CAR_Public/130308.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, March 8, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 48

                             Headlines



AMWAY CANADA: Canadian Appeals Court Affirms Jurisdiction Ruling
ASTRAZENECA PHARMA: Seroquel(R) Suit Won't Proceed as Class Action
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Settles Overtime Class Action for $660,000
BAYER PHARMACEUTICALS: March 23 Hearing Scheduled for Mirena MDL
BRIGGS & STRATTON: Recalls 5,400 Ariens Compact Snow Blowers

CHARLES SCHWAB: FINRA Ruling May Change Broker-Dealer Arbitrations
CHARLES SCHWAB: Class Action Win May Have Long-Term Implications
CITI HOLDINGS: TCPA Suit Parties Ordered to Proceed to Arbitration
CITIZENS PROPERTY: Faces Class Action Over Reinspection Program
COLORTYME: Sued Over Illegal Use of DesignerWare Spyware in PCs

CONVERGYS CORP: Loses Bid to Strike Claims in Worker's FLSA Suit
DEWEY BEACH: Faces Class Action Over Business-License Fees
FACEBOOK INC: Settlement Fails to Meet Standards, Dissenters Say
FIA CARD: Averts Class Action Over Customer Phone Call Recording
GREENBERG TRAURIG: Agrees to Mediate Gender Bias Class Action

INITIATIVE LEGAL: Violates Class Action Ethics, Attorneys Say
KROGER CO: Recalls Wheat Bread Products in ID, OR and WA States
MCDONALD'S CORP: Settlement in Non-Halal Chicken Suit Delayed
NEW ORIENTAL: Continues to Defend ADS-Related Suits in Cal., N.Y.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR: Moose Accident Victims Seek Documents

PATRIOT COAL: Employees' Suit for Lost Wages Remains Pending
PATRIOT COAL: Lead Plaintiff Appointed in Suit vs. Certain D&O
PHILIPS ELECTRONICS: Faces Class Action Over Labor Violations
POWERSHARES DB: Appeals From ARS-Related Suits' Dismissal Pending
POWERSHARES DB: Bid to Dismiss MF Global-Related Suit Pending

POWERSHARES DB: Deutsche Bank Continues to Defend RMBS Suits
POWERSHARES DB: Plaintiffs Ask to Reconsider TruPS Suit Dismissal
REGENCY SEATING: Recalls 750 Oakmont Fabric Stackable Chairs
SPECTRA ENERGY: Unit Still Defends Suits Over Royalty Disputes
SOUTH CAROLINA: Judge Tosses Class Action Over Tax Data Breach

TANGOE INC: Pomerantz Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
TWEEN BRANDS: Recalls 19,100 Disco Lights Due to Shock Hazard
VODAFONE: Downplays Impact of Customer's Broadband Class Action
WARNER CHILCOTT: Continues to Defend ACTONEL-Related Suits
WARNER CHILCOTT: Continues to Face Suits Over DORYX Products

WELLPOINT INC: Awaits Order on Bid to Dismiss Out-of-Network MDL
WELLPOINT INC: Continues to Defend Demutualization-Related Suits
WESTERN UNION: Has Initial Approval of Colorado Suits Settlement
ZILLOW INC: Defends Suit Alleging Violations of Securities Laws


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ky. Ct. Dismisses Inmate's Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Order Denying Dependent's Benefits Affirmed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ill. Court Denies Request to Stay YCC v. GPI Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Statute Inapplicable to Foreign Firms
ASBESTOS UPDATE: R.I. Ct. Retains Jurisdiction on Exposure Suit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Denies Successor's Bid to Dismiss Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Colfax Corp. Had $434MM Liability at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lorillard Unit Still Defending 54 Filter Cases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CSX Corp. Had $56 Million Liability as of Dec.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: FMC Corp. Had 12,100 Pending Claims at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ford Motor Continues to Defend Exposure Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rogers Corp. Had 319 Pending Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Cos. Had $236MM Losses Paid in 2012
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Cos. Continues to Monitor PCC Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Fire-Damaged Pasadena Complex

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of Pekin's Old Times Building On
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Barangaroo Despite Certification
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pembroke Regional Cited for Health/Safety Breach
ASBESTOS UPDATE: WHSQ Clears Gladstone Theatre Removalist's Work
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dale Farm Fibro Abatement Operation Underway

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Warns of Schools' Loss of Fibro Information
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso-Victim's Brother Advocates for Bill C-45
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mandatory Listing of Public Fibro Buildings Urged
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Woodville Mall Pre-Demolition Process Initiated
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Owners, Landlords Reminded of Extended Fibro Rule

ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Off The Chart" Fibro Find Doubles Abatement Bill
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Alamogordo Motels' Owner to Find Own Removalist
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Study Links Fibro Exposure to Cholangiocarcinoma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Sets Back Newport Village Hall Project
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of Rio Grande High Nears Completion

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Terowie Appeals for Cleanup of Massive Fibro Dump
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Party Chief Likely to Dodge Fibro Charges
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trial Lawyers Say AB-19 Creates 'So Many Hurdles'
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Experts Slams TBA Rochdale After-Fire Statement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: House of Commons to Discuss Old TBA site Issues

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Thurrock Council's Non-Action Results to Fines
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cwmcarn High Loses Funding for 100 Pupils
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Razing of Fibro Buildings in Huskisson Underway
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EUR1.35 MM From EEA Aids Amiantos Mine Rehab
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dr. Levenstein to Speak in ADAO's 2013 Summit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Dump Site Near McLellans Brook Proposed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Former Filtrona UK Worker Seeks Peers' Help
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Columbiana Starts Welfare Office Abatement Plan
ASBESTOS UPDATE: $35M Verdict Ruled Against Crane Co., et al.
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lung Cancer on Non-Smoking Women on The Rise


                           *********


AMWAY CANADA: Canadian Appeals Court Affirms Jurisdiction Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
Claude Marseille, Esq. -- claude.marseille@blakes.com -- Robert
Torralbo, Esq. -- robert.torralbo@blakes.com -- and Adam Spiro,
Esq. -- adam.spiro@blakes.com -- at Blakes Lawyers report that on
February 14, 2013, the Federal Court of Appeal unanimously
affirmed a Federal Court decision declining jurisdiction to hear a
motion to certify a class action in the presence of a binding
arbitration agreement and class action waiver.  The decision was
drafted by the Honourable Justice Nadon (Justices Gauthier and
Trudel concurring) in Murphy v. Amway Canada Corporation.

                     The Procedural Context

On October 23, 2009, the plaintiff, an Independent Business Owner
who distributed Amway's products, instituted a proposed class
action before the Federal Court of Canada on behalf of all
Canadian residents who distributed Amway's products starting
October 23, 2007.  He claimed that Amway had breached various
dispositions of the Competition Act of Canada (the Act) and sought
damages of C$15,000 under section 36 of the Act.

Amway, represented by Blakes, filed a motion to stay and to compel
arbitration on the basis that the contract with its distributors
contains an arbitration agreement and a class action waiver, so
that the action had to be stayed and the matter referred to
individual arbitration.  The class action waiver provides,
notably, that neither party is to "assert any claim as a class,
collective or representative action if (a) the amount of the
party's individual claim exceeds $1,000 . . ."

The motion to stay and to compel arbitration was heard by the
Honourable Justice Richard Boivin of the Federal Court in the
context of a three-day hearing which included the hearing of the
plaintiff's motion to certify a class action.  The Court found it
unnecessary to rule on this motion in light of its decision to
grant Amway's motion to stay and to compel arbitration, and to
permanently stay the plaintiff's action.

                  The Judgment at First Instance

In a decision rendered on November 23, 2011, Justice Boivin found
that the wording of the arbitration agreement and class action
waiver was clear, and thus prohibited the plaintiff from bringing
his C$15,000 claim (a) before a court and (b) as a class action.
Rather, it had to be submitted to individual arbitration.

The Court relied on a series of decisions from the Supreme Court
of Canada that confirm the validity and enforceability of
arbitration agreements: Desputeaux v. Editions Chouette (1987)
inc., Bisaillon v. Concordia University, Dell Computer Corp. v.
Union des consommateurs, Rogers Wireless Inc. v. Muroff, and, most
recently, Seidel v. TELUS Communications Inc.

On the basis of these decisions, Mr. Justice Boivin concluded that
class actions are a procedural vehicle whose use neither modifies
nor creates substantive rights, that arbitration agreements and
class action waivers must be enforced by courts absent specific
legislative language to the contrary, and that such language was
nowhere to be found in the Act.

                            The Appeal

On appeal, the plaintiff argued, notably, that a private claim for
damages pursuant to section 36 of the Act would not be compatible
with private arbitration in light of the legislative objectives of
the Act, which are of public order.  Put another way, section 36
claims under the Act would not be arbitrable under any
circumstances.

The Court of Appeal, on a thorough analysis of Seidel, found that,
despite its public interest objectives, there is nothing
sacrosanct about competition law that trumps an arbitration
agreement, in keeping with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court
that matters of public order are capable of being the object of
arbitration.  The Court held that there was no basis to conclude
that claims brought under section 36 cannot be determined by
arbitration, and that it is only where the relevant statute
contains language prohibiting arbitration that courts will refuse
to give effect to valid arbitration agreements.

The Amway decision applies Seidel to re-affirm the principle that
arbitration agreements and class action waivers are valid and
enforceable in Canada, in the absence of specific legislative
language to the contrary.  The fact that the claim is brought
under a public order statute, such as the Competition Act, or that
the plaintiff seeks to have his action certified as a class
action, cannot affect the validity and enforceability of an
arbitration agreement and class action waiver.  This represents a
clear and forceful endorsement by the Federal Court of Appeal of
consensual arbitration as a fair, efficient, and cost-effective
way to resolve disputes in Canada, even in the face of a proposed
class action.


ASTRAZENECA PHARMA: Seroquel(R) Suit Won't Proceed as Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------------
Brandon Kain, Esq., and Frank McLaughlin, Esq., of McCarthy
Tetrault, report that in a rare and dramatic oral ruling from the
bench, the Ontario Divisional Court on Feb. 27 upheld the May 7,
2012 decision of Horkins J. in Martin v. AstraZeneca
Pharmaceuticals Plc, 2012 ONSC 2744, to deny certification of a
proposed national class action relating to the anti-psychotic
medicine, Seroquel(R).  The Divisional Court's judgment marks the
first time that an Ontario appellate court has denied
certification of a pharmaceutical or medical device class action
against a private defendant, and only the second time that a
Canadian appellate court has done so in a common law province.

As discussed in a previous bulletin, the AstraZeneca class action
alleged that the three defendant companies were liable for
negligently designing, manufacturing and marketing Seroquel(R),
negligently failing to warn patients that it can cause serious
health risks such as weight gain and diabetes, conspiring to
conceal those health risks from Health Canada and promoting the
medicine for off-label, unapproved uses.  Horkins J. delivered a
78-page judgment denying certification on the basis that the
plaintiffs failed to meet any of the criteria under s. 5(1) of the
Ontario Class Proceedings Act, 1992 (CPA).

The Divisional Court heard oral arguments from February 19-20,
2013 and delivered its judgment dismissing the appeal in open
court on February 21.  The Divisional Court panel, consisting of
Aston, Lederer and Herman JJ., found that the plaintiffs failed to
establish a single error in Horkins J.'s carefully reasoned
decision.  In doing so, the Court agreed not only with Horkins
J.'s conclusion that the plaintiffs failed to disclose a cause of
action under s. 5(1)(a) of the CPA, but also with her ground-
breaking reasons for this.  Further, the Court declined to grant
the plaintiffs leave to amend their statement of claim given their
failure to request this relief before Horkins J., and the lack of
evidence to support the common issues.

