & Gross LLP on May 7 provided an update
on the class action against Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

On April 26, 2012, Pomerantz filed a federal securities class
action (5:12-cv-00465-W) in the United States District Court,
Western District of Oklahoma, on behalf of all persons who
purchased Chesapeake Energy Corporation common stock between April
30, 2009 and April 17, 2012, inclusive.  This class action is
brought under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 against the Company and Chief Executive Officer and
Chairman of the Board Aubrey K. McClendon.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Chesapeake common stock
during the Class Period, you have until June 25, 2012 to ask the
Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of
the complaint can be obtained at http://www.pomerantzlaw.com

To discuss this action, contact Rachelle R. Boyle at
rrboyle@pomlaw.com or 888-476-6529 (or 888-4-POMLAW), toll free,
x237.  Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their
mailing address and telephone number.

Chesapeake was co-founded by Defendant McClendon in 1989. The
Company is a leading natural gas producer, and has very
aggressively promoted the use of fracking to extract previously
unrecoverable reserves.

While Ms. McClendon currently owns roughly 1.35 million shares of
Chesapeake stock (presently worth approximately $24 million), this
interest is dwarfed by Ms. McClendon's share of Chesapeake's oil
and gas wells pursuant to the Company's Founders Well
Participation Program (the "FWPP").  Due to large up front
development and operating costs, Ms. McClendon's FWPP interests
are significantly underwater and have yet to generate any positive
cash flow.  Unbeknownst to Class members, starting in 2009,
McClendon leveraged all of his FWPP interests in order to pay for
their costs.  He not only secured non-recourse loans on his
ownership interests in the wells, but also secured personal loans
in excess of $500 million from EIG Global Energy Partners, a hedge
fund that engaged in financing transactions with Chesapeake.

As a result, by year end 2011, Ms. McClendon had amassed personal
debt on Chesapeake related wells, and from Chesapeake business
partners, exceeding $1 billion.  The size of the debt and
McClendon's leveraging of all his FWPP related interests,
represented material undisclosed risks to Chesapeake investors.

It was not until April 18, 2012 that these matters were widely
reported by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.  Chesapeake
shares plummeted $1.06 (from $19.12 per share) -- a 5.5% decline
representing over $500 million in market value losses.

On April 26, 2012, Chesapeake abruptly terminated the FWPP
program, and Board members disclaimed any knowledge of the size of
McClendon's indebtedness.  On May 1, 2012, Chesapeake announced
that it would replace Ms. McClendon as its Chairman.

On May 2, 2012, Reuters reported that for four years Ms. McClendon
had a $200 million hedge fund that traded in the same commodities
that Chesapeake produced.  The fund, Heritage Management Company,
LLC was started by Ms. McClendon and the Company's co-founder Tom
Ward and used the Company's Chesapeake's headquarters in Oklahoma
City as its mailing address.  In discussing potential conflicts of
interest, Reuters cited a veteran trader who worked at the hedge
fund and noted that Ms. McClendon "engaged in 'near daily'
communications and 'exhaustive' calls to help direct the fund's
trading."  The article also quoted Jeff Harris, former CFTC chief
economist: "If the company needs to make an operating decision
which might move the market against the CEO's positions, there's a
risk that will influence the decision-making at the top of the
company."

Following this report, Ms. McClendon expressed that he was "deeply
sorry for all of the distractions of the past two weeks."

Chesapeake shares closed May 4th at $17.39 per share, a decline of
9% since the initial revelations.

The Pomerantz Firm specializes in the areas of corporate,
securities, and antitrust class litigation.  The firm has offices
in New York and Chicago.


CHIPOTLE MEXICAN: Appeal in Employees' Suit Remains Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------
In 2007, a lawsuit was filed against Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
in California alleging violations of state laws regarding employee
record-keeping, meal and rest breaks, payment of overtime and
related practices with respect to its employees.  The case
originally sought damages, penalties and attorney's fees on behalf
of a purported class of the Company's present and former
employees.  The court denied the plaintiff's motion to certify the
purported class, and as a result the action can proceed, if at
all, as an action by a single plaintiff.  The plaintiff has
appealed the court's denial of class certification, and the appeal
remains pending.  Although the Company has various defenses, the
Company says it is not possible at this time to reasonably
estimate the outcome of or any potential liability from this case.

No further updates were reported in the Company's April 20, 2012,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.


CHIPOTLE MEXICAN: ADA Violation Class Suits Still Pending
---------------------------------------------------------
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. continues to defend class action
lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, according to the Company's April 20, 2012, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended March 31, 2012.

In 2006, Maurizio Antoninetti filed a lawsuit against the Company
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
California, primarily claiming that the height of the serving line
wall in the Company's restaurants violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act, or ADA, as well as California disability laws.
On December 6, 2006, Mr. Antoninetti filed an additional lawsuit
in the same court making the same allegations on a class action
basis, on behalf of himself and a purported class of disabled
individuals, and a similar class action was filed by James Perkins
in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on
May 7, 2008.

In the individual Antoninetti action, the district court entered a
ruling in which it found that although the Company's counter
height violated the ADA, the Company provided the plaintiff with
an equivalent facilitation, and awarded attorney's fees and
minimal damages to the plaintiff which the Company has accrued.
The Company and the plaintiff appealed the district court's ruling
to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and on July
26, 2010, the appeals court entered a ruling finding that the
Company violated the ADA and did not provide the plaintiff with an
equivalent facilitation, and remanded the case to the district
court.  On March 21, 2012, the district court reaffirmed its
original award of minimal damages to the plaintiff and denied
further injunctive relief.  The district court has yet to rule on
the final award of attorneys fees.

The Company lowered the height of its serving line walls
throughout California some time ago, which makes injunctive relief
in these cases moot, and has the lower serving line walls in a
significant majority of its restaurants outside of California as
well.  The Company says it will vigorously defend the class action
cases, including by contesting certification of a plaintiff class.
It is not possible at this time to reasonably estimate the outcome
of, or any additional potential liability from, these cases.


CNO FINANCIAL: Unit Inks Tentative Settlement of "Nicholas" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
On April 20, 2012, CNO Financial Group, Inc. announced in its Form
8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, that
its subsidiary, Conseco Life Insurance Company ("Conseco Life"),
has reached a tentative settlement in the putative class action
litigation commenced by Daniel B. Nicholas, pending in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The Nicholas litigation involves changes implemented in late 2011
to some non-guaranteed elements in certain universal life policies
sold by Conseco Life prior to its acquisition by the Company's
predecessor.  The tentative settlement covers current and certain
former holders of Valulife and Valuterm universal life policies in
all states.  Under the tentative settlement, the cost of insurance
increase implemented by Conseco Life beginning in November 2011
will be reduced for those policyholders and they will receive
certain policy benefit enhancements.  Individuals whose Valulife
or Valuterm policy terminated after the November 2011 increase
will have the option to reinstate their policies with similar
changes or elect a cash settlement option.  In addition, the
settlement provides that Conseco Life will not increase the cost
of insurance or expense charges on this block of policies for five
years.

After a hearing held on April 19, 2012, the judge in the Nicholas
case took under advisement Conseco Life's requests for: (i) the
designation of a nationwide class for the purpose of approving the
tentative settlement; and (ii) an injunction to stay any other
litigation involving the cost of insurance increase implemented by
Conseco Life in November 2011 on the Valulife and Valuterm
policies that are at issue in the Nicholas litigation.  The judge
also took under advisement a motion to intervene and a motion to
transfer venue to the United States District Court for the Central
District of California, which motions were filed by the plaintiff
in the litigation pending in the United States District Court for
the Central District of California as Celedonia X. Yue, M. D. on
behalf of the class of all others similarly situated, and on
behalf of the General Public v. Conseco Life Insurance Company,
Cause No. CV11-9506 AHM (SHx).  The judge has set a hearing for
May 18, 2012 to hear further argument on the pending motions.  If
the court in the Nicholas case approves the designation of a class
for purposes of settlement, final approval of the settlement would
be subject to a court fairness hearing after notice to the inforce
and former policyholders covered by the settlement and other
conditions.

In connection with the tentative settlement, the Company expects
to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $20 million in its
Other CNO Business segment for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.
The tentative settlement is expected to reduce the Company's
consolidated risk-based capital ratio by approximately six
percentage points.  The liability the Company expects to establish
at March 31, 2012, related to the tentative settlement includes
its best estimates of the costs of implementing the tentative
settlement, if approved by the court.  While the Company believes
its estimates are adequate to cover these costs, the estimates are
subject to significant judgment and it is possible that the
estimates will prove insufficient to cover the actual costs.

                            About CNO

CNO is a holding company.  The Company's insurance subsidiaries
-- principally Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Washington
National Insurance Company and Colonial Penn Life Insurance
Company -- serve working American families and seniors by helping
them protect against financial adversity and provide for a more
secure retirement.  For more information, visit CNO online at
http://www.CNOinc.com/


CNOOC LTD: Has Not Yet Received Robbins Geller's Class Complaint
----------------------------------------------------------------
CNOOC Limited said in its April 20, 2012, Form 20-F filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011, that it has not been served with any legal
documents in connection with the class action lawsuit commenced by
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP.

Since early March 2012, the Company has noted media articles
reporting that a law firm has filed a purported class action
complaint in the U.S. against the Company and certain of its
officers and/or directors, and has been publicly soliciting all
relevant persons to participate in such class action as
plaintiffs.  The complaint alleged that the statements made by the
Company during certain period in 2011 regarding its financial
results and the oil spill accidents occurred at the Penglai 19-3
oilfield, in Bohai Bay, were materially false and misleading.  The
Company has also noted press releases reporting a number of law
firms announcing their own investigations into the legal claims
against the Company and certain of its officers and/or directors
for the potential securities violations in relation to the
allegations.

To its best knowledge, the Company says it has not been served
with any legal documents or notices relating to the class action
complaint.  To the extent these claims are pursued by the
plaintiffs, the Company says it intends to defend vigorously
against such claims.


COMCAST SPECTACOR: Stern & Eisenberg Files Fraud Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Frank Seravalli, writing for Philly.com, reports that a
Jenkintown-based law firm filed a consumer fraud class-action suit
against Comcast Spectacor, parent company of the Flyers, on behalf
of all 2011-12 full season ticketholders on May 7.

The complaint alleges that Comcast Spectacor and the Flyers misled
season ticketholders by excluding the 2012 Winter Classic game
tickets -- a regular-season game held at the Phillies' Citizens
Bank Park -- after the contractual ticketholder agreement stated
that fans prepaid for 44 home games, three preseason contests and
all 41 regular-season home games.

"We have been made aware of this frivolous claim, and we are
confident that we acted appropriately in all respects," Comcast
Spectacor spokesman Ike Richman said in a statement.  "Following
the [NHL's] selection, all season ticket holders were given an
appropriate refund and were given the additional opportunity to
purchase a Winter Classic ticket package.  It's a shame that a
disgruntled few have seized upon the class-action lawsuit to
attempt to profit from what was overwhelmingly considered by those
who attended the Winter Classic, and the other games, to be an
extraordinary experience.

"We will vigorously defend against this claim and will refrain
from making any further comments."

Interestingly, Comcast Spectacor chose to not appeal a March 30
judgment in Montgomery County small-claims court, which awarded
season ticketholder Richard Abt approximately $1,300 in a nearly
identical suit.  Mr. Abt was paid in full by Spectacor, including
court costs.

"That suit was on a different matter which we chose not to appeal
for strategic reasons," Mr. Richman said, when asked to comment on
that suit.

This current class-action suit, in which all full-time season
ticketholders would be eligible to participate, could be worth
tens of millions of dollars, according to Evan Barenbaum, who is
leading the case for the Stern and Eisenberg firm.

"If the case in Montgomery County was so frivolous, why didn't
Comcast Spectacor choose to use the appeals process and fight it
tooth and nail?" Mr. Barenbaum asked.  "This is a team who tried
to get as much money from consumers as they could.  That's their
right as a business.  But they angered a large part of their fan
base in the process.  They gave customers no choice.

"This was a regular-season game, in Philadelphia, on regulation
ice.  It should have been a part of the 44-game package that fans
paid for."

If full-time season ticketholders wanted to purchase tickets to
the Jan. 2 Winter Classic, the NHL's premier regular-season
outdoor spectacle, they were forced also to buy tickets to the
Flyers-Rangers alumni game on Dec. 31 and a Phantoms AHL game on
Jan. 6, plus pay $41 of processing fees per ticket, according to
Mr. Barenbaum.

Phillies premium seat holders and Rangers season ticketholders
were not forced to buy the three-game package.

"Comcast disingenuously offered Plaintiff and the members of the
class an insufficient refund of only one forty-fourth [1/44] of
the price they paid for each full season ticket package," reads
the suit, which was filed in New Jersey Superior Court in Mercer
County.

The Flyers are thought to have more than 15,000 full-season
ticketholders.  More than 145,228 fans attended the combined
weeklong activities: the main event, the alumni game, the AHL
game, and college and high school games.  Partial season
ticketholders are not permitted to be a part of the suit, since
they were never contractually promised all 44 games.

Now, at the very least, a large part of the sports business world
will keep a close eye on this case.  The Detroit Red Wings and
Toronto Maple Leafs are scheduled to play at the 108,000-seat
Michigan Stadium next January, with similar events planned.

"If the Flyers wanted to take away a regular-season game from the
package, why could fans decide they do not want preseason games to
be a part of their deal?" Mr. Barenbaum asked.  "They were
contractually obligated to provide a regular-season game.  They
did not, asking fans to pay an arm and a leg for the big game.
Fans have been furious, they have been wondering why it took so
long to put this together."

The Flyers did not practice on May 7, but defenseman Andrej
Meszaros skated separately with three or four other scratches in
Voorhees.  Mr. Meszaros, 26, has not played since March 1.  He had
surgery to remove a disk fragment in his lower back on March 21.
It remains unclear as to whether Mr. Meszaros has been cleared to
return, though he could for Game 5 . . . Using tweets from fans,
the Flyers painted the Wells Fargo Center parking lot with "good
luck" messages for Game 5 using a 2,200-pound robot with 48 spray
guns attached to the back of an SUV on May 7.


CROWNE PLAZA: Berkshire Court Affirms Class Action Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Clarence Fanto, writing for Berkshire Eagle, reports that although
the checks won't be in the mail until mid-October, 150 current and
former banquet-service employees of the Crowne Plaza Hotel will
get big payouts following a final Berkshire Superior Court order
affirming settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed on their
behalf.

Dozens of people will be getting up to $10,000 each, according to
Boston attorney Paul Holtzman, who represented the employees in
their suit for payment of a portion of tips withheld by Berkshire
Common Corp., owner of the city's largest hotel.

Twenty employees will receive more than $10,000 each.

"These are hard-working folks who live from week to week in many
cases," Mr. Holtzman said on May 7.  "The ability to get the money
back can be life-changing for someone working for an hourly wage
of $2.63. They can go back to school or start new business
ventures."

Berkshire Common and the employees' group of waiters and
bartenders signed off on a total settlement of $1.3 million.
After subtraction of legal fees and administrative costs, the
group shares an award of about $850,000.

The checks include 42 percent interest on the money owed,
Mr. Holtzman explained.  "The employer had use of this money, so
we wanted to make sure we got the interest," he said.

Under state law, waiters and bartenders in hotels, resorts,
country clubs, banquet facilities, catering firms, restaurants and
spas employing workers such as massage therapists, hairdressers
and nail technicians are entitled to all service charges imposed
by the facility and any extra tips offered by patrons.

Employees in management are not allowed to gain any portion of the
tips.

Attorney Richard Michaud of the Boston law firm Bernkopf Goodman,
which represented Berkshire Common Corp. owner Eugene Weiss and
Crowne Plaza manager Charles Burnick, did not return a call
seeking comment on May 7.  But he told The Eagle last February --
when a preliminary agreement was announced -- that although the
case was based on a "misunderstanding," Berkshire Commons and its
insurance company agreed to the settlement.

According to court documents, the hotel's owners had denied any
liability or wrongdoing.

Michelle Richards of Pittsfield, who worked at Crowne Plaza for
seven years before leaving last July, explained that "they were
really messing with us, but we didn't know.  Half the time, people
weren't getting the right pay for the right hours."

During her first years there, she said, the full 20 percent
service charge was paid, but in her final two years, "they brought
it down to 14 percent, with 6 percent going to management."

The suit was originally filed at Berkshire Superior Court in
December 2009 on behalf of the employees who served customers at
Crowne Plaza banquets between November 2006 and June 2010.
Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ford issued the final approval of
the class-action agreement last week after a fairness hearing.

Mr. Holtzman said he and his firm, Krokidas and Bluestein, are
investigating several other potential cases involving Berkshire
County facilities.  Although he has handled unpaid-tips lawsuits
statewide, the majority of cases involve the resort areas of
Berkshire County and Cape Cod.

"What we've seen is that customers and organizers of banquets and
business meetings are only too happy to pay a generous tip to the
waiters and bartenders they see working hard," Mr. Holtzman said.
"In some instances, we've seen companies serving those patrons dip
into that money themselves. It's a significant amount which, for
some, is very tempting."

Anthony Chavarry of Dalton was the whistleblower and the lead
plaintiff on behalf of the workers in the class-action suit, which
contended that one-third of the 20 percent service charges was
withheld.


DRYSHIPS: Faces Two Securities Class Suits in Missouri
------------------------------------------------------
DryShips, Inc. is defending itself against two securities class
action complaints in Missouri, according to the Company's March
15, 2012, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

A securities class action lawsuit captioned Khan et al. v.
DryShips Inc., et al., was brought on November 25, 2011 in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (Case No.
4:11-cv-02056).  The complaint was amended on December 16, 2011.
It is brought by Messrs. Khan and Rabbani (purporting to represent
a class of plaintiffs and seeking certification as class
representatives) against the Company and several of its officers
and directors, as well as against Deutsche Bank AG and Merrill
Lynch & Co., Inc., in their capacities as underwriters of certain
of the Company's equity offerings.  The amended complaint alleges
violations of certain provisions of the Exchange Act and the
regulations thereunder in connection with a number of publicly
issued statements made by the Company (alleged to be false and
misleading), and breaches of fiduciary duties owed to the Company
in connection therewith.  The amended complaint has not yet been
served on the Company.

A securities class action captioned Rabbani et al. v. DryShips
Inc., et al., was brought on January 24, 2012 in the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (Case No. 4:12-cv-
00130).  It is identical to the Khan action, except that it is
brought only by Mr. Rabbani (who again, purports to represent a
class of plaintiffs and is seeking certification as class
representative).  The complaint was served on January 23, 2012 on
the Company's registered office in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

The defendants believe that these complaints are without merit and
intend to defend the lawsuits vigorously, when appropriate.

DryShips Inc., a corporation organized under the laws of the
Republic of the Marshall Islands, is engaged in the ocean
transportation services of drybulk cargoes and crude oil worldwide
through the ownership and operation of drybulk carrier vessels and
oil tankers and offshore drilling services through the ownership
and operation of ultra-deepwater drilling units.  It was formed on
September 9, 2004.


DRYSHIPS INC: Defends Suit Over Unit's Merger with OceanFreight
---------------------------------------------------------------
DryShips, Inc. continues to defend itself from a class action
lawsuit in New York related to its subsidiary's merger deal with
OceanFreight, Inc., according to the Company's March 15, 2012,
Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On October 13, 2011, a putative shareholder class action lawsuit
entitled Litwin v. OceanFreight, Inc. et al. was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York against
OceanFreight, the Company, Ocean Rig UDW, Pelican Stockholdings
and certain current and former directors of OceanFreight, Case No.
1:11-cv-7218.  The complaint was then amended on October 14, 2011.
The plaintiff alleged violations of certain provisions of the
Exchange Act and the regulations thereunder, as well as breaches
of fiduciary duties owed to OceanFreight by its directors,
purportedly aided and abetted by the other Defendants, in
connection with OceanFreight's agreement to merge with Pelican, a
wholly owned subsidiary of the Company.


EBAY INC: Class Suits vs. PayPal Remain Pending in California
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the second quarter of 2010, two putative class-action lawsuits
(Devinda Fernando and Vadim Tsigel v. PayPal, Inc.; and Moises
Zepeda v. PayPal, Inc.) were filed in the U.S. District Court in
the Northern District of California.  These lawsuits contain
allegations that eBay Inc.'s subsidiary, PayPal, improperly held
users' funds or otherwise improperly limited user's accounts.
These lawsuits seek damages as well as changes to PayPal's
practices among other remedies.  A determination that there have
been violations of laws relating to PayPal's practices could
expose PayPal to significant liability.  Any changes to PayPal's
practices resulting from these lawsuits could require PayPal to
incur significant costs and to expend product resources, which
could delay other planned product launches or improvements and
further harm the Company's business.

The Company says if PayPal is unable to provide quality customer
support operations in a cost-effective manner, PayPal's users may
have negative experiences, PayPal may receive additional negative
publicity, its ability to attract new customers may be damaged and
it could become subject to additional litigation.  As a result,
current and future revenues could suffer, losses could be incurred
and its operating margins may decrease.

No further updates were reported in the Company's April 20, 2012,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.


EBAY INC: Plaintiffs Appeal Decision in Class Suit vs. StubHub
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs took an appeal from an appellate court ruling
overturning a lower court's decision that eBay Inc.'s StubHub
business violated the North Carolina unfair and deceptive trade
practices statute, according to the Company's April 20, 2012, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

In October 2007, two plaintiffs filed a purported class action
lawsuit in North Carolina Superior Court alleging that StubHub
sold (and facilitated and participated in the sale) of concert
tickets to plaintiffs with the knowledge that the tickets were
resold in violation of North Carolina's maximum ticket resale
price law (which has been subsequently amended).  In February
2011, the trial court granted plaintiffs' motion for summary
judgment, concluding that immunity under the Communications
Decency Act did not apply.  The trial court further held that
StubHub violated the North Carolina unfair and deceptive trade
practices statute as it pertained to the two named plaintiffs, and
certified its decision for immediate appeal to the North Carolina
Court of Appeals.

In February 2012, the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned
the lower court's decision.  The plaintiffs are appealing the
appellate court ruling.

Some event organizers and professional sports teams have expressed
concern about the resale of their event tickets on the Company's
sites.  Lawsuits alleging a variety of causes of actions have in
the past, and may in the future, be filed against StubHub and eBay
by venue owners, competitors, ticket buyers and unsuccessful
ticket buyers.  Such litigation could result in damage awards,
could require the Company to change its business practices in ways
that may be harmful to its business, or could otherwise negatively
affect its tickets business.


ECOPETROL SA: Faces Class Action Over Pamplonita River Oil Spill
----------------------------------------------------------------
James Attwood, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that Ecopetrol
SA, Colombia's largest oil company, faces a class action lawsuit
seeking 85 trillion pesos ($49 billion) in compensation for an oil
spill in December, Portafolio reported.

Ecopetrol is disputing the compensation claim that relates to oil
spilled into the Pamplonita River in North Santander department,
the newspaper reported, citing statements by the company.


GREG MORTENSON: Judge Dismisses Fraud Class Action
--------------------------------------------------
Philip A. Janquart at Courthouse News Service reports that a
federal judge has dismissed a class action filed against
humanitarian and author Greg Mortenson that claimed he lied about
details in his books "Three Cups of Tea" and "Stones Into Schools"
in an effort to boost sales.

Mr. Mortenson is the founder of the non-profit Central Asia
Institute (CAI), an organization that claims to be devoted to
providing community-based education and literacy programs, mainly
for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Mr. Mortenson wrote the books after claiming to have stumbled into
an impoverished community in Pakistan in 1993, following a failed
attempt to climb K2.

He said he left with the promise he would return to build a school
there.  He wrote "Three Cups of Tea" in 2006 and says he has made
good on his promise to the people of the tiny village, building
not just one school, but 55 schools in two countries.

Montana House Reps. Michele Reinhart (D-Billings) and Jean Price
(D-Great Falls) filed suit May 17, 2011 after author Jon Krakauer
brought allegations of misrepresentations in Mortenson's books to
light on the news program "60 Minutes".

By the suit's fourth amended complaint, submitted January 12,
2012, both politicians had dropped as plaintiffs and were replaced
by George and Susie Pfau and Dan Donovan.  Deborah Netter remained
as one of the original plaintiffs -- from a separate class action
against Mr. Mortenson -- who added co-author David Relin and
Penguin as defendants.

The suit listed 12 complaints including RICO violations, fraud and
unjust enrichment, and called for punitive damages.

But Mr. Mortenson argued the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the
First Amendment and that they couldn't site specific examples of
fraud or fraud connected to RICO laws.  Federal judge Sam Haddon
agreed.

"The RICO claims are fraught with shortcomings, including failure
to satisfy causal elements, failure to specify the roles of
defendants, not adequately pleading enterprise theories and
failure to specify an actionable, identifiable racketeering
activity," he said.  "Failure to adequately address the causal
elements is the ultimate fatal flaw."

Judge Haddon added that it's not clear what role co-author Reline
played in the matter, if any.

The court also concluded that it "cannot accept as true, and as a
matter of sufficiency of pleading, plaintiffs' conclusory state
that 'by writing, publishing, advertising, marketing and promoting
the books as nonfiction and true stories, the characteristics of
said books became an implied contractual condition of sale.'  More
is necessary if an implied contract is to be found."

Judge Haddon dismissed the case with prejudice, stating that the
plaintiffs "have been accorded every opportunity to adequately
plead a case, if one exists," he wrote in his decision.
"Moreover, the imprecise, in part flimsy, and speculative nature
of the claims and theories advanced underscore the necessary
conclusion that further amendment would be futile."

Three Cups of Tea sold over 4 million copies worldwide and has
been translated into 47 languages.  The book "Stones into School"
was released in 2007.

A copy of the Memorandum and Order in Pfau, et al. v. Mortenson,
et al., Case No. 11-cv-00072 (D. Mont.), is available at:

      http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/05/08/tea.pdf


HONEYWELL INT'L: Awaits Approval of Quick Lube MDL Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International Inc. is awaiting court approval of its
settlement resolving a multidistrict litigation commenced by S&E
Quick Lube, according to the Company's April 20, 2012, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended March 31, 2012.

On March 31, 2008, S&E Quick Lube, a filter distributor, filed a
lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
alleging that twelve filter manufacturers, including Honeywell,
engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids and allocate U.S.
customers for aftermarket automotive filters.  This lawsuit is a
purported class action on behalf of direct purchasers of filters
from the defendants.  Parallel purported class actions, including
on behalf of indirect purchasers of filters, have been filed by
other plaintiffs in a variety of jurisdictions in the United
States and Canada.  The U.S. cases have been consolidated into a
single multi-district litigation in the Northern District of
Illinois.  In June 2011, plaintiff's principal witness pled guilty
to a felony count of having made false statements to federal
investigators.

On March 8, 2012, Honeywell entered into a settlement agreement to
resolve the multi-district litigation class action as to all
plaintiffs, subject to approval by the court.  The Company says
the settlement did not and will not have a material impact on its
results of operations or operating cash flows in the periods
recognized or paid.

As previously reported, the Antitrust Division of the Department
of Justice notified Honeywell in January 2010 that it had
officially closed its investigation into possible collusion in the
replacement auto filters industry.


HONEYWELL INT'L: Fairness Hearing in "Allen" Suit Set for July
--------------------------------------------------------------
A fairness hearing on Honeywell International Inc.'s settlement of
a class action lawsuit in Arizona is scheduled for July 2012,
according to the Company's April 20, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
March 31, 2012.

Pursuant to a settlement approved by the U.S. District Court for
the District of Arizona in February 2008, 18 of 21 claims alleged
by plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit, captioned Allen, et al.
v. Honeywell Retirement Earnings Plan, were dismissed with
prejudice in exchange for approximately $35 million (paid from the
Company's pension plan) and the maximum aggregate liability for
the remaining three claims (alleging that Honeywell impermissibly
reduced the pension benefits of certain employees of a predecessor
entity when the plan was amended in 1983 and failed to calculate
benefits in accordance with the terms of the plan) was capped at
$500 million.  In October 2009, the Court granted summary judgment
in favor of the Honeywell Retirement Earnings Plan with respect to
the claim regarding the calculation of benefits.  In May 2011, the
parties engaged in mediation and reached an agreement in principle
to settle the three remaining claims for $23.8 million (also to be
paid from the Company's pension plan).  Settlement documents have
been submitted to the court for classwide approval.  A preliminary
settlement order has been approved by the court and a fairness
hearing on the settlement is scheduled for July 2012.  Upon court
approval of the settlement, all claims in this matter will be
fully resolved.


HONEYWELL INT'L: "UAW" Class Suit Still Pending in Michigan
-----------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International Inc. continues to defend itself from a
class action lawsuit commenced by the United Auto Workers in
Michigan, according to the Company's April 20, 2012, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended March 31, 2012.

In July 2011, Honeywell filed an action, captioned Honeywell v.
United Auto Workers ("UAW") et al., in federal court (District of
New Jersey) against the UAW and all former employees who retired
under a series of Master Collective Bargaining Agreements
("MCBAs") between Honeywell and the UAW.  The Company is seeking a
declaratory judgment that certain express limitations on its
obligation to contribute toward the healthcare coverage of such
retirees (the "CAPS") set forth in the MCBAs may be implemented,
effective January 1, 2012.  In September 2011, the UAW and certain
retiree defendants filed a motion to dismiss the New Jersey action
and filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan alleging
that the MCBAs do not provide for CAPS on the Company's liability
for healthcare coverage.  The UAW and retiree plaintiffs
subsequently filed a motion for class certification and a motion
for partial summary judgment in the Michigan action, seeking a
ruling that retirees who retired prior to the initial inclusion of
the CAPS in the 2003 MCBA are not covered by the CAPS as a matter
of law.

In December 2011, the New Jersey action was dismissed on forum
grounds.  Honeywell has appealed the New Jersey court's dismissal
to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  In
the meantime, Honeywell has answered the UAW's complaint in
Michigan and has asserted a counterclaim for fraudulent
inducement.  Honeywell is confident that the CAPS will be upheld
and that its liability for healthcare coverage premiums with
respect to the putative class will be limited as negotiated and
expressly set forth in the applicable MCBAs.  In the event of an
adverse ruling, however, Honeywell's other postretirement benefits
for pre-2003 retirees would increase by approximately $150
million, reflecting the estimated value of these CAPS.

Given the uncertainty inherent in litigation and investigations,
the Company does not believe it is possible to develop estimates
of reasonably possible loss in excess of current accruals for
these matters.  Considering the Company's past experience and
existing accruals, it does not expect the outcome of these
matters, either individually or in the aggregate, to have a
material adverse effect on its consolidated financial position.
Because most contingencies are resolved over long periods of time,
potential liabilities are subject to change due to new
developments, changes in settlement strategy or the impact of
evidentiary requirements, which could cause the Company to pay
damage awards or settlements (or become subject to equitable
remedies) that could have a material adverse effect on its results
of operations or operating cash flows in the periods recognized or
paid.


HOT CHOCOLATE: Recalls 1,700 M.M.M. Boys' Jogging Suits
-------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
distributor, Hot Chocolate Inc., of Los Angeles, California, and
importer, Myriad Trading Inc., of Ontario, California, announced a
voluntary recall of about 1,700 M.M.M. Boys' Jogging Suits.
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 of this jogging suit has a drawstring at the waist that
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 M.M.M. 100% polyester boys' two-color jogging
suits.  "M.M.M." appears on the label stitched into the back of
the neck.  The pants are a solid color matching the jacket, which
has a second color on the top of both sleeves and top portion of
the jacket.  The sets' color combinations include blue and white,
gray and blue, and gray and red.  The jackets were sold in sizes
4-16.  A picture of the recalled products is available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12170.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively at dd's Discounts stores nationwide from December 2011
through January 2012 for about $10.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled jacket from their
child and remove the waist drawstrings or return the product to a
dd's Discounts store for a full refund.  For additional
information, contact Hot Chocolate toll-free at (877) 841-0646
between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through
Friday.


HOUSTON AMERICAN: Kantrowitz, Goldhamer Files Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. has filed a federal
securities class action in the United States District Court,
Southern District of Texas, on behalf of a plaintiff who suffered
substantial financial loss and all persons who purchased
securities of Houston American Energy Corp. between October 5,
2010 and April 19, 2012, inclusive.  This class action is brought
under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 against the Company and certain of its officers and
directors.

Houston American is an oil and gas exploration and production
company.  The Company's activities are focused on properties in
the U.S. onshore Gulf Coast Region, principally Texas and
Louisiana, and on the development of concessions in the South
American country of Colombia.

The complaint alleges the Company made materially false and
misleading statements regarding the commercial viability of its
Tamandua #1 oil and gas well (the "Well") located in Columbia,
South America and omitted material information about an informal
investigation launched as early as October 2010 by the Securities
& Exchange Commission ("SEC") regarding potential violations of
the federal securities laws.  These materially false and
misleading statements artificially inflated the Company's stock
prices.

On March 1, 2012, shortly after the Company reaffirmed the Well's
commercial viability, the truth began to emerge with the Company
announcing that the Well would be temporarily plugged while
further testimony was ongoing.  This caused a 35 percent decline
in the Company's stock, the biggest drop the Company's stock has
seen in more than a decade.  Then finally on April 19, 2012, after
Houston American forestalled acknowledging definitively that the
Tamandua #1 well would be capped by making falsely positive
statements for a month and a half, the Company not only
acknowledged that it would, in fact, abandon the Tamandua well,
but that the SEC had been investigating the Company since October,
2010 and had issued subpoenas for further information.  In
reaction to this news, Houston American's stock fell another 36%
to $2.25 per share, resulting in a decline of the Company's share
price of approximately 71% since the beginning of the year.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Houston American securities
during the Class Period, you have until June 26, 2012 to ask the
Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  If you wish
to discuss your rights as a shareholder, or have any questions
concerning this notice, please contact: Gary S. Graifman, Esq., at
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., toll-free at 800-660-7843
or via e-mail at ggraifman@kgglaw.com or by writing to Kantrowitz,
Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., 747 Chestnut Ridge Road, Suite 200,
Chestnut Ridge, New York  10977.  Those who inquire by e-mail are
encouraged to include their mailing address and telephone number.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman is a firm with substantial
experience and expertise in securities class actions.


HOUSTON AMERICAN: Stull, Stull & Brody Files Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------
Stull, Stull & Brody has filed a federal securities class action
in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas,
on behalf of a plaintiff who suffered substantial financial losses
and all persons who purchased Houston American Energy Corp.
securities between October 5, 2010 and April 19, 2012, inclusive.
This class action is brought under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against the Company and certain of
its officers and directors.

Houston American is an oil and gas exploration and production
company.  The Company's activities are focused on properties in
the U.S. onshore Gulf Coast Region, principally Texas and
Louisiana, and on the development of concessions in the South
American country of Colombia.  Stull, Stull & Brody is a
nationally recognized law firm with substantial experience and
expertise in securities class actions.

The Complaint alleges the Company made materially false and
misleading statements regarding the commercial viability of its
Tamandua #1 oil and gas well (the "Well") located in Columbia,
South America and omitted material information about an informal
investigation launched as early as October 2010 by the Securities
& Exchange Commission regarding potential violations of the
federal securities laws.  These materially false and misleading
statements artificially inflated the Company's stock prices.
Plaintiff, and it is believed members of the Class, would not have
purchased the Company's shares at the prices they did had they
known of the impending SEC investigation or inquiry.  On March 1,
2012, shortly after the Company reaffirmed the Well's commercial
viability, the truth regarding the Well began to emerge with the
Company announcing that it would plug the well.  This caused a 35
percent decline in the Company's stock, the biggest drop the
Company's stock has seen in more than a decade.  Then finally on
April 19, 2012, after Houston American forestalled acknowledging
definitively that the Tamandua #1 well would be capped by making
falsely positive statements for a month and a half, the Company
not only acknowledged that it would, in fact, abandon the Tamandua
well, but that the SEC had launched an inquiry into the Company as
early as October, 2010 and had issued subpoenas for further
information.  In reaction to this news Houston American's stock
fell another 36% to $2.25 per share, resulting in a decline of the
Company's share price of approximately 71% since the beginning of
the year.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Houston American securities
during the Class Period, you have until June 26, 2012 to ask the
Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  If you wish
to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this
notice, please contact: Howard T. Longman, Esq., at Stull, Stull &
Brody, toll-free at 800-337-4983 or via e-mail to
HLongman@ssbny.com or by writing to Stull, Stull & Brody, 6 East
45th Street, New York, NY 10017.  Those who inquire by e-mail are
encouraged to include their mailing address and telephone number.
You can also contact Houston liason counsel Donald W. Gould II,
Johnson Deluca Kurisky & Gould, P.C., by telephone at 713-652-2525
or via e-mail at dgould@jdkglaw.com


IKEA US: Class Action Over Customers' Zip Codes Can Proceed
-----------------------------------------------------------
Maria Dinzeo at Courthouse News Service reports that a class can
proceed with a lawsuit accusing Ikea of requesting and storing
customers' zip codes when making credit card purchases.

Rita Medellin sued Ikea in February 2011 for violation of the
Song-Beverly Credit Card Act after an Ikea cashier took her credit
card and asked for her zip code.  She gave it, believing the
information was necessary for completing the transaction.

Ikea claimed customers often voluntarily provided this
information, so they could receive e-mail promotions from Ikea or
participate in the retailer's rewards program.

In certifying the class, U.S. District Judge William Hayes wrote,
"The Song-Beverly Credit Card Act does not provide an exception
allowing a retailer to request or require the cardholder to
provide personal identification information as a condition of
accepting a credit card payment when the individual has previously
or subsequently provided any personal information to the retailer.
Such an exception would contravene one of the purposes of the
Song-Beverly Credit Card Act which is to prevent store clerks from
obtaining customers' personal identification information."

Judge Hayes said the possibility of the class including customers
who voluntarily gave their personal information to Ikea should not
prevent the action from moving forward.

Judge Hayes further ruled that a class action would more
effectively deal with the consumer privacy issue raised by Ikea's
practice of asking for customers' zip codes than individual
lawsuits.  "Plaintiff has shown that common questions of law and
fact predominate over other issues in this case on the grounds
that Ikea's uniform policy and practice of requesting personal
identification information from customers during credit card
transactions can be evaluated to determine if the Song-Beverly
Credit Card Act was violated," Judge Hayes wrote.

A copy of the Order in Yeoman, et al. v. Ikea U.S. West, Inc., et
al., Case No. 11-cv-00701 (S.D. Calif.), is available at:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/05/08/3-11-cv-00701-WQH-BGS.pdf


INTERCON INC: Recalls 2,350 Sonoma Valley Swivel Top Bar Stools
---------------------------------------------------------------
About 2,350 units of Sonoma Valley Swivel Top Bar Stool 24" or 30"
models were voluntarily recalled by manufacturer, Gaomi Yatai
Wooden Ware of Shandong, China, and importer, Intercon, Inc. of
Salt Lake City, Utah, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission.  Consumers should stop using the
product immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to
resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The bolts attaching the top of the bar stool to the leg assembly
can come loose, causing the seat to dislodge, resulting in a fall
hazard.

Havertys Furniture Companies Inc. has received one report of loose
bolts.  No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves wooden bar stools with a chair top swivel
seat.  The seat has a slatted backrest, curved armrests and is
padded with a cream-colored cloth cushion.  The wood is a medium-
dark pine color.  The stools have four curved legs with a wooden
ring running through each leg close to the ground.  This recall
involves bar stools sold between October 2010 through March 2012
which are 24" or 30" in height and have the model numbers "SV-BS-
760SW-AMR-C24" or "SV-BS-760SW-AMR-C30."  The model number does
not appear on the stool.  A picture of the recalled products is
available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12733.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at
Havertys Furniture Companies from October 2010 through March 2012
for between $270 and $300 depending on the model.

Havertys is providing a repair kit and will send a technician to
consumers to install replacement bolts at no cost.  The firm is
contacting its customers directly.  For more information and to
schedule an appointment with a Havertys technician, contact 1-888-
HAVERTY (428-3789) between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Monday through Saturday or visit the Intercon's Web site at
http://www.intercon-furniture.com. For other information about
the recall, contact Intercon toll-free on (800) 223-9125 between
8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time Monday through Friday.


