CAR_Public/130125.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, January 25, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 18

                             Headlines



AT&T: Sued Over False Promise of iPhones' Unlimited Wireless Data
BIOMIMETIC THERAPEUTICS: All Claims in "Sarafin" Suit Dismissed
C & H MEAT: Recalls 79,400 Lbs. of Pork and Chicken Products
CANADA: Plaintiffs in Class Suit vs. Ontario Seek Liberal's Help
CANADA: Free Credit Checks Sought Following Student Loan Data Loss

CARECENTRIX INC: FLSA Violation Class Suit May Proceed
CHINA GREEN: Still Awaits Ruling on Bid to Junk Securities Suit
COMMONWEALTH EDISON: Faces Utility Class Action in Cook Cty.
DELL: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims
EPOCRATES INC: Faces Suit Over Proposed Athenahealth Merger

ERA GROUP: Motion for Attorneys' Fees in "Superior" Suit Denied
GODADDY: 23 Victims of Revenge Porn Join Class Action
HASTIE GROUP: May Face Shareholder Class Action
HITACHI: Nearly 30,000 Minnesota Consumers File Claims in LCD Suit
HONDA: Faces Class Action Over Defective Locks in CR-Vs

IMPERIAL HOLDINGS: Has Yet to File Definitive Settlement Deal
IMPLUS FOOTCARE: Recalls 75,600 Perfect Fitness Resistance Bands
K-V PHARMACEUTICAL: Defends Class Suits in Various Jurisdictions
KB HOME: Hearing on Chinese Drywall Suit Accord Not Yet Concluded
MARYLAND: Faces Class Action Over Delayed Disability Benefits

MIPS TECHNOLOGIES: Signs MOU to Settle Merger-Related Suits
MRV COMMUNICATIONS: Signs MOU to Settle Derivative Class Suits
OCEAN PRIME: Sued For Not Securing Premises During Storm Sandy
POWERWAVE TECHNOLOGIES: Continues to Defend "Kmiec" Class Suit
SEI INVESTMENTS: Sup. Ct. to Hear Firms' Appeal for Protection

SIEMENS INDUSTRY: Recalls 57,000 Q-Series Temp. & Humidity Sensors
SEQWATER: 2,000 People Registered as Clients in Flood Class Action
SEQWATER: Class Action Over Queensland Flood Uncertain, IMF Says
STANDARD: Insurance Class Action Prompts Jurisdiction Debate
STANFORD: Investors Seek OK from S.C. to Pursue State Class Suits

STAPLES INC: Faces Suit in N.Y. for Misleading Consumers
SWIFT TRANSPORTATION: Received Final OK of Tennessee Suit Deal
WESTFIELD INSURANCE: Dismissal of "Sullivan" Suit Affirmed
WOLFGANG PUCK: Faces Suit in New York Over Unpaid Overtime Wages

* "Dukes" Ruling Dominated Legal Landscape in 2012 Workplace Suits

                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Va. High Ct. Flips Causation Standard Ruling
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Va. High Ct. Reverses $12.5M Ruling v. Exxon
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ill. Ct. Denies Appeal From CPA-Integrity Deal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Phillipsburg High School Removed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chicopee to Review Old Library Abatement Plan
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Man Cited for Moving Fibro at Old Garfield Mill
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Level at 17 Japan Bldgs Exceed WHO Standard
ASBESTOS UPDATE: MassDEP Cites Contractor for Safety Violations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Safe Strip UK Expands, Moves to Larger Site
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Doctor Asserts Chrysotile Can Indeed Lead to Meso
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contamination at Pembrokeshire Buildings Bared
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bathroom Renovation Endangers Colyton Family
ASBESTOS UPDATE: High Court Looks Into Pfizer's Bid for Shield
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Fibro Found Near Diggers Camp Water Supply
ASBESTOS UPDATE: FMP Group Faces 80 Potential Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bad Surveys, Poor Management End Up In Fines
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Congressman Puts Forth "Common Sense Waiver Act"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Study Alleviates Fears Regarding Carbon Nanotubes
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso-Sufferer Calls to Former Matlock Bath Peers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Secondary Fibro Exposure Among Irish Wives Noted
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hampshire Bosses Slams 2-Ton Toxic Fibro Dump
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abate X Awarded Farmington Library Cleanup Job
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Highland Middle School Abatement Pact Approved
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Virginia Supreme Court Reverses $17MM Meso Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: British Insurers Oppose NHS Reimbursement Bill
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Kills Cirencester Head Teacher
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kankakee Developer Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 297 Quake-Damaged Christchurch Homes Have Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rebidding On for Davison County Abatement Project
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Statute of Limitations in ARD Cases Addressed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Costs Hinder Salesian School Demolition
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Professionally Packed Hazmat Baffle Investigators
ASBESTOS UPDATE: UAW, Cleveland Law Firm Conduct Fibro Screenings
ASBESTOS UPDATE: San Jose-Based Abatement Firm Fined $180,000
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Illegal Fibro Abater Faces Imprisonment, Fine
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Somerville Public Library Closes for Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pakistan Fights Mesothelioma, May Fully Ban Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Legal System Reforms to Slash ARD Payouts
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sunderland NHS Fined for Toxic Fibers Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: North Harmony Abatement Project Contractor Named
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Drilling Rig Workers Hail Conoco Lawsuit Verdict
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Alert Up at Bushfire-Ravaged Coonabarabran
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Blackett Renovation Contaminates Neighbourhood


                           *********



AT&T: Sued Over False Promise of iPhones' Unlimited Wireless Data
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that AT&T and Apple sold iPhones
with the promise of "unlimited wireless data," then welshed on the
deal, a class action claims in East Baton Rouge Parish Court.


BIOMIMETIC THERAPEUTICS: All Claims in "Sarafin" Suit Dismissed
---------------------------------------------------------------
BioMimetic Therapeutics, Inc., disclosed in its January 14, 2013,
Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
that all claims in the class action lawsuit filed by Charles M.
Sarafin were dismissed.

On January 10, 2013, the United States District Court, Middle
District of Tennessee, dismissed all claims without leave to amend
the complaint in the purported securities class action lawsuit
captioned Charles M. Sarafin, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated v. BioMimetic Therapeutics, Inc., Samuel
E. Lynch, and Lawrence E. Bullock, filed in July 2011.

BioMimetic says it is gratified with the Court's ruling that this
lawsuit is without merit.  The plaintiffs have until February 11,
2013, to appeal the Court's decision if they choose to do so.


C & H MEAT: Recalls 79,400 Lbs. of Pork and Chicken Products
------------------------------------------------------------
C & H Meat Company, a Vernon, California establishment, is
recalling approximately 79,400 pounds of marinated pork and
chicken products because they are misbranded in that they contain
monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is not declared on the label,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service announced.

The products subject to recall include:

   * 10-oz. packages and bulk packages of Korean Brand
     BBQ Flavored Spicy Pork Butt

   * 10-oz. packages and bulk packages of Marinated Spicy Pork
     Butt

   * 10-oz. packages and bulk packages of Korean Brand
     BBQ Flavored Spicy Boneless Chicken Leg Meat

The products subject to recall may bear the establishment number
"EST. 4831" or "P-4831" inside the USDA mark of inspection.  These
products were produced on various dates through January 16, 2013,
and distributed to retail establishments and restaurants in
California.  Pictures of the recalled products' labels are
available at:

  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/RNR_005_2013/index.asp

The problem was discovered by FSIS personnel during a Food Safety
Assessment.  MSG is a sub-ingredient in the spice blend used to
make the product, but it was not listed on the final product
label.  FSIS and the Company have received no reports of adverse
reactions due to consumption of these products.  Anyone concerned
about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks (including at
restaurants) to verify recalling firms notify their customers of
the recall and to ensure that steps are taken to make certain that
the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall should contact
Steve Kim at (323) 261-5388.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS
virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or
via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.  "Ask Karen" live chat services
are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Eastern Time.  The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-
MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and
can be reached from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday
through Friday.  Recorded food safety messages are available 24
hours a day.


CANADA: Plaintiffs in Class Suit vs. Ontario Seek Liberal's Help
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marie Slark and Patricia Seth, plaintiffs in a class action
lawsuit between the Huronia Regional Centre (HRC) and the
province, are pleading with two Ontario Liberal leadership
hopefuls to help resolve their class action case quickly and
fairly.  On Jan. 21, letters detailing the plaintiffs' experiences
at HRC were sent to both Sandra Pupatello and Kathleen Wynne.

Patricia Seth went to live at HRC when she was just six years old
and was not discharged from the institution until 17 years later.
Ms. Seth said:  "Living there was like being in jail.  We had no
freedom.  We had no hope."  Marie Slark, who resided at HRC from
the age of seven until 16 said: "When I lived at Huronia I never
had any control of my life.  I hated it there."  Both women
recollect a childhood filled with abuse and fear.

Ms. Slark and Ms. Seth are proceeding with a class action lawsuit
against the Ontario government to seek justice and compensation
for the severe abuse they endured while residing at HRC.  HRC
opened in 1876, housing people who were deemed to have cognitive
and other disabilities.  At its peak, more that 2,500 people lived
at HRC and by the mid-1970s, the Ontario government operated 16
such facilities.  The Liberal government closed the last of these
institutions on March 31, 2009.

Now, former residents of HRC are seeking justice.  However, since
the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified their lawsuit as a
class action on July 30, 2010, government lawyers have, on
multiple occasions, needlessly delayed the process and progress of
the case.

These delays have been emotionally devastating for the plaintiffs,
many of whom are now elderly.  "Many of us will pass away before
we see justice," said Ms. Slark.  "But we won't give up.  It
wasn't okay what they did to us."

Koskie Minsky LLP is representing the former HRC residents
involved in the $2-billion class action lawsuit against the
province of Ontario.

The class action alleges residents of the HRC suffered inhumane
treatment from 1945 until its closure in 2009 and that the
province of Ontario failed to properly care for and protect those
under its care.

Contact: Celeste Poltak
         Koskie Minsky LLP
         Telephone: (416) 595-2701
         E-mail: cpoltak@kmlaw.ca


CANADA: Free Credit Checks Sought Following Student Loan Data Loss
------------------------------------------------------------------
CBC News reports that the federal government is suggesting a
number of free options to people worried about the cost of credit
checks after the personal data of 583,000 Canadians were lost.

The information was lost in early November when a portable hard
drive vanished, affecting people who received Canada Student Loans
between 2000 and 2006.

A spokeswoman for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
said people can ask the government to request a free credit report
from a credit bureau be mailed to them, and can also ask that
their social insurance number be flagged in the event unusual
activity is noted.  Neither of these options will provide real-
time credit updates, however.

The response comes after an Ottawa-area woman said federal
government officials told her she would have to pay C$14 a month
to a credit bureau to monitor her credit information.

Jennifer Britton, an Ottawa-area mother of three, is one of more
than half a million student loan recipients whose personal data
was lost by the federal government.

Ms. Britton plans to join a class-action lawsuit after St. John's
lawyer Bob Buckingham filed a statement of claim Jan. 17 on behalf
of all the affected Canadians.

Ms. Britton agreed the government should cover any costs
associated with protecting people who could be affected because it
was responsible for the lost information.

"I absolutely don't think that it should be on me and other former
students to pay this when it's the government's mistake," she
said.

Canada's assistant privacy commissioner, Chantal Bernier, said the
loss of so much personal data is "unprecedented," adding that her
office is investigating the incident.

"This is one of the biggest breaches we've ever seen," Ms. Bernier
told CBC News.

She also said privacy breaches are the danger that accompanies a
digital maintenance of data, but privacy commissioner's office is
considering audits of some particular departments, such as HRSDC.

"We should do an audit of selected departments based on the ones
that hold the most sensitive information to make sure that
everyone is indeed complying with the safeguards that need to be
put in place to protect it."

Mr. Buckingham has reached out to clients across Canada about
filing the lawsuit in response to the lost information.

His Web site, which outlined the pending lawsuit he intends to
file, received 75,000 hits as of Wednesday and more than 4,000
people have contacted him. To proceed, however, a class action has
to first be certified by a judge.

"We're saying hold tight while we file the class action and see if
we can get the government . . . to assist people in protecting
their identities, in the short term and the long term," said Mr.
Buckingham.  "The government has to acknowledge that this is a
circumstance that could exist and put something in place to
protect these individuals."

Mr. Buckingham said a lawsuit would push the government to cover
such credit protection safeguards and compensate for the stress
and fear on those involved.

The ministry said the personal data only belongs to the students,
not any spouses, parents or guarantors.  It is also monitoring the
affected SIN cards for any fraudulent activity.

The ministry has also banned all portable hard drives and
unencrypted USB keys, as of Jan. 11.


CARECENTRIX INC: FLSA Violation Class Suit May Proceed
------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Carlos Murguia of the United States District Court
for the District of Kansas denied a motion to dismiss the class
action lawsuit captioned PEGUES v. CARECENTRIX, INC.

Judge Murguia held that the plaintiff's complaint sufficiently
alleges each element of her FLSA claims so as to inform the
defendant of the claims and their general basis.  Moreover,
the plaintiff's complaint is not so vague that the defendant
cannot reasonably be required to respond it.  As such, the court
denies the defendant's motion for more definite statement.

Lizette Mara Pegues' lawsuit alleged that CareCentrix, Inc.
violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to keep accurate
records and by failing to pay overtime compensation.

A copy of the District Court's January 17, 2013 Memorandum and
Order is available at http://is.gd/UCqsjNfrom Leagle.com.


CHINA GREEN: Still Awaits Ruling on Bid to Junk Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
China Green Agriculture, Inc. is still awaiting a court decision
on its motion to dismiss a securities class action lawsuit in
Nevada, according to the Company's January 18, 2013, Form 10-K/A
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended June 30, 2012.

On October 15, 2010, a class action lawsuit was filed against the
Company and certain of its current and former officers in the
United States District Court for the District of Nevada (the
"Nevada Federal Court") on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
common stock between November 12, 2009, and September 1, 2010.  On
April 27, 2011, the court appointed the lead plaintiff and lead
plaintiff's counsel.  On June 13, 2011, lead plaintiff filed an
amended complaint, which adds several additional defendants and
expands the class period to include purchasers who purchased the
Company's common stock between May 12, 2009, and January 4, 2011.
The amended complaint alleges that the Company and certain of its
current and former officers and directors violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Sections 11,
12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, by
making material misstatements and omissions in the Company's
financial statements, securities offering documents, and related
disclosures during the class period.  The plaintiffs claim that
such allegedly misleading financial statements inflated the price
of the Company's common stock and seek monetary damages in an
amount to be determined at trial.  Defendants moved to dismiss the
amended complaint on October 7, 2011.  Defendants' motions are
fully briefed and the Nevada Federal Court had scheduled oral
argument for October 2, 2012.

On September 5, 2012, the Company received a letter from the staff
of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission notifying it that
the staff had completed its investigation of the Company and that
it did not intend to recommend any enforcement action against the
Company.

China Green Agriculture, Inc. is engaged in the research,
development, production and sale of various types of fertilizers
and agricultural products in the People's Republic of China though
its wholly-owned Chinese subsidiaries, Jinong, Jintai, Yuxing,
Gufeng.  Its primary business is fertilizer products, specifically
humic acid-based compound fertilizer produced through Jinong and
compound fertilizer, blended fertilizer, organic compound
fertilizer, slow-release fertilizers, highly-concentrated water-
soluble fertilizers and mixed organic-inorganic compound
fertilizer produced through Gufeng.  In addition, through Jintai
and Yuxing, the Company develops and produces agricultural
products, such as top-grade fruits, vegetables, flowers and
colored seedlings.


COMMONWEALTH EDISON: Faces Utility Class Action in Cook Cty.
------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Commonwealth Edison runs
"fishing expeditions" to try to shake money out of people who
don't owe it, for instance, for bills from a previous spouse, a
class action claims in Cook County Court.


DELL: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims
--------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Michael Dell et al. are
taking Dell private on the cheap, through an unfair process, for
$13 to $14 a share, shareholders claim in Travis County Court.


EPOCRATES INC: Faces Suit Over Proposed Athenahealth Merger
-----------------------------------------------------------
Epocrates, Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit arising from its
proposed merger with athenahealth, Inc., according to the
Company's January 16, 2013, Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

On January 11, 2013, Stephen Bushansky filed a class action
lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of California, County
of San Mateo, purportedly on behalf of the stockholders of
Epocrates, Inc., against Epocrates Inc. and its directors,
alleging, among other things, Epocrates' directors breached their
fiduciary duties to the stockholders of Epocrates in connection
with the proposed merger of Epocrates with athenahealth, Inc.  The
complaint seeks, among other things, to enjoin the defendants from
completing the merger as currently contemplated.

Epocrates and its directors intend to take all appropriate actions
to defend the lawsuit.

The Company says it is possible that additional similar complaints
may be filed in the future.  If this does occur, Epocrates does
not intend to announce the filing of any similar complaints.


ERA GROUP: Motion for Attorneys' Fees in "Superior" Suit Denied
---------------------------------------------------------------
Era Group Inc. and other defendants' motion for costs, expenses,
and attorneys' fees was denied in October 2012, according to the
Company's January 14, 2013, Form 10-12B/A filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

On June 12, 2009, a purported civil class action was filed against
SEACOR Holdings Inc., Era Group Inc., Era Helicopters LLC and
three other defendants (collectively, the "Defendants") in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Superior
Offshore International, Inc. v. Bristow Group Inc., et al., No.
09-CV-438 (D. Del.).  The Complaint alleged that the Defendants
violated federal antitrust law by conspiring with each other to
raise, fix, maintain or stabilize prices for offshore helicopter
services in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico during the period January 2001
to December 2005.  The purported class of plaintiffs included all
direct purchasers of such services and the relief sought included
compensatory damages and treble damages.  On September 4, 2009,
the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint.  On
September 14, 2010, the Court entered an order dismissing the
Complaint.  On September 28, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a motion
for reconsideration and amendment and a motion for re-argument
(the "Motions").  On November 30, 2010, the Court granted the
Motions, amended the Court's September 14, 2010 Order to clarify
that the dismissal was without prejudice, permitted the filing of
an amended Complaint, and authorized limited discovery with
respect to the new allegations in the amended Complaint.
Following the completion of such limited discovery, on February
11, 2011, the Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment to
dismiss the amended Complaint with prejudice.  On June 23, 2011,
the District Court granted summary judgment for the Defendants.
On July 22, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

On July 27, 2012, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the
District Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the
defendants.  On August 9, 2011, Defendants moved for certain
excessive costs, expenses, and attorneys' fees under 28 U.S.C.
Section 1927 (the "Fee Motion").  On October 9, 2012, the District
Court denied the Fee Motion.


GODADDY: 23 Victims of Revenge Porn Join Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------
Jessica Roy, writing for Betabeat, reports that last week, several
women -- some affiliated with Sarah's organization, End Revenge
Porn -- joined a class action lawsuit with the hopes of taking
down a prominent revenge porn Web site.

"I don't think that society really realizes how rampant it is,"
Sarah, a victim of revenge porn, told Betabeat in a feature it
wrote last month about the effort to put a stop to sites that take
intimate photos of women and publish them without their
permission.  "And right now," she added, "there's not a lot that
victims can do about it."

Hollie Toups, a 32-year-old resident of Beaumont, Texas, has
publicly come forward to discuss her painful experience with
revenge porn in an effort to encourage other victims to do the
same.  Ms. Toups is now one of at least 23 women who have signed
on to a class action lawsuit that seeks to prosecute the owners of
Texxxan.com and its hosting company GoDaddy for invasion of
privacy and mental anguish.  Texxxan.com hosts intimate photos of
women living in Texas that have been submitted without their
consent.

"I live in an extremely small town and the Web site was flooded
with people that I knew," Ms. Toups said.  "Those of us on there
go to the grocery store and everybody recognizes you.  Not
everybody says something, but you get a lot of like, 'Hey, do I
know you?' or, 'I recognize you from somewhere.'  But then you
also get people that will just come out and say it."

Like many victims of revenge porn sites, Ms. Toups told Betabeat
that some of her photos appear to have been uploaded by an ex-
boyfriend, while others she says she never sent to anyone and may
have been lifted from her phone or computer.  The photos had been
uploaded along with a link to her Facebook profile and real name,
so she received harassing messages for weeks after her photos
surfaced on the site.

"GoDaddy is profiting off of it," said John S. Morgan, Ms. Toups'
lawyer.  "The reality of it is at some level this issue of revenge
porn has to become a public discussion and a legislative
discussion and it raises issues of corporate responsibility.  Why
would an organization like GoDaddy want to give its name to this
type of Web site?"

GoDaddy told Betabeat, "We don't comment on pending litigation."

Considering the numerous repercussions that keep many victims
silent, Ms. Toups' decision to join the lawsuit under her real
name is brave.  Many revenge porn victims -- including Sarah --
are forced to remain anonymous or else face the wrath of vengeful
exes who find renewed motivation to post their pictures on porn
Web sites.  Because of the intimate nature of the photos, many
women are also embarrassed to publicly admit that they were
victims, and others are afraid of cyberbullying from the
passionate fandoms revenge porn proprietors attract.

Ms. Toups said she was "in a straight panic" for days after
discovering the photos, and e-mailed the site's owner to try to
get them taken down.  "They replied and said they would be happy
to remove the pictures for me if I would enter my credit card
information," she said.  "I went from being depressed and
embarrassed to being really pissed off."

Texxxan.com isn't the only Web site allegedly engaging in this
sort of blackmail enterprise.  Other revenge porn sites also
benefit both from posting photos and removing them.  Is Anybody
Down, a copycat site of Hunter Moore's infamous Is Anyone Up, has
a relationship with a third-party Web site called Takedown Hammer
that will scrub your photos from Is Anybody Down, but only for a
fee.

Is Anybody Down features ads for Takedown Hammer across its site,
and a link called "Get Me Off This Site!" takes you to a post
about Takedown Hammer's success in removing its clients' photos
from Is Anybody Down.  Takedown Hammer claims to be operated by a
New York-based lawyer named David Blade, III, but no such name
appears in the New York State Unified Court System's attorney
database.