The Divisional Court also rejected the plaintiffs' argument that
Horkins J. engaged in an impermissible weighing of evidence in
finding that they failed to meet the remaining certification
criteria in ss. 5(1)(b)-(e).  Aston J., who read the Court's
judgment, observed that Horkins J. was entitled to scrutinize the
plaintiffs' evidence in order to discharge her gatekeeping role,
including the cross-examinations of their experts.

Finally, the Divisional Court affirmed the costs decision of
Horkins J., in which she awarded the defendants costs of
approximately $725,000.  Of note, the Court held that Horkins J.
did not err in taking into account the fact that plaintiffs'
counsel agreed to indemnify the plaintiffs for a costs order.  In
its view, Horkins J. did not use the existence of the indemnity
agreement to award the defendants a higher level of costs, but
rather to find that the plaintiffs' argument that this award would
have a chilling effect on a disadvantaged group of people lacked
merit.  The Court also held that the fact Horkins J.'s order set a
new "high-water mark" for costs awarded to defendants was not
itself a reason to interfere with it.


CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Settles Overtime Class Action for $660,000
-----------------------------------------------------------
Robert Channick, writing for The Chicago Tribune, reports that
The Chicago Tribune has agreed to pay a total of $660,000 to
46 current and former TribLocal reporters to settle a class-action
lawsuit over unpaid overtime wages.

The settlement offer was mailed last week to reporters who worked
for TribLocal between February 2009 and September 2012.  Those who
don't opt out will receive an average of $9,000 each after
attorneys' fees and costs.

"The settlement reflects overtime allegedly worked by TribLocal
reporters for which they were not paid," said Douglas Werman, a
Chicago-based labor and employment attorney whose firm filed the
lawsuit in February 2012.  "We believe the settlement provides an
excellent result to class members."

A federal judge issued preliminary approval for the settlement
last month, with final approval slated for June, according to
Mr. Werman.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago on behalf of
Carolyn Rusin, who worked as a staff reporter for TribLocal from
July 2010 to October 2011.  Assigned to cover stories in the
Barrington area and Palatine, she regularly worked more than 40
hours per week, but received only five hours of overtime pay in
2011, according to the suit.

Mr. Werman said Ms. Rusin needed 50 to 60 hours each week to
fulfill her assignments.

A Chicago Tribune spokesperson declined comment.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, eligible employees must be
paid 1-1/2 times their hourly wage for every hour worked over
40 hours each week.  Many professions have exemptions to the
requirements, and journalists are among those who may not qualify
for overtime pay, depending on the nature of their work.

Mr. Werman said a journalist is exempt when considered to be a
"creative professional" whose work involves "invention,
imagination and talent."  Ms. Rusin, and other TribLocal
reporters, who mostly covered school board and municipal meetings,
failed to meet that standard and were therefore eligible for
overtime pay, according to Mr. Werman.

TribLocal was launched in 2007 using staff reporters, freelance
writers and user-generated content to produce hyperlocal Chicago-
area community news.  Last April, Tribune Co. made an undisclosed
investment in Journatic, outsourcing coverage for TribLocal's
Web sites and weekly print editions to the Chicago-based content
provider.  Journatic was suspended in July for plagiarism and
other ethical breaches, and editorial responsibility was returned
to the Chicago Tribune newsroom.  TribLocal resumed use of
Journatic on a limited basis in December.


BAYER PHARMACEUTICALS: March 23 Hearing Scheduled for Mirena MDL
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to Seedol.com, a hearing on the Mirena Lawsuit
multidistrict litigation has been scheduled to consider
consolidating Mirena Lawsuits.  The United States Judicial Panel
on Multidistrict Litigation Notice of hearing Session has been
published and included a hearing to consolidate the Mirena lawsuit
case into a multidistrict litigation (MDL).  If approved the MDL
would function somewhat like a Mirena Class Action Lawsuit,
however there are differences.

The hearing scheduled for March 23, 2013 in San Diego, CA will
decide if the numerous Mirena lawsuits pending will be
consolidated into an MDL.  If so, any pending Mirena lawsuit
listed will be heard in Federal Court and presided over by one
Federal Judge, eliminating the possibility of potentially
differing opinions by different courts.  A Mirena lawsuit MDL is
not a Mirena Class Action lawsuit.  Typically pharmaceutical or
medical device cases like the Mirena lawsuit case will not be
heard as a class action lawsuit, usually considered a good thing
by plaintiff's attorneys such as your Mirena lawyer.

     A Large Number of Mirena Lawsuits Could Be Consolidated

To date, the number of Mirena lawsuits filed has been numerous.
Those numbers may prompt the courts to want to consolidate, saving
court resources.  The number of women hiring a Mirena lawyer to
potentially file a Mirena lawsuit is executed to rise in among
months.

Is Mirena as innocuous as it looks as is described on Bayer's
Mirena Web site?  The Mirena birth control device pictured on the
Web site fits easily in the palm of a woman's hand.  The site says
"It's made of soft flexible plastic and placed into your uterus by
your healthcare provider during your routine office visit".  Seems
simple enough so what's the problem? There may be risk of serious
injury say allegations made in the Mirena lawsuit cases.

"Birth control for busy moms." claims the Mirena Web site.  "lasts
as long as YOU want, for up to 5 years".  Top those claims with
"over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy."  And "Your periods
may become shorter, lighter or even stop" Wow, what could be
better? Some women particular those alleging injury in a Mirena
lawsuit, may say more information about the potentially dangerous
problem of migration of the popular IUD would be a good idea to
add to the immediately visible information.

This is not the first time Bayer Pharmaceuticals has been accused
of over-marketing a contraceptive.  It is also not the first time
Bayer has been accused of understating the potential side effects
of a contraceptive.  Bayer's legal team is well prepared and no
doubt preparing their defense of any Mirena lawsuit they may face.
Potential victims need legal counsel from an experienced Mineral
lawyer to stand up against this well-heeled drug giant.  Women are
being encouraged to seek medical and legal help if they believe
they have been injured by potential Mirena side effects.


BRIGGS & STRATTON: Recalls 5,400 Ariens Compact Snow Blowers
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Briggs & Stratton Corporation, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, announced
a voluntary recall of about 5,400 Ariens Snow-Thro 24 inch snow
blowers.  Consumers should stop using this product unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

The snow blower's carburetor bowl nut can allow gas to escape from
the unit.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The recalled snow blower is 24-inches wide and comes in orange
with black.  Recalled products have the model number 920014 and
serial numbers ranging from 100,000 through 119,039 that can be
found on an Ariens-brand label on the lower back panel of the
product with the warranty code.  There is also a Briggs & Stratton
engine model number 13D1370110 F1 labeled on the side of the
engine with the serial number range from 12053000000 through
12071699999.  Engines with a circular black marker dot located on
the right side of the engine base, below the electric starter and
just above the oil drain plug, have already been inspected and are
not part of this recall.  Pictures of the recalled products are
available at http://is.gd/xDEULx

The recalled products were manufactured in China and the United
States of America and sold at Ariens dealers and The Home Depot
nationwide from August through September 2012 for about $800 to
$1000.

Consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it
to an authorized Briggs & Stratton dealer for a repair.  Briggs &
Stratton Corporation may be reached toll free at (877) 564-0172
from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday, or
online at http://www.Briggsandstratton.com/and click on "Recall
Alert Notice."


CHARLES SCHWAB: FINRA Ruling May Change Broker-Dealer Arbitrations
------------------------------------------------------------------
Sarah A. Good, Esq. -- sarah.good@pillsburylaw.com -- and Jessica
R. Bogo, Esq. -- jessica.bogo@pillsburylaw.com -- of Pillsbury
Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP report that a Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority hearing panel held that FINRA's own rules
prohibiting judicial class action waivers in broker-dealer
customer arbitration agreements are preempted by the Federal
Arbitration Act and unenforceable.  Once this decision becomes
final, it will likely change the landscape of broker-dealer
arbitrations.  Many other broker-dealers will adopt a judicial
class action waiver in their customer arbitration agreements and
end decades of securities class action lawsuits, which generally
provide little benefit to class members.

In a thoughtful 48-page decision, a FINRA hearing panel on
Thursday, February 21, 2013 followed the U.S. Supreme Court's
holding in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S.Ct. 1740 (2011)
and held that FINRA Rules prohibiting broker-dealers from adopting
judicial class-action waivers in customer arbitration agreements
are unenforceable and preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.

The decision arises from a Complaint filed on February 1, 2012 by
FINRA's Department of Enforcement against Charles Schwab & Co.,
Inc.  In September 2011, Schwab added a provision to its pre-
dispute arbitration agreements requiring customers to "waive any
right to bring a class action, or any type of representative
action" against Schwab or any related third party "in court."  The
Complaint alleged that the waiver violated FINRA's Rules
prohibiting self-regulatory organizations from adopting pre-
dispute arbitration agreements that prohibited customers from
filing judicial class actions.

On motions for summary judgment, the panel found that Schwab's
provision violated FINRA Rules that require providing customers
with the option to bring class actions in court.  However, the
panel held that such violation was of no consequence as the FINRA
Rules were unenforceable and preempted by the FAA under
Concepcion.  The panel noted that securities law claims are not
exempt from the FAA's "mandate that a party to an arbitration
agreement must go to arbitration to resolve any claim subject to
the agreement" unless Congress has otherwise expressed clear
intent to carve out an exception to the FAA.  The panel found no
such expression of congressional intent for an exception and
deemed the FINRA Rules preempted by the FAA.

Once final, the panel's decision will likely result in sweeping
changes to broker-dealer customer arbitration agreements.  Many
other broker-dealers will include judicial class action waivers in
their customer arbitration agreements.  As the panel itself noted,
that will end "decades of class action securities litigation in
the courts."

In a footnote, the hearing panel noted that it "recognizes that,
despite the Supreme Court decisions, the interplay of arbitration
and class actions remains controversial" and refers to a fully
briefed U.S. Supreme Court case, In re American Express Merchants'
Litig., 667 F.3d 204, 219 (2d Cir. 2012) ("Amex III").  In Amex
III, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that a class action
waver in an arbitration agreement is unenforceable if it would
preclude a plaintiff's ability to vindicate federal statutory
rights.  The panel predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court will
strike down the Second Circuit's decision in the face of
Concepcion.  Even if that decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme
Court, the Hearing Panel found that it would only be applicable if
there "was a finding that SRO arbitration is insufficient to
protect investors' substantive rights, a finding that would fly in
the face of decades of judicial, legislative, and regulatory
history endorsing the securities industry arbitration system."

FINRA's Department of Enforcement recently announced that it will
appeal the decision.  It bears noting that the hearing panel left
intact FINRA's Rules permitting arbitrators to have the discretion
to consolidate arbitrations filed by separate individual
investors.


CHARLES SCHWAB: Class Action Win May Have Long-Term Implications
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trefis reports that early last year, Charles Schwab was charged by
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), for violating
its rules when the brokerage and asset management firm asked its
almost 7 million customers to waive off their rights of filing
class action lawsuits against it.

More than a year later, Schwab seems to have won the first round
of this long drawn battle, which could potentially change the way
financial firms operate.  The hearing panel set up to adjudicate
these charges dismissed two of the three charges made by FINRA ?
essentially allowing Charles Schwab to continue requiring its
customers to sign on the waiver document.  The panel decided in
favor of FINRA's third charge and upheld the "powers of FINRA
arbitrators to consolidate individual claims in arbitration".
FINRA has already expressed its intent to appeal against the
decision.

                   What Is Schwab's Motivation?