LA FASHION: Recalls 2,300 Girls' Winter Jackets with Drawstrings
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
LA Fashion Hub, of Los Angeles, California, announced a voluntary
recall of about 2,300 Girls' Winter Jackets with drawstrings.
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 a drawstring through the hood which poses a
strangulation hazard to 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.

The recalled girls' winter jackets have drawstrings through the
hoods.  They were sold in girls' sizes 4T, 5, 6 and 6X and in the
following colors: pink, turquoise, red and yellow.  The jackets
are polyester with polyester fill, have a front zipper, snap or
Velcro closures, and different designs stamped on the collar, down
the front and on the pockets, and a flower or heart design is
embroidered on the front of the jackets.  Pictures of the recalled
products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12167.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively at dd's Discounts stores nationwide from January 2011
through January 2012 for about $10.

Consumers should immediately remove the drawstring to eliminate
the hazard, or return the jacket to a dd's Discounts store for a
full refund.  For additional information, please contact LA
Fashion Hub at (800) 919-1001 between 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m.
Pacific Time Monday through Friday, or e-mail the firm at
lafashionhub@yahoo.com


LA JOLLA SPORT: Recalls 600 O'Neill Boy's Hooded Flannel Shirts
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
La Jolla Sport USA Inc., doing business as O'Neill Clothing, of
Irvine, California, announced a voluntary recall of about 600
O'Neill Pluto hooded flannel shirts.  Consumers should stop using
recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is
illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer
product.

The hooded sweatshirts have drawstrings in the neck that can pose
a strangulation hazard to 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 O'Neill Pluto brand, boy's flannel long
sleeve shirts with button front, a hood and two chest pockets.
Style name "Pluto Flannel" and Style No. 41204106 is printed on a
label sewn inside the wearer's left side seam.  "O'NEILL" is
printed on a label sewn inside the back neck.  The shirts were
sold in dark grey with horizontal black stripes and in child sizes
small, medium, large and extra large.  A picture of the recalled
products is available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12169.html

The recalled products were manufactured in India and sold at East
Coast Surf Products, Hansens Surfboards, Huntington Surf & Sport,
Jacks Surf and Sport, Main Beach Surf & Sport, O'Neill, Riders
Outlet, Sports Chalet, Valley Skate N Surf and other surfing
specialty stores nationwide between September 2011 and December
2011 for about $60.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled sweatshirt from
their child and remove the drawstring from the hooded flannel
shirt, to eliminate the hazard, and return the garment to the
place of purchase or to the company for a full refund.  For
additional information, please contact La Jolla Sport at (800)
213-6444 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time Monday
through Friday, or visit the Company's Web site at
http://www.shoponeillusa.com/


LANY GROUP: Recalls 210 Girls' "Goddess" Hooded Sweatshirts
-----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
LANY Group LLC, of New York, announced a voluntary recall of about
210 "Goddess" Hooded Sweatshirts with drawstrings.  Consumers
should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

The sweatshirts have a drawstring through the hood which poses a
strangulation hazard to 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.

The girls' sweatshirts zip up the front and have a hood with a
drawstring.  The sweatshirts are red with gold hearts, stars and
crowns.  They were sold in children's sizes 4T through 12.
"Goddess" is printed on a label at the neck.  A picture of the
recalled products is available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12166.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively at dd's Discounts stores nationwide from October 2011
through January 2012 for about $6.

Consumers should immediately remove the drawstring to eliminate
the hazard or return the sweatshirts to a dd's Discounts store for
a full refund.  For additional information, please contact LANY
Group toll-free at (855) 691-7662 between 8:00 a.m. through 4:00
p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday.


PAYPAL: Settlement Preliminary Approval Hearing Set for June 12
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ina Steiner, writing for EcommerceBytes.com, reports that online
sellers who filed class action lawsuits against PayPal over the
company's practice of holding funds for lengthy periods have
reached a tentative agreement to settle following successful
mediations.

The parties in Fernando v. PayPal and Zepeda v. PayPal are
currently in the process of finalizing a written settlement
agreement and exhibits, including proposed notice to the
settlement class.  A hearing on preliminary approval is set for
June 12, 2012, with the motion for preliminary approval to be
filed by May 8, 2012.

While terms of the settlement are as yet undisclosed, the
litigation has not stopped PayPal from expanding its holds policy.
PayPal sent an e-mail last week sharing its plans to update its
"Funds Availability program" to add additional circumstances in
which it could hold seller funds, including "Sellers who sell an
item that has a sales price that is significantly higher than the
average sales price of items previously sold by that seller."

At issue in the two lawsuits is PayPal's practice of withholding
funds from sellers in transactions that seemingly have no
suspicious circumstances and then refusing to explain why.

The plaintiffs in the Fernando case alleged PayPal's practice of
holding funds for up to 180 days or longer was fraudulent, and in
violation of its user agreement, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act
and the terms of a 2004 settlement the company agreed to in
resolution of an earlier lawsuit in the Comb et al vs. PayPal
case, which dated to 2002.

The Zepeda plaintiffs claimed that PayPal's practices constituted
a breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violated the
California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and California Unfair
Competition Law, and that PayPal had been unjustly enriched.

PayPal and the Zepeda plaintiffs had participated in mediation in
May 2011, which had resulted in an agreement on a class
settlement, and last fall, plaintiffs in Fernando v. PayPal asked
the court to intervene in Zepeda vs. PayPal on the grounds they
involved essentially the same charges.

In the meantime, Dennis Dunkel and Cy Stapelton filed a class
action against eBay on March 22, 2012, alleging, among other
things, that eBay improperly closed their accounts without just
cause or prior notice, purportedly in violation of the terms of
the eBay User Agreement.  Four days later, the plaintiffs filed an
administrative motion to consider whether their case should be
related to Fernando v. PayPal In the motion, plaintiffs write:

"The Fernando Action's special emphasis is on PayPal's practice of
holding funds in sellers' accounts by placing reserves on accounts
and/or limiting and/or suspending sellers' accounts and holding
the funds in the accounts for 180 days (collectively referred to
as "holding funds").  While investigating the practices which gave
rise to Fernando Action, Plaintiffs' counsel discovered eBay's
practices which appeared to be independent from claims raised in
Fernando action.  Specifically, while talking to numerous class
action representatives, Plaintiffs' counsel learned that Defendant
eBay has been in practice of suspending or terminating its
customers' accounts on the basis that they have engaged in
fraudulent activity in connection with the site.  Plaintiffs'
counsel also learned that those contracts contained a number of
one-sided nonnegotiable terms favorable only to eBay. Relying on
those one-sided clauses, eBay failed to give any warnings to its
users regarding account suspension."

The Cases

Zepeda v PayPal
Civil Action No. 10-cv-02500 EJD, filed June 7, 2010
Lawyer: Freed & Weiss LLC eric@freedweiss.com

Fernando v PayPal
Case No. 10-CV-01668 PVT, filed April 19, 2010
Lawyer: Marina Trubitsky & Associates
E-mail: marina.trubitsky@lawcontact.com

Dunkel v eBay
Civil Action No. 5:12-cv-01452-HRL, filed March 22, 2012
Lawyer: Marina Trubitsky & Associates
E-mail: marina.trubitsky@lawcontact.com


PERKINS COIE: Sued for Failing to Reimburse Business Expenses
--------------------------------------------------------------
Harold DeGraff, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. Perkins Coie LLP; Perkins Coie California, PC; and
Does 1 to 10, inclusive, Case No. 3:12-cv-02256 (N.D. Calif.,
May 4, 2012) is brought for the Defendants' alleged unlawful
employment scheme that denies the Plaintiff and others the wages
and benefits to which they are lawfully entitled.

Plaintiff and proposed class members, who work or have worked at
the Defendants' California offices as employees, were induced by
the Defendants by promises of high guaranteed income to become
attorneys at Perkins Coie, Mr. DeGraff alleges.  He contends that
the Defendants hired him and class members; deducted from their
wages thousands of dollars for business expenses; and unlawfully
failed to reimburse business expenses in order to deny them wages
and benefits to which they are lawfully entitled under California
law.

Mr. DeGraff is a resident of San Carlos, California.  He has
performed work as an attorney for the Defendants at Perkins Coie's
Menlo Park office.

Perkins Coie California is a California corporation.  Perkins Coie
LLP is a law firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington.  The Doe
Defendants are persons or entities, whose true names and
identities are now unknown to the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Monique Olivier, Esq.
          Thomas E. Duckworth, Esq.
          DUCKWORTH PETERS LEBOWITZ OLIVIER LLP
          100 Bush Street, Suite 1800
          San Francisco, CA 94104
          Telephone: (415) 433-0333
          Facsimile: (415) 449-6556
          E-mail: monique@dplolaw.com
                  tom@dplolaw.com


PERKINS COIE: Faces Class Action Over Unlawful Wage Deductions
--------------------------------------------------------------
William Dotinga at Courthouse News Service reports that
international law firm Perkins Coie docks paychecks for costs that
employers are required to bear, such as workers' compensation and
"accounting fees," a federal class claims.

Lead plaintiff Harold DeGraff says he joined the firm's Menlo
Park, Calif., office as a transactional corporate attorney in
2007. Headquartered in Seattle, Perkins Coie employs more than 850
attorneys across the United States and Asia.

"Throughout Mr. DeGraff's employment at the California PC, Perkins
Coie made deductions from Mr. DeGraff's wages," according to the
complaint.  "These deductions were made without Mr. DeGraff's
authorization or consent, and resulted in a reduction of
compensation to Mr. DeGraff.

"Perkins Coie regularly assessed Mr. DeGraff for Workers'
Compensation Insurance.  This is a business expense to be borne by
the employer.  These amounts were withheld by Perkins Coie from
Mr. DeGraff's wages."

Other business-borne costs Perkins Coie passed on to Mr. DeGraff
include unemployment insurance, Medicare costs and Social Security
costs.

"[These] are a business expense to be borne by the employer,"
DeGraff, a San Carlos resident, claims.  "These amounts were
withheld by Perkins Coie from Mr. DeGraff's wages."

Some of the deductions were more nebulous, he added.

"Perkins Coie regularly assessed Mr. DeGraff for 'accounting
fees.' . . . Perkins Coie made annual deductions from Mr.
DeGraff's wages characterized as a 'shareholder loan,'" according
to the complaint.  "In 2007, $2,511 was deducted from Mr.
DeGraff's wages.  In 2008, $11,803 was deducted from Mr. DeGraff's
wages.  . . . Perkins Coie also made deductions for state and
federal income tax related to the 'shareholder loan.'"

Mr. DeGraff also claims that he had to foot the company's portion
of his retirement plan.

"Perkins Coie made annual deductions that were characterized as
'Mandatory Retirement,'" the suit states.  "In 2008, $20,297 was
withheld as a deduction from Mr. DeGraff's wages.  In 2009,
$25,150 was deducted from Mr. DeGraff's wages.

"Perkins Coie made annual deductions that were characterized as
the 401(k) employer matching contribution.  This is a business
expense to be borne by the employer.  These amounts were withheld
by Perkins Coie from Mr. DeGraff's wages.

"Perkins Coie made annual deductions that were characterized as
'Cash Balance Retirement Plan.'  In 2008, $1,000 was withheld as a
deduction from Mr. DeGraff's wages.  In 2009, $859 was withheld as
a deduction from Mr. DeGraff's wages."

Mr. DeGraff claims Perkins Coie also forced his $1,500 annual
contribution to the "PC Charity Fund," again withholding these
amounts from his paycheck.

"Perkins Coie also regularly assessed business expenses such as
travel to Mr. DeGraff," according to the complaint.  "These
amounts were withheld by Perkins Coie from Mr. DeGraff's wages.
In addition, Mr. DeGraff advanced business expenses for which he
was not reimbursed by Perkins Coie.

"Due to Perkins Coie's practices of deducting from Mr. DeGraff's
wages and failing to reimburse Mr. DeGraff for reasonable and
necessary business expenses, Mr. DeGraff's guaranteed compensation
was unlawfully reduced.  Perkins Coie did not provide Mr. DeGraff
with accurate wage statements that indicated the amount of his
gross pay, net pay or deductions.

"These practices have been uniformly applied to dozens of
attorneys classified as W-2 employees at Perkins Coie offices
throughout California."

Although California Labor Code prohibits these deductions,
"defendants have had a policy and practice of deducting amounts
from the pay of plaintiff and class members for employer expenses
including but not limited to Workers' Compensation Insurance,
unemployment insurance, Medicare, Social Security, federal and
state taxes, accounting fees, shareholder loans, unauthorized
retirement contributions, unauthorized charitable contributions
and business travel expenses," Mr. DeGraff says.

The firm also failed to indemnify employees for expenses, and it
did not provide accurate and itemized wage statements in violation
of California labor laws, according to the complaint.

The class seeks restitution, waiting time penalties, an injunction
and damages.

A copy of the Complaint in DeGraff v. Perkins Coie LLP, et al.,
Case No. 12-cv-02256 (N.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://is.gd/l7S4xD

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Monique Olivier, Esq.
          Thomas E. Duckworth, Esq.
          DUCKWORTH PETERS LEBOWITZ OLIVIER LLP
          100 Bush Street, Suite 1800
          San Francisco, CA 94104
          Telephone: (415) 433-0333
          E-mail: monique@dplolaw.com
                  tom@dplolaw.com


SEARS ROEBUCK: Can't Halt Copycat Class Actions Over Washers
------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph Celentino at Courthouse News Service reports that retail
giant Sears, Roebuck and Co will have to continue fighting
lawsuits over stainless steel washer drums after losing its bid to
foreclose future copycat class actions in the United States Court
of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The proposed 500,000-person class action, which has come before
the 7th Circuit four times thus far, was filed by Tennessee Sears
customer Steven Thorogood.  Mr. Thorogood, a self-described
"highly educated metallurgic engineer" purchased a Kenmore clothes
dryer from Sears that had been advertised as "all stainless
steel."  The drum in fact contained a piece of "mild" steel coated
with ceramic, Mr. Thorogood discovered, which allegedly caused the
steel to rust and stain his clothes.

On its first review, the 7th Circuit summarily dismissed the
Mr. Thorogood's claims, finding no common issues of fact
sufficient to warrant class action status. Judge Richard Posner
then described the suit as "near-frivolous."

"It was inconceivable that all or even many other members of the
proposed class had the same understanding of Sears' advertising as
Thorogood claimed to have. Sears hadn't advertised the dryers as
preventing rust stains on clothes, doubtless because such stains
are not a common concern of owners of dryers," Judge Posner wrote.

"One would have to have a neurotic obsession with rust stains (or
be a highly imaginative class action lawyer) to worry about Sears'
drum. We said that, judging from the record and the argument of
his lawyer, the concerns expressed by Thorogood were a
confabulation."

Mr. Thorogood's lawyer, Clinton Krislov, then sought an individual
judgment in the case.

"He wanted it not only as a premise for an award of attorneys'
fees but also so that he could use it as 'offensive' res judicata
in other cases (that is to preclude Sears' defending similar cases
on the merits); for he was already planning to circumvent our
order decertifying the class by bringing class actions elsewhere,"
Judge Posner explained.

Mr. Krislov soon appeared as counsel in a class action filed by
member of Mr. Thorogood's suit Martin Murray in California state
court.  The case was removed to federal court, where Sears sought
to have it tossed but was denied.

Sears again petitioned the 7th Circuit for an order enjoining Mr.
Murray's class action, which was granted.  Mr. Thorogood appealed
the order, technically issued in his case, to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari and asked the 7th Circuit to
reconsider its order in light of Smith v. Bayer Corp., which the
Court had decided while Mr. Thorogood's action was pending.  Bayer
prevents federal courts from enjoining copycat class action suits
filed in federal or state courts by nonparties to the original
litigation.

Writing for the 7th Circuit, Judge Posner did not attempt to
conceal his feelings towards Messrs. Thorogood and Murray's class
actions, but acknowledged that the Supreme Court's precedent was
controlling.

"We unsay nothing we said . . . in our other opinions in this
protracted litigation, in criticism of the suits and of lawyer
Krislov and his cocounsel (in Murray's case), Boling; nothing we
said about the susceptibility of class action litigation to abuse;
and no part of our statement that abuse of litigation is a proper
ground for the issuance of an injunction under the All Writs Act."

Judge Posner went so far as to critique the logic of the Supreme
Court's ruling.

"The Supreme Court noted in Smith v. Bayer Corp. that 'Bayer's
strongest argument [for enjoining the Murray-type class action in
that case] comes not from established principles of preclusion,
but instead from policy concerns relating to the use of the class
action device,'" he wrote.

"The Court, which not infrequently bases decisions on policy
concerns, for they are legitimate tools for making rules of law,
could have changed the rule of nonparty preclusion but decided to
stick with it, and instead listed alternatives to preclusion:
stare decisis, comity consolidation of overlapping suits by the
Panel on Multidistrict Litigation . . . changes to the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, and federal legislation.  Sears will
have to tread one or more of these paths if it wants relief from
this copycat class action and perhaps more such actions to come;
we can't save it."

Mr. Thorogood was ultimately awarded the $3,000 in damages,
representing the amount in controversy, over a $20,000 settlement
offer by Sears that was struck down by the district court.

In another previous ruling, the 7th Circuit had also declined
Mr. Thorogood's request for $246,000 in attorneys' fees, writing
that "no sane person incurs fees in that amount to prosecute a
claim worth at most $3,000."

A copy of the decision in Thorogood v. Sears, Roebuck and Company,
et al., Case Nos. 10-2407, 11-2133 (7th Cir.), is available at:

     http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/HX1AYZ8O.pdf


SURF MANOR: Faces Class Action Over Bedbug Infestation
------------------------------------------------------
Mark Morales, writing for New York Daily News, reports that
residents at a Coney Island adult home are suing over shoddy
conditions -- including a three-year bedbug infestation.

The Surf Manor Adult Home on Surf Ave. was slapped with a class
action lawsuit by roughly 200 residents who claim their rooms are
crawling with bedbugs.

They also blame home officials for the spread of scabies, broken
elevators, spotty heat and hot water, mold growth, and nasty
treatment by staff during that time.

"We're hoping we can get a permanent change to improve the quality
of our lives," said resident Norman Bloomfield.

"We don't have to live with these daily problems.  We want to live
more humanely."

The lawsuit also mentions dirty linens that were left in hallways
and stairwells; and leaky ceilings that were never repaired.

Lawyers for the residents said administrators were slow to
fumigate the building, causing the infestation to repeatedly
resurface.

A new company was also hired by administrators to keep watch over
the housekeeping staff and porters while they fixed the problems,
but the conditions persist, according to the suit.

"The actions they've taken have been wholesale inadequate," said
lawyer Shelly Weizman.

"It's makeshift temporary solutions that don't get to the root of
the problem."

Lawyers for the adult home -- who serves the elderly and the
disabled -- said administrators took every step to fix the bedbug
infestation.

"The allegations in this lawsuit are not true and they will be
vigorously contested," said home lawyer Jeff Sherrin.

"It's a good, clean facility.  They are committed to the welfare
of their residents and they continue to monitor and deal with any
bedbug issues that arise."

But fed up residents said they are sick of the building's
conditions.

"It's uncomfortable.  You're trying to sleep and the bedbugs are
biting you," said James Riddles, 51.

Vonceile Morgan, 52, said that when she first moved into the adult
home eight months ago, her room was crawling with bedbugs.

Ms. Morgan was bitten so badly she was taken to Coney Island
Hospital.

"I'm devastated.  I feel like I'm being treated less than a human
being," said Ms. Morgan.

"I want to see conditions improved here not just for me but for
all the residents here."


TELEFONICA BRASIL: Appeal in Sao Paulo Prosecutor Suit Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal in the class action lawsuit commenced by the Public
Prosecutor Office of the State of Sao Paulo remains pending,
according to Telefonica Brasil S.A.'s April 20, 2012, Form 20-F
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Public Prosecutor Office of the State of Sao Paulo commenced a
class action lawsuit claiming moral and property damages suffered
by all consumers of telecommunication services from 2004 to 2009
due to the bad quality of service and failures of the
communications system.  The Public Prosecutors Office suggested a
total award against the Company of R$1 billion.  A judgment was
rendered on April 20, 2010, imposing the payment of damages to all
consumers who proved to be eligible for the award.  Alternatively,
if clients do not prove themselves eligible in a number compatible
with the severity of the damage after a period of one year, the
judgment establishes that R$60 million should be deposited in a
special fund for protection of diffuse customer interests (Fundo
Especial de Defesa de Reparacao de Interesses Difusos Lesados).

The Company says it is not possible to estimate how many consumers
may present themselves in this procedure or the values to be
claimed by them.  The parties filed an appeal and the effects of
the sentence were suspended.  Despite the possible degree of risk,
no value amount was attributed to this action because currently
the Company is unable to calculate the total amount to be paid by
the Company in the event it loses and, as a result, it has not
recorded any provisions.


TELEFONICA BRASIL: Continues to Defend SISTEL Plan-Related Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Telefonica Brasil S.A. continues to defend class action lawsuits
commenced by participants of the SISTEL plan, according to the
Company's April 20, 2012, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2011.

Before December 1999, the SISTEL (Fundacao Sistel de Seguridade
Social) plan, a multi-employer defined benefit plan that
supplements government-provided retirement benefits, covered the
employees of the former Telebras System (Telecomunicacoes
Brasileiras S.A. and its operating subsidiaries) and the Company
was contingently liable for all of the unfunded obligations of the
plan.  In January 2000, the Company and the other companies that
formerly belonged to the Telebras System agreed to divide the
existing SISTEL plan into 15 separate plans, resulting in the
creation of private plans covering those employees already
enrolled in the SISTEL plan.  In that moment, these new private
pension plans were still administered by SISTEL and have retained
the same terms and conditions of the SISTEL plan.  The division
was carried out so as to allocate liability among the companies
that formerly belonged to the Telebras System according to each
company's contributions with respect to its own employees.  Joint
liability among the SISTEL plan sponsors will continue with
respect to retired employees, who will necessarily remain members
of the SISTEL plans, called PBS plan.

Class actions were filed by SISTEL Participants Association in the
State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in which participants question the
changes made to the health care plan for retired employees (PAMA),
claiming the re-establishment of  previous 'status quo.'  The
claim is still in process as there is no judicial decision in any
instance.

The Company says the risk of loss attributed to this lawsuit by
the Company's legal counsels is possible.  The amount is
inestimable and the requests illiquid due to its unenforceability,
since they involve the return of the conditions regarding the
former plan.


U-HAUL INT'L: 1st Circuit Revives Truck Rental Price-Fixing Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Baynes, writing for Reuters, reports that a federal appeals
court has revived a proposed class action accusing U-Haul
International Inc. and its parent company, Amerco, of conspiring
with competitors to fix truck rental prices.

The class action came on the heels of a government complaint
accusing U-Haul of pushing Avis Budget Group Inc. and Penske Truck
Leasing Co. to boost the price of one-way truck rentals.  U-Haul
struck a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in 2010, and
the private class action soon followed.

The district court dismissed the case in 2011, finding that the
plaintiff, Marcia Liu, had relied primarily on the FTC's general
allegations but failed to show that she was individually harmed.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit reversed that
decision on May 4, ruling that Ms. Liu had presented enough
evidence of a price-fixing scheme to proceed with the suit.

"Liu's complaint does recite specific facts that make her claim
plausible; and while damages to Liu are surely modest, class
actions for damages that are significant only when aggregated for
the class are common," Judge Michael Boudin wrote for a unanimous
three-judge panel.

Supreme Court decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp v. Twombly and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal require that a complaint contain enough facts,
and not just generalities, to make a plausible claim.

Massachusetts district judge George O'Toole found that Ms. Liu
failed to meet that standard.  While she claimed to have paid for
two U-Haul rentals, she left out any details about what she paid
or what the competitors' rates were at the time.

Instead, Ms. Liu pointed to the FTC's findings that U-Haul's CEO
allegedly instructed regional managers to raise rates and then
encouraged competitors to follow suit.  The plaintiff's lawyers
also commissioned an economic analysis, showing that the scheme
resulted in a 10-percent overcharge to U-Haul customers.

Those facts were enough to overcome U-Haul's efforts to dismiss
the case, the 1st Circuit panel ruled.

U-Haul did not respond to requests for comment.

Charles Tompkins, a lawyer for Ms. Liu, said he looked forward to
pursuing the case in Massachusetts and any other states that
permit consumers to recover damages over a failed price-fixing
scheme.  He said the pricing data, expert analysis and government
allegations were "far ahead" of the requirements of Twombly and
Iqbal.

Jay Levine, an antitrust lawyer at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings,
said the decision is the latest in a string of rulings to lower
the pleading hurdles for plaintiffs in antitrust cases.  In April,
the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals found in Anderson News v.
American Media that the district court misapplied the requirements
under Twombly and Iqbal when it dismissed antitrust claims against
the magazine industry.

In another case, a California federal judge refused to dismiss
antitrust claims against Apple, Google and other technology
companies alleging they illegally conspired not to poach each
other's employees. One could infer a conspiracy from the existence
of agreements among various defendants, she ruled.

Mr. Levine says these rulings show that Twombly, which raised
pleading requirements in the antitrust context in 2007, may not be
as big a hurdle to antitrust plaintiffs as it has seemed in recent
years.

"As long as the facts tell a plausible story of an antitrust
conspiracy, that's enough," Mr. Levine said.

The 1st Circuit case is Liu v. Amerco et al, No. 11-2053.

For Liu: Charles Tompkins at Shapiro Haber & Urmy.

For U-Haul et al: G. Patrick Watson of Bryan Cave.


W. ROSS: Court Certifies Class Action Over Blind Student Abuses
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Press reports that the Ontario Superior Court has
certified a class-action lawsuit launched by former students of a
school for the blind in Brantford.

Madam Justice Carolyn Horkins granted the certification for the
class action against the W. Ross MacDonald School, a provincially
run residential school for the visually impaired, blind and deaf-
blind.

Students allege they suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse
as children and teenagers while living at the Brantford school.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

The class action is composed of up to 1,000 students who were
enrolled at the school between 1951 to the present day and who
were alive as of Feb. 22, 2009.

The Ministry of Education declined to comment on the class action
suit on May 7.

The lawsuit was started by Robert Seed, a former student who
attended the school from 1954 to 1965.

Mr. Seed alleges in his statement of claim that "students were
frequently punished for minor or innocuous matters such as being
homesick, wetting the bed, throwing up, having trouble reading or
using too much toilet paper."

"This included beating or shoving students, making students drink
from urinals, slapping students with a bare hand or with classroom
objects such as books, and grabbing students by the hair."

Vincent Ball, writing for Brantford Expositor, reports that
Mr. Seed is seeking $200 million in damages for negligence and
breach of fiduciary duty and $25 million in punitive damages.

W. Ross Macdonald opened in 1872 and was originally known at the
Ontario Institution for the Education of the Blind.  It is one of
two provincially-run residential schools in Ontario for visually
impaired, blind and deafblind students.

Lawyers working on behalf of the province had argued against
certification of the lawsuit as a class action saying the class
definition is too broad and there is no evidence to support the
existence of the class after 1985.  They also argued there was not
cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty prior to 1963 and no
cause of action for a negligence claim based on inadequate
funding.

"Madam Justice Horkins' decision to certify this class action is a
positive step towards achieving justice for the former students of
W. Ross Macdonald," said Kirk Baert -- kbaert@kmlaw.ca -- of
Koskie Minsky LLP who is representing the plaintiffs.  "The
alleged abuse these former students were subjected to for years,
many while as children, is unthinkable.

"We want the government to do the right thing and ensure the
former students see justice and receive reasonable compensation
they rightly deserve."


YMI JEANSWEAR: Recalls 500 "YMI" Girls' Hooded Sweatshirts
----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
YMI Jeanswear, of Los Angeles, California, announced a voluntary
recall of about 500 "YMI" girls' hooded sweatshirts with
drawstrings.  Consumers should stop using recalled products
immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell
or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The sweatshirts have drawstrings at the hood that pose a
strangulation hazard to 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 girls' sweatshirts sold under the brand name
"YMI Jeanswear."  The sweatshirts have a front zipper and a fur-
lined hood with a drawstring stitched to each side.  "YMI" is
printed on the label at the neck.  The sweatshirts were sold in
gray, purple, pink and black, with either a snowflake or a flower
design on the front and back.  A heart charm with "YMI" engraved
on it is attached to the zipper.  The recalled sweatshirts were
sold in children's sizes six through 16.  Pictures of the recalled
products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12168.html

The recalled products were manufactured in Cambodia and sold
exclusively at dd's Discounts stores nationwide from December 2011
through January 2012 for about $13.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled sweatshirt from
their child and remove the drawstrings or return the sweatshirt to
a dd's Discounts store for a full refund.  For additional
information, please contact YMI Jeanswear at (888) 394-1398
between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through
Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at http://www.ymijeans.com/


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Solution Sought for Abatement Issues at PS 29
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lore Croghan of NY Daily News.com reports that parents at a Cobble
Hill public school are fighting an asbestos abatement project
that's about to start while their kids are still in class.

Angry parents at PS 29 said they only learned about the project
around April 16, and started pressing Dept. of Education officials
to postpone removal of the hazardous substance until school's out
for the summer.

"We are so upset; no one has given us any details about how long
this will go on," said Julian Stysis, 34, a Cobble Hill resident
whose 9-year-old child is a 4th grader at the Henry St. school.

Stysis plans to keep his child out of school if the asbestos work
goes forward -- and says many other parents plan to do likewise.

Stysis said a School Construction Authority official told him the
asbestos work won't be postponed at PS 29 because that would "set
a bad precedent."

DOE spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said the asbestos removal will
begin April 30, after school hours when all students have left the
building.  She couldn't say how long the removal would take.

"Like similar projects across the city the area will be cordoned
off and student safety will be our highest priority," Feinberg
said in a statement.

The abatement, scheduled for school nights starting around 6 p.m.
when after-school programs end, is part of an 18-month
construction project that began in March.

Parents charge that the construction frequently spews dust on
windows, the schoolyard and playground equipment.

"They're risking our children's health; it's reprehensible," said
Michael Nigro, 45, of Cobble Hill, whose daughter, 11, is a fifth
grader at PS 29.  "Kids are complaining of sore throats and itchy
eyes.  Is it allergy season, or is it the dust?"

The city School Construction Authority project involves the
demolition and rebuilding of exterior walls and the replacement of
the building's roof and parapet.  Asbestos will be removed from
around the building's windows.

"You don't have to be a scientist to know asbestos is toxic," City
Councilman Brad Lander (D-Cobble Hill) told the Daily News.
"Parents don't have any assurances their kids will be safe."

Lander called for the asbestos work to be postponed until the
school year ends.

So did parents who massed outside the school in protest Monday
evening, April 23.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who met with a group of PS 29
parents, called for the abatement to be postponed.

"We can't ever leave parents in the dark when it comes to a
child's safety," De Blasio said in a statement.  "Before the
abatement moves forward, let's get the Department of Education and
health experts to sit down with parents this week to lay out the
precise steps the City is taking to avoid any health risks."

              PTA Meeting on PS 29 Abatement Issue Set

Joanna Prisco of the CarrollGardens Patch reports that a PTA
meeting at PS 29 was planned for the evening of April 26 that will
largely center around the announcement of an asbestos abatement at
the school.  The short notice given regarding scheduled work with
toxic chemicals has resulted in a petition and protest by parents.
Carl Colombo, head of SCA for Brooklyn, is expected to attend the
meeting to respond to the community's concerns.

Councilmember Brad Lander has openly expressed his support for the
parents in asking for a stop work order on construction until the
class session has ended.

Senator Daniel Squadron sent a letter to Chancellor Walcott
Wednesday, April 25, regarding P.S. 29.

"According to parents, at a two week look-ahead meeting on April
18th with the SCA, the contractor, and parent and staff
representatives, SCA did not mention that they were going to begin
asbestos abatement on Monday, April 23," wrote Senator Squadron.
"Further to this point, in an April 19th email DOE stated: 'as per
the SCA, this project (. . .) includes roof, masonry and flood
elimination.'  Asbestos abatement, similarly, is not mentioned."

Public posting of asbestos abatement work should have been
provided seven days in advance, as required under the NYC
Department of Environmental Protection's Asbestos Rules and
Regulations.

"Why was no mention made of scheduled abatement by either SCA and
DOE in communications with the community the week prior to the
scheduled April 23rd abatement?" Senator Squadron went on.  "What
is the procedure moving forward to ensure sufficient
communication?"

He ends by echoing parents' request for construction to halt until
classes have ended for the year.

The planned meeting was set at the school at 7 p.m.  A
representative from the Taylor Environmental Group, who is
monitoring the asbestos work, was expected to attend the meeting.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup Complete at Razed Margaret River Shire
---------------------------------------------------------------
ABC News reports that the Augusta-Margaret River Shire says it has
managed to remove asbestos hindering the recovery process of
several bushfire-damaged properties in the region.

Last year's Margaret River blaze burnt through 4,000 hectares of
bushland and destroyed more than 40 properties.

Authorities then discovered asbestos in eight of those properties
and frustrated residents had to wait for it to be removed before
they could begin any work on their homes.

The shire's Gary Evershed says the four-month clean-up process has
been arduous but necessary.

"After a complicated clean-up of about eight sites from the fire,
we've got the all clear," he said.

"We've had soil testing and air testing and it shows that the
job's been successfully completed, so it's reassuring for our
community members."

Mr. Evershed says it was absolutely vital the asbestos was removed
before residents started any work on rebuilding.

"We wanted to get it right, we wanted to make sure they were done
properly in accordance with proper environmental safeguards and
public health safeguards and we wanted to contract it out to
people with specialist experience and expertise," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Hazards Found in Nashua's "Boiler House"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jake Berry of the Nashua Telegraph reports that additional
asbestos located in the building known as the Boiler House will
delay the building's demolition at an extra cost to the city.  But
it won't affect the time line of the long awaited Broad Street
Parkway, officials said.

Construction crews, who began dismantling the Boiler House at the
Nashua millyard in March, found an additional ring of asbestos in
the roof area, forcing them to delay the work while they re-worked
the asbestos abatement plan with state environmental officials,
according to Steve Dookran, the city engineer.

The additional removal work, covered under the city's existing
contract, won't add to the city's $1 million demolition agreement
with NCM Demolition and Remediation.  But it will cost the city an
extra $45,000 in consulting fees, Dookran said on April 23, and it
could add as much as two months to the project time line.

Initially, crews expected to complete the demolition project by
the end of April, but the additional asbestos may now delay it
into the end of June.  The Boiler House sits in the path where the
Broad Street Parkway will feed into Millyard Technology Park.

"It is certainly more time and effort for the contractor, but for
the city . . . I don't think it's a huge impact," Dookran said.

"There are other things going on (with the Parkway) that will be
unaffected by this," he said.  "That said, we'd like to get this
done and completed as soon as possible."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ministry Denies Fibro Problem in Swaziland
-----------------------------------------------------------
Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Lateline's Ginny Stein
reports that Swaziland, Africa's last remaining absolute monarchy,
is financially crippled.

With the world's highest rates of HIV infection and more than
120,000 orphaned children, a Canadian entrepreneur is trying to
help.

Five years after the mining town of Bulembu was abandoned, the
Canadian bought it and now hundreds of children call the mountain
town home.

But as Africa correspondent Ginny Stein reports, the town's deadly
past, symbolized by a massive asbestos tailings mountain, is
putting its future at risk.

Lost in the mountains of Swaziland, Bulembu became a ghost town
when its asbestos mine closed, Stein relates.

Now the town is back, centered on an orphanage taking in children
whose parents have often died of AIDS or been abandoned.

Ruth Boys, Child Care Manager at Bulembu Ministries, relates:
"We've had one child that was found in a rubbish bag on a rubbish
dump.  So as they ripped open the bag, they found the small baby
inside still with the umbilical cord.  So they took to the police
and then the child protection unit brought them directly to us."

A year after Bulembu all but shut down, a Canadian entrepreneur
bought it and donated it to a church ministry charged with
reviving the town.

Dennis Neville, Education Director at Bulembu Ministries says:
"Our vision is to see Swaziland transformed by impacting, by
pouring into the lives of a group of orphans and vulnerable
children who can grow up with the right education, with the right
health care, the right environment to go out there and become
leaders in Swaziland."

When the town was bought, it came with hundreds of hectares of
forest surrounding it.  The town's timber mill now runs five days
a week, according to Stein.

Kutt Puttkammer, Forestry Manager at Bulembu Ministries relates:
"They've got 900 hectares of plantations.  And then the proceeds
that come from the sawmill itself get ploughed back into the child
care effort of Bulembu."

There's also a bakery, a dairy and a water bottling plant and a
lodge to entice people to stay, Stein notes.

Once a mining town of more than 10,000 people, there are ambitious
plans to make this community self-reliant once more.  There are
more than 1,200 orphans and caregivers at the moment, but there
are plans to dramatically increase that number to more than 2,000.

The one thing no one's mentioning -- the massive mountain of
asbestos tailings that looms large over the town.

In Bulembu, there's quiet acceptance of the killer that's within.
Asbestos is everywhere.  World health experts have long accepted
that there is no safe level of exposure to any form of asbestos,
including the most common form, white or chrysotile asbestos.

In an interview, Stein asks Puttkammer: "You're not worried by
it?"

Puttkammer: "No.  Not worried about it at all.  Because it's the
chrysotile, it has a harder fiber than the other types which I
don't know the names of.  So it doesn't become airborne."

Ruth Boys says they obviously carried out tests and things before,
they set anything up.  And the asbestos that was mined was
actually not the dangerous kind.  It was the green -- the green
asbestos.

Tina Da Cruz, Director of the Asbestos Relief Trust Of South
Africa, disagrees.  She says, "Certainly my experience in working
with the asbestos trust, this asbestos trust is that any form of
asbestos is dangerous, whether it be crystallite or chrysotile."

"It's rather shocking, the size of the dump and the location.
It's square in the middle of town."  She says like many
communities affected by asbestos mining, ignorance about its
dangers are commonplace.

"They may have heard of the dangers of asbestos, but I don't think
they truly appreciate what those dangers are," Da Cruz says.

She's visited Bulembu in the past, trying to aid those affected by
asbestos mining.  She believes the town's existence needs to be
questioned.

"Any assessment, any program to address the problem would need to
consider whether the town needs to be relocated and closed down or
whether one can simply rehabilitate and continue living, allowing
the community to live there," Da Cruz says.

And while Bulembu Ministries claim there is no problem, when it
comes to fundraising, any mention of asbestos is missing from its
own website.

Denniss Neville replies: "Um, I think partly just again because
it's -- the problem with asbestos, it does paint the wrong
perception in people's minds."

There is no doubting Swaziland needs help.  It has the world's
highest rate of HIV infection.  One in four adults are infected
and more than 10% of the total population are orphans.

But there are real questions that hang over this town and the harm
it may be doing to those the church group that's running Bulembu
is trying to help.  Bulembu Ministries maintains it has carried
out air testing that shows it's safe to live here, but despite
repeated requests, it's yet to provide any proof of any testing,
according to Stein.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ArvinMeritor's Plea vs. $4.5MM Verdict Denied
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kenneth Ofgang of the Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports that
the First District Court of Appeal has affirmed a judgment
requiring a manufacturer of asbestos-lined brake shoes to pay $4.5
million in punitive damages to the widow of a cancer victim.

The conduct of ArvinMeritor's predecessor company in failing to
warn purchasers of the carcinogenic linings was sufficiently
reprehensible to justify the award, Justice Ignacio Ruvolo wrote
Thursday, April 22, for Div. Four.  The punitive damages were 2.4
times the compensatory damages, although ArvinMeritor was not
responsible for any of the compensatory damages because they were
completely offset by settlements with other parties.

The suit was brought by Gordon and Emily Bankhead.  Gordon
Bankhead died while ArvinMeritor's appeal was pending.

The Bankheads sued after Gordon Bankhead was diagnosed with
mesothelioma in January 2010.  The complaint raised products
liability claims against several defendants, including
ArvinMeritor, a Michigan-based manufacturer of automobile
products.