Nevada-based lawyer Marc Randazza, who is representing Bullyville
founder James McGibley in a defamation suit against the revenge
porn proprietor Hunter Moore, has conversed extensively with the
profiteers of Is Anybody Down.  After studying the IP addresses
associated with the computers of Is Anybody Down's owner Craig
Brittain and the owner of Takedown Hammer, he told Betabeat that
the two sites are definitely both run by the same person.

"I have clear and convincing evidence that the exact same IP
address is being used by both e-mails from the Takedown Hammer and
Is Anybody Up," Mr. Randazza said.

Ms. Toups is unfortunately well-acquainted with this new form of
digital extortion, but initially struggled to find a lawyer
willing to represent her.  Many revenge porn victims want to sue,
but only anonymously, which makes it much more difficult to launch
a successful class action suit.

After several lawyers turned her down, Ms. Toups found John S.
Morgan, an attorney in Southeast Texas.  With the help of Mr.
Morgan and Sarah, Ms. Toups reached out to victims in her area to
see if they would be interested in joining the suit.  The class
action suit petition was filed in Orange County, Texas on Jan. 18.

"To anyone affected by this, I stress to you, you are not alone!
It's not your fault, and you did nothing wrong!" Ms. Toups wrote
in a statement representing the women involved in the suit.  "You
don't have to face this alone anymore.  I know the emotions you're
feeling and what you've been going through, and don't have to feel
ashamed! Hold your head high."

"I think 99 percent of victims get told no [by lawyers] so they
give up," Ms. Toups said by phone.  "I apparently was born with a
hardheaded trait that came in handy for once, and I refused to
accept the fact that there was nothing that could be done."

Many proprietors of revenge porn Web sites claim they are
protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,
which states that Web sites are not liable for content submitted
by users.

Mr. Morgan argues that because these sites knowingly post photos
without the subject's consent, and advertise their sites as such,
they aren't protected by this law.  He also noted that because
Texxxan.com only posts the photos of women living in Texas, he is
pursuing the case under state law instead of federal law.

Mr. Morgan also intends to sue all those who signed up for a
subscription on Texxxan.com, paying a monthly fee to get access to
more personal information of the women in the photos.  After news
of the suit broke, Texxxan.com became viewable only to its
members.

As for Ms. Toups, who's studying criminal justice and currently
works for the state as a mentor for kids, she's decided to turn
her experience into a vehicle for her to positively impact the
lives of other victims.

"Hollie reached out to me to see how she could help with the
cause," Sarah told Betabeat.  "I'm working closely with her and
the woman behind Women Against Revenge Porn to reach out to
victims, letting them know about our petition and our sites."
Sarah said that any lawyers interested in helping victims can
submit their contact info via the Legal Contacts page on End
Revenge Porn.

"I've been trying to figure out why this happened," Ms. Toups
said.  "Maybe it happened to me so I could help someone.  Several
of the girls that I've been in contact with have been suicidal and
I feel like if I had reached them sooner they would not even have
attempted that.  I'm one of the older ones -- most of them are
younger -- so I felt somebody has to start it.  And I knew that
once I did even the ones who were scared would end up coming out."

Ms. Toups said that since going public on a local Texas TV station
on Jan. 17, other girls have contacted Mr. Morgan hoping to join
the suit.

Despite mounting pressure from revenge porn victims, hackers and
lawmakers, the web's most notorious revenge porn entrepreneur,
Hunter Moore, is still at it.  On Jan. 18, Mr. Moore tweeted that
his TV show had been picked up, though declined to say for which
network.


HASTIE GROUP: May Face Shareholder Class Action
-----------------------------------------------
Lucy Battersby, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reports
that Hastie Group's former directors, auditor and corporate
advisors could face additional legal action from shareholders on
top of the action already flagged by administrators, after law
firm Slater and Gordon revealed it is investigating the viability
of a class action.

The legal firm has been approached by "dozens of affected
shareholders" since Hastie collapsed in late May 2012, according
to commercial and project litigation lawyer, Ben Hardwick.

However, no legal action has been filed and Slater and Gordon has
not yet secured any funding for action.

Mr. Hardwick said the firm has been contacted by shareholders and
former employees who purchased shares through a scheme, but has
been waiting for administrators PPB Advisory to release its
preliminary report.  The report recommends the company be put into
liquidation.

"At present the shareholders stand to gain nothing from this
liquidation process," Mr. Hardwick said.

"In the course of its investigation, Slater & Gordon will seek to
work with the administrators and any future liquidators of Hastie
in order to advance the interests of Hastie's shareholders," he
said.

In a report released on Jan. 21, PPB revealed there could be
grounds for former Hastie directors to be questioned in a public
examination, and recommends a liquidator investigate whether
directors breached their duties.  The report raises concerns about
auditing and advisory work done for Hastie by Deloitte.

Hastie shares soared as high as AUD40 during its seven years as a
listed company.  Shares were trading around AUD10 in early 2011
when the board downgraded earnings by AUD23 million and announced
it was considering a capital raising.  Shares last traded at 16
cents.


HITACHI: Nearly 30,000 Minnesota Consumers File Claims in LCD Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
John Ewoldt, writing for Star Tribune, reports that those who
bought LCD TVs, monitors or laptops might get their cash as soon
as May.

Given an easy way to get $25 to $100 or more, Minnesotans
responded in greater numbers than any other state except
California.

Consumers had until Dec. 6 to file a class-action claim against
nine LCD screen manufacturers such as Hitachi, LG, Sharp, Samsung
and Toshiba, who were found guilty of price fixing.

Nearly 30,000 Minnesota consumers and small businesses filed
claims on 471,578 panels.  Minnesota is one of 24 states
participating in the suit.  Nationwide, more than 235,000
consumers and businesses made claims made on 10.5 million panels,
even though several million Americans were potentially eligible to
apply.

The amount of money that each consumer will get per screen is
still being determined, but estimates range from about $65 for
monitors and laptops to $125 for TVs, according to Alison
Buckneberg, a communications specialist at Gray Plant Mooty in
Minneapolis, one of a dozen law firms that managed the $1.1
billion settlement in a San Francisco court.

When the class-action was first announced, estimates ranged from
$25 to $250.  The suit covers flat-panel TVs, computer monitors
and laptops purchased between January 1999 and December 2006.

Consumers who filed claims were originally told that refunds would
be mailed in early 2013.  It's still possible to meet that
deadline if the suit clears several hurdles, said San Francisco
attorney Joseph Alioto, who co-led the case against the
manufacturers.

On Jan. 31, the U.S. District Court will have a hearing to approve
the final part of the settlement.  After attorneys' fees from
nearly 100 law firms, Mr. Alioto estimates that the amount of the
distribution for consumers and businesses will be $775 million.

Other factors that may delay the checks include verifying claims
made by large businesses that are potentially getting millions of
dollars, rejecting claims sent by claimants living in states not
included in the settlement and handling objections to the
settlement.

Mr. Alioto said the objections could cause a delay of two to three
years, but he plans to ask the judge to allow claims to be
processed despite the objections.

"Unless it's a substantial enough issue to delay, I will ask for
an expedited distribution so that checks could be sent as soon as
three months after the judge issues her order on January 31," he
said.

The settlement is considered one of the most consumer-friendly
class-action lawsuits in recent years.  Since few consumers were
expected to have receipts from purchases made six to 12 years ago,
no proof of purchase was required, Mr. Alioto said.

Nor were consumers required to produce a manufacturer or model
number, in case the item had been discarded.  Many class-action
suits only provide consumers a discount on a future purchase, but
the LCD suit offered cash with the exact amount to be determined.

The $1.1 billion settlement is the largest-ever antitrust
settlement for a class-action suit on behalf of people who bought
a product from intermediaries such as retailers, wholesalers and
distributors.  "It's twice as big as the next-largest settlement,"
Mr. Alioto said.


HONDA: Faces Class Action Over Defective Locks in CR-Vs
-------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Honda CR-Vs in model years
2007-11 have defective door-locking actuators, a class action
claims in Federal Court.


IMPERIAL HOLDINGS: Has Yet to File Definitive Settlement Deal
-------------------------------------------------------------
Parties in a consolidated securities class action lawsuit against
Imperial Holdings, Inc. have yet to file their definitive
settlement agreement, according to the Company's January 16, 2013,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

On September 29, 2011, the Company, and certain of its officers
and directors were named as defendants in a putative securities
class action filed in the Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial
Circuit in and for Palm Beach County, Florida, entitled Martin J.
Fuller v. Imperial Holdings, Inc. et al.  Also named as defendants
were the underwriters of the Company's initial public offering.
That complaint asserted claims under Sections 11 and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended, alleging that the Company
should have but failed to disclose in the registration statement
for its initial public offering purported wrongful conduct
relating to its life finance business which gave rise to the
government investigation.  On October 21, 2011, an amended
complaint was filed that asserts claims under Sections 11, 12 and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933, based on similar allegations.
On October 25, 2011, defendants removed the case to the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

On October 31, 2011, another putative class action case was filed
in the Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit in and for Palm
Beach County, Florida, entitled City of Roseville Employees
Retirement System v. Imperial Holdings, et al, naming the same
defendants and also bringing claims under Sections 11, 12 and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933 based on similar allegations.  On
November 28, 2011, defendants removed the case to the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  The
plaintiffs in the Fuller and City of Roseville cases moved to
remand their cases back to state court.  Those motions were fully
briefed and argued, and a decision is pending.

On November 18, 2011, a putative class action case was filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, entitled Sauer v. Imperial Holdings, Inc., et al., naming
the same defendants and bringing claims under Sections 11 and 15
of the Securities Act based on similar allegations.

On December 14, 2011, another putative class action case filed in
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida,
entitled Pondick v. Imperial Holdings, Inc., et al., naming the
same defendants and bringing claims under Sections 11, 12, and 15
of the Securities Act based on similar allegations.

On February 24, 2012, the four putative class actions were
consolidated and designated: Fuller v. Imperial Holdings et al. in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, and Lead Plaintiffs were appointed.  In addition, the
underwriters of the Company's initial public offering have
asserted that the Company is required by its Underwriting
Agreement to indemnify the underwriters' expenses and potential
liabilities in connection with the litigation.

On December 18, 2012, attorneys for Imperial signed a Term Sheet
for Global Settlement Regarding Imperial Holdings, Inc. Matters
(the "Term Sheet").  Also signing the Term Sheet were attorneys
representing the plaintiffs in the previously disclosed class
action lawsuits and derivative actions instituted against the
Company as well attorneys for Imperial's director and officer
liability insurance carriers ("D&O Carriers"), certain individual
defendants named in the class actions and the underwriters in
Imperial's initial public offering.  The Term Sheet provides the
terms upon which each of the parties represented by the
signatories would be willing to settle the class action litigation
and derivative actions as well as the declaratory relief action
filed by Catlin, Imperial's primary D&O Carrier.

While non-binding and subject to certain contingencies, the Term
Sheet provides that each of the parties will endeavor to enter
into definitive settlement agreements in respect of the class
action litigation, derivative action and insurance coverage
declaratory relief complaint.  The Company expects to continue to
work in good faith with the other parties to the Term Sheet to
execute settlement agreements as soon as is practicable
thereafter.

The terms of the class action settlement include a cash payment of
$12.0 million, of which $11.0 million is to be contributed by
Imperial's primary and excess D&O Carriers; the issuance of two
million warrants for shares of the Company's stock with an
estimated value of $3.1 million at the date of the signing of the
Term Sheet.  The value of the warrants will be re-assessed at
issuance.  The warrants will have a five-year term with an
exercise price of $10.75 and will be issued when the settlement
proceeds are distributed to the claimants.  In addition, the
underwriters in Imperial's initial public offering are to waive
their rights to indemnity and contribution by Imperial.  The
Company established a reserve related to the proposed settlement
of $15.1 million, which is included in other liabilities and a
receivable for insurance recoverable from the Company's D&O
Carrier of $11.0 million, which is included in prepaid and other
assets.  The $4.1 million net effect of the settlement is included
in legal fees in the statement of operations for the three months
ended September 30, 2012.

The derivative actions subject to ratification, would be settled
for implementation of certain compliance reforms.  The Term Sheet
also contemplates payment by Imperial's primary D&O carrier of
$1.5 million for legal fees in respect of the derivative actions
and the contribution of $500,000 in Imperial stock.

In addition, the Term Sheet contemplates that Imperial will
contribute $500,000 to a trust to cover certain claims under its
director and officer liability insurance policies.

The Company established a reserve related to the proposed
derivative settlement and insurance trust of $2.5 million, which
is included in other liabilities and a receivable for insurance
recoverable from the Company's D&O Carrier of $1.5 million, which
is included in prepaid and other assets. The net effect of the
settlement of $1.0 million is included in legal fees in the
statement of operations for the three months ended September 30,
2012.

The proposed settlement also requires Imperial to advance legal
fees to and indemnify certain individuals covered under the
policies.  The obligation to advance and indemnify on behalf of
these individuals, while currently unquantifiable, may be
substantial and could have a material adverse effect on the
Company's financial position and results of operations.


IMPLUS FOOTCARE: Recalls 75,600 Perfect Fitness Resistance Bands
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
importer, Implus Footcare, LLC, of Durham, North Carolina, and
manufacturer, Dalps & Leisure Products Supply Corp, No. 5, of
China, announced a voluntary recall of about 75,600 Perfect
Resistance Bands.  Consumers should stop using recalled products
immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell
or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The bands can detach from the mesh cloth loops posing an injury
hazard to the user and those in the vicinity.

Twelve incidents were reported, 11 to the firm and one to CPSC,
including injuries to the back, hand and eye.  None of the
injuries was serious and one required medical attention.

The Perfect Bands are rubber tubes connected through a hole and
secured by grommets to cloth sewn into loops.  The bands can be
used alone or in conjunction with optional handles, which are sold
separately.  The bands are approximately 40 inches long and are
used for exercises described on the product packaging card and in
a Workout Chart available on line on the product Web site.
"Perfect Fitness" is printed on a tag on the cloth loop.  UPC
codes can be found on the package.  The recalled bands are:

   * Perfect Bands Heavy 25 lb. capacity
     with UPC Code 096506310354, color purple

   * Perfect Bands Very Heavy 30 lb. capacity,
     UPC Code 096506310361, color gray

   * Perfect Bands Ultra Heavy 40 lb. capacity,
     UPC Code 096506310378, color black

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13100.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at
WalMart, and online at http://www.perfectonline.com/for about $13
to $17.

Consumers should immediately stop using the product and contact
Implus Footcare for a refund or replacement product.  Implus
Footcare may be reached at (800) 446-7587 select option 2, from
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, e-mail
at recall@4implus.com, or online at
http://www.perfectonline.com/recalls/


K-V PHARMACEUTICAL: Defends Class Suits in Various Jurisdictions
----------------------------------------------------------------
K-V Pharmaceutical Company is defending itself against several
class action lawsuits pending in multiple jurisdictions, according
to the Company's January 14, 2013, Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

In 2008 and thereafter, a number of investors commenced
stockholder class actions against KV and certain of its current
and former directors and officers for purportedly making false or
misleading statements to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
("FDA") related to inspections of the Company's facilities in
violation of the federal securities laws.  As of August 4, 2012,
several other class actions, or purported class actions, are
pending against the Company and certain current and former
officers and directors in multiple jurisdictions.


KB HOME: Hearing on Chinese Drywall Suit Accord Not Yet Concluded
-----------------------------------------------------------------
KB Home said in its January 18, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
November 30, 2012, that the hearing on the approval of a global
settlement of lawsuits relating to defective Chinese drywall is
not yet concluded.

As of November 30, 2012, the Company was a defendant in 10
lawsuits relating to the allegedly defective drywall.  Seven of
these lawsuits are "omnibus" class actions purportedly filed on
behalf of numerous homeowners asserting claims for damages against
drywall manufacturers, homebuilders and other parties in the
supply chain of the allegedly defective drywall material.  The
Company is also a defendant in two lawsuits brought in Florida
state court and one lawsuit brought in Louisiana federal court, in
each case by individual homeowners.  On May 31, 2012, a global
settlement of claims relating to the allegedly defective drywall
material, including those brought against the Company, was
preliminarily approved by the federal court judge overseeing a
multidistrict litigation case -- In re: Chinese Manufactured
Drywall Products Liability Litigation (MDL-2047).

A fairness hearing on the preliminary global settlement was held
on November 13, 2012.  The hearing is not yet concluded.  If the
global settlement is finally approved and is accepted by all
parties in its current form, it will resolve all current claims
against the Company and bar any future claims against all
participating defendants, including the Company.  Some of the
plaintiffs have opted out of the global settlement, and the
Company will defend cases by those plaintiffs against the Company.
While the ultimate outcomes of the drywall-related lawsuits are
uncertain, based on the current status of the proceedings, the
Company does not believe the outcomes will be material to its
consolidated financial statements.


MARYLAND: Faces Class Action Over Delayed Disability Benefits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Yvonne Wenger, writing for The Baltimore Sun, reports that citing
a severe and chronic backlog, advocacy groups have filed a class-
action lawsuit accusing the state of failing low-income and
disabled Marylanders by regularly taking nearly a year to approve
medical assistance applications.

The lawsuit, filed in Baltimore Circuit Court on behalf of nearly
10,000 disabled adults, seeks to force the Department of Human
Resources to approve the Medicaid applications within 60 days, as
required by state law.  The advocates allege that nearly 46
percent of applications in 2012 were illegally delayed.

"As a result of the defendant's failures, low-income and
medically-needy individuals with disabilities cannot obtain needed
medical care and treatment and face serious, often life-
threatening health risks," according to the lawsuit by the Public
Justice Center, the Homeless Persons Representation Project and
the National Center for Law and Economic Justice.

Marylou Magee-Kern, a 47-year-old Reisterstown woman who lost
health insurance when her husband was laid off, is the lead
plaintiff in the case.  She has waited more than 230 days for the
state to approve her application, according to the lawsuit.

As a result, Ms. Magee-Kern hasn't been able to get treatment by
specialists -- except when hospitalized -- for kidney failure,
diabetes and hypertension, among other ailments.

The case is typical, said Carolyn Johnson of the Homeless Persons
Representation Project.

"People with serious medical conditions apply for Medicaid and
then wait months, often more than a year, for the state to process
their applications and provide benefits," Ms. Johnson said in a
statement.  "During that time, they can't afford to see doctors or
afford testing and treatment, including prescriptions and medical
supplies."

She added: "So they go without health care until serious
conditions deteriorate and become acute or life-threatening, which
often means they end up in the emergency room, costing the state
far more money."

Theodore Dallas, secretary of the Department of Human Resources,
said the agency has been working to improve its process for
determining eligibility for the entitlement programs.  Mr. Dallas
said the medical assistance applications are more complex than
most other benefit cases, because the federal government requires
an assessment of physical and medical disability.

"Because of the nature of the disabilities involved," Mr. Dallas
said, "applicants may have difficulty pulling together the
documentation that is required under federal and state law."

"Still, there is no question that more needs to be done,"
Mr. Dallas said in a statement.  "Well in advance of the lawsuit,
the department began efforts to improve determinations for these
specialized types of Medicaid cases."

Mr. Dallas said portions of federal health care reform that become
effective in January 2014 will simplify the application process
with changes to the documentation requirements.

"Until that welcomed change occurs, the department will continue
to execute on its plan to improve this process with or without the
presence of a lawsuit," the secretary said.

Mr. Dallas said when he arrived on the job in 2011, the Department
of Human Resources faced a court order to improve the time it took
for evaluating "virtually every type of benefit."

When that case was filed in April 2009, more than 4,000 food stamp
requests were delayed, as were 7,000 applications for medical
assistance for families.  Then in June, a Baltimore judge found
the state was meeting deadlines for enrolling Marylanders in
Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, Temporary
Cash Assistance and medical assistance for children and parents.

But advocates said problems persisted in approving applications
from disabled adults.  Camilla Roberson, an attorney for the
Public Justice Center, said low-income disabled adults need the
assistance to have access to doctors and prescriptions.

"These numbers represent real people, who are very vulnerable,
very sick and need treatment," Ms. Roberson said in a statement.
"These delays have been going on for years and are getting worse.
The consequences are felt by every poor applicant whose health
deteriorates each day he or she goes without needed care and by
society at large when it pays for emergency room visits and
hospitalization, as well as the lost potential for stabilization
or recovery."

Ms. Magee-Kern first filed her application for medical assistance
on May 29.  She received two letters from the state, one dated
June 28 and one dated July 30 that indicated "an agency delay has
occurred."

Ms. Magee-Kern received no further communication from the state
until Saturday -- after the lawsuit was filed.  The state now says
it is processing her application; she is still waiting to receive
benefits.

"You're borrowing off your brother.  You're borrowing off your
sister-in-law.  You're borrowing off your former boss," she said.
"It's been a really rough ride."


MIPS TECHNOLOGIES: Signs MOU to Settle Merger-Related Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
MIPS Technologies, Inc., entered into a memorandum of
understanding to settle merger-related class action lawsuits,
according to the Company's January 14, 2013, Form 8-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Current Report on Form 8-K is being filed in connection with
an agreement to settle certain  litigation relating to, among
other things, (a) the Patent Sale Agreement dated November 5,
2012, by and between MIPS Technologies, Inc., a Delaware
corporation ("MIPS" or the "Company") and Bridge Crossing, LLC, a
Delaware limited liability company  ("Bridge Crossing") and
acquisition vehicle of Allied Security Trust I ("AST") (the
"Patent Sale Agreement"), pursuant to which, among other things,
Bridge Crossing will acquire certain patents from the Company (the
"Patent Sale"), and  (b) the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated
November 5, 2012, by and among  the Company, Imagination
Technologies Group plc, a public limited company incorporated
under the laws of England and Wales ("Imagination Technologies"),
and Imagination Acquisition Sub, Inc., a Delaware corporation and
indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Imagination Technologies
("Merger Sub"), as amended on December 9, 2012, and December 16,
2012 (the "Merger Agreement"), pursuant to which, among other
things, Merger Sub will be merged with and into MIPS, with MIPS
surviving the merger as a subsidiary of Imagination Technologies
(the "Merger").

