CAR_Public/130111.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, January 11, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 8

                             Headlines


AMERICAN REALTY: Settles Merger-Related Class Suits in Maryland
ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI: 17,0000 Gold Miners Join Silicosis Class Action
APOLLO GROUP: Appeal From Investors Group Suit Dismissal Pending
APOLLO GROUP: Appeal From Teamsters Fund Suit Dismissal Pending
APOLLO GROUP: Records Reverse Charges in 2013 Financial Report

APOLLO GROUP: "Adoma" Wage Suit Settlement Approved in December
BIG O TIRES: Faces Class Action Over Tire Protection Plan
CAL-MAINE FOODS: Continues to Defend Egg Antitrust Litigation
CARROLS RESTAURANT: Settles Longstanding Litigation With EEOC
FISHER-PRICE INC.: Recalls 800,000 Rock 'N Play Infant Sleepers

FLUSHMATE: Judge Tosses Multiple Claims in Toilet Class Action
GLOBAL PAYMENTS: Awaits Ruling on "Willingham" Suit Dismissal Bid
GREENFIELD SCHOOL: Teachers File Suit Over Labor Law Violation
HEICO LIGHTING: Recalls 3,900 Neon Sign Power Supply Transformers
HEWLETT-PACKARD: Lieff Cabraser and Outten & Golden File Suit

KMART/SEARS: Faces Class Action Over Labor Law Violations
MONSANTO CO: Awaits Final Court Approval of "Bibb" Suit Deal
NOVA SCOTIA: To Fight Class Action Certification Over Abuses
PENTAGON: Continues to Defend Veterans' Suit Over Drug Experiments
RITE AID CORP: Awaits Final OK of Ass. Managers' Suit Settlement

RITE AID CORP: Discovery Proceeding in "Indergit" Collective Suit
RITE AID CORP: Continues to Defend Wage and Hour Suits in Calif.
RMJM: Eleven More Former Staff Join Minimum Wage Class Action
ROMA BANK: D&Os Face Class Action Over Alleged Unfair Sale Process
SOMERSAULT SNACK: Recalls Somersaults Cinnamon Crunch Packages

STANDARD FIRE: Sup. Ct. Mulls Imposition of Class Action Limits
TOYOTA MOTOR: Seeks Denial of Class Cert. Bid in Hybrid Cars Suit
UNITED STATES: Settles Class Action Over Gay Service Members' Pay
WALMART: May Be Added as Defendant in Wage Class Action
WOODSTOCK: Recalls Mislabeled Tamari Almonds Over Undeclared Soy

                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kaanapali Land Continues to Defend PI Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Thermon Group Has 2 Pending Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: IntriCon Corp. Still Defends Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Industries Still Defending PI Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Steel Partners Unit Still Defends 1,113 Suits

ASBESTOS UPDATE: CCOM Group Unit Still Defends Fibro Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Andrea Electronics Still Defends "Edwards" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ecology and Environment Unit Faces Consent Order
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Covidien Unit Had 12,200 Cases at Sept. 28
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Still No Developments in "Scott" Suit vs. Chase

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Discovery Ongoing in "Jansen" Suit vs. Chase
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suit v St. Croix Renaissance Returns to State Ct.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Crane Co.'s Summary Judgment Motion
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pro-AFMI Insurance Exclusion Ruling Affirmed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ct. Affirms Decision Favoring Abex Corp., et al.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tokyo Court Excluded 150 Plaintiffs From Payout
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Poindexter Village Abatement Project Stopped
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Removal at Rideau Hall Attic Begins January
ASBESTOS UPDATE: SC Favors Illinois Central's Forum Motion
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NJ Court Dismisses Case Due to Plaintiff's Lies


                          *********



AMERICAN REALTY: Settles Merger-Related Class Suits in Maryland
---------------------------------------------------------------
American Realty Capital Trust, Inc. filed on January 8, 2013, a
Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
pursuant to a memorandum of understanding regarding a settlement
of certain litigation relating to the Agreement and Plan of Merger
by and among American Realty Capital Trust, Inc., a Maryland
corporation (ARCT), Realty Income Corporation, a Maryland
corporation (Realty), and Tau Acquisition LLC, a Delaware limited
liability company and wholly owned subsidiary of Realty (Merger
Sub), dated as of September 6, 2012.

               SETTLEMENT OF CERTAIN LITIGATION

As previously reported, most recently in a joint proxy
statement/prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on December 6, 2012, since the announcement of the
merger on September 6, 2012, nine putative class actions and/or
shareholder derivative actions were filed in Maryland and New York
on behalf of alleged ARCT stockholders and/or ARCT itself. All of
these complaints name as defendants ARCT, members of the ARCT
board of directors, Realty Income, and Merger Sub. In each case,
the plaintiffs allege that the ARCT directors breached their
fiduciary duties to ARCT and/or its stockholders in negotiating
and approving the merger agreement, that the merger consideration
negotiated in the merger agreement improperly values ARCT, that
the ARCT stockholders will not receive fair value for their ARCT
common stock in the merger, and that the terms of the merger
agreement impose improper deal-protection devices that purportedly
preclude competing offers. The complaints further allege that
Realty Income, Merger Sub, and, in some cases, ARCT aided and
abetted those alleged breaches of fiduciary duty. The various
amended complaints add allegations that disclosures regarding the
proposed merger in the joint proxy statement/prospectus filed on
October 1, 2012 (and subsequently amended) and the Definitive
Proxy Statement are inadequate. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief,
including enjoining or rescinding the merger, and an award of
other unspecified attorneys' and other fees and costs, in addition
to other relief.

                       Maryland Actions

Six putative class actions and/or shareholder derivative actions
were filed on behalf of alleged ARCT stockholders and/or ARCT
itself in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, under
the following captions: Quaal v. American Realty Capital Trust
Inc., et al., No. 24-C1-2005306, filed September 7, 2012; Hill v.
American Realty Capital Trust, Inc., et al., No. 24-C-005502,
filed September 19, 2012; Goldwurm v. American Realty Capital
Trust, Inc., et al., No. 24-C-005524, filed September 20, 2012;
Gordon v. Schorsch, et al., No. 24-C-12-5571, filed September 21,
2012; Gregor v. Kahane, et al., No. 24-C-12-5563, filed September
21, 2012; and Rooker v. American Realty Capital Trust Inc., et
al., filed October 5, 2012. On November 16, 2012, the court
consolidated these actions into a single action captioned In re
American Capital Realty Trust, Inc. Shareholder Litigation, No.
24-C-12-005306 (the Maryland Action), and, on November 21, 2012,
appointed Brower Piven, P.C. as lead counsel for plaintiffs (Lead
Plaintiffs' Counsel). On December 11, 2012, Lead Plaintiffs'
Counsel moved for a preliminary injunction and to compel
discovery. Lead Plaintiffs' Counsel filed a consolidated amended
complaint in the consolidated actions on December 14, 2012, and
defendants filed amended motions to dismiss that amended complaint
on December 21, 2012. A hearing on the motions to dismiss is
scheduled for February 12, 2013. No hearing date has been
scheduled for the motion for preliminary injunction.

Before the court consolidated the Maryland cases and appointed
lead counsel, defendants had moved to dismiss the actions and also
had moved to stay discovery pending disposition of the motions to
dismiss. Plaintiffs had filed their own motions to compel
discovery and to expedite discovery. On December 13, 2012, the
Circuit Court for Baltimore City granted defendants' motion to
stay discovery and denied plaintiffs' motion to expedite
discovery.

After the Maryland court denied plaintiff Sydelle Goldwurm's
motion for appointment of lead plaintiff and lead counsel in the
Maryland litigation, plaintiff Goldwurm filed a class action and
shareholder derivative action in the United States District Court
for the District of Maryland, captioned Goldwurm v. American
Realty Capital Trust, Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-03516-JKB (the
Federal Action). On December 3, 2012, she voluntarily dismissed
her case in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland. On
December 12, 2012, plaintiff Goldwurm moved for expedited
discovery. Defendants moved to stay the federal case on December
13, 2012, and moved to dismiss it on December 19, 2012.

On January 6, 2013, the defendants in the Maryland Action entered
into a memorandum of understanding with the plaintiffs in the
Maryland Action regarding settlement of all claims asserted on
behalf of the alleged class of ARCT stockholders. In connection
with the settlement contemplated by that memorandum of
understanding, the Maryland Action and all claims asserted in that
litigation will be dismissed, subject to court approval. The
proposed settlement terms require ARCT to make certain additional
disclosures related to the merger. The parties also agreed that
plaintiffs may seek attorneys' fees and costs in an as-yet
undetermined amount, with ARCT to pay such fees and costs if and
to the extent they are approved by the Maryland court. The
memorandum of understanding further contemplates that the parties
will enter into a stipulation of settlement, which will be subject
to customary conditions, including confirmatory discovery and
court approval following notice to ARCT's stockholders. If the
parties enter into a stipulation of settlement, a hearing will be
scheduled at which the court will consider the fairness,
reasonableness and adequacy of the settlement. There can be no
assurance that the parties will ultimately enter into a
stipulation of settlement, that the court will approve any
proposed settlement, or that any eventual settlement will be under
the same terms as those contemplated by the memorandum of
understanding.

                       New York Actions

Two putative class actions were also filed on behalf of alleged
ARCT stockholders in the Supreme Court of the State of New York
for New York, New York, under the following captions: The Carol L.
Possehl Living Trust v. American Realty Capital Trust, Inc., et
al., No. 653300-2012, filed September 20, 2012, and Salenger v.
American Realty Capital Trust, Inc. et al., No. 353355-2012, filed
September 25, 2012. On October 19, 2012, the court consolidated
these actions into a single action captioned In re American Realty
Capital Trust Shareholders Litigation, No. 653300?2012 (the New
York Action), and appointed Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP as
lead counsel for plaintiffs. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint
in the consolidated New York Action on October 23, 2012. On
November 9, 2012, the Court granted defendants' motion to stay the
New York Action pending the Maryland Action.

           SUPPLEMENT OF DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT

In connection with the settlement of the Maryland Action,
defendants in that case have agreed to make these supplemental
disclosures to the Definitive Proxy Statement. A full-text copy of
the disclosures may be accessed for free at:

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1410997/000114420413001250/v801091-
1_8k.htm



ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI: 17,0000 Gold Miners Join Silicosis Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------------
Ed Stoddard and Sherilee Lakmidas, writing for BDlive, report that
a South African lawyer has moved to file a class action suit
against over 30 gold companies on behalf of 17,000 former miners
who say they contracted silicosis, a debilitating lung disease,
due to negligence in health and safety.

The companies include third-largest global bullion producer
AngloGold Ashanti, fourth-largest Gold Fields and Harmony Gold.
Also named is Anglo American's South African unit, which owned
gold assets in the past but no longer produces the metal.

Attorney Richard Spoor said on Dec. 28 he had filed for class
certification for an action for damages in the South Gauteng High
Court in Johannesburg.

"We need to ask the court for permission to proceed on a class
action basis.  We filed the papers last week, and that matter will
have to be argued in the court if it's opposed," Mr. Spoor said.

He expected the matter to be heard in April or May 2013.

The damages sought in what could be Africa's biggest class action
suit to date have not been disclosed but could be huge at a time
when South Africa's mining industry is battling with soaring power
costs and wage costs as well as violent labor militancy.

Mr. Spoor has signed up 17,000 plaintiffs so far from South
Africa, Botswana and Lesotho, the landlocked kingdom that has
provided hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to South
Africa's gold mines over the past century, he said.

He said the number of plaintiffs was growing by about 500 a month.

The planned suit, which has little precedent in South African law,
has its roots in a landmark ruling by the Constitutional Court
that for the first time allowed lung-diseased miners to sue their
employers for damages.

Silicosis is a chronic and progressive disease that cannot be
cured.  Miners contract it by inhaling silica dust from gold-
bearing rocks.

African Rainbow Minerals, one of the companies named, said it was
"too soon to discuss the outcome of the matter as none of the
merits of the matter has yet been established, let alone tested in
court".

An Anglo American spokesman said: "We are aware of the case, but
Anglo American has not yet been served, so it would not be
appropriate to comment any further."

Officials at AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and some
other companies named in the filing could not be reached for
comment.

The companies named in the filing owned or operated 78 different
gold mines from 1965 to the present.


APOLLO GROUP: Appeal From Investors Group Suit Dismissal Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal filed by the "Apollo Institutional Investors Group"
from the dismissal of their consolidated securities class action
lawsuit remains pending, according to Apollo Group, Inc.'s January
8, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended November 30, 2012.

On August 13, 2010, a securities class action complaint was filed
in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona by Douglas
N. Gaer naming the Company, John G. Sperling, Gregory W. Cappelli,
Charles B. Edelstein, Joseph L. D'Amico, Brian L. Swartz and
Gregory J. Iverson as defendants for allegedly making false and
misleading statements regarding the Company's business practices
and prospects for growth. That complaint asserted a putative class
period stemming from December 7, 2009 to August 3, 2010. A
substantially similar complaint was also filed in the same Court
by John T. Fitch on September 23, 2010 making similar allegations
against the same defendants for the same purported class period.
Finally, on October 4, 2010, another purported securities class
action complaint was filed in the same Court by Robert Roth
against the same defendants as well as Brian Mueller, Terri C.
Bishop and Peter V. Sperling based upon the same general set of
allegations, but with a defined class period of February 12, 2007
to August 3, 2010. The complaints allege violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. On October 15, 2010, three
additional parties filed motions to consolidate the related
actions and be appointed the lead plaintiff.

On November 23, 2010, the Fitch and Roth actions were consolidated
with Gaer and the Court appointed the "Apollo Institutional
Investors Group" consisting of the Oregon Public Employees
Retirement Fund, the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme, and Amalgamated
Bank as lead plaintiffs. The case is now entitled, In re Apollo
Group, Inc. Securities Litigation, Lead Case Number CV-10-1735-
PHX-JAT. On February 18, 2011, the lead plaintiffs filed a
consolidated complaint naming Apollo, John G. Sperling, Peter V.
Sperling, Joseph L. D'Amico, Gregory W. Cappelli, Charles B.
Edelstein, Brian L. Swartz, Brian E. Mueller, Gregory J. Iverson,
and William J. Pepicello as defendants. The consolidated complaint
asserts a putative class period of May 21, 2007 to October 13,
2010. On April 19, 2011, the Company filed a motion to dismiss and
oral argument on the motion was held before the Court on October
17, 2011. On October 27, 2011, the Court granted the Company's
motion to dismiss and granted plaintiffs leave to amend. On
December 6, 2011, the lead plaintiffs filed an Amended
Consolidated Class Action Complaint, which alleges similar claims
against the same defendants. On January 9, 2012, the Company filed
a motion to dismiss the Amended Consolidated Class Action
Complaint. On June 22, 2012, the Court granted the Company's
motion to dismiss and entered a judgment in the Company's favor.
On July 20, 2012, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal with the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and their appeal
remains pending before that Court.

If the plaintiffs are successful in their appeal, the Company
anticipates they will seek substantial damages. Because of the
many questions of fact and law that may arise, the outcome of this
legal proceeding is uncertain at this point. Based on information
available at present, the Company cannot reasonably estimate a
range of loss for this action and, accordingly, it has not accrued
any liability associated with this action.


APOLLO GROUP: Appeal From Teamsters Fund Suit Dismissal Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal filed by the "Teamsters Local 617 Pensions and Welfare
Funds" from the dismissal of their securities class action lawsuit
remains pending, according to Apollo Group, Inc.'s January 8,
2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended November 30, 2012.