The company was formed by the merger of Meritor Automotive, Inc.,
and Arvin Industries, Inc., in 2000.  Meritor had been formed in
1997, as a spinoff of Rockwell International's automotive
division.  The company shortened its name to Meritor, Inc., last
year.

The complaint alleged that Gordon Bankhead had worked for more
than 30 years for Sea-Land Shipping Company in Oakland and for
other companies that serviced and repaired heavy duty vehicles,
and that he regularly handled asbestos-containing breaks, and was
present when those brakes were ground or otherwise used in ways
that caused him to breathe asbestos dust.  Rockwell and another
defendant were alleged to have attached asbestos-containing
linings to brake shoes and axles.

The case went to trial in October 2010 in Alameda Superior Court
against the non-settling defendants.  In the first phase, Pneumo
Abex LLC, ArvinMeritor, and Carlisle Corporation were found liable
for $3.9 million in damages -- with ArvinMeritor liable jointly
and severally liable for $1.47 million in economic damages, and
severally liable for 15% of $2.5 million, or $375,000, in
noneconomic damages, for a total of $1.85 million.

In phase two, after Carlisle settled, the jury awarded punitive
damages of $9 million against Abex and $4.5 million against
ArvinMeritor.  Abex's appeal remains pending and was argued
April 10.

ArvinMeritor argued that the second-phase verdict was excessive in
light of the company's financial condition, as reflected by
testimony that it had a net worth of -$1.023 billion, and was
disproportionate to the amount of compensatory damages.

But Ruvolo, writing for the Court of Appeal, said the jury had
substantial evidence that the company's net worth was not a true
reflection of its financial condition and ability to pay.  He
noted that the company was profitable and had a substantial cash
flow, which enabled it to borrow more than $200 million in the
year prior to trial, to maintain a credit line of $539 million,
and to pay millions of dollars in executive compensation.

As for the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages, the jurist
said it was within the bounds of California law and federal due
process.

He cited several cases applying the U.S. Supreme Court's punitive
damage jurisprudence, including Gober v. Ralphs Grocery Co. (2006)
137 Cal.App.4th 204.  There the court allowed a six-to-one ratio
in a sexual harassment case, even though the conduct was "only
moderately reprehensible," Ruvolo explained, in that it did not
involve actual or threatened physical harm, and the harasser was
transferred promptly after the employer was told what had
happened.

In this case, the presiding justice noted, there was testimony
that Rockwell knew during the 1960s that exposure to asbestos dust
could cause disease, and that it complained to Abex on at least
two occasions in the 1970s about asbestos dust in the brake
linings, but it did not place any warnings on the products until
the early 1980s, did not place cancer-specific warnings on them
until 1987, and continued to sell them into the following decade.

That testimony, Ruvolo said, is sufficient to place the
defendant's conduct at the high end of the reprehensibility scale,
and thus justifies the 2.4-to-1 ratio, even after taking into
consideration the obvious "inclusion of a punitive element" in the
noneconomic damages award.

The case is Bankhead v. ArvinMeritor, Inc., 12 S.O.S. 1776.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Call to Exempt ARD Sufferers From Bill Changes
---------------------------------------------------------------
BBC News UK Politics relates that sufferers of asbestos-related
cancer will initially be exempt from government changes to "no-
win, no-fee" rules, a justice minister has said.

Jonathan Djanogly said there would first be a review of the
changes, which will see successful claimants pay part of their
damages to their solicitors.

Peers and campaigners say mesothelioma victims should be exempt
because the illness's severity is indisputable.

The government says the changes are designed to deter spurious
claims.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that can take decades to
develop.

Most sufferers came into contact with asbestos during the course
of their work -- for example, plumbers and teachers who
encountered the material in 1960s schools.

The changes to no-win, no-fee in England and Wales -- contained in
the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill -- will
prevent lawyers claiming "success fees" from the losing side.

Instead, it will see them receive a share of the compensation
given to their own client -- up to a maximum of 25% of the total
pay-out.

Mr. Djanogly said there had been "careful reflection about the
special case of mesothelioma sufferers", and a delay would now be
imposed.

He also said the government was looking at ways of making it
easier for sufferers and their solicitors to trace their former
employer's insurers.

He told the Commons: "The government is committed to action on
this point.

"We are working closely with insurers and other stakeholders on
this pressing issue, with a view to making an announcement on this
issue by this July."

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan welcomed the concession: "The
key question here is should victims of industrial diseases like
mesothelioma have to hand over part of their damages to their
lawyers and insurer, or should the wrongdoers fund the cost of the
successful litigation?

"Someone suffering this horrible disease is not making up their
cancer to make a quick buck.  They cannot possibly be part of the
compensation culture."

Conservative MP Tracey Crouch also welcomed the move, saying: "It
is not right to put victims of an extraordinary disease, where no
fraud is possible and compensation is certain, into a situation
where in their last few months of life they are being forced to
shop around for a lawyer in order to pay the least amount of
success fees."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM to Attend May Harvard Medical ARD Conference
------------------------------------------------------------------
Deborah Schweizer, partner with one of the nation's leading
mesothelioma law firms, Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason (CPSM),
will attend the Harvard Medical School Asbestos Related Pulmonary
Disease Conference offered by the Massachusetts General Hospital
Department of Medicine in Boston in two weeks, Saturday and
Sunday, May 5-6, 2012.  The conference will not only cover an in-
depth understanding of asbestos related diseases but will also
focus on new information regarding diagnosis, management and
treatment of mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Other prime areas of focus will be:

   -- Diagnoses of malignant mesothelioma
   -- Diagnosis of asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease
   -- Most effective imaging techniques for diagnosis of
      mesothelioma and asbestos related diseases
   -- Quantitation of asbestos in tissue samples

The course is particularly relevant to anyone who is part of
either the mesothelioma patient's medical team or legal team.
It's important that asbestos attorneys have the ability to
accurately review, understand and explain the pathology of
malignant mesothelioma both to clients as well as jurors.  And
although mesothelioma attorneys do not give medical advice,
knowing the best, most effective and up-to-date methods of
diagnosing and treating mesothelioma is very useful to clients.

Mesothelioma is a terminal form of asbestos cancer with no cure
and very short life expectancy from time of diagnosis.  Therefore,
being able to share with clients all the mesothelioma treatment
options available when they first call is crucial.

Deborah Schweizer, as well as all the attorneys at CPSM, goes
above and beyond to help her clients get the best legal
representation with the least intrusion to the patient and their
family's life.  Part of the firm's exceptional reputation is based
on the fact that in addition to being experts in mesothelioma law,
CPSM is also deeply committed to helping clients stay current with
the latest advances in medical management of mesothelioma and
asbestosis.

           About Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason

Unlike larger law firms that are diversified in their areas of
practice, CPSM prides itself not only in being a pioneer in the
area of mesothelioma law, but also exclusively handling only
asbestos lawsuits.  This focus allows them to offer unparalleled
representation and expert information to clients and their
families who are coping with mesothelioma or asbestosis.  If you
have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease and want the
best representation possible, call today at 1-800-440-4262 to
speak directly with an attorney for a no-cost case evaluation.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: A Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos 2012
------------------------------------------------------------
Four years ago sisters Leah Nielsen and Stacy Cattran watched
their electrician father die an agonizing death from mesothelioma,
a terminal lung cancer caused only by asbestos due to his exposure
decades earlier.  They learned that as early as the 1880s asbestos
was found to be dangerous and in the 1930s asbestos industry
officials in Canada knew the deadly consequences of their product.
Thousands of people would still be alive today if an organized
campaign of misinformation, junk science, and cover-ups had not
been allowed to convince Canadians that asbestos was safe.  We
call for a public inquiry into the tens of thousands of Canadian
asbestos deaths, many of which have not even been properly
tracked.  Asbestos is Canada's #1 occupational killer and these
deaths are completely preventable.  Future generations will not
have to suffer if asbestos is removed and banned.  Instead legal
use of asbestos continues in cement and is even legal in
children's toys, deserted open pit asbestos mines have teens
driving ATVs through them kicking up asbestos fibers, and
thousands of tons of asbestos are shipped to the developing world
where workers are not warned of its deadly nature.  In Italy,
asbestos magnates were recently sentenced to 16 years in prison
and ordered to pay millions of dollars in fines.  In Canada,
asbestos magnates are given millions of dollars in funding by the
government.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at 11 am, please join Leah Nielsen
and Stacy Cattran at Dow People Place, Centennial Park, Sarnia,
Ontario to honor loved ones lost to asbestos and demand an end to
Canadian asbestos production, a ban on asbestos use, and justice
for those who have died.

Everyone welcome; no registration required.  Those who have lost a
loved one to asbestos, or have a loved one currently fighting
asbestos related disease, are asked to bring a copy of a picture
of the victim with name and age that can be pinned to a memorial.

Following 25 minutes of speeches, all will walk along Front Street
to the flags at London Road, curve back along the waterfront, and
end at the Victims of Chemical Valley Memorial.

Leah Nielsen and Stacy Cattran call for a public inquiry into the
purposeful misinformation campaign and industry cover-ups that
have led to the deaths of thousands of Canadians from asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Work on Contaminated Hancher Auditorium to Start
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Diane Heldt of The Gazette reports that the presence of asbestos
at the flood-damaged Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City means a
slower demolition process, but that building should start coming
down this summer, University of Iowa President Sally Mason said
April 24.

In her annual visit to the UI Faculty Senate, Mason said the
eventual demolition will be a slow process "because it contains a
good deal of asbestos" so workers must mitigate and contain that.

The discovery wasn't surprising given that asbestos is common in
buildings of Hancher's age, Mason said.  The performing arts
facility was built in 1972 and heavily damaged in the Floods of
2008.  A new Hancher Auditorium will be built up the hill from the
current structure, to the north.

Groundbreaking on several flood-recovery projects should happen
within the next year, Mason said, and university officials expect
to spend about $20 million per month on new construction for the
next four to five years, including flood-related projects and work
at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Also at the meeting, faculty members voted to support an interim
university policy about video surveillance equipment on campus.
The group plans to revisit the topic in a discussion next fall.

UI officials believe there are about 700 cameras on campus used
for surveillance, but there is no policy on how they're approved,
where they can be placed and how they're used.

An installation moratorium was put into effect last summer when
questions about the process came up, said Steve Fleagle, associate
vice president for information technology services.  About 400
more cameras have since been requested, many for new buildings
under construction.

"So I think we've got a lot of pent-up demand," he said.

The policy would establish a process for approval and gather a
listing of all existing surveillance equipment.  Officials want to
make sure the decisions are made at the appropriate levels of the
university, they said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pottstown School Board Opens to Abatement Bids
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Pottstown Post reports that a legal advertisement published
Saturday, April 21, 2012, on the order of the Pottstown School
District Board of School Directors announced it would begin to
solicit contractors' bids for the removal of asbestos building
material at Barth Elementary School on West Walnut Street.  The
text of the notice appears below:

POTTSTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS, POTTSTOWN, PA,
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT sealed bids will be received by the
Pottstown School District, 230 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA 19464,
Montgomery County, for Asbestos Removal and Related Work at the
Barth Elementary School, 467 West Walnut Street, Pottstown, PA
19464.

All work incidentals thereto in accordance with the requirements
of the specifications and drawings prepared and supplied by
Environmental Control Systems, Inc. Sealed Bids will be received
as follows: Contract No. 1 -- Asbestos removal and Related Work at
the Pottstown School District's, Barth Elementary School, 467 West
Walnut Street, Pottstown PA, 19464.

Bids for the above Contract No. 1 will be received by the
Designated Person for the Board of Education Environmental Control
Systems, Inc at the Pottstown School District Administrative
Offices located at 230 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 by 2:00
PM (Prevailing Time), on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 and will be opened
and evaluated for the next Public School Board Meeting, to be held
on May 17, 2012.  Drawings, Specifications and other contract
Documents for the proposed work are on file in the office of
Environmental Control Systems, Inc, at 950 Sussex Blvd, Broomall,
PA 19008, (Voice 610-328-2880) (Fax 610-328-9819).  Drawings and
Specifications will be furnished for a fee of $50.00 US upon
application to Environmental Control Systems, Inc., at the
Mandatory Pre-Bid Walk-Through conference to be held at 3:30 PM,
on May 1, 2012 at the Pottstown School District's Barth Elementary
School, 467 West Walnut Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.  Directions
can be found by calling our offices at 610-328-2880, or on the
internet.

The Board of Education reserves the right to reject any and all
bids or to waive informality in the bidding process if it is in
the interest of the Board of Directors to do so.

Wayne R. Pistoia, MSE, NSPE Designated Person for the Pottstown
School District Project No. PSD/BE/4242012-1


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Korean PM Enforces Rule on Asbestos Regulations
----------------------------------------------------------------
Yonhap News Korea reports that the government said on April 25,
that it will tighten regulations on the use of asbestos by
examining levels of the carcinogenic construction material in
public buildings and other sites.

Asbestos exposure becomes a health concern when high
concentrations of asbestos fibers are inhaled over time, causing
asthma, respiratory disease or even lung cancer.  South Korea has
banned the material's use in new construction projects since the
late 1990s for health and safety reasons.

At a weekly Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Kim
Hwang-sik, the government passed an enforcement ordinance to
require all state or public institution buildings with a total
floor area of 500 square meters or more to survey their asbestos
levels.

Buildings with at least 50 square meters of asbestos-containing
material will have to take control measures, Cabinet members
agreed.

The government said it will also limit the permissible level of
asbestos near sites removing the material to 0.01 part per cubic
centimeter.

Any imports or production of material possibly containing asbestos
will need the approval of the environment minister, it added.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Film About Eternit Case In Italy Screened
----------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization has scheduled the
screening of the documentary "Dust: The Great Asbestos Trial" on
April 27 to help educate people about the Eternit asbestos trial
in Italy and help raise awareness about the public health risks of
asbestos.  A press conference was to follow with Niccolo Bruna,
one of the filmmakers behind Dust; Linda Reinstein, co-founder of
ADAO; and Pepe Moreno, comic book artist and member of the
creative team behind an international awareness comic book.  Baron
and Budd is a proud 2012 platinum sponsor of ADAO and is honored
to support ADAO's efforts to spread awareness about this landmark
asbestos criminal trial.

In the trial, two executives of Swiss company Eternit were
sentenced to 16 years in prison and fined millions of euros for
failing to protect thousands of workers and nearby residents from
asbestos exposure in northern Italy.  It was one of the largest
environmental cases to ever come to trial in Europe, and it could
set an international precedent for legal proceedings regarding
workplace safety.

"We hope that this documentary can serve as a catalyst for
international change," said John Langdoc, mesothelioma lawyer at
Baron and Budd.  "This trial brought much-needed attention to the
devastation asbestos can cause, but the global war against the
asbestos industry isn't over.  Asbestos still isn't banned in the
U.S. and its use is still rampant in developing nations."

The screening was set at The Charles Aidikoff Screening Room, 150
S. Rodeo Drive #140, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 from 12:00 p.m. to 3
p.m. Friday, April 27, followed by a press conference and Q&A.

Baron and Budd has been protecting the rights of asbestos patients
and their families for more than 30 years and is dedicated to
advocating for patients inside and outside the courtroom.  In
addition to being a 2012 ADAO platinum sponsor, the firm was the
cornerstone donor of the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP)
at Brigham and Women's Hospital.  Firm President and Managing
Shareholder Russell Budd also serves on the Foundation Board of
the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

Working closely with NCCN, Baron and Budd sponsored the printing
and distribution of the NCCN Guidelines for Mesothelioma Patients.
For a free copy of the guidelines, call us at 1.866.844.4556 or
email us at info@baronbudd.com

                   About Baron & Budd, P.C.

The national mesothelioma law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C. has a
more than 30-year history of "Protecting What's Right" for
asbestos sufferers and their families.  As one of the first law
firms to successfully litigate an asbestos lawsuit, Baron & Budd
continues to actively represent veterans, industry workers and
others who are suffering as a result of exposure to asbestos.
Baron & Budd achieved the largest mesothelioma verdict ever in the
state of Texas, a $55 million verdict for an asbestos sufferer and
his family in El Paso, Texas.  Contact Baron and Budd at
1.866.855.1229 for additional information on mesothelioma
treatments, mesothelioma cancer doctors and treatment centers and
mesothelioma attorneys.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Cost Issues Delay Hoffman Park Project
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Wright of The Hunterdon County Democrat reports that there's
another delay for Union Township in its intent to demolish the
decrepit main farmhouse and four other buildings at Hoffman Park.

The latest problems are due to price and asbestos removal
complications.

The Township Committee recently received bids from contractors to
do the work, after learning earlier in the year that three of the
buildings contain asbestos, a mineral in the past commonly used
for building and pipe insulation.  Later it was found that the
inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses,
including cancer, and the government imposed strict rules on its
removal.

The apparent low bidder for the demolition contract was ATG, Inc.,
of Fairfield, which bid $33,000 for the base contract of removing
the three buildings without asbestos.  But according to a
resolution adopted by the committee at its April 18 meeting, ATG
misrepresented that it would be performing the asbestos removal
services, while ATG does not possess the necessary license to do
that, and did not tell the township that it would be using a
subcontractor for that part of the work.

So the township agreed to have ATG only do the $33,000 job,
Committeewoman Michele McBride reported on Wednesday, April 25.

The second-lowest bidder for removing the buildings with asbestos
was Brennan Brothers of Old Bridge, wanting $68,851 for one part
of the work and $128,448 for another part.  But the township had
only estimated the total demolition cost would be $75,000.

The committee "decided to use our ability to request a rebid" for
the work, McBride said.

At its recent meeting, the committee did agree to accept the bid
of $2,177 that Restoration Technologies of Belvidere offered to
pay the township for the salvage rights to the buildings.

According to McBride, the main house has interior features such as
mantelpieces and doors that can be taken out, and it and other
buildings have beams, timbers and other materials that are worth
saving for use elsewhere.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogenic Materials Delay Evans Center Work
---------------------------------------------------------------
Susanne Cervenka of Florida Today relates that Evans Grocery was
once the cornerstone of the predominately black neighborhood that
straddles northeast Palm Bay and south Melbourne.  But an absentee
owner let it fall into disrepair and it became a haven for drugs
and crime.

The community, however, fought back and, with the help of the city
of Palm Bay, reclaimed the building at 1361 Florida Ave.

Plans are in the works to raze the old building and construct the
Evans Center, a new nonprofit grocery store, youth job-training
center, clinic and community meeting place.

James Bartell, the president of the Evans Center board of
directors, updated Florida Today on the $830,000 project and the
determination of the community to make sure it happens.

Question: The community hosted a building demolition celebration
in December, but the building is still up today.  What happened?

Bartell: "An inspection found asbestos and lead-based paint in the
second-floor apartments.  Right now, the demolition is on hold
while we follow the federal guidelines for removal.  We have to
wait until we get all of the information on how to proceed.
Everything is in the city's hands.

"We (the Evans Center board) still meet and we still talk with the
contractor.  We have everyone on board.  We are now just waiting
for the city to give us the go-ahead.

"They are doing the best they can.  Their hands are tied also.  We
call once per week to check on things.  We are going to build this
thing.  One way or another, we are going to do this."

Q: What is the timeline for the project? How long will
construction take once it gets started?

Bartell: "We are looking at maybe one year, once construction gets
started.  That's the thing of it -- just getting the thing torn
down and getting construction started -- that's our particular
dilemma at the time."

Q: How is fundraising going?

Bartell: "We have maybe $300,000 of it.  We are putting in
applications for grants right now.

The land will belong to the city, and the building will be owned
by us (Evans Center LLC).  A lot of the grantors would like to see
that we have a 40-year lease on that property.  We have people
that say we can go ahead and apply.

(Meanwhile, the Evans Center will try to extend a five year-lease
they have now.)  It still has to go through the city attorney and
go to the city council.

Q: Evans Center is in an "enterprise zone," a district created
under Florida law to encourage private investment in distressed
areas.  Your organization recently received a resolution of
support from Palm Bay to become an "approved sponsor" through the
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.  What does that mean
for the project?

Bartell: "In an enterprise zone, people can donate to your charity
and get money back from the state for that donation.  What they
are trying to do is get businesses to move into that particular
area.  That is one way.

"This makes our organization eligible to receive monies and other
types of tax breaks.

"We would hope that would increase donations to the organization
itself."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mower County Votes Down Veit Landfill's Request
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gwen Siewertat kimt.com (Austin, Minn.) reports a county board is
saying they don't want a "loose" type of asbestos in their local
landfill.

The item at question is friable asbestos, its easily crumbled and
concerns are that the loose particulate in the air would be
inhaled.

Veit operates a demolition debris facility on Highway 218, just
north of Austin, they requested an amendment to their conditional
use permit, to start accepting this type of asbestos.

After much discussion, and health and environment concerns from
neighbors, the Mower County board voted down the request 3-to-1.

Mower County Administrator Craig Oscarson says, "If you put
yourself in their shoes, it's probably not the nicest thing to
live next to.  But at the same time, owners of property have
certain rights on how to use their land".

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency does say this material is
safe, if it is wetted down and comes in certain packaging,
immediately buried and not exposed to the air.

But the Minnesota Department of Health and the Environmental
Protection Agency, both say no levels of the friable asbestos are
safe.

It is expected that the Veit landfill will take the matter to
appeals court.

The county board will have to prove they made their decision with
good understanding of the issue.

That landfill does accept the other, harder type of asbestos
already.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bristol MPs Junk Stowey Quarry Proposal
--------------------------------------------------------
BBC News Bristol reports that two Bristol MPs and the leader of
the city council have urged Bath planners to listen to objections
to the proposed disposal of asbestos at a quarry.

An application to dispose of hazardous waste at Stowey Quarry was
initially approved by Bath and North East Somerset Council last
July.

The decision was later quashed but an application has since been
resubmitted by Oaktree Environmental.

Opponents fear asbestos may get into Chew Valley reservoir.

Bristol City Council leader Barbara Janke said some residents were
concerned at the possibility of toxic asbestos disposed of at the
Stowey Quarry site posing a "potentially devastating risk to
public health in Bristol".

Bristol Water, which owns Chew Valley Lake, said it "considers
that the use of Stowey Quarry as a waste disposal site is
inappropriate and represents a risk to the long term quality of
the water resource at Chew Valley Lake."

Labour MPs Kerry McCarthy and Dawn Primarolo have also written to
Bath council planners after being contacted by concerned
residents.

The Environment Agency said it would be objecting to the plans.

A spokesperson for Bath and North East Somerset Council said no
decision would be made on the application before June 6.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: No Alarms Raised Over Fibro Found in Larkin High
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Lenore T. Adkins of The Daily Herald reports that an extensive
renovation project -- and not the presence of asbestos -- is the
reason why the last day of classes at Larkin High School will be
June 1, instead of June 4, a U-46 official said on April 24.

The issue was the subject of a discussion that started April 22 on
Elgin Area School District U-46's Facebook page.  The district
responded on April 24 to set the record straight for concerned
parents.

Asbestos was discovered at Larkin in the insulation of the piping
located in the mechanical rooms that provide heating, ventilation
and air conditioning for the locker rooms and gymnasium, U-46
Chief of Staff Tony Sanders said.

He added that safety precautions are not necessary because nobody
is in any danger.

The asbestos was found as the district prepares to embark on an
extensive $5.6 million renovation at Larkin that involves
replacing the school's boilers, piping, air handler units,
chillers and other items.  "Any time we're ripping out these
boilers, any piping, sometimes ceiling tiles that were installed
back in the time asbestos was commonplace, you'll find asbestos
and it has to be abated before you do the project," Sanders said.
The district has spent $223,290 on a state-approved contractor
that will encapsulate or remove the asbestos.

Larkin was built in 1962 and the asbestos is thought to be
original to the building.

Asbestos is common for old buildings, and in 2010 alone U-46
officials discovered the substance at four other Elgin schools, he
said.

School is letting out June 1 to give the workers an extra day to
work on the renovation project, he said.

June 1 is also the final day of classes for Elgin High School,
which is being repainted; Lords Park Elementary School, which is
having boiler and chiller work done; and at Harriet Gifford
Elementary School, because the streets around it are being
repaved.

June 4 is the last day of school for everyone else.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Ct. Reverses Ruling on Evidence
--------------------------------------------------------
Cindy Horak, individually and as the special administrator of the
estate of her father, George Benzinger, appeals from the circuit
court's judgment dismissing her claims against Building Services
Industrial Sales Company.  Horak asserts that the circuit court
erred when it found that the invoices Horak wanted to submit to
prove that BSIS exposed Benzinger to asbestos, ultimately leading
to his death, were inadmissible hearsay.

Judge Kitty K. Brennan of the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin,
District I, agreed with Horak that the invoices are admissible,
reversing and remanding this case to the circuit court.  Judge
Brennan concluded that the invoices were authentic pointing out
that the invoices were possessed and turned over to Horak by
BSIS's agent -- its former attorney -- suggests their
authenticity.  Judge Brennan added that because the invoices are
authentic there is no need for Horak to authenticate those
invoices.

The case is Cindy Horak, Individually and as Special Administrator
of the Estate of George Benzinger, Plaintiff-Appellant, v.
Building Services Industrial Sales Company, Defendant-Respondent,
Trane US Inc., f/d/b American Standard Inc., Metropolitan Life
Insurance Company and Owens Illinois, Inc., Defendants, No.
2011AP414 (Wis. App. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Brennan's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/xTJG5cfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ariz. Appeals Court Affirms Jurisdiction Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Ann A. Scott Timmer of the Court of Appeals of Arizona,
Division One, Department A, affirmed a trial court's summary
judgment ruling applying New Mexico law in favor of the defendant
in the asbestos-related wrongful death case entitled, VICKI L.
POUNDERS, individually and as surviving wife of DUDLEY W.
POUNDERS, Deceased, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. ENSERCH E&C, INC. nka
EECI, Inc.; RILEY POWER, INC. fna RILEY STOKER CORPOATION; BW/IP,
INC., and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Defendants/Appellees, No.
1 CA-CV 11-0282 (Ariz. App. Ct.).

Judge Timmer concluded, among other things, that the Appellees'
purportedly tortious conduct first took effect on Mr. Pounders in
New Mexico where he repeatedly inhaled asbestos fibers, which
eventually manifested years later in Arizona as mesothelioma and
gave rise to a claim against the Appellees and others.  For this
reason, New Mexico is the place of injury for purposes of
Restatement Sec. 175, and New Mexico substantive law presumptively
applies unless application of Restatement Sec. 6 principles
reveals Arizona has a more significant relationship with events or
the parties, Judge Timmer added.

A copy of Judge Timmer's Decision, dated April 17, 2012, is
available at http://is.gd/nSaOdCfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Ct. Retains Jurisdiction of Thompson Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Leslie E. Kagayashi, in an April 17, 2012 order, denied
David M. Thompson, Jr.'s Motion to Remand an asbestos-related
personal injury lawsuit against several defendants, including IMO
Industries, Inc., Crane Co., Air & Liquid Systems Corporation,
successor by merger to Buffalo Pumps, Inc., and Warren Pumps, LLC,
after finding that at least one of the Defendants has established
all of the requirements necessary for federal officer removal.
This, according to Judge Kagayashi, is sufficient to confer
jurisdiction over all Defendants, even assuming, arguendo, the
other Removing Defendants were unable to prove that they were
entitled to federal officer removal jurisdiction.  The Court
concluded that removal was proper and that the Court has
jurisdiction over the instant case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec.
1442(a)(1).

The case is DAVID M. THOMPSON, JR., Plaintiff, v. CRANE COMPANY,
ET AL. Defendants, Civil No. 11-00638 LEK-RLP (Hawaii).  A copy of
Judge Kagayashi's Decision is available at http://is.gd/eGukbH
from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeal From Denial of Insurance Claim Junked
-------------------------------------------------------------
In an appeal, Robert A. Keasbey Company raises the issue of
whether the liquidator of Integrity Insurance Company properly
exercised his discretion, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 17:30C-28b, in
denying recovery to third-party claimants who had asserted
contingent claims against Integrity's estate arising from alleged
asbestos-related injuries.

In an April 18, 2012, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate
Division, affirmed the decision of the Special Master and the
liquidation court, which both considered the issue, that there was
no abuse of discretion.

"We accept the Liquidator's representation that, as of December
31, 2010, the estate had already approved claims with a total
value of $1.217 billion, whereas there was only $914 million
available for distribution, leaving a deficit of approximately
$303 million.  We see no reasoned basis for further increasing
that deficit by $35 million through recognition of a claim whose
value is merely a matter of estimation, thereby reducing the
recoveries of claimants whose claims have become absolute, or for
preferring the contingent claims of this class over the first-
party contingent claims that the Court ruled were legally required
to be denied pursuant to N.J.S.A. 17:30C-28a," the Supreme Court
said.

The case is IN THE MATTER OF THE LIQUIDATION OF INTEGRITY
INSURANCE COMPANY/THE DEFENDANT CLASS/ROBERT A. KEASBEY COMPANY,
No. A-4769-10T1 (N.J. Super. Ct.).  A copy of the April 18
Decision is available at http://is.gd/rFHVs1from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Ct. Affirms Discovery Ruling in CSX Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
In an order dated March 27, 2012, a magistrate judge granted in
part and denied in part CSX Transportation Inc.'s motion for
protective order concerning Mark Coulter's first set of document
requests to plaintiff regarding third amended complaint.  The
magistrate judge also granted in part and denied in part Mr.
Coulter's motion to compel and granted in part and denied in part
CSX's motion to compel responses to its first requests for
production to defendants Robert Peirce, Louis Raymond and Mr.
Coulter.  CSX objected to the March 27th Order and filed a motion
to stay portions of the March 27th Order.  The defendants opposed
the motion for stay.

In a memorandum opinion dated April 18, 2012, Judge Frederick P.
Stamp, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of West Virginia affirmed the magistrate judge's March 27th Order
and denied CSX's motion for stay.

Judge Stamp pointed out that during the Feb. 27, 2012 evidentiary
hearing, counsel for CSX acknowledged that the magistrate judge
was considering Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in
deciding whether to order the discovery of documents in the non-
Peirce Firm cases.  The record reveals that in addition to hearing
evidence on CSX's ability to pay, the magistrate judge also
considered CSX's arguments with regard to the relevance of the
documents and the burden of producing them, Judge Stamp further
pointed out.  The District Court found no clear error in the
magistrate judge's rejection of CSX's arguments that the
production of these documents would be cumulative and burdensome.

The case is CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC., Plaintiff, v. ROBERT V.
GILKISON, PEIRCE, RAIMOND & COULTER, P.C., a Pennsylvania
professional corporation a/k/a ROBERT PEIRCE & ASSOCIATES, P.C., a
Pennsylvania professional corporation, ROBERT PEIRCE, JR., LOUIS
A. RAIMOND, MARK T. COULTER and RAY HARRON, M.D., Defendants,
Civil Action No. 5:05CV202 (N.D. W.Va.).  A copy of Judge Stamp's
Decision is available at http://is.gd/w2mP3Tfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Ct. Remands Bouchard Suit v. Lockheed
------------------------------------------------------------
Before the Court are Lola Bouchard, et al.'s Motion to Expedite
Remand and Motion for Remand, wherein the Plaintiffs assert first
that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania lacks jurisdiction over this matter and second that
Defendant Lockheed Shipbuilding Corporation's removal under the
federal officer removal statute was untimely and improper.

In an April 17, 2012 memorandum, District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno
finds that it does have jurisdiction over this matter and that
Defendant's removal was both timely and proper.

The case is LOLA BOUCHARD, et al., Plaintiffs, v. CBS CORPORATION,
et al., Defendants, E.D. PA Civil Action No. 2:11-CV-66270-ER,
Consolidated Under MDL-875, Case No. 11-00458, (E.D. Pa.).  A copy
of Judge Robreno's Decision is available at http://is.gd/JkuYTt
from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dist. Court Won't Review Pretrial Ruling
---------------------------------------------------------
Counsel for defendant in TRUDY L. BRACKETT, Administratrix of the
Estate of William Newell Ledford, Deceased, et al., Plaintiffs, v.
ABEX CORPORATION, et al., Defendants, Civil Case No. 4:94cv66
(W.D.N.C.), asked the U.S. District Court for the Western District
of North Carolina, Asheville/Shelby Division, to proceed with the
pretrial conference and trial in the case for 120 days.  The Court
denied the motion and the Defendant sought reconsideration.

District Judge Martin Reidinger, in an April 18, 2012 order,
denied the motion for reconsideration at this time.  Should the
Defendant seek reconsideration of this ruling at a later date, the
Defendant should provide the Court with a proposed schedule,
approved by both parties, for the completion of all pretrial
matters in this case.

A copy of Judge Reidinger's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/p8oPxNfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Ct. Affirms Judgment v. ArvinMeritor
-------------------------------------------------------------
In an asbestos personal injury case, a jury found ArvinMeritor,
Inc., liable to Gordon and Emily Bankhead for compensatory and
punitive damages.  On appeal, ArvinMeritor does not challenge the
jury's verdicts as to liability or the amount of compensatory
damages.  It contends only that the trial court erred in declining
to reduce the amount of punitive damages awarded by the jury.

ArvinMeritor disputes the punitive damages award on two grounds:
first, that the amount is excessive under California law in light
of ArvinMeritor's financial condition, and in particular, the
evidence that ArvinMeritor has a negative net worth; and second,
that the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages is so high as
to violate the due process clause of the United States
Constitution, under the guidelines adopted by the United States
Supreme Court.

In an April 19, 2012 opinion, Justice Ignazio J. Ruvolo of the
Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division Four,
affirmed the jury's decision holding that, as to the first
contention, there is no legal requirement that punitive damages
must be measured against a defendant's net worth.  In this case,
there was expert testimony that ArvinMeritor's net worth was not a
reliable indicator of its ability to pay punitive damages, and
that other indicators in its financial data merited the amount of
the award, Justice Ruvolo pointed out.

As to ArvinMeritor's second contention, the Appellate Court
concluded that the 2.4-to-one ratio of punitive damages to
compensatory damages awarded by the jury did not violate the
federal due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, or the
guidelines for making such awards as articulated by the United
States Supreme Court.

The case is GORDON BANKHEAD et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents, v.
ArvinMeritor, INC., Defendant and Appellant, Nos. A131587, A132985
(Calif. App. Ct.).  A copy of Justice Ruvolo's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/evzR6ifrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plaintiffs Have Burden to Provide Discovery Docs
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, IN RE: ASBESTOS PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION (No.
VI). CERTAIN Plaintiffs, v. MICHAEL E. KUNZ, CERTAIN Defendants,
MDL Docket No. 875, Civil Action No. 2:02-md-875 (E.D. Pa.),
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth T. Hey of the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in an April 18, 2012
memorandum opinion, held that the plaintiffs have the burden of
producing documents for the purpose of discovery and pretrial.

"Although plaintiffs protest that the burden on them is equal to
the burden on the defendants to sift through the vessel service
histories and other documents to identify witnesses, that simply
cannot be the case as the information originated with them," the
judge said.  "Plaintiffs created these documents as a way to bring
their cases, and can fairly be expected to make use of them to
assist the defendants in identifying and investigating the
evidence to be offered against them.  Additionally, plaintiffs are
obliged to have and to share the type of information contained in
paragraph 10 of the scheduling orders."

The judge also held that, "When dealing with 14,000 potential
witnesses, many of whom are now deceased or infirm, and all of
whom are or were represented by plaintiffs' counsel, it is not
reasonable to expect defendants to identify the witnesses against
them nor the likely testimony that will be provided.  That burden
rests with the plaintiffs here."

The docket consists of maritime cases filed by a single law firm
on behalf of individuals who allege injury due to asbestos
exposure during their work on commercial ships. They were filed
many years ago, and after being transferred into NIDL 875 remained
dormant for years before being reactivated.

The cases were filed by attorneys of the Jacques Admiralty Law
Firm.  Recently attorneys of Motley Rice LLC have also entered
their appearances and are working together with the Jacques firm
on behalf of all plaintiffs.

A copy of Judge Hey's Decision is available at http://is.gd/N9PcK3
from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Inmate's Claim v. Mayor Bloomberg
---------------------------------------------------------------
A prisoner incarcerated currently in the Watertown Correctional
Facility filed a pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983,
seeking damages and injunctive relief.  The plaintiff's claims
arise out of the alleged presence of asbestos in the Anna M. Koss
Center on Rikers Island while he was held there.  The plaintiff
sued Mayor Bloomberg; the "New York City Department of
Corrections" (actually the New York City Department of Correction
("NYCDOC")); NYCDOC Commissioner Schriro; AMKC Warden Cripp; AMKC
"Director of Asbestos" Himmons; an AMKC correction officer named
Scott and AMKC "I.G.R.C. Representative" Landan.

In an April 17, 2012 memorandum and order, Judge Ohn G. Koeltl of
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
dismissed, without prejudice, the plaintiff's claims against Mayor
Bloomberg.  The Court also dismissed the plaintiff's claims
against the "New York City Department of Corrections."  The Court
directed the Clerk of Court to add the City of New York as a
defendant under Fed. R. Civ. P. 21.  The Clerk of the Court is
also directed to notify the New York City Department of Correction
and the New York City Law Department of this action.

The case is ANTHONY PRATT, Plaintiff, v. MAYOR BLOOMBERG, M. etc.
al; NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS; DORA B. SCHRIRO;
WARDEN CRIPP; MR. HIMMONS; CORRECTION OFFICER SCOTT; MRS. LANDAN,
Defendants, No. 11 Civ. 8355 (JGK)(S.D.N.Y.).  A copy of Judge
Koeltl's Decision is available at http://is.gd/tROCCEfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3rd Cir. Sides With Federal-Mogul in Insurer Row
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the
rulings of the bankruptcy and district courts allowing Federal-
Mogul Global to transfer rights under its insurance liability
policies to the asbestos personal-injury trust created under
Federal-Mogul's Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

Federal-Mogul was facing 500,000 personal-injury claims when it
filed for bankruptcy in October 2001, with many more anticipated
in the future.  Federal-Mogul said it expended more than $350
million in the preceding year defending and indemnifying asbestos
claims.

In its proposed plan for reorganization, Federal-Mogul sought to
obtain an injunction under 11 U.S.C. Sec. 524(g) to channel
present and future asbestos-related claims to a post-confirmation
trust.  The plan assigned various assets to the trust, including
Federal-Mogul's rights to recovery under liability insurance.  The
plan also contained "insurance neutrality" provisions granting
insurers the right to assert against the trust any defense to
coverage already available under the policies, excepting only the
defense that the transfer to the trust violated the policies'
anti-assignment provisions.

The insurance companies that provided liability policies to the
Debtors prior to bankruptcy objected to the plan's confirmation,
asserting the plan violated the policies' anti-assignment
provisions -- standard clauses in liability policies that bar the
insured from transferring the policies or insurance rights without
the insurers' consent.  Federal-Mogul argued the anti-assignment
provisions were preempted under 11 U.S.C. Sec. 1123(a)(5)(B),
which provides that a Chapter 11 reorganization plan shall provide
adequate means for its implementation, potentially including
transfer of estate property, "notwithstanding otherwise applicable
nonbankruptcy law."

The parties agreed to bifurcate the proceedings and resolve the
issue separately, with the right to appeal the bankruptcy court's
preemption judgment.  On Nov. 8, 2007, with all other objections
resolved, the Bankruptcy Court confirmed the plan, and the
District Court affirmed.  The plan went into effect on Dec. 27,
2007.

On March 19, 2008, the Bankruptcy Court issued its Preemption
Order and Memorandum Opinion, holding the Bankruptcy Code
preempted the anti-assignment provisions within the insurers'
policies.  It reasoned that 11 U.S.C. Sec. 541 permitted the
assignment of the insurance rights to the bankruptcy estate, and
11 U.S.C. Sec. 1123(a)(5) allowed transfer of the rights to the
Sec. 524(g) trust.  It also relied on state insurance-law doctrine
that assignment after the occurrence giving rise to liability does
not violate anti-assignment provisions, since "there will be no
additional risk to the insurance companies by virtue of the
assignments."  The court also rejected a number of the insurers'
contentions, holding that the presumption against preemption was
inapplicable given the plain meaning of Sec. 1123(a), that the
preemptive scope of Sec. 1123(a)(5) reaches private contracts, and
that the asbestos insurance policies were not executory contracts
subject to 11 U.S.C. Sec. 365.