As previously disclosed in the definitive proxy statement filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") by MIPS on
January 7, 2013 (the "proxy statement"), on November 29, 2012, an
alleged stockholder filed a putative class action entitled
Capgrowth Group v. Sandeep S. Vij et al., Case No. 1:12-CV-236874,
in the Superior Court of the State of California, Santa Clara
County (the "Capgrowth Action").  The defendants are MIPS and the
members of MIPS' board of directors.  On December 18, 2012, the
plaintiff in the Capgrowth Action filed a first amended complaint
adding Imagination Technologies, Merger Sub and Bridge Crossing as
defendants.  In addition, as previously disclosed in the proxy
statement, on December 12, 2012, an alleged stockholder filed a
putative class action entitled Frank Minjarez v. MIPS
Technologies, Inc., Case No. 1:12-CV-237719, in the Superior Court
of the State of California, Santa Clara County (the "Minjarez
Action").  The defendants are MIPS, the members of MIPS' board of
directors, Merger Sub, AST and Bridge Crossing.

On December 12, 2012, an alleged stockholder filed a putative
class action entitled Ashish Shankar v. Kenneth L. Coleman, Case
No. 8103-VCN, in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware
(the "Shankar Action").  The defendants are MIPS, the members of
MIPS' board of directors, Merger Sub, Imagination Technologies,
AST, and Bridge Crossing.  In addition, as previously disclosed in
the proxy statement, on December 19, 2012, an alleged stockholder
filed a putative class action entitled John Mahlke v. MIPS
Technologies, Inc., Case No. 8127, in the Court of Chancery of the
State of Delaware (the "Malke Action").  The defendants are MIPS,
the members of MIPS' board of directors, Merger Sub, and
Imagination Technologies.

On December 27, 2012, the Court of Chancery of the State of
Delaware granted an order consolidating the Shankar Action and the
Mahlke Action into one action entitled In re MIPS Technologies,
Inc. Stockholder Litigation, Consolidated C.A. No. 8103-VCN (the
"Consolidated Action").

The complaints in the actions each allege, among other things,
that MIPS Technologies and the individual defendants breached
their fiduciary duties by omitting material facts from the
preliminary proxy materials filed by MIPS Technologies with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, in connection with the Patent
Sale and the Merger.

On January 3, 2013, MIPS Technologies, the individual defendants,
Bridge Crossing, AST, Imagination Technologies and Merger Sub
entered into a memorandum of understanding with the plaintiffs in
the Consolidated Action providing for the settlement in principle
of the claims brought on behalf of the class in the Consolidated
Action.  Although the parties to the memorandum of understanding
had agreed to include unlevered free cash flow projections in the
proxy statement as part of the agreement to settle the
Consolidated Action, the memorandum of understanding signed by all
parties inadvertently omitted the unlevered free cash flow
projections disclosure and it was not included in the proxy
statement.  These unlevered free cash flow projections are being
disclosed with the Form 8-K to correct that oversight.

On January 11, 2013, MIPS entered into a stipulation with the
plaintiffs in the Capgrowth Action and Minjarez Action in which
the parties agreed that the settlement in the Consolidated Action
in Delaware plus certain supplemental disclosures resolve the
claims asserted in the Capgrowth Action and the Minjarez Action.


MRV COMMUNICATIONS: Signs MOU to Settle Derivative Class Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
MRV Communications, Inc., a provider of optical communications
network infrastructure equipment and integration and managed
services, on January 16, 2013, announced that it has signed a
memorandum of understanding ("MOU") with plaintiffs and all
defendants in the derivative class action lawsuits that were filed
in 2008 related to the Company's past stock option granting
practices.  The MOU sets forth the agreement in principal among
the parties including terms upon which a Stipulation of Settlement
would be filed with the federal court in which the case has been
pending within the next month to dismiss with prejudice the
litigation and release all claims between the plaintiffs, MRV, and
the individual defendants named in the litigation.  The proposed
settlement is preliminary and is subject to agreement in good
faith upon a Stipulation of Settlement setting forth the terms
described in the MOU.  The settlement must then be approved by the
federal court in which the federal derivative lawsuit is pending.

The MOU states that the Stipulation of Settlement will include,
among other things, (a) a release of all claims relating to the
derivative actions for the Company, the individual defendants, who
are all former officers and directors of the Company, and the
plaintiffs; (b) $2.5 million in cash to be paid to the Company by
the Company's insurance carriers; (c) a requirement that the
Company pay to plaintiffs' counsel $500,000 in cash and 250,000
warrants to purchase the Company's Common Stock; (d) the Company
continues to pay applicable reasonable attorney's fees for the
individual defendants; (e) the Company cancel certain outstanding
options held by the individual defendants; and (f) a requirement
that the Company take certain corporate governance reform actions
(many of which have already been taken by the Company) including
implementing a clawback policy and undertaking reasonable efforts
to seek re-listing of the Company's Common Stock on NASDAQ.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement to settle this long-
standing litigation and will be seeking prompt court approval to
bring it to final conclusion," said Kenneth Traub, Chairman of
MRV's Board of Directors.  "MRV is now a stronger, more
disciplined and focused Company that is well positioned to
capitalize on the growing need for optical networking equipment
and services."

The case is captioned In re MRV Communications, Inc. Derivative
Litigation and Ke v. Margalit, et al.

The Plaintiffs in the suit are Warren Rubin IRA, Donald Gautreaux
and Jing Ke, and the Defendants are Noam Lotan, Shlomo Margalit,
Shay Gonen, Guy Avidan, Guenter Jaensch, Igal Shidlovsky, Daniel
Tsui, Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth and Baruch Fischer.

Both the federal District Court and the California Superior Court
have agreed to stay the litigation proceedings (subject to certain
intermediary deadlines being accomplished) through February 3,
2013, at which time the Stipulation of Settlement will be filed
with both courts.  There can be no assurance that either the
federal or state court will accept a Stipulation of Settlement
once the Stipulation has been filed.

                 About MRV Communications, Inc.

MRV Communications, Inc. is a global provider of carrier Ethernet,
wavelength division multiplexing optical transport, infrastructure
management equipment and solutions, as well as network integration
and managed services.  MRV's solutions enable the delivery and
provisioning of next-generation optical transport and carrier
Ethernet services over any fiber infrastructure.  MRV provides
equipment and services worldwide to telecommunications service
providers, enterprises and governments, enabling network evolution
and increasing efficiency, while reducing complexity and costs.
Through its subsidiaries, MRV operates development centers in
North America and Europe, along with support centers and sales
offices around the world.  For more information about MRV, visit
http://www.mrv.com


OCEAN PRIME: Sued For Not Securing Premises During Storm Sandy
--------------------------------------------------------------
Yin Hou, individually and on behalf of all other similarly
Plaintiffs v. Ocean Prime, LLC, Ocean Partners LLC, Ocean Partners
SPE Corp., Residential Management Group, LLC, d/b/a Douglas
Elliman Property Management, and Ocean Car Park, LLC, d/b/a GGMC
Parking, LLC, Case No. 150612/2013 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., January 22,
2013) seeks payment of damages arising out of the Defendants'
alleged failure to exercise due care to adequately secure, protect
or otherwise care for the real property located in West Street
subsequent to multiple warnings issued by the National Hurricane
Center and by the New York City government officials for residents
of lower Manhattan prior to "Superstorm Sandy."

According to the complaint, the Class Members observed that during
the storm, some basement doors and windows were left partially
open, and witnessed flood waters entering the Premises through the
basement windows and doors left open or not properly secured.  The
Plaintiff contends that the Defendants were negligent in their
failure to construct adequate water barriers around the Premises'
perimeter and to lock or secure doors and windows before the
storm.

Yin Hou is a citizen of New York, and a resident in the building
located at 1 West Street, in New York.  The class consists of all
residential and commercial tenants of 1 West Street on October 29,
2012.

Ocean Prime is a foreign limited liability company registered to
conduct business in New York, with its principal place of business
located at 1 West Street, in New York.  Ocean Partners LLC is a
New York domestic limited liability company, with its principal
place of business at 530 Fifth Avenue, in New York.  Ocean
Partners LLC is the sole member of Ocean Prime.  Ocean Partners
SPE is a Delaware company registered to conduct business in New
York, with its principal place of business located at 1 West
Street, in New York.  Ocean Partners SPE Corp. is the manager of
Ocean Prime.

Residential Management is a foreign limited liability company
formed and authorized to conduct business in New York.  At all
relevant times, DEPM was retained by Defendants Ocean Prime, Ocean
Partners LLC and Ocean Partners SPE to act as the managing agent
for the property located at 1 West Street, in New York.  Ocean Car
Park is a New York domestic limited liability company, with its
principal place of business located at 1651 Third Avenue, in New
York.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Hunter Shkolnik, Esq.
          Adam J. Gana, Esq.
          NAPOLI, BERN, RIPKA & SHKOLNIK, LLP
          350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 7413
          New York, NY 10118
          Telephone: (212) 267-3700
          Facsimile: (212) 587-0031
          E-mail: Hunter@NapoliBern.com
                  Agana@NapoliBern.com

               - and -

          Jeanne Christensen, Esq.
          Vincent Imbesi, Esq.
          IMBESI CHRISTENSEN
          450 Seventh Avenue, Suite 3002
          New York, NY 10123
          Telephone: (212) 736-0007
          Facsimile: (212) 658-9177
          E-mail: jchristensen@lawicm.com
                  vimbesi@lawicm.com


POWERWAVE TECHNOLOGIES: Continues to Defend "Kmiec" Class Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Powerwave Technologies, Inc. continues to defend itself from a
class action lawsuit initiated by Pawel I. Kmiec in California,
according to the Company's January 17, 2013, Form 10-Q/A filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended September 30, 2012.

In the first quarter of 2012, a purported shareholder class action
complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California against the Borrower, its President
and Chief Executive Officer and its Chief Financial Officer.  The
complaint, Pawel I. Kmiec v. Powerwave Technologies. Inc. et al.
asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act
and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  On July 23, 2011, the plaintiff filed
an amended complaint.  The amended complaint purports to state
claims on behalf of all persons who purchased the Company's Common
Stock between October 28, 2010, and October 18, 2011, and seeks
compensatory damages in an amount to be proven at trial.  The
complaint alleges that the defendants made misleading statements
or omissions concerning the Company's operations and projected
sales revenues and also engaged in improper revenue recognition
accounting practices.


SEI INVESTMENTS: Sup. Ct. to Hear Firms' Appeal for Protection
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Lodge, writing for The Advocate, reports that the U.S.
Supreme Court agreed on Jan. 18 to hear appeals by law firms and
financial services companies that do not want investors who lost
billions of dollars to convicted swindler Robert Allen Stanford to
pursue class-action lawsuits against them.

"There's clearly going to be a precedent established," Baton Rouge
attorney Phillip W. Preis, who represents scores of those
investors in a class-action suit in 19th Judicial District Court,
said in an interview after the announcement.

"The Supreme Court apparently believes that the scope of the duty
of lawyers and financial services people that provide services to
a Ponzi scheme, and indirectly establish the legitimacy of a Ponzi
scheme . . . should be defined by the Supreme Court," Mr. Preis
added in an e-mail.  He said members of the nation's highest court
appear to view their future definition as "a very important issue
in light of this (Stanford) case."

Ponzi operators are criminals who steal most of their investors'
money while paying fake dividends or profits to early investors
with money from later investors.

Mr. Stanford, 62, was convicted in Houston on federal fraud
charges last year and is serving a prison term of 110 years.  More
than 20,000 Stanford investors in Louisiana, other states, and
more than 100 other countries were defrauded of between $5 billion
and $7 billion, according to federal prosecutors, the Securities
Exchange Commission and a court-appointed receiver in Dallas.

About 1,000 investors in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Covington
areas lost as much as $1 billion to Stanford, according to
estimates by Mr. Preis and state Sen. Bodi White, R-Central.

The court-appointed receiver, attorney Ralph Janvey, responsible
for finding Stanford's assets, has reported recovering only about
$250 million.  But he still was seeking additional assets located
in other countries.

Stanford investors represented by Mr. Preis in the class-action
suit in Baton Rouge are seeking compensation for their losses from
both the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions and the
Pennsylvania financial services firm of SEI Investments Co.

Investors allege in that suit -- certified last month by state
District Judge R. Michael Caldwell as a class-action -- that SEI
failed an obligation to certify the underlying value of
investments that routinely were reported as profitable prior to
the SEC's closure of all Stanford operations in February 2009.

Investors also allege that the Office of Financial Institutions
failed to notify them that state regulators had concerns about the
legitimacy of Stanford's operations.

Attorneys for SEI and OFI repeatedly have denied those
allegations.

David Latham, an attorney for OFI, added in court records: "The
role of the OFI is to regulate, not to ensure that those who
invest in companies subject to OFI regulation will never lose
money as a result of criminal actions."

SEI is one of several financial services firms and law firms
around the nation that are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to
overturn a decision by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals,
which ruled that class-action suits by Stanford investors are not
prohibited by the federal Securities Litigation Uniform Standards
Act.

The 5th Circuit's "decision to find SLUSA inapplicable . . . is
indefensible," J. Gordon Cooney Jr. and other SEI attorneys told
the high-court justices in an appeal SEI joined with other
affected firms.

In the Baton Rouge suit against SEI and OFI, class-action
certification enables as many as 1,000 additional Stanford
investors to add themselves as plaintiffs, if they wish.

SLUSA was born in a Republican-sponsored bill that was signed into
law in 1998 by then-President Bill Clinton.  Its authors described
the legislation as an attempt to stop the filing of frivolous
class-action suits against companies whose securities are traded
on national stock exchanges.

But 5th Circuit Judges W. Eugene Davis, of Lafayette; Edward C.
Prado, of San Antonio; and Thomas M. Reavley, of Houston, ruled in
March that SLUSA "does not preclude the (Louisiana investors) from
using state class actions to pursue their recovery" of money from
SEI and OFI.

That 5th Circuit panel noted SLUSA prohibits such class-action
suits in cases involving securities covered by SLUSA.  Panelists
said Stanford's securities were only "tangentially related" to
SLUSA-covered sales through national stock exchanges.

The 5th Circuit's view on the issue is similar to that of the 9th
Circuit in San Francisco, court records show.  But the decision
conflicts with others in similar cases by the 2nd Circuit in New
York City, 11th Circuit in Atlanta and 6th Circuit in Cincinnati.

The Supreme Court's decision to hear the appeal by SEI, several
law firms and several other financial services companies
"indicates that some of the justices may not agree with the 5th
Circuit," Mr. Preis said.

Through the Office of Solicitor General, the Obama administration
had asked the Supreme Court not to consider the appeals of the
financial services and law firms.


SIEMENS INDUSTRY: Recalls 57,000 Q-Series Temp. & Humidity Sensors
------------------------------------------------------------------
About 57,000 Q-Series Temperature and Humidity Sensors were
voluntarily recalled by Siemens Industry, Inc., of Buffalo Grove,
Illinois, in cooperation with the CPSC.  Consumers should stop
using the product immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is
illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer
product.

The sensors can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Four incidents of overheating and fires have been reported to
Siemens.  Two of the fires were in schools and two in hospitals.
Minor damage was reported.  No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves wall-mounted Q-series sensors that control
heat, air conditioning and humidity inside commercial buildings,
hospitals and schools.  The sensors come in three designs: a blank
cover, a cover with a digital display screen or a cover with a
digital display screen and door.  The sensors are either white or
beige and have a Siemens, Talon, Staefa Control System, Staefa
Control System/Talon logo or no logo.  The recalled model numbers
begin with QAA and QFA, and one with SB1.  They are:

   QAA 2060, QAA 2063, QAA 2072, QAA 2073
   QFA 2000, QFA 2001, QFA 2060, QFA 2071,
   QFA2072, QFA 3000, QFA 3001, QFA 3060,
   QFA 3071, and SB1-0834

The model number is located on the sensor's circuit board inside
the unit.  Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13720.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and United States
of America, and sold by Siemens sales offices, partners, resellers
and installers from June 2007 through August 2012 for between $200
and $400.

Consumers should look to see if their sensors are currently
operating on an AC power source and, if they are, consumers should
immediately have the recalled sensors converted to a DC power
source.  Consumers should contact Siemens to schedule the
installation of a free replacement sensor.  Siemens is directly
contacting owners of the recalled sensors.  Siemens may be reached
at (800) 516-9964 from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Central Time Monday
through Friday, or online at
http://w3.usa.siemens.com/buildingtechnologies/go to Product
Safety Recall.


SEQWATER: 2,000 People Registered as Clients in Flood Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian's Sarah Elks and The Australian Associated Press
report that thousands of homes in Brisbane and Ipswich were
needlessly inundated during the 2011 flood crisis due to
"negligent" dam operators, independent modeling commissioned by
class action lawyers has found.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn and Australia's biggest litigation
funder IMF Australia have on Jan. 21 released details of the
modeling and say it shows entire suburbs -- such as Chelmer and
Rosalie -- should have escaped unscathed had the Wivenhoe and
Somerset dams been operated in a "reasonably competent way".

IMF Australia executive director John Walker said the firm had a
budget of more than AUD10 million to launch a compensation claim
against the state of Queensland, which was shaping up to be the
nation's largest.

IMF and Maurice Blackburn on Jan. 21 said a 12-month, AUD1 million
investigation, using United States experts, showed the flooding
was much worse than it should have been.  This will form the basis
of a class action, as long as they can get enough people to sign
up.

So far, 2,000 people have registered as clients and 2,000 more
have indicated their interest.

Mr. Walker reiterated an earlier assertion that the claim could be
worth more than AUD500 million, much more than Australia's current
biggest class action -- a AUD200-million settlement in the case by
shareholders against Centro.

He said there was an expectation that insurers would also join the
flood class action against the government, but could not say
whether any had given a firm indication they would join.

Maurice Blackburn class actions principal Damian Scattini said
that for flood victims, the trauma continued, two years on.

"(They're living it) everyday, relentlessly," Mr. Scattini said.

He said the key claim against the operators was that they did not
release enough water from the dam, soon enough.

"Over 300km of the river system, there are vast areas that were
flooded that should not have been flooded whatsoever," he said.

He said 29,000 homes and businesses had been flooded during the
disaster and Mr. Walker said "thousands" of those should not have
been inundated at all.

However, the pair declined to identify the US experts who had
conducted the modeling, and much of the detail in their expert
report.

IMF said investigations had determined the dam "was not operated
to the standard expected of a reasonably competently dam operator
in all of the circumstances".

It said independent US experts engaged to carry out the
investigation had identified two key failures:

- a failure to use rainfall forecasts in making decisions about
(dam) operating strategies; and

- a failure to preserve a reasonable amount of Wivenhoe's storage
capacity to provide optimum protection of urbanized areas from
inundation.

In a release to the Australian Securities Exchange, IMF Australia
said:

"Based on these investigations, IMF has formed an opinion that
material flooding of a large number of properties down river from
the Wivenhoe dam would not have occurred had Wivenhoe been
operated during the flood event to the standard expected of a
reasonably competent dam operator in all of the circumstances."

Mr. Walker said the investigation's findings marked the end of the
due diligence process for the class action being pursued by
Maurice Blackburn.

He said the next stage was to formally establish the level of loss
among affected residents, and if there was sufficient interest to
proceed with the class action.

But Mr. Walker said he was extremely confident it would go ahead.

The next step will be contacting all residents in areas the IMF
investigation identified as having suffered unnecessary flooding.

"We'll be writing to all of the flood-affected people who we think
have a claim," he said.

"A lot of those people are already involved.  But there's a lot
who either have not been aware, or haven't decided what they want
to do."

He said he could not provide an exact figure for the number of
properties IMF believed had suffered unnecessary flooding.

"We're currently in the process of using Google technology and
maps . . . to identify how many there are.

"But the state knows how many there are, and certain
instrumentalities know how many there are."

In March last year, Queensland's floods inquiry found Wivenhoe dam
operator -- the government-owned SEQwater -- breached the dam's
operating manual during devastating floods in Brisbane, Ipswich
and surrounds in January 2011.

Commissioner Catherine Holmes found the dam was operated in breach
of its manual from 8am on January 8 until the evening of
January 9, before Brisbane and Ipswich flooded.

But she also noted the manual was "ambiguous, unclear and
difficult to use, and was not based on the best, most current
research and information".

She found flooding in Brisbane and Ipswich could have been reduced
to some degree, if capacity in the dam had been freed up before
the December deluge that contributed to the floods.

Ms. Holmes also found there was evidence three dam engineers had
colluded to mislead the inquiry about how they managed the dam
during the flood crisis.

But the corruption watchdog, the Crime and Misconduct Commission
(CMC), later exonerated the engineers of misleading the inquiry.

The CMC agreed that the dam was operated in breach of its manual.

But it found ambiguities in the document explained the engineers'
inconsistent statements and descriptions of what they did during
the flood crisis.

However, the CMC was only asked to look at documents the engineers
prepared about their actions and their oral testimony to the
inquiry.

It did not look at whether their management of the dam's gates
during the flood crisis could amount to a criminal offence or
official misconduct.

IMF Australia and Maurice Blackburn contend that too much water
was allowed to accumulate in Wivenhoe, and the strategy for water
releases during the crisis was botched.

Maurice Blackburn has previously said any class action against the
Queensland government would probably seek compensation in excess
of AUD1 billion.

According to The Courier Mail's Mark Solomons, Ipswich Mayor Paul
Pisasale said he agreed with the assessment "100 per cent".

"The safety of the dam (Wivenhoe) was too paramount over the
safety of the city," Cr Pisasale.

He said he doesn't blame the dam engineers because their
supervisors did not give them orders to release water earlier.