On November 2, 2006, the Teamsters Local 617 Pension and Welfare
Funds filed a class action complaint purporting to represent a
class of shareholders who purchased Apollo stock between November
28, 2001 and October 18, 2006. The complaint, filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Arizona, is entitled Teamsters
Local 617 Pension & Welfare Funds v. Apollo Group, Inc. et al.,
Case Number 06-cv-02674-RCB, and alleges that the Company and
certain of its current and former directors and officers violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by purportedly making
misrepresentations concerning its stock option granting policies
and practices and related accounting. The defendants are Apollo
Group, Inc., J. Jorge Klor de Alva, Daniel E. Bachus, John M.
Blair, Dino J. DeConcini, Kenda B. Gonzales, Hedy F. Govenar,
Brian E. Mueller, Todd S. Nelson, Laura Palmer Noone, John R.
Norton III, John G. Sperling and Peter V. Sperling. On September
11, 2007, the Court appointed The Pension Trust Fund for Operating
Engineers as lead plaintiff. Lead plaintiff filed an amended
complaint on November 23, 2007, asserting the same legal claims as
the original complaint and adding claims for violations of Section
20A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and allegations of
breach of fiduciary duties and civil conspiracy. On April 30,
2009, plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint, which
alleges similar claims for alleged securities fraud against the
same defendants.

On March 31, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of
Arizona dismissed the case with prejudice and entered judgment in
the Company's favor. Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration
of this ruling, and the Court denied this motion on April 2, 2012.
On April 27, 2012, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal with
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and their appeal
remains pending before that Court.

If the plaintiffs are successful in their appeal, the Company
anticipates they will seek substantial damages. Because of the
many questions of fact and law that may arise, the outcome of this
legal proceeding is uncertain at this point. Based on information
available at present, the Company cannot reasonably estimate a
range of loss for this action and, accordingly, it has not accrued
any liability associated with this action.


APOLLO GROUP: Records Reverse Charges in 2013 Financial Report
--------------------------------------------------------------
Apollo Group, Inc. disclosed in its January 8, 2013, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended November 30, 2012, that in its Condensed
Consolidated Statements of Income during the first quarter of
fiscal year 2013, it reversed previously recorded charges as a
result of its resolution of dispute with its insurers regarding
the previously advanced defense costs for captioned In re Apollo
Group, Inc. Securities Litigation.

In January 2008, a jury returned an adverse verdict against the
Company and two remaining individual co-defendants in a securities
class action lawsuit entitled, In re Apollo Group, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Case No. CV04-2147-PHX-JAT, filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Arizona. In September 2011, the Company
entered into a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs to settle
the litigation for $145.0 million, which was approved by the Court
on April 20, 2012. Under the settlement agreement and during
fiscal year 2012, the $145.0 million the Company had previously
deposited into a common fund account in December 2011 was paid to
the plaintiffs.

In December 2012, the Company resolved the dispute with its
insurers regarding the previously advanced defense costs for this
action. As a result, the Company reversed previously recorded
charges associated with this dispute, which are included in
litigation credit on its Condensed Consolidated Statements of
Income during the first quarter of fiscal year 2013. The Company
does not believe it has any exposure associated with this matter
in the future.


APOLLO GROUP: "Adoma" Wage Suit Settlement Approved in December
---------------------------------------------------------------
Apollo Group, Inc. disclosed in its January 8, 2013, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended November 30, 2012, that it obtained court approval
of its settlement of the lawsuit captioned Adoma et al. v.
University of Phoenix.

On January 8, 2010, Diane Adoma filed an action in United States
District Court, Eastern District of California alleging wage and
hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and California law
for failure to pay overtime and other violations, entitled Adoma
et al. v. University of Phoenix, et al, Case Number 2:10-cv-00059-
LKK. On April 12, 2010, plaintiff filed a motion for conditional
collective action certification. The Court denied class
certification under the Fair Labor Standards Act and transferred
these claims to the District Court in Pennsylvania. On August 31,
2010, the U.S. District Court in California granted plaintiff's
motion for class action certification of the California claims. In
August 2011, the parties agreed to settle the case for an
immaterial amount, which was accrued in the Company's financial
statements during fiscal year 2011. The agreement, in which the
Company does not admit any liability, was approved by the Court on
December 17, 2012.


BIG O TIRES: Faces Class Action Over Tire Protection Plan
---------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Big O Tires markets a Tire
Protection Plan without informing buyers how they can replace a
tire after wear and tear, a class action claims in San Diego
County Superior Court.


CAL-MAINE FOODS: Continues to Defend Egg Antitrust Litigation
------------------------------------------------------------- Cal-
Maine Foods, Inc. continues to defend numerous antitrust cases
involving the shell egg industry in the United States,
according to the Company's January 8, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
December 1, 2012.

Since September 25, 2008, the Company has been named as one of
several defendants in numerous antitrust cases involving the
United States shell egg industry. In some of these cases, the
named plaintiffs allege that they purchased eggs or egg products
directly from a defendant and have sued on behalf of themselves
and a putative class of others who claim to be similarly situated.
In other cases, the named plaintiffs allege that they purchased
shell eggs and egg products directly from one or more of the
defendants but sue only for their own alleged damages and not on
behalf of a putative class. In the remaining cases, the named
plaintiffs are individuals or companies who allege that they
purchased shell eggs and egg products indirectly from one or more
of the defendants -- that is, they purchased from retailers that
had previously purchased from defendants or other parties -- and
have sued on behalf of themselves and a putative class of others
who claim to be similarly situated.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all of
the putative class actions (as well as certain other cases in
which the Company was not a named defendant) for pretrial
proceedings in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania court has organized the
putative class actions around two groups (direct purchasers and
indirect purchasers) and has named interim lead counsel for the
named plaintiffs in each group.

There are now seven non-class suits pending. Six of the non-class
suits are pending in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The other non-class suit is
pending in District Court of Wyandotte County, Kansas. The
plaintiffs in two other non-class suits originally filed in the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania voluntarily dismissed their suits
without prejudice.

           The Direct Purchaser Putative Class Action

The direct purchaser cases were consolidated into In re: Processed
Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 2:08-md-02002-GP, in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. The court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss
direct purchaser class plaintiffs' claims for damages outside the
four-year statute of limitations but did so without prejudice to
the plaintiffs' right to seek leave to further amend their
complaint if they, in good faith, believe they can address the
deficiencies noted by the court.  The direct purchasers are in the
process of filing an amended complaint, and the Company expects to
file a renewed motion to dismiss the claims in the new complaint
that are barred by the four-year statute of limitations. The court
has granted final approval to two settlements. In one settlement,
the settling party will not pay any money to the putative class.
Instead, the settling defendant, while denying all liability and
while remaining a defendant in certain non-class cases, will
provide cooperation in the form of documents and witness
interviews to the direct class plaintiffs' attorneys. In the other
settlement, the settling defendant will pay a total of $25 million
and would provide other consideration in the form of documents,
witness interviews, and declarations. This settling defendant
denied all liability in its agreement with the direct purchaser
class plaintiffs and stated publicly that it settled merely to
avoid the cost and uncertainty of continued litigation. Discovery
is ongoing in this case.

          The Indirect Purchaser Putative Class Action

The indirect purchaser cases were consolidated into In re:
Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 2:08-md-02002-GP,
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. The court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss
claims arising outside the limitations period applicable to each
cause of action. The court granted in part and denied in part the
motion to dismiss claims arising under certain state antitrust and
consumer fraud statutes and common-law claims for unjust
enrichment. The court denied without prejudice the motion to
dismiss a claim for a supposedly separate conspiracy in the egg
products sector. The indirect purchasers filed another amended
complaint, and the defendants filed a renewed motion to dismiss
all claims barred by the applicable statute of limitations. That
motion remains pending. Discovery is ongoing in this case.

                        The Non-Class Cases

Six of the cases in which plaintiffs do not seek to certify a
class have been consolidated with the putative class actions into
In re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation,  No. 2:08-md-
02002-GP, in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs in the non-class cases
pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania filed amended
complaints on February 10, 2012. All defendants filed a motion to
dismiss all claims barred by the statute of limitations. That
motion remains pending. Discovery is ongoing in this case.

On January 27, 2012, the Company filed its answer and affirmative
defenses in the non-class case pending in Kansas state court
styled as Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., et al., v. United
Egg Producers, et al., No. 10-CV-2171, and the Company joined
other defendants in the Kansas case in moving to dismiss all
claims for damages arising outside the three-year statute of
limitations period and all claims for damages arising from
purchases of eggs and egg products outside the state of Kansas.
The court took under advisement the limitations motion, pending a
ruling in another case that will determine whether the limitations
period in the Kansas case will be three or five years. The court
reserved judgment on the motion to dismiss claims for damages
arising from purchases of eggs and egg products outside the state
of Kansas until discovery reveals which sales occurred within
Kansas. In reserving judgment, the court stated that only sales
within Kansas would be relevant to any calculation of alleged
damages. Discovery is ongoing in this case.

                    Allegations in Each Case

In all of the cases described, the plaintiffs allege that the
Company and certain other large domestic egg producers conspired
to reduce the domestic supply of eggs in a concerted effort to
raise the price of eggs to artificially high levels. In each case,
plaintiffs allege that all defendants agreed to reduce the
domestic supply of eggs by (a) manipulating egg exports and (b)
implementing industry-wide animal welfare guidelines that reduced
the number of hens and eggs.

Both groups of named plaintiffs in the putative class actions seek
treble damages and injunctive relief on behalf of themselves and
all other putative class members in the United States. Both groups
of named plaintiffs in the putative class actions allege a class
period starting on January 1, 2000 and running "through the
present." The direct purchaser putative class action case alleges
two separate sub-classes -- one for direct purchasers of shell
eggs and one for direct purchasers of egg products. The direct
purchaser putative class action case seeks relief under the
Sherman Act. The indirect purchaser putative class action case
seeks injunctive relief under the Sherman Act and damages under
the statutes and common-law of various states and the District of
Columbia.

Seven non-class cases remain pending. In five of the remaining
non-class cases, the plaintiffs seek damages and injunctive relief
under the Sherman Act. In one of the remaining non-class cases,
the plaintiff seeks damages and injunctive relief under the
Sherman Act and the Ohio antitrust act (known as the Valentine
Act). In the other remaining non-class case, the plaintiffs seek
damages and injunctive relief under the Kansas Restraint of Trade
Act.

The Pennsylvania court has entered a series of orders related to
case management, discovery, class certification, and scheduling.
The Pennsylvania court has not set a trial date for any of the
consolidated cases. The Kansas state court has entered a schedule
for discovery and dispositive motions. The Kansas state court case
is set for trial starting February 3, 2014.

The Company intends to continue to defend these cases as
vigorously as possible based on defenses which the Company
believes are meritorious and provable.


CARROLS RESTAURANT: Settles Longstanding Litigation With EEOC
-------------------------------------------------------------
Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc., in a Form 8-K filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on January 8, 2013,
disclosed that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Carrols Corporation,
has entered into an agreement with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission resolving longstanding litigation
originally commenced by the EEOC in 1998.

The case, alleged that Carrols had subjected female employees
working at its locations to sexual harassment in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and attempted to
establish a class action based on a claim of "pattern or practice"
across its restaurants in 13 states.  Throughout this litigation
over the past 14 years, Carrols has strongly denied all the
allegations of the complaint and vigorously defended itself
against these claims.

In 2005, the Court dismissed the class or "pattern or practice"
claims that the EEOC had brought on behalf of 90,000 female
employees. The result of that decision and further rulings was to
leave only a relative handful of individual claims to be resolved
and a vindication of Carrols' longstanding written policies and
procedures.

Further litigation continued over the remaining claims, and in
order to avoid ongoing litigation costs, Carrols has now entered
into the agreement with the EEOC which fully resolves and settles
all remaining claims without any admission of wrongdoing. Under
the agreement, Carrols will make cash payments to the 89 remaining
claimants in the lawsuit totaling $2.5 million, with allocations
among the claimants being determined by the EEOC. Carrols agreed
to continue to uphold its obligations under Title VII and continue
to maintain its existing and comprehensive anti-harassment
policies and procedures and training programs. It also agreed to
make certain enhancements to such existing policies and procedures
and training programs and to report on the results of its efforts
to the EEOC over a 2 year period. The agreement with the EEOC is
subject to court approval.

Daniel T. Accordino, CEO of Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. stated,
"We unequivocally do not tolerate sexual harassment in our
workplace and have resolved this litigation without any admission
of wrongdoing after many years of intensive, costly and
frustrating litigation with the EEOC.  At Carrols, we take sexual
harassment very seriously and have long had comprehensive
procedures and processes in place to encourage our employees to
report violations to our policies and to do so without fear of
retaliation. We also have a long history of thoroughly
investigating employee complaints and terminating employees who
have harassed others."

Mr. Accordino continued, "We agreed to this negotiated settlement
at this stage of the litigation simply because the settlement
payment we've agreed to make is far less than the cost and expense
we would incur to continue to litigate each of the remaining
individual claims to conclusion given the age of the claims and
because hundreds of potential witnesses were now, after 14 years,
in scattered locations across the country, ill or deceased. Our
agreement with the EEOC to continue, and in limited circumstances
enhance, our best practices on harassment prevention and training
confirms our commitment to providing a workplace with equal
opportunity and free from sexual harassment."

Carrols has been represented in the litigation from its inception
by Mike Delikat and John Giansello of Orrick, Herrington &
Sutcliffe, New York and Jeffrey Mayer of Freeborn and Peters,
Chicago, Illinois.

Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. is Burger King Corporation's
largest franchisee, globally, with 572 BURGER KING(R) restaurants
as of December 31, 2012 and has operated BURGER KING(R)
restaurants since 1976. For more information on Carrols, please
visit the company's website at www.carrols.com


FISHER-PRICE INC.: Recalls 800,000 Rock 'N Play Infant Sleepers
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, New York, announced a voluntary
recall of about 800,000 units of Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper(TM).
Consumers should immediately inspect this product and stop using
it if mold is found.  Units currently in retail stores are not
included in this recall to inspect.

Mold can develop between the removable seat cushion and the hard
plastic frame of the sleeper when it remains wet/moist or is
infrequently cleaned, posing a risk of exposure to mold to infants
sleeping in the product.  The CPSC advises that mold has been
associated with respiratory illnesses and other infections.
Although mold is not present at the time of purchase, mold growth
can occur after use of the product.

Fisher-Price has received 600 reports of mold on the product.
Sixteen consumers have reported that their infants have been
treated for respiratory issues, coughs and hives after sleeping in
the product.

This recall to inspect includes all Fisher-Price Rock N' Play
infant recliner seats called sleepers.  The sleeper is designed
for babies up to 25 pounds and is composed of a soft plastic seat
held by a metal rocking frame.  The product has a removable,
fabric cover that is sold in 14 patterns and color palettes.
Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13087.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at mass
merchandise stores nationwide and online since September 2009 for
between $50 and $85.  Units currently in retail stores are not
affected by this recall to inspect.  Only products that show signs
of mold after use by consumers are included in this announcement.

Consumers should immediately check for mold under the removable
seat cushion. Dark brown, gray or black spots can indicate the
presence of mold.  If mold is found, consumers should immediately
stop using the product.  Consumers can contact Fisher-Price for
cleaning instructions or further assistance.  Cleaning and care
instructions can also be found at http://www.service.mattel.com/
or by contacting the firm.  Fisher-Price may be reached at (800)
432-5437, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through
Friday, or online at http://www.service.mattel.com/for more
information.


