CAR_Public/120518.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, May 18, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 98

                             Headlines

ADVANCED ENVIRONMENTAL: Has $3-Mil. Balance From Class Settlement
APPLE: 17 States Join E-Book Pricing Class Action
ASI LTD: Denies Claims in Employee WARN Class Action
AUSTRALIA: Class Action Over Ipswich Flood Likely
BANKATLANTIC BANCORP: Still Awaits Ruling on Hubbard Appeal

BANKATLANTIC BANCORP: Motion to Dismiss Overdraft Suit Pending
BLUFF, TN: Faces Class Action Over Speed Camera Program
BONDED APPAREL: Recalls 720 Boys' Zip-front Hooded Jackets
CHASE BANK: Antitrust Law Violations Suit Still Pending
CHOBANI TETLEY: Sued in California for False Advertising

COGDELL SPENCER: Inks MOU to Resolve Suit Over Ventas Merger
CONAM MANAGEMENT: Blumenthal, Nordrehaug Files Class Action
CONVERTED ORGANICS: "H&K" Case Assigned to "Leeseberg" Plaintiffs
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION: Faces Overtime Class Action in Kentucky
COSMOPOLITAN RESORT: Faces Overtime Class Action in Nevada

DC WATER: Faces Class Action Over Lead Contamination
EMI GROUP: Fails to Properly Pay Recording Artists, Suit Says
HOME DEPOT: Sued by Greeters Who Were Not Provided With Seats
KIT DIGITAL: Discovery Ongoing in Suit Over Wurld Transaction
MA SASS: Class Action May Be Consolidated with Other Suits

MAKO SURGICAL: Alfred G. Yates Jr., PC Files Class Action
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF DEL: Not Entirely Off the Hook in Bradley Case
ONVIA INC: IPO Litigation in New York Concluded in Jan.
ROYAL BANCSHARES: Faces Antitrust Class Suit in New Jersey
SEQUANS COMMS: Defends Consolidated Securities Suit in N. Y.

SPANISH BROADCASTING: $600MM Class Settlement Deemed Final
SWK HOLDINGS: IPO-Related Suit Finally Concluded in Jan.
TEXAS INDUSTRIES: Still Defends Chrome 6 Exposure Suits
THERMODYNE HOLDINGS: Paid Out Settlement Amounts in Merger Suits
TRANSCEND SERVICES: Employees File Overtime Class Action

WELLS FARGO: Faces Class Action Over "Dual Tracking" Practice

* PENNSYLVANIA: Sup. Ct. Unveils New Rules on "Cy pres" Funds


                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rule v. Hardie Directors Clarifies Honesty Laws
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NSW Draws Ire in Rejecting ALRC Recommendations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: FACT Act Slows Down and Complicates Claim Process
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hanford Site Test Results Show Low Toxic Levels
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogen Find Stops Work at New Sutton Plant

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NOA Usage With Immunity Package Bill Signed In
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exxon Valdez Appeals India Supreme Court Ruling
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Subcommittee Reviews House Resolution 4369
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pfizer Disputes Rule, Pursues Quigley's Exit Plan
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Allows Crane Co. to File Amicus Brief

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Junks Leave for Appeal in Suit v. Fisher
ASBESTOS UPDATE: La. High Ct. Reverses Ruling in Video Deposition
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suit v. Landlord Junked for Lack of Jurisdiction
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Disallows Blackman's Insurance Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chrysotile Institute Posts Plans to Dissolve

ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Celebrates Chrysotile Institute Dissolution
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Swain & Co. Supports Ruling Against Cape Plc
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cape Case Rule Takes Out 'Corporate Veil' Defense
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADS Raises Need of Action for Wittenoom Children
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Pushes Demolition Costs to $1.8 MM

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Elizabeth Warren's Role With Travelers v. Bailey
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Displace Ladder 15 and Medic Unit 47
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Family Finds Carcinogens in Textured Ceiling
ASBESTOS UPDATE: WorkCover Visit Cues Lake Macquarie Gym Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Found at Port Melbourne Pre-School

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Orenburg Argues Chrysotile Safer and Cheaper
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bega Valley Manager Says Risk From CWF Negligible
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Libby Health Board Kicks Off Initiative
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tasmania's ARD Compensation Scheme Works
ASBESTOS UPDATE: PI Suits Against RPM's Bondex Unit Remain Stayed

ASBESTOS UPDATE: GenCorp. Has 146 Pending Claims at Feb. 29
ASBESTOS UPDATE: PI Suit in Ohio Remains Inactive Against Chase
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chase Corp. Still in Discovery in "Jansen" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Pacific's Liability Was $145MM at March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CSX Corp. Had $64 Million Reserves at March 30

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Net Reserves Were $2.38BB at March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Continues to Defend Lawsuits & Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Honeywell Had $1.7BB Liability at March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Reuters Reviews Sudden Rise of Mesothelioma Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposed Fibro Dumping Ground Found at Corio

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Idaho Labor Dept Building Evacuated
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NSW's Decision Based On Pact With James Hardie
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abbey Theatre Shows Displaced Amid Abatement Work
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Close JFK School in Saint-Michel
ASBESTOS UPDATE: City Exec Says ALA Benefits Offset Risks

ASBESTOS UPDATE: CL&M Wins GBP290K Payout for Mesothelioma Widow
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jamestown Seeks Break From Abatement Regulation


                          *********
ADVANCED ENVIRONMENTAL: Has $3-Mil. Balance From Class Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc., disclosed in
its March 30, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011,
that it had a total remaining balance in accrued expenses and
accounts payable of $3.0 million associated with the settlement of
a class action lawsuit in Washington.

The U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle
Division) approved a class action settlement in January 2009
related to a purported class action lawsuit seeking to recover on
behalf of purchasers of ChoiceDek(R) composite decking for damages
allegedly caused by mold and mildew stains on their decks.  The
settlement includes decking material purchased from January 1,
2004 through December 31, 2007, along with decking material
purchased after December 31, 2007, that was manufactured before
October 1, 2006, the date a mold inhibitor was introduced into the
manufacturing process.

At December 31, 2011, the Company had a total remaining balance in
accrued expenses and accounts payable of $3.0 million associated
with the settlement of the class action lawsuit. In 2008, the
Company accrued an estimated $2.9 million for resolving claims. In
the third quarter of 2009, the Company increased its estimate of
costs to be incurred in resolving claims under the settlement by
$5.1 million.  The estimate was revised due to events that
occurred and information that became available after the second
quarter of 2009 concerning primarily the number of claims
received.  The deadline for submitting new claims has now passed.
The claim resolution process has an annual net cost limitation to
the Company of $2.0 million until the claim resolution process is
completed.

Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. --
http://www.aertinc.com/-- develops, manufactures, and markets
composite building materials that are used for exterior
applications in building and remodeling homes, and other
industrial or commercial building purposes. Its products are made
primarily from waste wood fiber and recycled polyethylene
plastics. The company manufactures various product lines, which
include commercial and residential decking planks and accessories,
such as balusters and handrails under the MoistureShield and
ChoiceDek brand names; exterior door components; exterior housing
trims under the MoistureShield brand name; deck tiles; and
recycled resin compounds. Its products are primarily used in
renovation and remodeling by consumers, homebuilders, and
contractors as an exterior green building alternative for decking,
railing, and trim products. The company was founded in 1988 and is
based in Springdale, Arkansas.


APPLE: 17 States Join E-Book Pricing Class Action
-------------------------------------------------
Laura Hazard Owen, writing for paidContent.org, reports that New
York, the District of Columbia and fifteen other states have
joined the e-book pricing class action suit against Apple,
Macmillan and Penguin, bringing the total number of states
involved so far to 31 (if you include DC and Puerto Rico).  The
amended complaint, released on May 11, reveals details that were
previously redacted, including an e-mail from Steve Jobs.

The states' class action suit, which was filed the same day as the
Department of Justice's lawsuit, alleges that Apple and book
publishers conspired to set e-book prices.  Unlike the DOJ, the
states seek monetary restitution for consumers. (They have already
reached a settlement with Hachette, Simon & Schuster and
HarperCollins.)

The states' amended complaint makes public information that was
redacted from the version filed in April. (It's not clear why the
information was originally redacted.)  Much of the now-public
information is duplicated in the Department of Justice filing
against Apple and publishers, but some of it is new, including an
e-mail from Steve Jobs.  Among the content previously redacted and
now public:

   -- Negotiating on Apple's take: Macmillan CEO John Sargent
attempted to negotiate with Apple's Eddy Cue on a way to make
agency pricing less painful for publishers (publishers actually
make more money under the wholesale model, where they are paid
based on a book's retail list price, than from the agency model).
On January 11, 2010, Mr. Sargent wrote to Apple in an e-mail, "Am
thinking a possible way to ease the financial pain for the
publishers and authors of moving to the agency model.  Could you
take a reduced cut on hardcover first releases (where we are
presently making 14.00 in revenue and would make 9.00 under your
assumptions)?" Apple did not agree to take less than its customary
30 percent cut.

   -- Publisher e-mail: A "Conspiring Publisher executive"
e-mailed his or her parent company's CEO on January 21, 2010:

"[Eddy Cue] . . . was eloquent on why they would be a great
partner, that price could and would be experimented with as Apple
want [sic] to drive high revenues; that this would be for a one
year term; that one major publisher (clearly RH) was out and that
ne [sic] need the five majors in but maybe four.  He said that he
was sure he would close on two today and two tomorrow.  Amazon is
in town being provocative and with, as Jeff Trachtenberg said to
me this morning, 'a swagger in their step'.  I'm off to the AAP so
will try and discover what is going on."

Mr. Trachtenberg is the book publishing reporter at The Wall
Street Journal.  Amazon had just announced it would raise its
royalty rate to 70 percent on many self-published titles.

   -- Steve Jobs e-mail: In late January 2010, Steve Jobs became
directly involved in the agency pricing negotiations "after Eddy
Cue could not secure one of the Conspiring Publisher's commitment
directly from an executive."  Mr. Jobs "wrote to an executive at
the parent company, in part":

"As I see it, [Conspiring Publisher] has the following choices:

1. Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to
create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99.

2. Keep going with Amazon at $9.99.  You will make a bit more
money in the short term, but in the medium term Amazon will tell
you they will be paying you 70% of $9.99.  They have shareholders
too.

3. Hold back your books from Amazon.  Without a way for customers
to buy your ebooks, they will steal them.  This will be the start
of piracy and once started, there will be no stopping it.  Trust
me, I've seen this happen with my own eyes.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see any other
alternatives.  Do you?

Note that Mr. Jobs predicts that in the absence of credible
competitors, Amazon would begin offering publishers less favorable
terms.

   -- E-mails to Barnes & Noble: Once five publishers and Apple
had enacted agency pricing, the complaint says the five publishers
"worked together to force" Random House to adopt it as well.  On
March 4, 2010, in an exchange also identified in the DOJ's filing,
Penguin CEO David Shanks sent Barnes & Noble's then-CEO Steve
Riggio an e-mail reading in part, "Random House has chosen to stay
on their current model and will allow retailers to sell at
whatever price they wish . . .  I would hope that [Barnes & Noble]
would be equally brutal to Publishers who have thrown in with your
competition with obvious disdain for your welfare  . . . I hope
you make Random House hurt like Amazon is doing to people who are
looking out for the overall welfare of the publishing industry."

The state complaint additionally says that Shanks was trying to
get Barnes & Noble to "stop any promotion or advertising of Random
House titles," and when Barnes & Noble continued to do so, "Shanks
went back to Barnes & Noble again.  Following this contact, Barnes
& Noble's management decided not to feature Random House in any
future advertising."  I asked Barnes & Noble for a statement and a
spokeswoman told me the company has no comment.  (This is
interesting but does not prove the states' claim that all five
publishers acted against Random House, since only one publisher is
mentioned.)

   -- "The Club": In September 2009 as the publishers considered
"windowing," or staggering the print and digital releases of a
book, they "referenced themselves in one e-mail as 'the Club!'"
This was in reference to windowing discussions and not to agency
pricing discussions with Apple.


ASI LTD: Denies Claims in Employee WARN Class Action
----------------------------------------------------
Glass Magazine reports that attorneys for ASI Ltd., which closed
its doors in December, denied claims in an employee class action
suit that calls for collection of unpaid wages and benefits.  In
the lawsuit, former employee Andrew Shepherd charges that ASI
violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
that requires employers to provide at least 60 days' notice of
plant closings or mass layoffs.

In its May 4 answer to the suit, ASI admits no written notice was
issued prior to the plant closing, and admits that it did not pay
employees for work after PNC Bank closed the plant on Dec. 22.
However, the company denies that it violated the WARN Act.

"[ASI] is excused from the requirements of the WARN Act because .
. . the plant closing was caused by business circumstances that
were not reasonably foreseeable as of the time notice would have
been required," ASI attorneys stated in its court response filing
to the suit.

Additionally, "As of the time notice would have been required
under the WARN Act . . . [ASI] was actively seeking capital and
business which, if obtained, would have enabled the employer to
avoid or postpone the shutdown, and ASI reasonably and in good
faith believed that giving the notice required would have
precluded the employer from obtaining the needed capital and/or
business," according to ASI attorneys in the filing.


AUSTRALIA: Class Action Over Ipswich Flood Likely
-------------------------------------------------
Kieran Banks, writing for The Queensland Times, reports that flood
litigators IMF and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers are confident a class
action law suit against the State will go ahead as they await the
results of their research.

IMF and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers announced their intention to
launch a possible class action law suit against the State prior to
the release of the Bligh Government's flood report in March.

Investigations into the potential for a law suit have continued
since then, with the findings expected to be known in eight weeks
time.

The class action hinges on the findings of their research into the
botched dam releases and if flooding could have been avoided in
some areas had the dam releases been managed correctly.

IMF executive director John Walker, the financial backers of
Maurice Blackburn's class action, is positive the research will
indicate Ipswich flood victims will have their day in court.

Mr. Walker said the firm had retained a dam operation expert to
establish if the floodwater may have been stemmed with better
prepared releases.

They expect the results of their investigations to be positive and
crystallize their legal action.

"Then we will assess what would not have been flooded if the dam
was operated properly.  We are feeling more confident as time goes
on that a claim against the state will be made," he said.

Around 600 Ipswich residents have signed on for the class action
out of the 3000 from the greater Brisbane region.

He expects numbers to increase as the doubt around the law suit
dissipates in the coming months.

Councillor Paul Tully said Goodna residents are still inquiring to
him about how to register.

"People are asking about what they need to do or what the timing
will be," he said.

Mr. Walker said further town hall meetings will be held in late
June to update complainants and the community on how the research
is progressing.  He said at least one of those meetings should be
held in Ipswich.

It was originally expected the number of potential claimants
joining the class action could reach 6,000.  Hundreds of flood-
affected Ipswich residents attended the first round of meetings
held in Ipswich, Goodna and the Lockyer Valley.


BANKATLANTIC BANCORP: Still Awaits Ruling on Hubbard Appeal
-----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has yet to
enter a ruling on the appeal filed by plaintiffs in a securities
class action lawsuit against BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc., and
certain other defendants, according to the Company's March 30,
2012, Form 10-K filing for the fiscal year ended December 31,
2011.

On October 29, 2007, Joseph C. Hubbard filed a class action in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against
BankAtlantic Bancorp and five of its current or former officers.
The defendants in the action were BankAtlantic Bancorp, James A.
White, Valerie C. Toalson, Jarett S. Levan, John E. Abdo and Alan
B. Levan.  The complaint, which was later amended, alleged that
during the purported class period of November 9, 2005 through
October 25, 2007, BankAtlantic Bancorp and the named officers
knowingly and/or recklessly made misrepresentations of material
fact regarding BankAtlantic and specifically BankAtlantic's loan
portfolio and allowance for loan losses.  The complaint asserted
claims for violations of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, and sought unspecified damages.  On
December 12, 2007, the presiding court consolidated into Hubbard a
separately filed action captioned Alarm Specialties, Inc. v.
BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc., No. 0:07-cv-61623-WPD.  On February 5,
2008, the presiding court appointed State-Boston Retirement System
lead plaintiff and Lubaton Sucharow LLP to serve as lead counsel
pursuant to the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act.  The presiding court subsequently changed the caption
to In re BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. Securities Litigation.

On November 18, 2010, a jury returned a verdict awarding $2.41 per
share to shareholders who purchased shares of BankAtlantic
Bancorp's Class A Common Stock during the period of April 26, 2007
to October 26, 2007 and retained those shares until the end of the
period.  The jury rejected the plaintiffs' claim for the six-month
period from October 19, 2006 to April 25, 2007.  Prior to the
beginning of the trial, the plaintiffs abandoned any claim for any
prior period.

On April 25, 2011, the presiding court granted the defendants'
post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law and vacated the
jury verdict, resulting in a judgment in favor of all defendants
on all claims.  The plaintiffs have appealed the court's order
setting aside the jury verdict with respect to certain of the
defendants.  The appeal has been fully briefed and the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has heard oral argument on
that appeal.


BANKATLANTIC BANCORP: Motion to Dismiss Overdraft Suit Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc.'s subsidiary bank is still awaiting a
court order on its motion to dismiss a consolidated class action
lawsuit associated with overdraft fees.

On November 8, 2010, two pending class action cases against
BankAtlantic - Farrington v. BankAtlantic, and Rothman v.
BankAtlantic - were consolidated, and a Consolidated Amended Class
Action Complaint was filed.  New purported named plaintiffs were
added, and the case is now styled as Jordan Arizmendi, et al.,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v.
BankAtlantic.  The Complaint, which asserts claims for breach of
contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing,
alleges that the Bank improperly re-sequenced debit card
transactions, improperly assessed overdraft fees on positive
balances, and improperly imposed sustained overdraft fees on
customers one day sooner than provided for under the applicable
account agreement.  BankAtlantic has filed a motion to dismiss
which is pending with the court.

No updates were reported in 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.


BLUFF, TN: Faces Class Action Over Speed Camera Program
-------------------------------------------------------
The Newspaper.com reports that a group of motorists have launched
a challenge to the Bluff City, Tennessee speed camera program.

The class action suit was transferred to the US District Court for
the Eastern District of Tennessee earlier this month.  It alleges
that not only is the ticketing automated but the adjudication
process is as well.

"Defendant Bluff City virtually lends its municipal authority to
[American] Traffic Solutions, paying little or no other
significant role in the operation of the speeding enforcement
cameras other than reaping the benefit of the fines," attorney
Robert L. King wrote in the original complaint.  "Defendant's
photo enforcement systems represent a mockery of justice and due
process in the legal forum in which most Tennesseans come into
contact with the state's court system."

Ticket recipients are told to mail their payments to the "Bluff
City, TN, Photo Safety Program, PO Box 742503, Cincinnati OH."
This Ohio office is operated by American Traffic Solutions (ATS),
an Arizona corporation whose largest single shareholder is the
investment bank Goldman Sachs.  The suit claims that the program's
true goal must be generating revenue because the appeals process
leaves no room for justice.

"Citations sent out by the defendants indicated that the alleged
offender who pays the ticket is admitting guilt or liability," Mr.
King wrote.  "This untrue statement and misrepresentation of the
law in Tennessee forced alleged offenders who did accept that they
were guilty into making court appearances to protest their tickets
rather than admit guilt.  Many of these plaintiffs were forced to
miss work and travel great distances to contest tickets in Bluff
City only to find no court in session."

Salem, Virginia resident Jerry R. Letterman found this out the
hard way after ATS mailed him a ticket stating his car was
photographed in April 2010. He later received a formal notice to
appear.

"You have failed to respond in a timely manner to the automated
camera notice of violation listed above issued to the vehicle
registered in your name," the citation stated.  "You must appear
in court located at 4391 Bluff City Highway, Bluff City, TN 37618
on December 14, 2010 at 2:30pm."

When he traveled to Bluff City to fight it, the hearing was
canceled without notice because no prosecutor showed up.  He
received no announcement of a new court date.  Mr. Letterman later
received a "notice of determination" purportedly from the Bluff
City Court saying he had been found guilty on December 13, 2010 --
the day before the scheduled hearing that never took place.
Another motorist, North Carolina resident Chester R. Holt, was
allegedly convicted and fined $130 on Sunday, October 31, 2010, at
6:57 a.m., when the court was closed.

"This was not an isolated incident in that many plaintiffs are
convicted in Bluff City by electronic lottery rather than an
actual hearing and judicial proceeding."

The lawsuit noted one human intervention in the operation of the
program.  In recorded conversations, the former Bluff City police
chief called Chattanooga Police Captain Susan Blaine's boss in an
attempt to convince him to force her to drop the lawsuit.


BONDED APPAREL: Recalls 720 Boys' Zip-front Hooded Jackets
----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Bonded Apparel Inc., of Los Angeles, California, announced a
voluntary recall of about 720 SX and QH Boys' Zip-front Hooded
Jackets.  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.

This recall involves boys' long-sleeved zip-front hooded jackets.
The jackets were sold in three colors: army green, aqua green and
black and have a fake fur lining.  The jackets have one of four
designs: the number "2" or the letter "B" embroidered on the left
front chest; or the word "ROCK" or "AB Sportwear" embroidered
across the chest.  The jackets were sold in sizes 4-7 or S, M, and
L. Either "SX" or "QH" appears on the label stitched at the neck.
The jackets have model numbers: 1006, 1029, 1058 and 1061, however
the model number only appears on the original hang tag and not on
the product.  Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12178.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively at dd's Discounts stores nationwide from August 2011
through December 2011 for about $8.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled jacket from their
child and remove the drawstring or contact Bonded Apparel for
instructions on returning the product for a full refund.  For
additional information, contact Bonded Apparel toll-free at (888)
974-1555 between 9:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time Monday
through Friday.


CHASE BANK: Antitrust Law Violations Suit Still Pending
-------------------------------------------------------
A class action complaint against Chase Bank USA, N.A., alleging
violation of antitrust laws remains pending, 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.

On June 22, 2005, a group of merchants filed a putative class
action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Connecticut. The complaint alleges that VISA, MasterCard and
certain member banks including Bank of America, Chase USA, Capital
One, Citibank and others, conspired to set the price of
interchange in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  The
complaint further alleges tying/bundling and exclusive dealing.
Since the filing of the Connecticut complaint, other complaints
were filed in different U.S. District Courts challenging the
setting of interchange, as well the associations' respective
rules.  The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
consolidated the cases in the Eastern District of New York for
pretrial proceedings.  An amended consolidated complaint was filed
on April 24, 2006.  The consolidated complaint also added claims
relating to off line debit transactions.  Defendants filed a
motion to dismiss all claims that pre-date January 1, 2004, based
on the settlement and release of claims in the Wal-Mart case.  On
January 8, 2008, the Court granted that motion and those claims
have been dismissed.

With respect to MasterCard, plaintiffs filed a first supplemental
complaint in May 2006 alleging that the offering violated Section
7 of the Clayton Act and Section 1 of the Sherman Act and that the
offering was a fraudulent conveyance.  Defendants filed a motion
to dismiss both of those claims.  On November 25, 2008, the
District Court dismissed the supplemental complaint with leave to
replead.

In May 2008, the plaintiffs filed a motion seeking class
certification and the defendants opposed that motion in October
2008.  The court has not yet ruled on the class certification
motion.

In January 2009, the plaintiffs filed and served a Second Amended
Consolidated Class Action Complaint against all defendants and an
amended supplemental complaint challenging the MasterCard IPO
making antitrust claims similar to those that were set forth in
the original supplemental complaint, as well as the fraudulent
conveyance claim.

With respect to the Visa IPO, the plaintiffs filed a supplemental
complaint challenging the Visa IPO on antitrust theories parallel
to those articulated in the MasterCard IPO pleading.