He blamed a "drought mentality" for poor decision-making.

"We went from a drought mentality to a flood mentality and we
couldn't make the switch," Cr Pisasale said.

"Wivenhoe Dam was being used for water storage instead of flood
mitigation."

He said the damage of flooding to downtown Ipswich cost hundreds
of thousands, not including loss to trade and employment.

Mr. Scattini said the lawsuit would be run on a no-win, no-fee
basis.

"Our modeling shows that had Wivenhoe been operated properly,
there would not have been flooding in some areas.

"In other areas, this poor operation meant flooding was much worse
than it should have been."

"This evidence provides us with strong grounds to proceed with a
class action."

He said he expected a complaint would be filed within a couple of
months, after Brisbane and Ipswich flood victims had been given a
chance to see whether or not they might have been spared damage.

US experts have spent about a year analyzing the actions of the
dam operators, crunching data and modeling the water flows that
would have resulted if the dam had been operated to what they
consider an internationally acceptable standard.

"We're not ruling anyone out," he said.

Seqwater CEO Terri Benson issued a statement on Jan. 21: "Seqwater
remains acutely aware of the impact of the floods and the
devastation caused and acknowledges that there are households and
businesses which continue to be impacted.

"The January 2011 flood event was the largest flood in southeast
Queensland for more than a 100 years; and was the result of an
extreme rainfall event both above and below Wivenhoe Dam.  We
effectively had two 1974 floods hit our dams and catchments less
than 30 hours apart.

"Seqwater remains confident that Wivenhoe Dam was managed and
performed as it was designed.

"Our approach has been vindicated by a range of independent
experts including one of the world's leading dam authorities, the
United States Bureau of Reclamation and United States Army Corps
of Engineers."


SEQWATER: Class Action Over Queensland Flood Uncertain, IMF Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bride Jabour, writing for Brisbane Times, reports that a class
action hoping to claim more than half a billion dollars
compensation for thousands of Queensland flood victims could yet
fail to get off the ground.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn released on Jan. 21 maps showing areas
of the state's southeast flooded in 2011 because of what it said
was the mismanagement of Wivenhoe Dam.

During a press conference to reveal the maps, the group funding
the litigation, IMF, conceded there was still a chance the class
action would not go ahead.

IMF executive director John Walker said the case's viability
depended on how many flood victims Maurice Blackburn recruited and
how much flood damage was done to those victims' homes.

He expected to the case to cost more than AUD10 million but, if it
was successful, it would force the state government to hand over
more than half a billion dollars in compensation.

"We are still trying to assess the actual budget and over the next
two or three months we'll need to work out how much is going to be
necessary in order to make the claim viable," IMF executive
director John Walker said.

"Around about March or April we'll be in a better position to
answer that question.

"It may not go ahead.  It's a small possibility but this project
needs the sufficient support of the flood victims in order for it
to proceed."

At the moment about 2,000 people have signed on to the class
action and another 2,000 have expressed interest.

Maurice Blackburn is in the process of contacting every person who
lives in the areas identified on the maps.

It is also planning another series of public meetings.

"From the process we hope to get a better idea of the losses,"
Mr. Walker said.

"If the insurance industry gets involved, and we hope they do,
they've done a lot of work in trying to work out how much loss was
caused by the floods so that is a good start.

"We invite the insurance industry to get involved in the claim,
not only as a victim but also providing -- subject to their
insurers' interests -- the data relevant to the losses."

Flood victims are signing up to the class action under a "no win,
no fee" deal.

The maps released by Maurice Blackburn were created using modeling
by US hydrologists, however the legal firm has declined to name
the engineers involved.

The maps suggest homes in various Brisbane suburbs including West
End, South Brisbane and Milton were needlessly inundated during
the 2011 summer floods.

They also suggest the Ipswich CBD should not have flooded.

Premier Campbell Newman said he had long been expecting Maurice
Blackburn to mount a class action, but refused to comment on the
matter further.

"They're a law firm, they're going to push the case hard for their
clients.  I always expected that would be the case.  It's up to
them," he said.

Maurice Blackburn is expected to announce whether the class action
will go ahead by April.


STANDARD: Insurance Class Action Prompts Jurisdiction Debate
------------------------------------------------------------
According to Charles J. Cooper, Esq., chairman of Cooper & Kirk
LLP in Washington, a case now before the U.S. Supreme Court could
clarify a 200-year-old mistake by the great Chief Justice John
Marshall. Standard Fire v. Knowles concerns judicial forum
shopping and the interpretation of the Class Action Fairness Act,
but it also reinvigorates a long-running debate about federal
court jurisdiction.

In Standard Fire, a federal district court in Arkansas sent back
to a notoriously "plaintiff-friendly" state court a class action
brought by a local plaintiff against an out-of-state insurance
company.  The remand order was based on the plaintiffs' legally
unenforceable stipulation not to seek a recovery in excess of the
$5 million jurisdictional limit covered by the Class Action
Fairness Act.  The federal court also found, erroneously, that
there is presumption that cases against out-of-state defendants
should not be removed from state to federal courts.  The
Constitution requires no such presumption.

When the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1787, the framers
established the federal courts to provide a neutral forum for
"cases in which the state tribunals cannot be supposed to be
impartial," as Alexander Hamilton explained.  The framers thus
expressly extended federal jurisdiction to cases involving
opposing parties from different states.  The Constitution's
framers were so concerned about state court bias that they
considered a neutral federal tribunal necessary to the "national
peace and harmony."  Less than two decades later, however, a
perfunctory six-sentence opinion by Chief Justice Marshall
undermined this essential feature of the federal judiciary's
constitutional jurisdiction and power.

The 1806 ruling in Strawbridge v. Curtiss established what would
become known as the "complete diversity" rule -- meaning lawsuits
may not be removed from state to federal court if any opposing
parties are from the same state.  As a result, plaintiffs'
attorneys have been able to evade federal court jurisdiction for
the "home cooking" of state courts by the simple expedient of
naming an in-state defendant along with the out-of-state targets
of the lawsuit.

According to an opinion written by Chief Justice Marshall's
colleagues several years after his death, the chief justice
"repeatedly expressed regret" that Strawbridge was wrongly
decided.  Although the Supreme Court has subsequently clarified
that the Strawbridge rule is not required by the Constitution, the
decision has never been overruled.  Except for interstate class
actions as defined by the Class Action Fairness Act, Congress has
never acted to clarify constitutional protections for out-of-state
defendants.  In fact, the lower federal courts have compounded
Chief Justice Marshall's mistake by developing an elaborate
gantlet of presumptions and rules specifically designed to keep
"diversity of citizenship" cases out of federal courts.  One such
rule is at issue in the Standard Fire case.

Federal diversity jurisdiction isn't an archaic vestige of a
bygone age.  The original intent for the federal judiciary's role
is as sound today as it was more than two centuries ago.  Mr.
Cooper said that "Evading federal jurisdiction to obtain crushing
settlements and judgments in plaintiff-friendly state courts
causes real harm to national and international businesses and
results in lost global competitiveness for our nation and lost
jobs for our citizens."

The U.S. Supreme Court has a chance in Standard Fire to begin the
process of correcting Chief Justice Marshall's "regrettable" 1806
mistake and restoring constitutional guarantees for out-of-state
defendants.


STANFORD: Investors Seek OK from S.C. to Pursue State Class Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Barbara Leonard at Courthouse News Service reports that investors
allegedly defrauded by R. Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme
must persuade the U.S. Supreme Court that they can use state class
actions to attempt recovery.

Stanford, 62, was sentenced in August to 110 years in federal
prison.  He was convicted in Houston of 13 of 14 counts of
conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud for running a $7 billion
Ponzi scheme by selling phony certificates of deposit.

For nearly 15 years, Stanford Group Company and related entities
sold certificates of deposit issued by its Antigua-based Stanford
International Bank, and then used investor funds to cover its
liabilities.

The Northern District of Texas consolidated several class actions
brought under state law.

James Roland and Leah Farr led class actions that alleged
violations of Louisiana law.  Samuel Troice leads a group of Latin
American investors who brought claims under Texas law.  They sued
SEI Investments, which advised the Stanford Trust Co., the bank's
lawyers with Proskauer Rose and Chadbourne and Parke, and the
bank's insurance brokers with Willis of Colorado.

In 2010, the federal judge presiding over the multidistrict
litigation found that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards
Act (SLUSA) precluded the claims.

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit reversed in September 2012.

"Therefore, we find that the fraudulent schemes of the SEI
defendants and the Willis defendants, as alleged by the
appellants, are not more than tangentially related to the purchase
or sale of covered securities and are therefore not sufficiently
connected to such purchases or sales to trigger SLUSA preclusion,"
the ruling states.

The court noted that, whereas the claims against SEI and Willis
allege misrepresentation, the claims against Proskauer solely
alleged aiding and abetting, the court found.

Nevertheless, the investors alleged as their "core allegation"
that, without the aid of the Proskauer defendants, "the Stanford
Ponzi could not have been accomplished."

"When we examine the substance of the claims against the Proskauer
defendants, it is clear that there are misrepresentations
involved," the judges found."  Specifically, the Proskauer
defendants allegedly misrepresented to the SEC the commission's
ability to exercise its oversight over Stanford and SIB.  By
telling the SEC that it could not investigate the operations of
Stanford and SIB, the Proskauer defendants obstructed any chance
of an SEC investigation uncovering the fraud, thereby allowing it
to continue and harm the Troice plaintiffs to occur.  These
alleged misrepresentations were one level removed from the
misrepresentations made by SIB or the SEI and Willis Defendants.
The connection that the Proskauer defendants would have us find is
that the misrepresentations to the SEC about its regulatory
authority allowed SIB to recruit the Willis defendants to sell
CDs, who in turn misrepresented to the Troice plaintiffs a host of
things in order to convince them that the CDs were good
investments, including vague references to SIB's portfolio
containing instruments that might be SLUSA-covered securities.
Like with the SEI and Willis defendants, the misrepresentations
made by the Proskauer defendants are not more than tangentially
related to the purchase or sale of covered securities and
therefore, SLUSA preclusion does not apply."

On Jan. 18, the Supreme Court consolidated petitions for
certiorari from Chadbourne, Willis and Proskauer Rose.

Its review will consider just one question presented by the
petition: "whether SLUSA precludes a state-law class action
alleging a scheme of fraud that involves misrepresentations about
transactions in SLUSA-covered securities."

The court also agreed to accept amicus curiae briefs from
Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, and DRI - The Voice of the Defense
Bar.


STAPLES INC: Faces Suit in N.Y. for Misleading Consumers
--------------------------------------------------------
Jodd Readick on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. Staples, Inc., Case No. 650174/2013 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.,
January 18, 2013) alleges that Staples misled New York consumers
by its deceptive practice of falsely advertising discount rebate
pricing.

Staples deceived consumers by inappropriately charging sales tax
based on the full amount, rather than the actual, advertised price
of the item, Mr. Readick alleges.  He adds that Staples also
failed to clearly and conspicuously state that the discounted
prices require a mail-in rebate.

Mr. Readick is a resident of New York.

Staples has significant operations and revenue in New York.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

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


SWIFT TRANSPORTATION: Received Final OK of Tennessee Suit Deal
--------------------------------------------------------------
Swift Transportation Company, Inc. received final approval of its
settlement of a consolidated class action litigation in Tennessee,
according to the Company's January 14, 2013, Form 8-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Swift settled the driving academy class action litigation related
to the issuance of commercial driver licenses (CDLs) in Tennessee.
All amounts related to this settlement were fully reserved in
prior periods in accordance with generally accepted accounting
principles, and thus, there will be no additional charges in the
fourth quarter of 2012 or future periods.  The settlement is not
an admission of liability and provides expressly that Swift denies
the allegations of the lawsuits and denies that it engaged in any
wrongdoing or improper conduct.

Swift also settled its cross claim against the Tennessee
Department of Safety ("TDOS") that was part of the driving academy
class action litigation.  This settlement includes a formal
retraction by TDOS of its public statements relating to the third
party CDL testing of drivers and payment by TDOS for a portion of
the costs that Swift incurred in the litigation.

The United States District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee has given final approval to the settlement of the class
action lawsuits consolidated in that court under the lead case of
Ham v. Swift Transportation Company, Inc.  The lawsuits asserted
claims by former students of Swift's Driving Academy in
Millington, Tennessee, relating to the requirement by Tennessee
and other states that the students re-test in support of their
CDLs.  The plaintiffs contended that Swift and its employees as
third-party CDL examiners for the State of Tennessee failed to
administer portions of the CDL exams in accordance with Tennessee
and federal regulations.  Swift denied the allegations of the
lawsuits and denied that it engaged in any wrongdoing or improper
conduct.  Swift settled the class action lawsuits to avoid the
expense of further litigation, to dispose expeditiously of the
claims asserted, and to avoid the uncertainty of protracted
litigation

Pursuant to the class action settlement, Swift has agreed to make
certain payments to qualifying class members on a claims-made
basis which will be within the dollar range that Swift previously
disclosed in its public filings and Swift will also agree to
relinquish any legal claims to amounts owed by class members for
unpaid academy tuition.  The period within which potential class
claimants had to file a claim expired on November 17, 2012, and
less than 730 individuals filed a claim within the claim period.
Based on the review of those claims, the total cash payments by
Swift relating to the settlement including legal costs is expected
to be within the amounts that were disclosed in the company's
prior SEC filing and which were fully reserved for in prior
periods in accordance with generally accepted accounting
principles.  Moreover, although Swift will relinquish its legal
rights to approximately $16 million in amounts owed to it by class
members for unpaid academy tuition, such amounts were fully
reserved for in prior periods in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principles and thus no additional charges or
financial impact will be recorded for the relinquishment of such
unpaid tuition receivables in connection with the settlement.

Two plaintiffs have appealed the court's approval of the
settlement in part because they were not awarded individual awards
and because their attorneys were not allocated a portion of the
counsel fees provided for in the approved settlement.  Under the
terms of the settlement agreement, the settlement of the class
action lawsuits is not final until that appeal is either settled
by the parties or resolved by the court.

Swift also settled its cross claim against the TDOS that was part
of the consolidated class action lawsuits.  In 2008 and 2009, TDOS
made public statements contending that Swift and its employees as
third party CDL examiners had failed to administer portions of the
CDL tests in accordance with Tennessee and federal regulations.
These statements led to other States taking action against
drivers' CDLs and ultimately to the filing of the consolidated
class action lawsuits against Swift.  Swift's cross claim
contended that the TDOS statements were not based on a reasonable
investigation, were without basis, and were not true and sought a
declaration from the court to that effect.  Swift has reached a
settlement of that cross claim with TDOS.  The settlement includes
a formal retraction by TDOS of its public statements relating to
the third party CDL testing of drivers and payment by TDOS for a
portion of the costs that Swift incurred in the litigation.  This
formal retraction can be found on the TDOS Web site at
http://www.tn.gov/safety/driverlicense/cdlalt.shtml


WESTFIELD INSURANCE: Dismissal of "Sullivan" Suit Affirmed
----------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, in Lake County,
affirmed the decisions of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas in
the class action lawsuit filed against Westfield Insurance
Company.

Tony and Stephanie Sullivan took an appeal from two judgments
entered by the Lake County Court of Common Pleas.  The first is an
order dismissing certain named defendants from the action, while
the second is an order granting Westfield Insurance Company's
motion for summary judgment.  Through the two orders, the trial
court fully disposed of the action.

The Appeals Court concluded that the trial court did not err in
dismissing two of the named defendants, American Select Insurance
Company and Ohio Farmers Insurance Company, because the Sullivans
failed to state a claim against those two entities upon which
relief could be granted.  The Appeals Court also found no error in
the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the
remaining defendant, Westfield, because the Sullivans' claims were
barred by the applicable statutes of limitations.

The appeals case is captioned TONY AND STEPHANIE SULLIVAN,
INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED,
Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. WESTFIELD INSURANCE COMPANY, et al.,
Defendants-Appellees, No. 2012-L-004,(Oh. App. Ct.)

A copy of the Appeals Court's January 22, 2013 Opinion is
available at http://is.gd/n7TAbYfrom Leagle.com.

The Plaintiffs-Appellants are represented by:

          Patrick J. Perotti, Esq.
          DWORKEN & BERNSTEIN CO., L.P.A,
          60 South Park Place
          Painesville, OH 44077
          E-mail: pperotti@dworkenlaw.com

The Defendants-Appellees are represented by:

          John J. Haggerty, Esq.
          Thomas A. Cunniff, Esq.
          FOX ROTHSCHILD, LLP
          2700 Kelly Road, Suite 300
          Warrington, PA 18976-2624
          E-mail: jhaggerty@foxrothschild.com
                  tcunniff@foxrothschild.com


WOLFGANG PUCK: Faces Suit in New York Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kristin Noriega and Oliver Gummert, on behalf of themselves and
all others similarly situated v. Wolfgang Puck Catering and
Events, LLC, and Compass Group USA, Inc., Case No. 650209/2013
(N.Y. Sup. Ct., January 21, 2013) accuses the Defendants of
failing to pay the Plaintiffs overtime wages, in violation of the
Fair Labor Standards Act, the New York Labor Law, the Equal Pay
Act and New York's Equal Pay Act.

The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants failed to pay them and
all bar staff, who worked for the Defendants at Irving Plaza and
Gramercy Theatre, spread of hours pay pursuant to the New York
Labor law starting from January 21, 2007.  The Plaintiffs also
accuse the Defendants of unlawful retention of Plaintiffs' and the
Class members' gratuities for events held at the Venues.

The Plaintiffs are residents of New York County.

The Defendants are doing business in New York.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Orin Kurtz, Esq.
          ABBEY SPANIER RODD & ABRAMS, LLP
          212 East 39th Street
          New York, NY 10016
          Telephone: (212) 889-3700
          E-mail: okurtz@abbeyspanier.com


* "Dukes" Ruling Dominated Legal Landscape in 2012 Workplace Suits
------------------------------------------------------------------
Jessie Kokrda Kamens, writing for Bloomberg BNA, reports that the
U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2011 class action decisions set the
stage for a year of "significant change" in workplace class action
litigation in 2012, led by the "halo effect" of the Wal-Mart
Stores Inc. v. Dukes decision, a law firm report released Jan. 14
said.

The opinion in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541
(2011) (62 BTM 193, 6/21/11) "dominated the legal landscape" and
was cited by lower courts an "astounding" 541 times in 2012,
Seyfarth Shaw said in its 2013 Workplace Class Action Litigation
Report.

"Marked by the halo effect of [Dukes], this past year created a
number of lasting changes in employment law that will continue to
alter the legal landscape and litigation strategies for employers
in 2013," Gerald L. Maatman Jr., co-chair of Seyfarth's class
action defense group and the report's author, said in a statement.

"Meanwhile," Mr. Maatman said, "wage and hour claims continue to
rise with no sign of a crest in lawsuit filings and the EEOC's
renewed focus on systemic investigations also poses high-stakes
challenges for employers."

The Dukes decision held that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23(b)(2) cannot be used to recover individualized monetary relief
for a class, and established a heightened standard for Rule
23(a)'s commonality requirement, the report said.

               'Wholesale' Certification Review

The report said the Dukes decision caused federal and state courts
to conduct a "wholesale review" of class certification orders in
pending cases.

The decision also prompted defendants to file new rounds of
motions for decertification, it said.

The vacated class in Dukes involved an allegedly discriminatory
employment policy allowing managers to exercise discretion in pay
and promotion, but the report added that these types of claims are
not entirely dead.

"Courts are beginning to allow discretionary elements of an
identifiable policy to be attacked" in the employment
discrimination context, the report said.

                 Battleground After Concepcion

The U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in AT&T Mobility LLC v.
Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740(2011) (62 BTM 138, 5/3/11), was
already producing "second generation" issues, according to the
report.

That decision held that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state
law and paves the way for broad use of class action waiver clauses
in arbitration agreements.

The key battleground issue going forward is whether class action
bans in arbitration agreements should escape enforcement in cases
where the plaintiff produces hard evidence that it would be too
costly to pursue an individual action, the report said.

In such cases, plaintiffs argue that a class action is the only
mechanism that allows plaintiffs to vindicate their statutory
workplace rights effectively, the report said.

                  Settlement Strategy Affected

Settlement values in the employment discrimination class action
context nose-dived following the Dukes decision, according to the
report.

The top 10 settlements in 2012 totaled $48.65 million, a sharp
decline from 2010, the year prior to Dukes, when the total was
$346.4 million.

This trend may reverse itself in 2013 as the plaintiffs' class
action bar "reboots" its approach to litigation, the report
predicted.

               Wage and Hour Litigation Still King

The report found that wage and hour litigation outpaced all other
types of workplace class actions in 2012, with a total of 7,672
Fair Labor Standards Act suits filed last year.  That represented
an increase of 893 from the then-record 2011 levels.

Generally, the report said, the still-flagging U.S. economy in
2012 fueled more class action and collective action litigation.

This trend will likely continue in 2013 "as businesses retool
operations in an improving economy and the Obama administration
renews an emphasis on enforcing workplace laws."

The report also said government enforcement remained "white hot"
in 2012.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission racked up a
fourfold increase in recoveries against employers for its systemic
discrimination investigations, it said.

Enforcement actions will accelerate even more in 2013, the report
predicted.

                       Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Va. High Ct. Flips Causation Standard Ruling
-------------------------------------------------------------
FORD MOTOR COMPANY v. WALTER E. BOOMER, ADMINISTRATOR; and
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL, INC. v. WALTER E. BOOMER, ADMINISTRATOR,
Record Nos. 120283, 120299 (Va.), involve asbestos-related
personal injury claims asserted by a former Virginia State
Trooper.  Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Virginia
reversed a lower court's ruling on the causation standard
appropriate for mesothelioma and affirmed the lower court's ruling
on failure to warn and proximate cause.