FLUSHMATE: Judge Tosses Multiple Claims in Toilet Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Gavin Broady, writing for Law360, reports that a California
federal judge on Jan. 4 stripped multiple claims from a class
action accusing Flushmate of misleading consumers about defects in
its pressurized flushing mechanisms despite knowing that the flaws
could cause toilets to explode and lead to property damage and
physical injury.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero determined that lead plaintiff
United Desert Charities had failed to support fraud and warranty
claims as well as allegations under California's Unfair
Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.


GLOBAL PAYMENTS: Awaits Ruling on "Willingham" Suit Dismissal Bid
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Global Payments Inc. is awaiting a court ruling on its motion to
dismiss an amended class action complaint filed by Natalie
Willingham, according to the Company's January 8, 2013, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Nov. 30, 2012.

A class action arising out of a processing system intrusion was
filed against the Company on April 4, 2012 by Natalie Willingham
(individually and on behalf of a putative nationwide class).
Specifically, Ms. Willingham alleged that the Company failed to
maintain reasonable and adequate procedures to protect her
personally identifiable information which she claims resulted in
two fraudulent charges on her credit card in March 2012.  Further,
Ms. Willingham asserted that the Company failed to timely notify
the public of the data breach.  Based on these allegations, Ms.
Willingham asserted claims for negligence, violation of the
Federal Stored Communications Act, willful violation of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act, negligent violation of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act, violation of Georgia's Unfair and Deceptive Trade
Practices Act, negligence per se, breach of third-party
beneficiary contract, and breach of implied contract.  Plaintiff
seeks an unspecified amount of damages and injunctive relief. The
suit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia.  On May 14, 2012, the Company filed
a motion to dismiss.  On July 11, 2012, Plaintiff filed a motion
for leave to amend her complaint, and on July 16, 2012, the Court
granted that motion.  Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on July
16, 2012. The amended complaint does not add any new causes of
action.  Instead, it adds two new named Plaintiffs (Nadine and
Robert Hielscher) and drops Plaintiffs' claim for negligence per
se.  On August 16, 2012, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
Plaintiffs' amended complaint.  The Plaintiffs' filed their
response in opposition to the Company's motion to dismiss on
October 5, 2012, and the Company subsequently filed its reply
brief on October 22, 2012.  At this stage of the proceedings the
Company cannot predict the outcome of the matter, but it intends
to defend the matter vigorously. The Company has not recorded a
loss accrual related to this matter because it has not determined
that a loss is probable.  Currently the Company does not have
sufficient information to estimate the amount or range of possible
loss associated with this matter.


GREENFIELD SCHOOL: Teachers File Suit Over Labor Law Violation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lisa Buchmeier at Courthouse News Service reports that public
school teachers filed a class action against a public school
district that claims it can cut their pay at will and fine them up
to $2,500 if they don't sign their contracts on time.

Lead plaintiff Kimberly Palmer sued the Greenfield School District
School Board on behalf of a class of 230 teachers, in Milwaukee
County Court. Greenfield is in the southwest Milwaukee
metropolitan area.

Ms. Palmer claims the district's 2012-2013 contracts are full of
illegal and unenforceable provisions: allowing the district to
fire or reduce the pay and benefits of tenured teachers for vague
and undefined reasons, and to fine them $1,000 to $2,500 if they
don't sign their contract by the time the district wants it, or
seek release from their contract.

Wisconsin has been Ground Zero in a nationwide fight over rights
of public employee unions ever since Gov. Scott Walker pushed his
so-called "Budget Reform Act" through the Legislature in March
2011.

The teachers claim:

    -- that the 2012-13 contracts illegally allow the district to
"make salary adjustments 'due to disciplinary action and/or
changes in full-time equivalency warranted by the district,'" in
violation of Wis. Stat.  118.21;

   -- that the contracts illegally allow the district to cut
salary and benefits "if in the sole discretion of the district,
the educator fails to meet the expectations referenced in the
contract, acts in a manner that is not in the best interests of
the district's students, fails to abide by the terms of the
Employee Handbook, fails to carry out the duties and
responsibilities of the job description, or if the district
decides to reduce the professional staff for financial or other
lawful reasons," in violation of Wis. Stat. 118.21, 118.21, and
state contract law;

   -- that the contracts illegally set up "a liquidated damages
schedule that begins assessing damages on June 1," with fines
beginning at $1,000, escalating to 2,500, for failing to sign
contracts by June 15, or seeking release from contract; this
"unlawfully assesses damages to teachers seeking release from
their contracts prior to the statutory date for acceptance."

   -- The contracts state "that failure to return a signed
contract would result in non-renewal of the teacher's contract,"
the teachers say: "A stigma is attached to being non-renewed by a
school district, as it suggests that a teacher's employment was
not continued for performance reasons or misconduct."

Counsel for the Greenfield Education Association sent a letter to
the school board president, objecting to the contracts'
provisions, but never received a response.

The class cites violation of Wisconsin Statute 118.21, under which
the school district must fix teachers' wages, violation of
Wisconsin Statute 118.22, under which the school district must set
the contract acceptance date at June 15, and violation of
Wisconsin Statute 118.23, under which it can terminate permanent
only employees for good cause.

The class is represented by Kurt Kobelt and Rebecca Ferber Osborn
of the Wisconsin Education Association Council.

They seek a declaration that the contracts are illegal and
unenforceable and that new lawful contracts for the 2012-2013
school year must be entered into.

They also seek damages for all loss of pay and/or benefits
resulting from the Greenfield School District's enforcement of the
illegal provisions.


HEICO LIGHTING: Recalls 3,900 Neon Sign Power Supply Transformers
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
manufacturer, HEICO lighting, a division of EMD Technologies, of
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and distributors: Denco Sales; Graphic
Solution; Hart Supply; Interstate Electric; Montroy Supply Co;
N.Glantz & Son; Pioneer Supply; Reece Supply Co; Sun Supply; and
Tubelite Co., announced a voluntary recall of about 3,900 Power
Supply Transformers.  Consumers should stop using recalled
products immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal
to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The transformers do not meet the UL standard for this product and
pose a fire risk.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

This recall involves neon power supply transformers designed to
power commercial signs.  They are in black metal boxes about 4.5
inches long by 3.5 inches wide with rows of vents on all sides.
"HEICO LIGHTING(TM)" and the model information are printed on a
plate on the transformer.  The recalled models include PLATINUM-
9000-30, PLATINUM-10000-30, PLATINUM-12000-30, TFT-04PL-6000-30,
and TFT-06PL-9000-30.  A picture of the recalled products is
available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13088.html

The recalled products were manufactured in Canada and sold by
HEICO lighting directly to ten distributors nationwide from
December 2011 through May 2012 for between $60 and $150.

Consumer should stop using these recalled power supply
transformers and unplug them immediately until a free replacement
transformer has been professionally installed.  Contact HEICO
lighting to schedule the free installation of a replacement
transformer.  HEICO lighting(TM) may be reached toll-free at (800)
665-1166, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through
Friday, or online at http://www.heicolighting.com/and click on
Products for more information.


HEWLETT-PACKARD: Lieff Cabraser and Outten & Golden File Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney Jahan C. Sagafi of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein,
LLP, and Adam T. Klein of Outten & Golden LLP announced the filing
on January 10 of a class action lawsuit charging that Hewlett-
Packard Company has a common practice of misclassifying its
technical support workers as exempt and failing to pay them for
all overtime hours worked in violation of federal overtime pay
laws.  HP employs several thousand technical support workers
nationwide.  Many of these employees worked at smaller companies,
such as Autonomy, Palm, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), 3Com,
ArcSight, and 3PAR, that have recently been acquired by HP.

"HP's success and substantial revenue come from the hard work and
long hours of its technical support workers, who keep information
technology infrastructure up and running," stated plaintiff Eric
Benedict.  "HP should not be allowed to underpay these workers in
violation of the law."

Plaintiff's counsel Jahan Sagafi noted, "This lawsuit seeks fair
compensation for the thousands of HP technical workers who form
the backbone of the company.  Their tireless overtime work, which
we allege has been unpaid, has helped fuel HP's success."

HP's technical support workers, who work in titles such as
Technical Solutions Consultants, Technical Solutions
Representatives, Technical Support Engineers, and Senior Technical
Support Engineers, among others, are responsible for installing,
maintaining, and/or supporting computer software and hardware.
The lawsuit alleges that these workers were unlawfully denied
overtime pay.

Current and former HP employees who perform hardware or software
installation, maintenance, or support work who wish to report
their work experiences or learn more about the lawsuit should
visit www.HPOTpay.com  The web page allows witnesses and employees
interested in protecting their rights to contact plaintiffs'
counsel.  A short video summarizing the case can also be seen on
YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z64tRhMXgN0

The lawsuit, entitled Benedict v. Hewlett-Packard Company, Case
No. 13-0119, was filed in United States District Court in San
Francisco, California.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is a sixty-plus attorney
law firm that has represented plaintiffs nationwide since 1972.
The firm has offices in San Francisco, New York, and Nashville.
Lieff Cabraser has a comprehensive and diverse practice which
includes representing employees in wage and hour class action
lawsuits seeking overtime pay.  Since 2003, the National Law
Journal has selected Lieff Cabraser as one of the top plaintiffs'
law firms in the nation.  Learn more at www.lieffcabraser.com

Outten & Golden LLP is a thirty-plus attorney firm with offices in
New York, Chicago, and Stamford, CT. O&G represents plaintiffs in
a wide variety of employment law matters, including national class
and impact statutory discrimination cases, major class-based wage
and hour violations, and contract negotiations. More information
on the firm can be found at www.outtengolden.com

Sources/Contacts:

          Jahan C. Sagafi
          Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
          Tel.: (415) 956-1000
          jsagafi@lchb.com

          Adam T. Klein
          Outten & Golden LLP
          Tel.: (212) 245-1000
          atk@outtengolden.com


KMART/SEARS: Faces Class Action Over Labor Law Violations
---------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Kmart/Sears makes hourly
employees work off the clock and stiffs them for earned, vested
vacation days, a class action claims in Federal court.


MONSANTO CO: Awaits Final Court Approval of "Bibb" Suit Deal
------------------------------------------------------------
Monsanto Company is awaiting final court approval of its
settlement of a lawsuit captioned Zina G. Bibb et al. v. Monsanto
et al., according to the Company's January 8, 2013, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Nov. 30, 2012.

On Dec. 17, 2004, 15 plaintiffs filed a purported class action
lawsuit, styled Virdie Allen, et al. v. Monsanto, et al., in the
Putnam County, West Virginia, state court against Monsanto,
Pharmacia and seven other defendants. Monsanto is named as the
successor in interest to the liabilities of Pharmacia. The alleged
class consists of all current and former residents, workers, and
students who, between 1949 and the present, were allegedly exposed
to dioxins/furans contamination in counties surrounding Nitro,
West Virginia. The complaint alleges that the source of the
contamination is a chemical plant in Nitro, formerly owned and
operated by Pharmacia and later by Flexsys, a joint venture
between Solutia and Akzo Nobel Chemicals, Inc. (Akzo Nobel). Akzo
Nobel and Flexsys were named defendants in the case but Solutia
was not, due to its then pending bankruptcy proceeding. The suit
seeks damages for property cleanup costs, loss of real estate
value, funds to test property for contamination levels, funds to
test for human exposure, and future medical monitoring costs. The
complaint also seeks an injunction against further contamination
and punitive damages. Monsanto has agreed to indemnify and defend
Akzo Nobel and the Flexsys defendant group, but on May 27, 2011,
the judge dismissed both Akzo Nobel and Flexsys from the case. The
class action certification hearing was held on Oct. 29, 2007. On
Jan. 8, 2008, the trial court issued an order certifying the Allen
(now Zina G. Bibb et al. v. Monsanto et al., because Bibb replaced
Allen as class representative) case as a class action for property
damage and for medical monitoring. On Nov. 2, 2011, the court, in
response to defense motions, entered an order decertifying the
property class. After the trial for the Bibb medical monitoring
class action began on Jan. 3, 2012, the parties reached a
settlement in principle as to both the medical monitoring and the
property class claims. The proposed settlement provides for a 30
year medical monitoring program consisting of a primary fund of up
to $21 million and an additional fund of up to $63 million over
the life of the program, and a three year property remediation
plan with funding up to $9 million. On Feb. 24, 2012, the court
preliminarily approved the parties' proposed settlement. A
fairness hearing was held June 18, 2012, and the parties await the
judge's ruling regarding final approval of the class settlement.


NOVA SCOTIA: To Fight Class Action Certification Over Abuses
-------------------------------------------------------------
David Jackson and Dan Arsenault, writing for The Chronicle Herald,
report that the province and the Nova Scotia Home for Colored
Children will both fight the certification of a class-action
lawsuit by former residents who say they were abused at the home.

The province attempted to file half-a-dozen boxes of court
documents on Jan. 7 in its fight against certification of a class
action by former Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children residents.

The home's lawyers also filed a box with eight coil-bound
documents in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in its argument against the
certification.

Jan. 7 was the deadline for submissions.

A courier delivered six boxes from the provincial attorney general
shortly before the court office closed at 4:30 p.m.  A court
staffer could be heard saying that the documents could not be
filed because they didn't appear to be sworn to.

So far, about 140 people have registered to be part of the class
action, said Michael Dull, the plaintiffs' lawyer.  They allege
horrific incidents of physical, sexual and emotional abuse over
several decades, up to the 1980s.

Opposition from the province and the home wasn't unexpected, he
said.

"Given the way that they've treated these claims for the last
decade, it's of no surprise that they're opposing the class
action," said Mr. Dull of Wagners law firm in Halifax.

"It's been evidenced from the beginning that they don't want these
victims to have the merits of their case heard in a court, and
they know, as we know, that a class proceeding is the most
efficient way to have the merits of the case heard before the
court, and so their opposition to a class action is hardly
surprising."

One of the home's lawyers, John Kulik of McInnes Cooper, said they
will argue that the situation doesn't meet the requirements of a
class action.

Mr. Kulik said the home's affidavit, which is from executive
director Veronica Marsman, states there are already 59 separate
actions alleging abuse that former residents have brought forward.

Some cases are more than 10 years old and already had defenses
filed, Mr. Kulik said.  Others have already been set for trial, he
said.

"One of the arguments we'll be putting forward on behalf of the
home is that this is not an appropriate case for (class-action)
certification because the cases have already been proceeding in
the normal course.

"In fact, some of the cases have already been dismissed."

The home's legal team has no problem with plaintiffs pursuing
their claims individually, but it believes there are too many
uncommon factors for a class action, he said.

"We say, in this case, there is nothing common between any of
these claims.  They differ in time, they differ in the allegations
being made, there are different alleged abusers involved. The
differences are so vast between all the claims that there's
nothing common a class action would achieve."

Justice Minister Ross Landry was on vacation and not available for
comment.  Department spokeswoman Rachel Boomer said the documents
speak for themselves.

The documents weren't available to be viewed on Jan. 7.

Some former residents have also called for a public inquiry into
their allegations, something both opposition parties support.

Mr. Landry and Premier Darrell Dexter had said last year that they
would not call an inquiry while a criminal investigation was
underway, although various legal experts said an inquiry could run
concurrently with it.

RCMP announced Dec. 13 that there was not enough evidence to
proceed with charges in the 40 separate cases of alleged abuse
that they investigated.