According to the firm's annual filings, Charles Schwab was a
subject of as many as "nine class action lawsuits filed between
March and May 2008, on behalf of investors in the Schwab YieldPlus
Fund(R), alleging violations of state law and federal securities
law in connection with the fund's investment policy, disclosures
and fund marketing."  They recorded total charges of $320 million
in 2010 for the settlement of these cases and were also a
defendant in more class action cases that claimed Schwab Total
Bond Market Fund(TM) violated its investment policy. [1]

The company maintains that end customers do not benefit from class
action lawsuits because the plaintiff's lawyers usually keep a
major portion of settlements.  Moreover, these cases take longer
to adjudicate and are more expensive than arbitration.

                    Is Schwab's Claim True?

Trefis believes that this is somewhat true.  Take for instance the
class action lawsuit against Facebook, as mentioned in this recent
article titled "Class Action Madness Continues".  According to
Executive Director of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse,
Tom Scott, Facebook settled a claim regarding unfair usage of
"names, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, and identities
of Facebook users" for marketing purposes for $20 million.  Out of
this hefty sum, the plaintiff's lawyers are likely to take home
almost $8 million in fees and other costs.

However, class action lawsuits are powerful deterrents,
particularly in cases where the incentive for an individual to
lodge a complaint is miniscule.  They allow customers who have
lost small sums of monies individually to come together as a group
and fight against a corporation, making it affordable for them to
hire best in class legal counsels.

                       What Does This Mean?

If the decision is upheld, customers must bring their grievances
against Schwab to an arbitration panel individually, rather than
filing class action lawsuits.  FINRA arbitrators could still
consolidate similar claims but that does not mean a plaintiff
could represent all of Schwab's customers.

Practically, this is a big win for the company.  For a case with
consolidated claims to have the same scale as a class action
lawsuit, all of Schwab's customers who were impacted would have to
lodge formal complaints making it even more unlikely to occur.

In essence, this means fewer complaints against Schwab.  The
decision also diminishes the possibility of the involvement of a
law firm in such cases by reducing the total number of claimants,
and hence the total amount sought in damages.  Schwab also stands
to gain because corporations usually find it easier to deal with
individual cases rather than negotiating with the combined might
of a group of customers.

               How Does It Impact Schwab's Margins?

Expenses relating to class action litigation are usually
unforeseen and one time.  The company reported such expenses in
2010, and we can see a sudden drop in the firm's EBITDA margins
for that year on the slide below.  Assuming no further shocks,
Trefis expects the company's margins to remain fairly stable going
forward.

                         What To Expect?

Schwab might use this judgment as a leverage to defend pending
class action lawsuits against it.  Note that the firm started
asking clients to waive their rights to participate in these cases
in 2011.  With this decision in its favor, the firm could
influence all class action lawsuits filed against it since.

However, FINRA has 45 days to appeal against the verdict and has
made clear their intentions of doing so. [2] Others, such as the
Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, William F. Galvin,
has also raised concerns about the decision and more debates on
the matter are possible. [3]

Within the brokerage and asset management industry, Trefis expects
other firms to take notice of this judgment and closely watch the
action.  Over the next few months Trefis could see brokerages like
E*Trade and TD Ameritrade, follow Schwab and modify their customer
agreements accordingly.

Another likelihood, however, is that competitors may use this
judgment to portray Charles Schwab as a mighty corporation that is
insensitive towards its clients and try to pluck market share away
from the firm.


CITI HOLDINGS: TCPA Suit Parties Ordered to Proceed to Arbitration
------------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Michael M. Anello ordered the parties in ELSIE
CAYANAN, et al., Plaintiffs, v. CITI HOLDINGS, INC., et al.,
Defendants, No. 12-CV-1476-MMA(JMA), (S.D. Cal.), to proceed to
arbitration in accordance with the terms of the Plaintiffs'
respective arbitration agreements; and stayed the action pending
completion of arbitration.

Elsie Cayanan, Kimberly Baker, and Jesse McKay brought the
putative class action for alleged violations of the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. Sections 227 et seq.

Citibank, N.A.; Citigroup, Inc.; and CitiFinancial Services, Inc.,
moved to compel arbitration of Plaintiffs' claims in separate,
individual arbitrations, in accordance with agreements requiring
individual arbitration of all claims related to the Plaintiffs'
consumer credit accounts held by the Defendants.

The Court found the parties' arbitration agreements enforceable
and therefore, granted Citibank's request.

A copy of the District Court's March 1, 2013 Order is available at
http://is.gd/2Voyexfrom Leagle.com.


CITIZENS PROPERTY: Faces Class Action Over Reinspection Program
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jay Weaver and Toluse Olorunnipia, writing for Miami Herald,
report that thousands of Florida homeowners buffeted by higher
windstorm premiums have sued state-run Citizens Property Insurance
Corp. to recover potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in
"back-door" rate increases driven by "arbitrary" reinspections of
their residences.

The proposed class-action lawsuit, filed in Broward Circuit on
Feb. 27, aims to halt Citizens' reinspection program, claiming it
has illegally stripped discounts from homeowners who had earned
them under a 2007 inspection program approved by the Florida
Legislature.  Their original inspections were supposed to be valid
for five years.

But in 2010, Citizens violated the due-process rights of
homeowners, who had submitted official inspection forms, by
arbitrarily reinspecting their properties to boost lost revenue
that the agency could not generate lawfully through premium hikes,
the suit said.

Lawyers who filed the suit, whose class representative is a
Broward homeowner, said Citizens violated the due-process rights
of its policyholders, costing each higher premiums averaging
upwards of $1,000 -- and possibly more -- a year.

The collective cost to homeowners throughout Florida exceeds more
than $100 million, said attorney Todd Stabinski, whose Miami law
firm, Stabinski & Funt, filed the suit with Farmer, Jaffe of Fort
Lauderdale and Kula & Samson of Aventura.  They gathered on
Feb. 28 for a press conference outside the West Broward County
Courthouse in Plantation.

"Citizens got the benefit of lowering their risks, but Citizens'
policyholders did not get the benefit of lower premiums,"
Mr. Stabinski said.  "It should have been a mutually beneficial
bargain."

Consumer advocates have accused Citizens of using the reinspection
program to impose "massive" rate hikes on homeowners.  Citizens
has denied the charge, saying that it is simply trying to get
accurate information about the homes it insures.

"Since at least 2010, Citizens has used a wind mitigation
reinspection program to systematically deprive policy holders of
legitimate wind mitigation credits," said a nonprofit group,
Florida Association for Insurance Reform, which praised the legal
action.

A spokesperson for Citizens said the company has been operating
under the law, and that the reinspections came after regulators
changed the mitigation criteria.  "Our position is Citizens'
reinspections were conducted under statutory authority afforded
any insurer to verify, at the insurer's expense, the accuracy of
inspection reports submitted for a mitigation discount," said
spokesman Michael Peltier.

Discontent has been widespread among Citizens' policyholders, who
spent large sums of money on roof, window and other upgrades to
earn windstorm mitigation discounts while protecting their homes
against potential hurricane damage.  In response, Citizens
unveiled major changes to its home reinspection program last
August, after consumers expressed outrage over media reports about
a staggering $137 million in premium increases generated by the
unpopular program.

Under its new plans, homeowners who lose insurance discounts
because of a reinspection can receive a second inspection free of
charge.  They will have new tools to dispute the findings of the
first reinspection.  That decision could impact more than 200,000
property owners, who have already seen their premiums go up by an
average of about $800 after the initial reinspection.

Whether those homeowners will be able to reverse the premium hikes
is "a question that we need to take a look at," said Barry Gilway,
president of Citizens, said at a press conference in August.

Citizens' policy change came days after the Herald/Times
Tallahassee Bureau published a series of stories documenting how
hundreds of thousands of Floridians have seen premiums soar as the
state-run insurer intensifies its plans to raise rates through
reinspections and reduce coverage.

Consumer advocates have complained about inspectors who do not
check thoroughly for evidence that support the homeowner, often
ruling quickly that homes do not qualify for discounts.

Mr. Gilway acknowledged that several inspectors have failed to
adequately check homeowners' attics to see if they were not
completely clear of obstruction. Property owners have lost
thousands of dollars in discounts because their attics were
blocked by boxes or insulation.

"The inspector is not required to wait while you move property
that is restricting attic access," a Citizens letter to
policyholders reads.

Under the new changes, homeowners will have one year to clear
their attic and receive a follow-up inspection, before any premium
increases.

Consumer advocates said the changes sounded positive, but more
details were needed, cautioning policyholders "to take a trust-
but-verify approach."

Created in 2002 as a safe haven, Citizens -- the so-called
"insurer of last resort" -- has ballooned to become the state's
largest insurer, with about 1.4 million policies.  Most of its
risk is concentrated in South Florida and the Tampa Bay area,
hazard-prone regions where many homeowners cannot find coverage in
the private market.  Its actions, including rate increases, affect
the entire insurance market, impacting housing costs for nearly
every Floridian, including those with private insurers.

The initial reinspection program began in 2010, with Citizens
sending thousands of inspectors to review the homes of
policyholders. About half of all homeowners receive wind-
mitigation discounts for hurricane-resistant features on their
homes.  The reinspection program targeted those features, as
inspectors have found that thousands of homeowners did not deserve
the discounts they were receiving.  The result has been more than
$137 million worth of premium increases for homeowners.

The program was ramped up, with more than 200,000 inspections
completed in 2012.  Nearly 90,000 more were yet to be completed
last year.  In about three in four cases, homeowners have lost
their discounts, leading to average premium hikes of more than 30
percent.

Gov. Rick Scott has been pushing for the state-run insurer to
reduce its size and risk, leading to rate hikes and coverage
reductions for hundreds of thousands.

Kelli Kennedy, writing for The Associated Press, reports that a
potential class-action lawsuit filed against the state-backed
Citizens alleges the company purposefully deprived customers of
windstorm mitigation discounts through an arbitrary re-inspection
program that lawyers estimate has cost customers nearly $200
million in lost credits.

A judge still has to grant class-action status.

The lawsuit estimate 226,000 customers have lost a total of
roughly $190 million in credits since 2010 and alleges those
changes were only made so Citizens could unjustly increase
premiums.  The average increase per household was around $800,
attorneys said.

It has been a particularly heated issue in South Florida, where a
large chunk of Citizens' 1.3 million policyholders live.

"They have invested their own money in a re-inspection program
designed to strip away those discounts . . . some people pay more
to Citizens than their mortgage company," said Mr. Stabinski.

"Citizens' re-inspections were conducted under statutory authority
afforded any insurer to verify, at the insurer's expense, the
accuracy of inspection reports submitted for a mitigation
discount," Citizens' spokesman Michael Peltier said on Feb. 28.

Citizens responded to the outrage last fall, saying it would do a
follow-up inspection at no charge to customers whose mitigation
credits were removed because of inadequate attic access or those
who disagreed with the original findings.

Any Citizens customer who made improvements can ask for a
re-inspection and have a credit retroactively awarded, but
Citizens will not return any premiums retroactively.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs want Citizens to reinstate the
credits, saying "it's the only fair way to respond."

As if on cue, Fort Lauderdale homeowner Heath Berke walked by the
courthouse on Feb. 28 where lawyers were holding a press
conference and expressed his own frustration with the program in
an impromptu tirade.

He said he was forced into a re-inspection and wasn't allowed to
choose the inspector.  That inspector said he couldn't access
Mr. Berke's crawl space, so he took pictures from a distance then
dinged Mr. Berke for failing to meet standards.  Mr. Berke
disputes the inspector's findings, saying several things on the
form weren't true, but nevertheless his premiums skyrocketed.

"I just got my new inspection bill and I'm outraged," said
Mr. Berke, whose premiums jumped from $3,100 to $5,400.

Mr. Berke is among millions of other Florida homeowners and
businesses whose property insurance rates keep soaring even though
a hurricane hasn't made a direct hit over the state in seven
years.

The average Florida homeowner is paying twice as much for
insurance than just six years ago, according to industry
statistics.  In some areas, the increases are much higher.