In reversing the lower court's ruling on causation standard, the
Supreme Court held that the "sufficient"-to-have-caused standard
is the proper way to define the cause-in-fact element of proximate
cause.  The Supreme Court noted that while the Commonwealth of
Virginia currently only offers a model jury instruction as to
concurrent negligence, concurring causes are not so limited: use
of the multiple-sufficient-causes approach remains appropriate
whether the concurring causes are all tortious in nature or
whether some are innocent.  The Supreme Court then found that the
trial court erred in failing to sustain the Defendants' objections
to the substantial contributing factor jury instructions.

In affirming the failure to warn and proximate cause ruling, the
Supreme Court pointed out that there was indeed evidence presented
that the brake boxes eventually included a warning but that there
was no evidence presented that James D. Lokey, the former state
trooper, knew of this warning or reasonably could have known of it
as the warning was present only on new boxes of Bendix brakes,
which inspectors or supervisors of inspections might reasonably
have never seen.  Accordingly, the Supreme Court found no defect
in the circuit court's conclusion that there was evidence
sufficient for a jury to find that the failure to warn was the
proximate cause of the injury.

A copy of the Supreme Court's Jan. 10, 2013, Decision, penned by
Justice Leroy F. Millette, Jr., is available at
http://is.gd/s8ZYpAfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Va. High Ct. Reverses $12.5M Ruling v. Exxon
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the case captioned EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION v. CONNIE MINTON,
EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF RUBERT E. MINTON, Record No. 111775
(Va.), Exxon appealed from a jury verdict based on injuries that
Rubert E. Minton suffered as a result of developing mesothelioma
from exposure to asbestos while working on Exxon ships during his
employment at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
(Shipyard).

On appeal, Exxon assigns error to (1) the circuit court's finding
that the evidence was sufficient to show that Exxon either
actively controlled Minton's work or that Exxon failed to
intervene to protect him in the face of actual knowledge that the
Shipyard was ignoring an obvious risk to his safety; (2) the
circuit court's finding that the evidence was sufficient to show
that Minton's mesothelioma was proximately caused by Exxon's
breach of a maritime law duty; (3) the circuit court's exclusion
of all evidence that the Shipyard knew of the relevant hazard and
had asbestos controls in place; and (4) the award of punitive
damages.

In an opinion dated Jan. 10, 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the
lower court's ruling with respect to the trial court's exclusion
of evidence on the Shipyard's knowledge and the granting of
punitive damages award.  The Supreme Court held that it cannot be
said that the jury would still have concluded that Exxon violated
its duty if it was presented with the evidence that the Shipyard
had knowledge of the dangers of asbestos exposure and its
procedures regarding precautions to be taken around for asbestos.
The Supreme Court also held that the award of $12.5 million in
punitive damages was inappropriately granted because punitive
damages are a remedy prohibited by the terms of the Longshore and
Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA).

The Supreme Court, however, affirmed the lower court's ruling as
to the sufficiency of the evidence to show duty of care and
sufficiency of the evidence to show proximate cause holding that:

   * The evidence of Exxon's knowledge regarding the dangers of
     asbestos both before and during Minton's employment at the
     Shipyard and the Shipyard's failure to warn its workers or
     protect individuals such as Minton in the presence of the
     danger was sufficient to establish Exxon's actual knowledge
     of the failure of the Shipyard to take the requisite steps to
     protect their employees. Thus, if Minton's evidence was
     accepted by the jury, it would have been sufficient for the
     jury to conclude that Exxon failed unreasonably to protect
     Minton when the Shipyard had failed to do so.

   * The evidence was sufficient for a reasonable jury to find
     that Exxon's actions were a substantial contributing factor
     in causing Minton's injury.  Although Minton's experts did
     testify that Minton's prior exposure to asbestos could have
     been, on its own, enough to cause mesothelioma, it is
     established maritime law that "an injured party [may] sue a
     tortfeasor for the full amount of damages for an indivisible
     injury that the tortfeasor's negligence was a substantial
     factor in causing."

A copy of the Supreme Court's Decision, penned by Justice Leroy F.
Millette, Jr., is available at http://is.gd/nmkFCmfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ill. Ct. Denies Appeal From CPA-Integrity Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Columbia Casualty Company appealed from an order of the Bankruptcy
Court, granting C.P. Hall Co.'s motion to approve a settlement
agreement with Integrity Insurance under Rule 9019 of the Federal
Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

The Debtor was a former distributor of Johns Manville raw asbestos
until 1986 when it terminated its operations.  Since the late
1980s, the Debtor has been named as a defendant in thousands of
underlying asbestos claims in Illinois and elsewhere.  The Debtor
had primary and excess liability coverage that paid for its
defense and indemnity of these claims.  Columbia issued the Debtor
a single second-layer excess liability insurance policy in effect
from October 1, 1984 to October 1, 1985.  The Columbia insurance
policy has aggregate limits of $6 million, which remains unpaid,
in excess of two underlying policies with limits of at least $5
million.

Since 2005, the Debtor has submitted asbestos claims to Integrity,
an insurance company in liquidation in New Jersey.  The Debtor has
received over $25 million in payments from Integrity for covered
claims and alleges that it has proven up and identified
approximately $10 million in remaining coverage under the
Integrity policy but the recovery of the $10 million in claims is
possible if the Debtor is successful on its appeal in New Jersey
state court, contending that the liquidator for the Integrity
Estate should have applied state law other than New Jersey in
allocating asbestos claims.  Other policyholders that are further
along in the appeals process have not been successful with this
argument.  In light of the uncertainty of litigation, the Debtor
negotiated a settlement with Integrity for $4.125 million.

In a Jan. 10, 2013 memorandum and order, Judge John W. Darrah of
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,
Eastern Division, affirmed the Bankruptcy Court's approval of the
settlement holding that:

   (1) There is no clear error in the Bankruptcy Court's ruling as
       Columbia has no direct interest in the Integrity
       settlement.  Columbia's sole interest with respect to the
       Debtor is its potential liability to the Debtor as insurer.

   (2) Contrary to Columbia's argument that the Bankruptcy Court
       abused its discretion in approving the settlement, the
       Debtor has set forth a sufficient factual record to warrant
       approval of the settlement.  Judge Darrah pointed out that
       the declaration of Stephen Hoke, the Debtor's special
       insurance counsel, provided additional evidence that the
       proposed settlement with Integrity was within the
       reasonable range of litigation outcomes and was in the best
       interest of the estate.

The case is COLUMBIA CASUALTY COMPANY, Appellant, v. C.P. HALL
CO., Appellee, Case No. 12 C 2978 (N.D. Ill.).  A copy of Judge
Darrah's Decision is available at http://is.gd/eUqsMCfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Phillipsburg High School Removed
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kurt Bresswein of The Express-Times reported that Phillipsburg
High School was to reopen Monday, Jan. 14, after completion of a
water-pipe repair that required asbestos abatement because old
floor tiles had to be removed, the school district superintendent
said on Friday, Jan. 11.

"Our repairs are ongoing," Superintendent George Chando said, "but
we anticipate being able to open (the) school Monday (Jan. 11)."

Discovered Wednesday, Jan. 9, the break in the pipe from the main
to a portion of the original 200 Hillcrest Blvd. building, dating
to 1929, forced the closure of the school on Jan. 10 and 11.
Classes continued at other Phillipsburg School District buildings.

To get to the pipe, the repair required removing floor tiles made
of asbestos inside the building.  The district's asbestos
abatement plan requires the notification of a consultant,
Pohatcong Township-based R K Occupational & Environmental Analysis
Inc., who contracts a company to safely remove the tiles.

Asbestos is classified as a known human carcinogen, or substance
that causes cancer, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, Environmental Protection Agency and International Agency
for Research on Cancer.

When the tiles are undisturbed, they pose no health or safety
concerns, Chando said.

A call for comment to the consultant after business hours on Jan.
11 was not immediately returned.

District policy requires asbestos abatement any time removal is
required of more than 20 tiles.

"There were certainly more than 20 tiles," Chando said.

District officials are still putting together the cost of the
project, and it is possible insurance may cover some of it.

"We'll probably have a better idea early next week" on the cost,
Chando said.  "It's not going to be cheap.

"We've made a contact with our insurance carrier and we will
compile everything and submit it for review."

Construction is slated to begin in the spring on a new
Phillipsburg High School off Belvidere Road in Lopatcong Township.
Planned by the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, the
ninth-through-12th-grade school is planned to open for the 2016-17
school year.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chicopee to Review Old Library Abatement Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jeanette DeForge of The Republican reports that Chicopee, Mass.,
Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette made one more pitch to the City
Council to ask members to allocate money so experts can study
possible uses of the vacant former city library.

In a special meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9, Bissonnette again asked
the council to consider spending at least $160,000 to remove
asbestos and other materials from the old building so an engineer
can study the structural integrity of the building.

"Let's get it out of there and see what we have," Bissonnette
said.

The city went out to bid in the spring to find a contractor to
remove asbestos on the building that has been vacant since a new
library was built about five years ago.  At the time, the bid was
about $160,000 but the City Council voted against allocating the
money.

Then in September it rejected a second request from the mayor to
go out to bid again for the project.

No votes were taken but the council is expected to discuss it
again at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

The discussion came following a luncheon Bissonnette had with
council members to try to improve what has turned into a hostile
relationship between the two and councilors seemed more receptive
to considering the issue.

Lee Pouliot, planner and administrator for the Community
Development Department, said the project calls for a contractor to
remove any hazardous materials from the library.  While the
previous bid was $160,000, the cost could be higher now.

"Now is a better time to bid the work because contractors are
looking for inside work," he said.

Bissonnette has proposed to eventually build a second floor on the
building where the mezzanine is located and move the School
Department administration offices from the aging Helen O'Connell
building to that one.

The plan also calls for construction of a connecting hallway to
the neighboring City Hall that will make the building accessible
to the disabled.

But a leaking roof caused water damage to the walls and
Bissonnette said no one is certain if the building is structurally
strong enough to even support a second floor.

Even if an engineer determines the building is structurally
unsound, Bissonnette said the money will not be wasted because
asbestos will still have to be removed before it is razed.

Councilor James K. Tillotson argued an architectural study has
already been done on the building and held up old plans that had
been submitted.  The firm had been fired from the city for
performing what some decided was inadequate work.

In an exchange that grew hostile on both sides, Bissonnette said
that firm did not answer the question of whether the building was
sound and he would not use the plans because they were incomplete.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Man Cited for Moving Fibro at Old Garfield Mill
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dan Ivers of NJ.com reports that on Jan. 11, an Elmwood Park man
was sentenced to six months home confinement and three years
probation for illegally removing asbestos from a former Garfield
paper mill.

According to a statement from U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, 61-year-
old Vele Bozinoski violated the federal Clean Air Act when he
failed to notify the Environmental Protection Agency after finding
160 linear feet of asbestos in the Garden State Paper Mill.

Bozinoski hired workers to remove insulation at the 168,000
square-foot River Drive building in February 2007, about two years
before it was completely demolished.

According to Fishman, Bozinoski also failed to thoroughly inspect
the building before ordering the insulation removed, did not
follow health guidelines that require asbestos to be wet before it
is stripped off pipes, and did not properly seal the asbestos
before sending it off for disposal.

Bozinoski pleaded guilty to violating the federal law earlier this
year in U.S. District Court in Camden.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Level at 17 Japan Bldgs Exceed WHO Standard
------------------------------------------------------------------
Cherrie Lou Billones of The Japan Daily Press reports that the
safety limit sanctioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) as
regards to asbestos levels were found to have been exceeded in 17
locations at building dismantling sites in places devastated by
the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, according to government
sources.  This is a big surprise to the Ministry of Environment
(MOE), who have found only four locations to have exceeded such
asbestos limit from testings done between 2008 and 2010.

The WHO safety standards of asbestos is less than 10 strands per
liter of air.  Based on data gathered June 2011 through December
2012 at building dismantling sites and debris processing sites
monitored by the MOE and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
(MHLW), the asbestos levels found ranged from 10.6 to 783.5
strands per liter.  However, an expert, commenting on the new-
found locations, said, "We have no proof that even levels under
the WHO standards bring no adverse health effects, and a swift
response to this asbestos problem is crucial."

Despite saying that the values are not high enough to have
negative effects on the health of a person, the MOE and the MHLW
nevertheless warned local residents and repeated conducted
measurements of the asbestos levels if they have fallen closer to
the WHO limit over time.  In fact, even before dismantling of
buildings began last year, the MHLW provided the workers some
technical guidelines on proper dismantling procedures to ensure
that they will not be exposed to asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: MassDEP Cites Contractor for Safety Violations
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Valley Patriot reports that The Massachusetts Department of
Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has penalized NASDI, LLC, a
contractor hired to conduct demolition work at the Old Colony
Housing Project in South Boston, $41,150 for asbestos and
demolition violations.  NASDI is a Massachusetts-licensed
demolition contractor with a local office at 1365 Main Street in
Waltham.

NASDI submitted and received approval from MassDEP in October 2010
for a proposal to conduct a contained and controlled demolition
project on multiple buildings at the corner of General Josef
Pilsudski Way and Columbia Road in South Boston.

MassDEP conducted a routine inspection on Nov. 18, 2010, and
observed the following violations of the approved plan: workers
had improperly removed and handled asbestos-containing materials;
workers were creating visible emissions due to inadequate dust
control; an air-monitoring pump was not operating; a truck
decontamination station was not being used; and, barriers to keep
out unauthorized personnel were not present and there was
insufficient signage to warn residents and visitors of an asbestos
hazard.

"The plan the contractor submitted, if implemented properly, would
have protected workers and residents from the threat of exposure
to asbestos-containing materials," said Eric Worrall, director of
MassDEP's Northeast Regional Office in Wilmington.  "The failure
to follow that plan posed an unacceptable level of risk, and
resulted in the operation being shut down until those violations
were corrected."

Under the consent order, NASDI will pay $25,000 of the penalty and
the remaining $16,150 will be suspended pending continued
compliance by the contractor over the span of one year.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe
management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely
cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation
of wetlands and coastal resources.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Safe Strip UK Expands, Moves to Larger Site
------------------------------------------------------------
The Sunderland Echo reports that an asbestos removal firm is set
to create new jobs after outgrowing its old premises and moving
into a larger site on Wearside.

Safe Strip UK has moved to new business premises in Easington
Lane, after business growth meant the old site at the Houghton
Enterprise Centre was too small.

Safe Strip has a team of licensed asbestos removal contractors and
asbestos surveying and management consultants, and the new site
will allow the company to concentrate on growth as it looks to
find more work further afield.

Director Michael Lupyna said: "We started small, but since we
started in 2007 we have grown and gradually built up the business
to what it is today.

"This new site has provided the company with a stable and solid
platform from which to grow nationally.

"We are all very excited at the prospect of looking into new areas
of operations and seeking opportunities.

"The new premises will allow us much more office room and storage
space for equipment.

"It also provides us with larger office space from which the
surveying team can develop and grow."

The company was supported throughout the move by law firm Gordon
Brown, which completed all the legal documents.

Senior partner Gordon Brown said: "It is fantastic to see Strip
Safe continuing to expand and to be successful.

"The company has developed significantly since it began and I am
delighted that we have been able to support Michael and the team
in the next stage of their growth."

Michael said: "Gordon Brown personally oversaw the deal and his
continued support and advice ensured that the transaction was
handled smoothly and efficiently."

Safe Strip provides solutions to various asbestos problems and is
able to assist clients in the management, repair or safe removal
of any asbestos containing materials.

The company covers all types of environments from domestic to
major industrial properties.

It takes on all types of asbestos-related projects, regardless of
size, from minor repair work to large major asbestos removal work
where enclosures and controlled conditions are required.

Safe Strip's clients include Durham County Council, Sunderland
Council, Newcastle University, Britannia Hotels, Tees Esk & Wear
Valley NHS Trust and Coral Racing.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Doctor Asserts Chrysotile Can Indeed Lead to Meso
------------------------------------------------------------------
Jon Campisi of Legal Newsline reports that a medical doctor took
the stand Thursday, Jan. 10, for asbestos claimants in the ongoing
asbestos bankruptcy trial in western Pennsylvania arguing that
Chrysotile exposure can indeed lead to malignancies in cells that
line the lungs.

Laura Welch, a board-certified physician based in Maryland who
specializes in occupational medicine, testified for the Official
Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants and the Future
Claimants' Representative, Eric D. Green, during a week-long
estimation hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald
in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The hearing is designed to close a wide disparity of estimated
future asbestos injury claims that exist between the claimants and
the debtors, the latter of which in this case are three insolvent
companies that formerly produced products containing asbestos:
Bondex International, Specialty Products Holding Corp., and RPM
International Inc.

The claimants maintain that future asbestos claims number
somewhere in the neighborhood of $55 million while the debtors'
experts have estimated that the true figure is closer to about $30
million.

The committee and the Future Claimants' Representative represent
those people who either were plaintiffs, or will be plaintiffs, in
asbestos injury cases against the companies.

In 2010, the debtors filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, which offers
former defendants in asbestos cases immediate immunity from civil
suit, and forces the now-insolvent companies to set up trusts that
would pay out claims outside of the tort system.

Earlier in the week, Dr. Allan Feingold testified for the debtors
in the estimation hearing, during which each side was afforded by
the court 17-and-a-half hours by which to present their respective
cases.

On the stand, Feingold testified that in his professional opinion,
Chrysotile asbestos, the type of asbestos found in the joint
compound that was produced by Bondex and the other debtors, is
unlikely to cause mesothelioma absent any other form of asbestos
exposure.

On Jan. 10, however, Welch, who said she has personally conducted
studies of sheet metal workers since the mid 1990s, concluded that
Chrysotile asbestos can, by itself, lead to the type of lung
cancer called mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma doesn't attack the actual lungs, but instead attacks
the cells in the lining of the lungs, which separates the organs
from the chest wall.

"Chrysotile asbestos does cause mesothelioma in humans," Welch
said under questioning by Nathan Finch -- nfinch@motleyrice.com --
an attorney from the firm Motley Rice, which is representing the
claimants' committee.  While the debtors have claimed that the
lawyers representing present and future claimants are inflating
the number of those actually injured by exposure to asbestos in
order to cash in on the money sitting in the asbestos trusts,
Welch sought to explain an alternative reason why more and more
claims seem to be popping up in recent times.

"It takes a long time between exposure and development of
mesothelioma," Welch said.  "As we go forward, there's more time
for people to develop and die from mesothelioma."

When Finch questioned Welch on whether the commonly held belief by
asbestos defendants that people exposed to joint compound alone
can't develop mesothelioma was true, the doctor responded, "not in
my opinion."

There's simply no "safe level" of asbestos exposure, Welch said.

The average latency period per mesothelioma case is more than 40
years, Welch testified, meaning that people who were teenagers
when exposed to asbestos dust and fibers might not show signs of
mesothelioma until they are in their 80s.

"I think it's very well established that Chrysotile asbestos
causes mesothelioma . . . ," Welch said.

The debtors contend that Chrysotile asbestos doesn't alone cause
mesothelioma.  The argument is central to their case because
Chrysotile asbestos is the type found in the joint compound that
was allegedly used by claimants.

The debtors' attorneys say the companies were responsible for a
very small market share of the joint compound created in the
United States in years past, and the product itself was
specifically designed for do-it-yourself home use.

Most mesothelioma cases are seen in those who worked around the
dust and fiber for a living, such as various types of construction
workers.

The debtors claim that amphibole asbestos, the more potent form
found in industrial materials, is what is really responsible for
mesothelioma development.

On cross-examination, one of the debtors' attorneys pointed out a
past report by Welch in which the doctor wrote that absent
exposure to other asbestos forms, it was unlikely that a person
would develop mesothelioma from Chrysotile asbestos exposure
alone.

Welch admitted to having written that report, but stressed that
medical research changes with the times.

"No study's perfect," she said, before admitting, "I think it's
reasonable to say that amphibole is probably more potent."

Welch went on to testify about the concept of individual
susceptibility, or the idea that each individual's development of
mesothelioma would also be dependent upon other factors.

The example she gave was the two-pack-a-day smoker who inhaled
cigarettes for four decades who never develops lung cancer versus
the smoker who smoked the exact same amount of tobacco and does
develop cancer.

"I think that in an individual, even the background sources add to
their cumulative results," Welch testified.

On redirect, Finch, the claimants' attorney, asked Welch about the
changing peer-reviewed academic literature that deals with
Chrysotile asbestos where mesothelioma is concerned.

Under this line of questioning, Welch again turned to her earlier
theme.

"We have information that Chrysotile causes mesothelioma, and I
think that's pretty indisputable," the doctor said.  "The
epidemiology supports the relationship . . . between peritoneal
mesothelioma and Chrysotile."

Reiterating his point, Finch asked Welch, "Does Chrysotile persist
in the body long enough to cause asbestos related lung cancer," to
which his witness responded with a simple, "Yes."

The trial was expected to wrap up by Friday, Jan. 11.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contamination at Pembrokeshire Buildings Bared
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Milford & West Wales Mercury reports that asbestos is
contained in the majority of Pembrokeshire County Council's public
buildings, from schools to libraries to leisure centers, a Western
Telegraph Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Libraries in Haverfordwest, Pembroke Dock, Hakin, Milford Haven,
Neyland, Pembroke, Fishguard all have some form of asbestos
present, while the authority also listed leisure centers in
Pembroke, Narberth, Tenby, Milford Haven and Crymych as containing
some form of it.

Crocodolite is the most common form, with amosite and chrysotile
found less frequently.

Materials containing asbestos are also present in schools across
the county from Angle to Llanychllwydog.

The council said that it had removed any damaged or vulnerable
asbestos during investigations throughout the 1990s and early
2000s.

This was followed by a second survey which was completed at the
end 2007.

The authority also revealed it has a permit-to-work procedure,
managed by the council's asbestos unit, and all people carrying
out work must have received asbestos awareness training.

At the recent full council meeting, a question by Councillor David
Bryan revealed that 64 out the county's 70 schools contained some
form of the material, the use of which has been banned in the UK
since 1999.

In reply, cabinet member for education, Cllr Huw George said the
Health and Safety Executive recommended that asbestos products
should be left in place, providing they were in good condition,
and should be subsequently managed.