That same day, Mr. Landry said he would consult with "my
colleagues and with some other stakeholders and community people"
before making a decision on whether there will be an inquiry.

He didn't give a timeline for a decision but said it would be in
"the very near future."

A certification hearing for the class action is set for June.
Mr. Dull said it is possible more people could join the attempted
lawsuit.


PENTAGON: Continues to Defend Veterans' Suit Over Drug Experiments
------------------------------------------------------------------
Nick McCann at Courthouse News Service reports that the Pentagon
continues to fight claims that it owes medical care to a class of
veterans who were used as guinea pigs for Cold War-era drug
experiments.

Vietnam Veterans of America filed a class action against the Army
and CIA in 2009, claiming that at least 7,800 soldiers had been
used as guinea pigs in Project Paperclip.

The soldiers say they were administered at least 250 and perhaps
as many as 400 types of drugs, among them Sarin, one of the most
deadly drugs known, amphetamines, barbiturates, mustard gas,
phosgene gas and LSD.

Using tactics it often attributed to the Soviet enemy, the U.S.
government sought drugs that could control human behavior, cause
confusion, promote weakness or temporary loss of hearing and
vision, induce hypnosis and enhance a person's ability to
withstand torture, according to the complaint.

The veterans claim that some soldiers died, and others suffered
seizures and paranoia.

They say the CIA knew it had to conceal the tests from "enemy
forces" and the "American public in general" because revealing it
"would have serious repercussions in political and diplomatic
circles and would be detrimental to the accomplishment of its
mission."

After two failed attempts to dismiss the action, the defendants
succeeded last year in getting claims against Attorney General
Eric Holder and the CIA dismissed.

The Department of Defense and Department of the Army are still on
the hook.

In September 2012, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken granted the
plaintiffs class action status, which could make thousands of
veterans eligible for three types of relief.

The trial could force government agencies to notify participants
of the known health impacts of the substances they received,
mandate health care for those who have suffered diseases, and
guarantee due process for veterans who were denied benefits.

The plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment in December.

The crux of the veterans' argument is that Administrative
Procedure Act obligates the defendants to provide notice to test
subjects and to provide them medical care.

The Departments of Defense and the Army opposed the summary
judgment in a 77-page filing last week.

"In the end, plaintiffs' lawsuit amounts to no more than an
inappropriate attempt to micromanage (or completely overhaul)
comprehensive government programs through the courts," attorney
Joshua Gardner wrote for the Justice Department.

The government defendants claimed the veterans' constitutional
claims are based on "skewed reading" of Defense Department
regulations.

"Although plaintiffs have styled much of this lawsuit as one
challenging agency delay in the performance of a discrete legal
obligation, it is undisputed that the government has engaged in
decades-long efforts to reach out to test participants and assess
their health," Mr. Gardner wrote for the defendants.

The government says it used approximately 7,000 service members in
the Cold War experiments, and stopped the research in 1976.

It also tested mustard agents and lewisite during and shortly
after World War II and tested biological agents on 2,300 Seventh-
day Adventists who were conscientious objectors from the 1950s to
the early 1970s.

Around 2003, the Defense Department says, it renewed
investigations into its Cold War drug experiments, attempting to
identify service members who might have been exposed to chemical
and biological agents.

The defendants say the Veterans Administration and the Defense
Department began meeting regularly in November 2004 to discuss
this.

Both agencies agreed that the Pentagon would be responsible for
identifying test subjects, and the VA would locate and notify
them.

In 2006, the VA began sending notice letters to test participants,
informing them about the tests and providing them with information
about filing disability claims if they believed they were
suffering from chronic health problems from the tests, the
defendants say.

The government says it also developed a Web site with information
about the test programs and gave the veterans information about
obtaining their test files.

Because of this outreach, the government claims, the veterans
cannot claim that the agencies failed to give notice to the test
subjects.

"The government has already engaged in substantial follow-up
efforts with test participants and provided much of the very
information contained in plaintiffs' definition of 'notice,'" the
defendants wrote. "It has conducted multiple follow-up studies to
determine whether any long-term health effects may be associated
with any of the substances used in the test program, and those
studies generally have not detected any such health consequences.
It provided a letter to test participants for whom contact
information could be found notifying them that they may have
participated in tests, providing them with a means to obtain
additional information about their particular testing, and
informing them of [the Defense Department's] conclusion about the
potential of long-term health effects."

The defendants concede that the government has a legal obligation
to provide health care to veterans who can prove service-related
disabilities, but claim that the Veterans Administration should be
responsible for health care claims.

"It is undisputed that the VA provides comprehensive health care
to veterans such as plaintiffs in this case," the defendants
claim. "If the VA denies health care to which plaintiffs believe
they are entitled, there is a statutorily prescribed judicial
review scheme of such denials.

"Given this comprehensive statutory and regulatory system for
health care, plaintiffs cannot establish that they lack an
adequate remedy for their health care claims elsewhere."

The defendants also claim that the veterans failed to establish
any legal authority for a right to health care from the Army or
Defense Department.

Judge Wilken is scheduled to rule on the motion for summary
judgment on March 14.

The New Yorker magazine, in a Dec. 17, 2012, article, "Operation
Delirium," reported on Col. James S. Ketchum, who acknowledged
testing deadly chemicals upon hundreds of soldiers during his two
decades in the Army.

"Next year, a class-action lawsuit brought against the federal
government by former test subjects will go to trial, and Ketchum
is expected to be the star witness," The New Yorker Reported.


RITE AID CORP: Awaits Final OK of Ass. Managers' Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rite Aid Corporation is awaiting final court approval of its
global settlement of putative collective and class action lawsuits
asserting failure to pay overtime to salaried assistant store
managers and co-managers, according to the Company's January 8,
2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended December 1, 2012.


Since December 2008, the Company has been named in a series of
fifteen currently pending putative collective and class action
lawsuits filed in federal and state courts around the country,
purportedly on behalf of current and former assistant store
managers and co-managers working in the Company's stores at
various locations outside California, including Craig et al v.
Rite Aid Corporation et al pending in the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (the "Court") and
Ibea et al v. Rite Aid Corporation pending in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuits
allege that the Company failed to pay overtime to salaried
assistant store managers and co-managers as purportedly required
under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and certain state
statutes. The lawsuits also seek other relief, including
liquidated damages, punitive damages, attorneys' fees, costs and
injunctive relief arising out of the state and federal claims for
overtime pay. Notice was issued to over 7,500 current and former
assistant store managers and co-managers offering them the
opportunity to "opt in" to certain of the FLSA collective actions
and about 1,250 have elected to participate in these lawsuits. The
Company has aggressively challenged both the merits of the
lawsuits and the allegation that the cases should be certified as
class or collective actions. However, in light of the cost and
uncertainty involved in these lawsuits, the Company negotiated an
agreement with Plaintiffs' counsel on the key terms of a global
settlement. Subsequent to the end of the first quarter, the
Company entered into a settlement agreement with Plaintiffs'
counsel to resolve the series of lawsuits. The parties filed a
joint motion for preliminary approval of the settlement with the
Court which was granted on June 18, 2012. Any final resolution of
these matters will be subject to final court approval. The Court
held a final approval hearing on December 4, 2012.  During the
period ended June 2, 2012, the Company recorded legal reserves of
$20,900 related to the estimated settlement payments for these
matters.


RITE AID CORP: Discovery Proceeding in "Indergit" Collective Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the collective lawsuit captioned
Indergit v. Rite Aid Corporation et al pending in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
according to Rite Aid Corporation's January 8, 2013, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended December 1, 2012.

The Company has been named in two putative collective and class
action lawsuits, including Indergit v. Rite Aid Corporation et al
pending in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, filed in federal and state courts in New
York and Pennsylvania purportedly on behalf of current and former
store managers working in the Company's stores at various
locations around the country outside of California. The lawsuits
allege that the Company failed to pay overtime to store managers
as required under the FLSA and under certain state statutes. The
lawsuit also seeks other relief, including liquidated damages,
punitive damages, attorneys' fees, costs and injunctive relief
arising out of state and federal claims for overtime pay. The
Court in Indergit, on April 2, 2010, conditionally certified a
nationwide collective group of individuals who worked for the
Company as store managers since March 31, 2007. The Court ordered
that Notice of the Indergit action be sent to the purported
members of the collective group (approximately 7,000 current and
former store managers) and approximately 1,550 joined the Indergit
action. Discovery is proceeding. At this time, the Company is not
able to either predict the outcome of this lawsuit or estimate a
potential range of loss with respect to the lawsuit. The Company's
management believes, however, that this lawsuit is without merit
and not appropriate for collective or class action treatment and
is vigorously defending this lawsuit.


RITE AID CORP: Continues to Defend Wage and Hour Suits in Calif.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rite Aid Corporation continues to defend putative class action
lawsuits filed in state courts in California alleging violations
of California wage and hour laws, rules and regulations, according
to the Company's January 8, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended December
1, 2012.

The Company is currently a defendant in several putative class
action lawsuits filed in state courts in California alleging
violations of California wage and hour laws, rules and regulations
pertaining primarily to failure to pay overtime, pay for missed
meals and rest periods and failure to provide employee seating.
These suits purport to be class actions and seek substantial
damages.  At this time, the Company is not able to either predict
the outcome of these lawsuits or estimate a potential range of
loss with respect to the lawsuits. The Company's management
believes, however, that the plaintiffs' allegations are without
merit and that their claims are not appropriate for class action
treatment. The Company is vigorously defending all of these
claims.


RMJM: Eleven More Former Staff Join Minimum Wage Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Waite, writing for Architects Journal, reports that
another eleven former RMJM staff have joined a class action
lawsuit against the struggling practice.

New court papers seen by the AJ show that five new causes of
action have also been added to the initial complaint, made by ex-
senior HR manager Dana Byrne last November, which alleges
'numerous unlawful employment practices' by the AJ100 big hitter.

RMJM chairman Fraser Morrison has now been named among the
defendants, alongside chief executive Peter Morrison, commercial
directors Declan Thompson and Richard Bailes, in the amended
action lodged at the US District Court Southern District of New
York on Jan. 4.

As well as the original claims covering the "unlawful failure to
pay minimum wage . . . unlawful wage deductions' and the
"fraudulent concealment" of the cancellation of the group term
life insurance policy, the new papers also cite "unjust
enrichment" and ERISA violations -- breaches of the federal law
which sets minimum standards for pension plans for private
companies in the US.

The new plaintiffs are Gale LaCava, John Conroy, Paul Cresti,
Annette Ilagan, Roger Klein, Kevin McCausland, Steve Mylenski,
Jamie Palazzolo, Sean Roche, Sal Tomasiello and Brian Wong who all
worked at RMJM's New York office at 275 Seventh Avenue.

Meanwhile, it is understood creditors of RMJM Ltd, RMJM London Ltd
and RMJM Scotland Ltd., which went into administration last
October will not get any of their money back.  The dissolved
companies were acquired by the new RMJM European Division.

RMJM refused to comment on the court proceedings.

The plaintiffs are represented by David E Gottlieb at the New
York-based firm Thompson Wigdor.


ROMA BANK: D&Os Face Class Action Over Alleged Unfair Sale Process
------------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Davis, writing for The Times, reports that a class-action
lawsuit filed on Jan. 7 alleges that Roma Bank's board of
directors decided to sell the 92-year-old bank to Investors
Bancorp of Short Hills "by means of an unfair process and for an
unfair price."

The complaint filed in Superior Court argues that the $113.5
million that Investors Bancorp has agreed to pay Roma's common
shareholders is a "grossly inadequate consideration" given Roma's
holdings and earnings in recent years.  The deal values Roma's
shares at about $15.  The acquisition as a whole is worth $452
million.

The suit was filed by the New York law firm Levi & Korsinsky and
the lead plaintiff is shareholder Joseph Zalescik, a Hamilton fire
commissioner.

The suit argues that three "deal protection devices" in the merger
agreement unfairly prevent Roma from making a deal with other
bidders who might pay shareholders more than Investors.  One
provision prohibits Roma from soliciting or negotiating with other
potential buyers and another gives Investors three days to match
any other proposal.

"The merger agreement gives Investors Bancorp access to any rival
bidder's information and allows Investors Bancorp a free right to
top any superior offer simply by matching it," the complaint says.
"No rival bidder is likely to emerge and act as a stalking horse,
because the merger agreement unfairly assures that any 'auction'
will favor Investors Bancorp and piggy-back upon the due diligence
of the foreclosed second bidder."

The merger agreement also requires Roma to pay Investors a $12
million fee if it does accept an offer from a different buyer,
"essentially requiring that the competing bidder agree to pay a
naked premium for the right to provide the shareholders with a
superior offer," the suit says.

Roma Bank president and CEO Peter Inverso could not be reached for
comment on Jan. 7, but he has previously dismissed Levi &
Korsinsky's effort to attract plaintiffs for the suit, noting that
the law firm has investigated or sued numerous companies after
mergers or buyouts are announced.

"It's absolutely ludicrous," he said last week, before the suit
was filed. "These guys give attorneys a bad name. We consider this
really specious."

The firm previously sued in 2010 after Roma acquired Sterling Bank
for $14.7 million.  It announced an "investigation" of medical
software company Epocrates on Jan. 7 and of mobile car rental
company Zipcar last week, both of which are being sold to larger
companies.

The new suit argues that the purchase comes as Roma is "positioned
for tremendous growth."  But the bank has also been under close
regulatory scrutiny as some of its loans went bad and profits
dropped.  Roma had to cut its dividend last year and analysts were
calling for the bank to find a buyer, American Banker reported.

In addition to Mr. Inverso, the suit names as defendants
chairwoman Michelle Siekerka and directors Alfred DeBlasio, Thomas
Bracken, Robert Albanese, William Walsh, Jr., Dennis Bone, Robert
Rosen and Jeffrey Taylor.

The merger will bring a close to Roma's long history in Mercer
County.  It was founded in the Italian-American neighborhood of
Chambersburg in Trenton in 1920 and remained small for most of its
history.

Now headquartered in Robbinsville, it had its initial public
offering in 2006 and used the proceeds to fund significant
expansion, ballooning to 26 branches, and the Sterling takeover.
The board decided to sell the bank after determining it was a
better deal for its shareholders than transitioning to a fully-
public company, Mr. Inverso has said.  About 30 percent of Roma
stock is publicly traded.

For each share of Roma, stockholder will receive 0.8653 shares of
Investors, valuing Roma stock at about $15.


SOMERSAULT SNACK: Recalls Somersaults Cinnamon Crunch Packages
--------------------------------------------------------------
Somersault Snack Co., LLC, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) is voluntarily recalling all packages of
Somersaults Cinnamon Crunch products with Sell By Dates of
8/30/2013 or earlier.  The packaging of these products
inadvertently fails to declare the allergen milk which is
contained in a flavoring ingredient of these products.  As a
consequence, the packaging of the affected Somersaults Cinnamon
Crunch products fails to list milk as an ingredient/allergen
contained in the product.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the
risk of an allergic reaction if they consume these products.  The
product was distributed to retail stores nationwide.  No allergic
reactions have been reported.

    Somersault Cinnamon Crunch -- Package Codes/Sell By Dates
---------------------------------------------------------------
                     Case Code located      Product Code located
Item Description    on shipping case)         on product bag)
----------------    -----------------      --------------------
Cinnamon Crunch     10-8-98403-002-27-4    8-98403-002-27-7
12 ct; 6 oz.