The District Court affirmed, noting that the assignment of the
insurance policies was consistent with public policy, since the
contrary result would grant the insurers a windfall because
"debtors with sizeable insurance assets could never avail
themselves of the very trust meant to alleviate" crushing asbestos
liability.

A copy of the Third Circuit's May 1 opinion, penned by Anthony
Joseph Scirica, is available at http://is.gd/KIKWXqfrom
Leagle.com.  Other members of the panel are Circuit Judges D.
Brooks Smith and Kent A. Jordan.

The Appellants are five groups of insurers: (1) Hartford Accident
and Indemnity Company, First State Insurance Company, and New
England Insurance Company; (2) Allianz Global Corporate &
Specialty AG, Allianz Global Risks U.S. Insurance Company
(formerly known as Allianz Insurance Company), and Allianz
Underwriters Insurance Company (formerly known as Allianz
Underwriters, Inc.); (3) Columbia Casualty Company, Continental
Casualty Company, and the Continental Insurance Company (both in
its individual capacity and as successor to certain interests of
Harbor Insurance Company); (4) Fireman's Fund Insurance Company
and National Surety Company; and (5) Certain Underwriters at
Lloyd's, London and Certain London Market Companies.

Federal-Mogul Corporation is a supplier of powertrain, chassis and
as safety technologies, serving the world's foremost original
equipment manufacturers of automotive, light commercial, heavy-
duty, agricultural, marine, rail, off-road and industrial
vehicles, as well as the worldwide aftermarket.  Federal-Mogul was
founded in Detroit in 1899.  The Company is headquartered in
Southfield, Michigan, and employs nearly 41,000 people in 33
countries.

The Company filed for Chapter 11 protection (Bankr. Del. Lead Case
No. 01-10582) on Oct. 1, 2001.  Attorneys at Sidley Austin Brown &
Wood, and Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl & Jones, P.C., represented the
Debtors in their restructuring effort.  The Debtors disclosed
$10.15 billion in assets and $8.86 billion in liabilities as of
the Chapter 11 filing.  Attorneys at The Bayard Firm represented
the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

The Debtors' Reorganization Plan was confirmed by the Bankruptcy
Court on Nov. 8, 2007, and affirmed by the District Court on
Nov. 14, 2007.  Federal-Mogul emerged from Chapter 11 on Dec. 27,
2007.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suit Stayed to Allow Plaintiff to Seek Discovery
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In a negligence action, Yale University moves to dismiss Rachel
Karina Beddoe-Greene's complaint for lack of personal
jurisdiction.  The Plaintiff's complaint arises from the death of
her decedent, Geoffrey Beddoe, from alleged asbestos exposure
during his employment with Dimeo Construction Company.  The
Plaintiff objects to Yale's Motion.

In an April 20, 2012 decision, Judge Alice Bridget Gibney of the
Superior Court of Rhode Island stayed Yale University's Motion to
Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction to permit Ms. Beddoe-
Greene to conduct limited jurisdictional fact discovery.  The
Plaintiff may seek information regarding (1) Yale's relationship
with Dimeo, (2) the percentage of Yale's Rhode Island sales of
apparel as compared to Yale's total sales of apparel, and (3)
Yale's contacts with Rhode Island relative to Yale's Rhode Island
Furniture Archive. Counsel shall submit an appropriate Order for
entry.

The case is RACHEL KARINA BEDDOE-GREENE, ADMINISTRATRIX FOR THE
ESTATE OF GEOFFREY BEDDOE v. BASIC, INC.; BAYER CROPSCIENCE, INC.,
f/k/a AMCHEM PRODUCTS, INC.; BIRD INC.; CERTAINTEED CORP.; D.A.P.;
GENERAL REFRACTORIES COMPANY; GEORGIA PACIFIC LLC.; HASBRO, INC.;
INTERNATIONAL SUPPLY CO.; KELLY MOORE PAINT COMPANY, INC.;
METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY; MOBIL OIL CORP.; P.I.C.
CONTRACTORS, INC.; PACKINGS & INSULATIONS CORPORATION; UNION
CARBIDE CORPORATION f/k/a UNION CARBIDE CHEMICALS & PLASTICS
COMPANY, INC.; YALE UNIVERSITY AND JOHN DOE, C.A. No. PC 2011-4617
(R.I. Super. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Gibney's Decision is available
at http://is.gd/rHIrVafrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ruppel v. CBS Suit Goes Back to State Court
------------------------------------------------------------
An asbestos exposure case was originally filed with the Circuit
Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois, and
has been removed to the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Illinois by CBS Corporation, which alleges
federal subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of 28 U.S.C. Sec.
1442, the so-called "federal officer" removal statute.  Plaintiff
Henry Ruppel filed a motion to remand the suit to state court for
lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction.

In an April 20, 2012 memorandum and order, District Judge G.
Patrick Murphy granted Ruppel's motion for remand for lack of
federal subject matter jurisdiction.  Judge Murply denied as moot
the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and the
motion for disclosure brought by Defendant Flowserve Corporation.

The case is HENRY RUPPEL, Plaintiff, v. A.O. SMITH CORPORATION, et
al., Defendants, Civil No. 12-293-GPM (S.D. Ill.).  A copy of
Judge Murphy's Decision is available at http://is.gd/im5RYffrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Motion to Reconsider Order in GRC Suit Junked
--------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, GENERAL REFRACTORIES COMPANY v. FIRST STATE INSURANCE
CO., et al., Civil Action No. 04-3509 (E.D. Pa.), nine defendants
moved for reconsideration of an order and memorandum entered on
Feb. 22, 2012, arguing that the denial of partial summary judgment
was the result of "several clear errors."  Specifically, the
decision erred in not "ruling that 40 P.S. Sec. 447b), as a matter
of law, neither extends a private cause of action to plaintiff . .
. nor authorizes the invalidation of asbestos exclusions allegedly
issued without the Insurance Department's approval.

In an April 20, 2012, Judge Edmund V. Ludwig of the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied the
motion for reconsideration holding that:

     -- The Movants' argument that the Insurance Department had an
        internal practice with respect to the treatment of
        asbestos exclusions and that such an internal agency
        practice cannot, as a matter of law, meet the standard for
        a "dominant public policy" is an inaccurate,
        over-simplification of the permissible inferences.

     -- The presentation by the Movants of some new "matter of
        statutory administrative agency law" is not appropriate on
        reconsideration.

     -- The arguments are not persuasive because the testimony in
        question cannot fairly be regarded as evidence solely of
        an internal agency practice that was not publicly
        disclosed.

     -- Movants also persist in ignoring GRC's position on
        Sec. 477b that an enactment by the legislature is indeed
        the embodiment of public policy."  The issue, with proper
        instructions, is to be resolved by the fact finder on the
        totality of the evidence; it is not an issue of law for
        summary adjudication.

A copy of Judge Ludwig's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/gs4ItDfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Ct. Says Joint Sec. 998 Offer Is Valid
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs and appellants Nasseem Farag and Sanna Farag appeal a
post-judgment order denying their motion to tax expert witness
costs sought by defendant and respondent ArvinMeritor, Inc.
pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 998 after trial.  The
Farags contend a section 998 offer made jointly to a husband and
wife is void.  Nasseem, a 58-year-old man, was diagnosed with
mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure.  Following
Nasseem's diagnosis, he and his wife, Sanna, sued various
defendants alleging his exposure to asbestos-containing vehicles
and vehicle parts.

Guided by Barnett v. First National Ins. Co. of America (2010) 184
Cal.App.4th 1454, the Court of Appeals of California, Second
District, Division Three concluded, in an April 24, 2012 order,
that a section 998 offer may be made jointly to spouses because,
under California's community property law, a cause of action for
personal injury damages is community property (Fam. Code, Sec.
780) and under Family Code section 1100, subdivision (a), either
spouse has the power to accept the offer on behalf of the
community.  Accordingly, the Appellate Court affirmed the
judgment.

The case is NASSEEM FARAG et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v.
ARVINMERITOR, INC., Defendant and Respondent, No. B233137
(Calif.).  A copy of the April 24 Decision is available at
http://is.gd/LkB4Kqfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Breach of Contract Claims v. Estate Seller Junked
------------------------------------------------------------------
Stemming from an agreement for the sale and transfer of commercial
real property in Belmont, California, Metropolitan Group Inc., the
buyer, sued Meridian Industries, Inc., the seller, for breach of
contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive practices.  Metropolitan
alleged that Meridian knew, prior to selling the property, that
asbestos was present in the property.

In an April 23, 2012 order, Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr., of the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of North Carolina,
Charlotte Division, granted Meridian's motion for summary judgment
on all claims asserted in the First Amended Complaint, with the
exception of the Breach of Contract claim as to asbestos, such
claims are dismissed with prejudice, and a judgment will be
entered providing that plaintiff have and take nothing of this
defendant on such claims.  Summary Judgment is entered in favor of
plaintiff as to the asbestos aspects of its Breach of Contract
claim, and the issue of damages as to such breach is set for
trial.  Summary Judgment is granted in favor of defendant and
against plaintiff on defendant's Counterclaim for Breach of
Contract.

The case is METROPOLITAN GROUP, INC., Plaintiff, v. MERIDIAN
INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendants, No. 3:09cv440 (N.C.).  A copy of
Judge Cogburn's Decision is available at http://is.gd/6Ez1wPfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeal Ct. Affirms Ruling Favoring Foster Wheeler
------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs and appellants Marilyn Davis, John Davis, Tim Davis,
and Jeff Davis appeal from the judgment entered in favor of
defendant and respondent Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, after
Foster Wheeler's motion for summary judgment was granted.  The
Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Five,
affirmed the ruling.

The case is MARILYN DAVIS et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v.
FOSTER WHEELER ENERGY CORPORATION, Defendant and Respondent, No.
B226089 (Calif.).  A copy of the April 26 Decision is available at
http://is.gd/YxlI2sfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Ct. Affirms Ruling v. Pneumo Abex
---------------------------------------------------------
In this asbestos personal injury case, a jury found Pneumo Abex
LLC liable to Gordon and Emily Bankhead for compensatory and
punitive damages.  On appeal, Abex does not challenge the jury's
verdicts as to liability or the amount of compensatory damages.
It contends only that the punitive damages award is excessive
because the trial court erred in excluding from evidence an
unaudited financial statement for Abex that was not prepared in
the ordinary course of business, and in admitting evidence of
Abex's contractual right to indemnity from third parties, as well
as evidence regarding the financial condition of those third
parties.

The Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division Four,
in an April 26, 2012 decision, held that the exclusion of the
unaudited financial statement was proper.  The appellate court
also concluded that given the limited purpose for which the trial
court admitted the challenged evidence, and the other evidence
supporting the punitive damages award, Abex has not satisfied its
burden on appeal to show that there was any error in the trial
court's evidentiary rulings.  Nor has Abex shown that it was
prejudiced by any of the errors it contends were committed.  The
trial court decision is affirmed.

Abex is the successor in interest to another company, Abex
Corporation, which manufactured asbestos-containing friction
products, including brake linings for installation on commercial
truck brakes.  At least by the 1960's, Abex knew that workers
exposed to asbestos dust were at risk of developing asbestos-
related diseases, including mesothelioma.  Nonetheless, Abex did
not put warnings on its products until 1972 or later, and even
then, only used the word "caution."  Abex continued to sell
asbestos-containing brake products until 1987.

In 1994, Abex sold its entire friction product division to another
company, Wagner Electric Corp., a subsidiary of Cooper Industries,
Inc.  As consideration for the sale, Abex received over $207
million in cash, and an indemnity agreement from Wagner for
asbestos-related claims against Abex brought after 1998.  Wagner's
parent corporation, Cooper Inc., later became Cooper Industries,
LLC, which in turn is a subsidiary of another entity, Cooper
Industries plc.

In 1998, Wagner was sold to Federal-Mogul Corporation, which
agreed to assume Wagner's indemnity obligations to Abex.  As part
of the sale transaction, Cooper LLC agreed to guarantee the
payment of the indemnity obligations owed to Abex by Wagner.
Accordingly, after Federal-Mogul filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
in 2001, Cooper LLC took responsibility for paying asbestos-
related judgments against Abex.

Abex continued to operate other aspects of its business until
2004, but then went out of business entirely, and ceased to
generate any income. At the time this case went to trial, Abex
still existed as a legal entity, but its principal activity was
responding to claims and lawsuits, primarily for asbestos-related
injuries.  To cover its remaining asbestos-related liabilities,
Abex relies on its right to indemnity from Wagner, which Cooper
LLC, as guarantor, actually pays.

Gordon Bankhead was exposed to asbestos dust from brake linings,
including those manufactured by Abex, during the 30 years he
worked at automotive maintenance facilities, primarily as a "parts
man," starting in 1965 and continuing through his retirement in
1999.  As a result of this exposure, he contracted mesothelioma, a
form of lung cancer, in 2009.  After his mesothelioma was
diagnosed in January 2010, he sued numerous defendants, including
Abex and ArvinMeritor.  By the time the case went to trial on Oct.
15, 2010, he had settled with all but four of the defendants.

A jury returned a verdict awarding the Bankheads $9 million in
punitive damages against Abex.  Abex filed motions for judgment
notwithstanding the verdict and for new trial.  The trial court
denied both motions, and the appeal ensued.

The case is Emily Bankhead, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Pneumo
Abex LLC, Defendant and Appellant, Nos. A131378, A135224 (Calif.
App. Ct.).  A copy of the decision is available at
http://is.gd/40UILufrom Leagle.com.

Federal-Mogul Corporation is a supplier of powertrain, chassis and
as safety technologies, serving the world's foremost original
equipment manufacturers of automotive, light commercial, heavy-
duty, agricultural, marine, rail, off-road and industrial
vehicles, as well as the worldwide aftermarket.  Federal-Mogul was
founded in Detroit in 1899.  The Company is headquartered in
Southfield, Michigan, and employs nearly 41,000 people in 33
countries.

The Company filed for Chapter 11 protection (Bankr. Del. Case No.
01-10582) on Oct. 1, 2001.  Attorneys at Sidley Austin Brown
& Wood, and Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl & Jones, P.C., represented the
Debtors in their restructuring effort.  The Debtors disclosed
$10.15 billion in assets and $8.86 billion in liabilities as of
the Chapter 11 filing.  Attorneys at The Bayard Firm represented
the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

The Debtors' Reorganization Plan was confirmed by the Bankruptcy
Court on Nov. 8, 2007, and affirmed by the District Court on
Nov. 14, 2007.  Federal-Mogul emerged from Chapter 11 on Dec. 27,
2007.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: OneBeacon's A&E Reserves Were $800MM at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
OneBeacon U.S. Holdings, Inc.'s reserves for Asbestos and
Environmental losses, net of certain recoverables but prior to
certain recoveries, were $800 million at December 31, 2011,
according to the Company's March 16, 2012, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "Our reserves include provisions made for
claims that assert damages from A&E related exposures. Asbestos
claims relate primarily to injuries asserted by those who
allegedly came in contact with asbestos or products containing
asbestos. Environmental claims relate primarily to pollution and
related clean-up cost obligations, particularly as mandated by
Federal and state environmental protection agencies. In addition,
we estimate our A&E reserves based upon, among other factors,
facts surrounding reported cases and exposures to claims, such as
policy limits and deductibles, current law, past and projected
claim activity and past settlement values for similar claims, as
well as analysis of industry studies and events, such as recent
settlements and asbestos-related bankruptcies. The cost of
administering A&E claims, which is an important factor in
estimating loss and LAE reserves, tends to be higher than in the
case of non-A&E claims due to the higher legal costs typically
associated with A&E claims.

"A large portion of our A&E losses resulted from the operations of
the Employers Group, an entity acquired by one of the legacy
companies in 1971. These operations, including business of
Employers Surplus Lines Insurance Company and Employers Liability
Assurance Corporation, provided primary and excess liability
insurance for commercial insureds, including Fortune 500-sized
accounts, some of whom subsequently experienced claims for A&E
losses. We stopped writing such coverage in 1984.

"Our liabilities for A&E losses from business underwritten in the
recent past are substantially limited by the application of
exclusionary clauses in the policy language that eliminated
coverage for such claims. After 1987 for pollution and 1992 for
asbestos, most liability policies contained industry-standard
absolute exclusions of such claims. In earlier years, various
exclusions were also applied, but the wording of those exclusions
was less strict and subsequent court rulings have reduced their
effectiveness.

"We also incurred A&E losses via our participation in industry
pools and associations. The most significant of these pools was
Excess Casualty Reinsurance Association, or ECRA, which provided
excess liability reinsurance to U.S. insurers from 1950 until the
early 1980s. ECRA incurred significant liabilities for A&E, of
which we bear approximately a 4.7% share at both December 31, 2011
and 2010, or $71.1 million and $31.8 million, respectively, at
December 31, 2011 and 2010, which is fully reflected in our loss
and LAE reserves.

"More recently, since the 1990s, we have experienced an influx of
claims from commercial insureds, including many non-Fortune 500-
sized accounts written during the 1970s and 1980s, who are named
as defendants in asbestos lawsuits. As a number of large well-
known manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products
have gone into bankruptcy, plaintiffs have sought recoveries from
peripheral defendants, such as installers, transporters or sellers
of such products, or from owners of premises on which the
plaintiffs' exposure to asbestos allegedly occurred. At
December 31, 2011, 449 policyholders had asbestos-related claims
against us. In 2011, 94 new insureds with such peripheral
involvement presented asbestos claims under prior policies we had
written.

"Historically, most asbestos claims have been asserted as product
liability claims. Recently, insureds who have exhausted the
available products liability limits of their insurance policies
have sought from insurers such as us payment for asbestos claims
under the premises and operations coverage of their liability
policies, which may not be subject to similar aggregate limits. We
expect this trend to continue. However, to date there have been
fewer of these premises and operations coverage claims than
product liability coverage claims. This may be due to a variety of
factors, including that it may be more difficult for underlying
plaintiffs to establish losses as stemming from premises and
operations exposures, which requires proof of the defendant's
negligence, rather than products liability under which strict
legal liability applies. Premises and operations claims may vary
significantly and policyholders may seek large amounts, although
such claims frequently settle for a fraction of the initial
alleged amount. Accordingly, there is a great deal of variation in
damages awarded for the actual injuries. As of December 31, 2011,
there were approximately 225 active claims by insureds against us
without product liability coverage asserting operations or
premises coverage, which may not be subject to aggregate limits
under the policies.

"Immediately preceding the OneBeacon Acquisition, we purchased a
reinsurance contract with National Indemnity Company (NICO) under
which we are entitled to recover from NICO up to $2.5 billion in
the future for asbestos claims arising from business written by us
in 1992 and prior, environmental claims arising from business
written by us in 1987 and prior, and certain other exposures.
Under the terms of the NICO Cover, NICO receives the economic
benefit of reinsurance recoverables from certain of our third-
party reinsurers in existence at the time the NICO Cover was
executed, or Third-Party Recoverables. As a result, the Third-
Party Recoverables serve to protect the $2.5 billion limit of NICO
coverage for the benefit of us. Any amounts uncollectible from
third-party reinsurers due to dispute or the reinsurers' financial
inability to pay are covered by NICO under its agreement with us.
Third-Party Recoverables are typically for the amount of loss in
excess of a stated level each year. Of claim payments from 2001
through 2011, approximately 47% of A&E losses have been recovered
under the historical third-party reinsurance.

"During 2011, we completed a new study of our legacy A&E
exposures. Reasonable estimates of potential adverse scenarios
continue to be within the $2.5 billion reinsurance cover issued by
NICO. Based on the results of the study, we increased the point
estimate of incurred losses ceded to NICO from $2.2 billion to
$2.3 billion, an increase of $121.9 million, net of underlying
reinsurance. Due to the NICO Cover, there was no impact to income
or equity from the change in the estimate.

"As part of our actuarial review process, we review A&E activity
each quarter and compare that activity to what was assumed in the
most recently completed study. As of December 31, 2011, we noted
no change in the range of reasonable outcomes around our best
estimate.

"We have ceded estimated incurred losses of approximately $2.3
billion to the NICO Cover at December 31, 2011. Since entering
into the NICO Cover, approximately 8% of the $2.3 billion of
utilized coverage relates to uncollectible Third-Party
Recoverables and settlements on Third-Party Recoverables through
December 31, 2011. Net losses paid totaled $1.4 billion as of
December 31, 2011. Asbestos payments during 2011 reflect payments
resulting from intensified efforts by claimants to resolve
asbestos claims prior to the potential enactment of U.S. federal
asbestos legislation. To the extent that actual experience differs
from our estimate of incurred A&E losses and Third-Party
Recoverables, future losses could exceed the $198.3 million of
protection remaining under the NICO Cover.

"Our reserves for A&E losses, net of Third-Party Recoverables but
prior to NICO recoveries, were $0.8 billion at December 31, 2011.
An industry benchmark of reserve adequacy is the "survival ratio",
computed as a company's reserves divided by its historical average
yearly loss payments. This ratio indicates approximately how many
more years of payments the reserves can support, assuming future
yearly payments are equal to historical levels. Our survival ratio
was 13.3 at December 31, 2011. This was computed as the ratio of
A&E reserves, net of Third-Party Recoverables prior to the NICO
Cover of $0.8 billion plus the remaining unused portion of the
NICO Cover of $198.3 million, to the average A&E loss payments
over the three-year period ended December 31, 2011, net of Third-
Party Recoverables. Our survival ratio was 10.7 at December 31,
2010. We believe that as a result of the NICO Cover and our
historical third-party reinsurance programs, we should not
experience material financial loss from A&E exposures under
current coverage interpretations and that our survival ratio
compares favorably to industry survival ratios. However, the
survival ratio is a simplistic measure estimating the number of
years it would be before the current ending loss reserves for
these claims would be paid using recent annual average payments
subject to adjustments for unusual items. Many factors, such as
aggressive settlement procedures, mix of business and coverage
provided, have a significant effect on the amount of A&E reserves
and payments and the resultant survival ratio. Thus, caution
should be exercised in attempting to determine reserve adequacy
for these claims based simply on this survival ratio.

"Our reserves for A&E losses at December 31, 2011 represent
management's best estimate of its ultimate liability based on
information currently available. However, significant
uncertainties, including but not limited to case law developments,
medical and clean-up cost increases and industry settlement
practices, limit our ability to accurately estimate ultimate
liability and we may be subject to A&E losses beyond currently
estimated amounts. In addition, we remain liable for risks
reinsured in the event that a reinsurer does not honor its
obligations under reinsurance contracts."

OneBeacon U.S. Holdings, Inc., was created in 2000 by White
Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd., to acquire and subsequently be
the holding company for OneBeacon Insurance Group LLC. White
Mountains is a holding company whose businesses provide property
and casualty insurance, reinsurance and certain other products. On
June 1, 2001, OBH acquired OneBeacon from Aviva plc (Aviva).


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Met-Pro Corp. Had 130 Pending Cases at March 22
----------------------------------------------------------------
Met-Pro Corporation faced a total of 130 pending asbestos-related
cases as of March 22, 2012, according to the Company's March 22,
2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2012.

Beginning in 2002, the Company began to be named in asbestos-
related lawsuits filed against a large number of industrial
companies including, in particular, those in the pump and fluid
handling industries. In management's opinion, the complaints
typically have been vague, general and speculative, alleging that
the Company, along with the numerous other defendants, sold
unidentified asbestos-containing products and engaged in other
related actions which caused injuries (including death) and loss
to the plaintiffs.  Counsel has advised that more recent cases
often allege more serious claims of mesothelioma.  The Company
believes that it has meritorious defenses to the cases which have
been filed and that none of its products were a cause of any
injury or loss to any of the plaintiffs.  The Company's insurers
have hired attorneys who, together with the Company, are
vigorously defending these cases.  The Company has been dismissed
from or settled a large number of these cases. The sum total of
all payments through March 22, 2012 to settle cases involving
asbestos-related claims was $675,000, all of which has been paid
by the Company's insurers including legal expenses, except for
corporate counsel expenses, with an average cost per settled
claim, excluding legal fees, of approximately $32,000. As of March
22, 2012, there were a total of 130 cases pending against the
Company (with Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and West
Virginia having the largest number of cases), as compared with 93
cases that were pending as of March 17, 2011, the date which our
Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31,
2011 was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. During
the current fiscal year commencing February 1, 2011 through March
22, 2012, 81 new cases were filed against the Company, and the
Company was dismissed from 38 cases and settled two cases.  Most
of the pending cases have not advanced beyond the early stages of
discovery, although a number of cases are on schedules leading to,
or are scheduled for trial.  On April 27, 2011, a liquidation
order was entered against Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, who
had been providing defense and indemnity to the Company, and its
affiliate, Centennial Insurance Company, who provided umbrella
coverage to the Company. It appears that our remaining insurers
have assumed the share of the defense and indemnity obligations
that Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company had agreed to assume, and
despite the liquidation of Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company and
Centennial Insurance Company, the Company believes that its
insurance coverage is adequate for the cases currently pending
against the Company and for the foreseeable future, assuming a
continuation of the current volume, nature of cases and settlement
amounts; however, the Company has no control over the number and
nature of cases that are filed against it, nor as to the financial
health of its insurers or their position as to coverage.  The
Company also presently believes that none of the pending cases
will have a material adverse impact upon the Company's results of
operations, liquidity or financial condition.

Based in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, Met-Pro Corporation --
http://www.met-pro.com/-- manufactures and sells product recovery
and pollution control equipment for purification of air and
liquids, fluid handling equipment for corrosive, abrasive and high
temperature liquids, and filtration and purification products.
The Company markets and sells its products through its own
personnel, distributors, representatives and agents.  The
Company's products are sold worldwide primarily in industrial
markets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Andrea Electronics Still Defends "Edwards" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Andrea Electronics Corporation continues to defend an asbestos-
related lawsuit in Rhode Island, according to the Company's
March 23, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

In December 2010, Audrey Edwards, Executrix of the Estate of Leon
Leroy Edwards, filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Providence
County, Rhode Island, against 3M Company and over 90 other
defendants, including the Company, alleging that the Company
processed, manufactured, designed, tested, packaged, distributed,
marketed or sold asbestos containing products that contributed to
the death of Leon Leroy Edwards. The Company received service of
process in April 2011. The Company has retained legal counsel and
has filed a response to the compliant. The Company believes the
lawsuit is without merit. Accordingly, the Company does not
believe the lawsuit will have a material adverse effect on the
Company's financial position or results of operations.

Andrea Electronics Corporation designs, develops and manufactures
state-of-the-art microphone technologies and products for
enhancing speech-based applications software and communications
that require high quality, clear voice signals. The Company's
technologies eliminate unwanted background noise to enable the
optimum performance of various speech-based and audio
applications.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ACTU Calls for Nationwide Fibro Audit and Removal
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Associated Press reports that Australia's buildings
must be asbestos free by 2030 regardless of the cost of the
widespread removal of the deadly construction product, the
Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) says.

ACTU president Ged Kearney on Friday, April 27 called for an
independent asbestos authority to be established to carry out a
nationwide audit and removal of the material which can cause
terminal lung diseases.

Ms. Kearney could not put a price-tag on a national removal scheme
but said the cost was irrelevant.

"The cost of lives . . . cannot be measured in dollar terms.  We
must put resources into this and we must make absolutely sure we
get Australia asbestos free."

Asbestos was mined and widely used in Australian buildings,
primarily in cement sheeting, from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Exposure to asbestos caused over 9000 cases of the terminal cancer
mesothelioma between 1982 and 2006, the ACTU says.

Ms. Kearney said the 2030 target was realistic but only if the
federal government's asbestos management review laid out a
comprehensive national plan when the final report is submitted in
June.

"To achieve this we're going to need a national audit of all
asbestos containing material with government buildings and dumps
as a priority," she told reporters in Melbourne.

"We want a prioritized removal program starting with government
owned sites and we want to make sure asbestos is only removed by
licensed removalists."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 18 New Cases Filed in St. Louis Circuit Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Holleran of The Madison / St. Clair reports 18 asbestos
lawsuits have recently been filed in St. Louis Circuit Court.

A total of four new asbestos lawsuits were filed during the week
of March 26 through March 30.  They were:

     -- David L. and Judith Hall of Colorado allege David L. Hall
developed mesothelioma after his work as a mechanic in Colorado,
Kansas and Washington during the 1960s and 1970s, as a
construction worker in Colorado, Kansas and Washington during the
1960s and 1970s and as a home remodeler in Colorado, Kansas and
Washington during the 1960s and 1970s.  The Halls will be
represented by Nate D. Mudd and Casey Cira of Maune, Ratchle,
Hartley, French and Mudd in St. Louis and by Andrew J. McEnaney --
AMcEnaney@hkllp.com -- of Hissey Kientz in Austin.  St. Louis
Circuit Court case number: 1222-CC-1473.

     -- Kirkland Holcomb alleges he developed mesothelioma after
his work as a draftsman and salesman at various locations from
1965 through 2011.  Holcomb will be represented by William
Kohlburn and Brian J. Cooke -- bcooke@simmonsfirm.com -- of
Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd in Alton.  St.
Louis Circuit Court case number: 1222-CC-1474.

     -- Gregory C. Hope alleges he developed mesothelioma after he
was exposed to asbestos fibers throughout his career as an
electrician and performing home and automotive maintenance from
1961 until 1979.  Hope will be represented by Andrew A. O'Brien,
Christopher J. Thoron, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J.
FitzGerald of O'Brien Law Firm in St. Louis.  St. Louis Circuit
Court case number: 1222-CC-1482.

     -- Martin L. Tune alleges he developed lung cancer after his
work as a machinist and as an auto mechanic and home repairman
from 1963 until 1979.  Tune will be represented by Andrew A.
O'Brien, Christopher J. Thoron, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and
Gerald J. FitzGerald of O'Brien Law Firm in St. Louis.  St. Louis
Circuit Court case number: 1222-CC-1382.

A total of four new asbestos lawsuits were filed during the week
of March 19 through March 23.  They were:

     -- Robert D. and Rosalina Cousineau allege Robert Cousineau
developed lung cancer after his work as a carpenter, drywaller and
construction worker at various locations from 1963 until 2005.
The Cousineaus are represented by Timothy F. Thompson, Jr. --
tthompson@simmonsfirm.com -- of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris,
Angelides and Barnerd in Alton.  St. Louis Circuit Court case
number: 1222-AC-1414.

     -- Karen Harmening, Donna Roper, Ann Smith, Christina Allen,
Catherine Beck and Theresa Castillas allege their recently
deceased relative, William Andrew Smith, developed mesothelioma
after his work as an insulator in California from 1955 until 1980.
The plaintiffs are represented by Christopher R. Guinn --
cguinn@simmonsfirm.com -- of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides
and Barnerd in Alton.  St. Louis Circuit Court case number: 1222-
CC-1371.

     -- Lawrence Hull claims he developed mesothelioma after his
work as a laborer, bond office clerk, teacher and clerk at various
locations throughout North Dakota, California, Oregon and Idaho
from 1941 until 1995.  Hull will be represented by Christopher R.
Guinn -- cguinn@simmonsfirm.com -- of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris,
Angelides and Barnerd in Alton.  St. Louis Circuit Court case
number: 1222-CC-1372.

     -- Nolan and Essie Madere allege Nolan Madere developed lung
cancer after his work as an airborne paratrooper from 1947 until
1952, as a laborer at Shell Oil Company from 1954 until 1965 and
as a maintenance mechanic at Kaiser Aluminum from 1965 until 1992.
The Maderes will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian
of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville.  St. Louis Circuit
Court case number: 1222-CC-1365.

A total of three new asbestos lawsuits were filed during the week
of March 12 through March 16.  They were:

     -- Donald G. Kingsborough of Missouri claims he developed
mesothelioma after his work as a fireman and electrician in the
U.S. Navy from 1945 until 1946 and as an electrical engineer at
McDonnell Douglas Corporation in Bridgeton, Missouri, from 1951
until 1985.  Kingsborough will be represented by Casey C. Cira of
Maune, Raichle, Hartley, French and Mudd in St. Louis.  St. Louis
Circuit Court case number: 1222-CC-1330.

     -- Betty Rapley, Frank Rapley II and Jane Cottrell allege
their recently deceased father, David R. Rapley, developed
mesothelioma after his work as a rifleman in the U.S. Navy from
1941 until 1945 and as a heating and cooling technician, welder,
pipefitter, steamfitter, plumber, insulator, fabricator, aluminum
worker, boiler worker, iron worker, maintenance worker, gasket and
valve packer, sand blaster and general laborer from 1943 until
1981.  The plaintiffs will be represented by Randy L. Gori and
Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville.  St.
Louis Circuit Court case number: 1222-CC-1313.

     -- Christine Walker alleges her recently deceased father,
Everett J. Fessler, developed mesothelioma after his work as an
electrician and home and auto repairman from 1935 until 1979.
Walker will be represented by Andrew A. O'Brien, Christopher J.
Thoron, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J. Fitzgerald of
O'Brien Law Firm in St. Louis.  St. Louis Circuit Court case
number: 1222-CC-1324.

A total of two new asbestos lawsuits were filed during the week of
March 5 through March 9.  They were:

     -- Nancy Devereaux alleges she developed mesothelioma after
her work as a nurse's aid, cashier and assembly line worker from
1955 until 2011.  Devereaux will be represented by William
Kohlburn and Brian J. Cooke -- bcooke@simmonsfirm.com -- of
Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd in Alton.  St.
Louis Circuit Court case number: 1222-CC-1266.

     -- Jennie Tonzola and Albert Johnson allege Jennie Tonzola
developed pleural mesothelioma after her work as a laborer and
office worker at various locations from 1961 until 2011.  Tonzola
was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her
husband, Johnson, who worked as a tool and die maker.  The
plaintiffs will be represented by Shane F. Hampton --
shampton@simmonsfirm.com -- of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris,
Angelides and Barnerd in Alton.  St. Louis Circuit Court case
number: 1222-CC-1267.

A total of five new asbestos lawsuits were filed during the week
of Feb. 27 through March 2.  They were:

     -- Dennis and Sandy J. Conlogue claim Dennis Conlogue
developed lung cancer after his job as a union carpenter in
Michigan from 1972 until 2004.  The Conlogues are represented by
Steven M. Aroesty -- Saroesty@NapoliBern.com -- of Napoli, Bern,
Ripka and Shkolnik in Edwardsville.  St. Louis Circuit Court case
number: 1222-CG-952.

     -- George and Charlotte Moreland allege George Moreland
developed mesothelioma after his work as a laborer at Benny's Auto
Sales in Rolla, Mo., from 1963 until 1964, as a laborer at
Shorty's Marathon in Dayton, Ohio, in 1964, as an apprentice
bricklayer at Scruggs and Jolly Construction in Cincinnati, Ohio,
from 1964 until 1965, as a member of the U.S. Air Force from 1966
until 1970, as a laborer at Union Electric out of Rolla, Mo., in
1970 and as a laborer at Sprint/United Telephone in Kansas City,
Mo., from 1971 until 2009.  The Morelands will be represented by
Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in
Edwardsville.  St. Louis Circuit Court case number: 1222-CC-949.

     -- Ervin Norful, Jr., Connie McCall, Pat Coleman, James
Norful, Steve Norful, Mary Hawkins and Kim Norful allege their
recently deceased mother, Rodessa Norful, developed lung cancer
after her work as a laborer at Bussmann Manufacturing Company from
1969 until the late 1980s.  The plaintiffs will be represented by
Nicholas J. Angelides -- nangelides@simmonsfirm.com -- of Simmons,
Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd in Alton.  St. Louis
Circuit Court case number: 1222-CC-961.

     -- Debra Payne, Jordan Foster, Dawn Browing, Kevin Payne,
Derek Payne and Erik Payne allege their recently deceased
relative, Allen Payne, developed lung cancer after his work as an
assembly line worker at General Motors in St. Louis and as an
aircraft carrier and helicopter mechanic in the U.S. Navy from
1966 until 1971.  The plaintiffs will be represented by Randy L.
Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in
Edwardsville.  St. Louis Circuit Court case number: 1222-CC-968.

     -- Vicbrazil Williams, Woody Williams, Jr., and Clarence
Williams allege their recently deceased spouse and parent, Gladys
W. Williams, developed lung cancer after her work as a laundry
technician at the Jacksonville Naval Airbase in Jacksonville,
Florida, from 1966 until 1978.  She was also secondarily exposed
to asbestos fibers through her husband, Willie Williams, Sr., who
served in the U.S. Navy from 1937 until the late 1960s.  The
plaintiffs will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian
of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville.  St. Louis Circuit
Court case number: 1222-CC-969.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogenic Fibers Close Bloomfield Post Office
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that the small post office in the
southeast Missouri town of Bloomfield is closed after asbestos was
found in the building.

The Dexter Daily Statesman ( http://bit.ly/Iqozu4)reports that
patrons are being urged to go to the Dexter post office.

U.S. Postal Service spokesman Richard Watkins says a contractor
has been hired to remove the asbestos, and the building shouldn't
be closed for long, though he did not offer a guess on when the
building would reopen.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Fly-Tipper Tagged & Fined GBP1,020
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rhys Griffiths at thisiskent.co.uk reports that a roofer from
Gillingham carried broken-up asbestos in an open lorry before
dumping it in the street has been electronically tagged.

Wallace Sharpless, who runs Advanced Roofcare in Barnsole Road,
attempted to dump the hazardous material at two scrapyards on an
industrial estate -- but both refused to take the asbestos.

Having failed to find someone to take the waste the 37-year-old
then dumped half opposite Walsh's Yard before shedding the rest
outside nearby Morgan's timber yard.

Alan Conroy, prosecuting for Medway Council, told Medway
magistrates court the asbestos was a Class A carcinogen with a
"high toxicity" which was "in a broken form on the back of an open
truck".

He said: "On October 4 last year, Mr. Sharpless attempted to dump
asbestos in the Knights Road area in Strood.  He first drove to
the end of Knights Road and called on an operative in a yard and
was told they didn't take asbestos."

Mr. Conroy told the court that after also being refused at Walsh's
Yard, Sharpless asked his employee with him to help him to fly-tip
the waste on the highway.

He said: "The aggravating feature here was that Mr. Sharpless was
told it was asbestos.  He was told by two yards that they wouldn't
take it and then he dispensed it on the high road regardless.

"We don't know where he got it, but it was certainly driven
through open areas where there were members of the public and an
industrial area where there were workers and people out walking
their dogs."

Robert Weston, defending, said the asbestos came from a shed roof
Sharpless was disposing for a client and when he could not get a
works yard to take it "he panicked and made the rather stupid
decision to dump asbestos by the side of the road".

Sharpless, of Allison Avenue, was sentenced to a curfew order
between 8.30pm and 6.30pm for four months and ordered to wear an
electronic tag.

He was also ordered to pay costs of GBP1,020, including GBP720 to
Medway Council for clearing the asbestos.

He previously admitted transporting and depositing asbestos
without a permit, failing to take it to an authorized place, not
having the correct paperwork and failing to take reasonable steps
to avoid exposure to others.

In sentencing Sharpless, Angela Howe, the chairman of the bench,
said: "We consider this to be a very serious offence with you
being fully aware that asbestos is a dangerous substance and a
danger to the public."

Following the hearing on April 24, Mike O'Brien, Medway Council
portfolio holder for community safety, said: "This man put members
of the public at risk, as well as Medway Council's environmental
health workers who cleaned this dangerous asbestos away.

"It is shocking that someone can have such little regard for
others and act in this way."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Duke Study Factors Experience Among Doctors
------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center relates that just because a
facility has the latest radiotherapy technology doesn't mean they
can make the best use of it.  There is the human element that
makes it work at the optimal level.

According to one study done by the radiation oncology researchers
at the Duke University Medical Center, patients who were treated
by radiologists with more experience had better success rates.
The details of the study were published in the International
Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics.

Researchers reviewed the records of 30 mesothelioma patients who
underwent Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) following
an extrapleural pneumonectomy, a radical surgical procedure that
removes a lung, the lining around it, and at least part of the
diaphragm.