He added that the council had robust systems in place for the
management and regulation of asbestos-containing material in all
Pembrokeshire schools.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bathroom Renovation Endangers Colyton Family
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brittany Searle of The Penrith City Star (Aus) reports that a
Colyton family has been caught in a turmoil following a family
bathroom renovation which quickly went from challenging to
disastrous.

After hiring a handyman to breathe life into their old home the
Mead family hired a tradesman who could have been unlicensed and
had possibly exposed them to what they believe is asbestos.

Home owner Geoff Mead is worried about the health of his family
and hopes to find some answers soon.

"The NSW Poison Centre doesn't give a reference number and tells
you to evacuate because it is potentially serious," he said.

"We're destitute, devastated and ruined."

Mr. Mead said the tradesman was advertised on a calendar provided
by L.J. Hooker and represented himself as working for the company
on a contract basis.

Public relations representatives from L.J. Hooker said the company
was doing all it could to resolve the problem and ensure the
safety of all parties involved.

Despite the poisons claims Mr. Mead said he and his family have
continued to live in the potentially contaminated house since
Wednesday, Jan. 9.

Due to the toxic qualities of asbestos, Mr. Mead and his family
have tried not to leave their home to avoid contaminating others.

"We have no financial ability to go anywhere else," Mr. Mead said.

While it is assumed that all homes built before 1984 contain a
certain amount of asbestos, analysis from a qualified occupational
hygienist is needed to determine whether or not the poison is
present and if it has contaminated the home.

Asbestos is a dark side to DIY home renovations often missed by
popular television shows.

Asbestos, present in most old houses, continues to be responsible
for many diseases affecting home owners who undertake renovations
without being aware of the risks.

President of the Asbestos Disease Foundation of Australia Barry
Robson said he hoped more people would become aware of the dangers
of doing their own home renovations and using unlicensed labor.

"Firstly, make sure your tradesman is licensed," he said.

"Secondly, if it is asbestos that you come across, get experts to
remove it: do it yourself and you'll do yourself in."

Mr. Robson said exposure to asbestos can result in  asbestosis and
lung cancer that can take up to 30 years to be detected.

In the case of the Mead family, Mr. Robson believes that following
his advice would have saved them from the fear of being exposed to
asbestos and the harm it may have in the future.

"The Mead family is now going to have this worry for the next 30
years and whether or not they may have been given a death sentence
by this unlicensed cowboy," he said.

Asbestos products are now banned in Australia but continue to
affect many people who work in the housing and industrial
industries.

For more information about the effects of asbestos visit
http://www.adfa.org.au

                              Notes

NSW Fair Trading:  NSW Fair Trading regulates the home building
industry.  Consumers should deal only with a builder or
tradesperson who holds a current license for the work required.

Before engaging a builder or tradesperson, it is important to make
sure the contractor's license is current and valid for the work
you want done.  A license number must be included in all
advertising for residential building and specialist work.  The
Home Building Act 1989 prohibits a company or individual from
advertising for any residential building work over $1000 or
specialist work to be carried out without having a current
contractor license.

License checks can be done online at
http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Workcover NSW:  WorkCover received a complaint in relation to the
presence of asbestos sheeting in the back yard of a residential
property on Jan. 10.

Although this is not a worksite, an inspector has been in contact
with the home owner and other relevant parties to help assess the
situation and provide advice.

WorkCover has recommended that an accredited occupational
hygienist be engaged to determine the presence of asbestos at the
property and to ensure its safe removal by a suitably licensed
individual.

WorkCover will continue to provide advice and assistance and work
with the local council and other  parties to ensure the safe
removal of asbestos from this site.

Penrith Council:  The council works with the NSW Government, the
Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) and the Asbestos
Education Committee on educational campaigns that inform the
community on the risks and dangers of asbestos.

Last year during Asbestos Awareness Week (Nov 26-30) Council
hosted 'Betty' the asbestos awareness caravan which demonstrates
where asbestos is likely to be found in the home and helps people
understand asbestos risks, especially if they're planning on
renovating in the future.  During Asbestos Awareness Week, a
website was launched to provide people with information relating
to asbestos and its management --
http://www.asbestosawareness.com.au

The NSW Government has also developed a renovators and homeowner's
guide to Fibro and Asbestos.

This fact sheet and further information about asbestos can be
found at http://www.nsw.gov.au/fibroand
http://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au

Late last year the NSW Government issued a model asbestos policy
for NSW councils.  Penrith City Council is currently developing a
policy in accordance with this directive.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: High Court Looks Into Pfizer's Bid for Shield
--------------------------------------------------------------
Greg Stohr of Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Supreme Court
signaled interest in Pfizer Inc.'s bid for a shield from some
asbestos lawsuits connected to its Quigley Co. subsidiary, a
bankrupt unit that stopped most operations in 1992.

The justices on Jan. 14 asked the Obama administration for advice
on Pfizer's appeal of a ruling that opened the New York-based
drugmaker to some claims related to Quigley.  That company made
asbestos-containing products for the steel industry from the 1940s
to the 1970s.  Pfizer acquired Quigley in 1968.  Asbestos, once
widely used an insulator, was later shown to cause cancer.

Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, contends that Quigley's
bankruptcy proceedings insulate the parent company from suits
filed by the Baltimore law firm of Peter Angelos.  The firm began
suing Pfizer in Pennsylvania state courts in 1999, saying the
company was legally responsible for some claims because its logo
appeared on Quigley products.

Pfizer says it played no role in making or selling the Quigley
products.  A federal appeals court in New York said the claims
against Pfizer could go forward.

The Supreme Court case is Pfizer v. Law Offices of Peter Angelos,
12-300.  The bankruptcy case is In re Quigley Co., 04-15739, U.S.
Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Fibro Found Near Diggers Camp Water Supply
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jenna Cairney of The Daily Examiner reports that a Diggers Camp
property owner fears his water supply could be contaminated
following the discovery of asbestos near his tank.

Phil Wilson hadn't been at his property since April but returned
before Christmas and found asbestos in an area at the back of his
land.

"I'm concerned about cutting the grass in that area and I'm
worried it's been disturbed by someone driving over it," he said.

"We have an asbestos roof so we don't drink the water from that
and instead drink water that comes off the shed but we're now
concerned this supply has been contaminated."

Mr. Wilson said he couldn't believe what he found on his return to
the Valley and he asked anyone with any knowledge of the asbestos
to contact the council.

Clarence Valley Council's active manager of environment and open
space Rodney Wright said the council was investigating the issue
and would be visiting the site this week along with WorkCover.

"We've done a bit of investigation and the environmental officer
has interviewed the owner and a building contractor and we'll be
going out there with WorkCover to have a look," he said.

"A contractor had been employed locally to take down an old shed
and it seems some of it ended up in the reserve."

"The builder is adamant it was left wrapped in black plastic to be
disposed of."

WorkCover was asked to comment but did not do so as of
publication.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: FMP Group Faces 80 Potential Exposure Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Pat Nolan of The Courier (Aus) reports that at least 80 former
Bendix Brakes employees have signed up to a register amid fears
they might suffer medical issues associated with exposure to
asbestos while working at the Ballarat factory.

Former employees claim the company, now known as FMP Group, was
aware of the dangers posed by asbestos before it stopped using the
product in 2003.

Many say they worked extremely closely with asbestos for years on
end, unaware of the potential dangers.

According to the most recent figures, 80 former Bendix Brakes and
current FMP Group employees have signed up to the database created
by law firm Maurice Blackburn.

One former employee, who stopped working at Bendix in 2002 but
wished to remain anonymous, said employees were always told
asbestos was perfectly safe.

He said workers handled both white and blue asbestos, the latter
of which is considered to be the most lethal.  Inspired to
register with the law firm by the screening of the ABC drama
series Devil's Dust, which portrayed the James Hardie asbestos
saga, the former employee became worried he and his colleagues may
have been exposed to similar dangers.

"Every single day we would be handling asbestos for hours on end,
breathing it in rooms with sometimes poor ventilation," he said.

"We even used to roll it in a ball and throw it at each other,
that's the level at which it was available."

Another former employee said many former workers had since died
but given there was a high percentage of smokers among them, it
was difficult to find any distinct evidence of asbestosis.

He said during family days held annually, the entire factory was
opened to families and children, apart from the areas where
asbestos was used.

"If they didn't know it was dangerous, why did they block it off
to people who didn't work there?" he said.

FMP had no comment when contacted by The Courier.  The company
invested millions of dollars in the early 2000s to re-engineer the
Ballarat factory and to focus on making asbestos-free products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bad Surveys, Poor Management End Up In Fines
-------------------------------------------------------------
Risk Management Solutions (UK) reports that two companies have
been fined for failing to protect workers from coming into contact
with potentially deadly asbestos.

A Swansea-based engineering firm had drafted in a company to
renovate its premises in order to allow the enterprise to expand.

It emerged that the owner of the property had completed two
asbestos surveys before work began, but these were later found to
be inadequate.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the whole project was
poorly managed and employees had been put in unnecessary danger.

Not only were the surveys not up to scratch, but the safety
regulator also discovered that untrained staff had been trusted to
oversee the work.

The development was so shambolic that contractors were instructed
to tape plastic bags around an asbestos insulation board that had
been damaged and work carried on for months with asbestos debris
left lying on the floor.

HSE chiefs said the job should not have got underway until proper
plans were drawn up and the body also advised the building
contractor to conduct a separate Refurbishment and Demolition
survey.

An investigation later found the engineering firm had ignored
guidance given by its own health and safety advisor to inform the
HSE of the demolition process -- a procedure that is required by
law.

The engineering company was fined GBP16,000, while the
construction organization was given an GBP8,000 penalty for the
numerous health and safety failings.

HSE inspector Anne Marie Orrells reiterated just how important it
is for businesses to conduct thorough risk assessments when there
is asbestos present in a building.

"Had a Refurbishment and Demolition survey been undertaken, and
had a licensed asbestos contractor been used to remove all
asbestos materials prior to the work starting, then the risk would
have been eliminated," she remarked.

"Instead this inadequate response left workers exposed to asbestos
fibers, which can cause potentially fatal lung disease.  The
health and safety of workers must not be left to chance."

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 came into effect on April 6th
last year in order to bring the UK in line with an EU Directive
relating to the handling of the hazardous material.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Congressman Puts Forth "Common Sense Waiver Act"
-----------------------------------------------------------------
On Jan. 15, Congressman Bill Owens announced he has put forward
his first piece of legislation in the 113th Congress, the "Common
Sense Waiver Act" (H.R. 204).  The bill is a reintroduction of
legislation from the 112th Congress Owens authored in response to
a situation involving an asbestos-contaminated building in Malone,
New York.

"Since coming to Congress, I've worked to help fix or eliminate
government regulations that just don't make sense," said Owens.
"This legislation represents another opportunity to do exactly
that."

In 2011, Congressman Owens was contacted by officials in the
Village of Malone who expressed concern over a building, formerly
"Nicci's Place," in severe disrepair.  The village sought to
demolish the building, fearing it would collapse, but lacked
sufficient funding to do so because of costs and regulations
associated with demolishing a building that contains asbestos.

As a result, village leadership sought financial assistance to
demolish the building, and Congressman Bill Owens reached out to
the EPA on their behalf.  EPA responded that no such funding was
available, but neither could they waive the expensive, asbestos-
related regulations preventing Malone from demolishing the
building themselves.  The building subsequently collapsed, at
which point EPA stepped in to assist with the cleanup.

The Common Sense Waiver Act would give the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) flexibility at the front end to waive
certain costly regulations governing the demolition of a building
contaminated with asbestos.  To qualify, a building must be
condemned and have a reasonable expectation of structural failure.

"Current regulations say if a town or village can't afford to
demolish a building that contains asbestos, their only course of
action is to let it fall down," said Owens.  "That means higher
costs and greater risk to public safety, which simply doesn't make
sense.  This legislation gives EPA the flexibility to make a
decision based upon the merits of each individual case where
appropriate."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Study Alleviates Fears Regarding Carbon Nanotubes
------------------------------------------------------------------
Nanowerk News reports that safety fears about carbon nanotubes,
due to their structural similarity to asbestos, have been
alleviated following research showing that reducing their length
removes their toxic properties.

In a new study, published Jan. 15, in the journal Angewandte
Chemie ("Asbestos-like Pathogenicity of Long Carbon Nanotubes
Alleviated by Chemical Functionalization"), evidence is provided
that the asbestos-like reactivity and pathogenicity reported for
long, pristine nanotubes can be completely alleviated if their
surface is modified and their effective length is reduced as a
result of chemical treatment.

First atomically described in the 1990s, carbon nanotubes are
sheets of carbon atoms rolled up into hollow tubes just a few
nanometres in diameter.  Engineered carbon nanotubes can be
chemically modified, with the addition of chemotherapeutic drugs,
fluorescent tags or nucleic acids -- opening up applications in
cancer and gene therapy.

Furthermore, these chemically modified carbon nanotubes can pierce
the cell membrane, acting as a kind of 'nano-needle', allowing the
possibility of efficient transport of therapeutic and diagnostic
agents directly into the cytoplasm of cells.

Among their downsides however, have been concerns about their
safety profile.  One of the most serious concerns, highlighted in
2008, involves the carcinogenic risk from the exposure and
persistence of such fibers in the body.  Some studies indicate
that when long untreated carbon nanotubes are injected to the
abdominal cavity of mice they can induce unwanted responses
resembling those associated with exposure to certain asbestos
fibers.

In this paper, the authors describe two different reactions which
ask if any chemical modification can render the nanotubes non-
toxic.  They conclude that not all chemical treatments alleviate
the toxicity risks associated with the material.  Only those
reactions that are able to render carbon nanotubes short and
stably suspended in biological fluids without aggregation are able
to result in safe, risk-free material.

Professor Kostas Kostarelos, Chair of Nanomedicine at the UCL
School of Pharmacy who led the research with his long term
collaborators Doctor Alberto Bianco of the CNRS in Strasbourg,
France and Professor Maurizio Prato of the University of Trieste,
Italy, said: "The apparent structural similarity between carbon
nanotubes and asbestos fibers has generated serious concerns about
their safety profile and has resulted in many unreasonable
proposals of a halt in the use of these materials even in well-
controlled and strictly regulated applications, such as biomedical
ones.  What we show for the first time is that in order to design
risk-free carbon nanotubes both chemical treatment and shortening
are needed."

He added: "Creative strategies to identify the characteristics
that nanoparticles should possess in order to be rendered 'safe-
for-use', and the ways to achieve that, are essential as
nanotechnology and its tools are maturing into applications and
becoming part of our everyday lives."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso-Sufferer Calls to Former Matlock Bath Peers
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Derbyshire Times reports that a former laborer whose first job
was working at Matlock Bath's Masson Mills is looking for his old
colleagues after being diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness.

David Smedley left school in 1974 and spent four years at the
mills, as an employee of English Sewing Ltd.

The 55-year-old went on to join a plastics firm but, last
September, he was diagnosed with a condition called peritoneal
mesothelioma.

It is a cancer which attacks the lining of the abdomen and
commonly caused by exposure to deadly asbestos dust.

Mr. Smedley said he recalled working with asbestos during his time
at the mills -- which have since been converted into a shopping
village and conference centre.

But he said he was no longer in touch with his former work
colleagues, who would have been witnesses to his exposure.

He worked alongside a maintenance fitter and was responsible for
the maintenance of machines throughout the factory.

Mr. Smedley said: "There were a number of hot water pipes running
on every floor -- some of these were eight to 10 inches in
diameter.

"There was a boiler room downstairs and a water turbine generating
the power.  All the pipes were lagged with asbestos insulation.
If there was a leak, then the lagging would have to be removed.
This was normally around a joint or flange.  As the young lad,
this was my responsibility.

"The sweeping up of all the residue dust would be dealt with by me
as this would have been part of my job."

Mr. Smedley said this could happen once or twice a month, with the
duration of the exposure varying because of the extent of the leak
or amount of lagging which needed to be removed.

He said: "I believe there may have also been exposure when
cleaning and maintaining the windows in the area, of which there
were many.

"This is because we would have to put ladders up against the
lagged pipes and there would have been disturbance of the
lagging."

Mr. Smedley said he also thought there may have been asbestos in
the boiler house.

He said: "I would only probably go in once or twice a month but it
always seemed a very dusty atmosphere.

"Throughout the four years, my duties pretty much remained the
same.

"At no time was I ever warned of the dangers of asbestos exposure
or ever provided with any form of protective equipment."

In 1978, Mr. Smedley joined LB Plastics.  He was later employed by
Tarmac Roadstone as a lime spreader and boiler firm TI Parkray
Ltd, of Belper -- among other companies -- but said he was not
exposed to asbestos at these places.

He now lives in Chesterfield.  Anyone who worked with Mr. Smedley
should call Dave Fisher, at Thompson Solicitors, on 0121 262 1256.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Secondary Fibro Exposure Among Irish Wives Noted
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Independent.ie reports that women who were exposed to deadly
asbestos from the fibers and dust brought home on the work clothes
of their tradesmen husbands are among the victims of an aggressive
form of cancer.

A new report has provided fresh insights into cases of
mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs,
chest cavity, or abdomen.

Asbestos was used in construction, motor and other industries for
generations but, when it is disturbed, tiny fibers are released
into the air and if breathed in they can become trapped in
people's lungs for years.

An average of 24 people are newly diagnosed annually with
mesothelioma, which can take up to 60 years to develop after first
exposure.

Men are over five times more likely to be diagnosed than women --
but many of the female patients are the wives of tradesmen such as
electricians and carpenters who would have brought home the
asbestos fibers from work.

A report from the National Cancer Registry said: "Secondary
exposure to asbestos is more probable in women, who are less
likely to have direct work-related exposure.

"90 percent of female mesothelioma patients were, or had been,
married compared to 81 percent of female lung cancer patients
(where secondary exposure to tobacco is also an important risk
factor) and 77 percent of all female cancer patients."

The majority of the patients are between the ages of 60 and 80
when diagnosed, with roughly one third in their 60s and a similar
portion in their 70s.  However, 18 percent of women were aged
under 50 at diagnosis, compared to just 3 percent of male
patients.  Only 10 percent of all patients were aged 80 or older.

"In Ireland, asbestos was mostly used from the 1960s to the mid-
1980s.  It was banned on a phased basis under legislation in 1994
and 1998 and a general prohibition on its use was introduced under
EU regulations in 2004," said the report.

It estimated that the numbers of Irish people who will develop the
disease annually will grow and the annual incidence in 2020 will
be as high as 68.

There is no cure for mesothelioma although it is subject to
several clinical trials.  But treatment can slow down the disease
and ease symptoms.

Chemotherapy was the most common treatment overall and there has
been a clear increase in the proportion of patients treated over
time.

Pleural mesothelioma has a very poor prognosis and the five-year
survival rate in Ireland for all patients diagnosed between 1994
and 2009 was 4.5 percent.

The Health and Safety Authority said that asbestos is now banned,
but products or materials containing asbestos, which were already
installed or in service, can remain in place until they are
disposed of or reach the end of their service life.

As a result, there is still potential for exposure to asbestos in
a variety of workplaces due to the large quantities of the
material used in buildings in the past.

As long as the asbestos is in good condition and there is no
disturbance or damage to the asbestos containing material, it will
not pose a risk to health as fibers will not be released.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hampshire Bosses Slams 2-Ton Toxic Fibro Dump
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Southern Daily Echo (UK) reports that two tons of cancer-
causing asbestos sheeting have been dumped in Hampshire.

Council bosses are urging people who may have seen anyone fly-tip
huge piles of the potentially lethal substance at Greenhill Lane,
Rownhams, to come forward.

Test Valley Borough Council's environment boss, Councillor Peter
Boulton said: "Asbestos is a very dangerous substance as it
releases cancer-causing fibers into the air when damaged.

"Householders can dispose of small amounts of cement bonded
asbestos free of charge at five specially licensed Household Waste
Recycling Centres throughout Hampshire.

"Large amounts should be removed by a reputable asbestos removal
company.

"The asbestos was dumped in a rural location but somebody could
have seen something.

"The council is asking for help as fly-tipping is illegal,
dangerous and expensive to clear up and we need to put a stop to
it.  I would urge anyone with any information to contact us as
soon as possible."

Witnesses of the incident or individuals with any useful
information are encouraged to contact the council's environmental
service at 01264 368000 in confidence.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abate X Awarded Farmington Library Cleanup Job
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bryon Saxton of The Standard-Examiner reports that removing the
asbestos in the old main branch library in Farmington is going to
cost Davis County about $24,000 more than the lowest bid.

The apparent low bidder for the project left out some critical
information in their bid, leaving Davis County little choice but
to take the next-lowest bid.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Davis County Commission issued notice of
award to Abate X Environmental Services Inc. of Smithfield.  The
Cache County-based company submitted a bid of $63,897 for the
work.

The bid submitted by the company was the second-lowest of five
bids.

The apparent low bidder was "unresponsive," having left out of the
bid critical information pertaining to the project, said Barry
Burton, Davis County director of planning.

Burton is serving as the county's manager on the project.

"This one is still under our budget, so we're in good shape,"
Burton told the commission regarding having to accept the second-
lowest bid.

The county has budgeted $100,000 for the work, Davis County
Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said.

The asbestos in the old county library has to be removed before
the building can be torn down, and a parking lot go in.

The old library, built in 1964, is directly east of the Memorial
County Courthouse at 28 E. State St. in Farmington.

The bids the county received for the work ranged from a high of
$104,000, to the apparent low bid of $39,878, according to
officials.

The asbestos removal should take place in February, Burton said,
with the building set to be razed sometime in March.

It is the intent of county officials to have the old building
removed from the campus and a new parking lot in its place by the
end of spring, officials said.

Once the old library is razed, it will open up additional space
for parking on the county campus.