Sell By Dates: 8/30/2013 or earlier
(located on the back of the bag)

Cinnamon Crunch     10-8-98403-002-27-4    8-98403-002-27-7
16 ct; 2 oz

Sell By Dates: 8/30/2013 or earlier
(located on the back of the bag)

Cinnamon Crunch     10-8-98403-002-24-3    8-98403-002-24-6
100 ct; 0.5 oz.

Sell By Dates: 8/30/2013 or earlier
(located on the back of the bag)

Cinnamon Crunch     10-8-98403-002-23-6    8-98403-002-22-2
36 ct; 1 oz.

Sell By Dates: 8/30/2013 or earlier
(located on the back of the bag)

Cinnamon Crunch     10-8-98403-002-22-9    8-98403-002-22-2
50 ct; 1 oz.

Sell By Dates: 8/30/2013 or earlier
(located on the back of the bag)

Cinnamon Crunch     N/A -- for samples     N/A -- for samples
Bulk 8 ct; 16 oz.   only                   only

Sell By Dates: 8/30/2013 or earlier
(located on the back of the bag)

Shipper 36 ct;      10-8-98403-002-26-7    8-98403-002-22-2
1 oz. SS CC

Sell By Dates: 8/30/2013 or earlier
(located on the back of the bag)

Somersault Snack Co. has taken the precautionary measure of
notifying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is
voluntarily recalling approximately 36,757 cases of the product
shown.  Pictures of the recalled products' labels are available
at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm334645.htm

This voluntary recall affects only Somersaults Cinnamon Crunch
products; no other Somersault products are affected by this
recall.

Somersault Snack Co. will work with retail customers to ensure
that the recalled products are removed from store shelves.  In the
event that consumers believe they have purchased products affected
by this voluntary recall, they should return the product to the
store where it was purchased for a full refund.  Consumers with
questions may call 415-407-9172 for more information.


STANDARD FIRE: Sup. Ct. Mulls Imposition of Class Action Limits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Stempel, writing for Reuters, reports that the Supreme
Court on Jan. 7 weighed whether to impose new limits on class-
action lawsuits, as it reviewed whether a homeowner's lawsuit
against his insurer belonged in a state court considered friendly
to plaintiffs.

During oral argument, several justices suggested that they saw
problems in the plaintiff's effort to keep his case in a Miller
County, Arkansas, state court known among some insurers as
something of a "magnet" for class-action cases.

Greg Knowles, whose house had sustained hail damage, in his
lawsuit accused Travelers Cos' Standard Fire Insurance Co unit of
refusing to pay for the cost of hiring general contractors.

He signed a stipulation to cap damages for class members at $5
million, the threshold at which the Class Action Fairness Act lets
companies move class-action lawsuits to federal court.

But some justices suggested that such stipulations were the kind
of tactic that Congress sought to stop with the 2005 law.

"The amount that's demanded seems to be totally meaningless,"
Justice Samuel Alito said.  "The $5 million just means nothing."

Chief Justice John Roberts suggested that Mr. Knowles' approach
could let two adjacent state county courts hear two $4 million
lawsuits for people with names from A to K and from L to Z, rather
than push the entire $8 million case to federal court.

"I take it you don't have any objection to that?" he asked David
Frederick, a lawyer for Mr. Knowles.

The Jan. 7 argument is the fourth class-action appeal of the
court's current term, and it came before a court that in recent
cases involving Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other defendants made it
harder to pursue class-action litigation.

Mr. Knowles had limited his case to state law claims by Arkansas
residents and sought to include potential class members his lawyer
did not represent.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis upheld the
stipulation to limit the size of his case.  But Standard Fire
argued that this improperly let Mr. Knowles bind potential class
members without court approval.

Theodore Boutrous, a lawyer for the Hartford, Connecticut-based
insurer, said Congress adopted CAFA out of concern about
plaintiffs' "abuses and manipulations" of amounts being sought and
wanted to protect defendants and absent class members.

"What has happened here is the plaintiff's lawyers, in addition to
these stipulations, they're slicing and dicing the classes up into
pieces to thwart jurisdiction," he said.

Mr. Frederick countered that a plaintiff, as "master" of his
lawsuit, could pursue his own strategies, and decide in good faith
that his case was worth no more than $5 million.

But Justice Stephen Breyer suggested it would be a "loophole" that
"swallows up all of Congress' statute" for a plaintiff to define
his case narrowly, and for his lawyers to bring several small
cases rather than one large case.

Justice Antonin Scalia, meanwhile, suggested that state courts
would be unwilling to cede jurisdiction even if other potential
plaintiffs were being short-changed.

"The state court could find, and I suspect this state court would
find, that it's worth the money to be in state court," he said.

A decision is expected by the end of June.

The case is Standard Fire Insurance Co v. Knowles, U.S. Supreme
Court, No. 11-1450.

According to The New York Times' Adam Lip Tak, the justices have
in recent years generally been sympathetic to efforts to address
what business groups say are abuses in class-action litigation.
The 2005 law, the Class Action Fairness Act, was a significant
overhaul meant to allow big class actions to be moved out of state
courts thought to be hostile to corporate defendants.

But the Supreme Court's task was made difficult, Justice Breyer
said, because the words of the law pointed in one direction and
its apparent purpose in the other.

The law allows defendants in class actions to have the cases
transferred -- removed, in legal jargon -- to federal court as
long as the proposed class has more than 100 members, at least one
of them is from a different state than a defendant and the amount
at stake is more than $5 million.

But that left lots of room for gamesmanship, Justice Breyer said.
For instance, he said, a plaintiff's lawyer might say that "what
we're going to do is we will divide our $25 million class action
into six subsidiary actions and proceed exactly the same merry
way."

The "words in the statute do favor that," Justice Breyer said.
"But the purpose seems to strongly cut the other way."

Other justices said the court should not impose a requirement that
Congress had not adopted in so many words.  The general rule in
ordinary litigations is that plaintiffs may frame their complaints
as they wish and agree to take less money than they might
otherwise be due in order to stay in state court.

Justice Elena Kagan said the usual rules should govern in class
actions unless Congress says otherwise.

"Congress was concerned about many things, and it did many
things," Justice Kagan said of the 2005 law, listing several
changes.  "Here's one thing it didn't eliminate.  It didn't
eliminate" the rule that plaintiffs can decide how to pursue their
cases.

"He gets to decide which claims to bring," she said of a
hypothetical plaintiff.  "He gets to decide how many years' worth
to ask for.  He gets to decide which defendants to sue."

Mr. Boutrous said a single class-action plaintiff should not be
allowed to sign away money that might be owed to other members of
the class.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared to agree.  "The statute
itself is silent" about the central issue in the case, Standard
Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles, No. 11-1450, she said.
"However, the individual -- the named plaintiff -- who has said,
'I'm not going to seek more than the $5 million,' cannot speak for
the members of the class who are absent."

But Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that question of whether the
named plaintiff was an adequate class representative could be
addressed when the state court eventually decided whether to
certify the class.

Mr. Boutrous said that approach would be "cold comfort" as it
would not protect the company in the meantime from "the problems
and abuses that Congress was concerned about."


TOYOTA MOTOR: Seeks Denial of Class Cert. Bid in Hybrid Cars Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew Heller, writing for Law360, reports that Toyota Motor
Corp. urged a California federal judge on Jan. 7 to deny
certification in a putative class action over an alleged defect in
the braking system of hybrid vehicles, saying consumers suffered
no injury because Toyota fixed the problem through a recall.

Toyota's attorney Michael Mallow said the "efficacy" of the
recall, which updated the software in the anti-lock braking system
of the 2010 Prius and the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, precluded
certification.


UNITED STATES: Settles Class Action Over Gay Service Members' Pay
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Windy City Times reports that former service members who are part
of a class action lawsuit challenging a Defense Department policy
that cuts in half the separation pay of those who have been
honorably discharged for "homosexuality" will receive their full
pay after a settlement announced on Jan. 7.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico had
filed a class action lawsuit against the policy, which was not
part of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" statute and so was not changed
when that law was repealed.

"There was absolutely no need to subject these service members to
a double dose of discrimination by removing them from the armed
forces in the first place, and then denying them this small
benefit to ease the transition to civilian life," said Laura
Schauer Ives, managing attorney for the ACLU of New Mexico.  "This
decision represents a long-delayed justice to these veterans."

The ACLU's class action lawsuit represented approximately 181
honorably discharged veterans who had their separation pay cut in
half because of the discriminatory policy.  The total amount of
separation pay withheld from those veterans is approximately $2.4
million.  The lead plaintiff in the case is Richard Collins, a
former staff sergeant in the Air Force who served for nine years
until he was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  Mr.
Collins was stationed at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico
before being seen by a co-worker exchanging a kiss with his
boyfriend in their car while stopped at an intersection off-base.

"This means so much to those of us who dedicated ourselves to the
military, only to be forced out against our will for being who we
are," said Mr. Collins.  "We gave all we had to our country, and
just wanted the same dignity and respect for our service as any
other veterans."

Under the settlement, all service members covered by the lawsuit
will be contacted by the government and notified that they are
eligible to opt in to the settlement and receive 100 percent of
the separation pay that they would have received had they been
discharged for any other honorable reason.  Federal law entitles
service members to separation pay if they have been involuntarily
and honorably discharged from the military after completing at
least six years of service in order to help ease their transition
to civilian life.

The settlement covers service members who were discharged on or
after November 10, 2004, which is as far back as the settlement
could extend under the applicable statute of limitations.

"It makes no sense to continue to penalize service members who
were discharged under a discriminatory statute that has already
been repealed," said Joshua Block, staff attorney for the ACLU
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project.  "The amount of the pay
owed to these veterans is small by military standards, but is
hugely significant in acknowledging their service to their
country."


WALMART: May Be Added as Defendant in Wage Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Josh Eidelson, writing for The Nation, reports that in a tentative
ruling released on Jan. 7, District Court Judge Christina Snyder
signaled she intends to grant a request to add Walmart as a named
defendant in a federal class action lawsuit over alleged wage
theft at its California distribution centers.  The ruling is a
setback for the retail giant, which has maintained that it is not
legally responsible for the alleged abuses by its contractors and
subcontractors.  Judge Snyder was set to hear arguments from
attorneys for both sides on Jan. 7, and could issue a final ruling
within hours.

Walmart did not respond to a Jan. 5 request for comment on the
case, and did not immediately respond to an inquiry regarding the
decision.  A spokesperson for Warehouse Workers United, the union-
affiliated group supporting the plaintiffs, said that attorneys
were not immediately available to comment given the hearing
underway.  The tentative ruling follows strikes by subcontracted
warehouse workers in California and Illinois, and increased
scrutiny regarding Walmart contracting in the United States and
abroad.

As The Nation has reported, the lawsuit was brought by warehouse
workers moving Walmart goods in Southern California's Inland
Empire.  The workers were employed by staffing companies, which
were subcontracted by the logistics company Schneider, which was
hired by Walmart.  In 2011, after workers filed a federal lawsuit
and instigated a state investigation of alleged wage and hour
violations, subcontractor Rogers-Premier announced a mass layoff
of one warehouse's entire workforce.  Those terminations were
blocked last February, by a rare federal district court
restraining order.

The same court allowed Schneider -- rather than just its
subcontractors -- to be named as a defendant in the class action
suit over the alleged wage theft, Everardo Carrillo, et al. v.
Schneider Logistics, Inc., et al.  On November 30, the workers'
attorneys petitioned the court to add Walmart as a defendant as
well, based on evidence garnered during the discovery process.
They said that the workers exclusively moved Walmart products, and
that Walmart instructed Schneider when to refill ink in its
printers, and how many workers to assign to unload a particular
truck.

In an e-mail to The Nation that day, Walmart spokesperson Dan
Fogleman said, "We disagree with the plaintiffs' perception as
stated in their filing.  Walmart is Schneider's customer.  We have
a set of business needs that we pay them to meet just like any
company might hire an accounting firm to do taxes or an
advertising firm to help launch a new product."  Plaintiff
attorney Michael Rubin countered that Walmart owns all equipment
in the buildings, dictates that they be run in exactly the same
manner as Walmart's non-subcontracted warehouses, and keeps a
full-time Walmart manager on site.  "This is not a typical arms-
length customer-accountant or customer-tax lawyer relationship,"
said Mr. Rubin.

The Jan. 7 tentative ruling comes ten days after the US Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal from Schneider,
affirming two injunctions Judge Snyder issued against the
contractor.  The same day, The Wall Street Journal broke the news
that Walmart plans to implement an auditing system for labor
conditions in its subcontracted warehouses similar to the one in
place for its suppliers abroad.  That news was met with skepticism
from WWU and the nonprofit Workers Rights Consortium, whose
leaders charge that such auditing failed to prevent a deadly
factory fire in Bangladesh.

The Jan. 7 hearing lasted about half an hour, according to Mr.
Rubin.  He said that while Walmart argued once again that the
warehouse workers should not be able to add the retail giant as a
defendant, "the judge made quite clear in her response that
Walmart had established neither delay nor prejudice."  He
predicted that Judge Snyder would issue a final ruling confirming
the Jan. 7 tentative ruling sometime in the next 48 hours.

If that happens, the plaintiffs will file an amended complaint
naming Walmart as a defendant, and the company will have 30 days
to respond.  Mr. Rubin noted that Walmart could file a motion to
dismiss on the grounds that it is not a "joint employer" of the
workers, but said that based on the Jan. 7 tentative ruling, and
last month's appeals court decision rejecting a similar motion
from Schneider, "we have very little concern that Walmart could
succeed."

"This was great news from the plaintiffs' perspective," Mr. Rubin
told The Nation.  "We expect Walmart to share fully in the
responsibility for the legal violations committed against the
workers, and this will help us ensure that the case is brought to
an appropriate conclusion, in which the workers are compensated
for the years of wage theft they've been subjected to."


WOODSTOCK: Recalls Mislabeled Tamari Almonds Over Undeclared Soy
----------------------------------------------------------------
Woodstock(R) issued a voluntary recall of Woodstock Tamari
Almonds, because of an incorrect back label on packages of a
single Lot.  This mislabeling incident resulted in an undeclared
allergen (Soy).  People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity
to soy run the risk of a serious or life threatening allergic
reaction if they consume this product.

The front of the retail package is correctly labeled Woodstock All
Natural Tamari Almonds, 7.5 OZ.  However, the back of the retail
package has incorrect back label information -- including
Nutrition Facts, Ingredients, UPC# 0-42563-00838-3.  One code date
is affected: Best By: 10/24/13, Lot 12298, which appears on the
shipping case sticker and on the back of the retail pouch (ONLY
this Best By date is being recalled).  A picture of the recalled
products is available at:

         http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm334691.htm

The product was distributed to retailers in the following states
(Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota,
Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and District of
Columbia).

The recall was initiated when it was discovered that packages were
mislabeled by the packer.  Although soy ingredient is contained in
the product, the incorrect back label does not list soy in the
ingredients statement.  No other lot numbers of Woodstock Tamari
Almonds are affected.  In addition, the package bears the allergen
advisory statement "Manufactured on shared equipment in a plant
that processes peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat (gluten), and milk
products."

No illnesses have been reported to date in association with this
product.

Consumers can return the product to their place of purchase for a
full refund. Consumers with questions can contact the Company at
888-534-0246 x25154, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Eastern Time.

                       Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kaanapali Land Continues to Defend PI Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
Kaanapali Land, LLC, continues to defend asbestos-related
lawsuits, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended September 30, 2012.