There is little competition in the Florida property insurance
market because many consumers can buy from only one company --
usually Citizens.  Founded by the Legislature in 2002 for
homeowners who could not get private policies, it remains the
state's largest property insurance company with nearly 1.3 million
customers, after shedding some 160,000 policies in recent weeks to
private companies.

Scott and the Legislature are eager for Citizens' to reduce its
overall liability, which would exceed its ability to pay off in
the aftermath of a catastrophe.

Citizens has been in the cross-hairs of several investigations in
recent months, including more embarrassments in an internal review
released on Feb. 27.

The company's investigators reviewed 474 cases dating back to 2008
that included employee complaints ranging from being unfairly
terminated or demoted due to sexual harassment, sexual favoritism
and violations of the company's expense account policy.

"Where we found weaknesses, we are making necessary improvements,"
said Joe Martins, Citizens' chief of internal audit.

On the Net: http://www.citizensreimbursement.com/


COLORTYME: Sued Over Illegal Use of DesignerWare Spyware in PCs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pualani Jensen, writing for BlueMauMau, reports that a class
action is being sought against ColorTyme and its franchisees for
using DesignerWare spyware on people who rented or bought
computers from them.  The spying included taking web cam photos
while customers were in the privacy of their homes, accessing
communications and recording key strokes.  A fake registration
form was even provided to trick customers into revealing private
information.

While no court judgment has been rendered yet, this past September
the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with seven
rent-to-own companies, including ColorTyme, for the illegal misuse
of DesignerWare spyware.  Aaron's and Premier Rental Purchase and
their franchisees were among the settlement parties.

Leslie Aaronoff, the plaintiff bringing the class action suit
against ColorTyme, alleges in the complaint:

"The private information of Plaintiff surreptitiously obtained as
referenced herein, was viewed, posted, ogled, shared, available
and displayed unnecessarily and illegally by Defendants in their
Franchise stores, and elsewhere."

Similarly, the FTC settlement, announced on their Web site,
states:

"Seven rent-to-own companies and a software design firm have
agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they spied
on consumers using computers that consumers rented from them,
capturing screenshots of confidential and personal information,
logging their computer keystrokes, and in some cases taking webcam
pictures of people in their homes, all without notice to, or
consent from, the consumers."

If ColorTyme is being sued, are franchisors Aaron's and Premier
Rental Purchase also finding themselves facing the legal wrath of
customers? A little investigation on the Internet reveals this
from Associated Press:

"Spyware installed on computers leased from furniture renter
Aaron's Inc. secretly sent 185,000 e-mails containing sensitive
information -- including pictures of nude children and people
having sex -- back to the company's corporate computers, according
to court documents filed on Feb. 27 in a class-action lawsuit.


CONVERGYS CORP: Loses Bid to Strike Claims in Worker's FLSA Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Carol E. Jackson denied a motion to strike class
and collective action claims in the lawsuit captioned HOPE GRANT,
for herself and, for all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v.
CONVERGYS CORP., Defendant, Case No. 4:12-CV-496 (CEJ), (E.D.
Mo.).

Hope Grant is employed as a customer service representative,
staffing a telephone line at Convergys' call center in Hazelwood,
Missouri.  Ms. Grant alleges that Convergys requires its CSRs to
perform necessary work activities "off the clock," before and
after their paid work shifts, in violation of the Fair Labor
Standards Act and the Missouri Minimum Wage Law.  She seeks to
bring her FLSA claim as a collective action under FLSA Section
16(b), 29 U.S.C. Section 216(b), on behalf of herself and other
similarly situated hourly employees at the Hazelwood and Arnold
call centers; and her state law claims as a class action under Mo.
Rev. Stat. Section 290.500, et seq., and Rule 23 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.

Convergys moved to strike the class and collective action
allegations, arguing that Ms. Grant waived her ability to lead or
join class or collective litigation when she signed her employment
application.

Ms. Grant argued, and the Court agreed, that the waiver is void as
a violation of substantive rights guaranteed by the FLSA and the
National Labor Relations Act.

"[Collective and class litigation, engaged in by employees for the
purposes of mutual aid and protection, is protected concerted
activity under the NLRA. This Court cannot enforce a contract
provision that violates the NLRA. The defendant's waiver is such a
provision, and therefore cannot be enforced," Judge Jackson ruled.
"Accordingly, defendant's motion to strike plaintiff's class and
collective allegations is DENIED."

A copy of the District Court's March 1, 2013 Memorandum and Order
is available at http://is.gd/nYXyuTfrom Leagle.com.


DEWEY BEACH: Faces Class Action Over Business-License Fees
----------------------------------------------------------
Kara Nuzback, writing for CapeGazette.com, reports that a Dewey
Beach business owner says town officials use business-license fees
to fund operations, calling the fees an illegal tax.

Stephen Spence -- attorney for Highway One Partnership, which owns
several businesses in Dewey Beach -- filed a class action
complaint, Feb. 26, in Delaware Chancery Court against the town of
Dewey Beach, Mayor Diane Hanson and Commissioners Joy Howell,
Courtney Riordan, Anna Legates and Gary Mauler.

All six businesses in the class, including Rusty Rudder, Bottle
and Cork and Dewey Beach Liquors, are owned or managed by Highway
One Partner Alex Pires.

Commenting on the suit, Town Manager Marc Appelbaum said the town
received it Feb. 27.  License fees charged by the town are fair
and reasonable, he said.

Since 2007, Dewey Beach has charged business license fees as high
as $10,780 per year, exceeding the cost to administer and enforce
the licenses, Mr. Spence wrote.  "By way of comparison, during the
same period, the business license fees assessed in the adjoining
towns of Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach average approximately
$360 per year," he said.

Mr. Spence said the town treats business license fees as revenue.
"Under well-established Delaware law, a fee that is used to
generate revenue for general operations is deemed a tax," he
wrote.  "The town's charter, as enacted by the General Assembly,
does not authorize the imposition and collection of a tax on
businesses."

All taxes collected from each member of the class since 2007
should be refunded in full with interest, attorneys' fees and the
costs of the lawsuit, Mr. Spence wrote.

"In the alternative, plaintiffs and class are entitled to a full
refund for the period 2007-2013 minus a reasonable license fee
that does not exceed the average license fee assessed by Rehoboth
Beach and Bethany Beach of $360 per year," he wrote.

According to the lawsuit, the six businesses in the class have
paid a total of $133,047 in business license fees since 2007;
license fees for all businesses in town have totaled $1 million.

Mr. Spence said only the town knows the actual costs of
administering and enforcing business license fees.

Mr. Pires said Mr. Spence repeatedly warned the town its license
fee structure was illegal.  "They continue, for whatever reason,
to deliberately break the law," he said.

"We would prefer a property tax.  We think that's the fair way,"
Mr. Pires said.  "It's expecting to run a town through all these
gimmicks, and those gimmicks are illegal."

Mr. Pires said the town should refund the license fees and avoid
accruing more legal fees by defending the lawsuit.  "They lose
every case.  They're going to lose this case," he said.  "They
don't follow the law."

Town Attorney Fred Townsend said he expects to defend the town
against the lawsuit, but would not comment on its contents.
"We'll be investigating their claims," he said.

Mr. Appelbaum said, "We are looking into it.  It is our position
that what we've been charging is fair and just and reasonable."

Before 2012, restaurants with a liquor license were paying a base
rate for licenses that was nearly four times more than the rate
for restaurants without a liquor license.

Commissioners voted in February 2012 to standardize license fees
for restaurants, without considering whether the establishment
provides alcohol.  According to Ordinance 690, all bars,
restaurants and eateries pay a base fee of $273, plus $6 per
person based on occupancy.

In November 2012, commissioners began discussing a possible
increase in business license fees.  In response, Spence sent a
letter to town council threatening legal action.

Dewey Beach Budget and Finance Committee held a meeting Feb. 16,
proposing an additional gross receipts tax on businesses located
in town.  Committee members said the tax would make up for a
revenue shortfall.

At the meeting, Mr. Spence said Dewey Beach was putting itself in
legal jeopardy by establishing a gross receipts tax.  "This is
just a tax on the restaurants and bars," he said.


FACEBOOK INC: Settlement Fails to Meet Standards, Dissenters Say
----------------------------------------------------------------
Vanessa Blum, writing for The Recorder, reports that the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is letting stand Facebook
Inc.'s $9.5 million settlement resolving privacy claims.  But a
conservative bloc of judges isn't happy about it.

The court issued an order on Feb. 26 denying en banc rehearing of
last year's panel decision upholding a settlement in Lane v.
Facebook, 08-3845, the suit that targeted the site's discontinued
"Beacon" feature.  The settlement directs more than $6 million to
a newly created organization for online privacy on top of attorney
fees.

Six dissenters warned the settlement does not meet the circuit's
standards and called the refusal of en banc review an "unfortunate
failure" that would send mixed messages on the criteria for cy
pres settlements that distribute funds to charities rather than
class members.

"I regret the muddle this case makes of our cy pres
jurisprudence," wrote Judge Milan Smith Jr. in a dissent joined by
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski and Judges Diarmuid O'Scannlain, Jay
Bybee, Carlos Bea and Sandra Ikuta.  The dissenters are all
Republican appointees.

In a series of recent rulings, the Ninth Circuit has tightened its
scrutiny of cy pres payments demanding they go to causes that
benefit class members and advance objectives of the suit.

"By approving a settlement that fails both criteria, however, the
majority in this case creates a significant loophole in our case
law that will confuse litigants and judges, while endorsing cy
pres settlements that in no way benefit class members," Judge
Smith wrote.

Beacon was a short-lived Facebook feature that broadcast details
of users' personal lives. Facebook ceased the program as part of
the settlement, which was approved in 2009 by U.S. District Judge
Richard Seeborg in San Francisco.

The settlement also included about $3 million in legal fees for
plaintiffs lawyers, led by Scott Kamber -- skamber@kamberlaw.com
-- of KamberLaw in New York. Facebook was represented by Cooley
partner Michael Rhodes.

Last year, picking up on the increased scrutiny from the Ninth
Circuit, Judge Seeborg rejected a proposed settlement in a
separate Facebook class action that included $10 million in
charitable donations.  Judge Seeborg ultimately approved a revised
settlement deal that provided for cash payments to class members.
In the interim, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled 2-1 to approve the
Beacon settlement.

The dissenters faulted the Beacon settlement for providing funds
to the Digital Trust Foundation, a newly created organization with
no record of service.  The organization's promise to fund and
sponsor educational programs related to online privacy isn't good
enough, Judge Smith wrote.

"If fashioning an open-ended, one-sentence mission statement is
all it takes to earn cy pres settlement approval in our court, we
have completely eviscerated the meaning of our previously
controlling case law," he wrote.

His sharp words may be intended for the U.S. Supreme Court, as
dissenting and concurring opinions from the denial of en banc
review are widely perceived as a call to the justices to review a
Ninth Circuit decision.


FIA CARD: Averts Class Action Over Customer Phone Call Recording
----------------------------------------------------------------
Raphael Pope-Sussman, writing for Law360, reports that a Bank of
America Corp. unit on Feb. 26 escaped a proposed class action in
California accusing it of monitoring and recording phone
conversations with credit card holders without their consent.

In an order nixing the suit, U.S. District Judge Anthony J.
Battaglia said FIA Card Services NA, which issues credit cards for
the bank, had warned customers through its cardholder agreement
that it might record their phone calls.


GREENBERG TRAURIG: Agrees to Mediate Gender Bias Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gina Passarella, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports that
Greenberg Traurig and Francine Griesing, the former shareholder
who sued the firm in a proposed $200 million gender-discrimination
class action last year, have agreed to enter mediation in an
attempt to resolve their claims, the parties told a Philadelphia
federal judge on Feb. 27.