IMRT is designed to direct radiation specifically to kill
remaining tumors and reduce the risk of damage to the healthy
tissues that surround them.

The study also found that the more experience the radiologists
had, the less damage was done to the healthy tissue and nearby
organs with the radiation.

"Increasing experience planning malignant pleural mesothelioma
cases was associated with improved coverage of planning target
volumes," reported the researchers.

The value of experience should not have been too surprising,
particularly with mesothelioma, a rare cancer that hits only
2,000-3,000 patients annually in the United States.  The rarity is
what makes it so imperative in finding experienced doctors to
treat it.  There are few.

Mesothelioma, which is almost always caused by an exposure to
asbestos, often goes misdiagnosed until late stages because the
early symptoms often mirror those of less serious illnesses.

The study was based on patients who had the IMRT from 2005 to
2010.  The median survival was 23.2 months.

The two-year local control of the cancer was 47% and the two-year
disease-free survival was 34%.

In the first 15 patients that were studied, four developed lung
toxicity from the radiation, but none of the final 15 did when the
radiologists were more experienced with the IMRT.

The study comes on the heels of findings from Australia which
found certain high-dose hemithoracic radiation treatments were
increasing survival rates significantly.

While the Duke study concluded that experience was vital to
success, it also made clear that there were no guarantees with
radiation therapy, which still has its flaws in fighting
mesothelioma.

"With increasing experience, target volume coverage improved and
dose to the contralateral lung decreased," said the authors in the
conclusion.  "Rates of pulmonary toxicity were relatively low.
However, both local and distant control rates remained
suboptimal."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Motion for Default Judgment v. Demott Denied
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the asbestos exposure lawsuit captioned OWNERS INSURANCE
COMPANY and AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiffs, v. JEFFERY
DANIEL, as Executor of the Estate of VIRGIELINE DANIEL, and DEMOTT
TRACTOR, CO., INC., Defendants, Civil Action No. 7:12-CV-27
(HL)(Georgia), Judge Hugh Lawson of the U.S. District Court for
the Middle District of Georgia, Valdosta Division, denied the
Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment against Defendant Demott
Tractor Co., Inc., without prejudice and allowed the Plaintiffs to
reassert their Motion against Defendant Demott at the conclusion
of the proceedings against the remaining defendants.

A copy of Judge Lawson's May 2 Decision is available at
http://is.gd/yFrETXfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Commercial Welding Owes No Interest to Widow
-------------------------------------------------------------
Commercial Welding Co. appeals from a decision of a Workers'
Compensation Board hearing officer awarding the estate of Michael
Joyce benefits on a petition for an award of compensation pursuant
to the Occupational Disease Law, and ordering benefits paid to
Mary Joyce, Michael's widow, on a petition for death benefits.

In a May 3, 2012 decision, the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
disagreed with the hearing officer's decision that interest was
due on the required payment to the Estate, but the Court agreed
with the hearing officer's decision that the required payment
cannot be used to offset the death benefits ordered to be paid to
Mary.  Accordingly, the Court vacated the hearing officer's
decision in part and affirmed in part.

The case is ESTATE OF MICHAEL JOYCE, v. COMMERCIAL WELDING CO. et
al., Docket No. WCB-11-352 (Me.).  A copy of the May 3 Decision is
available at http://is.gd/viayPQfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Appeals Ct. Reverses Ruling Favoring BNSF
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Joshua Haver, Christopher Haver, Kyle Haver, and Jennifer Morris
appeal from the judgment entered in favor of respondent BNSF
Railway Company in an asbestos-related wrongful death lawsuit,
after BNSF's demurrer to their complaint was sustained without
leave to amend.  Associated Justice Orville A. Armstrong of the
Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Five,
reversed the ruling in a May 3, 2012 decision.

Justice Armstrong held that, contrary to the prior order, public
policy indicates that collateral estoppel should not apply in this
case.  BNSF, he pointed out, has litigated nothing but the
preemptive effect of the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act.  It is
not "harassed" by this litigation, which will be the first time
factual allegations, and legal theories based on those
allegations, concerning Mike and Lynne Haver's non-locomotive
exposures are litigated, he further pointed out.  For the same
reason, Judge Armstrong said it cannot see that allowing the
wrongful death litigation to go forward harms the integrity of the
judicial system.  Perhaps Lynne Haver's attorney should have pled
non-locomotive exposures in the complaint in the personal injury
lawsuit, but the Court does not see that this wrongful death
lawsuit should be precluded by that lawyer's failure to do so,
Judge Armstrong noted.

The case is JOSHUA HAVER et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v.
BNSF RAILROAD COMPANY, Defendant and Respondent, No. B229415
(Calif. App. Ct.).  A copy of Justice Armstrong's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/PTEIKpfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Ct. Refuses to Remand Suit v. Westinghouse
------------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Anthony J. Battaglia of the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of California denied a motion to remand filed by
plaintiff in GERALD BRANTLEY, Plaintiff, v. BORG-WARNER MORSE TEC,
INC.; ET AL, Defendants, Civil No. 3:12cv540 AJB (JMA) (S.D.
Calif.), after concluding that the Defendants raised a colorable
federal defense to the Plaintiff's asbestos exposure claims.
Judge Battaglia pointed out that Westinghouse manufactured
propulsion turbines for the Navy, in compliance with detailed Navy
specifications which, during the years in question, required the
use of asbestos.

A copy of Judge Battaglia's May 3, 2012 Decision is available at
http://is.gd/MFgO6Zfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Junks Insurers' Motion to Revise GRC Order
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Edmund V. Ludwig of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania denied the motions filed by Republic
Insurance Company, Government Employees Insurance Company, and
Westchester Fire Insurance Company for reconsideration of the
March 21, 2012 Order entered in the case captioned GENERAL
REFRACTORIES COMPANY, v. FIRST STATE INSURANCE CO., et al., Civil
Action No. 04-3509 (E.D. Pa.).  The motions for reconsideration,
Judge Ludwig pointed out, reargue previously presented matters,
assert arguments that could have been but were not raised before,
and express disagreement with the memorandum decision.  He added
that the memorandum decision is interlocutory and did not
terminate any claims on the merits.

A copy of Judge Ludwig's May 4, 2012 Decision is available at
http://is.gd/n9abaKfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Inmate May Proceed With Exposure Claim
-------------------------------------------------------
In April 26, 2012 report and recommendation, Magistrate Judge
Elizabeth A. Preston Deavers of the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, allowed Jeffrey A.
Woods, a prisoner, to proceed on his condition of confinement
involving asbestos exposure.  The case is JEFFREY A. WOODS, et
al., Plaintiff, v. CAROL CROCKETT-HARRIS, et al., Defendants,
Civil Action 2:12-cv-00231 (S.D. Ohio).  A copy of Judge Deavers'
Decision is available at http://is.gd/PdLRT6from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kansas Court Junks Inmate's Asbestos Tort Claim
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dale McCormick, a prisoner confined in the Lansing Correctional
Facility, filed a complaint against Governor Sam Brownback, the
State of Kansas, and several employees at the prison asserting
allegations concerning lead poisoning and asbestos contamination
in the prison.  Judge Sam A. Crow dismissed the complaint.  The
plaintiff now moves for reconsideration and asks that the court
allow his claims to proceed against Gov. Brownback and the state.
In addition, the plaintiff seeks an order tolling his habeas
claim.  The plaintiff also moves the court to appoint a special
master pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3626(f).

In an April 26, 2012 memorandum and order, Judge Monti L. Belot of
the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas denied the
Plaintiff's motions.  Judge Belot pointed out that the Eleventh
Amendment bars suits in federal court against states, and against
state officers in their official capacities for money damages.  In
this case, the plaintiff cannot sue the State of Kansas as it has
not waived its immunity to the case.  Nor can the plaintiff bring
suit against Gov. Brownback in his official capacity as the
governor of Kansas or in his personal capacity because the
plaintiff's allegations do not satisfy certain requirements.

A special master cannot be appointed in this case because the case
has not yet entered, and may never enter, the remedial phase,
Judge Belot held.  With regards to the tolling of the habeas
claim, Judge Belot pointed out that the plaintiff filed his
amended complaint on January 9, 2012, barely within the one-year
statute of limitations period and because of the court's dismissal
of his habeas claim, the plaintiff's habeas claim, if refiled,
would be filed outside of the statute of limitations period.

The case is DALE McCORMICK, Plaintiff, v. RAY ROBERTS, et al.,
Defendants, Civil Action No. 11-3130-MLB (D. Kan.).  A copy of
Judge Belot's Decision is available at http://is.gd/tnc5YDfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Insurers' Motion to Revise January Order Denied
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lexington Insurance Company and AIU Insurance Company ask the
Court for reconsideration of the order and memorandum entered on
January 30, 2012, asserting that the granting of the plaintiff's
motion for partial summary judgment misapprehends the basis of
their counterclaims and motion for partial summary judgment.  The
Insurers aver that at the time their respective policies were
issued, both parties to the Lexington and AIU policies held the
mistaken belief that the policies, as written, excluded asbestos
by virtue of following form to an underlying umbrella policy with
an asbestos exclusion.

In an April 26, 2012 memorandum, Judge Edmund V. Ludwig of the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
denied the motion for reconsideration holding that the binders'
unmistakable directive, "Exclude asbestos," is self-explanatory.
Although not fully developed, their argument suggests that the
binders were complete contracts of insurance and were not replaced
or terminated by the policies themselves, Judge Ludwig said.

The case is GENERAL REFRACTORIES COMPANY, v. FIRST STATE INSURANCE
CO., et al., Civil Action No. 04-3509 (E.D. Pa.).  A copy of Judge
Ludwig's Decision is available at http://is.gd/GvVFPJfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Junks Crane Co.'s Objection in Pease Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Sue Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of
Delaware, in an April 27, 2012 memorandum order adopted the report
and recommendation of Special Master Vincent J. Poppiti in the
case captioned CHRISTOPHER PEASE and JEREMY PEASE, as Personal
Representatives of the Estate of HERBERT PEASE, Deceased,
Plaintiffs, v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY, et al., Defendants, Civ. No.
08-624-SLR (D. Del.).  Judge Robinson rejected Crane's objection
and denied its motion for summary judgment.

Judge Robinson reiterated the Special Master's ruling that because
Crane failed to take the procedural steps that would have allowed
it to reargue the substantive claims before the MDL Court, the
court will not again entertain those same arguments at the summary
judgment stage.

A copy of Judge Robinson's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/0uTO7ofrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Excludes Portion of Thomas Testimony
-----------------------------------------------------------
In 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.), Judge John A. Ross of the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern
Division, denied the Defendants' motion for partial
reconsideration and request for oral argument in the April 3, 2012
order excluding Richard L. Thomas's testimony.

Defendants seek reconsideration of that part of the Order
excluding portions of Mr. Thomas' report and testimony on relevant
industry custom and practice.  Judge Ross reiterated that Mr.
Thomas does not evaluate the five referenced non-renewals in terms
of 1980s industry standards, or opine on the reasonableness of
those actions at that time.

A copy of Judge Ross's April 30, 2012 Decision is available at
http://is.gd/Wn1Orvfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EIA Says USC's Recent $102K Fine Is Warranted
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sammy Fretwell of The State reports that in the past four years,
the University of South Carolina has paid $175,500 in state fines
for violating environmental laws that protect students and staff
from asbestos, a building material that causes cancer and
breathing disorders.

The violations include a series of broken promises in which USC
told state regulators it would improve asbestos handling
practices, but never did, records show.

USC's asbestos violations occurred during renovation or repair
projects at three student apartment complexes, a medical school
building and Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia as well as at a
building at USC's branch campus in Lancaster, according to state
Department of Health and Environmental Control enforcement
records.

In the past four years, the University of South Carolina has paid
$175,500 in state fines for violating environmental laws that
protect students and staff from asbestos, a building material that
causes cancer and breathing disorders.

Records reviewed by The State newspaper show that some university
workers and a student may have been exposed to asbestos.  But the
university downplays any possible exposures, saying tests did not
find asbestos in the air when monitoring was done.

Still, USC's repeated failure to follow the rules represents a
disturbing trend that needs to change, say those familiar with
asbestos cleanup projects.

Large government agencies and universities should be well-versed
in how their staffs or contractors should renovate buildings,
experts and health protection advocates say.  Asbestos regulations
are intended to ensure the material is not dispersed into the air
where people can breathe it in.

"Without a doubt, the university should have the knowledge and
capability of handling this properly," said Brent Kynoch, managing
director of the nonprofit Environmental Information Association in
Washington.  "The fact that they are not doing it is
unexplainable, as far as I'm concerned.  These are not new
regulations.  They've been on the books since the 1980s."

Health issues aside, the collective cost of the fines would be
more than enough to put two in-state students through Carolina for
four years.

USC officials say the school has launched new procedures to
improve how it handles building renovations that could involve
asbestos.

The new system "ensures that the contractors are made aware of
where asbestos is located in a building prior to undertaking a
renovation project," USC said in an email to The State newspaper.
"The . . . system requires maintenance personnel and contractors
to be completely aware of any asbestos hazards and mitigation
practices required before starting project work in a potentially
hazardous area."

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used widely in the U.S.
from the early 20th century until about 1980.

Its durability, strength and resistance made it a popular
component in roofing shingles, ceiling tiles, flooring,
insulation, concrete and a range of other products.

Today, asbestos can be found in scores of buildings across the
country, including 90 at USC.  The material isn't dangerous if
embedded in shingles or other material.  But if stirred up,
asbestos can become deadly.

Breathing the fibers can eventually cause lung cancer or
mesothelioma, a form of cancer directly linked to asbestos.  The
amount and duration of exposure can determine whether someone gets
ill, but even small amounts could affect some people who breathe
in the fibers, experts say.

Rock singer Warren Zevon and actor Steve McQueen both died from
asbestos-related illnesses.

Because of the dangers of asbestos, crews working in areas where
the material might exist are not supposed to renovate buildings
until they first check to see if asbestos is present.

Should asbestos be found, licensed contractors specifically
trained in handling the toxic material often must be brought in to
get rid of it.  DHEC also must be notified if asbestos is to be
removed.  Only when the asbestos has been cleaned out are building
renovations supposed to go forward with general contractors,
subcontractors or university work crews.

Linda Reinstein, director of the Asbestos Disease Awareness
Organization, said the material's hazards leave no margin for
error when universities renovate.

"This shows a disregard for public health and regulatory
compliance," said Reinstein, when informed of USC's violations.
"There is no place for repeat offenders."

USC has been cited at least five times since 2008 for violating
asbestos rules during renovation projects, according to DHEC.

Contractors hired for renovation work also have received smaller
DHEC fines, in some cases.  Each time USC has been fined by DHEC,
the university has pledged to improve.  But records show that
improvements haven't always happened.

According to DHEC's most recent order against USC -- a $102,000
fine -- the university had violated two past enforcement orders in
which it agreed to properly handle and clean up asbestos.  The
Feb. 21 enforcement order says USC:

     -- Did not ensure that work crews inspected two student
apartment buildings and a USC School of Medicine building to see
if asbestos existed before launching renovation projects last
year.  The university told DHEC in a 2010 enforcement order that
it would make checks for asbestos in the future, but did not do
that in 2011 before conducting renovation work.

     -- Did not ensure that workers were properly trained and
licensed before beginning asbestos projects at Cliff Apartments,
Carolina Gardens and the USC School of Medicine building.  In a
2010 enforcement order, USC had agreed to make sure workers were
properly trained.

     -- Did not ensure that asbestos was disposed of properly
while conducting the work at Carolina Gardens and Cliff
Apartments.  The material was tossed into dumpsters, rather than
sealed and bagged for disposal to keep it from getting into the
air.

     -- Did not tell DHEC it planned a major renovation project at
Cliff Apartments.  In a 2010 enforcement order, the university
agreed to tell DHEC about future projects.

The violations at Cliff Apartments and Carolina Gardens, which
house married or international students, centered on a project to
renovate laundry rooms.  When subcontractors began pulling up
floor tiles last summer, they encountered asbestos in the glue
beneath the flooring.

After USC officials learned asbestos was present, they notified
DHEC and had trained hazardous materials crews clean up and
dispose of some of the material.

At the School of Medicine, a university employee pulled out
insulation that contained asbestos while working in a building.
The employee then enlisted help from other employees to remove the
material and clean up the dust with a vacuum cleaner.  But the
workers were not licensed for asbestos cleanup.

Both DHEC and university officials say the workers may have been
exposed to asbestos.  Air tests showed legally safe levels.  USC
offered the employees medical consultations.

DHEC, the state's chief environmental and health agency, is
sometimes criticized for not penalizing polluters harshly enough.
But the agency's $102,000 fine against USC dwarfs other asbestos
penalties DHEC has levied recently.  In 2011, the average asbestos
penalty from DHEC was $10,640.

USC's actions prompted questions from DHEC board members at a
meeting earlier this month in Columbia.  Board member Mark Lutz
asked if USC, with multiple asbestos fines, had a compliance
problem.

Robin Stephens, an assistant to DHEC's deputy commissioner, said
the university's safety division sometimes was unaware that
individual colleges at USC were doing work involving asbestos.
When the university's health and safety officials discovered the
problems, they usually let DHEC know, she said.

"But after a while, you know you just can't allow that to
continue," Stephens said.  She said the recent fine resulted from
work at two apartment complexes "where you had a higher level of
public exposure possibly."

Other fines against USC in the past four years for asbestos
violations include:

     -- In 2010, a $36,000 penalty for work conducted at Rutledge
Chapel, a historic church building on USC's scenic Horseshoe.  The
work, by an unlicensed contractor, occurred in late 2009 and early
2010 and involved cutting into the ceiling without doing a survey
to see if asbestos existed.  Asbestos was later identified in
ceiling material.

     -- In 2010, a $17,500 fine for work conducted in a whirlpool
room used by athletes at Williams-Brice Stadium. Among other
violations, the university failed to make sure a thorough building
inspection was done for asbestos before beginning renovation work.
Asbestos was identified in ceiling tiles that were pulled out but
was not properly disposed of.

     -- In 2008, a $10,000 fine for failing to make sure a
building inspection was done before replacing carpet at USC
Lancaster's Starr Hall.  DHEC said the university did not notify
the agency it would be doing renovations involving asbestos and
did not make sure an asbestos project license was obtained.

     -- In 2011, a $10,000 fine for failing to properly handle and
remove asbestos from the Bates West dorm, which is near Carolina
Gardens and Cliff Apartments on the southern edge of campus.  The
work involved repairing a ceiling.  A student was in the room
while the work was performed.

USC officials don't dispute the asbestos troubles but say they've
improved university policies by placing more centralized controls
over renovation projects.  DHEC also says it is encouraged with
the university's recent efforts.

Individual colleges at USC now must more fully document what they
plan, the university says.  That way, USC's health and safety
experts, and facilities officials, can keep better tabs on
renovation work campus-wide.

DHEC's Stephens said the university's health and safety vice
president has a detailed "flow chart" to address the issue.

"They've met with all the deans of the colleges to discuss this
and put this process in place, and they've also gotten the support
of the trustees," she said, noting that the most recent fine "got
their attention and seems to have gotten them on the right path,
we hope."

University officials said it's important to note that the school,
with 12 million square feet of space, manages more buildings than
do most other state agencies.  Some asbestos experts say it's
difficult sometimes to keep track of all the contractors working
on large campuses.

Many of USC's buildings are historic structures that were
constructed or renovated years ago using asbestos at a time when
no one realized its potential health hazards.

Tom Syfert, a USC vice president who oversees safety, said the
school conducts about 250 asbestos cleanup projects at its
buildings each a year.

It could be some time before the university rids all of its
buildings of asbestos, if ever, because of the time and expense.
In the summer of 2010, USC spent $4.5 million removing most of the
asbestos from the Jones Physical Science Center on south Main
Street.

In the buildings cited in recent DHEC orders against USC, asbestos
still exists in places but doesn't pose a safety threat.

In the case of the student who was present during the ceiling
repair, Syfert said he had "lengthy discussions" with the student
and his mother.  The mother had called him to question what
happened, but Syfert said the repair involved only a small area of
ceiling.

"She realizes the exposure was small," Syfert said.

USC's assurances that it will improve aren't the first it has made
-- nor are the asbestos violations only a recent issue.

As far back as 1993, the university ran afoul of DHEC for asbestos
violations, according to the agency's enforcement database.  The
university received a $12,000 penalty that year for asbestos
violations at its Spartanburg campus.  A year later, DHEC assessed
a $2,500 fine at USC's campus in Allendale County.

State labor department records show USC was hit with a series of
health and safety violations about 10 years ago over asbestos
work, including at the Sumwalt Building and Rutledge Chapel.  All
told, nearly a dozen violations were assessed, according to the
state labor department.

In 2004, USC launched repair work at Rutledge Chapel without
telling workers they could encounter asbestos, according to a
citation and notice of penalty by the Department of Labor,
Licensing and Regulation.

But the issues with asbestos didn't end with the labor department
at Rutledge Chapel.  The chapel was again the site of asbestos
violations in December 2009 and January 2010 that eventually cost
the university the $36,000 DHEC fine.

While some say it's difficult to keep tabs on all contractors
doing work at the university, the Environmental Information
Association's Kynock said that's a poor excuse.

Kynock's group, formerly the National Asbestos Council, closely
tracks asbestos-related issues across the country.  He said the
recent $102,000 fine is warranted.

"When you're given a chance to do it right, and you don't do it
right, somebody should be dinged hard."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aussies Ask Gov-Sponsored Nationwide Abatement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Farrah Tomazin at Theage.com.au reports that thousands of children
are studying in buildings lined with asbestos, but the state
government says it has no plans to remove the potentially toxic
material from schools.

Education department figures show up to 1,200 out of the state's
1,539 government schools may contain asbestos, prompting teachers,
unions and parents to call for a program to label affected areas,
train staff to manage it, and progressively remove it from all
buildings.  The push comes after a series of safety breaches --
including thousands of dollars in WorkSafe fines against the
department -- for failing to properly deal with asbestos.

Contractors working at Geelong High School last year drilled a
hole through walls containing asbestos, two years after the
department received a $10,000 fine for a similar incident.

On April 28, Education Minister Martin Dixon ruled out widespread
removal, insisting there is only a risk to students if the
asbestos is disturbed.

"Where there is an identified risk to the health and wellbeing of
students and teachers removal will be undertaken as a matter of
the highest priority," Mr. Dixon said.

In Victoria, schools are required to have their own asbestos
management plans, identifying where it is and how to manage it,
while the department also conducts a rolling audit of schools with
asbestos.

A number of asbestos-related issues have taken place in schools
over the past three years, including:

About 30 pieces of asbestos found at Albion North Primary School
in 2010, which led to WorkSafe issuing safety improvement notices
against a builder.

In 2009, a parent at Elsternwick Primary School contacted WorkSafe
after his daughter picked up asbestos.  A campus of Essendon
Keilor District College was closed for the day after a severe
storm caused extensive damage and concerns about asbestos
exposure.

Asbestos was commonly used between the 1950s and 1970s, before its
health effects became widely known.

While the risks are relatively limited when it is dormant,
asbestos fibers that become airborne can lead to diseases such as
lung cancer and mesothelioma.  But teachers and union officials
want it removed from schools altogether.  "Because asbestos was
banned [in 2003] many people think the problem has gone away, but
it hasn't," said Australian Education Union vice-president Carolyn
Clancy.  "It's a ticking time bomb."

Geelong High School health and safety representative Justin Harris
agreed.  "The government basically just says to schools, 'Well
you've got a budget -- you manage it'.  For schools that's a huge
problem because we have a limited budget and people aren't trained
to manage asbestos," he said.

Parents Victoria president Gail McHardy said it was up to the
government to make sure that children were not placed at risk.
Asbestos is also under the spotlight nationally, with Prime
Minister Julia Gillard awaiting the findings of a review, headed
by former ACTU assistant secretary, Geoff Fary, into the way it is
managed.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union national secretary Paul
Bastian, who sits on the review panel, said there needs to be a
national audit of all public buildings to identify where it is,
followed by a national program to have it removed entirely by
2030.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Potential Buyers Seen for Contaminated Courthouse
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. General Services
Administration has decided to dispose of the asbestos-laden James
F. Battin Federal Courthouse in Billings as surplus property.

The Billings Gazette reports that homeless assistance agencies and
local and state governments will have the first chance to get the
building.

"As for any perceived problems with the building, we will be
conveying the property as is, where is," said William Morgan, GSA
project manager with the Real Property Utilization and Disposal
Division in Fort Worth, Texas, in an email to the newspaper.

He said that if the GSA fails to reach a deal with any of the
eligible nonprofits or government entities, the agency will put
the building up for sale in an online auction.

The five-story, 221,000-square-foot building has a history of
asbestos problems and is being replaced with a new $59 million
federal courthouse and $30 million federal office building.

Officials said asbestos sprayed as a fireproofing and insulating
material throughout the building when it was built in 1965 has
become crumbly.  That makes routine work such as moving ceiling
tiles difficult because asbestos could be released.  Asbestos is
known to cause grave lung problems.

Billings' city manager, Tina Volek, notified the mayor and council
that staff will be meeting before or in May to discuss the
possibility of using the building.

Jim Reno, Yellowstone County Commissioner, said he'd like to see
the building used as a city-county law and justice center.
However, he said the county shouldn't acquire the building if
asbestos is a problem.  "Not if it's dirty," he said.  "I'm just
speaking for myself."

Mike Tuss of CTA Architects Engineers said it will be expensive to
remove the asbestos, and the building needs additional work
besides, including upgrading windows.

Marty Connell, a Billings businessman and president of the East
Billings Urban Renewal District, sees an opportunity even though
the asbestos will have to be removed.

"It's got to be dealt with, but laws and procedures and well-
qualified people in Yellowstone County can deal with those
issues," he said, adding that for three years he's had a plan to
turn the building into a city-county office without costing
taxpayers a lot of money.

Groups interested in acquiring the building have 60 days from
April 13, when the General Services Administration declared the
building surplus, to submit a letter of intent.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazards at Saphire-Woolgoolga Upgrade Contained
----------------------------------------------------------------
Coffs Coast Advocate reports that a delicate operation was set to
take place as progress continues on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga
section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.

Roads and Maritime Services contractors will continue to remove
asbestos from an old council water main after historic records led
to the discovery of the substance before work started on the
project.

"This is a long water main and we have been progressively removing
the asbestos as the project continues," an RMS spokesperson said.

In the early stages of planning, more than 50 structures were
identified for demolition.

Work to remove a majority of these structures started in August
2010 and was completed by September 2010.

Structures on another two properties were demolished in July and
August 2011.

Asbestos was found in some of the old structures and treated in
accordance with the NSW WorkCover Working With Asbestos Guide
2008.

Demolition work was carried out by licensed contractors accredited
to remove asbestos.

Asbestos is taken to Grafton City Council's landfill site, which
is licensed by the EPA to take this material.

The RMS spokesperson said asbestos is commonly found in old
buildings demolished as part of infrastructure upgrades.

All appropriate measures were in place to ensure the safety of
workers and the community during the removal of the material.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Swindon Lawyers Deem "Mesothelioma Peak" Starts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Western Daily Press at thisisbath.co.uk reports that the numbers
of people who died in Wiltshire in the past 12 months as a result
of their work has risen to almost 200 -- and the rise is being
blamed on the so-called 'Swindon Disease' of asbestos-related
conditions.

Now union leaders in the South West have called for greater
protection for workers and increased levels of health and safety
consideration, to cut the number of people killed or injured
through their work each year.

The TUC said that the number of safety inspections at workplaces
in the region has fallen by half in the past ten years, and said
that 18,620 people in Wiltshire alone are living with an injury or
illness caused or made worse by their jobs.

Many of the 200 deaths in the past year in Wiltshire have been
caused by diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma -- lawyers
acting for hundreds of former employees at Swindon's rail works
say they are beginning to experience the start of a peak in the
number of cases diagnosed, as workers exposed to asbestos in the
1950s, 60s and 70s reach old age and develop the lung cancers.

Nigel Costley, the TUC's regional secretary, said the focus on
health and safety at work had diminished, and needed to be
reinstated.

"This is a worrying time for health and safety.  Four decades of
political consensus around the importance of regulations that
protect all workers has begun to fall apart.

"Political interference, cuts and the overall deregulatory agenda
mean that those who stand up to make work as safe as possible are
being ridiculed and budget cuts mean that the Health and Safety
Executive are less equipped to do their job effectively.

"There is a lack of understanding of workplace safety and
occupational disease."  and whatever the motive behind it, the
effect will be the same -- more people killed and injured at work
unless we stop it.  And stop it we must," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Takes a U-Turn on Bill Changes for Hampshire
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Southern Daily Echo reports that campaigners for Hampshire
victims of asbestos poisoning are "delighted" after a last-minute
government retreat on compensation payments.

Under changes proposed to no-win-no-fee cases, claimants would
have been told to pay legal costs out of any compensation
received.  This would have meant bills of tens of thousands of
pounds for asbestos-related cancer victims and their relatives.

But after a defeat in the House of Lords, the government has
agreed to make a temporary exemption to the proposals in relation
to mesothelioma cases.

Southampton and Hampshire are a hotspot for the disease, which
dates back to the legacy of ship-building at the docks and railway
work at Eastleigh.

Lynne Squibb co-founded the Hampshire Asbestos Support & Awareness
Group after the death from mesothelioma of her father, who had
worked on the railway in Eastleigh, in 2005.

She told the Daily Echo: "We are delighted, and are hoping this
becomes a permanent exemption.

High risk area "It prevents them from having to pay up to 30
percent of their damages to cover the costs of bringing their
claim.  At the moment, it's the defendant who pays these costs,
and so they should do."

Between 1981 and 2000, mesothelioma killed 1,123 people in
Hampshire, including 229 people from Southampton, according to
Health and Safety Executive figures.

Southampton is the eighth highest risk area in the UK for
asbestos-related diseases, and a total of 259 men have died from
mesothelioma over the 25 years to 2005.

Ms. Squibb said around 50 referrals were made for mesothelioma
every year in the city alone.

Payouts depend on factors including the age of the claimants, and
are often between GBP80,000 and GBP100,000.

The Ministry of Justice said it would delay making changes to the
rules affecting mesothelioma cases pending a review by the Lord
Chancellor.

A spokesman said: "This is a terrible disease.  We want to see
sufferers able to claim compensation at the earliest possible
opportunity.

"We are, therefore, working closely with the Department for Work
and Pensions and stakeholders to help mesothelioma sufferers who
are unable to trace their employers' insurer.  We hope to be in a
position to make an announcement on this before the summer
recess."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Man Exposed at Age 15, Dies of Mesothelioma at 81
------------------------------------------------------------------
Natalie Dearman of The Herts Advertizer reports that a London
Colney man, who worked to repair damaged roofs after the Second
World War, died as a result of exposure to asbestos, an inquest
has ruled.

Derrick Todd, 81, passed away at the Peace Hospice in Watford, on
March 13 of this year.

An inquest at Hatfield on Tuesday heard how Mr. Todd, of Lowbell
Lane, had been admitted to hospital in January 2010 after
suffering with a shortness of breath.  He was later diagnosed with
mesothelioma.

Statements given in 2010 about his working life revealed Mr. Todd
had been exposed to asbestos when he had worked as a carpenter,
repairing roofs that had been bombed during the war.  He was just
15 at the time.

Mr. Todd, who was born in Barnet, had also said in the statements
that he could not remember any other time during which he would
have been exposed to asbestos.

Herts Coroner Edward Thomas explained how it took a very long time
for the symptoms of mesothelioma to show and that everything known
about the disease would suggest it was that exposure which had
lead to it developing.

Mr. Todd, who had a number of other conditions including high
blood pressure, was later admitted to the Peace Hospice following
a fall where he later died.  A post-mortem examination showed that
this did not contribute to his death in any way.

The cause of death was given as sepsis, caused by a lung abscess,
as a result of malignant mesothelioma.  Hypertensive heart disease
was listed as a secondary cause.  A verdict of death by industrial
disease was recorded by the coroner.

Mr. Todd's wife Marian, who was present at the inquest, said she
was baffled as to why it hadn't been picked up sooner, as he had
had a number of tests on his heart.

Mr. Thomas explained that the mesothelioma would have been "a
silent condition" before 2010 and that two years was quite a long
time to survive.

Mrs. Todd replied: "I was very lucky that he lasted as long as he
did."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: U.S. Auto Parts Unit Still Defends Claims
----------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc.'s subsidiary, Whitney Automotive
Group, Inc., is a named defendant in several lawsuits involving
claims for damages caused by installation of brakes during the
late 1960's and early 1970's that contained asbestos. WAG marketed
certain brakes, but did not manufacture any brakes. WAG maintains
liability insurance coverage to protect its and the Company's
assets from losses arising from the litigation and coverage is
provided on an occurrence rather than a claims made basis, and the
Company is not expected to incur significant out-of-pocket costs
in connection with this matter that would be material to its
consolidated financial statements, according to the Company's
March 26, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc., describes itself as one of the
leading online sources for automotive aftermarket parts and repair
information.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Steel Partners' Unit Still Defends 1,020 Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Steel Partners Holdings L.P. has an ownership interest of
approximately 84.9% as of March 16, 2012, in BNS Holding, Inc. Two
of its representatives serve on BNS' three-member board of
directors.  Its representatives also serve as the Chief Executive
Officer and Chief Financial Officer of BNS and as the Chief
Executive Officer of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sun Well
Services, Inc.

BNS Sub has been named as a defendant in 1020 and 967 alleged
asbestos-related toxic-tort claims as of December 31, 2011 and
2010, respectively.   The claims were filed over a period
beginning 1994 through December 31, 2011.  In many cases these
claims involved more than 100 defendants.  Of the claims filed,
694 and 662 were dismissed, settled or granted summary judgment
and closed as of December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.   There
can be no assurance that the number of future claims and the
related costs of defense, settlements or judgments will be
consistent with the experience to date of existing claims.

BNS Sub has insurance policies covering asbestos-related claims
for years beginning 1974 through 1988 with estimated aggregate
coverage limits of $183 million, with $2.22 million and $2.23
million at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively, in estimated
remaining self insurance retention (deductible).  There is
secondary evidence of coverage from 1970 to 1973 although there is
no assurance that the insurers will recognize that the coverage
was in place.  Policies issued for BNS Sub beginning in 1989
contained exclusions related to asbestos.  Under certain
circumstances, some of the settled claims may be reopened. Also,
there may be a significant delay in receipt of notification by BNS
Sub of the entry of a dismissal or settlement of a claim or the
filing of a new claim.  BNS Sub believes it has significant
defenses to any liability for toxic-tort claims on the merits.
None of these toxic-tort claims have gone to trial and, therefore,
there can be no assurance that these defenses will prevail.  In
addition, there can be no assurance that the number of future
claims and the related costs of defense, settlements or judgments
will be consistent with the experience to date of existing claims;
and, that BNS Sub will not need to increase significantly its
estimated liability for the costs to settle these claims to an
amount that could have a material effect on the consolidated
financial statements.

No further updates were reported in the Company's March 26, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Steel Partners Holdings L.P. is a global diversified holding
company that engages in multiple businesses through consolidated
subsidiaries, associated companies and other interests.  It owns
and operates businesses and has significant interests in leading
companies in various industries, including diversified industrial
products, energy, defense, banking, insurance, food products and
services, oilfield services, sports, training, education, and the
entertainment and lifestyle industries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Two Cases Remain Pending Against Katy Industries
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Katy Industries, Inc., was named as a defendant in eleven lawsuits
filed in state court in Alabama by a total of approximately 325
individual plaintiffs.  There were over 100 defendants named in
each case.  In all eleven cases, the Plaintiffs claimed that they
were exposed to asbestos in the course of their employment at a
former U.S. Steel plant in Alabama and, as a result, contracted
mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer or other illness.  They
claimed that while in the plant they were exposed to asbestos in
products which were manufactured by each defendant.  In nine of
the cases, Plaintiffs also asserted wrongful death claims.  The
Company elected to defend these cases, the majority of which have
been dismissed.  There are two cases which remain active as of
December 31, 2011, according to the Company's March 26, 2012, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Katy Industries, Inc., is a manufacturer, importer and distributor
of commercial cleaning and storage products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Katy Industries Still Won't Indemnify Sterling
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sterling Fluid Systems (USA) has tendered approximately 2,900
cases pending in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Nevada,
Mississippi, Wyoming, Louisiana, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri,
Kentucky, California, South Carolina and Canada to Katy
Industries, Inc., for defense and indemnification.  With respect
to one case, Sterling has demanded that Katy Industries indemnify
it for a $200,000 settlement.  Sterling bases its tender of the
complaints on the provisions contained in a 1993 Purchase
Agreement between the parties whereby Sterling purchased the
LaBour Pump business and other assets from Katy Industries.
Sterling has not filed a lawsuit against Katy Industries in
connection with these matters, according to the Company's
March 26, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The tendered complaints all purport to state claims against
Sterling and its subsidiaries.  The Company and its current
subsidiaries are not named as defendants.  The plaintiffs in the
cases also allege that they were exposed to asbestos and products
containing asbestos in the course of their employment.  Each
complaint names as defendants many manufacturers of products
containing asbestos, apparently because plaintiffs came into
contact with a variety of different products in the course of
their employment.  Plaintiffs claim that LaBour Pump Company, a
former division of an inactive subsidiary of the Company, and/or
Sterling may have manufactured some of those products.

With respect to many of the tendered complaints, including the one
settled by Sterling for $200,000, the Company has taken the
position that Sterling has waived its right to indemnity by
failing to timely request it as required under the 1993 Purchase
Agreement.  With respect to the balance of the tendered
complaints, the Company has elected not to assume the defense of
Sterling in these matters.

Katy Industries, Inc., is a manufacturer, importer and distributor
of commercial cleaning and storage products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 50 Cases Remain vs. Former Katy Industries Unit
----------------------------------------------------------------
LaBour Pump Company, a former division of an inactive subsidiary
of Katy Industries, Inc., has been named as a defendant in
approximately 435 of the New Jersey cases tendered by Sterling
Fluid Systems (USA).  The Company has elected to defend these
cases, the majority of which have been dismissed or settled for
nominal sums.  There are approximately 50 cases which remain
active as of December 31, 2011, according to the Company's
March 26, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

While the ultimate liability of the Company related to the
asbestos matters cannot be determined at this time, the Company
has recorded and accrued amounts that it deems reasonable for
prospective liabilities with respect to these matters.

Katy Industries, Inc., is a manufacturer, importer and distributor
of commercial cleaning and storage products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Colonial Commercial Unit Still Defends PI Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Universal Supply Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of
Colonial Commercial Corp., is a New York corporation
("Universal").  On June 25, 1999, Universal acquired substantially
all of the assets of Universal Supply Group, Inc., a New Jersey
corporation, including its name, pursuant to the terms of a
purchase agreement.  The Company filed a copy of the purchase
agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 30,
1999 as Exhibit 10(g) on Form 10KSB, and the Company filed a copy
of an amendment to the purchase agreement on July 9, 1999 as
Exhibit 10(a)(ii) on Form 8-K.  Subsequent to the acquisition,
Universal Supply Group, Inc. (the selling corporation) formerly
known as Universal Engineering Co., Inc., changed its name to
Hilco, Inc.  Hilco, Inc. acquired the assets of Amber Supply Co.,
Inc., formerly known as Amber Oil Burner Supply Co., Inc., in
1998, prior to Hilco's sale of assets to Universal.  Hilco, Inc.,
is referred to as the "Universal Predecessor."  The majority
shareholders of Hilco, Inc., were John A. Hildebrandt and Paul
Hildebrandt.

The Company understands that the Universal Predecessor and many
other companies have been sued in the Superior Court of New Jersey
(Middlesex County) by plaintiffs filing lawsuits alleging injury
due to asbestos. As of December 31, 2011, there existed 7
plaintiffs in these lawsuits relating to alleged sales of asbestos
products, or products containing asbestos, by the Universal
Predecessor. Subsequent to December 31, 2011, 1 action was
dismissed and 1 plaintiff filed an action, which results in 7
remaining plaintiffs in these lawsuits. The Company never sold any
asbestos related products.