The county campus consists of the new $1.8 million Children's
Justice Center, the $15.7 million Davis County Administrative
Offices and the new $4.6 million Davis County Main Branch Library.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Highland Middle School Abatement Pact Approved
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brooke Tajer of The White Lake-Highland Patch reports that if
Highland Township hopes to save any part of the Highland Middle
School building, the township board will have to come up with up
to $150,000 according to the Huron Valley School Board.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 15, the school board said
the township has until Feb. 1 to come up with a proposal that will
allow some part of Highland Middle School to remain.

The idea was first presented to the township by Superintendent Jim
Baker.  Under the proposal, the township would pay the cost (up to
$150,000) to hook the Highland Middle School gymnasium up to
heating and cooling -- allowing it to be a standalone structure.
In return, the school district would allow the gym and possibly an
entrance to Highland Middle School to be saved from demolition.

"The school district's goal would be to remain cost neutral in
regards to the annual operation of this facility.  We simply
cannot allow ourselves to fall into a deficit spending situation,"
Baker wrote in a letter to Highland Township.  "Therefore, further
conversations would have to take place (with Highland Township) in
regards to shared future costs, legacy costs etc."

The gym, if saved, will be used by both the district and the
community.  Baker said area schools have expressed an interest in
using the gym for programs, as well has the Highland senior
center.

In the meantime, the district also approved asbestos abatement
contracts for both Baker Elementary in Milford and Highland Middle
School.  The work will start in the next few days, though the gym
under discussion for saving will be spared until after the Feb. 1
deadline.

In addition, the school board will enter into negotiations for the
sale of the Baker Elementary property.

At the meeting, Sean Carlson, board president, said the district
received three offers for the Baker Elementary property.  Only one
offer met the threshold for fair market value -- something the
district asked for in order to be able to sell the property
without compromising bonds.

There was also an offer for the purchase of Highland Middle
School, but that offer did not come close to fair market price and
was denied.

Donna Welch, assistant superintendent of administrative service,
said the district could not be specific about the offers because
the offer were only letters of interest and the district wanted to
be able to negotiate fairly on the properties.

The township board is expected to meet again Feb. 4 to discuss any
offers made by Highland Township to save the gym at Highland
Middle School.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Virginia Supreme Court Reverses $17MM Meso Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Nathan Bass of Legal Newsline reports that the Virginia Supreme
Court has reversed and remanded a case in which a jury awarded
over $17 million dollars to the estate of a shipyard worker who
died from mesothelioma.

Justice Leroy F. Millette, Jr., wrote the majority opinion and
Justice Elizabeth A. McClanahan wrote an opinion, concurring in
part and dissenting in part, joined by Justice Cleo E. Powell.

Rubert E. Minton was employed at the Newport News Shipbuilding and
Dry Dock Company, referred to as Shipyard, from 1956 until 1993
with the exception of the two years he spent in the Army Reserves.

Minton worked in a variety of positions on the construction of new
vessels but never worked aboard any Exxon vessels when he did
hands on work, according to the opinion.

"He was regularly exposed to asbestos from asbestos-containing
materials as well as from asbestos dust from a dusty worksite and
does not claim that Exxon is liable for this asbestos exposure."

In 1966, Minton was promoted to a supervisory position and
although he no longer did hands on work and therefore no longer
actually handled asbestos products, "Minton spent approximately
half of his day walking through vessels on which repairs were
being made with each vessel's repair supervisor or port engineer,
to start new jobs and to inspect the repair work that was being
done or that was recently completed."

"During these inspections, Minton and the ship's port engineer
viewed various rooms in which asbestos was used, including the
boiler and engine rooms . . . Over Minton's eleven years as repair
supervisor, Exxon owned seventeen of the approximately two hundred
vessels repaired by the Shipyard."

In 2009, Minton was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a form
of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, and he subsequently
filed suit against Exxon "for failure to warm Minton of, and
protect him from, the dangers associated with asbestos."

"The jury found in favor of Minton and awarded him $12,000,000 in
compensatory damages, $430,963.70 in medical expenses, plus
punitive damages in the amount of $12,500,000.

"Exxon's motions to set aside the verdict, for a new trial, and
for remittitur were denied, except that the punitive damage award
was reduced to $5,000,000, the amount sought in Minton's ad damnum
clause.  Exxon timely filed its appeal."

Millette wrote, "Exxon first challenges the sufficiency of the
evidence to establish that it violated the requisite duty of care
. . . We disagree and conclude that the evidence was sufficient
for a reasonable jury to find that both the active control duty
and the duty to intervene were owed to Minton and subsequently
breached."

"Exxon's second challenge is to the sufficiency of the evidence
presented to establish that Exxon's breach of its duty of care
caused Minton's injury."

"According to Exxon, because the experts testified that Minton's
prior work in vessel construction was sufficient exposure to cause
mesothelioma, any breach by Exxon could not be established as the
cause of Minton's subsequently-diagnosed mesothelioma."

Millette then explained that, however, "it is established maritime
law that an injured party may sue a tortfeasor for the full amount
of damage for an indivisible injury that the tortfeasor's
negligence was a substantial factor in causing."

"The question before the jury was therefore whether the evidence
was sufficient to show that Minton's exposure to asbestos while on
Exxon's vessels was a substantial contributing factor in the
development of Minton's injury, mesothelioma . . . we agree with
Minton that there was sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to
find that Exxon's actions were a substantial contributing factor
in Minton's injury."

"Exxon also assigns error to the circuit court's exclusion of
evidence regarding the Shipyard's knowledge of the danger of
asbestos exposure and its policies in place to protect the
Shipyard workers from the hazard," Millette wrote regarding
Exxon's third of four assignments of error.

"Exxon contends that, due to the court's denial of its requests to
introduce evidence about the Shipyard's knowledge and safety
measures, the jury was given the false impression that Exxon had
unique knowledge and was therefore the only actor with the ability
to protect Minton from harm.

"Exxon argues that this error was highly prejudicial and therefore
warrants reversal.

"The circuit court found the Shipyard's knowledge of the danger of
exposure to asbestos and its ability and intent to remedy that
danger irrelevant.  We hold, however, that evidence tending to
show the Shipyard's knowledge of the danger and its ability and
intent to remedy the danger is relevant in the determination of
whether Exxon had a duty to intervene to protect Minton.

"Because we cannot determine from the record whether the jury
found in favor of Minton based upon the duty to intervene without
the opportunity to consider the excluded evidence, or because of
Exxon's violation of the active control duty, we will reverse the
judgment of the circuit court," Millette wrote.

"Finally, Exxon challenges the award of punitive damages, basing
its argument on the language of [the Longshore and Harbor Workers
Compensation Act] which it argues forecloses the remedy.

The Court agreed with Exxon's interpretation of the statute,
holding "that the award of $12,500,000 in punitive damages was
inappropriately granted because punitive damages are a remedy
prohibited by the terms of LHWCA."  The $12,500,000 award had been
reduced by the trial court to $5 million but this had no effect on
this holding as the Court declared no punitive damages are
allowed.

In her opinion, concurring in part and dissenting in part,
McClanahan agreed with the majority holdings that Minton presented
sufficient evidence to establish Exxon's duty to intervene but
disagreed with the majority conclusion that the trial court erred
in excluding evidence of the Shipyard's knowledge of the dangers
of asbestos and its policies toward protecting Shipyard employees.

McClanahan sided with the trial court, writing, "In light of
Minton's proof that Exxon had a duty to intervene, the Shipyard's
asbestos-related knowledge and policies were irrelevant to Exxon's
duty to protect shipyard workers on its ships."

McClanahan also disagreed with the majority's interpretation of
the LHWCA provision relied on to make its punitive damages ruling,
stating that LHWCA "does not preclude as a matter of law a
shipyard worker from seeking to recover punitive damages in a
negligence action against a shipowner."

McClanahan and Powell would have affirmed the trial court in
total.  The majority holding summarized by Millette, however, did
not:

"For the aforementioned reasons, we will reverse the judgment of
the circuit court based on its exclusion of relevant evidence
regarding the Shipyard's knowledge of the danger of asbestos
exposure and its ability to remedy the danger, and remand for
further proceedings consistent with this opinion.  We will also
reverse the circuit court's award of punitive damages and enter
final judgment as to that claim."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: British Insurers Oppose NHS Reimbursement Bill
---------------------------------------------------------------
BBC News Wales reports that legislation to refund the NHS in Wales
for the cost of treating asbestos sufferers is unnecessary and
impractical, say insurance firms.

They claim the cost of recovering the money would outweigh the
benefit to the public purse.

Proposals going through the Welsh assembly would force businesses
to pay the medical costs of staff who suffer from exposure to
asbestos.

But insurers say the assembly lacks the power to change the law.

The proposal is contained in a private member's bill by Labour
backbencher Mick Antoniw, who wants companies to reimburse the NHS
for treating employees who fall ill after working with asbestos.

In evidence to AMs, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) says
the bill would impose new costs for asbestos-related claims.

Insurers would not have accounted for this decades ago, forcing
them to recoup the money from current policyholders, it says.

Although it recognized the assembly's power over health policy,
"we do not believe that such modification of insurance policies
falls within its competency", it said.

It also warned that the administrative burden of recovering money
would outweigh what it is estimated to bring in.

The ABI said a package of proposals to help sufferers from
asbestos-related diseases will be introduced across the UK by 2014
anyway.  They are mainly aimed at mesothelioma -- a cancer caused
by asbestos exposure.

'Further complexity'

Its evidence lists the practical problems to recovering the cost
of treating diseases, and says a proposal to refund the money to
the Welsh government instead of specific parts of the NHS "creates
further complexity."

The bill fails to give concrete examples of how the money raised
would help asbestos sufferers, it added.

It said: "We do not think the bill delivers the objectives of
reducing the financial burden on the NHS, or of helping to support
asbestos-related disease claimants."

Asbestos was widely used as a building material from the 1950s
until the 1980s, often as fireproofing and insulation.

Pontypridd AM Mr. Antoniw has previously said the cost of treating
sufferers is a huge financial burden for the NHS.

About 90 deaths a year in Wales are thought to be caused by
mesothelioma.  The care provided by the NHS in Wales for victims
is estimated to be more than GBP2 million per year.

The Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases Bill would
mean the Welsh government could recover the cost of treatment from
an employer or an insurer after a judgment or settlement in civil
claims.

It would also apply to employers outside Wales if the victim was
treated by the Welsh NHS.

In a separate submission, the Forum of Insurance Lawyers foresees
practical problems with the bill and suggests it could be
challenged under the European Convention of Human Rights.

However the charity Marie Curie, which provides palliative care
for terminally-ill cancer patients, supports the legislation.

"What it does have the potential to achieve is to release not
insignificant funds back into the healthcare system in Wales," it
says.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Kills Cirencester Head Teacher
------------------------------------------------------------
The Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard reports that a Cirencester
head teacher died because he was regularly exposed to asbestos at
the schools where he worked during his career, an inquest has
heard.

David MacDonald, who led Amberley Ridge School in Stroud, died on
July 2 last year, Gloucester Coroner's Court heard after he was
diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in August
2011, the 57-year-old made a statement outlining his career and
the places where he came into contact with the deadly substance.

They included Amberley Ridge as well as Chiltern Gate School at
High Wycombe and Warnham Court School in West Sussex.

The father-of-three, of Chesterton Lane, Cirencester, had first
come into contact with asbestos while working at Warnham Court
School near Horsham where pipes were lagged with asbestos which
were damaged when work was carried out on a boiler.  The material
had also been identified in a camping store.

He became deputy head of Chiltern Gate School, which also
contained asbestos, before being appointed headteacher of Amberley
Ridge.

At Amberley Ridge he reported asbestos in the boiler room and
remembered being completely covered in asbestos dust as he was
present when it was removed.

He later started suffering from lethargy and was then admitted to
hospital with a collapsed lung.  After being treated he was
diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.

Specialist consultant Dr. Robin Rudd told the inquest at the
Gloucestershire Coroners Court in Gloucester that mesothelioma
without asbestos exposure was one case in a million but he said
Mr. MacDonald's occupational history confirmed his exposure.

"Each of his employments increased the risk that he would develop
it," he added.

A post mortem carried out by consultant pathologist Dr. Preti
Joshi found a very low level of asbestos fibers in Mr. MacDonald's
lungs.

But she said such low levels could occur in those exposed to
asbestos many years before death and still be linked to the cause
of death.

Summing up, Gloucestershire Assistant Deputy Coroner Katy Skerrett
said she was satisfied Mr. MacDonald's exposure to asbestos had
caused the mesothelioma and recorded a verdict of death from
industrial disease.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kankakee Developer Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Daily Journal reports that the Kankakee developer Mike Pinski
will serve six months in federal prison for his role in the August
2009 illegal and unsafe removal of asbestos materials from a
downtown Kankakee property.

The material from the five-story Pinski-owned property at 197 S.
West Ave. was arranged to be dumped in a remote area of Pembroke
Township -- a violation of the Clean Air Act -- by two men, Duane
"Butch" O'Malley, 60, of Bourbonnais, and James A. Mikrut, 50, of
Manteno.

O'Malley and Mikrut previously were sentenced for their roles in
the offense.  Mikrut was sentenced to one year and a day in
federal prison.  O'Malley received a 10-year sentence.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 297 Quake-Damaged Christchurch Homes Have Fibro
----------------------------------------------------------------
Radio New Zealand News reports that hundreds of earthquake-damaged
Christchurch homes have tested positive for asbestos and more than
2,000 are yet to be tested, new figures show.

But the Earthquake Commission, which released the figures, says
the potentially toxic insulation material is not always removed.

Canterbury's Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey wants all
of the region's quake-damaged homes that have been found to
contain asbestos listed on a public register.

The figures show that 875 individual homes have been tested and
297 have tested positive for asbestos contamination.

A spokesperson says a further 2,099 properties with claims on them
are waiting to be tested.

However, the commission says contractors are required only to
encase undisturbed asbestos in damaged ceilings, rather than
remove it entirely.

In a statement, EQC says it is following the relevant national
guidelines and the recommended practice of Canterbury Public
Health.

"All of our EQC field staff and Fletchers EQR supervisors have
been given training in the correct identification of asbestos.

"If they suspect asbestos is present, then a sample is taken and
sent for testing.  This is completed by an independent specialist.

"Where contractors repairing homes find dangerous asbestos, it is
always removed."

Dr. Humphrey says while the number of contaminated houses is low,
there still needs to be a public register.

By sealing off the ceilings, the EQC repairs hide the asbestos
from tenants and future owners of the home, he believes.

Dr. Humphrey says he has asked for a meeting with the Earthquake
Commission, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment to discuss future guidelines for
asbestos treatment and removal.  He says the commission refused
the offer.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rebidding On for Davison County Abatement Project
------------------------------------------------------------------
Ross Dolan of The Daily Republic reports that The Davison County
Commission incorrectly awarded an asbestos removal contract on
Tuesday, Jan. 15, said Chairman John Claggett, and the county must
now cancel that agreement and solicit sealed bids for the job.

Claggett said the determination was made after the commission
approved a bid of $24,837 from Gary Snow & Associates, of Pierre,
for asbestos removal at the former Central Electric building.  The
asbestos abatement job is part of renovations to the 1420 N. Main
St. property, which the county purchased from Central Electric in
November for $575,000.  The county is converting the building to
space for commission meetings and county health nurse offices.

Puetz Corp., of Mitchell, will manage the building's $261,700
renovation contract, which does not include asbestos removal.

As a courtesy, Puetz representatives contacted three abatement
contractors who submitted quotes for the asbestos removal job.
The commissioners approved the lowest quote on Jan. 15 during a
meeting at the courthouse.

The asbestos removal job, however, was never publicly advertised
as state law requires.

"We found we have to go through a full bid process," said
Claggett, who expressed frustration at continued delays for the
project.

Claggett said the county is bound by state bidding regulations.
The county would be exempt from such regulations if the project
was an emergency, Claggett said, but the county faces no such
emergency need for the building.

"The sad part is that we already published bids in the paper," he
said.  That could result in a higher cost as the project's
timeline is moved ahead, since potential bidders will now have
seen the previous bids.

The commissioners knew the building contained asbestos when it was
purchased, but they initially believed little would be disturbed
during renovations.  That turned out not to be the case.

Puetz Corp. cannot proceed with renovation plans until asbestos in
the "popcorn" textured ceilings and floor tiles is removed.

Auditor Susan Kiepke said it was she who felt uncomfortable with
the commissioners' action and later checked with Deene Dayton,
director of local government assistance for the Department of
Legislative Audit.  She determined the commissioners incorrectly
awarded the contract.

In the past, the commissioners put items out to bid that were more
than $25,000.

State bidding regulations have two bidding thresholds, said Dayton
on Wednesday, Jan. 16, in a telephone interview -- a $25,000 bid
threshold for supplies and equipment, and a $50,000 threshold that
applies to public improvements.

It was Dayton's judgment that asbestos removal is part of a larger
project exceeding that amount, which means any purchase or
contract will have to be put out to public bid.

The $50,000 bidding threshold applies to the total cost of a
project, explained Dayton, and not merely to individual components
of that project.  "It does not matter that it may take the skills
of a different vendor; it is part of the same project that is
under way to get the building ready," Dayton wrote in an email
explanation to the commissioners.

Kiepke said the original bidders are still eligible to bid on the
project.  The county will have to develop bidding specifications
and publish a request for bids, she said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Statute of Limitations in ARD Cases Addressed
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nathan Bass of Legal Newsline reports that on a certified question
of law from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the
Virginia Supreme Court held that a cause of action due to latent
mesothelioma accrues "upon the first communication of a diagnosis
of an asbestos-related injury or disease (ARD) by a physician."

The Jan. 10 majority opinion of the Court was written by Chief
Justice Cynthia D. Kinser with Justice LeRoy F. Millette Jr.,
joined by Justice William C. Mims, authoring a dissent.

The certified question to the Court reads:

Whether, under Va. Code Sec. 8.01-249(4), a plaintiff's cause of
action for damages due to latent mesothelioma is deemed to accrue
(i) at the time of the mesothelioma diagnosis or (ii) decades
earlier, when the plaintiff was diagnosed with an independent,
non-malignant asbestos-related disease.

The certified question came about as a result the case of Orvin H.
Kiser Sr., a DuPont plant worker in Waynesboro, Va., from 1957 to
1985.  Kiser initially filed suit in 1988 against numerous
manufacturers, sellers, and distributors, seeking damages for his
employment related exposure to asbestos and resulting medical
condition.

At that time, Kiser had been diagnosed with nonmalignant pleural
thickening and asbestosis, according to the opinion.

In November 2008, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-
related malignant cancer of the lung lining, and he died the
following March.

Kiser's wife and executrix of his estate, Phyllis H. Kiser, filed
a wrongful death action in October 2010 against "twenty-one
defendants, none of which were parties to the first action," the
opinion states.

"The Executrix alleged that Kiser's exposure to the defendants'
products during his employment at the DuPont plant caused Kiser's
development of mesothelioma and subsequent death."

The various defendants filed motions to dismiss on the theory that
the statute of limitation barred the 2010 suit because "under the
indivisible cause of action rule, the current action accrued at
the time of Kiser's diagnosis of asbestosis and pleural thickening
and that the action was therefore barred by the two-year statute
of limitations set forth in Code Sec. 8.01-243(A)."

The Executrix maintained that another code, Code Sec. 8.01-249(4),
abolished the indivisible cause of action theory and that a new
statute of limitations was triggered when Kiser was diagnosed with
mesothelioma in 2008.

The district court held that "Code Sec. 8.01-249(4) instituted a
discovery rule for the accrual of asbestos-related causes of
action but did not supplant the indivisible cause of action rule
with a 'separate disease rule.'"

The district court held, "Virginia adheres to the indivisible
cause of action theory and the statute of limitations for all
asbestos-related claims begins to run on the initial date of
diagnosis by a physician of any asbestos-related disease."

The Executrix then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit and the Third Circuit recognized that the timeliness
of this cause of action "turned on an unresolved question of
Virginia law: whether the indivisible cause of action theory
applies to distinct and independent asbestos-related diseases
stemming from the same exposure to asbestos."

The Third Circuit then certified the question to Virginia's
highest court.

"[A] statute of limitations usually commences to run when injury
is incurred as a result of a wrongful act," Kinser wrote.  "By
enacting Code Sec. 8.01-249(4), however, the General Assembly
carved out an exception to this principle for asbestos exposure
causes of action."

Code Sec. 8.01-249(4) states:

The cause of action . . . [i]n actions for injury to the person
resulting from exposure to asbestos or products containing
asbestos [shall be deemed to accrue] when a diagnosis of
asbestosis, interstitial fibrosis, mesothelioma, or other
disabling asbestos-related injury or disease is first communicated
to the person or his agent by a physician.

The Executrix contended that the separate listing of the different
asbestos-related diseases clearly shows the legislature's intent
to treat each disease as a separate cause of action.

"By listing separate diseases in the disjunctive," Kinser wrote,
"the General Assembly merely indicated that the diagnosis of any
one disease triggers the statute's application, a perfectly
sensible decision given the commonality of the listed diseases in
asbestos exposure cases.

"In other words, the General Assembly did not create a separate
cause of action for each asbestos-related injury or disease."

"We are well aware of the quandary confronting a plaintiff who has
been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease in deciding when
to file an action under the current statutory and common law
regime.

"We are also aware that numerous jurisdictions, in noting the
quandary, have permitted separate causes of action for malignant
and non-malignant asbestos-related diseases.

"But we have repeatedly said that, in Virginia, remedying such
policy-related problems is the role of the General Assembly, not
ours.

"The indivisible cause of action rule has existed in the
Commonwealth for decades, and a decision that causes of action for
asbestos exposure are not subject to the rule must come from the
General Assembly, not the Court.

"For the reasons stated, we answer that question in the negative
with respect to alternative [I] and in the affirmative with
respect to alternative [II]."

Millette disagreed with the majority's analysis.

"Today, the majority holds that by enacting Code Sec. 8.01-249(4),
the General Assembly instituted a discovery rule for the accrual
of actions based on exposure to asbestos.  It did not, however,
abrogate the indivisible cause of action principle by creating a
'separate disease rule.'