INITIATIVE LEGAL: Violates Class Action Ethics, Attorneys Say
-------------------------------------------------------------
Scott Graham, writing for The Recorder, reports that upping the
ante in their fight over class action ethics, two Bay Area
attorneys have sued one of the state's largest plaintiff shops,
alleging that it's a vehicle for hiding assets from their $20
million fraud suit.

Mark Chavez and Richard Zitrin allege that after they brought a
fraud suit against Initiative Legal Group last summer, the firm
began shifting its most valuable asset -- pending contingency fee
cases -- to a new firm called Capstone Law APC.

Since October, 48 attorneys from Initiative Legal Group, or ILG as
it's known, have moved to Capstone, which is housed in the same
Century City business complex as ILG.  Many of those attorneys
have since appeared under Capstone's name in litigation that
originated with ILG -- but without filing substitution,
association or even change-of-address forms, the attorneys allege.

"Throughout this process and by these means, defendants
fraudulently transferred ILG's assets, including ILG's interest in
dozens of civil actions . . . to Capstone," states the complaint
signed by Chavez -- mark@chavezgertler.com -- of Chavez & Gertler.
Maxon v. Capstone Law, CGC-13-528884, was filed on Feb. 21 in San
Francisco Superior Court.

The litigation all stems from wage-and-hour claims Initiative
Legal Group first brought against Wells Fargo in 2006.  It began
as a class action, but the firm later signed up 600 individual
mortgage consultants for a mass action.  Messrs. Chavez and
Zitrin, of Carlson, Calladine & Peterson, alleged that ILG sold
out those 600 clients by negotiating a secret $6 million
settlement with Wells Fargo, keeping $5.5 million for itself in
attorney fees.  "Your clients withheld material information," S.F.
Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn told a lawyer for ILG at a
September hearing.  "They violated their ethical obligations of
disclosure and fair dealing.  Did I miss something?"

Judge Kahn entered a temporary restraining order freezing the $5.5
million and putting it in an escrow account.  ILG is appealing
that ruling, though it hasn't filed an opening brief yet.

Around the same time, Mr. Chavez, Mr. Zitrin and David C. Anderson
of Anderson Law brought a putative class action against ILG and
several of its principals for fraud, saying some of the 600
clients had claims worth more than $100,000 but received only a
$750 payout.  ILG tried to head off the claims last August by
offering all 600 clients an additional $1,000 if they agreed to
sign a waiver not to sue the firm.

Mr. Chavez alleges in the Feb. 21 complaint that, four days after
sending out the $1,000 checks, ILG partner Rebecca Labat Crosby
incorporated Capstone Law.  Capstone has since added 56 attorneys,
48 of them from ILG, and brought at least 27 ILG cases with them.
"Throughout the fall of 2012, as attorneys moved from ILG to
Capstone, defendants worked in concert to transfer to Capstone
dozens of active cases in which ILG held a contingent attorneys'
fee interest," the complaint states.  "The interest in these
litigation matters . . . is ILG's most valuable asset, and without
it, ILG will be unable to satisfy plaintiff and the clients'
claims."

Ms. Crosby, meanwhile, has continued to act for both entities,
filing a Sept. 27 declaration in a federal case in which she
represented herself as a partner at ILG, the complaint alleges.

Capstone, meanwhile, has not updated its corporate filing with the
State Bar -- nor has it updated Ms. Crosby's personal guarantee of
$100,000 for errors and omissions.  With 57 attorneys, the firm is
required to raise that guarantee to $5 million, the complaint
alleges.

Messrs. Zitrin and Chavez also say in their complaint that
Capstone, Ms. Crosby and ILG principals Marc Primo, G. Arthur
Meneses and Monica Balderrama violated the Uniform Fraudulent
Transfer Act and other laws.  It seeks a receivership for Capstone
and contends that all ILG attorneys who moved cases to Capstone
should be jointly and severally liable for damages.

Natalie Vance, an attorney who represented ILG before Judge Kahn
and on appeal, declined to comment, saying she does not represent
Capstone.


KROGER CO: Recalls Wheat Bread Products in ID, OR and WA States
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Kroger Co. Bakery in Clackamas, Oregon, is recalling select
Wheat Bread products sold at the Company's Fred Meyer Stores in
Idaho, Oregon and Washington and QFC stores in Oregon and
Washington because these products may contain pieces of plastic.

Customers should return the product to stores for a full refund or
replacement.

                                       Codes
   Product              UPC           Sell By         Size
   -------              ---           -------         ----
   Kroger Value Wheat   11110 02199   Mar 08 FK 053   22.5 oz
   Bread

   QFC Tender Twist     11110 20231   Mar 08 FK 053   20 oz
   Wheat Bread

   Fred Meyer Tender    11110 23004   Mar 08 FK 053   24 oz
   Twist Honey Cracked
   Wheat Bread

   Fred Meyer Tender    11110 23005   Mar 08 FK 053   24 oz
   Twist 100% Whole
   Wheat Bread

   Fred Meyer Tender    11110 23006   Mar 08 FK 053   22.5 oz
   Twist Wheat Bread

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

         http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm342416.htm

These items were shipped Friday, February 22, Sunday, February 24
and Monday, February 25.

All Fred Meyer and QFC loyalty card holders who purchased this
product will receive a phone message alerting them to this recall.

Consumers who have questions about this recall may contact Kroger
toll free at 800-KROGERS (800 576-4377).


MCDONALD'S CORP: Settlement in Non-Halal Chicken Suit Delayed
-------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Slezak, writing for Press & Guide Newspapers, reports that an
attorney for a group that unknowingly ate haram chicken at an east
Dearborn McDonald's successfully argued for a delay in the final
settlement of the case.

Steven Kiousis, listed as "attorney for certain objecting class
members," convinced Wayne County Circuit Judge Kathleen Macdonald
on March 1 to delay the settlement hearing to 11:00 a.m. March 5
because he wanted give the 35 group members more time to elect to
be part of the class-action settlement.  He said he was not
notified in time about a previous settlement hearing.

Judge Macdonald also granted a motion allowing Michael Steinberg,
an American Civil Liberties Union attorney, the opportunity to
file a brief in support of Dearborn attorney Majed Moughni, who is
not part of the case, but objected to the settlement offer.

Last month, Macdonald ordered Mr. Moughni to remove information
about the case from the Dearborn Area Community Members Facebook
page, which he administers, and put her original class-action
settlement order and her order against Mr. Moughni on the page,
which he did.

Mr. Moughni also is prohibited from communicating with class-
action lawsuit members and the media about the case without prior
written permission.

He did not attend the March 1 hearing.

Judge Macdonald ruled Jan. 18 that McDonald's and Finley's
Management Co., the franchise owner of the restaurant at 13158
Ford Road, must pay $700,000 to settle the suit brought by Ahmed
Ahmed of Dearborn Heights, who claimed that the fast-food
restaurant sold chicken that was labeled as halal but really
wasn't after it ran out of halal chicken.

"Halal" refers to meeting Islamic requirements for preparing food.
God's name must be invoked before an animal providing meat for
consumption is slaughtered.  "Haram" is the term for something
forbidden in Islam.

Macdonald ruled that of the $700,000, Mr. Ahmed will get about
$20,000; the Health Unit on Davison Avenue Inc. in Detroit, also
known as HUDA, will get about $274,000; the Arab American National
Museum in Dearborn will get about $150,000; and attorneys will get
about $230,000.

Mr. Ahmed is being represented by Jaafar & Mahdi Law Group of
Dearborn.

Mr. Moughni posted on the Dearborn Area Community Members page he
thought it was unfair the money primarily would not go to those
who ate the haram chicken.  He asked for page members who ate the
food to leave contact information for themselves and others who
ate the meat.

Kassem Dakhlallah, one of Mr. Ahmed's attorneys, filed a motion
for injunctive relief against Mr. Moughni on Jan. 31; Judge
Macdonald ruled in his favor Feb. 7 and imposed the restrictions
on Mr. Moughni.  Mr. Moughni filed a motion Feb. 15 to overturn
Macdonald's ruling against him; she dismissed it Feb. 22.

In anticipation of the March 1 final settlement hearing, motions
in support of Mr. Moughni were filed by Mr. Steinberg and Paul
Alan Levy of the Public Citizen Litigation Group of Washington,
D.C., and Kiousis filed the brief on behalf of class-action
members.

Steinberg said Mr. Levy, who was not at the March 1 hearing, was
planning to attend the March 5 hearing.  They are arguing that
Mr. Moughni's First Amendment rights of free speech were violated
by Judge Macdonald's Feb. 7 ruling.

The March 1 hearing started with verbal sparring between two
attorneys.  Mr. Kiousis said he was "distraught" Mr. Dakhlallah
talked to at least one of the class-action members he's
representing without his knowledge; Mr. Dakhlallah said he was
unaware that Imam Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbalaa Islamic
Education Center in Dearborn was on the list because Mr.
Al-Husainy was listed under a different name on Mr. Kiousis' list.
Mr. Kiousis learned of the conversation on Feb. 28, and said Mr.
Dakhlallah asked Mr. Al-Husainy about him.

Mr. Dakhlallah told Judge Macdonald he won't talk to Al-Husainy
about the matter again.  He took a verbal jab at Mr. Kiousis after
the hearing, saying he should have talked with him about the
tampering claim before the hearing.

Mr. Dakhlallah said during the hearing he has been talking to
leaders of the area's Islamic community about the settlement and
to undo damage done by Mr. Moughni's Facebook campaign, and added,
"I did nothing wrong, nothing unethical."

Thomas McNeill, attorney for McDonald's Corp., said he left the
Feb. 22 hearing confused about "who these people are" on the
settlement list.

"It's troubling," he added.

Judge Macdonald asked if anyone in the gallery should be put on
the class-action list; Laura Roseboro said she should be.  Even
though she's Christian, she said she works in Dearborn, has many
Muslim friends and eats halal food as part of adopting their ways.
She was told to speak with the attorneys after the hearing.


NEW ORIENTAL: Continues to Defend ADS-Related Suits in Cal., N.Y.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. continues to defend
itself from four class action lawsuits related to its American
depository shares, according to the Company's
February 22, 2013, Form 20-F/A filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended May 31, 2012.

On July 23, 2012, a putative shareholder class action lawsuit
against the Company, Michael Minhong Yu and Louis T. Hsieh, Wong
v. New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc., No. 2:12-cv-
06316-MMM-JEM, was filed in the United States District Court for
the Central District of California.  Shortly thereafter, three
more putative shareholder class action lawsuits against the same
defendants were filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York: Sax v. New Oriental Education &
Technology Group, Inc., No. 1:12-cv-05724-JGK (S.D.N.Y. filed July
25, 2012); Gabel v. New Oriental Education & Technology Group,
Inc., No. 1:12-cv-05963-JGK (S.D.N.Y. filed Aug. 3, 2012); and
Tardio v. New Oriental Education & Technology Group, Inc., No.
1:12-cv-06619-JGK (S.D.N.Y. filed Aug. 29, 2012).

The four actions contain similar factual allegations, allege
virtually the same class period, are brought against the same
defendants, and advance the same theories of liability.  These
actions seek to represent a class of persons who suffered damages
as a result of their trading activities related to the Company's
American depository shares (ADSs) from July 21, 2009, to July 23,
2012.  All four actions allege violations of section 10(b) of the
Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, 17 C.F.R.
240.10b-5 (2012), and section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C.
Sections 78j(b), 78t(a).  The complaints allege that various press
releases, financial statements and other related disclosures made
by the Company during the class period contained material
misstatements and omissions, in violation of the federal
securities laws, and that such press releases, financial
statements and other related disclosures artificially inflated the
value of the Company's ADSs and affected the trading prices of the
Company's ADSs.  The complaints generally seek monetary damages on
behalf of the class of persons who suffered losses during the
class period.