On March 31, 2009, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Second
Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint.  Separate motions to
dismiss each of the supplemental complaints challenging the
MasterCard and Visa IPOs were also filed.  The motions to dismiss
have not yet been decided.  Plaintiffs and defendants also have
fully briefed and argued their motions for summary judgment.

Chase USA cannot predict with any degree of certainty the final
outcome of the litigations, its effect on the credit card industry
or its effect on Chase USA's credit card business.


CHOBANI TETLEY: Sued in California for False Advertising
--------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Pratt & Associates filed
three class actions in California that lob false advertising
claims at Chobani, Tetley USA and Gerber.


COGDELL SPENCER: Inks MOU to Resolve Suit Over Ventas Merger
------------------------------------------------------------
Cogdell Spencer Inc. entered into a memorandum of understanding to
resolve lawsuits relating to its merger agreement with Ventas
Inc., 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.

On December 24, 2011, Cogdell Spencer entered into a merger
agreement with its Operating Partnership; Ventas, Inc.; TH Merger
Corp, Inc., Ventas' wholly owned subsidiary ("MergerSub"); and TH
Merger Sub, LLC, Ventas' wholly owned subsidiary ("OP MergerSub").
Completion of the Merger is subject to certain conditions.

On December 29, 2011, a complaint was filed in the Superior Court
for State of North Carolina, Mecklenburg County, under the
caption, Sesholtz v. Braun, et al., Case No. 11 CVS 23162, against
the Company, its directors and Ventas Inc. on behalf of a putative
class of similarly situated investors, alleging that the Company's
board of directors breached its fiduciary duties regarding the
Company Merger and that Ventas aided and abetted the alleged
breach of fiduciary duties.  Beginning on January 4, 2012, six
other putative class action suits were filed in the Maryland
Circuit Court for Baltimore City against the same defendants and
alleging similar breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting
claims, although certain complaints also named the Company's
Operating Partnership, MergerSub and OP MergerSub as defendants.
On January 27, 2012, the Company also received a letter from an
entity purporting to be a stockholder demanding that the board
terminate the Company Merger and the sale of the Erdman business
and that the board conduct an investigation into the Company
Merger and the sale of the Erdman business. The letter also made a
request for access to certain books and records of the company
related to the Company Merger and the sale of the Erdman business.
The cases pending in Maryland were consolidated by the Court on
January 31, 2012 under the caption, In re Cogdell Spencer Inc.
Shareholder Litigation, Case No. 24-C-12-000053. On February 3,
2012, the plaintiff in the North Carolina action filed an amended
complaint, and on February 9, 2012, the plaintiffs in the Maryland
action filed an amended complaint, including the class and
derivative actions. All of the pending cases ask that the Company
Merger be enjoined and seek other unspecified monetary relief. On
February 21, 2012, defendants moved to dismiss the amended
complaint.

On February 29, 2012, the Company entered into a memorandum of
understanding with the plaintiffs in the Maryland and North
Carolina cases regarding the settlement of the pending claims.
Pursuant to the terms of the proposed settlement, the Company
agreed to make certain supplemental disclosures related to the
proposed Company Merger.  The memorandum of understanding
contemplates that the parties will enter into a settlement
agreement after a period of confirmatory discovery, which will be
subject to customary conditions, including court approval
following notice to the Company's stockholders.  In the event the
parties enter into a settlement agreement, a hearing will be
scheduled in which the Maryland Court will consider the fairness,
reasonableness, and adequacy of the settlement.  If the settlement
is finally approved by the Court, it will resolve and release all
claims in all actions that were or could have been brought
challenging any aspect of the proposed Merger, the Merger
Agreement, and any disclosure made in connection therewith, among
other claims, pursuant to terms that will be disclosed to
stockholders prior to final approval of the settlement.
In addition, in connection with the settlement, the parties
contemplate that plaintiffs' counsel will file a petition in the
Maryland Court for an award of attorneys' fees and expenses to be
paid by or on behalf of Defendants, which Defendants may oppose.
Defendants will pay or cause to be paid any attorneys' fees and
expenses awarded by the Maryland Court.

The Company notes that there can be no assurance that the parties
will ultimately enter into a settlement agreement or that the
Maryland Court will approve the settlement even if the parties
were to enter into a settlement agreement. In such event, the
proposed settlement as contemplated by the memorandum of
understanding may be terminated.

One of the conditions to the closing of the Mergers is that no
decree, ruling, judgment, decision, order or injunction shall have
been entered by any court of competent jurisdiction that has the
effect of prohibiting or restraining the completion of the
Mergers.  If for any reason the cases are not settled and if any
of the plaintiffs are successful in obtaining an injunction
prohibiting the defendants from completing the Mergers, then such
injunction may prevent the Mergers from becoming effective or from
becoming effective within the expected timeframe. In addition, if
any suit, action or proceeding before any court or other
governmental entity shall have been instituted or shall be
pending, with respect to certain matters disclosed in the merger
agreement disclosure schedule, where an unfavorable outcome in
such suit, action or proceeding would, in the sole and absolute
discretion of Ventas, adversely affect the anticipated business or
economic benefits to Ventas and its affiliates of the transactions
contemplated by the merger agreement, the Mergers will not be
completed.  If completion of the Mergers is prevented or delayed,
it could result in substantial costs to the Company. In addition,
the Company could incur costs associated with the indemnification
of its directors and officers.

Cogdell Spencer Inc. is a real estate investment trust ("REIT")
focused on planning, owning, developing, constructing, and
managing healthcare facilities.  It operates its business through
Cogdell Spencer LP, its operating partnership subsidiary and its
subsidiaries.  As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned and/or
managed 118 medical office buildings and healthcare related
facilities, totaling approximately 6.2 million net rentable square
feet.


CONAM MANAGEMENT: Blumenthal, Nordrehaug Files Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
On May 9, 2012, the employment attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug
& Bhowmik filed a class action complaint against Conam Management
Corporation for alleged wage and hour violations.  Ungureano vs.
Conam Management Corporation, Case No. 37-2012-00096977 is
currently pending in San Diego County Superior Court.

According to the class action complaint filed against Conam
Management Corporation, the property management company paid their
non-exempt employees a monthly, nondiscretionary bonus based on
their performance in the communities these property managers
worked.  According to the lawsuit Conam, "failed and still fails
to include the monthly bonus compensation as part of the
employees' 'regular rate of pay' for purposes of calculating
overtime pay."  The complaint also alleges that the failure to
include the monthly bonus compensation in the regular rate of pay
for the purpose of calculating the correct overtime rate, "has
resulted in a systematic underpayment of overtime compensation" to
the employees.

Moreover, the class action complaint filed against Conam
Management Corporation alleges that as a result of Conam's failure
to correctly calculate and pay these employees the correct
overtime rate, "the wage statements issued to Plaintiff and other
California Class Members violate California law, and in
particular, Labor Code Section 226(a)."

In the opinion of employment attorney Norm Blumenthal, "the
failure to include non-discretionary bonus compensation into the
regular rate of pay for the purpose of calculating the correct
overtime rate is a clear violation of both California and federal
law."

For more information about the class action lawsuit against Conam
Management Corporation call (866) 771-7099.

Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik is a California employment law
firm that dedicates its practice to helping employees, investors
and consumers fight back against unfair business practices,
including violations of the California Labor Code and Fair Labor
Standards Act.


CONVERTED ORGANICS: "H&K" Case Assigned to "Leeseberg" Plaintiffs
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A complaint filed by Converted Organics Inc. in the Superior Court
of Massachusetts for the County of Suffolk, captioned Converted
Organics Inc. v. Holland & Knight LLP, was assigned to the
plaintiffs in the "Leeseberg litigation" as part of the parties'
settlement agreement, according to Converted Organics' March 30,
2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On December 11, 2008, the Company received notice that a complaint
had been filed in a putative class action lawsuit on behalf of 59
persons or entities that purchased units pursuant to a financing
terms agreement (FTA), dated April 11, 2006, captioned Gerald S.
Leeseberg, et al. v. Converted Organics, Inc., filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Delaware.  The lawsuit was
settled in 2011.  The settlement will be funded by the insurance
provider and, accordingly, no loss has been recorded related to
these matters.

Related to the above matter, in December 2009, the Company filed a
complaint in the Superior Court of Massachusetts for the County of
Suffolk, captioned Converted Organics Inc. v. Holland & Knight
LLP.  The Company claims that in the event it is required to pay
any monies to Mr. Leeseberg and his proposed class in the matter
of Gerald S. Leeseberg, et al. v. Converted Organics, Inc., that
Holland & Knight should make the Company whole, because its
handling of the registration of the securities at issue in the
Leeseberg lawsuit caused any loss that Mr. Leeseberg and other
putative class members claim to have suffered.  Holland & Knight
has not yet responded to the complaint.  Holland and Knight has
threatened to bring counterclaims against Converted Organics for
legal fees allegedly owed, which the Company would contest
vigorously.  On May 12, 2010, the Superior Court stayed the
proceedings, pending resolution of the Leeseberg litigation.  This
litigation was assigned to the plaintiffs in the Leeseberg
litigation noted above as part of that settlement agreement.

Converted Organics Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in January
2006 for the purpose of establishing a waste-to-fertilizer
business.  In 2011, the Company has three segments: Organic
Fertilizer, Industrial Wastewater Treatment, and Vertical Farming.


CORRECTIONS CORPORATION: Faces Overtime Class Action in Kentucky
----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Corrections Corporation of
America fails to pay overtime to shift supervisors and assistant
shift supervisors, a class claims in Federal Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Johnson, et al. v. Corrections
Corporation of America, Case No. 12-cv-00246 (W.D. Ky.), is
available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/05/15/cca.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Thomas W. Miller, Esq.
          Don A. Pisacano, Esq.
          Elizabeth C. Woodford
          MILLER, GRIFFIN & MARKS, P.S.C.
          271 West Short Street, Suite 600
          Lexington, KY 40507
          Telephone: (859) 255-6676
          E-mail: twm@kentuckylaw.com


COSMOPOLITAN RESORT: Faces Overtime Class Action in Nevada
----------------------------------------------------------
Nick Divito at Courthouse News Service reports that The
Cosmopolitan hotel and casino stiffs workers on overtime,
according to a class action led by a former employee who says she
was fired when she was 8 months pregnant.

"The stated reason for plaintiff's termination was that she said
'bye bye' instead of 'good bye' on the telephone to a room service
customer," according to the complaint filed in Clark County
District Court by Melodee Megia.  "This was merely a pretext as
plaintiff had been subject to harassing conduct" because of her
pregnancy.

The harassment included a supervisor mocking her when she had to
deliver a so-called "pleasure packet" of condoms to a hotel guest,
according to the complaint.

The director of room service allegedly quipped: "Isn't it too late
for that? You should have thought about it before getting knocked
up."

Aside from the individual claims, Ms. Megia hopes to represent a
class of 4,300 employees on overtime allegations.  Ms. Megia says
the Cosmopolitan forces its staff to change into their uniforms at
a common locker room, but it does not pay them for the time spent
changing, waiting for uniforms, and walking to and from the locker
area.

The Cosmopolitan also rounds up hours to the detriment of its
employees, who must punch in and out four times a day, including
for meal breaks, according to the complaint.  Ms. Megia says
forced breaks cause workers to lose up to an hour a day.

The Cosmopolitan also shorts workers overtime pay by charging a
mandatory room service gratuity, according to the complaint.

While a portion of the tip goes to workers, Ms. Megia says the
hotel does not include bonuses and commissions in the regular rate
of pay when calculating overtime.

Ms. Megia seeks payment of unpaid overtime wages for the class,
and lost wages and punitive damages for the discrimination she
allegedly suffered at the hotel.

A copy of the Complaint in Megia v. The Cosmopolitan Resort and
Casino, et al., Case No. A-12-661665-C (Nev. Dist. Ct., Clark
Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/05/15/cosmo.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Mark Thierman, Esq.
          Jason Kuller, Esq.
          Joshua Buck, Esq.
          THIERMAN LAW FIRM, P.C.
          7287 Lakeside Drive
          Reno, NV 89511
          Telephone: (775) 284-1500


DC WATER: Faces Class Action Over Lead Contamination
----------------------------------------------------
Shani Hilton at Washington City Paper, citing The Examiner,
reports that that parents who've brought a suit against D.C. Water
for lead contamination have requested that the case be turned into
a class-action suit for anyone under the age of 6 who drank tap
water between 2000 and 2004.

Back in March, an investigation found that D.C. Water had actually
stopped testing for lead in parts of D.C. known to have high
levels during that period of time.

For what it's worth: Last summer, D.C. tap water made it into a
list of the 25 best tasting area water systems in the country.


EMI GROUP: Fails to Properly Pay Recording Artists, Suit Says
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dale Bozzio, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. EMI Group Limited; Capitol Records LLC; EMI Music
North America, LLC; EMI Recorded Music; and EMI Marketing, Case
No. 4:12-cv-02421 (N.D. Calif., May 11, 2012) is brought for
breach of contract and certain statutory violations under
California law.

The lawsuit is predicated on EMI's failure to properly account for
and pay its recording artists and music producers for income it
has received, and continues to receive, from the licensees of its
recorded music catalog for the sale of digital downloads,
ringtones or "mastertones," and streaming music (collectively,
"digital content"), Ms. Bozzio contends.  By this lawsuit, the
Plaintiff seeks to compel EMI to account to and pay its recording
artists and music producers their rightful share of the licensing
income paid to EMI for digital content of the recorded music
licensed by EMI to these entities.

Ms. Bozzio is a singer, performer and recording artist, and a
resident of Massachusetts.  A protege of musician Frank Zappa, she
co-founded the band Missing Persons in 1980 along with Terry
Bozzio and Warren Cuccurullo.  Missing Persons is best known for
the hit singles "Destination Unknown," "Words," and "Walking in
L.A." from its 1982 debut long-playing record album Spring Session
M.

EMI Group is a business entity headquartered in the United Kingdom
that undertakes significant business activity in California.  EMI
Music is a global music company that specializes in the signing,
development and promotion of recording artists and their musical
compositions.  Capitol Records, a Delaware corporation, is a
global music company that specializes in the signing, development,
and promotion of recording artists and their musical compositions.
Capitol Records is also doing business as EMI Recorded Music and
EMI Music Marketing.  Both are global music companies that
specialize in the signing, development, and promotion of recording
artists and their musical compositions.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          R. Alexander Saveri, Esq.
          Cadio Zirpoli, Esq.
          Melissa Shapiro, Esq.
          Carl Hammarskjold, Esq.
          SAVERI & SAVERI, INC.
          706 Sansome Street
          San Francisco, CA 94111-1730
          Telephone: (415) 217-6810
          Facsimile: (415) 217-6813
          E-mail: rick@saveri.com
                  cadio@saveri.com
                  melissa@saveri.com
                  carl@saveri.com

               - and -

          Robert J. Bonsignore, Esq.
          BONSIGNORE AND BREWER
          193 Plummer Hill Road
          Belmont, NH 03220
          Telephone: (781) 856-7650
          E-mail: rbonsignore@class-actions.us

               - and -

          Joseph W. Cotchett, Esq.
          Steven N. Williams, Esq.
          COTCHETT, PITRE & MCCARTHY
          840 Malcolm Road, Suite 200
          Burlingame, CA 94010
          Telephone: (650) 697-6000
          Facsimile: (650) 697-0577

               - and -

          D. Michael Noonan, Esq.
          SHAHEEN & GORDON, P.A.
          140 Washington Street
          Dover, NH 03821
          Telephone: (603) 749-5000
          Facsimile: (603) 749-1838
          E-mail: mnoonan@shaheengordon.com


HOME DEPOT: Sued by Greeters Who Were Not Provided With Seats
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kunaal Sharma, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. and Does 1 through 50,
inclusive, Case No. CIV 513089 (Calif. Super. Ct., San Mateo Cty.,
April 11, 2012) is brought on behalf of a class consisting of all
California-based associates "who worked in the Greeter position at
any time from February 7, 2011 to the present and were not
provided a seat."

The Plaintiff alleges that Home Depot violated the California
Labor Code by failing to provide suitable seats to him and other
current and former employees.  He seeks recovery of penalties
under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act.

Mr. Sharma, a former employee of Home Depot, is a resident of
California.

Home Depot is a Delaware corporation with its principal executive
offices located in Atlanta, Georgia.  Home Depot is a retailer of
home improvement and construction products and services.  The
Plaintiff does not know the identities of the Doe Defendants.

The Company removed the lawsuit on May 14, 2012, from the Superior
Court of the state of California, County of San Mateo, to the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California.  Home Depot argues that the removal is proper because
the action is between citizens of different states.  The District
Court Clerk assigned Case No. 4:12-cv-02444 to the proceeding.

The Defendants are represented by:

          Donna M. Mezias, Esq.
          Liz K. Bertko, Esq.
          AKIN GUMFSTRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP
          580 California Street, Suite 1500
          San Francisco, CA 94104
          Telephone: (415) 765-9500
          Facsimile: (415) 765-9501
          E-mail: dmezias@akingump.com
                  lbertko@akingump.com


KIT DIGITAL: Discovery Ongoing in Suit Over Wurld Transaction
-------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is currently ongoing in the class action complaint
against KIT digital, Inc.'s subsidiary over the acquisition of
several Wurld Media assets, 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.

In November 2007, the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, ROO HD,
Inc., now known as KIT HD, Inc., was named as the defendant in a
purported class action lawsuit entitled Julie Vittengl et al. vs.
ROO HD, Inc., in New York Supreme Court, Saratoga County, New
York.  The suit, brought by four former employees of Wurld Media,
Inc., purportedly on behalf of themselves and "others similarly
situated," claims that KIT HD's acquisition of certain assets of
Wurld was a fraudulent conveyance and that KIT HD is the alter-ego
of Wurld.  Plaintiffs seek the appointment of a receiver to take
charge of the Company's property in constructive trust for
plaintiffs and payment of plaintiffs' unpaid wages and costs of
suit, both in an unspecified dollar amount.  KIT HD filed its
answer to the complaint in January 2008. In December 2009,
plaintiffs served an amended complaint, dropping the class action
allegations and adding the Company as a defendant; otherwise, it
is essentially the same as its predecessor.  KIT HD and the
Company answered the amended complaint, and the case is currently
in discovery.  The Company believes the suit is without merit, and
the Company and KIT HD intend to defend themselves vigorously.

KIT digital is a premium provider of end-to-end video management
software and services. Its KIT Video Platform, a cloud-based video
asset management system, enables clients in the enterprise, media
and entertainment and network operator markets to produce, manage
and deliver multiscreen social video experiences to audiences
wherever they are.  The Company services approximately 2,450
clients in more than 50 countries including some of the world's
biggest brands such as Airbus, AT&T, The Associated Press, BBC,
Best Buy, Bristol-Myers Squibb, BSkyB, Disney-ABC, FedEx, Google,
HP, MTV, News Corp, Telecom Argentina, Telefonica, Universal
Studios, Verizon, Vodafone and Volkswagen.


MA SASS: Class Action May Be Consolidated with Other Suits
----------------------------------------------------------
Lillian Shupe, writing for Hunterdon County Democrat, reports that
a class action lawsuit initiated by a township woman facing
foreclosure could be consolidated with two other similar lawsuits.

Jeanne Boyer who has been fighting to save her own home from
foreclosure, filed the suit in March on behalf of herself and
potentially thousands of other homeowners in similar situations.
Mr. Boyer alleges that she is one of many victims of an illegal
scheme that allowed tax lien investors to charge the highest
amount of interest allowed by law by eliminating the competitive
bidding process.

The suit was filed in Hunterdon County Superior Court on March 13
and removed to federal court on March 28.  Since then two other
similar suits have been filed in Federal District Court.

One of the suits was filed by Raymond Contarino, of Newfield.  A
New York company, M.A. Sass, bought the lien on his home at the
March 2007 auction for $5,224.  That company has not been charged
by the Department of Justice but so far there have been nine other
guilty pleas in connection with the scheme.  The investigation is
still open.

According Mr. Contarino's suit, "as a direct result of defendants'
unlawful combination, collusion, conspiracy and agreement," all 59
tax liens auctioned at the March 2007 tax lien sale in Newfield,
were purchased "by defendants and/or unnamed co-conspirators, at
the artificially elevated, maximum bid rate of 18%."

Another suit was filed by MSC, LLC, of Cherry Hill.

The three suits name many of the same people or companies as
defendants.

A motion to consolidate is now pending in federal court.

All three suits ask the court to stop the people who have pleaded
guilty from enforcing any tax liens they currently hold, return
title to properties already foreclosed upon and turning over
proceeds from sales of properties they received because of the
bid-rigging scheme.  Such proceeds are the "fruits of the illegal
conduct" of the people now awaiting sentencing.

Meanwhile, Michael Perle, one of the attorneys involved in the
Boyer suit, is seeking to amend the complaint to add additional
defendants.  Several more people have pleaded guilty to Sherman
Act violations since the suit was filed.

According to a letter to the court, at least 50 other potential
victims have expressed an interest in being represented in the
class action.


MAKO SURGICAL: Alfred G. Yates Jr., PC Files Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office of Alfred G. Yates Jr., PC said that it has filed a
class action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Florida on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of
MAKO Surgical Corporation between January 9, 2012 and May 7, 2012,
inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions
concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact
plaintiff's counsel, Alfred G. Yates Jr., Esquire at 1-800-391-
5164, toll free, or at yateslaw@aol.com by e-mail.  Please visit
http://yatesclassactionlaw.comfor more information.  Any member
of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead
plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do
nothing and remain an absent class member.  If you wish to serve
as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than July 9,
2012.

The complaint charges MAKO and certain of its officers and
executives with violations of the Exchange Act.  The complaint
alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants issued
materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company's
financials and future business prospects.  Specifically,
defendants misrepresented and/or failed to disclose the following
adverse facts: (i) that the Company was poised to suffer a wider
first quarter loss as it was experiencing higher costs and slower
sales of its RIO systems; (ii) that utilization rates of the
Company's RIO systems were dropping; (iii) that the Company's 2012
outlook provided at the start of the Class Period lacked a
reasonable basis when made; and (iv) that, based on the above,
defendants lacked a reasonable basis for their positive statements
about the Company or its outlook.

On May 7, 2012, the Company announced its first quarter 2012
financial results.  Although revenue rose from the first quarter
2011, it dropped approximately 40% from the fourth quarter 2011
and missed analysts' consensus expectations by approximately 20%.

As a result, the price of MAKO common stock dropped $15.13 per
share, or nearly 37%, to close at $26.27 per share on May 8, 2012,
on unusual trading volume of more than 13 million shares traded.

Contact: Alfred G. Yates, Jr., Esq.
         Law Office of Alfred G. Yates Jr., PC
         Telephone: (412) 391-5164
         Toll Free: 1(800) 391-5164
         Web site: http://yatesclassactionlaw.com
         E-mail: yateslaw@aol.com


MEDICAL SOCIETY OF DEL: Not Entirely Off the Hook in Bradley Case
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ryan Mavity, writing for CapeGazette.com, reports that the Supreme
Court case against convicted pedophile Earl Bradley has been the
hare, moving along at a brisk pace, while a class-action civil
suit against Mr. Bradley and Beebe Medical Center has been the
tortoise, inching its way along.

But now the civil suit is picking up steam after New Castle County
Superior Court Judge Joseph Slights III allowed plaintiffs to
refile some claims against the Medical Society of Delaware and
doctors James Marvel, Carol Tavani, Lowell Scott, John Ludwicki
and Nicholas Berg from the suit.

Class attorney Craig Karsnitz -- ckarsnitz@ycst.com -- said it was
important that Judge Slights did not completely dismiss the
society and the doctors, because it allows the chance to prove
they can be held responsible.