"I agree with my colleagues that Code Sec. 8.01-249(4) has but one
purpose -- to create a discovery rule.  Because I do not agree
that this conclusion mandates the outcome of today's opinion,
however, I respectfully dissent.

"There is no statutory law or common law rule in Virginia
requiring that distinct asbestos-related diseases constitute the
same cause of action.  When, as in the case of asbestosis and
mesothelioma, there are two distinct and unrelated harms that
accrue at different times, the plaintiff may have two separate
causes of action.

"The relatively short latency period for asbestosis, the
applicable two-year statute of limitations for personal injury,
and the substantially longer latency period for mesothelioma
virtually guarantee that individuals who have asbestosis will be
barred from recovering damages should they subsequently develop
mesothelioma.

"For these reasons, I would answer the certified question of law
in the affirmative with respect to alternative [I] and in the
negative with respect to alternative [II].  I respectfully
dissent."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Costs Hinder Salesian School Demolition
------------------------------------------------------------------
Geri Corey of The Chronicle reports that Goshen town and village
officials are giving demolition of the school building at the
Salesian property on Main Street a lot of thought.  Both boards
agree the building should be torn down but ask:  at what cost?

In September, town engineer Dennis Lindsey prepared a Request for
Proposals (RFP) to get bids on the complete demolition of the
building, which was built in 1931.  Four companies responded.
Their estimates, ranging from $400,000 to $700,000 far exceeded
town and village budgets, especially since the estimates were left
open-ended.  The final cost depends on the amount of asbestos
discovered during the demolition process.

Asbestos is a now-banned mineral fiber once used in construction
as a fire retardant.  According to the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, diseases associated with asbestos exposure
include lung cancer; mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer found in
the lining of the lung, chest, abdomen and heart; and asbestosis,
a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs.

In November the town board agreed to do additional laboratory
testing to find out how extensive the asbestos is.  The additional
laboratory samples and tests done cost $2,430, or $1,215 each for
the town and village.

The town and village purchased the nearly 50-acre parcel from
Orange County in 2004.  Because it was a joint purchase, the
village and town split all costs.

An asbestos study commissioned by the town and village was done in
2005, but regulations for handling asbestos have since gotten more
stringent.  Now the cost to update the 2005 report, originally
done by Quality Environmental Solutions and Technologies (QUEST),
will cost between $4,000 and $6,000.  An update is needed to
develop specifications for a new RFP.

With demolition costs escalating, Town Councilman George Lyons
decided to assess future costs before having the municipalities
invest additional money in an RFP.  For a rough estimate of how
much it will cost to eradicate all the asbestos, Lyons turned to
Paul Rodriguez of QUEST.  Rodriguez said he will contact Asbestos
Corporation of America for an approximate price and will not
charge the town or village for looking into it.

When they know the approximate cost, town and village officials
can then sit down and see if it's doable, he said.

"This is going to be expensive -- asbestos abatement, monitoring
and building demolition," Lyons warned.

With asbestos in most areas of the school, about 60 percent of the
building will be gone after abatement.

"It won't look like the building it is today," said Lyons.

Officials have discussed the possibility of town and village
public works employees tearing down the remaining shell and
removing the debris from the site in order to save costs.

"There are problems at Salesian, and they're only going to get
worst," said Lyons.  He said there are liability and environmental
issues:  for example, if the building collapses and asbestos is
released, or if someone gets hurt at the abandoned building.

"Either we face this now and bite the bullet or put a hold on it,
but then someone will have to do something about this someday," he
said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Professionally Packed Hazmat Baffle Investigators
------------------------------------------------------------------
The St. Helens Star (UK) reports that environmental officers are
investigating an unusual case of fly tipping in which asbestos has
been dumped.

The sheets had been professionally wrapped and taped.  Correct red
marked bags had even been used for the smaller pieces that were
all ready for safe disposal.

It was dumped at ground off Parr Stocks Road, Parr and Gorsey
Lane, Bold.

Councillor Richard McCauley, cabinet member for Environmental
Protection, said:  "We do not believe this was dumped by an
accredited asbestos removal company but clearly it has been done
by someone who knows how the industry works and with access to the
correct materials.

"However, the blue visqueen sheets and silver colored tape are not
typical and may provide a clue leading us to the culprit."

Anyone who has had asbestos removed and recognize the description
of the wrapping is asked to contact the council in confidence.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: UAW, Cleveland Law Firm Conduct Fibro Screenings
-----------------------------------------------------------------
WKBN 27 reports that one of the unfortunate legacies of the area's
industrial past is the potential exposure workers have had to
asbestos over the years.  Recently, leaders with United
Autoworkers 1112 arranged for screenings to be conducted at their
union hall on Reuther Drive S.W. in Warren, Ohio.

The testing was done by a Cleveland area law firm that specializes
in cases involving asbestos related lung diseases.

Union leaders said those workers or retirees who might have been
exposed to the material prior to the late 1970s may be able to
access funds from a class-action lawsuit filed against companies
that made asbestos.

"It was an outcry from my retired members that they had heard that
other facilities were doing this screening, and they would like to
have the opportunity to see if they had been exposed to asbestos
and so they could seek proper treatment for it," said UAW Local
1112 president Glenn Johnson.

Johnson said the first screening was held in November, but another
session is being planned for this spring to accommodate those
retirees who were not able to attend the earlier session.

Those retirees who are identified as having been exposed to
asbestos are then referred to their own doctors for treatment.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: San Jose-Based Abatement Firm Fined $180,000
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Californian reports that Monterey County District Attorney
Dean Flippo has announced on Jan. 17 his Consumer and
Environmental Protection Unit, along with the Environmental
Protection Unit of the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's
Office, reached a settlement with Z-Con Specialty Services, Inc.,
an asbestos abatement contractor headquartered in San Jose, and
its owner David Zanotti, for violations of environmental laws
regulating abatement and emission of asbestos, a hazardous air
pollutant.

Z-Con Specialty Services and David Zanotti agreed to pay a total
settlement of $180,000 in civil penalties, costs, and supplemental
environmental projects to resolve this matter.  The terms of the
settlement also include a permanent injunction that requires
strict compliance with asbestos-related laws and regulations.

In May 2011, August 2011, and August 2012, Z-Con Specialty
Services was hired by local contractors to remove asbestos
containing materials at various construction and demolition sites
in Monterey County and Santa Cruz County.

Violations committed by Z-Con at these projects include removing
asbestos containing materials such as roofing paper, wallboard
texture, and linoleum floor backing without using proper wet
methods to prevent friable asbestos fibers from becoming airborne.

Violations also include failing to remove all asbestos from a
facility, failing to have a competent supervisor on site, failing
to conduct a proper asbestos survey to determine whether asbestos
is present, failing to notify the Air District of a regulated
asbestos abatement activity, as well as additional violations of
the federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air
Pollutants (NESHAP), California Health and Safety Code, Monterey
Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District (MBUAPCD) rules, and
Cal-OSHA regulations governing worker safety with respect to
asbestos abatement.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Illegal Fibro Abater Faces Imprisonment, Fine
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Beym of The South Jersey Times reports that a federal jury
on Friday, Jan. 18, returned guilty verdicts on all counts against
Gene Cornell Smith, 43, of Lumberton, NJ, announced United States
Attorney Zane David Memeger

The jury convicted Smith of conspiring with contractor Clarence
Cole, a co-defendant who previously pleaded guilty, to rip out a
boiler and asbestos insulated pipes illegally, after finding out
how much it cost to properly remove asbestos.  The jury also
convicted Smith of five separate counts of Clean Air Act
violations.

"The defendant not only removed and disposed of asbestos illegally
and unsafely, he continued to do so even after authorities warned
him to stop," said David G. McLeod, Jr., Special Agent in Charge
of EPA's criminal enforcement program in Pennsylvania.  "There is
no safe level of exposure to asbestos:  its unsafe disposal
endangers human health.  Today's guilty verdict demonstrates that
anyone who tries to save money by breaking the law will pay the
consequences."

The defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 30 years
imprisonment; three years of supervised release; a fine of up to
$1,500,000; and a $600 special assessment.   A date for sentencing
will be set by U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia Rufe, who
presided over the 5-day trial.

The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency
Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Abrams and Special Assistant
U.S. Attorney Thomas Moshang.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Somerville Public Library Closes for Abatement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Somerville Today reports that the Somerville Public Library,
located at 35 West End Avenue in Somerville, NJ, will close at
3:00 pm on Wednesday, Jan. 23 and reopen at approximately 12 noon
on Friday, Jan. 25.  During that time, asbestos abatement will
take place at the library.

The library is getting ready to undergo renovations later this
year in order to provide better space utilization for patrons' use
and enjoyment.  While the asbestos is currently contained and
sealed in floor tiles and of no risk to anyone, the tiles must be
removed to insure that they are not broken during the construction
work.

Patrons with further questions can call SCLS at (908) 725-1336 or
visit the website at http://www.sclsnj.org The Somerset County
Library System has branches in Bridgewater, Bound Brook,
Hillsborough, Manville, at the Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill,
North Plainfield, Peapack & Gladstone, Somerville, Warren Township
and Watchung.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pakistan Fights Mesothelioma, May Fully Ban Fibro
------------------------------------------------------------------
Surviving Mesothelioma and Cancer Monthly reports that Pakistan
may be on the brink of banning the leading cause of mesothelioma.
The mineral asbestos, used for decades in various industries, is
believed to be responsible for nearly all cases of mesothelioma,
an intractable cancer of the linings around organs.  Now, the
National Assembly's Standing Committee on Human Resource
Development in Pakistan is recommending that the use and
importation of asbestos be permanently banned in the country.

The committee made the recommendation after a series of hearings
on asbestos and its link to mesothelioma.  Federal Human Resource
Secretary Raja Ahsan told the committee that asbestos presents a
"major threat" for mesothelioma and cancer among Pakistan's
industrial workers.  Asbestos consumption continues to rise in
Pakistan; One study shows that the figure quadrupled from 1,590
tons to 9,170 tons from 2000 to 2004 alone.

The director of the Centre for the Improvement of Working
Conditions and Environment argued, however, that a total ban is
too strong and suggested that some asbestos-containing products
are not a threat.  He argued that products in which asbestos is
sealed should be exempt from the ban.  Of the countries bordering
Pakistan, only China has enacted its own asbestos ban.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of internal membranes that often strikes
people who have worked or lived around asbestos decades after
their initial exposure.  It is believed to be caused by chronic
irritation from asbestos fibers that the body cannot expel.  The
prognosis for mesothelioma is typically poor.

Medical experts worldwide agree that asbestos dramatically
increases the risk for mesothelioma as well as asbestosis, lung
cancer and lung scarring.  A 2006 letter to the Pakistani
government from the All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions
stated, "The scientific and medical evidence on the dangers of
this building material is beyond doubt."  The National Assembly's
recommendation for a ban will be sent to the Ministry of Commerce
and Federal Board of Revenue, which is responsible for banning
imports.

Fifty-five countries, including most members of the European
Union, have asbestos bans in place.  Asbestos use remains legal in
the U.S. where there is no comprehensive ban.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: UK Legal System Reforms to Slash ARD Payouts
-------------------------------------------------------------
Josh Layton of The Swindon Advertiser (UK) reports that thousands
of victims of asbestos-related diseases (ARD) and their relatives
face having compensation payouts slashed under Government reforms
to the legal system.

Changes to the 'no win no fee' system could affect claims made by
victims of mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by exposure
to the deadly substance.

The proposals include a computerized 'portal' scheme originally
set up to assess low value car accident claims being extended to
cover mesothelioma cases.

Lawyers may no longer be able to claim success fees from defendant
insurers but would have to retrieve up to 25 percent of the
compensation from their clients.

The Government has agreed to exempt mesothelioma sufferers from
the reforms while it consults on the plans and is due to report
back in the autumn.

Leading industrial disease lawyer Brigitte Chandler --
brigitte.chandler@clmlaw.co.uk -- warned the changes would hit
many thousands of victims and their families.

Ms. Chandler, who is based in Old Town with Charles, Lucas and
Marshall solicitors, said:  "The idea is that mesothelioma claims
will be put into a digital portal system where a set formula will
determine how a case proceeds.

"At the moment a successful claim attracts a lump sum of damages
on top of legal costs.

"As it is these are already much lower than in other Western
countries.

"The reforms might mean that victims and their families will have
to go to people like junior legal executives who won't have the
expertise to pursue large complicated cases.

"If they go to a senior lawyer with the expertise to pursue the
case for the maximum amount of damages they may have to foot most
of their costs themselves.  It will be a grossly unfair and
unequal system."

The portal system is also intended to speed up the time it takes
to deal with claims, but opponents argue complicated asbestos
cases risk being over-simplified.

The Swindon Railway Works employed 16,000 people at any one time
who were exposed to the chemical and the use of the substance was
widespread at other factories.

Ms. Chandler said: "You can't compare their claims to those of
people who have suffered whiplash or bruising.  Many of these
former employees have died horrendous deaths and have lost
absolutely everything.

If the Government does push on with the reforms, the next battle
will be in the Commons.

Ms. Chandler said: "I have spent my life fighting for justice on
behalf of people who have suffered diseases as a result of
exposure to asbestos.

"I believe the victims are entitled to the full amount of damages,
which in this country is already much less than in Scotland,
Ireland and many countries in Europe.

"I encourage anyone who is concerned to contact their MP."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sunderland NHS Fined for Toxic Fibers Exposure
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Sunderland Echo (UK) reports that health bosses have been
fined thousands of pounds after workers were exposed to asbestos.

Contractors carrying out work at Sunderland Eye Infirmary, in
Queen Alexandra Road, unwittingly disturbed the dangerous fibers,
which can cause cancer, a court was told.

Although an asbestos survey had been carried out at the hospital,
which opened in 1946, vital information was not passed to workmen.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust was fined GBP3,000 after
admitting one offence under the Asbestos Regulations 2006.

Head of estates Bob Allport entered a guilty plea on behalf of the
trust at Sunderland Magistrates' Court on Friday, Jan. 18, in a
prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Chairman of the bench Craig Tuthill said there had been a
breakdown in communication between the trust's estates department
and contractors, adding:  "It could have caused harm to both
workers and patients at the hospital."

The court was told how contractors drilled through door surrounds
on a ward to install cables over the weekend of March 24 and 25
last year.

A member of staff raised concerns the next day and it was
confirmed that the door surrounds were made of asbestos insulating
board.

A HSE investigation found a survey carried out by the Trust
clearly showed asbestos in the door surrounds.

But despite several site meetings with contractors USS, no
information on the location or condition of any asbestos was
passed on.

The court heard the insulating board does not pose a risk to
health unless it is damaged or worked on, but drilling it could
cause deadly fibers to be released into the air.

Inhaling asbestos fibers over a long period of time can cause
diseases including lung cancer.

Magistrates ordered the health trust to pay more than GBP4,582 in
court costs, plus a GBP15 surcharge towards work with victims of
crime.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Shuna Rank said:  "This
incident was entirely preventable and highlights the importance of
having a robust asbestos management system in place.

"City Hospitals Sunderland had put considerable resources into
identifying where asbestos was in the hospital buildings but
failed to have efficient procedures in place to ensure the
information was passed to the contractors.

"As a result, workers drilled through the asbestos-containing
material, potentially exposing themselves, hospital staff and
members of the public to dangerous fibers.

"There need to be systems in place to ensure that all workers are
aware of where asbestos is if their work is likely to bring them
into contact with asbestos-containing materials."

A spokesman for the hospital trust said:  "The trust has
comprehensive procedures to manage the asbestos in its various
buildings, but unfortunately due to a last-minute change in plan
for this particular project, the procedures were not fully
implemented.  Systems have been put in place to make sure that
such an incident will not occur in the future.

"In the meantime, the trust would like to emphasize that the tests
carried out after the incident for any airborne particles were all
satisfactory."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: North Harmony Abatement Project Contractor Named
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Remington Whitcomb of The Post-Journal reports that asbestos from
the old highway building in North Harmony will finally be removed.

After rejecting all bids proposed to the town in its meeting last
month, North Harmony has decided that H. H. Rauh of Lakewood will
be awarded the contract for removing asbestos from the town's old
highway building.

In total, nine bids were submitted to the town.  Aside from H. H.
Rauh, other bidders were: B. Press, Mark Cerrone, Op-Tech, Stohl,
Jupiter, Regional Env., Bradley and Envorio Tech.

According to several town board members, H. H. Rauh was awarded
the contract because it was the lowest bidder who submitted all
requisite paperwork in a timely fashion.  B. Press submitted a
lower bid.  However, it did not correctly submit all necessary
paperwork.

According to Sally Carlson, town supervisor, all legal notices for
submitting a bid were available on the town's website.

"They said they had taken the information off the Internet, and
the legal notice was posted right there," said Carlson.

Carlson went on to say that the town was never contacted by B.
Press, and incomplete submission of bids was the reason the town
had already rejected all bids from the previous month.

In accepting the bid, the town will pay H. H. Rauh $4,300 for the
contract.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Drilling Rig Workers Hail Conoco Lawsuit Verdict
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jane Mundy at LawyersandSettlements.com reports that last June
2012 the largest single plaintiff's asbestos award of $322 million
in US history against Union Carbide and Chevron and Conoco
Phillips was retried and a second jury came back with a defense
verdict that awarded zero dollars.  However, Attorney Ben Stewart
sees this asbestos drilling mud lawsuit as "a great victory for
drilling rig workers."

Stewart says that, in essence, the Mississippi state court in the
asbestos case (Union Carbide Corp. et al. v. Brown, No. 2006-196)
found that the company knowingly exposed their workers to
asbestosis rather than slow down drilling.  "They chose not to put
safety procedures in place or use a less efficient but safer
compound in the drilling mud and hoped no one would notice," says
Stewart.

Drilling Mud consultant Eric Guillory, in a phone interview to
LawyersandSettlements from the Hercules 350 rig in South
Timbalier, would concur with Stewart.  He went to mud school in
the late 1970s and has been working in the industry ever since.
Eric, age 59, has been diagnosed with chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD), but he continues to work as a mud
consultant.

"It's difficult for me to walk up and down the stairs on the rig
but I have to keep working to pay for my racehorses," Eric laughs,
followed by a cough.  Seriously, Eric says he is still running mud
because he doesn't know how to do anything else.

"In the late 1970's and early 1980's I cut unlimited LCM sacks of
Sure Lift, which was 100 percent asbestos.  The product was owned
by Halliburton & Conoco Oil Company.  Back then we had no choice
but to work in hazardous asbestos environments."  These oil rigs
in the gulf have no ventilation.  They are sealed so that nothing
gets thrown into the gulf if anything happens.  We didn't know
that the products were pure asbestos and we weren't even given
painters' masks."

Eric adds that several of his co-workers have been diagnosed with
asbestosis.  "Steven Williams, an old friend who went to mud
school with me, has asbestos lung disease and he was offered an
asbestos settlement of only $10,000, which is ridiculous," says
Eric.

"So many companies are bankrupt, but Halliburton and
ConocoPhillips has billions of dollars set aside -- they know that
a flood of lawsuits are coming.  I have testified in court for the
way Halliburton handled caustic substances.  We still don't know
what we are using; they come up with different products every day
but now the government is cracking down on them, which is a good
thing, finally.  We never had any government intervention back
then; they just didn't know.  But the asbestos manufacturers
knew."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Alert Up at Bushfire-Ravaged Coonabarabran
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sally Bryant of ABC Rural News reports that as attention turns to
the recovery effort at bushfire-ravaged Coonabarabran in north-
west New South Wales, authorities are warning of another potential
hazard.

There are concerns that buildings which have been destroyed or
damaged by the blaze may contain asbestos which could harm those
cleaning up.

Fifty-three homes were destroyed in the fire, which burned out
53,000 hectares after starting in the Warrumbungle National Park.

Inspector Tony Lenthal from Fire and Rescue NSW says people need
to be very aware of the potential risk.

"A lot of rural properties and some urban properties still contain
asbestos once damaged by fire or broken is a very serious hazard
to people and needs to be treated appropriately and in appropriate
protective clothing needs to be worn when rendering this safe."

Authorities managing the bushfire recovery in NSW are asking
people to check before they donate goods and services, to make
sure their generosity isn't wasted.

As the recovery efforts get underway at Coonbarabran in north west
NSW, offers of agistment, stock feed and consumer goods are
flooding in.

Bob Freebairn spent 45 years working for the state Department of
Primary Industry and is now working with them as an agriculture
consultant to assist in the recovery effort.

"The big message is coordination.  People just arrive with
something and it becomes chaos:  where do you put it?  How do you
get it out to people?  But if it all planned it all works well."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Blackett Renovation Contaminates Neighbourhood
---------------------------------------------------------------
Don't do it yourself or you'll do yourself in.  While the Asbestos
Disease Foundation uses this slogan to warn of the dangers of
unsafe renovations, it seems the warning isn't sticking.

The St. Marys-Mt. Druitt Star (Aus)reports that when Kelly Robson
arrived at her aunt's home she was shocked to see it covered in
dust from renovations next door.

Concerned that the old house was contaminated with asbestos, she
approached the workman who appeared to be unconcerned.

"I asked why he was moving asbestos," she said.

"He said it was all under control, but the dust was everywhere.

"The workmen said they had told the council they had used all the
safety measures."

But Blacktown Council attended the home later that day and
determined the site was contaminated with asbestos.

According to WorkCover NSW, a license is needed to remove asbestos
from an area larger than 10 square meters.

Ms. Robson said what workmen removed from the neighbor's house was
far beyond that size.

"They didn't have any license to remove asbestos," she said.

"This was well and truly more than 10 square meters."

Home owner Pamela Robson and her son Daniel Thomas are avid
gardeners whose expensive greenhouse and produce were covered in
the toxic substance.

Blacktown Council is aiming to resolve the matter as quickly as
possible to ensure the correct safety people are involved.


                           *********

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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