The actions remain at their preliminary stages.  The Company
believes the cases are without merit and intends to defend the
actions vigorously.

New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. is a provider of
private educational services in China based on the number of
program offerings, total student enrollments and geographic
presence.  The Company offers a wide range of educational
programs, services and products, consisting primarily of English
and other foreign language training, test preparation courses for
admissions and assessment tests in the United States, the PRC and
Commonwealth countries, primary and secondary school education,
development and distribution of educational content, software and
other technology, and online education.  It provides educational
services primarily under its "New Oriental" brand, which it
believes is the leading consumer brand in China's private
education sector.


NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR: Moose Accident Victims Seek Documents
----------------------------------------------------------------
CBC News reports that lawyers representing victims of moose-
vehicle accidents were scheduled to be in Supreme Court on Feb. 28
in an attempt to obtain secret cabinet documents.

The lawyers were seeking to have the documents disclosed for their
class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit was launched in 2011 against the Province of
Newfoundland and Labrador over its failure to control moose
accidents.

Lawyer Ches Crosbie said that except for the need to challenge the
claim of immunity from disclosure of cabinet documents, the case
has gone smoothly.

"I'm not unduly worried about it, but of course I don't know
what's in them -- which is the whole reason for seeing them --
there could be something quite important there, could be, I just
don't know," said Mr. Crosbie.

Mr. Crosbie expects lawyers will finish taking evidence from
witnesses in April.  He added that the case should be ready for
trial early in the fall of 2013.


PATRIOT COAL: Employees' Suit for Lost Wages Remains Pending
------------------------------------------------------------
In late January 2010, the U.S. Attorney's office and the State of
West Virginia began investigations relating to one or more of
Patriot Coal Corporation's employees making inaccurate entries in
official mine records at its Federal No. 2 mine.  The Company
terminated one employee and two other employees resigned after
being placed on administrative leave.  The terminated employee
subsequently admitted to falsifying inspection records and has
been cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's office.  In April 2010,
the Company received a federal subpoena requesting methane
detection systems equipment used at the Company's Federal No. 2
mine since July 2008 and the results of tests performed on the
equipment since that date.  The Company has provided the equipment
and information as required by the subpoena.  The Company has not
received any additional requests for information.  In January
2012, the terminated employee filed a civil lawsuit against the
Company alleging retaliatory discharge and intentional infliction
of emotional distress.  Additionally, in January 2012, five
employees filed a purported class action lawsuit against the
Company and the terminated employee seeking compensation for lost
wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages for the alleged
intentional violation of employee safety at the mine.

No further updates were reported in the Company's February 22,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company says it is vigorously defending both civil lawsuits
and the potential impact of these lawsuits cannot be estimated at
this time.  Both civil lawsuits are currently stayed due to the
bankruptcy of one or more defendants.

Patriot Coal Corporation -- http://www.patriotcoal.com/-- engages
in the mining, production, and sale of thermal coal primarily to
electricity generators in the eastern United States.  It has
operations and coal reserves in the Appalachia and the Illinois
Basin coal regions.  The Company is also involved in the
production of metallurgical quality coal and sells it to steel
mills and independent coke producers.  It is based in St. Louis,
Missouri.


PATRIOT COAL: Lead Plaintiff Appointed in Suit vs. Certain D&O
--------------------------------------------------------------
A lead plaintiff was appointed in January 2013 in the consolidated
class action lawsuit involving certain directors and officers of
Patriot Coal Corporation, according to the Company's February 22,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On July 9, 2012 (the Petition Date), Patriot Coal Corporation, as
a stand-alone entity, and substantially all of its wholly-owned
subsidiaries (the Filing Subsidiaries and, together with Patriot,
the Debtors) filed voluntary petitions for reorganization (the
Chapter 11 Petitions) under Chapter 11 of Title 11 of the U.S.
Code (the Bankruptcy Code) in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York.  On November 27, 2012, the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York issued a
ruling transferring the bankruptcy cases to the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.  On December 19, 2012,
the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
entered an order formally transferring the bankruptcy cases to the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and/or
the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York,
as applicable, the Bankruptcy Court).  The Debtors' Chapter 11
cases are being jointly administered under the caption In re:
Patriot Coal Corporation, et al. (Case No. 12-51502) (the
Bankruptcy Case).  The Company's joint ventures and certain of its
other subsidiaries (collectively, the Non-Debtor Subsidiaries)
were not included in the Chapter 11 filing.

Certain Patriot directors and officers have been named as
defendants in various lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court in
the Eastern District of Missouri.  In June 2012, a shareholder
filed a derivative lawsuit for the benefit of Patriot against each
of the then directors of Patriot and Patriot as a nominal
defendant.  This lawsuit was administratively closed due to the
Bankruptcy Case.  During the second half of 2012 and subsequent to
the filing of the Chapter 11 Petitions, three class action
complaints were filed against a former Chief Executive Officer,
Richard M. Whiting, and former Chief Financial Officer, Mark N.
Schroeder (the Class Action Complaints).  The Class Action
Complaints contain nearly identical allegations including that the
defendants made or allowed false and misleading statements related
to Patriot's selenium water treatment liability and Patriot's
financial condition.  The Class Action Complaints were
consolidated and a lead plaintiff was appointed during January
2013.  The Class Action Complaints can proceed during the pendency
of the Bankruptcy Case as Patriot was not named as a defendant.

Patriot Coal Corporation -- http://www.patriotcoal.com/-- engages
in the mining, production, and sale of thermal coal primarily to
electricity generators in the eastern United States.  It has
operations and coal reserves in the Appalachia and the Illinois
Basin coal regions.  The Company is also involved in the
production of metallurgical quality coal and sells it to steel
mills and independent coke producers.  It is based in St. Louis,
Missouri.


PHILIPS ELECTRONICS: Faces Class Action Over Labor Violations
-------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Philips Electronics/Philips
Lighting stiffs workers for overtime and violates other labor
laws, a class action claims in Superior Court.


POWERSHARES DB: Appeals From ARS-Related Suits' Dismissal Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Appeals from the dismissal of two class action lawsuits related to
auction rate securities remain pending, according to PowerShares
DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund was formed as a
Delaware statutory trust on May 23, 2005.  DB Commodity Services
LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company ("DBCS" or the "Managing
Owner"), seeded the Fund with a capital contribution of $1,000 in
exchange for 40 General Shares of the Fund.  The Fund was
originally named "DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund."  Under the
Trust Agreement, Wilmington Trust Company, the trustee of the Fund
(the "Trustee"), has delegated to the Managing Owner the exclusive
management and control of all aspects of the business of the Fund.
The Managing Owner serves the Fund as commodity pool operator,
commodity trading advisor, and managing owner, and is an indirect
wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG (the "Bank").
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., a Delaware corporation, serves as
the Fund's clearing broker (the "Commodity Broker").  The
Commodity Broker is also an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of
Deutsche Bank AG and is an affiliate of the Managing Owner.  The
Bank of New York Mellon (the "Administrator") has been appointed
by the Managing Owner as the administrator, custodian and transfer
agent of the Fund, and has entered into separate administrative,
custodian, transfer agency and service agreements (collectively
referred to as the "Administration Agreement").

The Bank and DBSI, including a division of DBSI, have been named
as defendants in 21 individual actions asserting various claims
under the federal securities laws and state common law arising out
of the sale of auction rate securities (ARS).  Of those 21
actions, three are pending and 18 have been resolved and dismissed
with prejudice.

The Bank and DBSI were the subjects of a putative class action,
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, asserting various claims under the federal
securities laws on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased
and continue to hold ARS offered for sale by the Bank and DBSI
between March 17, 2003, and February 13, 2008.  In December 2010,
the court dismissed the putative class action with prejudice.
After initially filing a notice of appeal, the plaintiff
voluntarily withdrew and dismissed the appeal in December 2011.

The Bank was also named as a defendant, along with ten other
financial institutions, in two putative class actions, filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, asserting violations of the antitrust laws.  The putative
class actions allege that the defendants conspired to artificially
support and then, in February 2008, restrain the ARS market.  On
or about January 26, 2010, the court dismissed the two putative
class actions.  The plaintiffs have filed appeals of the
dismissals.


POWERSHARES DB: Bid to Dismiss MF Global-Related Suit Pending
-------------------------------------------------------------
A motion to dismiss a consolidated class action lawsuit brought on
behalf of investors in certain debt securities issued by MF Global
Holdings Ltd. remains pending, according to PowerShares DB
Commodity Index Tracking Fund's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund was formed as a
Delaware statutory trust on May 23, 2005.  DB Commodity Services
LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company ("DBCS" or the "Managing
Owner"), seeded the Fund with a capital contribution of $1,000 in
exchange for 40 General Shares of the Fund.  The Fund was
originally named "DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund."  Under the
Trust Agreement, Wilmington Trust Company, the trustee of the Fund
(the "Trustee"), has delegated to the Managing Owner the exclusive
management and control of all aspects of the business of the Fund.
The Managing Owner serves the Fund as commodity pool operator,
commodity trading advisor, and managing owner, and is an indirect
wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG (the "Bank").
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., a Delaware corporation, serves as
the Fund's clearing broker (the "Commodity Broker").  The
Commodity Broker is also an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of
Deutsche Bank AG and is an affiliate of the Managing Owner.  The
Bank of New York Mellon (the "Administrator") has been appointed
by the Managing Owner as the administrator, custodian and transfer
agent of the Fund, and has entered into separate administrative,
custodian, transfer agency and service agreements (collectively
referred to as the "Administration Agreement").

DBSI, along with numerous other securities firms and individuals,
has been named as a defendant in a consolidated class action
lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  The lawsuit is purportedly brought
on behalf of investors in certain debt securities issued by MF
Global Holdings Ltd.  DBSI is being sued as an underwriter for two
of the three debt offerings that are the subject of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges material misstatements and omissions in a
registration statement and prospectuses.  A consolidated amended
complaint has been filed, and a motion to dismiss by the
underwriter defendants is pending.


POWERSHARES DB: Deutsche Bank Continues to Defend RMBS Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
Deutsche Bank AG continues to defend itself against lawsuits
related to residential mortgage backed securities, according to
PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund's February 22, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (the "Fund") was
formed as a Delaware statutory trust on May 23, 2005.  DB
Commodity Services LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company
("DBCS" or the "Managing Owner"), seeded the Fund with a capital
contribution of $1,000 in exchange for 40 General Shares of the
Fund.  The Fund was originally named "DB Commodity Index Tracking
Fund."  Under the Trust Agreement, Wilmington Trust Company, the
trustee of the Fund (the "Trustee"), has delegated to the Managing
Owner the exclusive management and control of all aspects of the
business of the Fund.  The Managing Owner serves the Fund as
commodity pool operator, commodity trading advisor, and managing
owner, and is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank
AG (the "Bank").  Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. ("DBSI"), a
Delaware corporation, serves as the Fund's clearing broker (the
"Commodity Broker").  The Commodity Broker is also an indirect
wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG and is an affiliate of
the Managing Owner.  The Bank of New York Mellon (the
"Administrator") has been appointed by the Managing Owner as the
administrator, custodian and transfer agent of the Fund, and has
entered into separate administrative, custodian, transfer agency
and service agreements (collectively referred to as the
"Administration Agreement").

The Bank and its affiliates, including DBSI (collectively referred
to as Deutsche Bank), have received subpoenas and requests for
information from certain regulators and government entities
concerning its activities regarding the origination, purchase,
securitization, sale and/or trading of mortgage loans, residential
mortgage backed securities (RMBS), collateralized debt
obligations, asset backed commercial paper and credit derivatives.
Deutsche Bank is cooperating fully in response to those subpoenas
and requests for information.