The medical society and the doctors were named in the suit because
the plaintiffs allege they had knowledge and information related
to Mr. Bradley's sexual assaults against his patients but failed
to report them.

In his opinion, Judge Slights agreed with the defendants' argument
that they had no "special relationship" with Mr. Bradley --
meaning they had no control or authority over his actions. The
medical society is not a regulatory body, but a nonprofit
association of Delaware physicians.  On these grounds, the doctors
and the medical society were partially dismissed from the suit.

However, Judge Slights did not entirely let the doctors and the
medical society off the hook.  He denied their motion to dismiss
some claims, citing new allegations by the plaintiffs that certain
defendants had committed themselves to a duty to protect pediatric
patients from harm.

Ms. Tavani and Mr. Marvel, the plaintiffs allege, were told by
Mr. Bradley's sister, Lynda Barnes, that Mr. Bradley was
improperly touching patients.  Ms. Barnes also reported to
Ms. Tavani and Mr. Marvel that her brother's mental condition and
professional practice were falling apart.  However, the plaintiffs
say, none of this information was relayed to the Board of Medical
Practice, which regulates doctors, or to Delaware State Police.

Mr. Ludwicki, who worked with Mr. Bradley at Beebe and shared
office space with him for seven months, was interviewed, along
with his staff, by Milford Police Department in a 2005
investigation of suspected misconduct by Mr. Bradley.  The
plaintiffs allege Mr. Ludwicki, through reports to his staff, had
knowledge that Mr. Bradley was a pedophile, but did not report it
to authorities.

Mr. Scott, according to Judge Slights' opinion, had referred to
Mr. Bradley as a pedophile while speaking to other physicians as
early as 2001.  Defendant Berg was an ear, nose and throat
specialist at Bayside Health Association with Messrs. Bradley and
Scott.

"These allegations, if proven, would be sufficient to trigger a
duty on the part of the physicians/defendants who undertook to
protect patients to discharge that duty with reasonable care,"
Judge Slights said.

Judge Slights decision states the plaintiffs failed to prove
negligence on the part of the doctors, but he allowed for an
amended complaint based on common law or medical negligence
against the individual doctors.  To prove negligence, a plaintiff
must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care and breached
that duty, causing injury to the plaintiff, but Judge Slights left
the door open to allow the plaintiffs to prove defendants owed a
duty of care.

Plaintiff's attorney Chase Brockstedt said a second amended
complaint has been filed.

Collins Seitz, attorney for the medical society, was not available
for comment.

Mr. Bradley and Beebe, also named in the class action suit, did
not move to dismiss claims against them.

Kelly Griffin, spokeswoman for Beebe Medical Center, could not be
reached for comment.

This is the second time Judge Slights has considered whether to
dismiss the medical society and the doctors from the suit.  In the
first case, decided in February, Judge Slights dismissed the
defendants from the case but allowed the plaintiffs to amend their
complaint.

In September, Judge Slights heard the second round of arguments
but did not issue an opinion until March 29.  That opinion was
under seal until May 8 when a redacted version was released to the
public.

Attorneys for the class and Beebe have been talking about
potentially settling the case, although no settlement has been
reached.

Wilmington attorney Bruce Hudson, who represents more than 40
members of the class, said notice has gone out to Mr. Bradley's
former patients asking to join the class and hundreds of responses
have been received.  Attorneys for the class have not yet asked
for a trial date.

When asked whether the suit could be settled out of court,
Mr. Hudson said, "I don't have a crystal ball, but hope springs
eternal."

He said a settlement would be ideal because it would spare
Mr. Bradley's victims from having to testify in court.  However,
Mr. Hudson added, the objective is to receive fair and just
compensation for the victims.

Mr. Karsnitz said attorneys are working hard with Beebe's
attorneys and insurance carriers, as well as those for the medical
society to create a fund to compensate the victims.  While nothing
has been resolved yet, he said the talks have been productive.

Meanwhile, attorneys for Mr. Bradley have filed their final brief
in advance of oral arguments before the Delaware Supreme Court.

Mr. Bradley's appeal team, Robert Goff and Nicole Walker of the
Public Defender's Office, is asking the court to overturn the
guilty verdict against Mr. Bradley.  They reiterate their argument
that Delaware State Police conducted an illegal search of
Mr. Bradley's BayBees Pediatrics office where they found computer
files with video of Mr. Bradley sexually assaulting children.

In their reply brief, filed April 24, Mr. Bradley's attorneys said
police, who first conducted a limited searched Mr. Bradley's
property Dec. 16, 2009, looking for eight patient files, did not
know the names of the patients whose records they were searching
for.

Mr. Bradley's attorneys said police "conducted a dragnet
unauthorized by the narrow language of the warrant and unjustified
by the cause provided in its affidavit."  In addition, they say,
the Attorney General's Office has had an amorphous and evolving
definition of a medical file.

"A search for a medical file, as it is plainly understood to be,
does not support the unbridled search at the scene engaged in by
the police," the brief says.

Oral arguments before the Supreme Court are scheduled to begin
June 13.

Earl Bradley's house at 344 Savannah Rd. in Lewes was scheduled to
go up for sheriff sale, 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 15 at the Sussex
County Sheriff's Office, 22215 DuPont Blvd. in Georgetown.

The house was foreclosed on by U.S. Bank, which Mr. Bradley owes
$560,000 in mortgage payments and late fees.  Mr. Bradley has not
lived at the house since his arrest in December 2009.

Bradley's BayBees Pediatrics office was similarly foreclosed on by
Fulton Bank and sold at sheriff sale last year.  The property was
eventually purchased by Realtor Bruce Guyer and the buildings
demolished on Oct. 10.


ONVIA INC: IPO Litigation in New York Concluded in Jan.
-------------------------------------------------------
Securities class action complaints filed against Onvia, Inc. in
New York concluded in January, 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.

In 2001, five securities class action suits were filed against
Onvia, certain former executive officers, and the lead underwriter
of Onvia's Initial Public Offering (IPO), Credit Suisse First
Boston (CSFB).  The suits were filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons who
acquired securities of Onvia between March 1, 2000 and December 6,
2000.  In 2002, a consolidated complaint was filed.  The complaint
charged defendants with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder) and Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933,
for issuing a Registration Statement and Prospectus that failed to
disclose and contained false and misleading statements regarding
certain commissions purported to have been received by the
underwriters, and other purported underwriter practices in
connection with their allocation of shares in the offering.  The
complaint sought an undisclosed amount of damages, as well as
attorneys' fees.  The action is being coordinated with
approximately 300 other nearly identical actions filed against
other companies.  At the Court's request, plaintiffs selected six
"focus" cases, which do not include Onvia.  The Court indicated
that its decisions in the six focus cases are intended to provide
strong guidance for the parties in the remaining cases.

The parties in the coordinated cases, including Onvia's case,
reached a settlement.  The insurers for the issuer defendants in
the coordinated cases will make the settlement payment on behalf
of the issuers, including Onvia.  On October 5, 2009, the Court
granted final approval of the settlement.  Judgment was entered.
The settlement approval was appealed to the United States Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit.  One appeal was dismissed and the
second appeal was remanded to the district court to determine if
the appellant is a class member with standing to appeal.  The
District Court ruled that the appellant lacked standing.  The
appellant appealed the District Court's decision to the Second
Circuit.  Subsequently, appellant entered into a settlement
agreement with counsel for the plaintiff class pursuant to which
he dismissed his appeal with prejudice.  As a result, the
settlement among the parties in the IPO Litigation on January 9,
2012 is final and the case is concluded.

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Onvia is a provider of
business information and research solutions that help companies
plan, market and sell to government agencies throughout the United
States.  Onvia's business solution provides clients online access
to a proprietary database of government procurement opportunities
across the federal, state, local, and education sectors.


ROYAL BANCSHARES: Faces Antitrust Class Suit in New Jersey
----------------------------------------------------------
Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania, Inc. and its operating unit,
Royal Bank, are facing an antitrust class action complaint in New
Jersey, according to the Company's March 30, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2011.

Royal Bank holds a 60% equity interest in each of Crusader
Servicing Corporation ("CSC") and Royal Tax Lien Services, LLC
("RTL").  CSC and RTL acquire, through public auction, delinquent
tax liens in various jurisdictions thereby assuming a superior
lien position to most other lien holders, including mortgage lien
holders.   On March 4, 2009, each of CSC and RTL received grand
jury subpoenas issued by the U.S. District Court for New Jersey
upon application of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department
of Justice ("DOJ").  The subpoenas sought certain documents and
information relating to an ongoing investigation being conducted
by the DOJ relating to alleged bid-rigging at tax lien auctions in
New Jersey.  Royal Bank, CSC and RTL have produced to the DOJ
documents responsive to the subpoenas and have been cooperating
with the DOJ throughout the investigation.  On February 23, 2012,
the former President of CSC and RTL entered a plea of guilty to
one count of bid-rigging at certain auctions for tax liens in New
Jersey from 1998 until approximately the spring of 2009.  The
former President's employment with CSC and RTL effectively
terminated in November 2010.  As previously disclosed, Royal Bank
had been advised that neither CSC nor RTL were targets of the DOJ
investigation, but they were subjects of the investigation.  It is
possible, particularly in light of the plea entered by the former
President of CSC and RTL, that the outcome of the investigation
could result in fines and penalties being assessed against both
CSC and RTL, which could also result in reputational risk due to
negative publicity.   No proceedings have been instituted by the
DOJ or any other governmental authority against CSC or RTL as of
March 30, 2012.

As a result of the plea agreements of the former President of CSC
and RTL and others resulting from the DOJ investigation, on March
13, 2012, the former president of RTL and CSC, RTL, CSC, the
Company and certain other parties were named as defendants in a
putative class action lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of New
Jersey, Chancery Division on behalf of a proposed class of
taxpayers who became delinquent in paying their municipal tax
obligations (Boyer v. Robert W. Stein, Crusader Servicing Corp.
Royal Tax Lien Services LLC, Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania,
Inc., et al., Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division,
Docket No. C-14007/12).  On March 28, 2012, CSC, RTL and the
Company removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey. The lawsuit alleges violations of the New
Jersey Antitrust Act and unjust enrichment, and seeks treble
damages, attorney fees and injunctive relief.

As of March 30, 2012, the Company cannot reasonably estimate the
possible loss or range of loss that may result from these actions
or proceedings.

Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania, Inc. is a bank holding company
headquartered at 732 Montgomery Avenue, in Narberth, Pennsylvania,
19072.  The principal activities of the Company are supervising
Royal Bank which engages in general banking business principally
in Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, Bucks, Philadelphia and Berks
counties in Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.  The
Company also has a wholly owned non-bank subsidiary, Royal
Investments of Delaware, Inc., which is engaged in investment
activities.  At December 31, 2011, the Company had consolidated
total assets of approximately $848.4 million, total deposits of
approximately $575.9 million and shareholders' equity of
approximately $75.9 million.  The Company has two reportable
operating segments, "Community Banking" and "Tax Liens."


SEQUANS COMMS: Defends Consolidated Securities Suit in N. Y.
------------------------------------------------------------
Sequans Communications S.A. is defending itself against a
consolidated securities class action complaint in New York,
according to the Company's March 30, 2012, Form 20-F filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended December 31, 2011.

On September 9, 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S.
District Court Southern District of New York against the Company,
certain of its officers and directors, and UBS Limited and
Jefferies & Company Inc, the lead underwriters in the Company's
initial public offering.  The action, Donald Dean Johnson v.
Sequans Communications S.A., et al., alleges violations of the
U.S. federal securities laws in connection with the Company's
initial public offering.  A substantially similar complaint was
filed on October 25, 2011, also in the U.S. District Court
Southern District of New York.  On December 13, 2011 the Court
consolidated the two actions, and appointed lead plaintiffs and
co-lead plaintiffs' counsel.  On January 31, 2012, lead plaintiffs
filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint For Violations of Federal
Securities Laws, which seeks unspecified damages.

The Company intends to vigorously defend against the consolidated
action.

Based in Paris, France, Sequans Communications S.A. --
http://www.sequans.com/-- together with its subsidiaries,
designs, develops, and supplies 4G semiconductor solutions for
wireless broadband applications. Its solutions incorporate
baseband processor and radio frequency transceiver integrated
circuits along with proprietary signal processing techniques,
algorithms, and software stacks.


SPANISH BROADCASTING: $600MM Class Settlement Deemed Final
----------------------------------------------------------
The $600 million class settlement resolving consolidated
securities class actions against Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc.
is now final with the withdrawal and dismissal of all pending
appeals, the Company disclosed in its March 30, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On November 28, 2001, named plaintiff Mitchell Wolf brought a
class action lawsuit against SBS, its underwriters, two members of
SBS' senior management team, one of whom is the Chairman of SBS'
Board of Directors, and another SBS director, alleging certain
violations of federal securities laws, including SEC Rules 10b-5
and 11, in connection with SBS' initial public offering in 1999.
The lawsuit is one of 300 similar lawsuits involving more than 300
issuers, 40 underwriters, and 1,000 individual defendants, which
were assigned for consolidated pretrial purposes to one judge in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The 10b-5 claims were subsequently dismissed as to the Individual
Defendants and, in 2007, tolling agreements were entered pursuant
to which the Individual Defendants, including SBS' managers and
directors, were dismissed from the case without prejudice in
exchange for documentation showing that the Issuers had entity
coverage for the period in question.  Additionally, a subset of
plaintiffs' Section 11 claims (alleging civil liabilities on
account of false registration statements) were dismissed by the
trial court and the class allegations relating to the Section 10b-
5 claims were stricken with respect to several of the consolidated
actions, including the action against SBS.

On October 5, 2009, the trial court issued a final order of
approval of a settlement of all of the consolidated actions,
including the action against SBS.  Although several members of the
plaintiff class initially objected to and/or appealed the
settlement, all objections were withdrawn with prejudice or
dismissed as of January 10, 2012.  The settlement will result in a
release of all claims against the Underwriter Defendants and the
Issuer Defendants, and their officers and directors, in exchange
for an aggregate sum of approximately $600 million to be paid into
a settlement fund for the benefit of the class plaintiffs.  SBS'
and the SBS individual defendants' share of the Settlement Amount
will be fully funded by insurance.

Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc., is the largest publicly traded
Hispanic-controlled media and entertainment company in the United
States.


SWK HOLDINGS: IPO-Related Suit Finally Concluded in Jan.
--------------------------------------------------------
A securities class action lawsuit against SWK Holdings Corporation
has now been concluded with the dismissal of all pending appeals
and final approval of a class settlement, 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.

In July 2001, the Company, its underwriters, and certain officers
and directors were named as defendants in a securities class
action lawsuit.  The case is one of several hundred similar cases
that have been consolidated into a single action.  The complaint
alleges misstatements and omissions concerning underwriters'
compensation in connection with the Company's initial public
offering.  In February 2003, the Court denied a motion to dismiss
that would have disposed of the claims against the Company.  A
settlement proposal, which did not admit wrongdoing, had been
approved by the Board of Directors and preliminarily approved by
the Court.  While the parties' request for court approval of the
settlement was pending, in December 2006 the Court of Appeals
reversed the District Court's finding that six focus cases could
be certified as class actions.  In April 2007, the Court of
Appeals denied the plaintiffs' petition for rehearing, but
acknowledged that the District Court might certify a more limited
class.  At a June 26, 2007 status conference, the Court terminated
the proposed settlement as stipulated among the parties.
Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on August 14, 2007.  On
September 27, 2007, plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification in the six focus cases, which was withdrawn on
October 10, 2008.  On November 13, 2007, defendants in the six
focus cases filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to
state a claim, which the Court denied in March 2008.  Plaintiffs,
the issuer defendants (including the Company), the underwriter
defendants, and the insurance carriers for the defendants, engaged
in mediation and settlement negotiations.  They reached a
settlement agreement, which was submitted to the District Court
for preliminary approval on April 2, 2009.  As part of the
settlement, the Company's insurance carrier agreed to assume the
Company's entire payment obligation under the terms of the
settlement.  On June 10, 2009, the District Court granted
preliminary approval of the proposed settlement agreement.  After
a September 10, 2009 hearing, the District Court gave final
approval to the settlement on October 5, 2009.  Several objectors
filed notices of appeal to the United States Court of Appeal for
the Second Circuit from the District Court's order granting final
approval of the settlement. All but two of the objectors withdrew
their appeals, and Plaintiff moved to dismiss the remaining
appeals, one for violation of the Second Circuit's rules and one
for lack of standing. On May 17, 2011, the Second Circuit granted
the motion to dismiss one objector's appeal for violations of the
Court's rules and remanded the other appeal to the District Court
to determine whether objector Hayes was a class member.  On August
25, 2011, the District Court issued its decision determining that
Hayes was not a class member.  On September 30, 2011, objector
Hayes filed a notice of appeal from the District Court's decision.
On January 9, 2012, objector Hayes dismissed his appeal with
prejudice.  No other appeals are pending, the order approving the
settlement is final, and the matter is now concluded.

Headquartered in Provo, Utah, SWK Holdings Corporation --
http://www.swkhold.com/-- does not have significant operations.
The Company intends to seek, analyze, and evaluate potential
acquisition candidates.  Previously, it developed, marketed and
supported customer communications software products.  It was
formerly known as KANA Software, Inc. and changed its name to SWK
Holdings Corporation in December 2009.


TEXAS INDUSTRIES: Still Defends Chrome 6 Exposure Suits
-------------------------------------------------------
In late April 2008, a lawsuit was filed in Riverside County
Superior Court of the State of California styled Virginia
Shellman, et al. v. Riverside Cement Holdings Company, et al . The
lawsuit against three of Texas Industries, Inc.'s subsidiaries
purports to be a class action complaint for medical monitoring for
a putative class defined as individuals who were allegedly exposed
to chrome 6 emissions from the Company's Crestmore cement plant.
The complaint alleges an increased risk of future illness due to
the exposure to chrome 6 and other toxic chemicals.  The suit
requests, among other things, establishment and funding of a
medical testing and monitoring program for the class until their
exposure to chrome 6 is no longer a threat to their health, as
well as punitive and exemplary damages.

Since the Shellman lawsuit was filed, five additional putative
class action lawsuits have been filed in the same court.  The
putative class in each of these cases is the same as or a subset
of the putative class in the Shellman case, and the allegations
and requests for relief are similar to those in the Shellman case.
As a consequence, the court has stayed four of these lawsuits
until the Shellman lawsuit is finally determined.

Since August 2008, additional lawsuits have been filed in the same
court against Texas Industries, Inc. or one or more of the
Company's subsidiaries containing allegations of personal injury
and wrongful death by approximately 3,000 individual plaintiffs
who were allegedly exposed to chrome 6 and other toxic or harmful
substances in the air, water and soil caused by emissions from the
Crestmore plant.  The court has dismissed Texas Industries, Inc.
from the suits, and its subsidiaries operating in Texas have been
dismissed by agreement with the plaintiffs.  Most of the Company's
subsidiaries operating in California remain as defendants.  The
court has dismissed from these suits plaintiffs that failed to
provide required information, leaving approximately 2,000
plaintiffs.

Since January 2009, additional lawsuits have been filed against
Texas Industries, Inc. or one or more of the Company's
subsidiaries in the same court involving similar allegations,
causes of action and requests for relief, but with respect to the
Company's Oro Grande, California cement plant instead of the
Crestmore plant.  The suits involve approximately 300 individual
plaintiffs.  Texas Industries, Inc. and its subsidiaries operating
in Texas have been similarly dismissed from these suits.  The
court has dismissed from these suits plaintiffs that failed to
provide required information, leaving approximately 250
plaintiffs.  Prior to the filing of the lawsuits, the air quality
management district in whose jurisdiction the plant lies conducted
air sampling from locations around the plant.  None of the samples
contained chrome 6 levels above 1.0 ng/m3.

The plaintiffs allege causes of action that are similar from suit
to suit.  Following dismissal of certain causes of action by the
court and amendments by the plaintiffs, the remaining causes of
action typically include, among other things, negligence,
intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress,
trespass, public and private nuisance, strict liability, willful
misconduct, fraudulent concealment, unfair business practices,
wrongful death and loss of consortium.  The plaintiffs generally
request, among other things, general and punitive damages, medical
expenses, loss of earnings, property damages and medical
monitoring costs.  As of March 30, 2012, none of the plaintiffs in
these cases has alleged in their pleadings any specific amount or
range of damages.  Some of the suits include additional
defendants, such as the owner of another cement plant located
approximately four miles from the Crestmore plant or former owners
of the Crestmore and Oro Grande plants.

The Company says it will vigorously defend all of these suits but
cannot predict what liability, if any, could arise from them.  The
Company adds it also cannot predict whether any other suits may be
filed against it alleging damages due to injuries to persons or
property caused by claimed exposure to chrome 6.

No further updates were reported in the Company's March 30, 2012,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended February 29, 2012.


THERMODYNE HOLDINGS: Paid Out Settlement Amounts in Merger Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Thermodyne Holdings Corporation has paid all amounts associated
with its settlement resolving two class action complaints
commenced in relation to its merger agreement with Irving Place
Capital, 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.

In October 2010, two identical purported class action lawsuits
were filed in connection with the Company's merger deal with
Irving Place Capital against the Company, its directors, and
Irving Place Capital.  On November 25, 2010, the Company, its
directors and Irving Place Capital entered into a memorandum of
understanding with the plaintiffs regarding the settlement of
these actions.  On June 30, 2011, the Circuit Court of St. Louis
County, Missouri issued an order approving the settlement and
resolving and releasing all claims in all actions that were or
could have been brought.  The Circuit Court further awarded
attorneys' fees and expenses to plaintiffs' counsel in the amount
of $399,000, which the Company paid in July 2011 and 85% of which
was reimbursed to the Company by its insurance carrier in October
2011.

Thermodyne Holdings Corporation is a global designer, manufacturer
and supplier of a comprehensive suite of cutting and welding
products used in various fabrication, construction and
manufacturing operations around the world.


TRANSCEND SERVICES: Employees File Overtime Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Richard Craver, writing for Winston-Salem Journal, reports that
the company that Novant Health Inc. outsourced its medical-
transcriptionist work to, Transcend Services Inc., is facing a
class-action lawsuit filed by 13 employees.

None of the employees came from Novant, according to the lawsuit
filed on May 11 in the U.S. Northern District of Illinois.

Novant shifted the medical transcriptionist work of 69 full-time
employees on April 1 to Transcend, based in Norcross, Ga. Novant
said it did not know how many former employees went to work for
Transcend or currently work for it.  The work typically is done at
home.

The Transcend employees accuse the company of not paying a federal
minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for hours worked and requiring them
to perform overtime work without proper compensation of 1 1/2
times their hourly wage.  The lawsuit says Transcend has been in
violation of both pay requirements for at least three years.

The plaintiffs want unpaid wage and unpaid overtime compensation,
attorneys' fees and other damages.  They also want "injunctive
relief . . . to stop defendant's unlawful pay practices and
establish that such unlawful practices within the health-care
industry are no longer permissible."

Novant medical transcriptionists who spoke with the Winston-Salem
Journal in March expressed concern about the pay and overtime
rates when they were told of the center's outsourcing plans.

Donna Rhines, marketing director for Transcend, said on May 14 the
company "did not have enough information to speak about" the
lawsuit.  Transcend is being bought by Nuance, which has offices
in India.

Marilyn Gilliam, Novant's vice president of talent acquisition and
retention, said in March that Novant chose Transcend so its
employees would "have the ability to transfer to Transcend without
interruption in employment or benefits."

Novant said in a statement Monday it could not comment
specifically on the lawsuit, since it is not involved.

"Novant is committed to working with vendors who work legally and
ethically and we have no reason to believe that Transcend will not
work through these issues appropriately," Novant said.