Kaanapali Land, as successor by merger to other entities, and D/C
have been named as defendants in personal injury actions allegedly
based on exposure to asbestos. While there have been only a few
such cases that name Kaanapali Land, there are a substantial
number of cases that are pending against D/C on the U.S. mainland
(primarily in California). Cases against Kaanapali Land are
allegedly based on its prior business operations in Hawaii and
cases against D/C are allegedly based on sale of asbestos-
containing products by D/C's prior distribution business
operations primarily in California. Each entity defending these
cases believes that it has meritorious defenses against these
actions, but can give no assurances as to the ultimate outcome of
these cases. The defense of these cases has had a material adverse
effect on the financial condition of D/C as it has been forced to
file a voluntary petition for liquidation as discussed below.
Kaanapali Land does not believe that it has liability, directly or
indirectly, for D/C's obligations in those cases. Kaanapali Land
does not presently believe that the cases in which it is named
will result in any material liability to Kaanapali Land; however,
there can be no assurance in this regard.

On February 15, 2005, D/C was served with a lawsuit entitled
American & Foreign Insurance Company v. D/C Distribution and Amfac
Corporation, Case No. 04433669 filed in the Superior Court of the
State of California for the County of San Francisco, Central
Justice Center. No other purported party was served. In the eight-
count complaint for declaratory relief, reimbursement and
recoupment of unspecified amounts, costs and for such other relief
as the court might grant, plaintiff alleged that it is an
insurance company to whom D/C tendered for defense and indemnity
various personal injury lawsuits allegedly based on exposure to
asbestos containing products. Plaintiff alleged that because none
of the parties have been able to produce a copy of the policy or
policies in question, a judicial determination of the material
terms of the missing policy or policies is needed. Plaintiff
sought, among other things, a declaration: of the material terms,
rights, and obligations of the parties under the terms of the
policy or policies; that the policies were exhausted; that
plaintiff is not obligated to reimburse D/C for its attorneys'
fees in that the amounts of attorneys' fees incurred by D/C have
been incurred unreasonably; that plaintiff was entitled to
recoupment and reimbursement of some or all of the amounts it has
paid for defense and/or indemnity; and that D/C breached its
obligation of cooperation with plaintiff. D/C filed an answer and
an amended cross-claim. D/C believed that it had meritorious
defenses and positions, and intended to vigorously defend. In
addition, D/C believed that it was entitled to amounts from
plaintiffs for reimbursement and recoupment of amounts expended by
D/C on the lawsuits previously tendered. In order to fund such
action and its other ongoing obligations while such lawsuit
continued, D/C entered into a Loan Agreement and Security
Agreement with Kaanapali Land, in August 2006, whereby Kaanapali
Land provided certain advances against a promissory note delivered
by D/C in return for a security interest in any D/C insurance
policy at issue in this lawsuit. In June 2007, the parties settled
this lawsuit with payment by plaintiffs in the amount of
$1,618,000. Such settlement amount was paid to Kaanapali Land in
partial satisfaction of the secured indebtedness.

Because D/C was substantially without assets and was unable to
obtain additional sources of capital to satisfy its liabilities,
D/C filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern
District of Illinois, its voluntary petition for liquidation under
Chapter 7 of Title 11, United States Bankruptcy Code during July
2007, Case No. 07-12776. Such filing is not expected to have a
material adverse effect on the Company as D/C was substantially
without assets at the time of the filing. The deadline for filing
proofs of claim against D/C with the bankruptcy court passed in
October 2008. Prior to the deadline, Kaanapali Land filed claims
that aggregated approximately $26,800,000, relating to both
secured and unsecured intercompany debts owed by D/C to Kaanapali
Land. In addition, a personal injury law firm based in San
Francisco that represents clients with asbestos-related claims,
filed proofs of claim on behalf of approximately 700 claimants.
While it is not likely that a significant number of these
claimants have a claim against D/C that could withstand a vigorous
defense, it is unknown how the trustee will deal with these
claims. It is not expected, however, that the Company will receive
any material additional amounts in the liquidation of D/C.

Kaanapali Land, LLC, is the reorganized entity resulting from the
Joint Plan of Reorganization of Amfac Hawaii, LLC (now known as
KLC Land Company, LLC ("KLC Land")), certain of its subsidiaries
(together with KLC Land, the "KLC Debtors") and FHT Corporation
("FHTC" and, together with the KLC Debtors, the "Debtors") under
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, dated June 11, 2002.  It is
involved in agriculture and land development in Hawaii.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Thermon Group Has 2 Pending Exposure Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Thermon Group Holdings, Inc., and Thermon Holding Corp. have two
currently pending asbestos-related lawsuits against them,
according to the Companies' Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
September 30, 2012.

The Company states: "Since 1999, we have been named as one of many
defendants in 16 personal injury suits alleging exposure to
asbestos from our products. None of the cases alleges or has
alleged premises liability. Two cases are currently pending.
Insurers are defending us in one of the two lawsuits, and we
expect that an insurer will defend us in the remaining matter. Of
the concluded suits, there were seven cost of defense settlements
and the remainder were dismissed without payment. There are no
claims unrelated to asbestos exposure for which coverage has been
sought under the policies that are providing coverage.  We can
give no assurances we will prevail in any of these matters."

Thermon Group Holdings, Inc., provides thermal solutions for
process industries. The Company provides a range of products,
including heating cables, tubing bundles and control systems, and
services, including design optimization, engineering, installation
and maintenance services.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: IntriCon Corp. Still Defends Exposure Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
IntriCon Corporation continues to defend itself against asbestos-
related lawsuits, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2012.

The Company states: "The Company is a defendant along with a
number of other parties in lawsuits alleging that plaintiffs have
or may have contracted asbestos-related diseases as a result of
exposure to asbestos products or equipment containing asbestos
sold by one or more named defendants. Due to the noninformative
nature of the complaints, the Company does not know whether any of
the complaints state valid claims against us. Certain insurance
carriers have informed us that the primary policies for the period
August 1, 1970-1973, have been exhausted and that the carriers
will no longer provide a defense under those policies. We have
requested that the carriers substantiate this situation. The
Company believes it has additional policies available for other
years which have been ignored by the carriers. Because settlement
payments are applied to all years a litigant was deemed to have
been exposed to asbestos, the Company believes when settlement
payments are applied to these additional policies, it will have
availability under the years deemed exhausted. The Company does
not believe that the asserted exhaustion of the primary insurance
coverage for this period will have a material adverse effect on
the financial condition, liquidity, or results of operations.
Management believes that the number of insurance carriers involved
in the defense of the suits and the significant number of policy
years and policy limits, to which these insurance carriers are
insuring us, make the ultimate disposition of these lawsuits not
material to our consolidated financial position or results of
operations."

IntriCon Corporation is an international company engaged in
designing, developing, engineering and manufacturing body-worn
devices. IntriCon serves the body-worn device market by designing,
developing, engineering and manufacturing micro-miniature
products, microelectronics, micro-mechanical assemblies and
complete assemblies, primarily for bio-telemetry devices, hearing
instruments and professional audio communication devices.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Industries Still Defending PI Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., continues to defend lawsuits alleging
personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos, according to
the Company's Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30,
2012.

The Company states: "We were a co-defendant in approximately 280
cases asserting claims on behalf of approximately 700 plaintiffs
alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos.
These asbestos cases generally relate to production and sale of
asbestos-containing products and allege various theories of
liability, including negligence, gross negligence and strict
liability, and seek compensatory and, in some cases, punitive
damages.

"In every asbestos case in which we are named as a party, the
complaints are filed against multiple named defendants. In
substantially all of the asbestos cases, the plaintiffs either
claim damages in excess of a specified amount, typically a minimum
amount sufficient to establish jurisdiction of the court in which
the case was filed (jurisdictional minimums generally range from
$25,000 to $75,000), or do not specify the monetary damages
sought. To the extent that any specific amount of damages is
sought, the amount applies to claims against all named defendants.

"There are only seven asbestos cases, involving 25 plaintiffs,
that plead specified damages. In each of the seven cases, the
plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages based on a
variety of potentially alternative causes of action. In three
cases, the plaintiff has alleged compensatory damages in the
amount of $3.0 million for four separate causes of action and $1.0
million for another cause of action and punitive damages in the
amount of $10.0 million. In the fourth case, the plaintiff has
alleged against each named defendant compensatory and punitive
damages, each in the amount of $10.0 million, for seven separate
causes of action. In the fifth case, the plaintiff has alleged
compensatory damages in the amount of $20.0 million for three
separate causes of action and $5.0 million for another cause of
action and punitive damages in the amount of $20.0 million. In the
remaining two cases, the plaintiffs have each alleged against each
named defendant compensatory and punitive damages, each in the
amount of $50.0 million, for four separate causes of action.

"Historically, we have been dismissed from asbestos cases on the
basis that the plaintiff incorrectly sued one of our subsidiaries
or because the plaintiff failed to identify any asbestos-
containing product manufactured or sold by us or our subsidiaries.
We intend to vigorously defend these asbestos cases, and believe
we will continue to be successful in being dismissed from such
cases. However, it is not possible to predict the ultimate outcome
of asbestos-related lawsuits, claims and proceedings due to the
unpredictable nature of personal injury litigation. Despite this
uncertainty, and although our results of operations and cash flows
for a particular period could be adversely affected by asbestos-
related lawsuits, claims and proceedings, management believes that
the ultimate resolution of these matters will not have a material
adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity or results of
operations. Among the factors management considered in reaching
this conclusion were: (a) our historical success in being
dismissed from these types of lawsuits on the bases mentioned
above; (b) many cases have been improperly filed against one of
our subsidiaries; (c) in many cases the plaintiffs have been
unable to establish any causal relationship to us or our products
or premises; (d) in many cases, the plaintiffs have been unable to
demonstrate that they have suffered any identifiable injury or
compensable loss at all or that any injuries that they have
incurred did in fact result from alleged exposure to asbestos; and
(e) the complaints assert claims against multiple defendants and,
in most cases, the damages alleged are not attributed to
individual defendants. Additionally, we do not believe that the
amounts claimed in any of the asbestos cases are meaningful
indicators of our potential exposure because the amounts claimed
typically bear no relation to the extent of the plaintiff's
injury, if any.

"Our cost of defending these lawsuits has not been material to
date and, based upon available information, our management does
not expect its future costs for asbestos-related lawsuits to have
a material adverse effect on our results of operations, liquidity
or financial position."

Park-Ohio Holdings Corp. conducts its business primarily through
the subsidiaries owned by its direct subsidiary, Park-Ohio
Industries, Inc. The Company is an industrial supply chain
logistics and diversified manufacturing business.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Steel Partners Unit Still Defends 1,113 Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
An indirect subsidiary of Steel Partners Holdings L.P. has been
named as a defendant in 1,113 alleged asbestos-related toxic-tort
claims as of September 30, 2012, according to the Company's Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarterly period ended September 30, 2012.

A subsidiary of BNS Holding, Inc., has been named as a defendant
in 1,113 and 1,020 alleged asbestos-related toxic-tort claims as
of September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively. The
claims were filed over a period beginning 1994 through June 30,
2012. In many cases these claims involved more than 100
defendants. Of the claims filed, 891 and 694 were dismissed,
settled or granted summary judgment and closed as of
September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively. Of the
claims settled, the average settlement was less than $3,000. There
can be no assurance that the number of future claims and the
related costs of defense, settlements or judgments will be
consistent with the experience to date of existing claims.

BNS Sub has insurance policies covering asbestos-related claims
for years beginning 1974 through 1988 with estimated aggregate
coverage limits of $183,000,000, with $2,282,000 and $1,660,000 at
September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, in
estimated remaining self insurance retention (deductible). There
is secondary evidence of coverage from 1970 to 1973 although there
is no assurance that the insurers will recognize that the coverage
was in place. Policies issued for BNS Sub beginning in 1989
contained exclusions related to asbestos. Under certain
circumstances, some of the settled claims may be reopened. Also,
there may be a significant delay in receipt of notification by BNS
Sub of the entry of a dismissal or settlement of a claim or the
filing of a new claim. BNS Sub believes it has significant
defenses to any liability for toxic-tort claims on the merits.
None of these toxic-tort claims have gone to trial and, therefore,
there can be no assurance that these defenses will prevail. In
addition, there can be no assurance that the number of future
claims and the related costs of defense, settlements or judgments
will be consistent with the experience to date of existing claims;
and, that BNS Sub will not need to increase significantly its
estimated liability for the costs to settle these claims to an
amount that could have a material effect on the consolidated
financial statements.

Steel Partners Holdings L.P. is a global diversified holding
company that engages in multiple businesses through consolidated
subsidiaries, associated companies and other interests.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CCOM Group Unit Still Defends Fibro Suits
----------------------------------------------------------
CCOM Group, Inc.'s subsidiary continues to defend lawsuits
relating to alleged sales of asbestos products, according to the
Company's Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2012.

Universal Supply Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the
Company, is a New York corporation ("Universal").  On June 25,
1999, Universal acquired substantially all of the assets of
Universal Supply Group, Inc., a New Jersey corporation, including
its name, pursuant to the terms of a purchase agreement.
Subsequent to the acquisition, Universal Supply Group, Inc. (the
selling corporation) formerly known as Universal Engineering Co.,
Inc., changed its name to Hilco, Inc.  Hilco, Inc. -- "Universal
Predecessor" -- acquired the assets of Amber Supply Co., Inc.,
formerly known as Amber Oil Burner Supply Co., Inc., in 1998,
prior to Hilco's sale of assets to Universal.  The majority
shareholders of Hilco, Inc. were John A. Hildebrandt and Paul H.
Hildebrandt.

The Company understands that the Universal Predecessor and many
other companies have been sued in the Superior Court of New Jersey
(Middlesex County) by plaintiffs filing lawsuits alleging injury
due to asbestos. As of September 30, 2012, there existed 7
plaintiffs in these lawsuits relating to alleged sales of asbestos
products, or products containing asbestos, by the Universal
Predecessor. Subsequent to September 30, 2012, 1 action was
dismissed, which results in 6 remaining plaintiffs in these
lawsuits. The Company never sold any asbestos related products.

Of the existing plaintiffs as of September 30, 2012, 2 filed
actions in 2012, 3 filed actions in 2011 and 2 filed actions in
2010. There are 210 other plaintiffs that have had their actions
dismissed and 17 other plaintiffs that have settled as of
September 30, 2012 for a total of $3,364,500 paid by defendants
other than Universal. There has been no judgment against the
Universal Predecessor.

The Company's Universal subsidiary was named by 38 plaintiffs; of
these, 1 filed an action in 2012, 1 filed an action in 2010, 11
filed actions in 2007, 6 filed actions in 2006, 11 filed actions
in 2005, 5 filed actions in 2001, 1 filed an action in 2000, and 2
filed actions in 1999. Thirty-four plaintiffs naming Universal
have had their actions dismissed and, of the total $3,364,500 of
settled actions, 3 plaintiffs naming Universal have settled for
$27,500.  No money was paid by Universal in connection with any
settlement. Following these dismissed and settled actions there
exists 1 plaintiff that named Universal as of September 30, 2012.

The Company has been indemnified against asbestos-based claims,
and insurance companies are defending the interests of the
Universal Predecessor and the Company in these cases.