Deutsche Bank has been named as defendant in numerous civil
litigations in various roles as issuer or underwriter in RMBS
offerings.  These cases include purported class action lawsuits,
actions by individual purchasers of securities, and actions by
insurance companies that guaranteed payments of principal and
interest for particular tranches of securities offerings.
Although the allegations vary by lawsuit, these cases generally
allege that the RMBS offering documents contained material
misrepresentations and omissions, including with regard to the
underwriting standards pursuant to which the underlying mortgage
loans were issued, or assert that various representations or
warranties relating to the loans were breached at the time of
origination.

Deutsche Bank is a defendant in putative class actions relating to
its role, along with other financial institutions, as underwriter
of RMBS issued by various third-parties and their affiliates
including Countrywide Financial Corporation, IndyMac MBS, Inc.,
Novastar Mortgage Corporation, and Residential Accredit Loans,
Inc.  These cases are in various stages up through discovery.  On
March 29, 2012, the court dismissed with prejudice and without
leave to replead the putative Novastar Mortgage Corporation class
action, which the plaintiffs have appealed.

Deutsche Bank is a defendant in various non-class action lawsuits
by alleged purchasers of, and counterparties involved in
transactions relating to, RMBS, and their affiliates, including
Allstate Insurance Company, Asset Management Fund, Assured
Guaranty Municipal Corporation, Baverische Landesbank, Cambridge
Place Investments Management Inc., the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation (as conservator for Franklin Bank S.S.B., Citizens
National Bank and Strategic Capital Bank), the Federal Home Loan
Bank of Boston, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, the
Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, the Federal Housing Finance
Agency (as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), John
Hancock Insurance Company, Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company,
Phoenix Light SF Limited, Sealink Funding Ltd., Stichting
Pensioenfonds ABP, The Charles Schwab Corporation, The Union
Central Life Insurance Company, The Western and Southern Life
Insurance Co. and the West Virginia Investment Management Board.
These civil litigations are in various stages up through
discovery.

In the actions against Deutsche Bank solely as an underwriter of
other issuers' RMBS offerings, Deutsche Bank has contractual
rights to indemnification from the issuers, but those indemnity
rights may in whole or in part prove effectively unenforceable
where the issuers are now or may in the future be in bankruptcy or
otherwise defunct.

Deutsche Bank and several current or former employees were named
as defendants in a putative class action commenced on June 27,
2008, relating to two Deutsche Bank-issued RMBS offerings.
Following mediation, the parties agreed to settlement matters of
$32.5 million.  On July 11, 2012, the settlement received final
court approval.

On May 8, 2012, Deutsche Bank reached a settlement with Assured
Guaranty Municipal Corporation (Assured) regarding pending and
threatened litigation on certain RMBS issued and underwritten by
Deutsche Bank that are covered by financial guaranty insurance
provided by Assured.  Pursuant to this settlement, Deutsche Bank
made a payment of $20 million to settle one litigation.

On February 6, 2012, the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York issued an order dismissing claims
brought by Dexia SA/NV and Teachers Insurance and Annuity
Association of America, and their affiliates and on January 4,
2013, the court issued an opinion explaining the basis for the
order.  The court dismissed some of the claims with prejudice and
granted the plaintiffs leave to replead other claims.  The
plaintiffs repled the claims dismissed without prejudice by filing
a new complaint on February 4, 2013.

On July 16, 2012, the Fourth Judicial District for the State of
Minnesota dismissed Deutsche Bank from a litigation brought by
Moneygram Payment Systems, Inc. (Moneygram) relating to
investments in RMBS, collateralized debt obligations and credit-
linked notes.  The court further denied Moneygram's motion for
reconsideration and Moneygram has filed an appeal.  On
January 11, 2013, Moneygram filed a summons with notice in New
York State Supreme Court seeking to assert similar claims to those
dismissed in Minnesota.

On February 4, 2013, pursuant to the terms of a settlement
agreement, Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP dismissed two lawsuits that
had been filed against Deutsche Bank.  The terms of the settlement
are confidential.

On May 3, 2011, the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ)
filed a civil action against Deutsche Bank AG and MortgageIT, Inc.
(MIT) in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  The USDOJ filed an amended complaint on
August 22, 2011.  The amended complaint, which asserts claims
under the U.S. False Claims Act and common law, alleges that
Deutsche Bank AG, DB Structured Products, Inc., MIT, and DBSI
submitted false certifications to the Department of Housing and
Urban Development's Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
concerning MIT's compliance with FHA requirements for quality
controls and concerning whether individual loans qualified for FHA
insurance.  As set forth in the amended complaint, the FHA has
paid $368 million in insurance claims on mortgages that are
allegedly subject to false certifications.  The amended complaint
seeks recovery of treble damages and indemnification of future
losses on loans insured by FHA, and as set forth in the filings,
the USDOJ sought over $1 billion in damages.  On September 23,
2011, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the amended
complaint.  Following a hearing on December 21, 2011, the court
granted the USDOJ leave to file a second amended complaint.  On
May 10, 2012, Deutsche Bank settled this litigation with the USDOJ
for $202.3 million.

A number of other entities have threatened to assert claims
against Deutsche Bank in connection with various RMBS offerings
and other related products and Deutsche Bank has entered into
agreements with a number of these entities to all the relevant
statute of limitations to toll the relevant statute of
limitations.  It is possible that these potential claims may have
a material impact on Deutsche Bank.  In addition, Deutsche Bank
has entered into settlement agreements with some of these
entities, the financial terms of which are confidential.


POWERSHARES DB: Plaintiffs Ask to Reconsider TruPS Suit Dismissal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs have sought reconsideration of the dismissal of their
consolidated class action lawsuit over trust preferred securities
York, according to PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund's
February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (the "Fund") was
formed as a Delaware statutory trust on May 23, 2005.  DB
Commodity Services LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company
("DBCS" or the "Managing Owner"), seeded the Fund with a capital
contribution of $1,000 in exchange for 40 General Shares of the
Fund.  The Fund was originally named "DB Commodity Index Tracking
Fund."  Under the Trust Agreement, Wilmington Trust Company, the
trustee of the Fund (the "Trustee"), has delegated to the Managing
Owner the exclusive management and control of all aspects of the
business of the Fund.  The Managing Owner serves the Fund as
commodity pool operator, commodity trading advisor, and managing
owner, and is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank
AG (the "Bank").  Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. ("DBSI"), a
Delaware corporation, serves as the Fund's clearing broker (the
"Commodity Broker").  The Commodity Broker is also an indirect
wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG and is an affiliate of
the Managing Owner.  The Bank of New York Mellon (the
"Administrator") has been appointed by the Managing Owner as the
administrator, custodian and transfer agent of the Fund, and has
entered into separate administrative, custodian, transfer agency
and service agreements (collectively referred to as the
"Administration Agreement").

The Bank and certain of its affiliates and officers, including
DBSI, are the subject of a consolidated putative class action,
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, asserting claims under the federal
securities laws on behalf of persons who purchased certain trust
preferred securities issued by Deutsche Bank and its affiliates
between October 2006 and May 2008.  Claims are asserted under
sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.  An
amended and consolidated class action complaint was filed on
January 25, 2010.  On August 19, 2011, the court granted in part
and denied in part the defendants' motion to dismiss following
which plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint, which did not
include claims based on the October 2006 issuance of securities.

On defendant's motion for reconsideration, the court on
August 10, 2012, dismissed the second amended complaint with
prejudice.  Plaintiffs have sought reconsiderations of this
dismissal.


REGENCY SEATING: Recalls 750 Oakmont Fabric Stackable Chairs
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Regency Seating Inc., of Akron, Ohio, announced a voluntary recall
of about 750 Stackable Chairs.  Consumers should stop using this
product unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or
attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The weld connecting the legs to the seat can break, posing a fall
hazard to consumers.

Regency Seating has received three reports of leg welds breaking.
No injuries have been reported.

The recalled chairs are four-legged stackable chairs sold under
the name Oakmont exclusively through Global Industrial Equipment.
The chairs have a metal frame with padded fabric seat and back
cushions.  The cushions come in black, blue or burgundy. The model
number, manufacture date "5-2011" and part number "PO000837" are
on a white label under the seat of the recalled chairs.  Chairs
with the following descriptions and model numbers are being
recalled:

   Description                  Models
   -----------                  ------
   Black Fabric Back and Seat   WB240168BK and CN240168BK
   Cushion

   Blue Fabric Back and Seat    WB240168BL and CN240168BL
   Cushion

   Burgundy Fabric Back and     WB240168BY and CN240168BY
   Seat Cushion

Pictures of the recalled products are available at
http://is.gd/WfDoou

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively at Global Industrial Equipment, both online and in its
catalog from May 2011 to May 2012 for between $38 and $40.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled chairs and
contact Regency for a free replacement chair.  Regency Seating
Inc. may be reached toll-free at (866) 816-9822 from 8:00 a.m. to
5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, by e-mail at
recall@regencyof.com, or online at http://www.regencyof.com/,then
click on Safety Notices for more information.


SPECTRA ENERGY: Unit Still Defends Suits Over Royalty Disputes
--------------------------------------------------------------
DCP Midstream, LLC, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy Corp.,
continues to defend itself against class action lawsuits related
to royalty disputes, according to the Company's February 22, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The midstream industry has seen a number of class action lawsuits
involving royalty disputes, mismeasurement and mispayment
allegations.  The Company is currently named as defendants in some
of these cases and customers have asserted individual audit claims
related to mismeasurement and mispayment.  Management believes the
Company has meritorious defenses to these cases and, therefore,
will continue to defend them vigorously.  These claims, however,
can be costly and time consuming to defend.  The Company is also a
party to various legal, administrative and regulatory proceedings
that have arisen in the ordinary course of the Company's business,
including, from time to time, disputes with customers over various
measurement and settlement issues.

Management currently believes that these matters, taken as a
whole, and after consideration of amounts accrued, insurance
coverage and other indemnification arrangements, will not have a
material adverse effect upon the Company's consolidated results of
operations, financial position or cash flows.


SOUTH CAROLINA: Judge Tosses Class Action Over Tax Data Breach
--------------------------------------------------------------
Allison Grande, writing for Law360, reports that a South Carolina
judge on March 1 tossed a putative class action alleging the
state's tax department and a private security firm failed to
prevent a massive data breach that compromised more than 3.6
million Social Security numbers.

In dismissing the case, Circuit Judge G. Thomas Cooper Jr. said
plaintiff Phillip Morgan had not proven that he or other state
residents had suffered damages stemming from the August breach,
according to Morgan's attorney, John Hawkins.


TANGOE INC: Pomerantz Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz Grossman Hufford Dahlstrom & Gross LLP has filed a class
action lawsuit against Tangoe, Inc. and certain of its officers.
The class action filed in United States District Court, District
of Connecticut, and docketed under 3:13-CV-286(VLB), is on behalf
of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or
otherwise acquired securities of Tangoe between December 20, 2011
and September 5, 2012, both dates inclusive of.  This class action
seeks to recover damages against the Company and certain of its
officers and directors as a result of alleged violations of the
federal securities laws pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Tangoe securities during
the Class Period, you have until April 29, 2013 to ask the Court
to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the
Complaint can be obtained at http://www.pomerantzlaw.com/

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

Tangoe develops and markets computer software to help companies
manage and control their fixed and mobile communications assets
and costs.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants
orchestrated a scheme to inflate their share price through a
series of acquisitions, and made materially false and misleading
statements regarding the Company's business, operational and
compliance policies.  Specifically, defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the
Company was overstating organic growth by underreporting the
percentage of revenue derived from recent acquisitions; (ii) the
Company was not growing customers organically as its deferred
implementation fees failed to grow; and (iii) as a result of the
above, the Company's financial statements were materially false
and misleading at all relevant times.