"We believe outsourcing transcription services is the right thing
to do for Novant.  Many hospitals across the country have
outsourced this service. Our responsibility to patients is to
reduce expenses without compromising patient care and outsourcing
this service is one way we can accomplish that goal."

Novant told its medical transcriptionists on March 15 that they
had three days to decide whether to go to work for Transcend.

At that time, most Novant medical transcriptionists worked for
base pay of $14 to $16 an hour, along with production pay that
often represented half their salary.  Before 2008, the
transcriptionists said they were paid by production, with some
making more than $40 an hour.

Some Novant employees determined that taking the outsourced job
offer would mean a pay cut ranging from half to nearly two-thirds.
Transcend also offered no base pay.


WELLS FARGO: Faces Class Action Over "Dual Tracking" Practice
-------------------------------------------------------------
eCreditDaily reports that a Kansas couple has filed a class-action
suit against Wells Fargo, accusing the nation's largest mortgage
lender of providing only "illusory trial loan modification
programs" to borrowers facing foreclosure -- without any intention
of offering them permanent loan reductions.

The suite brings to light "dual-tracking," a practice by lenders
of offering mortgage loan modifications while initiating
foreclosure proceedings against the same borrower during the same
period of time.

The recently approved $25 billion mortgage settlement between
federal and state officials and the five top mortgage lenders,
including Wells Fargo, prohibits "dual-tracking."

U.S. Magistrate Joseph Spero last week ruled that the "class" in
the lawsuit brought by Vicki and Richard Sutcliffe failed to state
a claim for breach of contract or debt collection violations.  But
Judge Spero allowed a separate claim in the lawsuit to remain.

Judge Spero also gave the class leave to amend the complaint to
allege damages from the bank's alleged contract breach, according
to Courthouse News Service.

The Sutcliffes made the required reduced payments under the trial
modification offered by Wells Fargo, but did not receive paperwork
for a loan modification at the end of the trial period, the suit
claims.  The couple continued to make payments at the trial period
rate through July 2010.

However, Wells Fargo sent paperwork indicating the loan was in
default and a letter stating it was not going to permanently
modify their loan, the suit alleges.

Wells Fargo later sent letters to the couple offering them a
"Special Forbearance Plan," under which they would make more
reduced payments.  The Sutcliffes made the payments, only to be
sent another letter again stating the loan was in default.

Finally, on Jan. 4, 2011, the Sutcliffes received a letter from a
law firm informing them that it had been retained by Wells Fargo
to initiate foreclosure proceedings.


* PENNSYLVANIA: Sup. Ct. Unveils New Rules on "Cy pres" Funds
-------------------------------------------------------------
Michael P. Tremoglie, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that new
rules announced May 11 by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania direct
unclaimed money from class-action lawsuits be mandated to provide
legal services for low-income Pennsylvanians.

Prior to this, the disposition of residual funds was left to the
discretion of the trial judge.

The new civil procedure rules take effect July 1.  The money is
what remains after the plaintiffs, attorney fees and expenses have
been paid.  This includes money for plaintiffs who cannot be
located or who don't file claims.

The Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) Board is to receive
the newly court-ordered allocation of funding.

"The legal needs of many Pennsylvanians have risen with the level
of uncertainty in the nation's economy," Chief Justice of
Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille said.  "But many legal aid
organizations can only do so much.  These new rules will provide
underlying support for a new revenue stream while also
standardizing the practice of disposing of leftover funds rather
than the current discretionary practice."

According to the Supreme Court announcement, the rules require
that 50 percent of the funds be designated to the IOLTA Board.
The remaining 50 percent may also be designated to the IOLTA Board
or to another organization that has a relationship with, or
promotes the interests of, the class-action lawsuit's objectives.

Unclaimed funds remaining from class-action lawsuits are called
"cy pres" funds.  According to the Supreme Court communique these
funds are common because many times affected parties cannot be
located or identified.  Also, sometimes parties may be unable or
unwilling to claim their shares of a settlement.  The states of
Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington
have similar laws requiring these funds to go to charities, legal
aid providers or other nonprofit organizations.

However, the defendants, and defense lawyers, in class-action
lawsuits maintain that this procedure is unjust and unethical.
They have stated that the money should be returned to them since
the funds are for the plaintiffs in the litigation and should not
be used as a slush fund for lawyers or the courts.


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rule v. Hardie Directors Clarifies Honesty Laws
----------------------------------------------------------------
Surviving Mesothelioma and Cancer Monthly reports that after a
legal battle that lasted more than 10 years and prompted a made-
for-TV movie in Australia, seven former corporate directors were
recently found guilty of lying to employees and the public about
mesothelioma compensation.

Building product company James Hardie Industries was Australia's
biggest producer of asbestos cement and had manufactured asbestos
products of various kinds since the 1930's.  In 2001, it moved its
operation overseas, leaving behind a trust fund for Australian
workers whose asbestos exposure at work put them at risk of
mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.  The company
publicly stated that this mesothelioma compensation fund was
'fully funded' and would provide 'certainty' for current and
future mesothelioma victims.

In fact, the fund was on the verge of bankruptcy and did not have
sufficient money set aside for mesothelioma compensation.  A study
commissioned to project future claims was never finished and
Australian media reports say the fund was AU$1.5 billion short of
what it would need to fully compensate asbestos workers who
contracted mesothelioma.

The most famous of those workers was Bernie Banton, a former James
Hardie employee who became an outspoken advocate for asbestos
victims before he died of mesothelioma in 2007.  The public outcry
incited by Banton forced the company to agree to replenish the
inadequate mesothelioma compensation fund.  Banton's story, and
the story of the seven James Hardie directors who were on trial,
became the subject of a made-for television movie now in
production.

But the Australian Securities and Investments Committee (ASIC),
the regulatory agency for Australian corporations, brought the
James Hardie directors to trial over their deceptive statements
about mesothelioma compensation.  Although the recent ruling of
Australia highest court will have little direct bearing on current
mesothelioma patients, it does clarify the rules for honesty in
corporate communication and will force Australian companies to
present more reliable information to current and former employees,
as well as to stockholders and the public.

Bernie Banton's widow told the Australian press that the ruling
was "bittersweet", largely because it came so many years after the
fact.  Hundreds of former James Hardie employees have contracted
asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.  Australia has one of
the highest per capita mesothelioma rates in the world.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NSW Draws Ire in Rejecting ALRC Recommendations
----------------------------------------------------------------
Genevieve Gannon and Neda Vanovac of The Australian Associated
Press report that asbestos victims and their families are calling
for public rallies to protest against a NSW government decision
that could mean less money for women widowed by asbestos disease.

In rejecting the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform
Commission (ALRC) on May 11, the government said the proposed
changes would breach an agreement that compels James Hardie to
compensate asbestos victims.

Under the agreement, the NSW government promised it would not
legislate to increase or decrease damages for dust diseases.

Barry Robson, president of the Asbestos Disease Foundation of
Australia, called for unions to mobilize "anti-government forces"
for a public campaign that could include rallies outside
parliament.

"We're really pissed off about this," Mr. Robson told AAP.

"The gutless wonders should be fighting for widows."

Unions NSW also condemned the decision.

Secretary Mark Lennon said the spouses of asbestos victims would
suffer significant financial disadvantage.

The proposed changes would have allowed families of victims to
launch a case for damages up to 12 months after the death of their
relative, the opposition said.

KPMG estimated implementing the recommendations would increase the
potential liabilities of the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund
by between AU$23.4 million and AU$182.3 million.

The opposition branded the decision "callous".

"It takes an incredibly callous and uncaring government to refuse
to support asbestos victims and the families they are forced to
leave behind," Opposition Leader John Robertson said in a
statement.

The widow of asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton, Karen, told AAP
the situation was "extremely disappointing".

"Often filing a claim is the last thing sufferers and their
families want to contemplate," she said.

"They can't stomach the thought of going down the legal path when
they're (dealing) with this diagnosis."

The Australian Manufacturers and Workers Union said the O'Farrell
government cared more about lining its coffers than supporting the
families of asbestos victims.

"Taking money from innocent victims is as low as it gets,"
national secretary Paul Bastian said in a statement.

"Other states are showing a bit of heart and compensating the
dependents of those killed from exposure to asbestos.  Why can't
NSW step up to the plate?"

The law has already been reformed in Victoria, South Australia and
Western Australia.

NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith said he regretted the
disappointment the decision had caused.

"The government needs to consider the importance long-term of
providing certainty of continued compensation to all asbestos
victims," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: FACT Act Slows Down and Complicates Claim Process
------------------------------------------------------------------
Mesothelioma News.com relates that not many people in the asbestos
community are familiar with the 2012 FACT Act (or HR 4369,
technically speaking).  Yet, this act could significantly impact
the ability of many asbestos claimants to receive compensation
from asbestos trust funds.

And not in a good way.

On the surface, the FACT act promotes transparency in asbestos
claims.  And, as we have learned when dealing with the asbestos
industry, transparency is crucial.

Under the current system, when someone develops a serious illness
that is scientifically and medically linked to asbestos exposure
(including cancers such as mesothelioma and certain types of lung
cancer), this person can legally ask for compensation from
responsible asbestos trusts to help cover medical and other
expenses.

The FACT Act, however, would place new burdens on the trusts when
it comes to doling out compensation.  Trusts would be required to
publicly disclose personal claim information, including
information about a claimant's exposure and work history.

Companies responsible for a person's asbestos exposure would also
be allowed to demand whatever additional information they want
from the asbestos trusts -- at any time and for almost any reason.
The idea, at least on paper, is to limit trust fund abuse.

Yet, the trust fund process is not abused, so it is highly
unlikely that those behind this bill are truly concerned about
"transparency."  In fact, the bill would override established
state laws regarding the disclosure of information and
significantly slow down the claims process.

On May 10, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing
on the FACT Act.

Bottom line: the FACT Act is bad news for mesothelioma victims.
The bill would make the asbestos trust compensation process
cumbersome in order to discourage people from making claims and
make the process long and complex.

                           *     *     *

Business Insurance relates that the system of asbestos bankruptcy
trusts created by Congress nearly 20 years ago was designed to
make sure people injured by exposure to asbestos could be
compensated.

But over the years, concerns have arisen that the current system
can be gamed.  There's a concern that claimants can seek multiple
recoveries from different funds, or tap funds and the tort system.
That's why we welcome the introduction of the Furthering Asbestos
Claims Transparency Act.

The act would require asbestos trust funds to make quarterly
reports about claims and exposure allegations.  The measure also
would provide protection for claimants' identities and personal
medical information.  These are hardly radical ideas, but such
disclosures could help deter duplicate claims.

A report issued by the Government Accountability Office last
September said that between 2000 and 2011, the number of asbestos
personal injury trusts increased from 16 to 60.  The trusts'
collective assets increased from a little over $4 billion to
nearly $37 billion during the same period.  That's a significant
amount of money.

But one of the major problems is that the 60 trusts operate
independently of each other, and there's no central clearinghouse
for claims data and other information.

In addition, there's no linkage between the trusts -- which
represent the assets and liabilities of companies that sought
bankruptcy protection because of asbestos claims -- and the tort
system, where solvent companies must defend asbestos claims.

No one knows how much fraud is involved in the system.  But given
the amount of money involved, greater transparency strikes us as a
worthy -- and imperative -- goal.

It's a matter of fairness, and not just for those who are paying
the claims, be they trusts, insurers or companies that are
defending themselves in the tort system.

It's a matter of fairness for the claimants themselves.  The
purpose of the trusts is to compensate the injured.  As we noted,
there's an impressive amount of money involved, but it's not
unlimited.  Curbing even potential double-dipping and other
fraudulent acts will help ensure there are adequate funds to
compensate the truly ill.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hanford Site Test Results Show Low Toxic Levels
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pat Guth for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance reports that workers
at the Hanford Site in Washington State don't have to worry about
dangerous asbestos levels, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
reported earlier when results of random sampling showed no
seriously elevated levels of the toxic material.

According to an article in the Tri-City Herald, testing was
prompted earlier this year when workers began to raise concerns
about asbestos exposure during activities associated with the
demolition of facilities at the former nuclear production complex.

In particular, Hanford workers were concerned that asbestos
insulation from outdoor steam lines may have been affected by the
weather or other nearby work, causing it to become friable and
flake off.  In addition, they questioned whether asbestos-
containing materials that may remain on the ground from already
demolished buildings could be damaged by walking or driving
through them, causing the release of airborne fibers.

Workers also believed that deteriorating existing buildings not
yet demolished could present asbestos hazards.  Any of these
scenarios presented by employees could potentially result in the
inhalation of toxic asbestos fibers, which can cause diseases such
as asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer.

The huge amount of concern, notes the article, stemmed partly from
an EPA report on whether the Hanford workers should be able to
mechanically remove asbestos-containing cement board, also known
as transite.  Though it is considered unfriable, the EPA worried
that removal with an excavator would cause it to crumble or be
reduced to powder, presenting further risk to the workers.

However, the DOE hopes that workers concerns disappear with the
latest report, which involved the findings from more than 2,800
samples collected during demolition activities and another 277
samples from devices attached to workers' lapels during earlier
demolition of several asbestos-containing buildings.  Samples were
also taken from vehicles at the construction site and the water
supply was tested as well.

All samples showed no findings that should be of concern to those
at the site, the department said.  They're hoping that a program
launched earlier this year, which involves picking up any
fragments of materials suspected of containing asbestos and adding
covers, including soil, to certain areas, helped in the campaign
to keep workers safe.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogen Find Stops Work at New Sutton Plant
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pat Guth for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance reports that work on
the new Sutton Energy Plant in Wilmington, North Carolina grinded
to a halt when workers digging in the area uncovered asbestos
materials.

According to a story aired on WECT-TV6 News, workers at the new
natural gas plant found asbestos debris that likely came from an
underground structure that was more than 50 years old and built
during a time when asbestos use was commonplace, especially in
power plants.

Tests were immediately performed on the material and came back
positive for asbestos.  Representatives of the Occupational Health
and Safety Administration (OSHA) were called in to assess the
situation and it was determined at that time that all construction
should stop until the issue can be fixed.  Another pile of
asbestos had been found a few weeks ago and that material has
since been removed.

Scott Sutton, a representative from owner Sutton Energy in
Wilmington, told the media that he was unaware of any complaints
of health issues related to asbestos exposure.  Nonetheless, the
energy company wants to be sure that exposure doesn't occur, hence
the work stoppage.  The company also stressed that anyone working
at the existing Sutton Energy coal burning plant on the site is
not in danger of inhaling asbestos fibers, which can cause tumors
to form and result in a diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer,
asbestosis, or other lung diseases.

In the meantime, the situation continues to be assessed and a team
from OSHA will make a decision as to when the 350 workers on the
project can return to their jobs.  Officials hope that the plant
will be completed by 2014 and hope that the asbestos removal won't
delay construction to any great extent.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NOA Usage With Immunity Package Bill Signed In
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center reports that Alaska Gov.
Sean Parnell set a dangerous precedent by signing into law a bill
that will allow naturally-occurring asbestos (NOA) to be extracted
and used in construction projects around the state.

The bill, which may be putting development and profits before
public health, also protects construction companies that use the
asbestos gravel from any future legal responsibility in utilizing
the toxic material.

Asbestos is a well-known carcinogen that can lead to a variety of
respiratory issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer and
mesothelioma cancer.

Although for years Alaska had the lowest rate of asbestos-related
deaths in the country, that could be changing in the future.

Democrat Reggie Joule of Kotzebue, who sponsored the original HB
258, said the law was needed to restart construction that was
halted in the Upper Kobuk area once the state began enforcing
federal workplace standards in 2003.

Expansion of a much-needed sewage project, roads and improvement
to an airport runway, would not be completed without the new law
because it was cost-prohibitive to use anything but the asbestos-
laden gravel that was mined in the area.

The bill does have a provision that requires gravel with a
concentration of asbestos beyond a quarter of one percent to come
with a site-specific handling and safety plan from a project
manager.

Health experts around the world, though, have agreed there is no
amount of asbestos that is considered safe to humans.  The bill
would give legal immunity to communities, landowners and owners of
the contaminated gravel if any health problems arose.

People who may get sick from the asbestos would be unable to seek
damages from those responsible.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Hollis French (D-Anchorage) was one of
the few who voted against the bill.  His committee had challenged
the legal immunity issue and written in limits to that immunity.
Those limits, though, were removed before the bill was passed.

"I don't believe in blanket immunity because people get very,
very, sick from asbestos," he said.  "And there's no safe
threshold of asbestos."

The state of Alaska has several areas with naturally occurring
asbestos.  The bill will allow the asbestos-laden gravel to be
used for Department of Transportation and public facilities.

According to Alaskapublic.org, this year's capital improvement
budget in the Upper Kobuk area includes school renovation and
roads in the Ambler Mining district.

The debate on the Senate floor centered around a compromise
between the needs of the community and the health of the citizens.
Gara spoke of his concern when the asbestos gravel is used where
children will be playing or when an added protective material
begins to wear off.

He also pressed for an amendment that would have required a public
hearing for people who might be affected by a project that
included asbestos gravel.  That, too, was rejected by Gara's
peers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exxon Valdez Appeals India Supreme Court Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kristen Griffin for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance reports that
in one of the world's worst oil spills, the Exxon Valdez was
responsible for dumping millions of tons of crude oil in Prince
William Sound in Alaska in 1989 after running into rocks.  The
Exxon Valdez oil spill caused an ecological disaster that resulted
in destroying Prince William Sound's fishing industry.

Now known as the "Oriental Nicety," the infamous ship is banned
from entering India until the owners verify that the ship does not
contain any toxins.

Toxins in question include asbestos, mercury, arsenic and residual
oil, and the ship must be fully decontaminated, according to
Indian officials.

A ruling by the Supreme Court in India prevented the Exxon Valdez
from entering a scrap yard in the state of Gujarat where the ship
would have been turned into metal parts estimated at $16 million.
This issue was brought before the Supreme Court by concerned
environmental activists citing the uncontrolled and mandated
business of bringing in potentially dangerous ships to be broken
down.

Current owners -- a shipbreaking firm -- purchased the Exxon
Valdez in order to turn it into scrap parts.

Further, Gujarat officials have banned the Exxon Valdez from
anchoring near the coastline during the decontamination process.

The Exxon Valdez's last moments highlight another issue concerning
India's shipbreaking industry.  Law governing India's vast
shipbreaking industry are relatively lax when it comes to workers'
safety.  Environmental activists cite that many workers who work
on ships that have not yet been contaminated are oftentimes
exposed to deadly toxins.

Exposure to the toxins found on the Exxon Valdez can be life-
threatening.  Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of
mesothelioma, a rare, yet deadly form of cancer that affects the
protective lining of the lungs, heart or abdominal cavity.
Separately, asbestos has been used to build ships before the
substance was banned in manufacturing.

Exposure to mercury leads to impaired speech, hearing and vision.
Arsenic is linked to many types of cancer and a lower immune
response to infections.  However, the level of exposure needed to
reach deadly diseases linked to arsenic or mercury poisoning vary,
but with asbestos, even the smallest amount may lead to
mesothelioma.

The owners of the Exxon Valdez are currently trying to appeal the
ruling.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Subcommittee Reviews House Resolution 4369
-----------------------------------------------------------
John O'Brien of Legal Newsline reports a House subcommittee was
scheduled to hold a hearing on May 10, over a proposed bill that
would allow defendants in asbestos lawsuits to discover
information about a plaintiff's claims against bankrupt companies.

The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial
and Administrative Law was set to take up the issue 9:30 a.m. EST.

House Resolution 4369 would require bankruptcy trusts, which were
created by companies that went bankrupt from asbestos litigation
to pay claimants, to disclose claims and exposure allegations
while providing third-party discovery in civil lawsuits.

The trust system operates independently of the tort system.  More
than 90 companies have gone through bankruptcy as a result of
asbestos litigation, creating at least 60 trusts.

The legislation was introduced in April by two Republicans, Ben
Quayle of Arizona and Dennis Ross of Florida, and Democrat Jim
Matheson of Utah.

In April 2010, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, asked the
Government Accountability Office to investigate the trust system.
He pointed to an oft-cited 2007 instance in Ohio, where in
Cuyahoga County the California law firm of Brayton Purcell claimed
the late Harry Kanania died in 2000 of mesothelioma solely from
smoking cigarettes made by Lorillard Tobacco, while simultaneously
seeking compensation from multiple asbestos trusts, claiming their
products led to Kanania's fatal lung condition.

The GAO released its report in October, finding no fraud in the
system.  It did note that the trusts operate in secrecy.

"Although the possibility exists that a claimant could file the
same medical evidence and altered work histories with different
trusts, each trust's focus is to ensure that each claim meets the
criteria defined in its (trust rules), meaning the claimant has
met the requisite medical and exposure histories to the
satisfaction of the trustees," the report says.

"Of the trust officials that we interviewed that conducted audits,
none indicated that these audits had identified cases of fraud."

At least two states have proposed similar trust reform.  Ohio's
senate heard testimony in March on a bill already passed by the
House of Representatives, while Oklahoma's senate passed a bill on
March 14.

The Oklahoma bill is currently sitting in the House Judiciary
Committee.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pfizer Disputes Rule, Pursues Quigley's Exit Plan
------------------------------------------------------------------
Tiffany Kary of Bloomberg Business News reports Pfizer Inc.'s
bankrupt Quigley Co. unit will continue its eight-year bankruptcy,
and seeks to challenge a federal appeals court ruling, a Pfizer
lawyer said.

Jay Goffman, Esq., told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein in
Manhattan court on May 10 that Pfizer may challenge a higher
court's ruling in April that found Pfizer isn't entitled to
protection from some asbestos claims related to Quigley.

Pfizer also plans to proceed with Quigley's bankruptcy, and seeks
to have it exit court protection in September.

"We think they got it wrong," Goffman said of the April appeals
court ruling, adding that Pfizer may bring a challenge to the U.S.
Supreme Court.

Quigley, founded in 1916, made three products for the steel
industry from the 1940s to the 1970s that contained asbestos.
Pfizer bought Quigley in 1968, and the company stopped most
operations in 1992, filing for bankruptcy in 2004.  Pfizer has
said it never made or sold any Quigley products, and some
claimants hadn't released Pfizer from alleged "derivative
liability."

Bernstein had ruled in bankruptcy court that Quigley's Chapter 11
case barred certain lawsuits against Pfizer.  A May 2011 decision
in district court reversed the order, and Pfizer had appealed that
ruling.

"We affirm the district court," three judges said in April's
ruling that upheld the May decision.  In doing so, they found that
the law firm Peter G. Angelos can sue Pfizer based on manufacturer
liability under Pennsylvania law.

                          1999 Lawsuits

Angelos began bringing lawsuits against Pfizer in 1999, saying
that because the drug company's logo appeared on Quigley products,
it should have liability for the asbestos-containing products.

Goffman also told Bernstein on May 10 that Quigley plans to file a
Chapter 11 plan by the end of the month that is based on terms
with creditors it has already negotiated.

Lawyers for creditors as well as the U.S. Trustee, an arm of the
Justice Department that oversees bankruptcies, said they would
object to any plan that was the same as the old one.

"We don't want a do-over of what happened last time," said Greg
Zipes, a lawyer for the U.S. Trustee.

The U.S. Trustee, an arm of the Justice Department, had asked the
bankruptcy court to end Quigley's Chapter 11, citing the fact that
creditors alleging asbestos-related health issues have been unable
to sue New York-based Pfizer during the case, and many of them
have died.

                     Manipulated Process

Bernstein had said that Pfizer had manipulated the bankruptcy
process, and refused to allow Quigley to exit Chapter 11 court
protection under a deal with Pfizer.