Of the existing plaintiffs as of December 31, 2011, 3 filed
actions in 2011 and 4 filed actions in 2010. There are 208 other
plaintiffs that have had their actions dismissed and 17 other
plaintiffs that have settled as of December 31, 2011 for a total
of $3,364,500 paid by defendants other than Universal. There has
been no judgment against the Universal Predecessor.

The Company's Universal subsidiary was named by 37 plaintiffs; of
these, 1 filed an action in 2010, 11 filed actions in 2007, 6
filed actions in 2006, 11 filed actions in 2005, 5 filed actions
in 2001, 1 filed an action in 2000, and 2 filed actions in 1999.
Thirty-three plaintiffs naming Universal have had their actions
dismissed and, of the total $3,364,500 of settled actions, 3
plaintiffs naming Universal have settled for $27,500.  No money
was paid by Universal in connection with any settlement. Following
these dismissed and settled actions there existed 1 plaintiff that
named Universal as of December 31, 2011. Subsequent to December
31, 2011, 1 action that named Universal was dismissed and 1
plaintiff filed an action that named Universal, which results in 1
remaining plaintiff naming Universal.

The Company has been indemnified against asbestos-based claims,
and insurance companies are defending the interests of the
Universal Predecessor and the Company in these cases.

Based on advice of counsel, the Company believes that none of the
litigation that was brought against the Company's Universal
subsidiary through December 31, 2011 is material, and that the
only material litigation that was brought against the Universal
Predecessor through that date was Rhodes v. A.O. Smith
Corporation, filed on April 26, 2004 in the Superior Court of New
Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket Number MID-L-2979-
04AS. The Company was advised that the Rhodes case was settled for
$3,250,000 ("Settlement") under an agreement reached in connection
with a $10,000,000 jury verdict that was rendered on August 5,
2005. The Company was not a defendant in the Rhodes case.

The Company believes that Rhodes differed from the other lawsuits
in that plaintiff established that he contracted mesothelioma as a
result of his occupational exposure to asbestos dust and fibers
and that a predecessor of the Company was a major supplier of the
asbestos containing products that allegedly caused his disease.

John A. Hildebrandt, Paul Hildebrandt and the Universal
Predecessor have jointly and severally agreed to indemnify the
Company's Universal subsidiary from and against any and all
damages, liabilities and claims due to exposure to asbestos at any
time prior to the June 25, 1999 closing of the purchase agreement.

Insurance companies have, as of December 31, 2011, defended the
Company and the Universal Predecessor, and have paid all
settlement amounts and defense costs.

The Company's Universal subsidiary has not engaged in the sale of
asbestos products since its formation in 1997. Its product
liability policies for all years since 1998 exclude asbestos
claims.

No further updates were reported in the Company's March 27, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Colonial Commercial Corp.'s operations are conducted through its
wholly owned subsidiaries, Universal Supply Group, Inc., The RAL
Supply Group, Inc. and S&A Supply, Inc.  They distribute heating,
ventilating and air conditioning equipment (HVAC), parts and
accessories, climate control systems, appliances, and plumbing and
electrical fixtures and supplies, primarily in New Jersey, New
York, Massachusetts and portions of eastern Pennsylvania,
Connecticut and Vermont.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kaanapali Land Continues to Defend PI Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
Kaanapali Land, LLC, as successor by merger to other entities, and
D/C Distribution Corporation ("D/C"), a subsidiary of Kaanapali
Land, have been named as defendants in personal injury actions
allegedly based on exposure to asbestos. While there are only a
few such cases that name Kaanapali Land, there are a substantial
number of cases that are pending against D/C on the U.S. mainland
(primarily in California). Cases against Kaanapali Land are
allegedly based on its prior business operations in Hawaii and
cases against D/C are allegedly based on the sale of asbestos-
containing products by D/C's prior distribution business
operations primarily in California. Each entity defending these
cases believes that it has meritorious defenses against these
actions, but can give no assurances as to the ultimate outcome of
these cases. The defense of these cases has had a material adverse
effect on the financial condition of D/C as it has been forced to
file a voluntary petition for liquidation. Kaanapali Land does not
believe that it has liability, directly or indirectly, for D/C's
obligations in those cases. Kaanapali Land does not presently
believe that the cases in which it is named will result in any
material liability to Kaanapali Land; however, there can be no
assurance in this regard.

On February 15, 2005, D/C was served with a lawsuit entitled
American & Foreign Insurance Company v. D/C Distribution and Amfac
Corporation, Case No. 04433669 filed in the Superior Court of the
State of California for the County of San Francisco, Central
Justice Center. No other purported party was served. In the eight-
count complaint for declaratory relief, reimbursement and
recoupment of unspecified amounts, costs and for such other relief
as the court might grant, plaintiff alleged that it is an
insurance company to whom D/C tendered for defense and indemnity
various personal injury lawsuits allegedly based on exposure to
asbestos containing products. Plaintiff alleged that because none
of the parties have been able to produce a copy of the policy or
policies in question, a judicial determination of the material
terms of the missing policy or policies is needed. Plaintiff
sought, among other things, a declaration: of the material terms,
rights, and obligations of the parties under the terms of the
policy or policies; that the policies were exhausted; that
plaintiff is not obligated to reimburse D/C for its attorneys'
fees in that the amounts of attorneys' fees incurred by D/C have
been incurred unreasonably; that plaintiff was entitled to
recoupment and reimbursement of some or all of the amounts it has
paid for defense and/or indemnity; and that D/C breached its
obligation of cooperation with plaintiff. D/C filed an answer and
an amended cross-claim. D/C believed that it had meritorious
defenses and positions, and intended to vigorously defend. In
addition, D/C believed that it was entitled to amounts from
plaintiffs for reimbursement and recoupment of amounts expended by
D/C on the lawsuits previously tendered. In order to fund such
action and its other ongoing obligations while such lawsuit
continued, D/C entered into a Loan Agreement and Security
Agreement with Kaanapali Land, in August 2006, whereby Kaanapali
Land provided certain advances against a promissory note delivered
by D/C in return for a security interest in any D/C insurance
policy at issue in this lawsuit. In June 2007, the parties settled
this lawsuit with payment by plaintiffs in the amount of $1.6
million. Such settlement amount was paid to Kaanapali Land in
partial satisfaction of the secured indebtedness.

Because D/C was substantially without assets and was unable to
obtain additional sources of capital to satisfy its liabilities,
D/C filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern
District of Illinois, its voluntary petition for liquidation under
Chapter 7 of Title 11, United States Bankruptcy Code during July
2007, Case No. 07-12776. Such filing is not expected to have a
material adverse effect on the Company as D/C was substantially
without assets at the time of the filing. The deadline for filing
proofs of claim against D/C with the bankruptcy court passed in
October 2008. Prior to the deadline, Kaanapali Land filed claims
that aggregated approximately $26.8 million, relating to both
secured and unsecured intercompany debts owed by D/C to Kaanapali
Land. In addition, a personal injury law firm based in San
Francisco that represents clients with asbestos-related claims,
filed proofs of claim on behalf of approximately 700 claimants.
While it is not likely that a significant number of these
claimants have a claim against D/C that could withstand a vigorous
defense, it is unknown how the trustee will deal with these
claims. It is not expected, however, that the Company will receive
any material additional amounts in the liquidation of D/C.

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

Kaanapali Land, LLC, engages in the agriculture and property
businesses in Hawaii. It operates in two segments, Agriculture and
Property.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Industries Continues to Face Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., is a co-defendant in approximately 260
cases asserting claims on behalf of approximately 1,140 plaintiffs
alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos.
These asbestos cases generally relate to production and sale of
asbestos-containing products and allege various theories of
liability, including negligence, gross negligence and strict
liability, and seek compensatory and, in some cases, punitive
damages.

The Company states: "In every asbestos case in which we are named
as a party, the complaints are filed against multiple named
defendants. In substantially all of the asbestos cases, the
plaintiffs either claim damages in excess of a specified amount,
typically a minimum amount sufficient to establish jurisdiction of
the court in which the case was filed (jurisdictional minimums
generally range from $25,000 to $75,000), or do not specify the
monetary damages sought. To the extent that any specific amount of
damages is sought, the amount applies to claims against all named
defendants.

"There are only seven asbestos cases, involving 25 plaintiffs,
that plead specified damages. In each of the seven cases, the
plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages based on a
variety of potentially alternative causes of action. In three
cases, the plaintiff has alleged compensatory damages in the
amount of $3.0 million for four separate causes of action and $1.0
million for another cause of action and punitive damages in the
amount of $10.0 million. In the fourth case, the plaintiff has
alleged against each named defendant, compensatory and punitive
damages, each in the amount of $10.0 million, for seven separate
causes of action. In the fifth case, the plaintiff has alleged
compensatory damages in the amount of $20.0 million for three
separate causes of action and $5.0 million for another cause of
action and punitive damages in the amount of $20.0 million. In the
remaining two cases, the plaintiffs have each alleged against each
named defendant, compensatory and punitive damages, each in the
amount of $50.0 million, for four separate causes of action.

"Historically, we have been dismissed from asbestos cases on the
basis that the plaintiff incorrectly sued one of our subsidiaries
or because the plaintiff failed to identify any asbestos-
containing product manufactured or sold by us or our subsidiaries.
We intend to vigorously defend these asbestos cases, and believe
we will continue to be successful in being dismissed from such
cases. However, it is not possible to predict the ultimate outcome
of asbestos-related lawsuits, claims and proceedings due to the
unpredictable nature of personal injury litigation. Despite this
uncertainty, and although our results of operations and cash flows
for a particular period could be adversely affected by asbestos-
related lawsuits, claims and proceedings, management believes that
the ultimate resolution of these matters will not have a material
adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity or results of
operations. Among the factors management considered in reaching
this conclusion were: (a) our historical success in being
dismissed from these types of lawsuits; (b) many cases have been
improperly filed against one of our subsidiaries; (c) in many
cases the plaintiffs have been unable to establish any causal
relationship to us or our products or premises; (d) in many cases,
the plaintiffs have been unable to demonstrate that they have
suffered any identifiable injury or compensable loss at all or
that any injuries that they have incurred did in fact result from
alleged exposure to asbestos; and (e) the complaints assert claims
against multiple defendants and, in most cases, the damages
alleged are not attributed to individual defendants. Additionally,
we do not believe that the amounts claimed in any of the asbestos
cases are meaningful indicators of our potential exposure because
the amounts claimed typically bear no relation to the extent of
the plaintiff's injury, if any.

"Our cost of defending these lawsuits has not been material to
date and, based upon available information, our management does
not expect its future costs for asbestos-related lawsuits to have
a material adverse effect on our results of operations, liquidity
or financial position," according to the Company's March 30, 2012,
Form 10K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Park-Ohio
Holdings Corp., is an industrial supply chain logistics and
diversified manufacturing business operating in three segments:
Supply Technologies, Aluminum Products and Manufactured Products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 10 Active Suits Pending vs. Kaiser Ventures
------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Ventures LLC is currently facing 10 active asbestos-related
lawsuits, according to the Company's March 30, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "There are pending asbestos litigation claims,
primarily bodily injury, against Kaiser LLC and Kaiser Steel
Corporation (the bankruptcy estate of Kaiser Steel Corporation is
embodied in KSC Recovery, Inc.). There currently are approximately
10 active suits. Many of the plaintiffs allege that they or their
family members were aboard Kaiser ships or worked in shipyards in
the Oakland/San Francisco, California area or Vancouver,
Washington area in the 1940's and that the Company and/or KSC
Recovery were in some manner associated with one or more shipyards
or has successor liability. However, approximately half of the
current claims relate to other facilities such as the former
Kaiser Steel Mill Site Property.

"Most of these lawsuits are third party premises claims alleging
injury resulting from exposure to asbestos or asbestos containing
products and involve multiple defendants. The Company anticipates
that it, often along with KSC Recovery, will be named as a
defendant in additional asbestos lawsuits. Additionally,
plaintiffs are seeking to add to the sites that the Company may
have historically had a connection with on behalf of the United
States. With a number of large manufacturers and/or installers of
asbestos and asbestos containing products filing for bankruptcy
over the past several years, the likelihood that additional suits
will be filed against the Company has increased. In addition, the
trend has been toward increasing trial damages and settlement
demands. Virtually all of the complaints against us and KSC
Recovery are non-specific, but involve allegations relating to
pre-bankruptcy activities. It is difficult to determine the amount
of damages that we could be liable for in any particular case
until near the time of trial; indeed, many of these cases do not
include pleadings with specific damages. The Company vigorously
defends all asbestos claims as is appropriate for a particular
case.

"Of the claims resolved to date, more than approximately 60% have
been resolved without payment to the plaintiffs. To date,
substantially all defense costs and any settlements have been paid
by third-parties. The Company believes that it currently has
substantial insurance coverage for the asbestos claims and has
tendered these suits to appropriate insurance carriers."

Recycled from the former Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Ventures oversees
recycling and solid waste investments. The company's holdings
include an 83.1% stake in Mine Reclamation Corporation (MRC) and a
50% stake in West Valley Materials Recovery Facility and Transfer
Station, which separates waste materials for recycling or storage.
Through MRC, the company has turned Kaiser Steel's iron-ore mining
pits into a rail-accessible solid waste landfill at Eagle Mountain
in the California desert; it has agreed to sell the landfill to
County District No. 2 of Los Angeles County. However, lawsuits
from local residents have blocked the deal. Kaiser Ventures is
owned mainly by former creditors of Kaiser Steel.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: W.R. Grace to Use Adjusted Free Cash Flow
----------------------------------------------------------
W. R. Grace & Co. intends to disclose a new non-GAAP cash flow
measure, Adjusted Free Cash Flow, which replaces Grace's
previously disclosed Adjusted Operating Cash Flow, according to
the Company's April 2, 2012 Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.  Grace believes that Adjusted
Free Cash Flow is now more meaningful to investors and others than
Adjusted Operating Cash Flow.

Grace adopted Adjusted Operating Cash Flow as a performance
measure and incentive compensation measure beginning in 2009
following major developments in its Chapter 11 case during 2008,
including the filing of Grace's Joint Plan of Reorganization in
September 2008.  Adjusted Operating Cash Flow was designed to
measure the effectiveness of Grace's businesses in generating cash
to finance current and future growth investments and to finance
Grace's significant asbestos-related liabilities and underfunded
pension liabilities.  As of December 31, 2008, Grace estimated its
exit financing requirements to be approximately $1,150 million and
its U.S. defined benefit pension plans were underfunded by a total
of approximately $486 million.  Since then, Grace has generated
significant cash flow and has reduced its estimated exit financing
requirements to less than $600 million and its estimated
underfunded U.S. defined benefit pension plans to less than $250
million, as of the date of this report. Grace has achieved the
objectives Adjusted Operating Cash Flow was designed to measure,
and stopped using Adjusted Operating Cash Flow as a performance
measure and incentive compensation measure in the 2012 first
quarter.  Beginning in the 2012 first quarter, Grace intends to
use Adjusted Free Cash Flow together with Net Cash Provided by
Operating Activities to evaluate its cash flow performance.

Adjusted Free Cash Flow is calculated as:

   * Net cash provided by operating activities; minus

   * Capital expenditures; plus

   * Net cash flow from:

     -- Chapter 11 expenses paid,

     -- Cash paid to resolve contingencies subject to Chapter 11,

     -- Accelerated payments under defined benefit pension
        arrangements, and

     -- Expenditures for asbestos-related environmental
        remediation.

Chapter 11 expenses paid means cash payments for Grace's Chapter
11 expenses, primarily legal and financial advisory fees.

Cash paid to resolve contingencies subject to Chapter 11 means
cash payments made in settlement of liabilities pursuant to
Bankruptcy Court orders.

Accelerated payments under defined benefit pension arrangements
means cash payments to Grace's defined benefit pension plans in
excess of legally required minimum payments. In March 2011, Grace
made an accelerated contribution to its U.S. defined benefit
pension plans of approximately $180 million. In February 2012,
Grace made an additional accelerated contribution to its U.S.
defined benefit pension plans of approximately $83 million.

Expenditures for asbestos-related environmental remediation means
cash payments made for asbestos-related environmental remediation.

These adjustments are made to reflect the cash flow effects of
Grace's Chapter 11 process and asbestos-related environmental
remediation requirements, which are separate from Grace's business
operations. The accelerated pension contributions are
discretionary in the year made and not a fixed or required cost of
Grace's business operations. None of these items is included by
Grace in evaluating its cash flow performance.

Adjusted Free Cash Flow is a non-GAAP measure.  Grace uses
Adjusted Free Cash Flow as a liquidity measure to evaluate its
ability to generate cash to support its ongoing business
operations, to invest in its businesses, and to provide a return
of cash to shareholders.  Adjusted Free Cash Flow does not purport
to represent an income or cash flow measure as defined under U.S.
GAAP, and should not be used as an alternative to such measures as
an indicator of Grace's performance.  This measure is provided to
investors and others to improve the period-to-period comparability
and peer-to-peer comparability of Grace's financial results and to
ensure that investors understand the information Grace uses to
evaluate the performance of its businesses.

Adjusted Free Cash Flow has material limitations as a liquidity
measure because it excludes the cash flow effects of Chapter 11-
and asbestos-related costs, and any accelerated defined benefit
pension plan contributions, which historically have been material
components of Grace's cash flow.  Grace compensates for the
limitations of this measurement by using this indicator together
with Net Cash Flow Provided by Operating Activities as measured
under U.S. GAAP when analyzing its liquidity.  Adjusted Free Cash
Flow should be evaluated together with Net Cash Provided by
Operating Activities as measured under U.S. GAAP when evaluating
Grace's financial performance.

The Company disclosed that expenditures for asbestos-related
environmental remediation in 2011 totaled $ 2.4 million.

W.R. Grace & Co. engages in the production and sale of specialty
chemicals and materials worldwide.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: H.B. Fuller Sees $0.7MM Liability at March 3
-------------------------------------------------------------
H.B. Fuller Company estimates that as of March 3, 2012, its
probable liabilities related to asbestos claims were $0.7 million,
according to the Company's March 30, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended March 3, 2012.

The Company states: "We have been named as a defendant in lawsuits
in which plaintiffs have alleged injury due to products containing
asbestos manufactured more than 25 years ago. The plaintiffs
generally bring these lawsuits against multiple defendants and
seek damages (both actual and punitive) in very large amounts. In
many cases, plaintiffs are unable to demonstrate that they have
suffered any compensable injuries or that the injuries suffered
were the result of exposure to products manufactured by us. We are
typically dismissed as a defendant in such cases without payment.
If the plaintiff presents evidence indicating that compensable
injury occurred as a result of exposure to our products, the case
is generally settled for an amount that reflects the seriousness
of the injury, the length, intensity and character of exposure to
products containing asbestos, the number and solvency of other
defendants in the case, and the jurisdiction in which the case has
been brought.

"A significant portion of the defense costs and settlements in
asbestos-related litigation continues to be paid by third parties,
including indemnification pursuant to the provisions of a 1976
agreement under which we acquired a business from a third party.
Historically, this third party routinely defended all cases
tendered to it and paid settlement amounts resulting from those
cases. In the 1990s, the third party sporadically reserved its
rights, but continued to defend and settle all asbestos-related
claims tendered to it by us. In 2002, the third party rejected the
tender of certain cases and indicated it would seek contributions
for past defense costs, settlements and judgments. However, this
third party is defending and paying settlement amounts, under a
reservation of rights, in most of the asbestos cases tendered to
the third party. During the fourth quarter of 2007, we and a group
of other defendants, including the third party obligated to
indemnify us against certain asbestos-related claims, entered into
negotiations with certain law firms to settle a number of
asbestos-related lawsuits and claims.

"In addition to the indemnification arrangements with third
parties, we have insurance policies that generally provide
coverage for asbestos liabilities (including defense costs).
Historically, insurers have paid a significant portion of our
defense costs and settlements in asbestos-related litigation.
However, certain of our insurers are insolvent. We have entered
into cost-sharing agreements with our insurers that provide for
the allocation of defense costs and, in some cases, settlements
and judgments, in asbestos-related lawsuits. Under these
agreements, we are required in some cases to fund a share of
settlements and judgments allocable to years in which the
responsible insurer is insolvent. In addition, to delineate our
rights under certain insurance policies, in October 2009, we
commenced a declaratory judgment action against one of our
insurers in the United States District Court for the District of
Minnesota. Additional insurers have been brought into the action
to address issues related to the scope of their coverage.

"During the fourth quarter of 2007, we and a group of other
defendants entered into negotiations with certain law firms to
settle a number of asbestos-related lawsuits and claims over a
period of years. In total, we had expected to contribute up to
$4.1 million, based on a present value calculation, towards the
settlement amounts to be paid to the claimants in exchange for
full releases of claims. Of this amount, our insurers had
committed to pay $2.0 million based on the probable liability of
$4.1 million. Our contributions toward settlements from the time
of the agreement through the end of fiscal year 2011 were $2.2
million with insurers paying $1.2 million of that amount. Based on
this experience we reduced our reserves in the fourth quarter of
2011 to an undiscounted amount of $0.3 million with insurers
expected to pay $0.2 million. There were no contributions or
insurance payments during the first three months of 2012,
therefore our reserves for this agreement and our insurance
receivable remained unchanged from year-end. These amounts
represent our best estimate for the settlement amounts yet to be
paid related to this agreement. Our reserve is recorded on an
undiscounted basis.

"We do not believe that it would be meaningful to disclose the
aggregate number of asbestos-related lawsuits filed against us
because relatively few of these lawsuits are known to involve
exposure to asbestos-containing products that we manufactured.
Rather, we believe it is more meaningful to disclose the number of
lawsuits that are settled and result in a payment to the
plaintiff.

"To the extent we can reasonably estimate the amount of our
probable liabilities for pending asbestos-related claims, we
establish a financial provision and a corresponding receivable for
insurance recoveries. As of March 3, 2012, our probable
liabilities and insurance recoveries related to asbestos claims
were $0.7 million and $0.6 million, respectively. We have
concluded that it is not possible to reasonably estimate the cost
of disposing of other asbestos-related claims (including claims
that might be filed in the future) due to our inability to project
future events. Future variables include the number of claims filed
or dismissed, proof of exposure to our products, seriousness of
the alleged injury, the number and solvency of other defendants in
each case, the jurisdiction in which the case is brought, the cost
of disposing of such claims, the uncertainty of asbestos
litigation, insurance coverage and indemnification agreement
issues, and the continuing solvency of certain insurance
companies.

"Based on currently available information, we do not believe that
asbestos-related litigation, individually or in aggregate, will
have a material adverse effect on our long-term financial
condition. However, adverse developments and/or periodic
settlements could negatively impact the results of operations or
cash flows in one or more future periods."

H.B. Fuller Company (H.B. Fuller) is a global formulator,
manufacturer and marketer of adhesives, sealants, paints and other
specialty chemical products. Sales operations span 40 countries in
North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia Pacific region,
India, the Middle East and Africa.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Everest Re Had $479MM Reserves at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------
At December 31, 2011, Everest Reinsurance Holdings, Inc., had
gross asbestos loss reserves of $479,729,000, according to the
Company's March 30, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

Everest Reinsurance Holdings, Inc., continues to receive claims
under expired insurance and reinsurance contracts asserting
injuries and/or damages relating to or resulting from
environmental pollution and hazardous substances, including
asbestos.  Environmental claims typically assert liability for (a)
the mitigation or remediation of environmental contamination or
(b) bodily injury or property damage caused by the release of
hazardous substances into the land, air or water.  Asbestos claims
typically assert liability for bodily injury from exposure to
asbestos or for property damage resulting from asbestos or
products containing asbestos.

The Company's reserves include an estimate of the Company's
ultimate liability for A&E claims.  The Company's A&E liabilities
emanate from Mt. McKinley, a direct subsidiary of the Company,
direct insurance business and Everest Re's assumed reinsurance
business.  All of the contracts of insurance and reinsurance under
which the Company has received claims during the past three years,
expired more than 20 years ago.  There are significant
uncertainties surrounding the Company's reserves for its A&E
losses.

At December 31, 2011, the gross reserves for A&E losses were
comprised of $145,571,000 representing case reserves reported by
ceding companies, $102,934,000 representing additional case
reserves established by the Company on assumed reinsurance claims,
$40,555,000 representing case reserves established by the Company
on direct excess insurance claims, including Mt. McKinley and
$210,851,000 representing IBNR reserves.

With respect to asbestos only, at December 31, 2011, the Company
had gross asbestos loss reserves of $479,729,000, or 96.0%, of
total A&E reserves, of which $382,334,000 was for assumed business
and $97,395,000 was for direct business.

Everest Reinsurance Holdings, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Everest Underwriting Group (Ireland) Limited.  Everest
Underwriting Group (Ireland) Limited is a direct subsidiary of
Everest Re Group, Ltd., and was established to serve as a holding
company for the U.S. and Irish reinsurance and insurance
subsidiaries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: $322 Million Verdict Reversed
----------------------------------------------
Holbrook Mohr of the Associated Press reports that an asbestos
lawsuit that once resulted in a $322 million verdict for a
Mississippi man has turned in favor of the company he sued.

Thomas Brown's lawyers had called the verdict last year the
largest asbestos award for a single plaintiff in U.S. history.
But it wasn't long before the state Supreme Court removed the
judge in the case for allegedly not disclosing his parents had
been involved in similar asbestos litigation.

A specially appointed judge, William Coleman, threw out the
verdict and ordered another trial.

The lawsuit was moved to Jones County, where a jury on Wednesday,
April 25, ruled in favor of Union Carbide Corp.

Brown, of Brookhaven, claimed he inhaled asbestos dust while
mixing drilling mud manufactured by Union Carbide.  He said he was
required to take oxygen 24 hours a day.

Union Carbide officials didn't immediately respond to a message,
but in the past said the allegations and $322 million verdict were
"outrageous and completely unsupported by the facts and applicable
law."

Brown's Dallas lawyer, Allen Hossley -- allen@hossleyembry.com --
also didn't immediately respond to a message requesting comment.

After the first trial and record verdict, Union Carbide asked
Smith County Circuit Judge Eddie Bowen to toss out the award.
They also asked Bowen to step down from the case.  When Bowen
didn't respond, Union Carbide went to the Supreme Court and asked
the justices to remove him.

Union Carbide claimed Bowen was a practicing attorney when his
father and mother sued Union Carbide for $1 million.

Union Carbide argued Bowen's bias and prejudice against the
company was clear from his rulings, comments in front of the jury
and his coaching of Brown's attorneys in questioning witnesses.
Union Carbide is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co.,
according to its website, with more than 2,400 employees.

Its corporate center is in Houston and it has other locations in
Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana and West Virginia.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Halton District Official Snuffs Abatement Unease
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Kelly at InsideHalton.com relates the removal of asbestos from
beneath floor tiles and around pipes in the ceiling is the most
worrisome of upcoming repairs to John T. Tuck public school,
according to a group of approximately 40 parents who attended a
special meeting on Wednesday, April 25.

The meeting was held to discuss major changes to the 51-year-old
facility -- set to begin April 30 -- as it welcomes full-day
kindergarten this fall.

The Spruce Avenue elementary school is dealing with several
alterations including the renovation of three classrooms and the
addition of a fourth.

Gerry Cullen, Superintendent of Facility Services for the Halton
District School Board, explained to parents he has helmed many
asbestos abatement projects in the past as older schools have been
renovated or expanded for full-day kindergarten use.

"We've done enough of these (asbestos abatement school projects).
It's not like we're taking the word of consultants or contractors.
We've done enough of these to know the measures that are put in
place do work," Cullen said.

He pointed out the work, "is contained to one wing of the
building, where you have four classrooms that are sectioned off
and the ventilation systems are separated.  We're not talking
about knocking down lots of block walls, we're talking about
changing the interior space."

Parents listened intently as first Cullen, then environmental
consultant Rein Andre of DCS Decommissioning Consulting Services,
spoke about the labour involved in preparing the school for
asbestos abatement.  Cullen described the four-month construction
schedule telling parents it simply could not be completed over the
summer months.  A letter sent to parents on April 20 by Tuck
principal Suzanne Priestner also pointed out the Halton District
School Board needed to have the renovation completed by Aug. 31 in
order to qualify for ministry funding.

While construction is ongoing, all three kindergarten classes will
move to Tuck's old gym, while a Grade 1 class has been moved to
Tuck's staff room.  Priestner informed parents of other changes
made to accommodate construction between April 30 and the end of
the school year.

Andre discussed the nuts and bolts of the asbestos abatement
taking parents through the entire process.  He explained the floor
tiles themselves did not contain asbestos but the glue used to
hold them in place did, and it would require removal.

The bigger project will involve taking off the pipe insulation
which has asbestos within it.  To do that, Andre said, the ceiling
will have to be removed, a full enclosure with negative air
pressure will be required and the asbestos insulation taken off
while the building is unoccupied over the weekend.  Andre said
only hepa-filtered air that is 99.997 per cent pure coming out of
the enclosure would be allowed and that "air clearance testing for
asbestos fibers at a third-party lab" would take place before
students returned to school on Monday morning after the weekend
work was done.

Still, parents had questions for Andre and Cullen.  They wanted
answers to:

Q: When is the asbestos abatement complete?

Cullen: Three steps of the process are required with each area
done within a weekend.  At the end of that weekend, clearance
testing is related to the most complex phase.  Third weekend looks
like all of the dust control containment is there, ceilings have
been taken down and on the last weekend the outright removal of
asbestos takes place.

Q: Would you close the school on Monday morning if the air tests
in the enclosure didn't pass?

Andre: Can I just tell you. . . that's a possibility, the criteria
to pass is very difficult, it's cleaner than you would expect a
classroom to be, it has to be very clean.  It very rarely fails.
If it would fail, it's not black and white.  It failed because one
of the three samples may not have been right.  Does that enclosure
present any harm to anybody on Monday morning if it didn't pass?
No.  If that test didn't pass, honestly, I would walk into the
enclosure and not be concerned about it at all.

Cullen: In my opinion we probably wouldn't say the school is
closed, but we would let parents make the choice (to keep their
child at home or send him to school).

Q: How can we guarantee the air in the enclosure on the ground
floor doesn't flow upstairs into the second floor?

Andre: The safeguard that we have is that the area in the
enclosure is under negative air pressure and there's equipment on
site.  It's guaranteed not to flow upstairs.  Pure air flows in,
what flows out is 99.997 per cent hepa-filtered.

Q: Will air-quality tests be done upstairs as well after the
asbestos is removed from the pipes?

Andre: The classrooms have books and paper and dust, lots of
fibers, the enclosure will be cleaner than that, so testing there
would not be effective.

Cullen: If we have other contaminants in the area, like dirt,
dust, fibers and other things, it will confuse the test.  I really
don't want to give you something that gives you a false sense of
comfort.

Andre told parents they need not be worried about asbestos
abatement work being done while their children attend school.

"This type of work happens in occupied buildings all the time and
I can give you lots of examples where we've worked in occupied
buildings including right next to the nurse's station in emergency
departments in hospitals.  All that notwithstanding, the actual
work that we're planning on doing that involves touching any
asbestos material is not happening while the building is
occupied," he said.

After the meeting, parent Lisa Babel, who asked many pointed
questions of Andre and Cullen, said she was OK with the answers
she received.

"I was satisfied with what I heard.  I think their schedule is a
little pushed but I think they're trying to get things done as
quickly as they can.  I think they're trying to get the asbestos
issue well-covered by hiring a qualified company to look after it.
I think they've explored all their other options and I think
they've done a fairly good job.  My questions were answered
satisfactorily," said the mother of two students at Tuck.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Supervisor Justifies Abatement Monitor Contract
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rick Pezzullo of The Daily Cortlandt reports that the Yorktown
Town Board has approved spending an additional $10,000 to monitor
asbestos removal and demolition of three large, dilapidated
buildings and approximately 10 smaller bungalows on the property
of the former Holland Sporting Club in Mohegan Lake.

"It's a consensus that the town is obligated as owner of the
property to do asbestos monitoring," said Supervisor Michael
Grace.  "There's liability to the town under federal and state
law."

The need for the town to sign a contract with GEO Environmental to
perform air sampling, asbestos supervision and final inspections
at the site, which is located off Lexington Avenue and Lawrence
Street, arose following a contractual dispute with another
contractor.

While taking responsibility for what she termed "faulty specs
under my watch," former Supervisor Susan Siegel questioned if the
town was following its procurement policy, which requires three
bids.

"People in the Mohegan area will be glad to know this will be done
soon.  But the testing work being done is in no way related to the
monitoring," she said.  "It's stretching the point.  I understand
the need to act quickly.  Somebody just needed to pick up the
phone and call three other monitors."

Grace disagreed, and was backed by Town Attorney Jeannette Koster,
saying the town was adhering to an allowable exception in the
procurement policy.

"It's a professional service.  I have no problem with it," Grace
said.  "It's much more an art than a science and the town is
caught in a dilemma.  I need someone that I can trust out there.
I for one have no need to go out and get anyone else when I have
someone who is trustworthy."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Seven Former Employees Sue BNSF Railway
--------------------------------------------------------
David Lee of the Courthouse News Service reports that seven former
employees claim in Federal Court that BNSF Railway exposed them to
asbestos for decades despite knowing of its dangers.

Lead plaintiff Gary Shelton and his co-plaintiffs claim the Fort
Worth-based company exposed them to asbestos and silica-containing
dust while they worked as trainmen, resulting in serious lung
injuries.

Shelton said the company knew as early as 1935 of the danger, and
that the Association of American Railroads, of which BNSF was a
member, noted railroad surgeons' interest in silicosis and
asbestosis.

"Moreover, at that time, the Association of American Railroads
recommended that, in order to prevent injuries or illness
associated with exposure to these dusts, the railroads should:
educate all concerned; get rid of dust; sprinkle the working area
with water; have employees wear inhalers; and have frequent
analysis made of the dust content of the air at different times
during working hours," the complaint states.

"Despite knowledge regarding the health hazards, associated with
occupational exposure to asbestos and/or asbestos-containing dust,
BNSF Railway Company continued to use asbestos and/or asbestos-
containing products for decades thereafter."  The plaintiffs say
the railroad failed to inspect, remove and warn of the harmful
materials from its cars, engines, track and machinery even after
learning how harmful they are.

They also claim the company failed to properly train them, provide
respirators or warn about the "synergistic effect" between smoking
and asbestos exposure.

They seek damages for negligence under the Federal Employers'
Liability Act and the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act.

They are represented by Mark Berry -- mberry@sammons-law.com --
with Sammons Berry in Houston.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mud Army at Risk of ARD During 2010 Flood Cleanup
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Associated Press reports that thousands of
Queenslanders were exposed to asbestos during last year's flood
clean-up, creating a potential epidemic of asbestosis in 20 years,
unions say.

Massive groups of volunteers, known affectionately as the Mud
Army, cleaned up thousands of houses in Brisbane and across
southeast Queensland after the state's worst flooding in three
decades.

CFMEU state secretary Michael Ravbar says the good deeds of the
volunteers could have put them in harm's way.

"The recent Brisbane floods mean that many asbestos sheets became
uncovered and now many thousands of people have more than likely
been inadvertently exposed to this incurable illness," Mr. Ravbar
said today.

"While you can't see the effects of asbestos exposure now, in 20
years it will quickly take lives.

"Brisbane could see asbestos-related diseases in epidemic
proportions as a result of last year's clean-up by the Mud Army."

Builders Laborers Federation state secretary David Hanna said he
had personally seen unsafe handling of the substance.

"Your wife, your kids, and your friends could all have been put at
risk," he said.

"From what I saw out there on the streets during the clean-up,
there was plenty of asbestos being handled without any precautions
whatsoever.

"It really is a silent killer."

Mr. Hanna and Mr. Ravbar both released statements today to mark
International Workers' Memorial Day.

Earlier in the day, ACTU president Ged Kearney called for
Australia to be asbestos-free by 2030, regardless of the cost.

Asbestos was widely used in Australian buildings, primarily in
cement sheeting, from the 1950s to the 1970s.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pleasant Hill School Cleanup Put Off
-----------------------------------------------------
Joe Couture, writing for The StarPhoenix, reports that Canada's
Education Minister Donna Harpauer acknowledged Tuesday, May 8,
that, even though it was higher on the government's priority list,
capital work including asbestos removal at Pleasant Hill School in
Saskatoon was put off in favour of expanding Martensville High
School.

"In this case, there was a minor . . . reorganization of the top
numbers on the list," Harpauer said after Question Period at the
Legislative Building. "It was expressed to me that the (public)
school board was surprised because our government had not ever
done that. We had always followed the list as we had prioritized
it, whereas in the past . . . they used to juggle the list quite
considerably."

Asbestos removal and electrical and mechanical upgrades at
Pleasant Hill were ranked as the No. 2 health and safety priority
on the government's capital project list released last summer.
Addition to, and renovation, of Martensville High School was No. 1
on the critical space shortage list.

The Pleasant Hill work was passed over with capital funds instead
going to the Martensville project, and to "air quality, crawl
space and site remediation" at Leader Composite School, which was
the No. 3 health and safety priority.

NDP education Trent Wotherspoon, after raising the issue in
Question Period, said that the priority list of capital projects
"is intended to be fair, transparent and objective and to serve
community needs.

"The explanation is certainly inadequate and it's unfair to
communities that are working hard towards improvements to their
schools," he said. "You either have a process or you don't and
having a fair, objective process is incredibly important. It's a
fair way to work with communities and intervention into that
process is inappropriate.

"We're disappointed by the intervention. We're disappointed by the
fact that two other schools have jumped the queue ahead of
Pleasant Hill. Quite simply, health and safety schools with risks
and needs have always been prioritized first ahead of critical
space. In this case, the minister and the government haven't
followed that process and two schools have jumped ahead of
Pleasant Hill."

But Harpauer said that, "we need to do a better job in
prioritizing of our list to give more weight now to critical space
-- we are growing and we're hearing from these school divisions
that this is causing extreme capacity issues."

The criteria will be revamped prior to a new list being issued
this summer -- that list will be weighted differently, and the
Pleasant Hill project might be No. 1, but there might be a
situation that takes precedent, Harpauer said, noting it is
"interesting that the Opposition wants us to address growth
pressures in operating but not growth pressures in space."

"We have a critical issue in Martensville, the (fastest) growing
city in all of Canada," Harpauer said. "They are at 137 per cent
capacity. They've made a request . . . for new schools. We don't
have the capital dollars to make that decision this year, but what
we can do to take some pressure off is to expand the existing high
school.

"The enrolment at the Pleasant Hill School is declining and the
health issues -- well, they both become health issues, quite
frankly, when you have overcrowding," she continued. "It became
safety and health issues in both situations . . . There's asbestos
in a lot of our buildings. The danger comes, my understanding is,
when you open it up and we just simply won't be doing that this
year."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Alaska Permits Use of Naturally Occurring Fibro
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dave Donaldson, writing for APRN in Juneau, Alaska, reports
Governor Parnell last week signed a bill setting standards that
allow naturally occurring asbestos to be extracted and used in
construction projects around the state.  It also protects owners
of contaminated gravel, construction companies, landowners,
workers and communities from any legal responsibility if health
hazards develop.

The bill's sponsor, Kotzebue Democrat Reggie Joule, says the need
for the exemption came from the Upper Kobuk area -- Ambler in
particular -- where there has been no construction, no roads --
not even an expansion of the sewage lagoon -- since the state
began enforcing federal workplace safety standards in 2003.
Joule says the area has a very high concentration of asbestos that
becomes airborne when its disturbed.

The new law considers any gravel containing -- by volume -- 0.24%
or less than a quarter of 1% of asbestos to be safe.  To use
material containing more than that level,  the project manager
must develop a site-specific safety and handling plan.

Beyond those requirements,  the legal immunity goes into place,
with no recourse for those who might get cancer or pulmonary
diseases caused by asbestos poisoning such as mesothelioma.
Senate Judiciary Chair Hollis French (D-Anchorage) says that a
plan is not enough when gravel and asbestos are underfoot where
children are playing or when an added protective material begins
to wear off. His committee had written a limit to the legal
immunity issue, but that was removed before it was passed.   He
voted against the bill.