Based on advice of counsel, the Company believes that none of the
litigation that was brought against the Company's Universal
subsidiary through September 30, 2012 is material, and that the
only material litigation that was brought against the Universal
Predecessor through that date was Rhodes v. A.O. Smith
Corporation, filed on April 26, 2004 in the Superior Court of New
Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket Number MID-L-2979-
04AS. The Company was advised that the Rhodes case was settled for
$3,250,000 ("Settlement") under an agreement reached in connection
with a $10,000,000 jury verdict that was rendered on August 5,
2005. The Company was not a defendant in the Rhodes case.

The Company believes that Rhodes differed from the other lawsuits
in that plaintiff established that he contracted mesothelioma as a
result of his occupational exposure to asbestos dust and fibers
and that a predecessor of the Company was a major supplier of the
asbestos containing products that allegedly caused his disease.

CCOM Group, Inc., formerly Colonial Commercial Corp., operations
are conducted through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Universal
Supply Group, Inc. (Universal), The RAL Supply Group, Inc. (RAL),
and S&A Supply, Inc (S&A). The Company distributes heating,
ventilating and air conditioning equipment (HVAC), parts and
accessories, climate controls systems, appliances, and plumbing
and electrical fixtures and supplies, primarily in New Jersey, New
York, Massachusetts and portions of eastern Pennsylvania,
Connecticut and Vermont.


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

No further updates were reported in Andrea Electronics
Corporation's Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30,
2012.

Andrea Electronics Corporation designs, develops, and manufactures
microphone technologies and products for enhancing speech-based
applications software and communications primarily in computer and
business enterprise markets in the United States and
internationally.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ecology and Environment Unit Faces Consent Order
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ecology and Environment, Inc.'s subsidiary has yet to respond to a
proposed Compliance Order on Consent relating to asbestos
remediation, according to the Company's Form 10-K filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
July 31, 2012.

On September 21, 2012 the Colorado Department of Public Health and
Environment (the "Department") issued a proposed Compliance Order
on Consent (the "Consent Order") to the City and County of Denver
("Denver") and to Walsh Environmental Scientists & Engineers LLC
("Walsh Environmental").  Walsh Environmental is a majority-owned
subsidiary of Ecology and Environment, Inc.  The proposed Consent
Order concerns construction improvement activities of certain
property owned by Denver which was the subject of asbestos
remediation.  Denver had entered into a contract with Walsh
Environmental for Walsh Environmental to provide certain
environmental consulting services (asbestos monitoring services)
in connection with the asbestos containment and/or removal
performed by other contractors at Denver's real property.  The
Consent Order, among other provisions, proposes a violation
penalty of $216,000, jointly and severally to be paid by Denver
and Walsh Environmental.  Under Walsh's Environmental consulting
contract with Denver, Walsh Environmental has agreed to indemnify
Denver for certain liabilities which would include the imposition
of this proposed penalty.  Walsh Environmental has put its
professional liability carrier on notice of this claimed penalty.
At this time, neither Walsh Environmental nor Denver have filed a
response to the September 21, 2012 draft Consent Order.  It is the
position of Walsh Environmental that it has fully complied with
all applicable Colorado laws, regulations and statutes in
connection with its role as an environmental consultant to Denver
and the claimed violations are not applicable to the activities of
Walsh in connection with its environmental consulting contract
with Denver.  The Company believes that this administrative
proceeding involving Walsh Environmental will not have an adverse
material effect upon the operations of the Company.

Ecology and Environment, Inc., an environmental consulting firm,
provides professional services to the government and private
sectors worldwide.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Covidien Unit Had 12,200 Cases at Sept. 28
-----------------------------------------------------------
As of September 28, 2012, there were approximately 12,200 asbestos
liability cases pending against Mallinckrodt, according to
Covidien Public Limited Company's Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
September 28, 2012.

Mallinckrodt Inc. is named as a defendant in personal injury
lawsuits based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing
materials. A majority of the cases involve product liability
claims, based principally on allegations of past distribution of
products incorporating asbestos. A limited number of the cases
allege premises liability, based on claims that individuals were
exposed to asbestos while on Mallinckrodt's property. Each case
typically names dozens of corporate defendants in addition to
Mallinckrodt. The complaints generally seek monetary damages for
personal injury or bodily injury resulting from alleged exposure
to products containing asbestos.

Covidien Public Limited Company's involvement in asbestos cases
has been limited because Mallinckrodt did not mine or produce
asbestos. The Company states: "Furthermore, in our experience, a
large percentage of these claims have never been substantiated and
have been dismissed by the courts. We have not suffered an adverse
verdict in a trial court proceeding related to asbestos claims,
and intend to continue to vigorously defend these lawsuits. When
appropriate, we settle claims; however, amounts paid to settle and
defend all asbestos claims have been immaterial. As of September
28, 2012, there were approximately 12,200 asbestos liability cases
pending against Mallinckrodt.

"We estimate pending asbestos claims and claims that were incurred
but not reported, as well as related insurance recoveries. Our
estimate of our liability for pending and future claims is based
on claim experience over the past five years and covers claims
either currently filed or expected to be filed over the next seven
years. We believe that we have adequate amounts recorded related
to these matters. While it is not possible at this time to
determine with certainty the ultimate outcome of these asbestos-
related proceedings, we believe that the final outcome of all
known and anticipated future claims, after taking into account
amounts already accrued and insurance coverage, will not have a
material effect on our results of operations, financial condition
or cash flows."

Covidien Public Limited Company is engaged in the development,
manufacture and sale of healthcare products for use in clinical
and home settings.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Still No Developments in "Scott" Suit vs. Chase
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chase Corporation states, in its Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
August 31, 2012: "We are 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 us in August 2005, to which we 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 October 2012,
there have been no new developments as this Ohio lawsuit has been
inactive with respect to us."

Chase Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is a global
manufacturer of tapes, laminates, sealants, and coatings for high
reliability applications.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Discovery Ongoing in "Jansen" Suit vs. Chase
-------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery remains ongoing in an asbestos-related lawsuit against
Chase Corporation in Wisconsin, according to the Company's Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended August 31, 2012.

The Company states: "We were 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 sued seven alleged manufacturers or distributors of
asbestos-containing products, including Royston Laboratories
(formerly an independent company and now a division of Chase
Corporation). The other defendants have each either settled or had
the complaint against them dismissed. We have filed an answer to
the claim denying the material allegations in the complaint. The
parties are currently engaged in discovery and motion practice."

Chase Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is a global
manufacturer of tapes, laminates, sealants, and coatings for high
reliability applications.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suit v St. Croix Renaissance Returns to State Ct.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Harvey Bartle III of the United States District Court for
the District of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Croix,
remanded to the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands an action
filed originally by 459 plaintiffs against St. Croix Renaissance
Group, L.L.L.P., asserting claims for personal injury and property
damage arising out of the alleged emission of hazardous materials
including bauxite residue (red mud and red dust), coal dust, and
friable asbestos from SCRG's property on St. Croix into the
adjoining neighborhoods over a period of years.  The Plaintiffs
allege that SCRG has maintained an abnormally dangerous condition,
that its conduct has constituted a public nuisance, a private
nuisance, and negligence, and that its actions have resulted in
intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief are
sought.

SCRG timely removed the action to the District Court on the ground
that the action is a mass action for which diversity subject
matter jurisdiction exists under the Class Action Fairness Act,
42 U.S.C. Sec. 1332(d).  The Plaintiffs filed a motion to remand.

In deciding against SCRG, Judge Bartle ruled that the Plaintiffs'
complaint does not qualify as a mass action under 28 U.S.C. Sec.
1332(d)(11)(B)(ii)(I) because all the claims arise from an event
or occurrence, that is, the continuous release of toxic substances
from a single facility located in the Virgin Islands, where the
resulting injuries are confined to the Virgin Islands.

The case is ELEANOR ABRAHAM, et al., v. ST. CROIX RENAISSANCE
GROUP, L.L.L.P., Civil Action No. 12-11 (V.I.).  A copy of Judge
Bartle's Decision dated Dec. 7, 2012, is available at
http://is.gd/vQA4lGfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Crane Co.'s Summary Judgment Motion
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of the Supreme Court, New York County,
denied the motion for summary judgment filed by Crane Co. seeking
to dismiss the asbestos-related personal injury action captioned
ROBERT ENGLE, SR. and LINDA ENGLE, Plaintiffs, v. AIR & LIQUID
SYSTEMS CORP., et al., Defendants, Docket No. 190172/11, Motion
Seq. No. 003 (N.Y.).  Judge Heitler determined that Mr. Engle's
testimony indicates that he may have been exposed to asbestos as a
bystander from asbestos-dust which emanated from valves, pumps,
and boilers being worked on by others.  While Judge Heitler
conceded that Mr. Engle himself did not specifically identify
Crane valves as a source of his exposure, Judge Heitler noted that
the blueprints submitted by plaintiffs show that Crane valves were
integrated into the ship's boiler room during its initial
construction.  In addition, while a construction took place a
decade before Mr. Engle began his U.S. Navy service, there is no
evidence to show that those valves were replaced prior to Mr.
Engle's Naval career, Judge Heitler also noted.

In light the documentary evidence produced in the case, coupled
with Mr. Engle's testimony, Judge Heitler found that there is
sufficient circumstantial evidence from which this defendant's
liability may be reasonably inferred.

A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision dated Dec. 10, 2012, is
available at http://is.gd/w48SkXfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pro-AFMI Insurance Exclusion Ruling Affirmed
-------------------------------------------------------------
Michael D. Phillips filed a lawsuit against Daniel G. Parmalle
arising out of damages Phillips sustained as a result of the
dispersal of asbestos in a 20-unit apartment building that he
purchased from Parmelle.  Phillips sought damages for breach of
contract/warranty, a violation of WIS. STAT. Secs. 895.446 and
943.20 (2009-10), negligence, and punitive damages.

Phillips, Perry A. Petta, and Walkers Point Marble Arcade, Inc.,
appeal a trial court's order granting declaratory and summary
judgment to American Family Mutual Insurance Company, an
intervening defendant that issued a business owner's policy to
Aquila Group, LLC, an entity owned by Parmelee.  Parmelee sold the
apartment building to Phillips that was covered by the American
Family policy.  Phillips submitted that the trial court correctly
determined that there was an initial grant of coverage, but erred
in its determination that the asbestos exclusion found in American
Family's policy negated any insurance coverage for the damages
sought in the lawsuit and relieved American Family of the duty to
defend.

In a decision dated Dec. 11, 2012, the Court of Appeals of
Wisconsin, District I, affirmed the trial court's decision and
concluded that there was an initial grant of coverage; however,
the asbestos exclusion applies.  The Court of Appeals noted that
the language of the insurance provided that the exclusion would
include property damage caused by the accidental dispersal or the
mere presence of asbestos.

The case is MICHAEL D. PHILLIPS, PERRY A. PETTA AND WALKERS POINT
MARBLE ARCADE, INC., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS, v. DANIEL G. PARMELEE
AND AQUILA GROUP, LLC, DEFENDANTS, AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL
INSURANCE COMPANY, INTERVENING DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT, Appeal No.
2011AP2608 (Wis.).  A copy of the Court of Appeals' Decision is
available at http://is.gd/Py7Bmwfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ct. Affirms Decision Favoring Abex Corp., et al.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, affirmed a
lower court's decision dismissing with prejudice Michael Gaskill's
complaint for personal injury, as a consequence of his pervasive
lies during discovery and his efforts to subvert the discovery
process.  Mr. Gaskill filed the complaint alleging that he
developed mesothelioma through the "inhalation and ingestion" of
asbestos dust and particles while working as a mechanic's helper
at "local auto body shops throughout Williamstown, New Jersey,"
and while assisting his grandfather in "extensive automotive
maintenance and repair work," beginning in the early 1980s.  The
13 named defendants were alleged to have marketed asbestos-
containing products for the automobile industry "which plaintiff
used or [to which he] was exposed."

As aptly observed by the lower court, the Plaintiff's deception
and lies about his work history have irretrievably obscured the
truth in the case, the Superior Court held.

The case is MICHAEL GASKILL, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ABEX
CORPORATION, formerly American Brake and Shoe Company, HONEYWELL
INTERNATIONAL, INC. individually and as successor to Allied
Signal, Inc. and Aftermarket Brake and Friction Materials Division
of Bendix Corporation, VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC., and FORD MOTOR
COMPANY, Defendants-Respondents, and AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR COMPANY,
INC., BORG-WARNER CORPORATION c/o Burns International Services
Corporation; CHRYSLER CORPORATION, GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION,
GENUINE PARTS COMPANY, MARTIN CHRYSLER, NISSAN NORTH AMERICA,
INC., TOYOTA MOTOR MFG. NORTH AMERICA, and QUALITY AUTO, as
successor in interest to Martin Auto Parts, Inc., Defendants, No.
A-4871-09T1 (N.J.).  A copy of the Decision dated Dec. 11, 2012,
is available at http://is.gd/sJlaGyfrom Leagle.com.

Mr. Gaskill is represented by:

         Arnold C. Lakind, Esq.
         SZAFERMAN, LAKIND, BLUMSTEIN & BLADER, P.C.
         101 Grovers Mill Road, Suite 200
         Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
         Tel: (609) 275-0400
         Fax: (609) 275-4511

              - and -

         David M. Lipman, Esq.
         THE LIPMAN LAW FIRM
         5915 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 44
         Coral Gables, FL 33146
         Tel: (305) 662-2600
         Fax: (305) 667-3361

Pneumo Abex LLC, as successor in interest to Abex Corporation, is
represented by:

         Edward P. Abbot, Esq.
         SMITH ABBOT, LLP
         SMITH ABBOT, LLP
         90 Broad Street, 4th Floor
         New York, NY 10004
         Tel: (212) 981-4501
         Fax: (212) 981-4502
         Email: edabbot@smithabbot.com

Honeywell International, Inc. f/k/a Allied Signal Inc., as
successor in interest to the Bendix Corporation, is represented
by:

         Ethan Stein, Esq.
         GIBBONS, P.C.
         One Pennsylvania Plaza, 37th Floor
         New York, NY 10119-3701
         Tel: (212) 613-2041
         Fax: (212) 554-9677
         Email: EStein@gibbonslaw.com

Volkswagon of America, Inc., is represented by:

         Jose E. Gaitan, Esq.
         THE GAITAN GROUP
         3131 Elliott Avenue, Suite 700
         Seattle, WA 98121-1047
         Tel: (206) 346-6000

            -- and --

         Michael B. Sena, Esq.
         HERZFIELD & RUBIN, P.C.
         125 Broad Street
         New York, NY, 10004
         Tel: (212) 471-8527
         Fax: (212) 344-3333
         Email: MSena@herzfeld-rubin.com

Ford Motor Company is represented by:

         Richard P. Cambell, Esq.
         CAMPBELL CAMPBELL EDWARDS & CONROY
         One Constitution Center, 3rd Floor
         Boston, MA 02129
         Tel: (617) 241-3061
         Fax: (617) 241-5115
         Email: rpcampbell@campbell-trial-lawyers.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tokyo Court Excluded 150 Plaintiffs From Payout
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Japan Times relates that the Tokyo District Court has ordered
the state to award some JPY1.06 billion in compensation to 158
workers who suffered lung diseases such as lung cancer and
mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos dust.  This is a
significant ruling in that it decided that the state's inadequate
regulations were responsible for the workers' sufferings.  Yet, it
is insufficient because the ruling did not award compensation to
about half of the plaintiffs.