During Quigley's bankruptcy, a committee of creditors known as the
"Ad Hoc Committee of Tort Victims" also asked in October 2010 to
have Quigley's bankruptcy dismissed so it could bring tort claims,
which are otherwise blocked by bankruptcy law.

Asbestos claims against Quigley may total $4.45 billion during the
next 42 years, according to testimony cited by Bernstein in
September.  In November, Pfizer reported a $701 million third-
quarter charge for asbestos litigation related to Quigley.

The case is In re Quigley Co., 04-15739, U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
Southern District of New York (Manhattan).  The appeals case is
11-2635, 11-2767, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Manhattan).


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Allows Crane Co. to File Amicus Brief
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of New York granted the motion filed by Crane
Co. for leave to file a brief amicus curiae, and the brief is
accepted as filed.  The case is IN THE MATTER OF EIGHTH JUDICIAL
DISTRICT ASBESTOS LITIGATION: STEPHEN DRABCZYK, ETC., Respondent,
v. FISHER CONTROLS INTERNATIONAL, LLC, Appellant, Motion No: 2012-
346 (N.Y. App. Ct.).  A copy of the May 8, 2012 Decision is
available at http://is.gd/wxw58Pfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Junks Leave for Appeal in Suit v. Fisher
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of New York, in the case captioned IN THE
MATTER OF EIGHTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ASBESTOS LITIGATION: STEPHEN
DRABCZYK, ETC., Respondent, v. FISHER CONTROLS INTERNATIONAL, LLC,
Appellant, Motion No: 2012-237 (N.Y. App. Ct.), denied a motion
for leave to appeal and directed the payment of $100 costs and
necessary reproduction disbursements.  A copy of the May 8, 2012
Decision is available at http://is.gd/Qe5M5Cfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: La. High Ct. Reverses Ruling in Video Deposition
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Ann Trascher, wife of Joseph C. Trascher, and her daughters
Karen Carroll and Toni Burrell, filed suit against numerous
defendants in August 2007, asserting survival and wrongful death
claims arising out of Mr. Trascher's illness and death allegedly
caused by his work place exposure to asbestos.  A writ application
was filed in the case involving the admissibility of a video
deposition taken to perpetuate testimony where the deposition was
halted due to Mr. Trascher's failing health and fatigue, and the
deponent died before his deposition could be continued and before
he could be cross-examined by opposing counsel.

After reviewing the record and the applicable law, the Supreme
Court of Louisiana found that while most of the video deposition
is inadmissible, parts of the deposition are admissible under an
exception to the hearsay rule.  Accordingly, in a May 8, 2012
decision, the Louisiana Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the
district court in part and affirmed in part.

The case is JOSEPH C. TRASCHER, ET AL., v. PETER TERRITO, ET AL.,
No. 2011-CC-2093 (La.).  A copy of the May 8 Decision is available
at http://is.gd/Gyk3Rjfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suit v. Landlord Junked for Lack of Jurisdiction
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Richard C. Olivadoti filed an action, pro se, against his
landlord, 290 Riverside Co., LLC.  In his Amended Complaint, the
plaintiff brings 16 causes of action, stemming from his alleged
exposure to mold, lead paint, and asbestos during the course of
his tenancy, as well as from the defendant's alleged failure to
provide notice of repairs to the plaintiff.  The plaintiff seeks
$1.2 million in medical and emotional damages.  Pending before the
Court is the defendant's motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint,
under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction, and 12(b)(5), for insufficient
service of process.

In a May 8, 2012 opinion and order, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
granted the defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction
noting that service of the original and amended complaints were
made only upon the defendant's counsel for the purpose of
litigating the case, but who was not authorized by the defendant
to receive process on its behalf.  Judge Engelmayer also pointed
out that the plaintiff's service process was improper because mail
is not an acceptable method of service for corporations under Fed.
R. Civ. P. 4 or for limited liability companies under New York
law.

The case is RICHARD C. OLIVADOTI, Plaintiff, v. 290 RIVERSIDE CO.,
LLC, Defendant, No. 12 Civ. 386 (PAE) (S.D.N.Y.).  A copy of Judge
Engelmayer's Decision is available at http://is.gd/jlb4vNfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Disallows Blackman's Insurance Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Superintendent of Finance of the State of New York (f/k/a the
Superintendent of Insurance), as Liquidator of Cosmopolitan
Insurance Company, seeks to restore the case captioned In the
Matter of the Liquidation of COSMOPOLITAN INSURANCE COMPANY, v.
Claim of: Blackman Plumbing Supplies, Inc. 42638/80, Sequence No.
016 (N.Y.), to active status and upon restoration, moves for an
order disallowing the remaining claims of Blackman Plumbing
Supplies, Inc., and releasing the $6 million which, pursuant to
court order, was to be made available for those claims and
finally, dismissing those claims pursuant to CPLR Sec. 3126 and
Insurance Law Article 74 based upon the failure of claimant
Blackman to provide proof of their claims in liquidation.

Blackman cross-moves for an order declaring that the Liquidator is
obligated to reimburse Blackman for any cost incurred in defending
the underlying personal injury actions where exposure to asbestos
has been alleged to have occurred between 1975 and 1980, to
indemnify Blackman for any liability on these asbestos claims and
to reimburse Blackman for its fees and costs incurred to date in
defending and settling the personal injury actions for the claims
submitted to the Liquidator.

In a May 7, 2012 decision, Judge Cynthia S. Kern of the Supreme
Court, New York County, granted the Liquidator's motion and denied
Blackman's cross-motion.

Judge Kern held that Blackman fails to establish it that the
claims fall within the scope of the alleged insurance policies.
"In a dispute over insurance coverage, the insured bears the
initial burden of establishing that the loss claimed falls within
the scope of the policy," Judge Kern pointed out citing Bread &
Butter, LLC v Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, 78 A.D.3d
1099 (2d Dept 2010).  Without producing the relevant policies,
Blackman is unable to prove that it had coverage for the claims at
issue. Although the parties agree that there were policies in
effect between September 11, 1975 and October 17, 1980 and that
those policies did not contain an asbestos exclusion, those facts
are insufficient to establish coverage for the relevant claims.
Coverage cannot be determined without the policies.  Blackman's
argument that the language of the policy is construed against the
insurer is correct, but that argument assumes that there is
language available to construe, Judge Kern noted.  Without the
policies, Blackman cannot show that it had coverage for the
relevant type of injuries during the relevant time period, the
Court added.

A copy of Judge Kern's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/ydv0WDfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chrysotile Institute Posts Plans to Dissolve
-------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Hiltz of Postmedia News reports that a decades-old pro-
asbestos lobby group, currently funded by the Quebec government,
will be shutting its doors after notifying the federal government
of its plan to dissolve.

The Montreal-based Chrysotile Institute issued the notice in the
Canada Gazette -- the government's official publication for
announcing new laws and other public information.  The institute,
first formed in 1984, promotes the safe use of chrysotile asbestos
on behalf of Canada's asbestos mining industry.

NDP MP Pat Martin -- a longtime critic of the asbestos industry
and former miner himself -- said 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."

He said he first learned of the institute's intention to dissolve
on April 28, International Workers' Memorial Day -- a day of
commemoration for workers injured and killed around the globe.

"I've lost an awful lot of friends and colleagues to asbestos in
my time as an asbestos miner and a carpenter in the building
trades," Martin said.  "It was very poignant for me to learn that
(the institute was closing) on the very day of mourning for
injured and fallen workers with the flags at half mast -- it was
very, very fitting."

Asbestos is a fibrous construction material used as insulation
that has been linked to a number of lung diseases, including
certain types of cancer.

In a number of Asian countries, including India, activists are
increasingly holding demonstrations to protest asbestos exports
because they say the substance is harming workers.

The Chrysotile Institute has long countered by saying that as long
as asbestos is handled in a safe and controlled manner, it causes
little risk to workers.

Canada's asbestos industry is centered on two mines in Thetford
Mines and Asbestos, both in Quebec -- and both currently out of
production for the first time in 130 years.

Quebec's Industry Department has offered the Jeffrey Mine in
Asbestos a loan guarantee of $58 million if Balcorp Ltd. of
Montreal is able to find $25 million in financing to reopen the
mine.

Kathleen Ruff, senior human-rights adviser to the independent
research group the Rideau Institute, said the closing of the lobby
group sends a signal to the international community that the
industry is collapsing in Canada.

"It will be noticed all around the world because the Chrysotile
Institute has been the key leader in pushing the interests in the
asbestos industry around the world," Ruff said.

The majority of asbestos mined in Canada is exported abroad to
developing countries where asbestos regulations are less
stringent.  More than 50 countries have banned asbestos use.

Canada drew international scorn when it moved to block the listing
of chrysotile asbestos on a United Nations list of restricted
chemicals last June.  Listing the material on Annex III of the
UN's Rotterdam Convention would have required "prior informed
consent" to be provided by exporting countries.

Once an importing country is informed of the dangers of the
material, it could refuse to accept the potentially cancer-causing
substance if they felt they would be unable to handle it safely.

Under the convention protocol, chrysotile asbestos remained off
Annex III because consensus was not reached between attending
countries.

The European Parliament has chastised the Canadian government over
its asbestos exports -- as well as for the seal industry and
oilsands development -- and issued a news release expressing
members' concerns of the harm the substance caused to miners.  The
use and processing of asbestos is banned within the European
Union.

Australia's Upper House also passed a motion in November calling
on its government to apply pressure to Canada to end its asbestos
exporting.

The link between exposure to asbestos and other types of cancers
is not clear, Health Canada says on its website.  However, the
International Agency for Research on Cancer, affiliated with the
World Health Organization, has concluded after a full review of
the scientific research that asbestos, including chrysotile
asbestos mined in Quebec, "is carcinogenic in all its forms."

Recently, asbestos research conducted at Montreal's McGill
University was called into question by a documentary aired on CBC
television.

The university launched a preliminary review of the work of one of
its retired professors following allegations the university had
close ties to the industry.

Along with the documentary, a letter making similar allegations
was sent to McGill officials by doctors, scientists and academics
that included McGill faculty on the same day the documentary was
aired.  Both the letter and the film suggested researchers at
McGill received funding from the industry to publish research that
would make chrysotile asbestos seem less harmful to health than it
is.

The World Health Organization estimates that globally, more than
100,000 people die from asbestos-related illnesses, including
cancer, every year.

Emails to the Chrysotile Institute were not immediately returned
on April 29 and the phone number listed on the institute's website
was no longer in service.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Celebrates Chrysotile Institute Dissolution
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A Statement from Linda Reinstein, Co-Founder, President & CEO of
the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization regarding the Canadian
Chrysotile Institute's recent closure:

"On behalf of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO),
we are pleased to announce that the Montreal-based pro-asbestos
Chrysotile Institute has officially announced its closure.  ADAO
travelled to Washington, D.C. in October 2011 to discuss the
asbestos problem with Canadian Embassy officials and is thrilled
to hear the news of the end of such a large pro-asbestos Canadian
entity.  The Institute, first formed in 1984, has for decades
promoted the safe use of chrysotile asbestos on behalf of Canada's
asbestos mining industry.  Poignantly, news of the institution's
closure first broke on Saturday, April 28, recognized around the
world as International Workers' Memorial Day, and subsequent phone
calls discovered that the institute's phone number was no longer
in service.  This signals a momentous step towards the cessation
of the mining and exportation of asbestos in Canada, and
symbolizes a promising future for the effort to globally protect
public health.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Pat Martin, Member of
Parliament, a former miner and longtime critic of the asbestos
industry, said, "I see it as a real tipping point in the movement
to get Canada out of the asbestos industry."

On the heels of the Eternit criminal verdict for Stephan
Schmidheiny and Louis Cartier de Marchienne in Turin, Italy, ADAO
is confident in the global progress towards an end to asbestos.
However, while the Canadian Chrysotile Institute was a hugely
powerful government-sponsored supporter of asbestos and pro-
asbestos rhetoric, it is important to remember that equivalent
organizations still exist in asbestos-producing countries such as
Russia and Brazil.  The World Health Organization estimates that
107,000 people die every year from asbestos-related diseases and
our battle is far from over yet."

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by
asbestos victims and their families in 2004.  ADAO seeks to give
asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice to raise
public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure.  ADAO is
an independent global organization dedicated to preventing
asbestos-related diseases through education, advocacy, and
community.  For more information, visit
http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Swain & Co. Supports Ruling Against Cape Plc
-------------------------------------------------------------
Swain & Co. Solicitors posts that the Court of Appeal in London
upheld David Chandler's claim against Cape Plc. for asbestos
exposure.

The company was the parent company for Cape Products, which Mr.
Chandler worked for over 50 years ago, and was dissolved years
ago.  As he could not claim against the dissolved company, Mr.
Chandler pursued his case against Cape Plc.

Swain & Co.'s specialist personal injury team, who deal with cases
involving industrial diseases, are in support of this judgment.
Asbestosis does not reveal symptoms for a long time after
exposure, therefore a victim should have access to justice against
an employing company, and where the company has been dissolved yet
a parent company exists, this should mean that a victim can still
seek justice.

Swain & Co. has a specialist team of personal injury lawyers and
solicitors that can act on a no win no fee basis, and ensure that
you receive 100% of your compensation guaranteed.  Swain & Co.
offers free initial advice to discuss your potential claim, so
call us for free at 0800 0351 999.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cape Case Rule Takes Out 'Corporate Veil' Defense
------------------------------------------------------------------
Katy Dowell at The Lawyer reports that parent companies can be
held liable for the health and safety of their subsidiaries'
employees, the Court of Appeal has ruled in a case that will
impact asbestos sufferers.

Devereux Chambers' Robert Weir QC -- weir@devchambers.co.uk -- was
instructed by Leigh Day & Co senior solicitor Vijay Ganapathy --
vganapathy@leighday.co.uk -- to represent David Chandler in his
defense of the appeal by Cape, formerly one of the world's largest
asbestos manufacturers.

Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC -- j.stuartsmith@4newsquare.com -- of 4 New
Square was instructed by Greenwoods Solicitors for the appellant.

Upholding the first-instance ruling Lady Justice Arden stated:
"This case demonstrates that in appropriate circumstances the law
may impose on a parent company responsibility for the health and
safety of its subsidiary's employees."

The claimant had been employed Cape subsidiary Cape Building
Products between 1959 and 1961, during which time he suffered
heavy asbestos exposure from the dust escaping from a factory.

However, Cape Building Products no longer existed and had no
policy of insurance that would indemnify it against claims for
asbestosis.  Consequently, the claim was launched against Cape on
the basis that it was jointly and severally liable to pay him
damages.

Historically parent companies have been able to avoid liabilities
arising from work undertaken at their subsidiaries using the
'corporate veil'.  This treats both parent and subsidiary as
separate entities where one company cannot be found responsible
for the actions of another.

Arden LJ stated: "A subsidiary and its company are separate
entities.  There's no imposition or assumption of responsibility
by reason only that a company is the parent company of another
company."

The judgment concluded: "There was, in my judgment, a direct duty
of care owed by Cape to the employees of Cape Products.  There was
an omission to advise on precautionary measures even though it was
doing research and that research hadn't established, nor could it
establish, that the asbestosis and related diseases weren't caused
by asbestos dust."

Welcoming the ruling Ganapathy said: "It's no longer an excuse for
parent companies to hide behind an aged legal principle in
circumstances where they know that workers are at risk, but still
chose to do nothing to help them.

"This is of particular relevance in asbestos disease cases as many
sufferers face insurmountable challenges in identifying and
locating insurers for their former employers.  As parent companies
are much more likely to survive over the decades it takes for
asbestos disease to develop, it should give hope to those now
suffering that past negligence will not go unpunished."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADS Raises Need of Action for Wittenoom Children
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Peacock of ABC News reports that campaigners say they are
becoming increasingly angered by the rising toll of mesothelioma
deaths from the site of Australia's biggest industrial disaster.

More than two dozen people set out on May 1 to walk across the
desert from Kalgoorlie to Perth to highlight the urgent need for
more research into the deadly asbestos cancer.

Perth is one of the world's mesothelioma hotspots, mainly because
of the now-abandoned blue asbestos mine at Wittenoom in the
Pilbara.

More than 2,000 former workers and residents from Wittenoom have
died from asbestos diseases and the toll is climbing.

Alarmingly, it is now increasingly the children of Wittenoom who
are falling ill.

It is estimated that more than 20,000 people lived at Wittenoom
before the asbestos mine there closed in 1966.

But more and young people with mesothelioma linked to the
Wittenoom site are walking through the doors of the Asbestos
Diseases Society's Perth headquarters.

"[In] the last 10 days, I think we got about 13 mesotheliomas,"
society spokesman Robert Vojakovic said.

"They're not all from Wittenoom, it's a mix, but what we were
always concerned about [is the] 5,000 kids who lived at Wittenoom.

"And what made it really terrible for us that not only people who
worked for mining companies are dying, but their children are
dying and the grandchildren of the workers are dying from
asbestos.

"Many people who are dying [only had] small amounts of exposure,
[they] can hardly remember or [don't] remember.

"The parents tell us, 'Yes, I was cutting the back shed . . . I
bought the stuff [asbestos] from James Hardie directly or I went
down to the hardware [store] and I took a few sheets of asbestos
and cut them [to] build a chook pen or cubby house.

"We want to ignite the issue to tell the people asbestos is
killing Australians.

"We've got to do something about it.  If we all ignore it,
possibly our kids will die and our grandchildren are going to die
from it."

But despite the ever-growing toll of Australian victims, there has
been a recent decline in overall government funding for
mesothelioma research.

So when Derren Carnaby, whose mother, father and two brothers all
died from mesothelioma, approached Mr. Vojakovic with the idea of
the fundraising walk across the desert, he was quick to embrace
it.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Pushes Demolition Costs to $1.8 MM
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rick Smith at KCRG.com, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, says to add $466,104
more to the $1.3 million cost surprise for demolition asbestos
removal at the site of the new downtown library across Fourth
Avenue SE from Greene Square Park.

Bob Pasicznyuk, the city's library director, planned to report
the nearly half-million-dollar addition to the project's
demolition cost in a memorandum to the library's board of
directors, on May 3.

Initially, the board had estimated that the cost to remove
asbestos as part of the demolition would be $42,916.

However, a month ago, the library board approved the spending of
an additional $1.3 million for the surprise asbestos removal, the
total cost of which now has climbed to $1,766,014 with the latest
addition, Pasicznyuk reports.

To the library board's surprise, excavation at the new library
site uncovered a large amount of asbestos-tainted debris from the
Washington School built in 1855 and the Washington High School
built in 1890, which once sat on the site.  In the school
demolition of 1946, much of the building ended up in the school's
basement and boiler rooms over which an American Legion Post
building and bowling alley was built.  TrueNorth Companies Inc.
moved into the building in 2001, and in early 2010, the City
Council voted to purchase the site for the new library.

The asbestos surprise at the site has delayed the expected opening
date of the new library about four weeks, moving it into July
2013.

In his memo to the library board before the meeting, Pasicznyuk
also is asking the board to add $250,000 from private donations to
the overall project budget to beef up the project's contingency
fund.  The initial $3-million contingency fund now has shrunk due
to the asbestos-related demolition costs and some project
enhancements.

With the additional $250,000 added to the project's contingency
fund, the overall project budget increases to $45,820,322, which
Pasicznyuk notes is still $3 million less than the project's
original projected budget.

Three project enhancements being proposed to be covered by the
project's contingency fund are a $300,000 addition to the $265,000
in the project budget to purchase art for the building; a $79,366
addition to pay for more thorough testing and inspection of the
library's exterior shell; and a $60,000 addition to enhance the
skywalk that connects the library to the Fourth Avenue Parkade.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Elizabeth Warren's Role With Travelers v. Bailey
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Noah Bierman at Boston.com reports that six months after Elizabeth
Warren arrived in Washington to work as an adviser to Congress,
she experienced another career milestone in the nation's capital,
a seat at the US Supreme Court's mahogany counsel table.

The 2009 appearance was the only time Warren helped represent a
party before the nation's highest court.  And it provides a rare
window into a less-heralded aspect of the Harvard Law professor's
career, her time as a working attorney in the courts.

The case -- Travelers v. Bailey -- was remarkable in many
respects.  It was sprawling and complicated, involving dozens of
lawyers, thousands of asbestos victims, and nearly three decades
of court battles that still have not ended.

It was also notable because Warren, who has gained fame for
defending consumers against big business, was in this case working
on behalf of a big business.  For her contribution, Warren was
paid $212,000 over three years by Travelers, the nation's largest
insurer.

Travelers was fighting to gain permanent immunity from asbestos-
related lawsuits by establishing a $500 million trust.  The trust
would have been divided among current and future victims of
asbestos poisoning who had claims against the nation's largest
asbestos manufacturer, Johns-Manville, which had been insured by
Travelers before it went bankrupt.

Travelers won most of what it wanted from the Supreme Court, and
in doing so Warren helped preserve an element of bankruptcy law
that ensured that victims of large-scale corporate malfeasance
would have a better chance of getting compensated, even when the
responsible companies go bankrupt.

But after Warren left the case, it continued to twist and turn
through the legal system, leaving a result that has been
disastrous for asbestos victims.  Travelers, in part because of
its Supreme Court victory, has held onto its immunity from most
lawsuits.  But a ruling on Feb. 29 in a separate court has taken
the company off the hook for paying out the $500 million
settlement.

In the words of one judge who tried to preserve the settlement,
Travelers received "something for nothing."

While Warren's Republican opponent in the US Senate race, Scott
Brown, has highlighted this business arrangement as an example of
hypocrisy for a candidate who has portrayed herself as the
champion of consumers, a Globe examination of the convoluted legal
record paints a murkier picture.

It is clear that Warren received a substantial amount of money to
help the company win immunity from all future lawsuits, with the
expectation that the company would have to pay the settlement.
But Warren's work on the case may also have helped Travelers
indirectly lay the groundwork for its current position, a position
Warren and several other lawyers involved on both sides of the
case say they did not foresee: where Travelers has immunity from
most suits without having to pay the settlement.

"My heart goes out to the victims of this terrible, terrible
disaster," Warren said in a recent interview.  "It's heart-
wrenching that there are new victims every year. . . .  I think
they should be compensated.  That's it for me.  That's what this
is all about."

Warren, like many law professors, keeps her hand in the courts
while she teaches and writes.  But that aspect of her career is
largely in the background as she runs for Senate, a Democrat
seeking to unseat Republican Scott Brown.

The extent of her legal practice, and the clients she has
represented, is unclear.

Her campaign would not release a full list of cases she has been
involved in.  And, while some representation appears in scattered
court records, much of her consulting can be done without placing
her name on dockets as an attorney of record.

Her campaign detailed six Supreme Court cases in which she has
filed so-called friend of the court briefs.  They include two
briefs on behalf of the AARP: one of which supports protecting
individual retirement accounts in the event of a bankruptcy and
another that fights to allow judges to lower consumers' credit
card interest rates in the event of personal bankruptcies.

The campaign also provided a 2001-2003 case in which she testified
in two trials as an expert working on behalf of asbestos victims,
winning access to a $300 million trust, against insurance
companies.

Warren's campaign would not say how much she has earned for her
outside work in these and other cases.  The $212,000 she earned
from Travelers from 2008 to 2010 was included in Warren's
government disclosure forms, required when she worked in Congress
and the Obama administration, and when she declared as a Senate
candidate.  The forms also show that she earned $90,000 for
serving as an expert witness for a Florida law firm suing credit
card companies.

Four years of her tax returns show that she received an average of
about $150,000 a year in gross income from her home-based
consulting business that includes her legal work, public speaking,
writing, and investing.