In debate on the Senate floor on the final day of this year's
regular session, Golovin Democrat Donny Olson -- a physician --
said Joule's bill was a compromise between the needs of the
community and the health of the citizens.  He pointed to the
different types of asbestos that occur.

The bill took effect immediately when the governor signed it last
week.  This year's capital projects budget includes $3 million for
school renovation of the Kobuk school and $4 million for work to
be done on the Ambler Mining district road.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chetrit Not Responsible for Chelsea Hotel Cleanup
------------------------------------------------------------------
Brigid Bergin, writing for WNYC, reports that the landlord for the
historic Chelsea Hotel and 35 of its tenants entered into a court
mandated agreement Monday, May 7, ordering the clean up of
hazardous conditions in several apartments and common areas at the
site, including removal of mold, lead paint and asbestos.

The agreement outlines a schedule to correct current violations
and also stipulates the process for ongoing demolition and
construction work in a manner that is safe for all tenants -- all
measures sought by lawyers for the tenants' group.

The 12-story hotel on W. 23rd St. was purchased by Joseph Chetrit
for close to $80 million in 2011. While he was named as a party in
this dispute, this agreement removes him and his company, the
Chetrit Group LLC, from the proceeding as it moves forward,
meaning he is not responsible for the clean-up of the building.

The other owners in the hotel, including Chelsea Dynasty LLC,
Chelsea Management LLC, Michael Butler, Lilly Sirkin and Meyer
Chetrit, Joseph's brother, all remain subject to the agreement and
will be held to account. The hotel will remain in the jurisdiction
of the city's housing court until the repairs are complete.

"Negotiation is always a give and take," said Janet Ray Kalson,
one of the lawyers for the Chelsea Hotel tenants. While she said
she would have preferred to keep Chetrit as a party to the
agreement, she stated they achieved what they set out to do when
they initiated litigation in December.

Michael Butler, with Chelsea Dynasty, LLC, said many of the
requested repairs were inherited from the previous landlord of the
building. "The current landlord has already completed many of the
requested repairs where access was granted by the tenants. Recent
delay in performing any further required resident repairs has been
due to the insistence of the attorneys for the tenants'
association that all access dates be coordinated through the
attorneys only, " Butler said, adding that they look forward to
restoring the Chelsea to its "iconic status."

The first deadline for significant clean up is June 30. If they
fail to meet this deadline, owners could face fines ranging from
$50 - $250 per violation, per day until the repairs are complete.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose district includes the
Hotel, issued a statement applauding the agreement but also
offered this warning: "We're going to watch this landlord like
hawks to make sure the letter of this agreement is followed."

                   Tenants Report Fibro Presence

Mesothelioma.com reports that this past weekend, tenants of the
Chelsea Hotel in New York City, along with local politicians, held
a press conference in front of the dilapidated building, eager to
express their dissatisfaction with the declining condition of the
building, which once was home to scores of big names in music,
art, and literature.

According to an article in the New York Observer, the condition of
the Chelsea Hotel has continuously gone downhill over the last
several years. Tenants say that asbestos "lurks in the air shafts"
and that the walls of the building are covered in mold. Both are
conditions that can be seriously damaging to the health of those
who live inside.

Tenants and others concerned with the condition of the historic
building say that the current landlord has done absolutely nothing
to make the structure, which was once representative of all that
Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood had to offer, safer and more
livable. The iconic red brick building, built in 1896, is
currently in a serious state of decay, officials say, not from
neglect but from repair work done shoddily. Furthermore, the
landlord has shown little or no regard for the health of the
tenants, declaring the building "unoccupied" when applying for
building permits for renovations.

Thanks to landlord Joseph Chetrit's hasty and poorly done
renovations, both silica dust and asbestos fill the air on a
regular basis, tenants say. That means they're faced with the
possibility of inhaling the fibers, which can cause serious lung
diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma cancer.

"This is what happens when an owner puts the rights to make a lot
of money over the right of tenants to live peacefully," said
Assemblyman Dick Gottfried. "The personnel has been very
forthright in seeming to promise to do things. It's just the fact
that they don't," added painter Mary Anne Rose-Gentry, who lives
in an apartment with flaking ceilings and crumbling asbestos tile.

The tenants, 100 in all, filed a lawsuit against Chetrit in
December, demanding that he fix unsafe conditions and remove
environmental hazards such as the asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: HMGB1 Protein Identified for Cancer Treatment
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Povtak, writing for Asbestos.com, reports a novel therapeutic
approach to treating malignant mesothelioma may be arriving soon
after an international research team recently identified HMGB1 as
the protein that sparks the proliferation and survival of these
cancer cells.

The team was led by Haining Yang, PhD at the University of Hawaii
Cancer Center, and findings were first reported in the on-line
edition of Cancer Research.

According to the research, mesothelioma cells secreted HMGB1 at
much higher levels than in healthy individuals, and that the
growth of mesothelioma cells (in vitro) was inhibited by treatment
with antibodies directed against HMGB1.

"The next step is to translate this discovery into actual
treatments for mesothelioma patients," Yang said in a news release
from the university. "We're excited about the discovery."

The discovery outlines the process that causes the growth of
mesothelioma. It is expected to offer scientists an opportunity to
develop more protein-specific therapies to treat it.

It also should help in identifying new biomarkers that could lead
to earlier detection, which is key in successful treatment of most
cancers. A diagnosis of mesothelioma, a cancer caused almost
exclusively by an exposure to asbestos fibers, normally comes with
a poor prognosis. It is diagnosed usually in late stages and has
proven resistant to most treatment options.

"Our findings indicate that MM cells rely on HMGB1, and they offer
a preclinical proof of principle that antibody-mediated ablation
of HMBG1 is sufficient to elicit therapeutic activity," Yang wrote
in the report.

Yang has been instrumental in several other recent discoveries
with mesothelioma, including the identification of BAP1, the gene
that causes the cancer. Yang's research focus has been on
identifying the mechanisms responsible for asbestos
carcinogenesis. One of her goals has been developing specific
approaches for treatment and early detection of mesothelioma.

The University of Hawaii has been a leader in the fight against
mesothelioma, sparked by Cancer Center director Michele Carbone,
whose work around the world has brought considerable attention to
the university.

The recent study was an international effort that included
researchers from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at UH Manoa,
the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, the San
Raffaele University and Research Institutes in Milan, Italy, and
the New York University School of Medicine.

Mesothelioma is diagnosed in approximately 3,000 Americans each
year, although it has been estimated that 25 million Americans
have been exposed to asbestos in some form. The World Health
Organization estimates that 100,000 people internationally die
from asbestos-related disease each year.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CSX's Racketeering Case Survives Dismissal Bid
---------------------------------------------------------------
In the lawsuit, CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC., Plaintiff, v. ROBERT V.
GILKISON, PEIRCE, RAIMOND & COULTER, P.C., a Pennsylvania
professional corporation a/k/a ROBERT PEIRCE & ASSOCIATES, P.C., a
Pennsylvania professional corporation, ROBERT PEIRCE, JR., LOUIS
A. RAIMOND, MARK T. COULTER and RAY HARRON, M.D., Defendants,
Civil Action No. 5:05CV202 (N.D. W.Va.), Judge Frederick P. Stamp,
Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West
Virginia denied three separate motions filed by the lawyer
defendants to dismiss the third amended complaint.

In a May 3, 2012 memorandum opinion, Judge Stamp held that the
allegations contained in the third amended complaint are
sufficient to support the inference that each of the lawyer
defendants knew mails were being used in furtherance of their
fraudulent scheme.

John O'Brien at Legal Newsline.com reports the firm Peirce,
Raimond & Coulter is being accused by CSX of teaming with
radiologist Ray Harron to fabricate asbestos claims against the
company.  CSX filed its first complaint in the case seven years
ago.

The Peirce firm made five arguments in support of dismissal of the
lawsuit. It said CSX failed to properly state any racketeering
claims.

"With regard to relatedness, this court's analysis hinges upon
whether the predicate acts are defined as only the 11 fraudulent
asbestosis claims or whether the mass suits themselves are
considered predicate acts," Stamp wrote.

"As both parties acknowledge, the 11 fraudulent claims represent a
small percentage of the total number of claims included within the
mass lawsuits discussed in the third amended complaint. The lawyer
defendants argue that this isolated conduct, a mere 0.2% of the
asbestosis claims filed by the Peirce firm against CSXT, does not
create a pattern of racketeering activity.

"But this court finds that the predicate acts alleged in the third
amended complaint arguably encompass more than just the 11
fraudulent claims."

CSX is accusing the firm of filing a massive amount of lawsuits in
overburdened courts to prevent the company from any meaningful
discovery, which concealed fraudulent claims and leveraged higher
settlements.

Stamp granted summary judgment to the defendants in 2009, finding
a statute of limitations had run out.

In late 2010, judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit in Richmond remanded the case to Stamp with instructions
to let CSX amend the complaint.

CSX amended the complaint in 2011. The Peirce firm filed
counterclaims, which have also survived a motion to dismiss.

In 2005, federal court judge Janis Graham Jack made national
headlines when she uncovered duplicate and fraudulent silica
diagnoses in her Texas courtroom. Many of those diagnoses were
made by Harron and were made on plaintiffs who had already brought
asbestos claims.

In Jack's opinion dismissing the claims, she said "These diagnoses
were driven by neither health nor justice -- they were
manufactured for money."

Following Harron's admission that he did not even make the
diagnoses of the patients whose x-rays he read, Jack noted that
most of "these diagnoses are more the creation of lawyers than
doctors."

A copy of Judge Stamp's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/2VyunXfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Yellowstone Won't Accept Contaminated Courthouse
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Clair Johnson, writing for Billings Gazette, reports that
Yellowstone County commissioners on Tuesday, May 8, declined the
federal General Service Administration's offer to donate the
asbestos-laden James F. Battin Federal Courthouse.

In a split decision, the commission approved a letter to GSA
saying it had no interest in the five-story, 221,367-square-foot
building across the street from the county courthouse in downtown
Billings.

GSA recently declared the courthouse to be surplus property and
gave first dibs, as required under its disposal process, to
homeless assistance agencies and to local and state government. If
none of those agencies wants it, GSA will put the courthouse up
for sale in an online auction.

A history of asbestos problems in the Battin building led the GSA
to build new offices for the federal courts and other agencies.

The agency's new $59 million federal courthouse is almost
finished. And construction recently began on a new $30 million
federal office building for employees now working in the Battin
building.

Commissioner Bill Kennedy wanted time to explore the options and
to work with the city. "I think there are some possibilities," he
said.

Billings Mayor Tom Hanel also asked the commission to hold off on
the brush-off.

City Council members are interested in exploring the possibilities
for the building and are expected to vote next week on whether to
send the GSA a letter of intent expressing "possible interest, but
not a commitment," Hanel said.

Some possible uses include a city-county law enforcement center, a
justice center to house local and state courts and a possible
location for the emergency operations center, Hanel said.

Becky Bird, District Court administrator and a council member,
said the six district judges supported the idea of exploring use
of the Battin building for the courts.

But Commission Chairman John Ostlund and Commissioner Jim Reno
didn't need more time.

For Ostlund, the decision was easy. With the county facing large
tax protests, the last thing the county should do is take on the
building when it has no need for it, no plan and no budget, he
said.

Besides the unknown expense of asbestos removal for any new owner,
there would be remodeling costs, substantial maintenance and
operating expenses, estimated at $1.5 million a year, and parking
would still be inadequate, Ostlund said. And, he added, the boxy
white building is "not really aesthetically pleasing."

Reno agreed, saying that if the county needs to expand, it could
build to the east of the county courthouse on land it owns, he
said.

Reno also chided the GSA for disposing of the building "as is,"
deeming it unsuitable for federal workers but acceptable for local
government and homeless assistance agencies.

"How callous," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Grafton Woman Denies Improper Fibro Removal
------------------------------------------------------------
Buffy Spencer, writing for The Republican, reports that a Grafton
woman pleaded innocent Tuesday, May 8, in Hampden Superior Court
to charges relating to improper asbestos removal from her property
at 100 Pearl St.

Susan Nissenbaum, 59, is charged with three violations of the
state Clean Air Act in the case brought by the state Attorney
General's office. She is free on personal recognizance.

According to a statement in the case file from Assistant Attorney
General Andrew Rainer, a state inspection in November 2010 found a
large quantity of asbestos siding had been removed from the house
and stored in open recycling bins and open or torn trash bags
under the porch as well as in the basement.

The state said Nissenbaum bought 100 Pearl St. in August 2007.
She submitted a notice to the state Department of Environmental
Protection in 2007 for the removal of asbestos wall board and
roofing acknowledging she knew certain procedures were mandated.

According to the state, in the fall of 2009 Nissenbaum began
paying two prospective tenants to renovate the property, including
removing siding.

Although she knew it contained asbestos she didn't tell her
tenants how it needed to be handled, nor ensure they had proper
training and equipment.

She didn't notify Environmental Protection before starting and
didn't ensure the tenants followed procedures to protect
themselves or ensure no asbestos fibers were released into the
air, according to Rainer.

Therefore, the tenants and their children "unwittingly
participated in an unsafe asbestos removal project," he wrote.

The situation came to the attention of the state when a private
company notified Environmental Protection it has been asked to
dispose of asbestos-containing material at the property.
The charges are failing to give notice of a project involving
asbestos, failing to follow proper procedures and improper
asbestos storage.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Threatens Rosemount Athletic Complex
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pat Guth, writing for Mesothelioma.com, reports two years ago,
when Dakota County Technical College started construction of a
baseball field on land they had purchased from the University of
Minnesota, construction crews found pieces of asbestos in the dirt
they moved to make way for the field. So the college moved the
asbestos-laden soil to another site on campus, where it remains
today.

According to an article in the Rosemount Town Pages, the college
is still waiting -- two years later -- to find out what they
should do with the contaminated dirt, which appears to contain
pieces of asbestos siding that was used to line several university
buildings that were demolished more than 15 years ago.

President of the college, Ron Thomas, said that DCTC hired an
engineering firm to test the site after the asbestos was found.
They dug down to two feet and found no further asbestos materials,
so the site was deemed safe for the field. Thomas agrees with the
assessment that the field is safe for baseball players and fans
and notes that the college will take care of removing the
asbestos-laden dirt. However, they are still waiting for
instructions from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
instructing them as to how to dispose of the dirt.

In the meantime, that pile of dirt lies close to where the city of
Rosemount plans to build a community athletic complex. The complex
will include 4 softball/little league fields and one field for
older players. Concessions, restrooms, a parking lot, and other
buildings may be constructed as well.

For now, however, the planning commission has hesitated to begin
construction because of the asbestos nearby. They're concerned
about putting adults and children in contact with dangerous
asbestos materials, which -- even in small amounts -- can cause
mesothelioma cancer if inhaled. Once the asbestos removal takes
place, the commission said they'll feel more comfortable allowing
construction to begin.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kendall Cracker Factory Owner to Get TIF Money
---------------------------------------------------------------
Linda N. Weller, writing for The Telegraph, in Alton, Illinois,
reports that three aldermen recommended Monday night, May 7, that
the owner of an historic, storm-damaged building covered by a tarp
for three years receive up to $332,735 in TIF money for
reconstruction.

Two aldermen, while meeting as the Committee of the Whole, voted
"no" regarding a contract with Mike Kelly, owner of the old
Kendall Cracker Factory building, 201 E. Broadway, being
reimbursed for eligible expenses from the city's Riverfront Tax
Increment Financing District fund. Two aldermen were absent.

Voting in favor were Jim Ryan, 1st Ward, Alice Martin, 4th Ward,
and David Boulds, 7th Ward. Aldermen Charles Brake, 5th Ward, and
Mick McCahill, 2nd Ward, voted no; Mike Velloff, 3rd Ward, and
Gary Fleming, 6th Ward, were absent. The matter returns to
Wednesday night's City Council meeting.

A windstorm tore off the roof and part of the third floor of the
circa 1864 brick building May 7, 2009, sending bricks and other
debris onto sidewalks and streets. Since then, tarpaulins have
covered the exposed top, which have torn and been replaced. Bricks
and pieces of brick continue falling.

It took a half-hour of discussion and questions before the vote.

Brake questioned the first of the four planned phases, which could
get up to $96,635 for a new top floor, windows, repairing masonry
and brick walls, decking and roof.

"Usually, they (buildings) are whole and we make them better" with
TIF money, Brake said. "This was caused by a storm. I assume it
was covered by insurance. Insurance should have paid for this
$96,000. I feel we're spending $96,000 to build something already
paid for and built. I am not objecting to the project, but to the
cost of the third-floor replacement. It should be reconsidered.

"I'm in favor of this project; I would like to see it done," he
said. "I still think we should look at the numbers. It's not my
money, it's my constituents' money."

Kelly said he did not get maximum insurance money because he was
undecided whether he was going to rebuild. Phil Roggio, Alton
director of development and housing, said he has gone over the
numbers.

"It boils down to one thing: 'Are we going to assist in
preservation of this historic building or not?'" Roggio said. "He
did have an option to pocket the insurance settlement, with the
exception of asbestos removal (cost), and walk away."

Mayor Tom Hoechst agreed.

"It's a different kind of TIF project than we ever did before," he
said. "We are looking at one of our oldest historic buildings that
can never be replaced. Mike has been diligent. There are not many
people beating the door down to spend $1.3 million here."

Kelly bought the 7,700-square-foot building in 1998 while a U.S.
Marine. He estimated the renovation cost at $1.3 million, not
counting previous gutting work, architects' fees and asbestos
removal totaling $177,000.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Appeals Court Reinstates Suits v. Hennessy
------------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Egelko, writing for The San Francisco Chronicle, reports a
California appeals court on May 7 reinstated San Francisco
lawsuits by asbestos victims against a manufacturer of brake shoe
grinding machines that released the lethal fibers from brake
linings.

The suits were filed by a former mechanic who suffers from
asbestosis and by families of three people who died of cancer in
2007 and 2008 after years of exposure to asbestos. All said the
asbestos was emitted from brake shoe linings by grinding machines
made by Hennessy Industries.

The federal government banned asbestos in new products in 1989,
but it is still contained in some older products. Hennessy, a
Tennessee manufacturer of wheel service equipment, is the
defendant in asbestos suits in several California courts,
including more than 20 in San Francisco.

The ruling overturned a June 2010 decision by Superior Court Judge
Harold Kahn dismissing the four lawsuits. Kahn said Hennessy used
no asbestos in its machines and was not responsible for injuries
caused by dangerous substances in other companies' products.

In reviving the suits, the First District Court of Appeal said the
sole purpose of Hennessy's machines was to grind brake linings,
inevitably releasing the asbestos they contained.

"When used as designed and intended, Hennessy's machines caused
the release of the toxic agent," said Presiding Justice Barbara
Jones in the 3-0 ruling.

If the plaintiffs can prove that the emitted fibers caused the
illnesses, Jones said, they would be seeking to hold Hennessy
accountable for its own conduct.

Another panel of the appeals court reached a similar conclusion in
five consolidated cases last month.

A Los Angeles appellate panel is scheduled to rule this month on
Hennessy's claim that its machines could not have caused asbestos-
related illnesses.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Ct. Reverses Ruling Favoring Hennessy
--------------------------------------------------------------
Consolidated appeals were filed seeking reversal of judgments
entered in favor of Hennessy Industries, Inc., manufacturer of
brake shoe grinding machines and one of a large number of
defendants against whom plaintiffs brought asbestos-related
personal injury or wrongful death and survival actions.

In a May 4, 2012 decision, Justice Barbara J.R. Jones of the Court
of Appeals of California, First District, Division Five, reversed
the judgments with regards to causes of action for strict products
liability and negligence holding that it was error to grant
judgment on the pleadings to Hennessy and an abuse of discretion
to deny plaintiffs leave to amend their complaints with respect to
their causes of action for strict products liability and
negligence.

The cases before the appellate court are RITA BETTENCOURT et al.,
Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. HENNESSY INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendant
and Respondent; DONALD PEARSON, Plaintiff and Appellant, v.
HENNESSY INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendant and Respondent; NOEL SHUSTED
et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. HENNESSY INDUSTRIES, INC.,
Defendant and Respondent; and SANDY SIEGEL et al., Plaintiffs and
Appellants, v. HENNESSY INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendant and
Respondent, Nos. A129379, A130211, A131063, A131071 (Calif. App.
Ct.).  A copy of Justice Jones's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/Ztd2offrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hazmat Dumping in West Australia Increases
-----------------------------------------------------------
Australia's ABC News reports the Western Australian Government
says there has been an increase in the illegal dumping of toxic
and hazardous materials in south-west bushland.

There has been a spike in the number of materials, such as
asbestos, found in land around Bridgetown, Manjimup, Pemberton and
Northcliffe.

The Department of Environment and Conservation says it has also
received several reports of tyres being dumped near Pemberton and
Quinninup.

Tyres release toxic fumes into the air during bushfires and prove
hazardous to firefighters and native animals.

The Government recently increased the penalty for illegal dumping
to more than $60,000.

Katy Peterson from the Donnelly district DEC says people dumping
asbestos illegally are showing a blatant disregard for the health
of others.

She says she is shocked to see a rise in the number of cases.

"We've been finding more and more of it around the bush," she
said.

"I've actually had 12 cases of asbestos dumped in the bush in the
last year or so and some of it has actually been wrapped in black
plastic.

"It's very dangerous for people . . . and not only people but
animals as well. They can get the fibres, they can breathe it in
as well, so it's not just the people we are talking about."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Progress Energy Halts Sutton Plant Construction
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shannan Bowen, writing for Wilmington (N.C.) StarNews, reports
Progress Energy decided over the weekend to pause construction at
its new natural gas facility just off U.S. 421 North in New
Hanover County after coming across unexpected asbestos in
underground debris.

Spokesman Scott Sutton said construction workers, who discovered
the asbestos while digging Thursday, May 3, followed safety
procedures by stopping work and calling specialists to test the
materials.

Less than half-pound of asbestos was confirmed, so Progress Energy
decided to stop construction until an environmental remediation
crew digs and removes all of the debris discovered Thursday,
Sutton said.

Construction workers had found another set of asbestos-containing
debris more than a week earlier and promptly removed the materials
according to Progress Energy's procedures

"They thought they had dealt with the asbestos issue a week and a
half ago, but they discovered new materials Thursday," Sutton
said, adding that the decision to delay construction came after
that discovery to ensure that all materials were removed.

When items containing asbestos -- a mineral fiber that has been
commonly used in construction materials -- are damaged or
disturbed, their fibers can become airborne and inhaled, causing
significant health problems, according to the Environmental
Protection Agency.

Progress Energy's natural gas-fired power plant at its Sutton
Energy Complex is expected to begin operating in 2014. Sutton said
the targeted completion date in late 2013 wasn't expected to
change because of the pause in construction, but he wasn't sure
when construction would resume.

The 620-megawatt plant will replace a coal-fired plant that's
being phased out of service by the utility giant as part of its
plans to reduce its carbon emissions by moving toward cleaner and
renewable energy sources. The $600 million plant is expected to
create more than 700 construction jobs over the 24-month building
process.

Sutton added that Progress Energy decided to pause construction
out of concern for the health and safety of the 350 contract
workers at the site, though the amount of asbestos was small.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aussie Group Warns Far West Residents of Fibro
---------------------------------------------------------------
Margaret Paul, writing for ABC News, reports The Asbestos Victims
Association of South Australia is urging far west residents to
check for asbestos before they renovate their homes.

The association was in Broken Hill over the weekend, warning
people about the dangers of the fibre.

Their president, Terry Miller, said he had about 50 inquiries from
people who have worked with asbestos over the weekend in Broken
Hill.

He said people need to be careful when renovating old homes.

"What we're trying to do is save lives," he said.

"When you're renovating homes -- a lot of people have heard of
asbestos but they don't think about it when they start renovating,
and it could be anywhere in the home.

"Most homes built between 1940 and the late 80s had asbestos in
them somewhere."

Mr Miller said people in rural areas could be more prone to
asbestos poisoning than people in the cities.

"Generally people on the land have got asbestos sheds or fences,
and they do their own mechanics," he said.

"And a lot of the old stuff had asbestos in it, particularly
brakes, gaskets, things like that.

"Sheds, if they're in poor condition they could be releasing
fibres which you could breathe in."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Clyde Bergemann Fined AU$64,000 for Fibro Import
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Aleisha Orr, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reports a
company was fined in Perth Magistrates Court on May 7 for
importing asbestos to Australia.

The international engineering company, Clyde Bergemann Senior
Thermal was ordered to pay AU$64,000 in penalties and costs for
importing prohibited asbestos in machinery parts.

In 2009, CBST imported 62 machinery parts from China for the
development of a power plant.

Customs and Border Protection found that the machinery contained
chrysotile asbestos.

Chrysotile asbestos, commonly known as white asbestos, is a
prohibited import under the customs regulations and can cause
adverse health effects, including lung cancer.

In June 2010, the company imported a further 60 parts containing
chrysotile asbestos.

CBST was found guilty of two counts of importing prohibited
imports.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Removal in New York More Expensive
---------------------------------------------------------
Dan Herbeck, news staff reporter at Buffalo (N.Y.) News, reports
David M. Mazur does demolition and asbestos removal work in 16
states, and he says it costs far more to do such work in New York
than any other state.

A New York State survey, or "notification fee," that often adds
$3,000 to $4,000 to the cost of an asbestos project is probably
the biggest factor, Mazur said.

That fee, as well as higher landfilling costs, helps explain why
it often costs $20,000 to knock down a house in Buffalo and just
$10,000 in the City of Detroit, which is also on a demolition
spree, contractors said.

New York State requires an inventory of asbestos, called a survey,
prior to most demolitions, to determine the level of asbestos in a
building scheduled for demolition. If a house is too dangerous to
survey the contents, a notification must be filed with the state.
Each process carries a fee, usually $2,000 to $4,000, paid to the
state by the contractors.

Mazur works all over the Eastern Seaboard and said he's never seen
another state that charges so much in fees.

"The notification process gives [the state Department of Labor]
information about where asbestos activities are occurring and
allows DOL to conduct thorough inspections to ensure that the
community is protected from any asbestos," said Labor Department
spokesman Leo Rosales. Asbestos, when inhaled, can cause serious
lung ailments, including cancer.

New York is "more stringent" than most states when it comes to
enforcing asbestos safety regulations, Mazur said, but he isn't
complaining.

"I welcome the oversight," Mazur said. "From a safety standpoint,
it keeps all the contractors on the same playing field."

Not every demo contractor sees the issue as Mazur does. Several
local contractors told The Buffalo News they think the
notification fee is a ripoff.

"You wonder who the crooks are. It's not us. It's the politicians
in Albany," said Albert J. Steele Jr., who runs Hannah Demolition,
the city's busiest demo company.

Even the city official who oversees Buffalo's demolition program,
Inspections Commissioner James Comerford, calls the state fee
"ridiculous."

"The state notification fee is killing us," Comerford said.
"Basically, it's a sheet of paper that we fill out . . .  We
protested the fee a few years ago, and the state's response was to
double the fee."

In addition to survey fees, a typical house demolition in New
York, Mazur said, also includes $4,500 to $8,000 to have 100 tons
of asbestos-tainted waste safely removed from the site and
disposed of at a government-approved waste site.

Other fees, he said, include:

     $1,500 to have water and sewer lines capped off, so there are
            no longer water services running to a demolition site.

       $325 for a city demolition license.

     $1,500 or possibly much more in labor costs, depending on the
            amount of asbestos in the house.

       $450 in fuel costs for the excavator used to dismantle the
            house.

Additional expenses for safety equipment, use of city fire
hydrants and bonding -- or insuring -- that the work will be done
right.

Mazur and Steele declined to discuss their profit margins, but
Mazur said: "You can make good money doing demolitions [in New
York,] but I don't think it's easy money. It's hard labor that
requires a lot of expensive equipment."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Buffalo Spent $73MM in 12 Yrs to Remove Old Bldgs
------------------------------------------------------------------
Susan Schulman and Dan Herbeck, writing for Buffalo News, report
that Buffalo spent $73 million over the past 12 years to knock
down some 5,800 vacant houses and other dilapidated buildings on
city streets.

That's roughly the price of hiring 100 more cops or teachers for
10 years, or to redevelop the Statler Hotel. It's more demolitions
than there are houses in the Village of Lancaster.

All that demolition removed hazardous eyesores but also left many
city streets with vast areas of vacant lots.

And with the cost of city demolition tripling during those years,
it also put millions of dollars into the pockets of a handful of
demolition contractors, some with shady pasts:

     -- Albert J. Steele Jr., a former thief and prison escape
        artist, is now the city's premier demolition man. Steele's
        company made $11 million knocking down houses, almost all
        during the administration of Mayor Byron Brown.

     -- Geiter Done has received almost $6 million from Buffalo
        since 2006 to demolish city properties. It is owned by
        Michael P. Honer. He ran another company, Huron Recovery,
        that was forced into bankruptcy in 2006, leaving a string
        of bad debts, including some $30,000 to the Erie County
        Industrial Development Agency and about $30,000 more to
        the Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corp., records show.

     -- Amir's Vision, which did a good chunk of demolition work
        for the Masiello administration -- $2.25 million in six
        years -- and $500,000 in work for the Brown administration
        in 2006, was subsequently banned from bidding on public
        contracts until 2013. The state says the company falsely
        and illegally claimed to be paying prevailing wages. But a
        company now operating at the same Buffalo address is
        called C&R Housing and did $1.35 million in work for the
        Brown administration through 2011.

The state is investigating whether the two companies are
essentially the same.

The Buffalo News obtained records for city demolition work from
2000 through 2011. The demolition data includes everything from
garages and houses to commercial and industrial sites. The data
does not include private demolitions or those performed by city
development agencies.

The News' analysis found city demolitions are up 29% in the first
six years of the Brown administration, compared with the last six
years of the Masiello administration.

But costs are up 169%.

It nows costs, on average, $18,000 to $20,000 to knock down a
dilapidated house in Buffalo, city officials said, compared with
about $5,000 near the start and $9,000 at the end of the Masiello
administration.

City officials blame the increase largely on state environmental
fees associated with demolitions. The News, additionally, found
that some city policies are likely responsible.

The News also found that Buffalo in recent years has demolished
two to three times as many houses as Rochester and up to 10 times
as many as Syracuse, two other upstate cities confronted with
declining city neighborhoods.

And The News found that as city demolition spending grew, fewer
demolition companies do business with Buffalo.

"You can make good money doing demolitions [in New York,] but I
don't think it's easy money," said David M. Mazur, president of
Empire Dismantlement, one of the city contractors.

The bulk of the $19.7 million that went to demolish 2,600
buildings during the Masiello administration was shared with a
dozen or so companies, each getting upward of $1 million to $2
million in city contracts over Masiello's last six years in
office.

During the Brown years, four demolition companies got two-thirds
of the $53 million spent on 3,200 demolitions.

     1. Steele's Hannah Demolition, which got $10.8 million
        from 2006 to 2011.

     2. Metro Environmental of Niagara Falls, which got
        $9.1 million.

     3. Empire Dismantlement of Grand Island, which got
        $8 million.

     4. Geiter Done, which got $5.7 million.

Two of the big four companies, Metro Environmental and Hannah
Demolition, gave sizable campaign donations to Brown.

Demolition companies say the donations have no effect on who gets
the business. City officials agree. All demolition work, they
note, is publicly bid.

"I like the area. Some politicians I feel do the right thing for
everyone. That is what I support," said Howard Hibbard, owner of
Metro Environmental. Hibbard and his company gave the mayor $8,500
in campaign contributions.

Steele, of Hannah Demolition, said his company's donations of
$7,000 are a sign of appreciation for Brown's willingness to give
city work to an ex-con.

"He's never told me, 'You give me a donation, and I'll get you
work,'" said Steele, who displays two photos of himself with the
mayor on his office wall. "The mayor knows my background. He's
given me a chance. A lot of people would never give an ex-convict
a chance. I appreciate it, 100%."

Steele acknowledged that state and federal investigators have been
asking him questions about his business. He says it's because of
his past.

"I've had seven or eight audits within a six-month period," said
Steele. "Workers' comp audit. Last year's payroll. And insurance.
They found nothing."

The News learned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has an
ongoing investigation into Buffalo demolitions. The FBI has also
been investigating. Both agencies declined to comment when asked
about their interest in Buffalo demolitions.

The $18,000 to $20,000 it costs to demolish a house in Buffalo is
similar to what Rochester and Syracuse pay to knock down houses.

But these other cities knock down far fewer houses than Buffalo
does. Rochester, with a population now nearing Buffalo's, knocks
down 150 to 200 houses a year; Syracuse, with about half Buffalo's
population, knocks down about 50 annually. Both cities have lost
about a third of their populations since 1950.

Buffalo, which has lost about half its population since 1950, has
knocked down as many as 500 to 700 properties a year, mostly
houses, spending as much as $10 million to $13 million annually,
in recent years.

The other cities said they haven't seen the huge spikes in
demolition prices that Buffalo has experienced.

"It's gone up a little, but it's been pretty stable over the past
five years," Bret Garwood, Rochester's director of building and
housing development.

All the upstate officials said asbestos removal fees represent a
big part of demolition costs. Of the $20,000 in fees, $12,000 is
for asbestos removal, Garwood said.

Other demolition-related costs have also gone up, said Hibbard,
from Metro Environmental.

"Water and sewer connections. Disposal. Everything has gone up,"
he said.

Beyond that, the News analysis found demolition costs generally
spiked in concert with emergency demolitions -- which increased
when the city was hit with a rash of fires in 2007, and again in
2009, when the city labeled as emergencies almost half of the
record number of buildings knocked down. The buildings stood
vacant for a long time and deteriorated to the point of being
unsafe, according to city officials, who said they were able to
knock them down in 2009 after getting additional money from the
state.

Typically, during these emergency demolitions, asbestos-laden
material remains in the house because the buildings are deemed
unsafe for contractors to remove asbestos. All the debris is
therefore treated as asbestos-tainted and subject to a higher
billing rate -- sometimes double the non-asbestos rate -- when it
goes to landfills. Demolitions deemed as emergencies are to be
completed within a day of a contract being awarded.

James W. Comerford, Buffalo's commissioner of permits and
inspections, disputes any connection between emergency demolitions
and higher costs.

Traditional demolitions require removing asbestos before a
demolition. Given the high cost of removing asbestos, traditional
demolitions often cost more, he said, citing a specific case.

"It's a variable. It's the size of the house and the project that
matters," Comerford said. "It costs $10 a square foot to remove
asbestos."

Comerford added that emergency demolitions have dropped off now
that the city has made progress on the backlog of houses on the
demolition list.

"We are finally making some headway," Comerford said. "We are
doing more houses that require us to remove the asbestos before
demo, which I maintain is more costly in most cases."

There have been 99 emergency demolitions so far this year,
compared with 350 in 2009, according to Comerford.

One of the reasons a few companies make big money from city
demolitions is that fewer companies are now bidding on the work,
The News found.

Some say that's because it's hard for many smaller companies to
compete, given high fixed costs -- bonding, insurance, asbestos
removal fees.

Others cite a recent city policy requiring a single company do
both demolition and asbestos removal work, rather than bidding the
two procedures out separately. The policy makes the process go
smoother when one company does all the work, Comerford said.

Some contractors also said that stricter state environmental
regulations and enforcement put some smaller companies out of
business -- in some cases after the contractors got arrested for
violating asbestos removal laws.

S.D. Specialty Services, for example, made $168,135 from the city
in 2009 and 2010 before being accused last year of improperly
handling asbestos on a job in Watertown. The case was dismissed,
but it remains under investigation, and new charges could be
filed. The company, owned by Sean Doctor, a former Buffalo Bills
fullback who is now a Buffalo firefighter, is now out of the
business.

"The federal charges were dismissed due to lack of a timely
prosecution," said Doctor's attorney, Michael T. Kelly. Doctor
denies any wrongdoing, Kelly said, adding that environmental laws
on asbestos removal are "extremely complicated."

Topor Contracting of Buffalo, which performed $1.3 million in work
for the city between 2000 and 2004, during the Masiello
administration, is also out of business.

The company pleaded guilty in 2004 to falsely claiming it used
state-certified air-monitoring gear and that a state-certified
laboratory confirmed their work. Those documents pertained to work
done in Buffalo in 2002.

Company owner Thomas Toporczyk was permanently barred from doing
asbestos work in New York State. Topor Contracting was taken over
in 2004 by one of its employees, Steele, who renamed it Hannah
Demolition.

Currently, the firm hired to monitor asbestos removal at city
demolition sites is under indictment for allegedly falsifying
documents at Kensington Heights, a vacant public housing complex
owned by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.

Officials of JMD Environmental of Grand Island denied the charges,
and the company continues to work under contract for the city.
However, the state is expected to pull JMD's license soon, at
which point the company will no longer be working for Buffalo,
Comerford said.

From 2008 through 2011, JMD received $1.1 million from city
government -- separate from the Housing Authority -- for air and
asbestos sampling and monitoring, according to city records.

Comerford was aware of Albert Steele's criminal past but said
that, from everything he's seen, the one-time thief and jail
breaker turned his life around. He does a good job demolishing
buildings for the city, Comerford said.

Comerford said he wasn't aware of the past legal problems of
Amir's Vision and the Shareef family. Nor was he aware of the
financial entanglements of Michael Honer, who owns Geiter Done.

One of the Shareef businesses, Amir's Vision, was sanctioned by
the state in 2009 for not paying prevailing wage, as required, and
as the company said it had been.

City records show that Amir's Vision was being run by Ellen
Shareef, the wife of Jabril Shareef. Jabril Shareef faced related
legal problems in 1998, when he was convicted of paying workers at
his demolition business, Shareef Enterprises, $6 or $7 an hour
rather than the prevailing union wage of $21.89 an hour as
required by his Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority contract.
Jabril Shareef was sentenced to two years in prison.

Jabril Shareef now heads C&R Housing, the demolition company
currently working for the city, according to state incorporation
records. But city officials said Ellen Shareef, who identified
herself as the office manager, typically represents C&R on city
demolition matters.

C&R Housing and Amir's Vision "are two separate corporations,
owned by different people," said Ellen Shareef, "I have no
ownership in C&R, and my husband had no ownership in Amir's."

Geiter Done, owned by Michael Honer, is located on Greene Street,
as was Honer's previous business, Huron Recovery.

Huron Recovery in 2003 borrowed $45,000 from the Erie County
Industrial Development Agency and $50,000 from the Buffalo
Economic Renaissance Corp. to purchase equipment for the tire
recycling company.

Honer is listed on state documents as chairman and CEO of Huron, a
position he held until November 2005, when the other company
stockholders voted him out of the top spot. He remained a 50%
shareholder in the company. Three of Huron's creditors filed
papers in 2006 putting the company in bankruptcy, according to
court papers.

Honer opened Geiter Done in September 2005.

Honer did not return numerous calls from The News to comment, but
Honer's bankruptcy attorney, Lawrence C. Brown, said Huron
Recovery in the past 18 months repaid its loans to BERC and the
IDA's Regional Development Corp.

Huron Recovery and Geiter Done are separate companies, Brown said.

"I will say this for Mr. Honer and his company, Geiter Done --
they've done a darn good job doing the difficult job of handling
demolitions," Brown said. "Geiter Done has a good track record and
has done very good work."

Comerford also said Geiter Done and C&R Housing have done good
work for the city.

Nonetheless, Comerford said, he and City Attorney Timothy Ball
would discuss the information they learned from The News about the
two companies.

"We're always looking. We're the Law Department," Ball said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Builder Charged Over Cleanup Without Survey
---------------------------------------------------------------
PP Construction Safety reports that builder Stuart Pearson, of
Doset, has been prosecuted for demolishing a building without
first carrying out an asbestos survey between April 20 and May 1,
2011.

Magistrates heard (April 30) he was engaged to demolish a house in
Woking, Surrey and was provided with a recent Asbestos Management
Survey of one area of the house which highlighted 12 metres of
asbestos in poor condition.