The Nov. 5 ruling demonstrates that lawsuits are not an effective
mechanism to provide sufficient relief to workers who have
developed lung diseases through their exposure to asbestos dust.
The government, makers of construction materials and construction
contractors should heed the court's opinion expressed in its
ruling and jointly set up a fund to provide relief to such
workers.

The lawsuit was filed by 308 former construction workers in and
around Tokyo against the state and 42 construction material
makers.  They demanded payment of some JPY11.8 billion in
compensation.

The ruling said that in view of the spread of knowledge about the
health risks from exposure to asbestos dust, the government should
have ordered contractors to provide protective masks to workers
engaged in the work of spraying asbestos as of January 1974.  The
ruling also said that the government should have implemented the
same measure for workers handling materials containing asbestos
inside buildings as of January 1981.  The government prohibited
the use of asbestos in 2003 in principle and introduced a complete
ban in 2006.

In the case of workers engaged in asbestos spraying, the court
awarded compensation to those who did such work in and after 1974.
In the case of workers handling materials containing asbestos
inside buildings, the court awarded state compensation to those
who did such work in and after 1981.  Thus many workers were
excluded from state compensation.

The court also excluded self-employed subcontractors who engaged
in the same work from state compensation on the grounds that they
are not covered by the Industrial Safety and Health Law.  In view
of their working conditions, this court judgment is unreasonable.
The ruling also exempted construction material makers from
compensation responsibility.

The government and the Diet should heed the court's call for
taking legal steps to provide relief to workers who became ill
from handling asbestos.  The ruling also made it clear that if the
government had introduced strict regulations earlier to protect
workers, many of them would not have suffered from lung diseases.

Japan imported some 10 million tons of asbestos from 1950 to 2005
and most of it was used as construction material mainly during the
high economic growth period of the 1960s and 1970s.  As the
demolishment of buildings from this era will only increase from
now, the government and the construction industry must take
adequate measures to protect workers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Poindexter Village Abatement Project Stopped
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Ferenchik of The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Columbus
Metropolitan Housing Authority has stopped a contractor from
removing asbestos from windows at the shuttered Poindexter Village
public-housing complex after workers damaged brick while removing
windows and sills.

Community leaders thought the housing authority was starting to
demolish buildings before a required historic-review process was
complete.

But Bryan Brown, CMHA's senior vice president of business
development, said demolition has not begun.  Crews removed caulk
containing asbestos from around windows and began chipping away at
the surrounding brick because the caulk had seeped into the
mortar, Brown said.

Sills also were removed from four buildings.

"That was not what was supposed to have happened," Brown said.
The contractor needed to obtain CMHA's approval to chip away at
the bricks behind the window frames, he said.  The contractor was
supposed to remove the windows to take out the caulk, then put the
windows back in and board them up, he said.

CMHA plans to demolish all 35 of the brick buildings in the Near
East Side complex.  That plan has angered nearby residents and
others, because Poindexter Village is a cultural touchstone for
many in the city's black community.

A draft of a required review by the city's historic-preservation
office proposes studying 10 buildings for possible rehabilitation.

Randy Black, Columbus' historic-preservation officer, said he
takes Brown's explanation of what happened "at face value."  When
residents told him about the damage to the buildings, Black asked
Brown to stop the job.  He said Brown had offered to do so anyway.

Chief Baba Shongo, a member of the Poindexter Village History
Advisory Group and a former Poindexter Village resident, said
Brown is responsible if CMHA hired a contractor that made
mistakes.

"He's creating an eyesore, friction among the community," Shongo
said.  When he saw the damage, he "wanted to cry."

The Coalition for Responsible and Sustainable Development of the
Near East Side has proposed saving and redeveloping more historic
buildings through federal tax credits.  Jonathan Beard, a
coalition leader, said CMHA needs to rebuild trust with the
community.

"They have not earned the good will and credit to be able to
expect people to believe that it was a mistake," Beard said.
"That is unfortunate."

Brown said the windows, sills and damaged brick will not be
repaired because those buildings were not recommended for
preservation.

"We're going to tear them down," he said.

Asbestos removal is required whether the buildings are demolished
or preserved, he said, and CMHA "maintains the legal authority to
proceed with demolition at any time."

The owner of Watson General Contracting of Newark in Licking
County was out of town and unavailable to comment Dec. 26.

Poindexter Village, the city's first public-housing complex, was
dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940.  It was
built on the site of the "Blackberry Patch," the African-American
neighborhood named for the fruit that grew in the area.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Removal at Rideau Hall Attic Begins January
------------------------------------------------------------------
Don Butler of The Ottawa Citizen reports that an attic in the
official residence of Canada's governor general is contaminated
with asbestos.  And it's not the only place the hazardous material
can be found in the building.

The National Capital Commission has invited tenders for the
removal of asbestos from the attic of Rideau Hall's 1867 wing.
Remedial work will begin in January and should be completed by the
end of March.

According to NCC spokesman Jean Wolff, the attic is unoccupied and
the asbestos is "stable and contained" and poses no risk to human
health.

It is being removed to prepare for future copper roofing work,
which would likely disturb the asbestos, Wolff said.  Because
asbestos poses a risk when airborne, it's necessary to remove it
before the roofing work takes place, he said.

The work is part of a multi-year program to remove "designated
substances," including asbestos, from the six official residences
under NCC management, Wolff said.

He said Governor General David Johnston is aware of the pending
work and will remain in residence during the removal work.
"Normal activities at Rideau Hall will be carrying on as
scheduled."

Because much of the attic work will take place directly over
residential areas, the NCC has reserved the right to order a work
stoppage when the residences are in use, and to instruct the
contractor to either work elsewhere or stop work entirely.

The work will be subject to daily "aggressive clearance air
monitoring" at the perimeter of the site, and a consultant will
have the power to order a work shutdown if it appears that a leak
might occur or has already occurred.

Rideau Hall began life as the residence of stonemason Thomas
McKay, a Scottish immigrant who helped build the Rideau Canal.
McKay built a stone villa on the site and lived there with his
family until 1855.

In 1865, architect Frederick Preston Rubidge designed additions
that expanded Rideau Hall to three or four times its original
size.  It became the official residence of the governor general in
1867.

According to the tender documents, chrysotile asbestos is in
insulation and plaster finishes at five sites in the attic of
those additions.  However, asbestos is present in other parts of
the building as well, Wolff said.

"In some cases, it has already been removed," he said.  "In other
cases, it's been encapsulated and sealed so as not to pose any
threat."  Asbestos in the same attic area was encapsulated and
sealed in 2010.

Wolff said the asbestos was added during 20th century renovations
and has been in place for many decades.  Asbestos has also been
found in insulation at 24 Sussex Dr., the residence of Prime
Minister Stephen Harper.  Former Auditor General Sheila Fraser
detailed the building's many problems in a 2008 report.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: SC Favors Illinois Central's Forum Motion
----------------------------------------------------------
Bethany Krajelis of The Madison / St. Clair Record reports that a
Mississippi man's asbestos lawsuit should not be heard in St.
Clair County, the Illinois Supreme Court held Friday, Dec. 21.

Saying that "factors strongly favor dismissal in favor of a
Mississippi forum," the state high court, in a 5-1 ruling with one
justice not participating, reversed the lower courts' decision
that denied Illinois Central Railroad Co.'s forum non conveniens
motion.

Walter Fennell sued the railroad company in 2009, claiming he
developed respiratory problems after being exposed to asbestos and
other toxic substances during his career with Illinois Central.
He was one of 85 plaintiffs in a similar suit that was brought in
Mississippi and dismissed three years earlier.

In denying Illinois Central's forum motion, St. Clair County
Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto noted that the location of certain
evidence, as well as the area's interest in asbestos and a
relatively open trial docket, made St. Clair County a convenient
forum.

"Without belaboring the point, the circuit court failed to
recognize several private and public interest factors in its
analysis," Justice Charles Freeman wrote for the court.
"Accordingly, we remind our trial courts to include all of the
relevant private and public interest factors in their analyses."

Justices Rita Garman, Lloyd Karmeier, Ann Burke and Mary Jane
Theis made up the majority of the court.  Chief Justice Thomas
Kilbride dissented and Justice Robert Thomas did not participate
in the decision.

Pointing to Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert, Freeman wrote that some of
the private interest factors courts should consider in a forum
analysis include the convenience of the parties, ease of access to
evidence, availability to secure attendance of witnesses and the
possibility of viewing the premises, among others.

Relevant public interest factors, he added, include
"administrative difficulties caused when litigation is handled in
congested venues instead of being handled in its origin; the
unfairness of imposing jury duty on residents of a community with
no connection to the litigation; and the interest in having local
controversies decided locally."

Freeman said an additional consideration in a forum analysis is
deference to the plaintiff's choice of forum, as well as the
general idea that courts don't favor forum shopping.

"Although these controlling legal principles are generally
recognized, each forum non conveniens case is unique and must be
considered on its own facts," Freeman wrote in the opinion.

During oral arguments before the Supreme Court in September,
attorneys representing Illinois Central urged the justices to
reverse the lower courts in favor of a Mississippi forum,
emphasizing that Fennell lived in that state and never alleged
that his injury occurred in St. Clair County.

Saying that St. Clair County is a more convenient forum, Fennell's
attorneys focused their argument on "voluminous evidence" stored
at the defendant's law firm in Belleville and the location of
certain witnesses.

Freeman wrote for the majority that, "[W]e recognize that the
location of documents, records and photographs has become a less
significant  factor in forum non conveniens analysis in the modern
age of Internet, email, telefax, copying  machines, and  world-
wide  delivery  services, since those items can now be easily
copied and sent."

"We conclude that the ease of accessing these documents does not
outweigh the substantial inconvenience of requiring distant
witnesses to travel to Illinois," he added.

In addition, Freeman wrote that the only connection Fennell's
lawsuit has to Illinois is that the parties' attorneys have
offices in St. Clair County and that certain documents are located
and one plaintiff's expert witness is also located there.

"This does not provide a significant factual connection with the
instant case to justify imposition of the burdens of the
litigation upon the citizens and court system of St. Clair County
and Illinois," he wrote.

After balancing all of the relevant factors and "granting far less
deference to plaintiff's chosen Illinois forum," Freeman said "it
is clear that those factors strongly favor dismissal in favor of a
Mississippi forum."

He explained that the deference of Fennell's choice of a St. Clair
County forum "is significantly lessened" because Illinois was his
second choice of a forum following his unsuccessful suit in
Mississippi.

Kilbride, however, wrote in his dissent that "Although the
plaintiff's residence and the site of the injury are not located
in Illinois, his choice of forum is, nevertheless, still entitled
to deference."

"After reviewing the relevant private and public interest factors,
I believe they are fairly evenly balanced.  At most, they may
slightly favor trial in Mississippi," he wrote.  "The defendant,
however, has not met its burden of showing those factors 'strongly
favor' the Mississippi forum."

Kenneth Halvachs -- khalvachs@boylebrasher.com -- an attorney with
Boyle Brasher in Belleville, represented Illinois Central in
arguments before the court.  He did not immediately return a
message seeking comment.

Chicago attorney J. Timothy Eaton -- teaton@shefskylaw.com --
argued on Fennell's behalf.  He said he was disappointed with the
ruling and not sure yet whether his client would further petition
the state high court.

"I believe the court was influenced by the fact this was the
plaintiff's second choice of forum," he said, referring to the
dismissed Mississippi suit.

Saying the opinion was directed solely to the facts of this case,
Eaton said "I do not think this changes forum non conveniens
analysis in Illinois."

The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel had urged the
court in a friend-of-the-court brief to provide some guidance "as
to the appropriate factors for the forum non conveniens analysis
and the weight to be afforded to these factors."

The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association advocated against adopting
a bright-line rule in its own brief to the court, saying there is
already a multi-factor test in place to analyze forum non
conveniens.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NJ Court Dismisses Case Due to Plaintiff's Lies
----------------------------------------------------------------
Nathan Bass of Legal Newsline reports that a New Jersey court has
affirmed the trial court's decision to dismiss a case with
prejudice "as a consequence of plaintiff's pervasive lies" during
the discovery process.

Asbestos Tape Judges Carmen Messano, Joseph L. Yannotti, and John
C. Kennedy issued the per curiam opinion Dec. 11 for the Superior
Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

Plaintiff Michael Gaskill filed a complaint in the Law Division of
the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, on March 6,
2008, alleging that he developed mesothelioma while doing
automobile repair in "local auto body shops" and while working
with his grandfather, beginning in the 1980's.

He named 13 defendants who were alleged to have marketed asbestos-
containing products for the automobile industry which he claimed
he had used or was exposed to while doing the auto repair work.

Gaskill stated in initial interrogatories that he had regularly
worked with neighborhood mechanics "repairing and replacing brakes
and clutches" between 1981 and 1991.  Gaskill was born in 1975.

He stated that he "believe[d] he worked with and around" brakes,
clutches, and gaskets that were manufactured and sold by the
various defendants and that he was exposed to asbestos during this
period.

In depositions, he stated "he had helped his uncle and cousin in
the construction of two homes in the 1990s, but denied otherwise
working 'on a construction or demolition work site.'"

Evidence was presented during the discovery process that revealed
that plaintiff had worked for TLB construction on "many occasions"
and that Gaskill had contacted employees of the company "over
twenty-five times both before and after their depositions in
November 2008."

Prior to this evidence being presented, Gaskill had "denied
speaking about the lawsuit with anyone other than his lawyers and
family," according to the opinion.

One witness, Michael Massaro, stated in an affidavit that he had
worked with Gaskill at Hahnel and Sons Construction for "four or
five years in the mid-1990s" and that he and Gaskill had at times
"removed asbestos roofs and asbestos siding without wearing
protective respirators."

"In a supplemental statement, Massaro stated he grew up with
plaintiff and never saw plaintiff undertake any automotive work,"
the opinion states.

Massaro also indicated in a statement that Gaskill began calling
him in December 2008 in an effort to get Massaro to testify that
he knew Gaskill had worked on cars.

"According to Massaro, plaintiff stated he was 'about to get rich'
and offered to fly Massaro and his family to Florida for a
vacation in which 'we would not want [for] anything.'"

In later depositions, Gaskill admitted to lying about some of the
aforementioned facts as well as others.

In December 2009, defendants filed a joint motion to dismiss
Gaskill's complaint on the ground that he had perpetrated a fraud
on the court.  They asked the complaint be dismissed "with
prejudice" so that Gaskill would be barred from bringing suit
against them again.

"At this point, the truth is a question mark, and this Court does
not know how to now undo the web of lies and half-truths from the
truth," wrote Judge Ann G. McCormick in dismissing the complaint
with prejudice.

Gaskill appealed claiming that McCormick erred "based on specious
allegations of witness tampering and plaintiff's failure to
disclose inconsequential evidence."

The Appellate Court confirmed McCormick' decision "essentially for
the reasons expressed . . . in her thorough opinions from the
bench."

"In this case, plaintiff's deliberate concealment and outright
lies during the discovery process richly warrant imposition of the
ultimate sanction of dismissal of his complaint with prejudice.

"Further, plaintiff has engaged in a pattern and practice of bad
faith and lack of candor as well as submitting falsified material
to the Court.  His deceptions commenced with his first discovery
responses and continued to the eve of trial.  Hence, this factor
favors dismissal with prejudice.

"It is na‹ve to suggest, as plaintiff has in his brief, that he
has admitted his lies and will not lie again.  His deceptions and
lies pierce the heart of his cause of action.  Consequently, Judge
McCormick properly exercised her discretion in dismissing
plaintiff's complaint with prejudice."


                           *********

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

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