Warren is considered a leading authority on bankruptcy, and the
Travelers case was among a very few that reach the heights of the
Supreme Court.  She began writing and lecturing about bankruptcy
trusts in the 1980s.  The trust issue was also addressed in a
1,100-page congressional report on bankruptcy law, drafted in 1995
by Warren, the primary adviser for the National Bankruptcy Review
Commission.  An attorney who worked with Warren on that commission
was heading Travelers' legal team and called her when the issue
boiled up to the highest court.

Travelers' main attorneys handled the oral arguments in front of
the court.  Warren sat with them as one of three attorneys of
record listed on their brief, the important written argument made
to the court.

An attorney for Travelers, Andrew T. Frankel --
afrankel@stblaw.com -- declined to comment on the case or Warren's
role in it while it remains under appeal.  Jennifer Wislocki, a
Travelers spokeswoman, said the company believes the most recent
ruling in the case is correct, but would not comment further.

Warren says she was fighting for an arcane but important principle
in taking on the case: the constitutionality of allowing bankrupt
companies facing a flood of lawsuits to form what are known as
trusts.  The trusts are large bank accounts that set aside money
for current and future victims.

Warren says that the trusts provide a fair system to distribute
the money -- rather than first come, first served.  But companies
only will agree to them if they receive protection from future
lawsuits.

"The issue I was focused on like a laser was the constitutionality
of preserving the trust, because the trust is a critical tool for
making sure that people who've been hurt have a fair shot at
compensation," she said.  "Without it, millions of people who've
already been injured will get nothing, and millions more in the
future will get nothing."

The legal saga began in 1986 when leading asbestos supplier and
manufacturer, Johns-Manville, declared bankruptcy under a crush of
asbestos-related lawsuits.  Travelers insured Johns-Manville from
1947 through 1976.

As part of Johns-Manville's bankruptcy proceedings, Travelers
agreed to pay $80 million toward a larger $770 million trust fund
that would pay off current and future asbestos victims who sued
Johns-Manville.

In exchange for its contribution, Travelers won a court order
protecting it against related future lawsuits.

Despite the order, the lawsuits kept coming, with some lawyers
looking for ways around the protection order.  Many made the new
argument that Travelers conspired with other insurers and
manufacturers to conceal the dangers of asbestos and failed in its
own duty to warn the public about those dangers.

Travelers wanted to stop the suits.  So the company entered into
another settlement with asbestos victims in 2004, this one
brokered by Mario Cuomo, a former governor of New York who works
as a professional mediator.  It clarified the 1986 order and it
required Travelers to pay a sum now worth about $500 million into
the settlement fund.

That Cuomo settlement was challenged by a smaller group of
asbestos victims who did not want the company to gain immunity.
It was also challenged by another insurance company, Chubb, which
was being sued, along with Travelers and dozens of other insurers
in multiple lawsuits, based on the theory that insurance companies
conspired to hide the dangers of the substance.  By suing to block
the Travelers settlement, Chubb wanted to preserve its right to
shift some of the financial blame back to Travelers in the event
that it had to pay damages to asbestos victims.

Such conspiracy suits have not been successful, but neither
insurance company wanted to take on what its attorneys considered
additional risk or defense costs.

It was that issue that brought the case to the Supreme Court,
where Travelers -- with Warren's help -- crafted a case designed
to allow the company to put this issue to rest: pay out the $500
million and win immunity from any future suits.

To do that, Travelers argued that the 2004 settlement was simply
an extension of the 1986 agreement.  Therefore, the case focused
on the legality of that original agreement and the degree of
protection it provided to Travelers against future lawsuits.

Though some asbestos victims still objected to the Travelers
settlement, another larger group of victims was on the same side
as the insurer - at least during this portion of the case - in
seeking to have the settlement upheld.

The Supreme Court decision gave Travelers a victory, validating
the legality of the 1986 agreement and the immunity it provided.
But it left to the lower courts to decide whether Chubb had a
right to challenge the 2004 settlement.

That triggered another series of legal arguments that ultimately
unraveled the $500 million settlement, leaving Travelers with
permanent immunity from most asbestos lawsuits without having to
pay the victims.

The payment of the $500 million settlement was premised upon the
company winning immunity from all lawsuits.  But because an
Appeals Court subsequently ruled that Chubb could still sue
Travelers, still another judge ruled that the conditions had not
been met to force Travelers to pay out the money.

In his Feb. 29 order, US District Judge John G. Koeltl cited the
Supreme Court case, saying essentially that Travelers never needed
the second settlement, the one that cost it $500 million, to
protect itself from most asbestos suits.

Koeltl ruled that the 2004 settlement was simply a clarification
to "obtain complete peace" against the likes of Chubb and other
insurers.  And because there was no peace from Chubb, there was no
settlement.

Plaintiffs' lawyers say they are not surprised Travelers would try
not to pay the money.  As a publicly traded company, it is
obligated to serve its shareholders.

"It's an insurance company," said Michael P. Cascino, a Chicago
attorney representing a group of asbestos victims.  "Unless you
believe a corporation's a human being, how could it be sincere" in
wanting to pay the settlement?

Bruce Carter, an Ohio attorney representing 19,000 plaintiffs,
added that "like any company, they'd love to get something for
nothing.  And that's really where they're at now."

The case remains on appeal.  In the meantime, Carter said, many of
the families who have been waiting more than a decade for their
settlement money have seen loved ones die.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Displace Ladder 15 and Medic Unit 47
-----------------------------------------------------------------
WPVI-TV Philadelphia, PA's Action News reports the Philadelphia
Fire Department announced on April 30 that it is temporarily
closing the building that houses Ladder 15 and Medic Unit 47 for
an immediate and necessary maintenance repair.

Action News has learned that the repair of the fire house at 1652-
54 Foulkrod Street in Frankford will address the possible presence
of asbestos insulation encasing older heating and water pipes in
the building.  Asbestos is a known carcinogen.

The fire department said in a statement that Ladder 15 and Medic
Unit 47 have been temporarily relocated to the closest firehouses
in the area "that have available space to accommodate the
additional equipment and personnel" of each unit.

"The Fire Department's Fire Communications Center will monitor all
call activity in Ladder Company 15 and Medic 47's first response
areas and if necessary, any logistical changes will be made
immediately," said the statement.

The fire department says the units will return to the Foulkrod
Street facility once the necessary repairs are made.

"The Fire Department's current expectation is for the repairs to
be resolved promptly and the apparatus returned to their stations
as soon as possible," said the statement.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Family Finds Carcinogens in Textured Ceiling
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Pickett at Billings Gazette relates that seated in her nearly
bare dining room, Pat Karell talks about living happily in her
Marguerite Boulevard home the last 21 years.

"It was a huge shock to find it was hazardous material," she said
looking up at her white textured ceiling.  "It looks so harmless."

Every room in her house except the bathrooms and part of the
kitchen has a textured -- or "popcorn" -- ceiling made with
asbestos.  So Pat and her husband, Allan, have packed their
household goods and are moving out while the ceiling material is
removed.

Like most people, the Karells didn't think about asbestos when
they bought the Wilshire Heights home or during the time they
raised their four children there.  With their children nearly out
of college, they started planning to redo their ranch-style home.

Late last year, Allan saw a DIY channel program about asbestos-
laden textured ceilings.  Allan had a sample of their ceiling
tested, which confirmed that the material contained asbestos.

Concerned about the health hazards of removing the ceilings
themselves, the Karells got bids -- ranging from $9,000 to $19,000
-- from the three companies in Billings that have state-accredited
employees to remove asbestos.  They hired SafeTech, Inc., which
had the lowest bid.

Because the project involves the whole house, the couple boxed up
their belongings and moved most of it out this week to a horse
barn they own near Billings.  The rest of their furniture will be
moved to one floor of their house that will be sealed while
ceilings on the other floor are worked on.  When that floor is
done, they will move the furniture to the finished floor, which
will be sealed while ceilings on the other floor are worked on.

The whole project is expected to take two weeks.

After the work is done and cleaned up, they will have air inside
their home tested to make certain all of the asbestos has been
removed.

"I've had people accuse me of overreacting," Pat said.  But once
the Karells discovered they had asbestos in their ceiling, they
wanted it removed.

"If I were buying a home I'd want to know if a textured ceiling
had asbestos or if I was selling a home you'd think you'd want to
disclose if a ceiling had asbestos."

Years ago when she practiced law in Minnesota, she saw the end
stages of diseases in men who had lengthy exposure to asbestos
when they were pipefitters or plumbers.  During one deposition, a
man drank liquid morphine to dull his pain, she said.

According to the EPA's website on household asbestos, exposure to
small amounts of asbestos usually doesn't result in serious health
problems.

But when asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can remain in the lungs
for a long time and increase the risk of disease.

Textured ceilings are common in many areas of Billings.

Not all textured ceilings have asbestos, "but a lot do," said Deb
Grimm with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality's
Asbestos Control Program.

Although most people associate asbestos with homes built before
the 1980s, asbestos building materials made in other countries may
have come into the United States after that date, Grimm said.
Materials containing asbestos also may have been stored for years
and then used after 1980.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: WorkCover Visit Cues Lake Macquarie Gym Abatement
------------------------------------------------------------------
1233 ABC Newcastle reports that a visit by WorkCover inspectors
has prompted a Lake Macquarie gym to remove sheeting believed to
be asbestos.

Concerns had been raised about corrugated sheeting that has been
propped against an outside wall at the Planet Fitness Belmont gym.
The ABC has been told it was there for several months, claims
rejected by the gym.

WorkCover visited the site on May 1 and a spokesman says
inspectors treated the substance as asbestos, despite not doing
any official testing.

The ABC has been told the gym was not obliged to notify WorkCover
as the amount of the material was not large enough.

Despite this WorkCover stresses that all asbestos materials must
be properly disposed of.  It also adds that fibro cement sheeting
has a lower likelihood of releasing asbestos fibers.

Meanwhile, Newcastle gym Howzat is close to re-opening after being
closed to allow for the removal of its asbestos-affected roof.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Found at Port Melbourne Pre-School
---------------------------------------------------------------
Aleks Devic of The Herald Sun reports that there are fears for the
health of dozens of young children after contaminated soil and
asbestos were found at a Port Melbourne kindergarten being
demolished.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union has shut down
work on the Lady Forster Kindergarten site until further notice.
Port Phillip Council is now investigating.

CFMEU Victorian organizer Steve Long said nothing should be built
on the site until all contaminated soil had been removed.  "God
knows what the kids were playing with.  These are kindergarten
kids we are talking about," Mr. Long said.

"The soil would've been contaminated when they were playing there.
It's an absolute outrage that it was not picked up earlier."
Kindergarten president Samantha Kinsman said it had previously
been advised that the soil was safe.

"I don't know where that leaves the children but I'd like to
know," she said.  She said all the soil should be removed before
any new building went up.

City of Port Phillip Mayor Rachel Powning said:

"As with many older buildings, there is always a risk of asbestos
and contaminated soil.  Council has been aware of the contaminated
soil and building asbestos since the project began, and that is
why council put in place stringent safety and environmental
safeguards."

The demolition of the kindergarten's home of 86 years was met by
anger from locals who fought to keep it.

Heritage Victoria deemed the building to have no heritage
significance and it was demolished to make way for a new
children's center.  Thirty children and seven staff were moved to
a temporary site in Elwood while the new center was built.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Orenburg Argues Chrysotile Safer and Cheaper
-------------------------------------------------------------
Busrin Treerapongpichit of Bankok Post relates that asbestos has
been banned in almost 40 countries on the grounds that the fibers
when inhaled can cause lung cancer.

As a result, all amphibole asbestos mines have been closed.

Only chrysotile asbestos mining remains.  But few people know that
there are two types of asbestos.  And few people know why one type
of mine has been closed while others are permitted to stay open.

Some countries are preparing to impose a blanket ban on all
asbestos without clear evidence demonstrating that chrysotile is
harmful.

Orenburg Minerals, the second largest asbestos miner in Russia,
said the campaign has nothing to do with public health.  It is
about economic war, the company argues.

"The attempt to ban all types of asbestos is simply to benefit the
substitute material makers.  Since chrysotile is the cheapest
material suitable for mixing with cement for creating strength
without harmful chemicals, and since chrysotile reserves can only
be found in Canada, Brazil and Russia, if you want to have a foot
in these markets, the easiest way is to wipe chrysotile out of the
world," said Andrey Golm, director-general of Orenburg Minerals.

Asbestos is used to increase the strength and durability of
products, mainly building materials, disc brakes and water pipes.

"While some countries have banned all types of asbestos, you know,
the fact is that they are still using chrysotile-cement in disc
brakes and water pipes, so what is this about?" said Mr. Golm.

The World Health Organization and the International Labour
Organization have researched the issue and have a position on the
subject -- chrysotile should be regulated, not banned.  The EU was
not convinced by the WHO research.

Anti-chrysotile campaigns have been relatively ineffective so far.
But once there's some momentum, once people become fearful, they
won't listen to facts, asbestos supporters said.

Thailand is a significant user of asbestos-cement roof tiles and
water pipes.  Disk brakes in Thailand also use asbestos.

Some local academics and the consumers protection groups are
campaigning to ban asbestos.

Thailand is the fourth largest chrysotile market for Orenburg --
the company sells US$200 million of asbestos here annually -- so
Orenburg says it is trying to educate the Thai market.

Uran Kleosakul, director of Oranvanich Co, which has 40% of the
Thai tile market and is the largest client of Orenburg in
Thailand, has vowed to fight the anti-asbestos groups.

The roof tile maker, which markets products under the Oran brand
name, said the company was not reluctant to discontinue the use of
amphibole in its products 20 years ago once it knew that form of
asbestos can cause cancer.  But Mr. Uran believes chrysotile is
safer than the substitute materials being used to replace it.

Mr. Uran argued that cellulose from pulp paper needs to be mixed
with silica, which can cause cancer in humans.  Another substitute
material is polyvinyl alcohol (PVA).  It does not decompose in the
human body.

"If in the end the government gives in to these groups without
considering the scientific information, we can't resist them of
course.  It will mean we need to change some machines, lose our
leadership in the cheap roof tile market, but mind you we can
survive.  The biggest losers are people with low incomes who have
to pay more for roof tiles that put their health at greater risk,"
Mr. Uran said, adding that the winners will be the substitute
products companies.

Research by the International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC), a part of the WHO, has identified many hazardous
substances, include alcohol, tobacco, salted fish and many
substance we come across in our daily lives.  It never mentions
chrysotile.

"A ban on chrysotile is similar to a ban on salted fish," said
Orenburg's Golm.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bega Valley Manager Says Risk From CWF Negligible
------------------------------------------------------------------
Liz Mccormick of Merimbula News Online reports that the Bega
Valley Shire Council has hosed down concerns about its management
of asbestos waste in the wake of a recent Sun Herald article that
referred to asbestos contaminated mulch found at the Merimbula
waste depot in September 2011 that was reported at the time in the
News Weekly.

The Wolumla Residents Action Group (WRAG) seized on the article to
use it as a weapon in their fight to have the Central Waste
Facility (CWF) proposed for Wanatta Lane discarded.

They were quick to shoot off a letter to the council expressing
reservations about the council's ability to screen all waste for
asbestos fibers before it is dumped at the CWF.

WRAG says it was revealed during the Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) process for the CWF that the council as part of
its screening process would employ a staff member to "visually
inspect incoming waste while perched up a ladder above incoming
trucks".

"In the light of the Sun Herald article, WRAG would like to go on
the record by saying BVSC's planned approach to waste screening is
totally unacceptable," WRAG said in the letter.

"To compound the problem, waste entering the CWF is then to be
dumped into landfill and crushed/ compacted to the smallest
possible size."

WRAG claims that illegally deposited asbestos would be converted
to fibers/dust to be freely blown away by winds into neighboring
properties.

In response to WRAG's concerns council's waste services manager
Toby Browne, said: "It should be pointed out that there are
already asbestos fibers in the air we breathe.

"Most healthy adults also have asbestos fibers in their lungs.

"It occurs naturally in local geology and fibers will most likely
be detectable in background concentrations at your property
today."

Mr. Browne continues to say: "Whilst there is no safe exposure
level for asbestos fibers, the likelihood of contracting
mesothelioma or lung cancer is proportionate to exposure level.

"Asbestosis is a disease caused by long term occupational
exposure, normally at high fiber concentrations and cannot be
caused at low exposure levels.  The risk to the community in
relation to the operation of the CWF with regard to asbestos
exposure is negligible."

Nonetheless, Mr. Browne conceded the prevention of asbestos cement
materials from re-entering the environment in reprocessed waste,
such as from demolition sites where fragments of asbestos may be
buried in soils is a challenge and this is largely due to the
quantity of material removed which is usually measured in
thousands of tons.

"No amount of screening will completely eliminate the possibility
of asbestos cement contamination."

With reference to garden waste, Mr. Browne said that while council
screens garden waste (where practicable) at the unloading site
prior to reprocessing it, "the potential still exists to miss
fragments of asbestos cement material."

He said that alongside council, the community also needed to
exercise care and diligence in its management of asbestos
materials.

He said that residents were legally obliged to classify their
waste and that ignorance was not an excuse.

"We have recently taken action against a number of people who
ignore both signage and their legal responsibilities.

"Unfortunately punitive measures are necessary to get the message
across in some cases."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Libby Health Board Kicks Off Initiative
--------------------------------------------------------
Pat Guth for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance reports that a
proposed Libby Board of Health initiative, funded in total by a
grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, will look for ways
to reduce public exposure to dangerous amphibole asbestos during
clean-up of the EPA Superfund site and will also determine what
role it can play -- along with the town's citizens -- in reducing
any further exposure after clean-up is complete.

Allen Payne, a member of the Libby City-County Health Committee,
notes that he hopes the initiative will provide an opportunity for
local citizens who have been directly affected by the W.R. Grace
asbestos-tainted vermiculite disaster to have direct input on how
the naturally-occurring amphibole asbestos from the Grace mine
will be managed in the community in the future.

"As most Lincoln County residents already know, Libby amphibole
asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral contained in the
vermiculite mined by W.R. Grace in the Libby area," said Payne,
the spokesperson for the committee.  "Since 1999, the EPA has been
removing vermiculite and Libby amphibole-contaminated materials
from residential, commercial and public properties throughout
South Lincoln County.  EPA's cleanup effort is ongoing and may
continue for a number of years, but eventually, the EPA will
complete its cleanup work," Payne added.

When all the EPA trucks have departed and the community is once
again left on its own, it's important to have a plan in place,
committee members note.  That's why the Board of Health stresses
that its primary goal is to encourage participation and discussion
from community members, many of whom are struggling with asbestos-
related diseases like asbestosis and others who have lost loved
ones to the cancer known as mesothelioma.  More than 400 Libby
residents have already died due to asbestos exposure and another
approximately 1,800 are sick.

To kick off this initiative, the Board of Health has hired a
program coordinator as well as an environmental and engineering
consulting firm.  They will assist in reviewing existing local
health regulations and will help to put educational programs and
other resources in place to assist local residents in keeping
future asbestos releases and exposure to a minimum.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tasmania's ARD Compensation Scheme Works
---------------------------------------------------------
The Minister for Workplace Relations, David O'Byrne, on May 2 said
that Tasmania's new Asbestos-Related Diseases Compensation Scheme
is already making a significant difference for workers and
families.

Since it was introduced on Oct. 31, 2011, the scheme has paid-out
almost AU$3 million to eight separate applicants.

Mr. O'Byrne encouraged other Tasmanians affected by asbestos-
related disease to consider making a claim.

"It's been six months since we introduced Tasmania's first
Asbestos Compensation Scheme, as a vital way of supporting
Tasmanian workers in need," said Mr. O'Byrne.

"Nothing can truly compensate workers and their families for the
terrible pain caused by asbestos-related disease.  But this scheme
at least offers some comfort and medical support, at an extremely
difficult time.

"It was the right and decent thing to do, and I'm pleased to
report that significant compensation is already flowing to
families who need and deserve it," he said.

The scheme allows current and former workers suffering asbestos-
related diseases to receive timely compensation.

Since it started, the Asbestos Compensation Commissioner has had
enquiries from a broad section of workers -- such as former
Goliath employees, council workers, roofing workers, and some
occupations that are now obsolete.

Approximately AU$2.9 million of compensation has been paid to
workers and their families.  The largest pay-out so far is
approximately AU$540,000.

As soon as the Commissioner approves a claim, the applicant is
paid.  Some applicants are receiving compensation within one day
of it being approved.

A worker doesn't have to prove their employer was negligent.  They
only need to prove they have an asbestos-related disease which is
reasonably attributable to exposure at work.

Mrs. Roxie Mulder was one of the scheme's first successful
applicants.  Her husband, Syd Mulder, passed away from pleural
mesothelioma last year.

"In October 2011, I reluctantly lodged a claim for compensation
with the Tasmanian Asbestos Compensation Commissioner," Mrs.
Mulder said.

"Deciding to make the claim was extremely difficult.  My husband
had just died.  It felt uncomfortable, but necessary for me and
our children's future.

"The documentation was easy to follow and work through.  Shortly
after sending off the claim I received a phone call from the
Claims Manager.  She explained fully how the claim would proceed
and was very supportive.

"Anything that wasn't included by me in the documentation we
worked through together, and I was contacted on a regular basis to
let me know how things were progressing.  I felt encouraged and
included at all times.

"I would encourage those who can claim compensation to do so.  Of
course, no amount of money can ever make Syd's passing okay.  He
was a wonderful husband and father, and dedicated his life to
providing for his family.

"But making receiving compensation as a family member will enable
the children and I to look forward to a more secure future.  Syd
would be very proud," Mrs. Mulder said.

Mr. O'Byrne said the scheme has already allowed one worker with
mesothelioma to enjoy watching his football team in Melbourne.

"Another gentleman is taking an overseas holiday with his family,
and another one is extending his house to look after his wife when
he's no longer with her," Mr. O'Byrne said.

"These are practical examples of the compensation scheme giving
sufferers a better quality of life, when they need it most.

"Supporting workers is what being in a Labor Government is all
about, and I'm very encouraged to see this scheme working fairly
and quickly.

"I want to thank and congratulate the Commissioner, Michael
Stevens, and his staff, who work hard to assess claims quickly and
accurately," he said.

Asbestos-related disease is still the biggest cause of work-
related deaths in Australia.

Information about the scheme, and how to apply, is available at
http://www.asbestos.tas.gov.auor by calling 1300 366322.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: PI Suits Against RPM's Bondex Unit Remain Stayed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
RPM International Inc. in its Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
February 29, 2012, disclosed that various asbestos-related bodily
injury lawsuits filed in various state courts against its
subsidiary Bondex International, Inc., and its parent, Specialty
Products Holding Corp., remain stayed. These cases generally seek
unspecified damages for asbestos-related diseases based on alleged
exposures to asbestos-containing products.

On May 31, 2010, Bondex and its parent, SPHC, filed voluntary
petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in
the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. SPHC is
the parent company of Bondex and is also the parent company for
various operating companies that are not part of the
reorganization filing, including Chemical Specialties
Manufacturing Corp.; Day-Glo Color Corp.; Dryvit Holdings, Inc.;
Guardian Protection Products Inc.; Kop-Coat Inc.; TCI, Inc. and
RPM Wood Finishes Group, Inc. SPHC and Bondex took this action to
permanently and comprehensively resolve all pending and future
asbestos-related liability claims associated with Bondex and SPHC-
related products. As a result of the filing, all Bondex and SPHC
asbestos personal injury lawsuits have been stayed due to the
imposition of an automatic stay applicable in bankruptcy cases. In
addition, at the request of SPHC and Bondex, the Bankruptcy Court
has entered orders staying all claims against RPM International
Inc. and its affiliates that are derivative of the asbestos claims
against SPHC and Bondex, with the exception of certain cases.