Two areas were classified as 'high risk' which the report said
required "a full environmental clean and removal of all asbestos-
containing materials" by a licensed asbestos contractor. The
report added that removal must be undertaken in controlled
conditions with the use of 'enclosures, airlocks, negative
pressure units and decontamination units.'

However, Mr Pearson went ahead and demolished the property without
having a pre-demolition survey carried out on the entire property
to ensure that all asbestos was identified and removed. The HSE
investigation started after the local council visited and raised
concerns.

Mr Pearson, of Verwood, Dorset, pleaded guilty to a breach of
Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. He was
fined GBP5,000 and ordered to pay costs of GBP7,500.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Russell Beckett, said, "Before
any demolition work is undertaken a survey must be carried out to
identify any asbestos present and prevent exposure to anyone
working on site and to those who subsequently process the waste.
Any asbestos must be removed in the correct manner.

"Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in
the UK and the dangers are well known in the construction and
property industries.

"Asbestos is not an historical threat. It is current and it faces
tradesmen all the time. This man has risked his own health and the
health of others who were on the site."

Around 4,000 people die every year as a result of breathing
asbestos fibres.  Asbestos is the biggest single cause of work-
related deaths in the UK.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fitness Center Reopens 5 Months After Fibro Find
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Neil Goffet, writing for Australia's The Newcastle Herald,
reported HOWZAT Newcastle was slated to re-open May 7 after being
forced to close for five months when asbestos was found in the
roof of the indoor sports and fitness centre.

The repairs to the building on the corner of Tooke and Brooks
streets, Cooks Hill, cost owner Newcastle Grammar School more than
$2 million.

The gymnasium was set to reopen May 7 and the indoor sports
facilities will follow.

"We are progressively putting the sports facilities back together
and the indoor sports competitions will commence shortly
thereafter," general manager Ian Jack said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Memphis Firm to Develop Old Tampa Courthouse
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Wiatrowski, writing for The Tampa Tribune, reports that
Memphis-based Development Services Group took ownership recently
of Tampa's retired federal courthouse, an imposing building that
fills a block of North Florida Avenue between Zack and Twiggs
streets.

Under a long-term ground lease with the city, the developer plans
to reinvent the 106-year-old Beaux Arts-style building as a 130-
room La Meridien hotel.

Under the deal, the city gets a flat rental fee and the building
returns to the tax rolls. During the renovation, the rent is $1.
It jumps to $10,000 a year for the 28 years after that and
increases every few decades after that.

The deal also frees the city from the nearly $100,000 it spends
every year to air-condition the empty building to keep the decay
at bay, said Bob McDonaugh, the city's economic opportunity
administrator.

The project should create more than 400 jobs during renovations
and 100 permanent jobs after that, McDonough said.

The courthouse closed in 1997. During its time, it hosted the
Kefauver Committee's hearings on organized crime in 1950, campaign
speeches by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in 1960, the
corruption trial and acquittal of then-U.S. Sen. Ed Gurney in the
1970s and the prosecution of drug money launderers at the Bank of
Credit and Commerce International in the 1980s. It hosted a grand
jury that indicted Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega on drug
trafficking charges in 1988.

Before it was a courthouse, the building was a customs house and
post office at a time when the Hillsborough River was a working
waterfront. McDonaugh, who came to Tampa as a student in the
1970s, remembers when the building had a walk-up postal window on
the Twiggs side.

All told, the land, which the city owns, is worth $1.9 million.
The building is assessed at $423,000. Under the city's current tax
rate, it will add $100,000 each year to the city's revenue as a
hotel, McDonaugh said.

Historic-preservation tax credits are likely to keep the owner's
tax bill at that level for the next decade. After that, the bill
will rise based on the extent of the renovations.

Renovations began unofficially April 26, when developer Gary
Prosterman toured the building with county fire inspectors.
Modernizing the building will mean adding details such as fire
sprinklers and removing asbestos, mold and water damage.

"There'll definitely be some unknowns when we start opening up the
walls," Prosterman said.

The renovation will retain the building's most impressive features
-- the marble and terrazzo lobby, and the oak door frames and
window casings.

"The guests love that experience," Prosterman said.

And it's nearly impossible to replicate today, he noted. "The
quality of older materials is better."

The rest of the building, from the shabby offices with modern drop
ceilings to the holding cells on the ground floor, will be torn
out to make way for hotel rooms.

"It's interesting how well it adapts," said Tampa architect
Stephanie Ferrell, a historic-preservation specialist who has
rejuvenated 1920s-era buildings on Franklin Street, including her
own offices.

The courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places, so
the $25 million renovation will have a host of federal, state and
local hoops to navigate before it's finished.

That's nothing Prosterman and his team hasn't done before,
however.

Prosterman's company turned a 1911 YMCA in Philadelphia into a
202-room La Meridien hotel in 2009. His architects and contractor
have done historic renovations from Beverly Hills to Miami Beach.

The success of all those projects started with the quality of the
building, Prosterman said.

"For every one that works, there's 40 or 50 that don't," he said.

The project is expected to be completed by 2014.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Belluck & Fox Verdicts Among 2011 Top NY Verdicts
------------------------------------------------------------------
Two Belluck & Fox, LLP, mesothelioma verdicts are among the Top
New York Verdicts of 2011, according to recent results from
Verdict Search.

The $32 million verdict obtained in the case of Dummit v. A.W.
Chesterton (No. 190196/10) placed No. 4 on the list. The $19.5
million verdict in the case of Konstantin v. 630 Third Avenue
Associates (No. 190134/10) placed No. 10 overall and first in the
construction category.

The firm secured both verdicts in August 2011 in New York Supreme
Court. Judge Joan Madden presided over both cases.

Founding partner and veteran New York mesothelioma attorney Jordan
Fox led the Belluck & Fox legal team. Senior litigator James Long,
partner Brian Belasky and associates Seth Dymond and William
Papain assisted him over the course of the two nine-week trials.

"These verdicts represent a measure of justice for the
mesothelioma victims and their families who suffered needlessly
because asbestos continued to be used long after its dangers were
recognized," Fox said. "Our clients and their families, as always,
motivated us."

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen
caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring heat- and
fire-resistant fibrous mineral. Asbestos has been used in a
variety of industrial machinery and equipment, and in consumer
products.

Mesothelioma victims typically show disease symptoms years or even
decades after exposure to asbestos in an industrial or
manufacturing workplace. The disease is eventually fatal, but
aggressive therapy may prolong the lives of patients who are
diagnosed early.

In Dummit, a jury found Crane Co. and Elliott Turbomachinery Co.
responsible for the asbestos exposure that led to a U.S. Navy
veteran's diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma. Mr. Dummitt had
worked in the boiler and fire rooms aboard seven U.S. Navy ships
between 1960 and 1977. He claimed that he was exposed to asbestos
from his work repairing valves.

In returning its verdict, the jury determined that Crane and
Elliott acted with a reckless disregard for the safety of others
in failing to warn. The jury apportioned 99% responsibility to
Crane and 1 percent responsibility to Elliott. The award included
$16 million in past pain and suffering and $16 million in future
pain and suffering to Mr. Dummitt.

In Konstantin, the jury found Tishman Liquidating Corporation,
formerly known as Tishman Realty and Construction Co., responsible
for Mr. Konstantin developing mesothelioma of the tunica
vaginalis, one of the rarest forms of cancer in the world. Like
all cases of mesothelioma, this form of the disease is not
curable.

Mr. Konstantin claimed that he was exposed to asbestos during the
construction of a high-rise building in Manhattan. During a period
between 1976 and 1977, he claimed, he had inhaled asbestos that
was released from joint-sealing compounds that his co-workers were
using.

The jury found Tishman 76% liable and to have acted with reckless
disregard for the safety of others. The jury awarded Mr.
Konstantin $7 million for past pain and suffering, and $12 million
for future pain and suffering. The verdict amount also included
$64,832 for past lost wages, and $485,325 for future lost wages.
Both Mr. Dummit and Mr. Konstantin were diagnosed with
mesothelioma in 2010.

Verdict Search is a legal research database of verdicts and
settlements from across the U.S. The database is often used as a
reference for publications such as The New York Times and The
National Law Journal.

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 more than $500 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.

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.

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: Rockingham-Lunex Fined $35K for Improper Disposal
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports a Bettendorf company has been fined
$35,000 for burning demolition debris and failing to properly
dispose of asbestos.

The Iowa Attorney General's Office says Rockingham-Lunex Co. and
its owner, William Schmidt of Mount Pleasant, demolished two
buildings at a former manufacturing facility in Bettendorf in
March 2011 and improperly disposed of the waste. It also says the
company did not have the buildings inspected for asbestos, notify
the Natural Resources department of the demolition or hire a
licensed asbestos contractor.

Rockingham-Lunex properly disposed of the debris after being
notified of the violations.

A Scott County district judge levied the fine May 3 in response to
a petition from the attorney general.  A number for the business
was not in service May 5.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Shipyard Worker Seeks Workmates Help on Claim
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sunderland Echo reports a former shipyard worker is appealing his
former colleagues to come forward to help in his battle for
compensation after being diagnosed with an asbestos-related
cancer.

George Storey was given the devastating news that he had terminal
mesothelioma, caused by inhalation of the deadly dust, in December
last year.

The 85-year-old, a father of one and grandfather of two, lives
with wife Jane, 83, in Roker.

George worked as a plumber's mate for Steel Engineers Limited of
Crown Works, Pallion, between 1953 and 1955, repairing heating
systems and installing new pipe work on several ships at Smiths
Dock in North Shields.

He also worked on ships in yards based just across the Tyne in
South Shields, at Brigham and Cowan and Tyne Slipway.

"My diagnosis in December last year was utterly devastating," he
said.

"I used to enjoy gardening and pottering around in my woodshed,
but I'm now unable to manage these simple tasks. I get out of
breath easily and I've had to give it up, which has been really
upsetting and frustrating.

"My wife suffers from a chronic lung disease, and can't do any
jobs around the house like cooking and cleaning so I used to do it
-- all of which I can't manage any more.

"I cannot believe that work I did so long ago is having such a
devastating effect on my life today."

Isobel Lovett is an asbestos-related disease specialist at Irwin
Mitchell's Newcastle office and is representing George and his
family.

She said: "We are appealing for information from anyone who worked
for Steels Engineers Limited, or who worked on ships at the Smiths
Dock, North Shields, or Brigham and Cowan or Tyne Slipway
shipyards, both in South Shields.

"Mesothelioma has a massive impact on those who are diagnosed and
they are forced to try and deal with the reality of a disease that
cannot be cured.

"George is determined to get justice and continue in his case to
ensure that his family will be provided for."

Anyone able to help in this matter can contact Isobel Lovett at
Irwin Mitchell on 279 0104 or email sobel.lovett@irwinmitchell.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Counsel to Carpenter Killed by Cancer Seeks Help
-----------------------------------------------------------------
According to an article at thisissouthdevon.co.uk, lawyers who
represented a retired carpenter who died of an asbestos-related
disease are appealing for help to fight a legal battle on behalf
of his widow.

Devoted family man Ronald Dunk died aged 72 in January after a
nine-month fight against mesothelioma.

The Torbay coroner recorded a verdict of death by industrial
disease at his inquest.

Now his solicitors want to hear from former work colleagues who
may know some of the circumstances about how he came into contact
with the dangerous material.

Mr. Dunk worked for a small company called Globe R B Limited in
Torquay on separate occasions between 1998 and 2001, working
mainly on conversions.

Helen Grady, an asbestos law expert from Irwin Mitchell's Bristol
office, said: "I am particularly keen to hear from workers from
Globe R B Limited."

Mesothelioma is an asbestos related cancer for which there is no
cure.

Mr. Dunk died at Rowcroft Hospice.

His wife said: "When we were told of Ronald's diagnosis, we were
all absolutely devastated.

"We have four children and three grandchildren aged between 12 and
14.

"Ronald was very devoted to our family in terms of help and
support and, in view of his previously good health, had hoped to
be in a position to do this for many years to come.

"I'm pleading to anyone with any information, no matter how small,
to get in touch with Helen at Irwin Mitchell."

Anyone with information should call 0870 1500 100 or e-mail
helen.grady@irwinmitchell.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Demolition of Carroll County Courthouse Begins
---------------------------------------------------------------
Winston Jones at Times-Georgian reports that demolition work on
the old Carroll County courthouse annex was to begin May 7.

"We'll do a visual inspection Sunday to verify that the asbestos
removal has been completed," said county Project Manager Randy
Simpkins last week.  "Then the demolition company, D.H. Griffin,
will be released to start work Monday."

Simpkins said most of the week's work will be on the interior of
the 1970s era structure.

"First, they'll get any hazardous material out, a lot of little
stuff, then gut the inside," he said.

Before any exterior demolition begins, he said, the company will
separate the annex from the historic courthouse.

"They will cut a gap, about two feet, so when they take down the
annex, it will minimize damage to the west wall of the
courthouse," Simpkins said.

The demolition company will not be using a steel ball or
explosives to bring down the walls, but will make use of
excavators to push the walls over. Simpkins thinks the company
will probably start on the north side of the building.

"The building should be down within three weeks and it will be
followed by a cleanup," he said.

Commission Chairman Bill Chappell called the old annex "one stout
structure, built with tons of rebar."

Once the annex property is cleared, Simpkins said the fourth and
final phase of the $16.9 million judicial center construction will
begin, probably in early June and continue through the remainder
of the year.

This final construction phase will include the building of a main
foyer to the new judicial building and extending it out into the
area where the old annex had been, he said. Work will include a
courtyard, containing the Confederate soldier statue, and a
balcony on the historic courthouse building.

"The old courthouse will be refurbished and brought up to modern
codes," Chappell said May 4. "We almost have the roof completed
now, but we can't complete it until the air conditioning units are
off."

He said the old courthouse will be cooled by the air conditioning
equipment in the new judicial building.

Chappell said no specific plans have been made for use of the old
courthouse.

"I hope to see a county historic museum," he said. "I don't want
any judicial facilities back in the building."

Chappell said he would like to see some type of memorial to the
late Horrie Duncan, who was the sole county commissioner when the
annex was built, placed on the property.

An open house for the new judicial center building has been
scheduled for May 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Cedar Rapids Library to Open in 2013
---------------------------------------------------------
Jason Epner at KWWL reports trips to the library for the Foreman
family of Cedar Rapids have been few and far between ever since
2008.

"We just had to think about it and make a special trip just
because we are on the Southeast side," said Amy Foreman, mother of
three.

The flood waters that poured through downtown displaced the
library to its temporary location inside Westdale mall on the
city's western edge

"The libraries in Marion and Hiawatha really stood in the breech
for us and really took a lot of that demand that we normally would
have covered on that side of the community," said Bob Pasicznyuk,
the library's director.

While off the beaten path, the temporary location has confirmed
the community's desire for a main library, seeing a circulation of
800,000 this past year, making it one of the busiest libraries in
the state.

"This really shows us the kind of demand there is for the
library," Pasicznyuk said.

Now that demand is ready to be met.

It hasn't been an easy road getting to this point.  First, it was
a long debate about where the library should be located.  Then, it
was unexpected asbestos removal.  Finally, Saturday, the community
of Cedar Rapids took a major step forward in flood recovery.

City leaders put the problems of the past behind them, turning
dirt on a brand new 95 thousand square foot library to be equipped
with increased technology, meting spaces, and a large children's
library on the first floor

"It just looks really neat and different from other libraries so I
think it will be fun," said Jackie Brock of Cedar Rapids.

For families like the Foreman's, the library's return to downtown
is a sign their city is on its way back.

They, like many others, plan on making it a point to take
advantage of the downtown location more regularly.

"The community has put forth a lot of effort to get this together,
and it should bring the community together," said Amy Foreman.

The new library is expected to open in the summer of 2013.

The total project costs $45 million, with $4 million coming from
the city.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: OSHA Probes Fibro Discovered in Alcoa's NY Plant
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Hall, writing for Asbestos.com, reports that asbestos was
discovered in the New York plant of the aluminum-manufacturing
giant, Alcoa Inc.

The discovery, made after a fire broke out in Alcoa's Massena West
plant on March 29, led investigators to find asbestos contained in
the building's ceiling.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is
conducting investigations into both the fire and the asbestos.

Alcoa, its employees and OSHA are concerned about the potential
asbestos exposure because asbestos is known to lead to respiratory
diseases like lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. There are
no known cures for asbestos-related diseases.

One of the company's representatives confirmed the rumor that
asbestos was contained within the ceiling and reiterated the
company's commitment to protecting employee safety.

"All safety precautions are being taken to ensure the health and
safety of our employees," she said.

Alcoa, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh, will be conducting
tests on debris samples to look for asbestos fibers that may have
entered the air. After the proper areas are tested and are found
to be safe, operation will resume within the approved spaces.

"While a significant portion of the casthouse still remains closed
due to structural integrity issues, Alcoa is focusing on getting
accessible casting complexes up and running as safely and quickly
as possible."

Alcoa officials appear reserved to reluctant to comment on any
specific safety news until the proper tests have been completed
and reported.

The company has halted partial production of materials as
investigations continue. Some sources believe that portions of the
plant will be out of operations until after the summer, as
asbestos cleanup occurs.

Despite the detriment to the company's operations, the fire may
have inadvertently helped protect the health of current and future
Alcoa employees within the New York plant.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Canton Central School Cleanup to Begin in June
---------------------------------------------------------------
Susan Mende, writing for Watertown Daily Times, reports the first
phase of Canton Central School's $15 million capital project is
slated to begin the first week of June with asbestos removal from
basement crawl spaces.

School Superintendent William A. Gregory said the asbestos
abatement work will occur between 3 and 11 p.m. when the regular
school day is not in session.

"All of the asbestos work is in the basement and should be
completed by midsummer," Mr. Gregory said.

"The project is moving along ahead of schedule at this point."

He said a long list of safety precautions will be followed,
including air monitoring by Atlantic Testing Laboratories, Canton.

The school board Thursday evening, May 3, agreed to award the
hazardous material abatement work to Fibertech Environmental
Services Inc., Buffalo, which submitted the low bid of $408,850.

The district will be required to post announcements about the
asbestos removal 10 days before the work begins. Those
notifications will be affixed on all doors that allow entrance
into the building.

Officials from SEI Design Group, a Rochester architect firm, told
school board members the project is moving fast in terms of
getting necessary approvals from the state Education Department.

"It is moving quickly and smoothly. I have never seen SED approval
move at this breakneck speed," said Michael J. Ebertz, the firm's
senior principal.

Approved by voters in January, the capital project includes
replacing the existing heating system, renovating McKenney Middle
School, installing a new all-weather outdoor track and upgrading
athletic fields.

Plans also involve installing a new security system and new
exterior and interior lighting and repairing curbing and
sidewalks.

Bids for the new heating system are expected by the end of this
month.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Arizona Appeals Court Refers Widow to New Mexico
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Howard Fischer, writing for Arizona Business Gazette, reports
because he inhaled dangerous fibers in New Mexico and not in
Arizona, the widow of an Arizona man who died of lung disease
cannot sue those whose design of a power plant may have made him
ill, the Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled.

In a unanimous decision, the judges rejected the arguments of
Vicki Pounders that she should be able to sue in Arizona because
that is where her husband's disease developed.  She said he was
not injured until that happened.

But Judge Ann Scott Timmer, writing for the court, said his
injury, to the extent there is a link between asbestos and his
mesothelioma, occurred when he inhaled the fibers. And that
occurred in New Mexico.

The distinction is significant: New Mexico has an absolute hard-
and-fast 10-year limit on filing suit in these kinds of actions;
Arizona does not.

And with her husband having worked at the site from 1969 to 1974,
and again from 1977 to 1983, that makes her lawsuit filed in 2008
too late.

Court records said Pounder was a welder at the Four Corners Power
Plant owned by Arizona Public Service Co. but located in New
Mexico.

The lawsuit says Pounders, living in New Mexico at the time, did
repair and maintenance work that required him to disturb and
remove asbestos contained within equipment and insulation. That,
the lawsuit says, meant he inadvertently inhaled asbestos fibers.

In 2008, while living in Arizona, he was diagnosed with a type of
cancer reportedly caused by asbestos exposure.

The couple sued in Maricopa County Superior Court alleging
defective designs, construction and use of asbestos at the plant
and a failure to warn of the dangers.

Defendants included the architect and construction manager for the
three units at the plant and the parent company of the
manufacturer, designer and supplier of 10 pumps used there. They
persuaded the trial judge to apply New Mexico law, and its 10-year
limit on filing suits, and throw the case out.

Vicki Pounder, whose case by then was a wrongful death action,
appealed.

Timmer, writing for the appellate court, said issues like this are
resolved based on which has "a more significant relationship to
the event causing his injury and with the parties."

A threshold issue, Timmer said, is where the injury occurred.

The widow argued that her husband was not injured in New Mexico
because inhalation of fibers, absent the onset of any disease, is
not harmful. The companies disagreed, arguing that the injury
occurred in New Mexico because when he inhaled the fibers there,
that immediately damaged his lung tissue.

Timmer said that latter argument made more sense. She said courts
have allowed lawsuits from patients demanding medical monitoring
who have inhaled asbestos but not shown any evidence of disease.

The court concluded that the injury first took effect in New
Mexico.

But Timmer said that is not the end of the issue. She said courts
are required to consider which state has the most significant
relationship to the occurrence and the parties. And she said place
is only one factor.

The judge said New Mexico is where the alleged defective
construction and use of asbestos at the plant occurred. She said
that state has a natural interest in regulating businesses that
construct or distribute defective products within its borders and
deterring such conduct.

Timmer said allowing someone to sue elsewhere for an injury in New
Mexico would allow someone to move to a state with more favorable
laws -- in this case, one without that 10-year limit on lawsuits
-- to bypass what the New Mexico Legislature had mandated.

Timmer said there was no evidence that the Pounders did that. And
the judge said Arizona has an interest in securing just
compensation for one of its citizens. But she said that, when all
is considered, New Mexico law has to apply.

The case is Pounders v. Enserch E & C 1 CA-CV 11-0282.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Study Says Fibro Exposure Risks Other Illnesses
----------------------------------------------------------------
A new British study reporting that workers exposed to asbestos run
a higher risk of developing life-threatening illnesses in addition
to mesothelioma is a disturbing finding but not entirely a
surprise, New York mesothelioma attorney Joseph W. Belluck said.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine, found that workers who were exposed to
asbestos between 1971 and 2005 had a significantly higher risk of
developing cardiovascular disease and suffering strokes than those
who were not.

"Asbestos is already linked to mesothelioma, an incurable cancer,
and several other serious lung disorders," said Belluck, whose New
York personal injury firm, Belluck & Fox, LLP, dedicates its
practice to representing clients with asbestos-related diseases.
"The fact that medical researchers are correlating it with other
deadly conditions only highlights its dangers and points to the
need for further study of the consequences of asbestos exposure,"
he said.

Asbestos is a material that was widely used in shipyards,
building, construction, the automobile industry and ceiling and
floor tiles. Health organizations, both in the U.S. and
internationally, have recognized it as a dangerous carcinogen.
Some countries have banned it.

Asbestos is the only substance known to cause mesothelioma. This
aggressive cancer affects the lining of the lungs and abdomen. An
estimated 2,500 to 3,000 Americans lose their lives to
mesothelioma each year.

In the British study, researchers found that workers exposed to
asbestos showed a higher rate of death from ischemic heart
disease, which is a reduced blood supply in the heart muscle. In
addition, 63% were more likely to die of a stroke.
Belluck said anyone exposed to asbestos that has become ill should
contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to learn about their
legal options.

"Although it is true that workers are most frequently diagnosed
with mesothelioma, they are certainly not the only people who are
at risk," Belluck said. "Asbestos was used in the construction of
residences, office buildings and other places where the general
public may be found. Even though asbestos is not used now, there
are still older structures where asbestos has not been removed,
making the threat more widespread."

Many sufferers of asbestos-related diseases will need extensive
medical treatment, he said.

"A successful mesothelioma or asbestos claim can make dealing with
the disease, at lease from a financial standpoint, more
manageable," Belluck said. "That leaves victims free to focus on
treatment and spending time with their loved ones, which is always
most important."

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 i s 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: High Court Says Hardie Directors Breached Duties
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Age repors the High Court of Australia ruled that seven
directors of James Hardie Industries -- the nation's largest
producer of asbestos until it ceased using using the material in
1987 -- had breached their duties as directors in 2001, when they
shifted the company to the Netherlands and abandoned their
victims.

The court found the directors, including the former chairman
Meredith Hellicar, were guilty of making misleading statements
with their promise that they had formed a "funded" body to meet
all future compensation claims.

Within three years, the compensation fund cupboard was empty,
short by an estimated $1.5 billion.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports in his 186-page judgment,
Justice John Middleton systematically demolished all the arguments
put forward as a defence to the lax behaviour of the errant
directors, who clearly failed to read the company's accounts
before signing them.

If they didn't know or understand that the accounts they were
signing misrepresented the company's financial position, it was
their duty to know, the judge declared.

James Hardie left a meagre $293 million for all future victims, at
least $1.5 billion short of what was required.

The directors are Meredith Hellicar, Michael Brown, Michael
Gillfillan, Martin Koffel, Gregory Terry, Dan O'Brien, Peter
Willcox and Peter Shafron.

                           *     *     *

The Australian Associated Press reports James Hardie says the High
Court ruling that found seven former directors misled investors
about a compensation fund for asbestos victims will have a
financial impact on the company.

However, in a brief statement released on May 3 just hours after
the court's ruling, James Hardie said it was unsure what the cost
implications of the cost would be.

"The High Court decision will have some cost implications for the
company but the company has not yet had the opportunity to assess
those and will not be able to complete its assessment until the
Court of Appeal has delivered its judgment on the outstanding
issues," James Hardie said.

"If the cost implications are material, the company will make
further disclosure but otherwise the costs will be accounted for
in the company's financial statements as has been its practice."

In 2009, the NSW Supreme Court found that former chairman Meredith
Hellicar and ex-directors Michael Brown, Michael Gillfillan,
Martin Koffel, Dan O'Brien, Greg Terry and Peter Wilcox misled the
stock exchange about James Hardie's capacity to fund asbestos
claims.

The court banned them from serving on company boards for five
years.

That ruling was overturned in 2010 by the NSW Court of Appeal.

In October 2010, the full bench of the High Court heard an appeal
by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission against
the ruling in favour of the non-executive directors.

In ruling in ASIC's favor against the seven former directors, the
High Court said inaccuracies in the minutes of the February 2001
board meeting, which recorded the tabling and approval of a draft
ASX announcement, did not counter their probative value.

The High Court has referred the matter back to the NSW Court of
Appeal to consider issues of liability, penalty and
disqualification.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Concerns Raised Over Ithaca Bldg Demolition
------------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Chaisson at Ithaca Times reports Ithaca Neighborhood Housing
Services on May 2 held a public information meeting in the Women's
Community Building, hosted by Paul Mazzarella, executive director
of INHS, to discuss the impending demolition of the structure and
details about Breckenridge Place, the residential building that
will replace it.

Approximately 20 people were in attendance, several of them
residents and business owners in the Dewitt Building across the
street. They were uniformly worried about literal and metaphorical
fall-out associated with the demolition of the early 1960s vintage
structure. The chief concern was over asbestos.

Sirietta Simoncini, a resident of the Dewitt building, had done
some research on asbestos in building materials and found that it
was routinely incorporated in mortar between the 1950s and 1970s.
In her reading of the asbestos survey released by INHS she could
find no indication that the mortar had been tested. "It's an
inexpensive test," she said. "I'm asking you formally to do it."

"We will be testing continually during the asbestos removal," said
Scott Reynolds, INHS director for real estate development, "and
during the demolition we will be testing in real time." The
representative from the asbestos removal company added that the
air would be test for all particulates, not just asbestos.

Simonocini was not satisfied and insisted that proactively testing
the mortar would be a sound step. "There's always an extra step
that we can take, but we have a budget," said Mazzarella. "We will
comply fully with all the regulations. New York State is one of
the most heavily regulated with respect to public safety."
Simoncini and other members of the audience expressed doubt that
the regulations were adequate.

"If mortar was likely to contain asbestos, then it would be
regulated," said Reynolds. "I'm not going to give you an answer
until I do some research." Mazzarella said it was the first time
he had ever heard someone say that there was asbestos in mortar.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Article Accounts Victim's Legal Struggles
----------------------------------------------------------
Edward Tan, JD at FindLaw.com, wrote an article "Do Mesothelioma
Victims Deserve Better?"  The article, available at Reuters, noted
the case of John Johnson, who contracted and died of mesothelioma.
He sued 65 companies for compensation.

Johnson's lawyer believes companies seek to delay finishing the
cases because a victim's recovery will be reduced greatly once
they die. This is a sentiment echoed by many mesothelioma
attorneys.

In Johnson's case, he was slammed with over 25 hours of
depositions to determine his exposure source. Once he died,
damages for Johnson's own pain and suffering were lost. His family
can now only sue for his medical bills and loss of companionship,
according to his lawyer.

Jury awards in mesothelioma cases average about $3.8 million.
Multiplied across thousands of victims and any company could
easily face bankruptcy.

The solution to this problem isn't clear, according to Mr. Tan.
Some argue that a mass settlement funded by the whole industry is
the answer. But movement in that area is slow.

For now, according to Mr. Tan, the only thing certain is that
mesothelioma victims deserve better than what the current system
offers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pro-Asbestos Lobby Group to Close Operations
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Sandborn, writing for TheTyee.ca, reports an asbestos industry
lobby group partially funded in the past by the Quebec and federal
governments has indicated it will cease its operations.

The Montreal based Chrysotile Institute, which posted a statement
about its impending shut down in the April 28 issue of the Canada
Gazette has, as the Tyee reported last year, long been the target
of anti-asbestos campaigners, who charged that the Institute had
consistently soft pedalled the health dangers associated with
mining and using asbestos of all kinds.

Many public health bodies, including the Canadian Medical
Association, have called for a total end to asbestos production
and export from Canada.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that most asbestos use has ceased in
Canada, the fatalities continue as people exposed during the time
that asbestos was more widely used here sicken and die.

Last year, asbestos was the single largest cause of work-related
deaths in our country, and critics say that continued exports of
Canadian asbestos will create a huge new roster of casualties
around the world.

News of the Institute's decision to fold up has been hailed as a
step forward by the Canadian Labour Congress and by Pat Martin, an
NDP MLA who once worked as an asbestos miner himself.

Martin told the Ottawa Citizen the closing of the institute
signals the "death knell" of asbestos mining in Canada.

"I see it as a real tipping point in the movement to get Canada
out of the asbestos industry," Martin said. "It's just another
demonstration of the death rattle of the asbestos industry in this
country."

The Canadian Labour Congress, which has previously supported calls
for a ban on asbestos and for just job transition help for former
asbestos miners, hailed the news the Chrysotile Institute is
shutting down.

In a statement posted on its web site May 2, the central labour
body says:

"The Canadian Labour Congress welcomes news that the Chrysotile
Institute, a pro-asbestos lobby group, that has received funding
from the federal and Quebec governments, will dissolve and cease
operation. The Institute, which was created in 1984, insisted on
behalf of the industry that the use of chrysotile asbestos poses
little risk to workers if handled safely. In fact, overwhelming
expert evidence indicates that asbestos is a well-known carcinogen
and that no safe use exists. Canada is a major producer of
asbestos and all of this country's exports go to developing
countries, including Bangladesh, India and Indonesia. This
consumption will lead to a pandemic of asbestos related diseases
in developing countries."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plan to Renovate Lincoln Alliance Bldg Collapsed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Brian Sharp, writing for Democrat and Chronicle, reports plans for
a $22 million renovation of the Lincoln Alliance Building have
collapsed, dealing a blow to revitalization of a section of
downtown and leaving the fate of the historic structure uncertain.

The problem at 181-187 E. Main St. came down to asbestos. The
buyers say they weren't told how much of the material was present
in the building, and removing it could cost more than $2 million.
The seller calls that an excuse manufactured and overstated to
provide an out for a financially incapable development team.

Bottom line: "We don't have a project," said developer Doug
Sutherland of Syracuse-based Franklin Properties.

For the city, the Alliance project represented a vote of
confidence in the downtown real estate market, and a solid
indicator that momentum was building around Midtown and in the
center city.

The 113 lofts plus retail and office space announced last May
promised to create a residential area where there is none today.
Once completed, the Alliance building would welcome 160 new
residents downtown while attracting or retaining businesses with
about 140 employees.

In his State of the City address on Monday, Mayor Thomas Richards
included the Alliance project in his tally of $564 million in
public and private investment downtown over the past three years.
The city clarified on May 1 that the figure included planned
projects as well. Richards noted the $18 million Windstream office
building that promises 335 downtown jobs, just more than a third
those once envisioned with the PAETEC Holding Corp. headquarters.
Nearby, there also is the $74 million Midtown Tower project that
continues to languish.

Negotiations on Alliance broke off around the first of the year
and the city's efforts to save the project failed. Yet the city
still had maintained in recent weeks that the project remained on
track and all parties were actively working through financial
questions that were typical in this economy. That changed after
developers confirmed the breakup, but officials still struck a
positive tone.

"The project may be gone with that particular developer, but what
the developer gave us was (the idea that) this building can be
used in specific ways we may not have thought before," City
Council President Lovely Warren said.

"We have a lot of development going on in the city," she said.
"This may be a setback, but it's just a setback."

Added Bret Garwood, the city's director of business and housing
development: "We're still trying to find a way to drive investment
of this sort at that building."

The 15-story building, opened in 1926 as the Lincoln Alliance
Bank, was designed by the then-renowned New York City
architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, working with
Rochester architect Foster Warner. The renovation could have been
the largest certified historic rehabilitation of a National
Register landmark in the city, and one of the largest in upstate
New York.

City Council authorized a $3 million, 30-month low-interest loan
for Sutherland and his local development partner Patrick Dutton to
get started, but none of the money was disbursed as the deal never
closed, Garwood said. The project also would have relied on tax
credits and tax breaks.

"We had the basic financing mechanisms in place," Sutherland said,
with a tight budget assuming minimal abatement. "What we didn't
have was an extra $2 million."

Sutherland/Dutton planned to begin work last fall and open in
2013. Sutherland said the purchase agreement put the onus on the
seller, Conifer Alliance, to disclose the asbestos problem.

"For whatever reason, that didn't happen," he said.

Exposure to asbestos increases a person's risk of lung disease and
cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The
renovation would have disturbed the material as workers cut
through walls and floors.

But Richard Crossed of Conifer Alliance suspects the asbestos
assessment overstates the extent of the problem. Crossed and his
partners only recently received the asbestos report, he said, and
have hired a contractor to review the data and go through the
building to have everything in place for a future buyer. The
property is not currently being marketed.

"We disclosed everything we knew," Crossed said. "I was very
disappointed they did not go ahead with the plan. . . .  I just
don't think they had the financial ability to implement it."

Conifer Alliance has owned the building since 1984. The property
is assessed at $775,000, reduced by the Board of Review three
years ago after owners challenged the city's $1.3 million
assessment. Conifer initially was asking $2.5 million for the
property but lowered the price to an unspecified figure as
negotiations faltered.

In the aftermath, there is focus not just on getting the Alliance
building back in the development pipeline but retaining Franklin
Properties as well. Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of the Rochester
Downtown Development Corp., said the firm has "an impressive
background" and would bring "considerable experience and fresh
thinking" to the local market.

Sutherland isn't going anywhere: "We really like the Rochester
market," he said. "We need to find the right building in order to
proceed."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Libby Seeks to Cut Current & Future Exposure Risk
------------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Hall, writing for Asbestos.com, reports the Libby (Montana)
Board of Health has put forth an initiative for a plan that would
reduce current and future risk of asbestos exposure to residents
throughout the Montana city made infamous by asbestos.

With funds provided by a grant from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), the initiative aims to focus on
developing a long-term plan to reduce asbestos exposure threats
now and in the future, as the EPA cleans up the Superfund site.

A Superfund site is a location that has been designated by the EPA
as a place that needs cleanup, because of the presence of
hazardous waste. Asbestos, the mineral known for causing
respiratory diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer, is
commonly found at these sites.

The EPA has been working to clean up the Libby Superfund site, but
much work is still needed.

"Since 1999, the EPA has been removing vermiculite and Libby
amphibole contaminated materials from residential, commercial and
public properties throughout South Lincoln County," said Allen
Payne, Libby City-County Health Committee member.  "EPA's cleanup
effort is ongoing and may continue for a number of years, but
eventually the EPA will complete its cleanup work."

Because much of the initiative will be executed after the EPA's
asbestos removal is complete, Libby's Board of Health's plan will
allow the city to focus on prevention rather than cleanup.

For an area with a devastating health past, continued
environmental cleanup efforts are greatly needed.

                          A Tragic History

Libby, Montana, was the home of one of the world's largest
vermiculite mines and subsequently one of the world's largest
asbestos-contaminated sites.

Dating back to 1919, the city was a commercial haven for mining.
The minerals mined were used for countless insulation materials
including attic insulation, construction building materials and
related products.

W.R. Grace & Company owned these Libby mines and employed over 200
people between the years of 1963 and 1990. As vermiculite was
being mined, it was eventually discovered that asbestos was
contained within large quantities of vermiculite.

For decades, shipments of asbestos-tainted vermiculate were sent
to countless parts of the world. Locally, workers who spent hours
each day around the deadly substance eventually suffered.

More than 400 deaths are attributed to asbestos-caused diseases in
the city. And since 1979, more than 1,500 people have developed
similar illnesses.

The lasting effect of the W.R. Grace mine has not disappeared.

                          A Brighter Future

Despite a past filled with illnesses and death, the town known for
asbestos is moving forward.

According to committee members, the underlying objective is to
create an effective plan to protect the public's health.

Officials from Libby are not the only one involved in the
initiative. Representatives from two other locales in Montana,
Troy and Eureka, are expected to participate in the initiative.
These two areas neighbor Libby and have been known for also being
affected by asbestos exposure.

With the conclusion of an April meeting that outlined the plan,
involved members are expected to now begin evaluating different
ways to reduce asbestos exposure.

According to local reports, the committee members include: Libby
City Councilwoman Peggy Williams, Mayor Doug Roll, Environmental
Health Director Kathi Hooper, Attorney Allen Payne, County
Commissioners Marianne Roose, Tony Berget, Ron Downey, Health
Department Nurse Mickey Carvey and Dr. Brad Black.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: No Plans to Remove Fibro From R-Building for Now
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Ochoa, writing for Pasadena City College Courier, reports
there are no plans to remove the asbestos from the ceiling tiles
and structure of the R-Building, officials say.

At a recent Board of Trustees meeting, Rick Van Pelt, vice
president of Administrative services said ceilings in the
R Building were lined with asbestos.

"The ceiling tiles themselves have asbestos containing material,
but so do the structure steel elements comprising the building,"
said Van Pelt.

In an email later Van Pelt said there are no plans to remove the
asbestos at the moment.

"When you go to the expense of removing the ceiling, it is
imperative that the other asbestos be removed as well. This is a
major disruption due to the containment that is required to work
with asbestos. There are no immediate plans to remove the ACM
[Asbestos Containing Material] from the R Building," said Van
Pelt.

On the potential health risks to those in the building, Jack
Schulman, director of the Measure P projects, said in its current
state is not a threat and that any work that is done on the
ceiling is done by professionals.

"Asbestos was used in the construction of the R-Building and in
its current state [it] poses no threat to anyone," said Schulman.
"Something to remember . . . anytime we work in or abate an area
where there is asbestos, an outside company is hired by the
district to monitor, inspect, and observe all aspects of that work
as mandated by the Air Quality Management District".

If an earthquake were to hit the building it may be shut down,
said Van pelt.

"In the event of an earthquake that knocks ceiling tiles down in
numerous locations, the entire building may be shut down," said
Van Pelt.

"Asbestos is dangerous when it is breathed into a person's lungs.
So the crucial part is to make sure that asbestos fibers do not
become airborne," Van Pelt added.




                           *********

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
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania,
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland USA.  Noemi Irene
A. Adala, Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, Psyche A. Castillon,
Julie Anne L. Toledo, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan
and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Peter Chapman
at 240/629-3300.





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