Through the Chapter 11 proceedings, the filing entities intend
ultimately to establish a trust in accordance with section 524(g)
of the Bankruptcy Code and seek the imposition of a channeling
injunction that will direct all future SPHC-related and Bondex-
related claims to the trust. It is anticipated that the trust will
compensate claims at appropriate values established by the trust
documents and approved by the bankruptcy court. At this time, it
is not possible to predict how long the proceedings will last, the
form of any ultimate resolution or when an ultimate resolution
might occur.

Prior to the bankruptcy filing, the filing entities had engaged in
a strategy of litigating asbestos-related products liability
claims brought against them. Claims paid during the year ended May
31, 2010, prior to the bankruptcy filing, were $92.6 million,
which included defense-related payments during the year of $42.6
million. With the exception of the appeal bond satisfied during
the quarter and the potential payment, no claims have been paid
since the bankruptcy filing and it is not contemplated that any
claims will be paid until a plan of reorganization is confirmed
and an asbestos trust is established and operating.

RPM International Inc., together with its subsidiaries,
manufactures, markets, and sells various specialty chemical
products to industrial and consumer markets worldwide.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: GenCorp. Has 146 Pending Claims at Feb. 29
-----------------------------------------------------------
GenCorp Inc. in its Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended February 29,
2012, discloses that it has 146 pending asbestos claims.

The Company has been, and continues to be, named as a defendant in
lawsuits alleging personal injury or death due to exposure to
asbestos in building materials, products, or in manufacturing
operations. The majority of cases are pending in Texas and
Pennsylvania. There were 146 asbestos cases pending as of February
29, 2012.

Given the lack of any significant consistency to claims (i.e., as
to product, operational site, or other relevant assertions) filed
against the Company, the Company is unable to make a reasonable
estimate of the future costs of pending claims or unasserted
claims. Accordingly, no estimate of future liability has been
accrued.

     Claims filed as of November 30, 2011            146
     Claims filed                                      3
     Claims tendered                                   1
     Claims dismissed                                  2
     Claims pending as of February 29, 2012          146

Legal and administrative fees for the asbestos cases for the first
quarter of fiscal 2012 were $0.1 million.

GenCorp Inc. is a manufacturer of aerospace and defense products
and systems with a real estate segment that includes activities
related to the re-zoning, entitlement, sale, and leasing of the
Company's excess real estate assets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: PI Suit in Ohio Remains Inactive Against Chase
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chase Corporation is one of over 100 defendants in a lawsuit
pending in Ohio which alleges personal injury from exposure to
asbestos contained in certain Chase products.  The case is
captioned Marie Lou Scott, Executrix of the Estate of James T.
Scott v. A-Best Products, et al., No. 312901 in the Court of
Common Pleas for Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  The plaintiff in the case
issued discovery requests to Chase in August 2005, to which Chase
timely responded in September 2005.  The trial had initially been
scheduled to begin on April 30, 2007.  However, that date had been
postponed and no new trial date has been set.  As of February
2012, there have been no new developments as this Ohio lawsuit has
been inactive with respect to Chase, according to the Company's
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarterly period ended February 29, 2012.

Chase Corp., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the
manufacture of protective materials for various applications. The
company operates in two segments, Industrial Materials and
Construction Materials.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chase Corp. Still in Discovery in "Jansen" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chase Corporation was named as one of the defendants in a
complaint filed on June 25, 2009, in a lawsuit captioned Lois
Jansen, Individually and as Special Administrator of the Estate of
Thomas Jansen v. Beazer East, Inc., et al., No: 09-CV-6248 in the
Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) Circuit Court.  The plaintiff alleges
that her husband suffered and died from malignant mesothelioma
resulting from exposure to asbestos in his workplace.  The
plaintiff has sued seven alleged manufacturers or distributors of
asbestos-containing products, including Royston Laboratories
(formerly an independent company and now owned by Chase
Corporation).  Chase has filed an answer to the claim denying the
material allegations in the complaint.  The parties are currently
engaged in discovery, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended February 29, 2012.

Chase Corp., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the
manufacture of protective materials for various applications. The
company operates in two segments, Industrial Materials and
Construction Materials.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Pacific's Liability Was $145MM at March 31
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Union Pacific Corporation disclosed in its Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Commission for the quarterly period ended
March 31, 2012, that it had an asbestos-related liability of
$145,000,000.

Union Pacific Corporation is a defendant in a number of lawsuits
in which current and former employees and other parties allege
exposure to asbestos.

The Company's asbestos-related liability activity was:

                        For the Three Months Ended March 31,
                                  2012               2011
                        ------------------------------------
Beginning balance            $147,000,000  $162,000,000
Accruals                                -                  -
Payments                       (2,000,000)        (2,000,000)
Ending balance at March 31   $145,000,000       $160,000,000
Current portion,
  ending balance at March 31   $9,000,000        $11,000,000

The Company states: "We have insurance coverage for a portion of
the costs incurred to resolve asbestos-related claims, and we have
recognized an asset for estimated insurance recoveries at March
31, 2012, and December 31, 2011.

"We believe that our estimates of liability for asbestos-related
claims and insurance recoveries are reasonable and probable. The
amounts recorded for asbestos-related liabilities and related
insurance recoveries were based on currently known facts. However,
future events, such as the number of new claims filed each year,
average settlement costs, and insurance coverage issues, could
cause the actual costs and insurance recoveries to be higher or
lower than the projected amounts. Estimates also may vary in the
future if strategies, activities, and outcomes of asbestos
litigation materially change; federal and state laws governing
asbestos litigation increase or decrease the probability or amount
of compensation of claimants; and there are material changes with
respect to payments made to claimants by other defendants."

Union Pacific Corporation (UPC) owns transportation companies. Its
principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company, links
23 states in the western 66% of the country. Union Pacific
Railroad Company's business mix includes agricultural products,
automotive, chemicals, energy, industrial products and intermodal.
Union Pacific Railroad Company connects with Canada's rail systems
and is the railroad serving six gateways to Mexico. Union Pacific
Railroad Company (UPRR) is a Class I railroad operating in the
United States.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CSX Corp. Had $64 Million Reserves at March 30
---------------------------------------------------------------
CSX Corporation disclosed in its Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
March 30, 2012, that it had $64 million asbestos reserves at March
30, 2012.

The Company states: "Occupational claims arise from allegations of
exposures to certain materials in the workplace, such as solvents,
soaps, chemicals (collectively referred to as "irritants") and
diesel fuels (like exhaust fumes) or allegations of chronic
physical injuries resulting from work conditions, such as
repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome and hearing
loss. The Company is also party to a number of asbestos claims by
current or former employees alleging exposure to asbestos in the
workplace.

"An analysis of occupational claims is performed quarterly by an
independent third-party actuarial firm and reviewed by management.
Management performs a quarterly review of asserted asbestos
claims, and an analysis is performed annually by an independent
third-party specialist and reviewed by management. The objective
of the occupational and asbestos claims analyses performed by the
third-party actuarial firm and specialist (the "third-party
specialists") is to determine the number of incurred but not
reported ("IBNR") claims. The third party specialists analyze
CSXT's historical claim filings, settlement amounts, and dismissal
rates to determine future anticipated claim filing rates and
average settlement values for occupational and asbestos claims
reserves. The potentially exposed population is estimated by using
CSX's employment records and industry data. From this analysis,
the third-party specialists provide an estimate of the IBNR claims
liability."

CSX Corporation, and together with its subsidiaries, based in
Jacksonville, Florida, is one of the nation's leading
transportation companies. The Company provides rail-based
transportation services including traditional rail service and the
transport of intermodal containers and trailers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Net Reserves Were $2.38BB at March 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Travelers Companies, Inc., disclosed in its Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended March 31, 2012, that net asbestos paid losses in the
first three months of 2012 were $55 million, compared with $46
million in the same period of 2011.  Net asbestos reserves were
$2.38 billion at March 31, 2012, compared with $2.50 billion at
March 31, 2011.

The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides
various commercial and personal property and casualty insurance
products and services to businesses, government units,
associations, and individuals primarily in the United States.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Continues to Defend Lawsuits & Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Travelers Companies, Inc., disclosed in its Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended March 31, 2012, that it continues to defend asbestos-
related litigation.

In the ordinary course of its insurance business, the Company
receives claims for insurance arising under policies issued by the
Company asserting alleged injuries and damages from asbestos- and
environmental-related exposures that are the subject of related
coverage litigation. The Company is defending asbestos- and
environmental-related litigation vigorously and believes that it
has meritorious defenses; however, the outcomes of these disputes
are uncertain. In this regard, the Company employs dedicated
specialists and aggressive resolution strategies to manage
asbestos and environmental loss exposure, including settling
litigation under appropriate circumstances.

In October 2001 and April 2002, two purported class action suits
(Wise v. Travelers and Meninger v. Travelers) were filed against
Travelers Property Casualty Corp. (TPC) and other insurers (not
including The St. Paul Companies, Inc. (SPC)) in state court in
West Virginia. These and other cases subsequently filed in West
Virginia were consolidated into a single proceeding in the Circuit
Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia. The plaintiffs allege that
the insurer defendants engaged in unfair trade practices in
violation of state statutes by inappropriately handling and
settling asbestos claims. The plaintiffs seek to reopen large
numbers of settled asbestos claims and to impose liability for
damages, including punitive damages, directly on insurers. Similar
lawsuits alleging inappropriate handling and settling of asbestos
claims were filed in Massachusetts and Hawaii state courts. These
suits are collectively referred to as the Statutory and Hawaii
Actions.

In March 2002, the plaintiffs in consolidated asbestos actions
pending before a mass tort panel of judges in West Virginia state
court amended their complaint to include TPC as a defendant,
alleging that TPC and other insurers breached alleged duties to
certain users of asbestos products.  The plaintiffs seek damages,
including punitive damages. Lawsuits seeking similar relief and
raising similar allegations, primarily violations of purported
common law duties to third parties, have also been asserted in
various state courts against TPC and SPC. The claims asserted in
these suits are collectively referred to as the Common Law Claims.

The federal bankruptcy court that had presided over the bankruptcy
of TPC's former policyholder Johns-Manville Corporation issued a
temporary injunction prohibiting the prosecution of the Statutory
Actions (but not the Hawaii Actions), the Common Law Claims and an
additional set of cases filed in various state courts in Texas and
Ohio, and enjoining certain attorneys from filing any further
lawsuits against TPC based on similar allegations. Notwithstanding
the injunction, additional common law claims were filed against
TPC.

In November 2003, the parties reached a settlement of the
Statutory and Hawaii Actions.  This settlement includes a
lump-sum payment of up to $412 million by TPC, subject to a number
of significant contingencies. In May 2004, the parties reached a
settlement resolving substantially all pending and similar future
Common Law Claims against TPC.  This settlement requires a payment
of up to $90 million by TPC, subject to a number of significant
contingencies.  Among the contingencies for each of these
settlements is a final order of the bankruptcy court clarifying
that all of these claims, and similar future asbestos-related
claims against TPC, are barred by prior orders entered by the
bankruptcy court ("the 1986 Orders").

On August 17, 2004, the bankruptcy court entered an order
approving the settlements and clarifying that the 1986 Orders
barred the pending Statutory and Hawaii Actions and substantially
all Common Law Claims pending against TPC ("the Clarifying
Order"). The Clarifying Order also applies to similar direct
action claims that may be filed in the future.

On March 29, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York substantially affirmed the Clarifying Order
while vacating that portion of the order that required all future
direct actions against TPC to first be approved by the bankruptcy
court before proceeding in state or federal court.

Various parties appealed the district court's March 29, 2006
ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  On
February 15, 2008, the Second Circuit issued an opinion vacating
on jurisdictional grounds the District Court's approval of the
Clarifying Order.  On February 29, 2008, TPC and certain other
parties to the appeals filed petitions for rehearing and/or
rehearing en banc, requesting reinstatement of the district
court's judgment, which were denied.  TPC and certain other
parties filed Petitions for Writ of Certiorari in the United
States Supreme Court seeking review of the Second Circuit's
decision, and on December 12, 2008, the Petitions were granted.

On June 18, 2009, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of TPC,
reversing the Second Circuit's February 15, 2008 decision,
finding, among other things, that the 1986 Orders are final and
generally bar the Statutory and Hawaii actions and substantially
all Common Law Claims against TPC.  Further, the Supreme Court
ruled that the bankruptcy court had jurisdiction to issue the
Clarifying Order.  However, since the Second Circuit had not ruled
on certain additional issues, principally related to procedural
matters and the adequacy of notice provided to certain parties,
the Supreme Court remanded the case to the Second Circuit for
further proceedings on those specific issues.  On October 21,
2009, all but one of the objectors to the Clarifying Order
requested that the Second Circuit dismiss their appeal of the
order approving the settlement, and that request was granted.

On March 22, 2010, the Second Circuit issued an opinion in which
it found that the notice of the 1986 Orders provided to the
remaining objector was insufficient to bar contribution claims by
that objector against TPC. On April 5, 2010, TPC filed a Petition
for Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc with the Second Circuit,
requesting further review of its March 22, 2010 opinion, which was
denied on May 25, 2010.  On August 18, 2010, TPC filed a Petition
for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court seeking
review of the Second Circuit's March 22, 2010 opinion, and a
Petition for a Writ of Mandamus seeking an order from the Supreme
Court requiring the Second Circuit to comply with the Supreme
Court's June 18, 2009 ruling in TPC's favor. The Supreme Court
denied the Petitions on November 29, 2010.

The plaintiffs in the Statutory and Hawaii actions and the Common
Law Claims actions filed Motions to Compel with the bankruptcy
court on September 2, 2010 and September 3, 2010, respectively,
arguing that all conditions precedent to the settlements have been
met and seeking to require TPC to pay the settlement amounts.  On
September 30, 2010, TPC filed an Opposition to the plaintiffs'
Motions to Compel on the grounds that the conditions precedent to
the settlements, principally the requirement that all contribution
claims be barred, have not been met in light of the Second
Circuit's March 22, 2010 opinion.  On December 16, 2010, the
bankruptcy court granted the plaintiffs' motions and ruled that
TPC was required to fund the settlements.

On January 20, 2011, the bankruptcy court entered judgment in
accordance with its December 16, 2010 ruling and ordered TPC to
pay the settlement amounts plus prejudgment interest. On
January 21, 2011, TPC filed an appeal with the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York from the bankruptcy court's
January 20, 2011 judgment.  On January 24, 2011, certain of the
plaintiffs in the Common Law Claims actions appealed that portion
of the bankruptcy court's January 20, 2011 judgment that denied
their request for an order of contempt and for sanctions.  On
March 1, 2012, the district court ruled in TPC's favor and
reversed the bankruptcy court, finding that the conditions to the
settlements had not been met, and that TPC is not obligated to pay
the settlement amounts. The district court also upheld the
bankruptcy court's order denying the plaintiffs' motion for an
order of contempt and for sanctions.  The district court further
ruled that, since TPC is not obligated to go forward with the
settlements, it was unnecessary to address the issue of pre-
judgment interest.  The plaintiffs have appealed the district
court's March 1, 2012 decision to the Second Circuit Court of
Appeals.

SPC, which is not covered by the Manville bankruptcy court rulings
or the settlements, is a party to pending direct action cases in
Texas state court asserting common law claims.  All such cases
that are still pending and in which SPC has been served are
currently on the inactive docket in Texas state court.  If any of
those cases becomes active, SPC intends to litigate those cases
vigorously.  SPC was previously a defendant in similar direct
actions in Ohio state court. Those actions have all been dismissed
following favorable rulings by Ohio trial and appellate courts.
From time to time, SPC and/or its subsidiaries have been named in
individual direct actions in other jurisdictions.

The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides
various commercial and personal property and casualty insurance
products and services to businesses, government units,
associations, and individuals primarily in the United States.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Honeywell Had $1.7BB Liability at March 31
-----------------------------------------------------------
Like many other industrial companies, Honeywell International Inc.
is a defendant in personal injury actions related to asbestos. The
Company did not mine or produce asbestos, nor did it make or sell
insulation products or other construction materials that have been
identified as the primary cause of asbestos related disease in the
vast majority of claimants.

The Company states: "Honeywell's predecessors owned North American
Refractories Company (NARCO) from 1979 to 1986. NARCO produced
refractory products (bricks and cement used in high temperature
applications). We sold the NARCO business in 1986 and agreed to
indemnify NARCO with respect to personal injury claims for
products that had been discontinued prior to the sale (as defined
in the sale agreement). NARCO retained all liability for all other
claims. NARCO and/or Honeywell are defendants in asbestos personal
injury cases asserting claims based upon alleged exposure to NARCO
asbestos-containing products. Claimants consist largely of
individuals who allege exposure to NARCO asbestos-containing
refractory products in an occupational setting. These claims, and
the filing of subsequent claims, have been stayed continuously
since January 4, 2002, the date on which NARCO sought bankruptcy
protection.

"Honeywell's Bendix friction materials (Bendix) business
manufactured automotive brake parts that contained chrysotile
asbestos in an encapsulated form. Claimants consist largely of
individuals who allege exposure to asbestos from brakes from
either performing or being in the vicinity of individuals who
performed brake replacements."

At March 31, 2012, Bendix disclosed $624 million asbestos-related
liabilities while NARCO had $1,123 million, according to
Honeywell's Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2012.

Honeywell International Inc. is a diversified technology and
manufacturing company, serving customers worldwide with aerospace
products and services, control, sensing and security technologies
for buildings, homes and industry, turbochargers, automotive
products, specialty chemicals, electronic and advanced materials,
process technology for refining and petrochemicals, and energy
efficient products and solutions for homes, business and
transportation.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Reuters Reviews Sudden Rise of Mesothelioma Suits
------------------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reports that as anyone in the U.S. with a television or
Internet connection probably knows, lawyers want you if you've
been exposed to asbestos, and they're paying to get you.

At one point earlier this year, 15 of the 100 most expensive
keyword search phrases for click-through ads on Google contained
the word "mesothelioma", the deadly cancer caused by asbestos
exposure.  The single most expensive phrase, online marketing firm
SpyFu reported, was "Florida mesothelioma lawyers," at $177.74 per
click.

The hard sell reflects a troubling truth: Half a century after the
first wave of lawsuits were filed for illnesses linked to exposure
to asbestos and 40 years after new regulation sharply curtailed
use of the insulating and fire-resistant mineral, the asbestos-
litigation business is booming.

Some of the country's biggest and best-known law firms -- many of
them handling asbestos cases almost exclusively -- say the number
of lawsuits filed annually, after falling off from a peak, has
picked up in recent years.  More important, they say, is that
payouts for plaintiffs who win their cases have soared.

"It's easy to see why they're buying time on CNN and the like.
All you need to get is a couple of claims in to make that
commercial buy worth the money," says Marc Mayerson --
mmayerson@orrick.com -- a litigator with the Orrick law firm in
Washington and a professor of insurance law at George Washington
University, who has represented defendants in asbestos-related
cases since the 1980s.

No central registry keeps track of asbestos lawsuits filed yearly
or their outcomes.  A tabulation of jury verdicts and settlements,
based on an average of all asbestos-related lawsuits reported in
Westlaw Journal Asbestos, a Thomson Reuters publication, found
that the average award was $6.3-million in 2009, $17.6-million in
2010 and $10.5-million in 2011 -- amounts much greater than what
lawyers say was the norm more than a decade earlier.

Clearly, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related payouts persist
at levels companies and their insurers never expected.  Insurers
have been adding hundreds of millions of dollars to their
asbestos-claim reserves.  Travelers Cos, in its annual report for
2011, echoed its peers when it cited a "high degree of uncertainty
with respect to future exposure from asbestos claims".

Meanwhile, the dozens of trusts set up by companies forced into
bankruptcy by asbestos liabilities are facing such heavy claims
that many are paying only a few cents on the dollar.  Some have
had to suspend settlements.  That has created inequality among
victims.

Some doctors and lawyers attribute the recent rise in asbestos
suits to the unexpected emergence of "asbestos wives and
daughters," women exposed to the mineral by male relatives who
worked in asbestos-heavy industries.

David Sugarbaker, a thoracic surgeon at Brigham & Women's Hospital
in Boston who is highly regarded among mesothelioma patient
groups, says he's been seeing more women among new patients every
year, but "nobody has been able to quite pin it down".

No hard data show that the incidence of mesothelioma among women
has risen significantly.  Indeed, the incidence of the disease
overall remained largely flat at about 1 person per 100,000 from
1980 to 2008, while the rate for women held steady at roughly one-
sixth that of men, according to the National Cancer Institute.

No matter who is doing the suing, lawyers say plaintiffs are
increasingly targeting a new set of deep-pocketed "tertiary
defendants" -- companies that used asbestos products manufactured
by others or were otherwise indirectly linked to asbestos.  Such
companies can now "find themselves in the midst of a lawsuit where
the jury verdicts in the plaintiff-favorable jurisdictions are
probably averaging $15 million to $25 million each," Orrick's
Mayerson says.

Nearly everyone involved in asbestos litigation agrees on one
dismaying fact: Most plaintiffs today are sick.

About a decade ago, "unimpaired" plaintiffs -- people who had some
asbestos exposure but weren't sick and had no evidence they were
getting sick -- accounted for "literally hundreds of thousands of
claims," says Mike Angelides -- mangelides@simmonsfirm.com --
managing partner of the Simmons Law Firm, which by its own
estimate accounts for 20% of all asbestos-related lawsuits filed
in the U.S. every year.

Matt Bergman -- MBergman@shulmanrogers.com -- a Seattle attorney
who specializes in asbestos litigation, says the number of
lawsuits probably peaked in 2005, when he estimates 16,000 cases
were filed, most from people without any illness.

As courts began to take a dim view of such suits, lawyers focused
on sick plaintiffs.  Now, Bergman says, only about 2,000 new cases
are filed each year, most of them to do with mesothelioma.  "I
think the system works best when the people who are bringing the
cases are the people suffering the most," he says.

The Institute for Legal Reform, an arm of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce that has been a vehement critic of asbestos litigation,
recognizes the shift.  In recent years, "there were more cases
with more people that were more severely impaired, and the numbers
on those claims went up," says Lisa Rickard, president of the
institute.

Angelides says his firm estimates the number of new cases filed a
year at around 1,800, way down from the peak but up from more
recent years.  "Everybody wishes these claims would go down," he
says, "but it's not time yet."

Mesothelioma is a particularly lethal cancer.  It arises in the
delicate tissue that lines body cavities, most often around the
lungs, but also in the abdomen and elsewhere.

Years of research have shown that exposure to asbestos -- defined
roughly as two weeks of constant contact, usually in the air in a
workplace -- is a primary cause of mesothelioma.  (Exposure also
causes asbestosis, a chronic, potentially life-shortening lung
disease.)

Once exposed, a person has a 1-in-20 chance of developing
mesothelioma.  The average patient is dead within two years of
diagnosis, and more than 90% are dead within five years, according
to the National Cancer Institute.

The reason people who were exposed in the 1960s and 1970s are
still being diagnosed is mesothelioma's long latency period -- the
time between exposure and manifestation of disease -- of between
30 and 50 years.  Thus people who worked in tainted industrial
settings in the 1960s are still getting ill, as are some family
members.

Heather Von St. James, a resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, in her
early 40s, is an asbestos daughter.

Many nights while growing up, she says, she greeted her father
with a hug at the door when he returned home from his job sanding
drywall, a fine white dust powdering his jacket.  She often put on
that jacket before running outside to feed her pet rabbits.

In 2005, just after the birth of her daughter, she was diagnosed
with mesothelioma.  She immediately remembered those lawyers' TV
ads she had seen late at night.  "I called them at 1 o'clock in
the morning when I got the diagnosis because I thought, 'I've got
nothing to lose'," she says.

To fight her disease, she had to have a lung removed.  That left
her chronically weak and easily fatigued, unable to care for her
daughter or continue working as a hair stylist and salon owner.
She considers herself lucky, compared to other mesothelioma
victims, but hesitates to describe herself as "cured."

The court that heard her lawsuit estimated that the disability
caused by her mesothelioma cost her more than $5-million in lost
lifetime earnings.  "We didn't get $5-million.  It can never
replace what I lost," says St. James, who is bound by
confidentiality agreements not to disclose whom she sued or the
precise amount she received.  Court records indicate that 3M Co
was a defendant -- not one closely associated with the decades-
long morass of asbestos litigation.

3M did not respond to a request for comment.

Asbestos -- actually a family of half a dozen fibrous minerals --
has been valued since Roman times for its heat-resistant
properties.  For much of the 20th century it pervaded construction
sites, ship and rail yards, and many industrial settings.  Canada,
Russia and South Africa have been major producers, as was the U.S.

Concerns about the health risks of asbestos exposure were raised
as early as the 1920s.  In a September 1958 memo that plaintiffs
lawyers are wont to cite, a National Gypsum executive wrote: "We
know that you will never lose sight of the fact that perhaps the
greatest hazard in your plant is with men handling asbestos.
Because just as certain as death and taxes is the fact that if you
inhale asbestos dust you get asbestosis."

The first asbestos-related personal-injury claims popped up in
federal courts in the 1960s, but asbestos use continued.
According to the US Geological Survey, consumption of asbestos in
the U.S. peaked in 1973 at 803,000 tons, out of global production
of around 4.2-million tons.

Within a few years, mounting litigation, as well as scientific
evidence linking asbestos to disease, prompted new government and
industry regulations on safe handling and use of the mineral.
Since 1973, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S.
consumption has fallen 99.9%, though global use is down only
around 50%.

In the ensuing decades, asbestos litigation overwhelmed one
company after another.  By government estimates, about 100
companies have been forced into bankruptcy proceedings because of
asbestos liabilities -- including construction-materials and
industrial heavyweights such as Johns Manville (now a part of
Berkshire Hathaway), USG and Owens Corning.

The US Bankruptcy Code, amended specifically for the purpose,
allows a company to put current and future asbestos liabilities in
a trust, fund the trust with certain assets, and walk away to
start fresh.  Trust administrators determine whether a claim is
valid and pay out accordingly.  Their decisions can be appealed,
but generally, trust claims are more open-and-shut than court
litigation.

Each trust values claims differently.  The Johns Manville trust
values mesothelioma at $350,000, while the Owens Corning trust
values it at $215,000, says Steve Kazan, managing principal at
Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood & Harley in Illinois, who
litigated his first asbestos case in 1974 and has kept at it
since.  None of the trusts, lawyers say, come close to paying what
the courts do.

The problem for the trusts -- and for claimants -- is that as
claims persist, many of the trusts have to pay out cents on the
dollar for each valid claim in order to save for future claims.

Take the example of the Johns Manville trust.  In the 23 years
since it started, the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust
has received more than 878,000 claims -- 10 times the number
initially predicted -- and made payments nearing $4.23-billion.
The Manville trust's most recent filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court in Manhattan shows claims rose 57% in the first nine months
of 2011 from a year earlier, to 27,300.  Over that time the
trust's assets fell more than 12%, to $925.6-million.

As a result, the trust is now paying out approved claims at a rate
of 7.5 cents on the dollar.  A person with an approved $100,000
claim would receive $7,500.

The USG trust cut its payout rate to 35 cents on the dollar in
April 2010 and lowered it again to 30 cents in November 2010.  The
NGC Bodily Injury Trust, which handles National Gypsum claims,
warned last November that claim filings were running much higher
than expected and cut payments to 18 cents on the dollar.

Last January, the C.E. Thurston & Sons Asbestos Trust suspended
all new settlement offers while it recomputed how much it can
afford to pay while retaining enough for the future, the trust
said on its website.

Reuters sought comment by phone or email from trustees or lawyers
for half a dozen asbestos trusts; none responded.

Unlike the trusts, the insurance industry thought it had largely
solved its asbestos problem through big increases to reserves 10
years ago.  It misjudged.  "All these insurance companies have
dedicated asbestos units, and they're staffed and they're busy,"
says Larry Reback, an insurance broker with Integro in San
Francisco.

Last year, when insurers AIG and The Hartford announced additions
of $1.3-billion and $290-million, respectively, to their asbestos
reserves, the companies blamed tertiary defendants that never
anticipated litigation and now are being sued.  AIG and Hartford
have repeatedly declined to comment on the additions to their
reserves.

Major oil companies are on the list, as people who were working
decades ago challenge what the companies knew about asbestos
safety at the time.  Automakers are being hit with asbestos
lawsuits, too, largely related to the asbestos lining in many
vehicle brakes.  Just this month a federal appellate court said
lawsuits could proceed against drugmaker Pfizer Inc. over
asbestos-linked materials a subsidiary made a generation ago.  "We
strongly dispute" those lawsuits, Pfizer said.

In February, Travelers said it put $175-million into its asbestos-
claim reserves in 2011, up 25% from 2010, citing more litigation
and larger payouts because of those lawsuits.  While announcing an
increase in its own reserves, MetLife said in August that it saw
asbestos-related claims rise 11% in the first half of the year
after dropping steadily from 2003 through 2010.

In 2009, A.M. Best, the major rater of insurers, raised its
estimate of future industry asbestos liabilities to $75-billion
from $65-billion.  The number may rise again in the next year,
mainly because of mesothelioma claims, says Brian O'Larte, an A.M.
Best analyst in New Jersey.  All told, by its assessment, the
industry is about 4% underfunded for the $75-billion in
liabilities it faces.

Insurers keep assuming, mistakenly, that liabilities will taper,
O'Larte says.  "Every time they do a ground-up study, they say,
'We got it right this time'."  he says.

"We don't assume that."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposed Fibro Dumping Ground Found at Corio
------------------------------------------------------------
Mandy Squires of The Geelong Advertizer reports an asbestos
dumping ground has been discovered on the shores of Corio Bay,
next to Geelong's GrainCorp terminal and pier.

A Geelong Advertiser investigation has uncovered a section of
beach littered with broken pieces of potentially lethal asbestos
and a cliff face packed with asbestos sheeting.

It appears the suspected asbestos, long buried in the earth near
the GrainCorp terminal, has been exposed and broken-up as the
cliff has eroded over time.

The Environment Protection Authority and City of Greater Geelong
will investigate the North Geelong site, after being notified of
its existence by the Geelong Advertiser.

The Geelong council erected three panels of temporary fencing at
the site on May 11 to prevent public access along the shoreline,
following pressure from the Geelong Advertiser.

Initially the council indicated the site would be fenced-off
around May 15.  The site can still be accessed from the top of the
cliff, where broken pieces of asbestos are also scattered.

City of Greater Geelong general manager Gary Van Driel, after
learning of the suspected asbestos dump, said council officers had
met with EPA representatives.

"The EPA has agreed to manage the investigation into the suspected
asbestos dumping," he said.  "We are currently working with the
EPA and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) to
determine who the responsible authority for this site is."

A spokesperson for the EPA has confirmed the authority will
investigate a site in the Geelong region.

Mr. Van Driel said people should stay away from the area.

"Asbestos in sheet form is stable and does not present the same
risk as loose asbestos, however, we urge people to steer clear of
this site until it is cleaned up," he said.

The Geelong council said early indications were that the DSE may
be the controlling authority for the site.

DSE southwest manager of public land services Greg Leece said the
department was working with the council "to respond to potential
issues on the foreshore at the Geelong GrainCorp pier".

The site was "old Port of Geelong land," he said.

The EPA stressed it was responsible only for the safe transport
and disposal of asbestos.

While difficult to access, the section of Corio Quay beach and
foreshore covered with broken and exposed asbestos is in close
proximity to major North Geelong industries employing hundreds of
workers.

It is also almost directly below the GrainCorp terminal, where
grain is loaded on to trains and ships.

The area, at the end of Crowle St., is also popular with
fishermen.

There is a well-worn walking track leading from the carpark at the
top of the cliff to the beach covered in asbestos.

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

Fisherman Andrew Scardamaglia said he and his eight-year-old son,
Adrian, had tried their luck near the GrainCorp pier for the first
time on May 10.

"First and last time, I won't be back again, that's for sure," he
said, after hearing there was a large amount of exposed asbestos
just meters away from their chosen fishing spot.

Geelong Trades Hall Council secretary Tim Gooden said the asbestos
could be a health hazard for people working or fishing nearby.

The fact the asbestos was so exposed to the elements was of
particular concern, he said.

"Each time a piece snaps in half, it releases fibers that can
carry on the wind," Mr. Gooden said.  "If it's not being
disturbed, then fibers are not being released but with erosion and
wind damage and any pedestrian traffic, each time anyone walks
over it or breaks it, fibers could be released.

"In a very exposed area, like a cliff that's subject to erosion,
and (with pieces of asbestos) poking out of the ground like that,
anything could happen."

It was vital the EPA established as soon as possible whether the
site contained friable asbestos as well as the visible non-friable
roof sheeting, Mr. Gooden said.

Friable asbestos, which was "loose and fluffy", was extremely
dangerous as it carried easily on the wind, he said.

"It would be really good to determine how many years it's (the
asbestos) been there, how long it's been exposed and identify
where it came from," he said.  "The clean-up is going to be the
costly bit.  The EPA can order the landowner to clean it up if
they can't find the perpetrator."

GrainCorp issued a statement on May 10 saying the discovery of a
suspected asbestos dump near its terminal and pier had not
impacted on the company's operations.

"Safety is always our first priority," the statement said.  "In
instances like this we naturally comply with any requirements and
advice from the appropriate authorities.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Idaho Labor Dept Building Evacuated
----------------------------------------------------
Zach Stotland of KTVB reports that the Idaho Department of Labor's
administration building is closed until further notice because of
asbestos.

Spokesman Bob Fick says work crews were renovating the geothermal
system when they ran into some asbestos on Thursday, May 10, at
the downtown Boise building.  He says no one knew it was there.

When employees at the labor department came to work Friday
morning, they noticed a white powder.  That powder tested positive
for asbestos, and the building was evacuated.

Fick says they are getting tests done during the weekend on air
and surface contamination.  Employees can't go back into the
building until the results are in.

This closure will not disrupt unemployment payments, and all other
labor department offices are open.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NSW's Decision Based On Pact With James Hardie
---------------------------------------------------------------
Anna Party of Stock & Land reports that the NSW government has
rejected the NSW Law Reform Commission's recommendations to make
it easier for families of asbestos victims to claim compensation.

The Attorney-General, Greg Smith, said on May 11 the government
had "reluctantly" decided it would not implement them.

The commission recommended removing a legal precedent, known as
the Strikwerda principle, which means any damages paid to a victim
for pain and suffering are deducted from a later claim by
dependents.

It had also recommended giving families up to 12 months after the
death to claim for damages for non-economic loss.

The Commission said this would allow families to recover damages
where a victim failed to start an action in the Dust Diseases
Tribunal before their death.

Mr. Smith said the government's decision to reject the changes was
based on legal and actuarial advice.  Adopting the Commission's
recommendations would breach an agreement the Carr Government
signed in 2006 with James Hardie.  As part of that agreement, the
government said it would not change laws to increase or decrease
damages for dust diseases.

The agreement, which runs for another 30 years, provides AU$1.5
billion in compensation funding to asbestos victims from James
Hardie.

"The Government appreciates and regrets that this response will
disappoint some asbestos victims and their families," Mr. Smith
said.

"However, we hope that they will understand why the Government
needs to consider the importance long-term of providing certainty
of continued compensation to all asbestos victims, both current
and future generations."

Tanya Segelov, partner Turner Freeman Lawyers in Sydney, which has
represented victims of asbestos disease said the Commission's
recommendations would only affect a small number of claims.

She said the government's own figures showed the change would add
between AU$28 million to AU$162 million over a 40-year period to
James Hardies' costs.

"But it would be worth $300,000 to $500,000 for each family," she
said.

Unions NSW described the government's decision as gutless,
pointing out that three other states -- WA, Victoria and South
Australia -- had adopted similar recommendations.

Greens MP and justice spokesman David Shoebridge said the
O'Farrell government could easily try to renegotiate an agreement
with James Hardie to make it fairer for families of asbestos
victims.

"The law has been reformed in three other states to stop asbestos
companies from using this defense, and it is simply unacceptable
that NSW fails to act," he said.

Shadow Attorney General Paul Lynch accused the O'Farrell
government of lacking courage in trying to avoid a fight with
James Hardie.

"There are a significant number of victims of asbestos who don't
need to proceed against James Hardies, but against other
defendants.  They are also being penalized by this decision," he
said.

Opposition Leader John Robertson said the O'Farrell Government had
"reached a new low this decision not to provide fairer
compensation to asbestos victims and their families."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abbey Theatre Shows Displaced Amid Abatement Work
------------------------------------------------------------------
Steven Carroll of The Irish Times reports that the auditorium in
Dublin's Abbey Theatre is to close for nine weeks this summer
while asbestos is removed.

A run of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars will be
transferred to the O'Reilly Theatre on Great Denmark Street from
July 26 to Sept. 15 while the work is carried out.

Other parts of the theatre are to remain open for business during
the operation, with the auditorium due to reopen in time for the
Dublin Theatre Festival.

The work is expected to cost some EUR450,000 and will be paid for
by the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

The Abbey Theatre said the asbestos posed no health risk to its
staff or patrons and that weekly air-quality tests had shown this
to be the case.

A spokeswoman for the Abbey said the asbestos was discovered
during an inspection in January and that it had been liaising with
the Health and Safety Authority about the matter since then.

"We have opted to fully remove the asbestos for the long-term
safety of our staff because theatre involves a lot of technical
work and staff may be required to work in the areas where asbestos
was identified," she said.

The spokeswoman said, despite the relocation, audiences should
expect the show to be produced to the same standard as any Abbey
Theatre production.

She said the stage at the O'Reilly Theatre was of a similar scale
to that in the Abbey but that minor modifications would be
required to the show, which is due to tour the UK and Ireland, as
the O'Reilly did not allow for flying or the use of ropes and
pulleys to move props and scenery.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Close JFK School in Saint-Michel
-------------------------------------------------------------
CTV Montreal reports that John F. Kennedy High School and Business
School in Saint-Michel will be closed May 10 and 11 following the
discovery of traces of asbestos.

The English Montreal School board made the announcement on the
evening of May 9, saying the closure was a precautionary measure
while air quality testing is conducted in the building.

A press release stated that traces of asbestos were found in two
ventilation rooms in the facility around April 18.

The material was removed and air quality was tested.  The treated
rooms were deemed safe.  Precautionary tests also took place in
other parts of the building, where traces of asbestos were found.

Experts have been called to conduct air quality testing in those
areas.

"Our board has previous experience in dealing with asbestos," says
EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini in a press release.  "Our staff is
vigilant and it is our position not to take any chances once it is
discovered.  We will be working with Sante Publique and taking
every precaution necessary before students and staff are allowed
to return to the building."

In February, Montreal environmentalist Daniel Green revealed a
list of more than 280 public buildings that contain asbestos, and
said he felt the government should compile an asbestos registry to
provide Quebecers with information about current and past asbestos
levels.

The EMSB at the time said it had a policy to make that information
public.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: City Exec Says ALA Benefits Offset Risks
---------------------------------------------------------
Peter Kuitenbrouwer, writing for The National Post, reports that
residents on Aldwych Avenue and other streets in East York -- who
received letters from the city recently warning them to stay
indoors and shut windows while the city resurfaces asbestos-laced
asphalt (ALA) in front of their homes this spring -- can rest
easy, says the City of Toronto.

"There is absolutely no health concern in working with this,"
Peter Noehammer, Toronto's director of transportation services,
said on Wednesday, May 9.  "We sent out those notes more out of an
abundance of caution."

Even so, the scene was jarring on Aldwych, a tidy street of
detached one and two-storey bungalows, with pink blossoms covering
apple trees, on Wednesday.  All the workers operating the
gargantuan white Wirtgen asphalt grinder, also called a milling
machine, which growled eastward, grinding up the pavement and
shooting it into a rolling dumptruck, wore white Tyvek hazmat
suits and dust masks with lurid purple filters.

"It concerns me now because I've been grinding for about 16 years
and the suits only came in about five years ago, so what happens
to all the streets I ground before I got the mask and the suit?"
asked an employee of Furfari Paving who gave the name Ray.

Out of 30 streets in East York that Furfari is repaving, seven
contain asbestos, he added.

Mr. Noehammer said the worker should not fret: in 2008 the city
contacted the Ministry of Labour after realizing that some asphalt
it was grinding off city streets contained asbestos.  The ministry
came out and conducted air tests next to the asphalt milling
machines, but could not detect an asbestos hazard in the air.
"Asbestos fibers become permanently bonded in the asphalt cement,"
he said.

The ministry then promised the city that it would rewrite
guidelines so that workers exposed to asphalt containing asbestos
would not need to wear protective gear.  But until those changes
become law, the city requires its contractors to wear hazmat suits
and dust masks while recycling asbestos-enhanced asphalt -- but
not police redirecting traffic near the affected areas.  As a
precaution, the city also wets the asphalt before and after the
grinding.

In fact, the benefits of asbestos in the roads far outweigh the
risks, Mr. Noehammer added.

"Asbestos fibers were used quite extensively in the 1960s and
1970s as a reinforcing fiber for the asphalt-cement mixture," he
said.  "It made the asphalt much more durable and less prone to
cracking."

So durable was the asphalt here that George Ferries, who has lived
on Aldwych for 40 years, does not recall the city ever resurfacing
his street.

"They've patched it and patched it and patched it," Mr. Ferries
said.  "We've had a couple of sinkholes."

The city likes asbestos in asphalt so much that it encourages its
contractors to reuse the stuff.

"It is fine to recycle the material in the base of the road and
dilute the asbestos content to under 0.5%," Mr. Noehammer said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CL&M Wins GBP290K Payout for Mesothelioma Widow
----------------------------------------------------------------
BBC News Somerset reports that a Somerset woman is to get
GBP290,000 in compensation from Bristol Water following her
husband's death from cancer caused by his contact with asbestos.

David Bean, from Shepton Mallet, had worked for the company as an
engineer.

He had no protection when visiting pumping stations housing
boilers covered with asbestos cement lagging.

Bristol Water said "stringent safety measures" had now been
introduced for staff working with asbestos.

The solicitor for his wife Jean said the money would compensate
her for loss of income resulting from his death last year at the
age of 73.

Solicitor Brigitte Chandler -- brigitte.chandler@clmlaw.co.uk --
at Charles Lucas & Marshall said: "Mr. Bean visited pumping
stations all over the western area.  They contained large boilers,
often the size of houses, which were covered with asbestos cement
lagging.  Mr. Bean would have been in contact with the asbestos as
he walked around the pumping station.

"He was never given protective masks or clothing and continued to
be exposed to asbestos until he left the company in 1992.  Mr.
Bean was healthy until September 2010 when he developed chest
pains, coughing and breathlessness.  He was diagnosed with
mesothelioma."

Malignant mesothelioma is a form of cancer which affects the thin
membrane that lines the chest and abdomen.  About 2,400 people are
diagnosed with the condition in the UK each year.

According to Cancer Research UK, up to 80% of cases of malignant
mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.

A spokesman for Bristol Water said: "It is with regret that Mr.
Bean, a retired former employee of Bristol Water and its
predecessors, who started work with the business in the 1950s has
passed away as a consequence of mesothelioma.

"Bristol Water's insurers have made a compensation payment as a
result of Mr. Bean's historic exposure from asbestos disturbed
whilst carrying out his duties.

"In modern times, stringent safety measures have been introduced
to avoid the risk of hazardous substances such as asbestos being
disturbed and inhaled by employees."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jamestown Seeks Break From Abatement Regulation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hilary Scott of The Post-Journal reports that New York state
asbestos regulations are exacerbating Jamestown's housing surplus
problem.

After going through a lengthy asbestos remediation process, a
damaged house at 23 Center St. was demolished Wednesday, May 9.
It's one of the first of many much needed residential demolitions
for this year.

The number of residences the city will be able to demolish this
year is limited, however, due to the high cost of demolition,
stemming from regulations.  From the prioritized list of 30
properties requiring demolition, the city has the funds to
complete 12 to 15 projects.  That number is up from the 10 to 12
houses demolished last year.

According to Steve Centi, city development director, the burden
and additional cost of asbestos remediation and removal hampers
the city's ability to resolve or make headway on Jamestown's
oversupply of housing due to a decrease in population.

Housing surplus is not only just a Jamestown problem, it's a
statewide problem, as there has been a reduction in population
throughout the entire state, said Centi.

"We have issues relating to older housing stock which was built in
a point in time when the population was larger," said Centi.  "The
population has since declined, so we have a surplus of units."

The city is attempting to rightsize to get the number of units
more in line with the current population.  This requires the
demolition of vacant, substandard and abandoned residences.

Centi said the dilemma on the demolition side is that "it hasn't
been easy, it hasn't been cheap and it hasn't been timely."

The first step of the demolition process is legal remediation,
consisting of first posting the property, determining the owner,
taking the owner to court and receiving a court order for a
demolition, if the owner doesn't have the ability or willingness
to demolish the structure.

The city then must start the asbestos identification and removal
process.  Before demolition of a residence can be started in New
York, an asbestos survey must be completed to identify if asbestos
is present, and if it is present, the asbestos must be completely
removed before demolition.

Asbestos is most dangerous when it's in a "friable" form, meaning
that the fibers can become airborne.  Centi said that a lot of the
asbestos found in Jamestown homes isn't in a friable form, but
must be removed anyway before demolition.

Pennsylvania is not required to go through the asbestos process
for any residences with three families or under.  The bulk of what
the city is demolishing are one and two family homes.

According to Centi, the collective cost for a residential
demolition in Pennsylvania is approximately $7,100 while the total
cost in New York is approximately $23,000.

"They can demolish three houses to our one," said Centi.  "It puts
us at a competitive disadvantage."

The city's demolition fund consists of money allocated from the
city in the city budget, which is local taxpayer dollars, and
grant money from the Community Development Block Grant.  This year
there is $393,644 in the demolition fund, which is the largest
fund the city has seen in a number of years, according to Centi.

"We will file a lean against the property in an attempt to recover
the funds prior to it going though, for example, the county tax
foreclosure process," said Centi.  "It's really wishful thinking
on my part.  The truth is they've already walked away from the
physical property, and there is hardly any likelihood that they
are going to put up the money to cover the cost of the demolition
just to keep ownership interest on a vacant lot."

"We'd like to see the state relax the requirements, and we'd like
to see the state provide funding that would allow us to do
demolitions to get rid of this excess stock," said Centi.  "I
think you could apply that same type of methodology to any other
municipality within the state of New York or probably in the whole
North East that has to deal with these same issues."

He said the city would benefit if the state just lifted the
asbestos regulation for a period of time to offer a window of
opportunity for the city to find and utilize city, federal, state
and philanthropic funding to rightsize the excess units in a big
sweep.

There were couple years in a row where the city submitted
resolutions from the City Council asking state representatives to
remove the onerous asbestos requirements, but nothing ever came of
it, he said.  Centi explained that the state gets a fee of around
$4,000 that is part of that cost for every demolition that's done
in the state of New York.

"We are going to continue to take people to court and see if they
will tear it down on their own dime.  If they don't, we will
proceed with demolition on those houses that we deem to be public
health and safety hazardous," said Centi.  "We'll board and secure
them, until such time that we have the funding available to remove
them from the landscape."

"It's just unfortunate that we are doing it at a cost that's three
times what it takes to do the same thing in Pennsylvania."


                           *********

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

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