On August 28, 2012, a report was published by thestreetsweeper.org
that described the Company as having a "risky acquisition-driven
growth strategy."  On this news, Tangoe shares declined $3.39 per
share, or nearly 17%, to close at $16.70 per share on August 28,
2012.

On September 6, 2012, Copperfield Research published a report
concluding that the Company had materially misrepresented its
organic growth rate.  On this news, Tangoe shares declined $1.03
per share, or 6% on September 6, 2012.  The stock continued to
decline an additional $1.68 per share or 10.5%, to close at $14.29
per share on September 7, 2012.

The Pomerantz Firm -- http://www.pomerantzlaw.com/-- specializes
in the the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class
litigation.  It has offices in New York, Chicago, and San Diego.


TWEEN BRANDS: Recalls 19,100 Disco Lights Due to Shock Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
importer, Tween Brands, Inc., of New Albany, Ohio, and
manufacturer, Nantong Hengqiang Sports Goods Co., LTD and Zhejiang
Navigate Industry & Trading Co., LTD, announced a voluntary recall
of about 19,100 "Style my Room by Justice" Disco Lights.
Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

The electrical wiring in the lamp base is accessible and the lamp
can overheat, posing an electrical shock hazard to consumers.

The firm has received one report of the lamp overheating and one
report of a consumer receiving an electrical shock.

This recall involves two styles of Tween Brands disco lamps: the
black disco light (style 900528) and the star disco light (style
901651), sold under the Style My Room by Justice name brand.  The
recalled plastic lamps are about 7 inches tall and consist of a 4-
inch diameter ball with multi-colored disco lights atop a round,
black base with an on/off switch on the side.  The style number
appears in the lower left corner of the label located on the back
of the product packaging.  Pictures of the recalled products are
available at: http://is.gd/Lp1r1M

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively at Justice stores nationwide and online at
http://www.shopjustice.com/from May through November 2012 for
about $24.

Consumers should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled
lamp and return it to any Justice store for a full refund.
Justice may be reached toll-free at (866) 332-1110 from 8:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, or online at
http://www.shopjustice.com/and click on Customer Service at the
bottom of the page and then on Product Recalls for more
information.


VODAFONE: Downplays Impact of Customer's Broadband Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lucy Battersby, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reports
that Vodafone's Australia chief executive says the mobile
carrier's brand has not been damaged by a customer class action,
and has expressed doubts the case will ever get to court.

The class action was first announced in late 2010 and was
resurrected on Feb. 26 by a law firm representing customers
dissatisfied with Vodafone's mobile or wireless broadband
coverage.

Asked about the impact of the customer class action on Vodafone
Hutchison Australia's reputation, Bill Morrow said it had ''none
at all''.

"Most people see that there is not a class action suit actually
filed or [any] attempt to actually gather one.  The 23,000
[signatures] is the same number that they had reported back in
2011 . . . I don't believe this is something that is going to turn
into a class action suit and I don't think it is damaging to our
brand," he said.

The comments come as Vodafone announced it would try to
differentiate its customer service from other telcos by doubling
the number of staff at its call center in Tasmania.  This comes a
week after Telstra announced it was moving 648 jobs to call
centers in the Philippines and India.  According to the Community
and Public Sector Union, senior Telstra management told staff at
its Sensis subsidiary that "Australians will get better customer
services from Manila or India.  They have better technology and
innovation."

Vodafone expects the 750 additional jobs to add about $45 million
to the state's economy annually.  It has received substantial
funding from the federal government, including $4 million for
recruitment, training and the accommodation of new staff. And the
state government will kick in $850,000 for infrastructure costs
and payroll tax concessions for new employees.

Mr. Morrow said the message had come through "very clearly" that
Australians want to talk to someone in Australia.

"The bottom line is that we have been listening to our customers."

Earlier last week, one of Vodafone Hutchison Australia's joint
shareholders, Hutchison Telecommunications Australia, announced a
full-year loss of AU$394 million, following a loss of AU$168
million in 2011.

Hutchison also revealed 443,000 customer accounts were lost in
2012.  Vodafone now has about 6.6 million active accounts, down
from a peak of 7.4 million in mid-2010.  Mr. Morrow said customer
growth would be the first sign his turnaround plan is working, and
he expects to see customer numbers increasing later this year.


WARNER CHILCOTT: Continues to Defend ACTONEL-Related Suits
----------------------------------------------------------
Warner Chilcott Public Limited Company continues to defend itself
against product liability lawsuits related to its ACTONEL product,
according to the Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2012.

The Company is a defendant in approximately 246 cases and a
potential defendant with respect to approximately 354 unfiled
claims involving a total of approximately 608 plaintiffs and
potential plaintiffs relating to the Company's bisphosphonate
prescription drug ACTONEL.  The claimants allege, among other
things, that ACTONEL caused them to suffer osteonecrosis of the
jaw ("ONJ"), a rare but serious condition that involves severe
loss or destruction of the jawbone, and/or atypical fractures of
the femur.  All of the cases have been filed in either federal or
state courts in the United States.  The Company is in the initial
stages of discovery in these litigations.  The 354 unfiled claims
involve potential plaintiffs that have agreed, pursuant to a
tolling agreement, to postpone the filing of their claims against
the Company in exchange for the Company's agreement to suspend the
statutes of limitations relating to their potential claims.

In addition, the Company is aware of four purported product
liability class actions that were brought against the Company in
provincial courts in Canada alleging, among other things, that
ACTONEL caused the plaintiffs and the proposed class members who
ingested ACTONEL to suffer atypical fractures or other side
effects.  It is expected that these plaintiffs will seek class
certification.

The Company says it is reviewing these lawsuits and potential
claims and intends to defend these claims vigorously.

Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, which co-promotes ACTONEL with the
Company on a global basis pursuant to a collaboration agreement,
is a defendant in many of the Company's ACTONEL product liability
cases.  In some of the cases, manufacturers of other
bisphosphonate products are also named as defendants.  Plaintiffs
have typically asked for unspecified monetary and injunctive
relief, as well as attorneys' fees.  The Company cannot at this
time predict the outcome of these lawsuits and claims or their
financial impact.  Under the Collaboration Agreement, Sanofi has
agreed to indemnify the Company, subject to certain limitations,
for 50% of the losses from any product liability claims in Canada
relating to ACTONEL and for 50% of the losses from any product
liability claims in the United States and Puerto Rico relating to
ACTONEL brought prior to April 1, 2010, which would include
approximately 90 claims relating to ONJ and other alleged injuries
that were pending as of March 31, 2010, and not subsequently
dismissed.  Pursuant to the April 2010 amendment to the
Collaboration Agreement, the Company will be fully responsible for
any product liability claims in the United States and Puerto Rico
relating to ACTONEL brought on or after April 1, 2010.  The
Company may be liable for product liability, warranty or similar
claims in relation to PGP products, including ONJ-related claims
that were pending as of the closing of the PGP Acquisition.  The
Company's agreement with P&G provides that P&G will indemnify the
Company, subject to certain limits, for 50% of the Company's
losses from any such claims, including approximately 88 claims
relating to ONJ and other alleged injuries, pending as of October
30, 2009, and not subsequently dismissed.

The Company currently maintains product liability insurance
coverage for claims aggregating between $30 million and $170
million, subject to certain terms, conditions and exclusions, and
is otherwise responsible for any losses from such claims.  The
terms of the Company's current and prior insurance programs vary
from year to year and the Company's insurance may not apply to,
among other things, damages or defense costs related to the HT or
ACTONEL-related claims, including any claim arising out of HT or
ACTONEL products with labeling that does not conform completely to
FDA approved labeling.  It is impossible to predict with certainty
the outcome of any litigation, and the Company can offer no
assurance as to the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome in any of
these matters.  An estimate of the potential loss, or range of
loss, if any, to the Company relating to these proceedings is not
possible at this time.


WARNER CHILCOTT: Continues to Face Suits Over DORYX Products
------------------------------------------------------------
Warner Chilcott Public Limited Company continues to face antitrust
lawsuits relating to its DORYX products, according to the
Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In July 2012, Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. filed a complaint against
the Company and Mayne Pharma International Pty. Ltd. alleging that
the Company and Mayne prevented or delayed Mylan's generic
competition to the Company's DORYX products in violation of U.S.
federal antitrust laws and tortiously interfered with Mylan's
prospective economic relationships under Pennsylvania state law.
In the complaint, Mylan seeks unspecified treble and punitive
damages and attorneys' fees.  Following the filing of Mylan's
complaint, three putative class actions were filed against the
Company and Mayne by purported direct purchasers, and one putative
class action was filed against the Company and Mayne by purported
indirect purchasers, each in the same court.  In each case the
plaintiffs allege that they paid higher prices for DORYX products
as a result of the Company's and Mayne's alleged actions
preventing or delaying generic competition in violation of U.S.
federal antitrust laws and/or state laws.  Plaintiffs seek
unspecified injunctive relief, treble damages and/or attorneys'
fees.  The court consolidated the purported class actions and the
action filed by Mylan and ordered that all the pending cases
proceed on the same schedule.  On October 1, 2012, the Company and
Mayne moved to dismiss in their entirety the claims of Mylan and
the direct purchasers.  The Company and Mayne moved to dismiss the
indirect purchaser plaintiff's claims on October 31, 2012.
Discovery is ongoing while the parties await the court's decisions
on the pending motions to dismiss.  On November 21, 2012, the
Federal Trade Commission filed with the court an amicus curiae
brief supporting the plaintiffs' theory of relief.

On February 5, 2013, four members of the putative direct purchaser
antitrust class filed in the same court a civil antitrust
complaint in their individual capacities against the Company and
Mayne regarding DORYX.  The complaint recites similar facts and
asserts similar legal claims and relief to those asserted in the
related cases.

If these claims are successful, the Company says such claims could
adversely affect it and could have a material adverse effect on
its business, financial condition, results of operation and cash
flows.


WELLPOINT INC: Awaits Order on Bid to Dismiss Out-of-Network MDL
----------------------------------------------------------------
WellPoint, Inc. is awaiting a court decision on its motion to
dismiss the fourth amended complaint in the multidistrict
litigation captioned In re WellPoint, Inc. Out-of-Network "UCR"
Rates Litigation, according to the Company's February 22, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company is currently a defendant in eleven putative class
actions relating to out-of-network, or OON, reimbursement that
were consolidated into a single multi-district lawsuit called In
re WellPoint, Inc. Out-of-Network "UCR" Rates Litigation that is
pending in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California.  The lawsuits were filed in 2009.  The
plaintiffs include current and former members on behalf of a
putative class of members who received OON services for which the
defendants paid less than billed charges, the American Medical
Association, four state medical associations, OON physicians,
chiropractors, clinical psychologists, podiatrists,
psychotherapists, the American Podiatric Association, California
Chiropractic Association and the California Psychological
Association on behalf of a putative class of all physicians and
all non-physician health care providers, and an OON surgical
center. In the consolidated complaint, the plaintiffs allege that
the defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act, or RICO, the Sherman Antitrust Act, Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, federal regulations, and
state law by relying on databases provided by Ingenix in
determining OON reimbursement.  A consolidated amended complaint
was filed to add allegations in the lawsuit that OON reimbursement
was calculated improperly by methodologies other than the Ingenix
databases.  The Company filed a motion to dismiss the amended
consolidated complaint.  The motion was granted in part and denied
in part.  The court gave the plaintiffs permission to replead many
of those claims that were dismissed.  The plaintiffs then filed a
third amended consolidated complaint repleading some of the claims
that had been dismissed without prejudice and adding additional
statements in an attempt to bolster other claims.  The Company
filed a motion to dismiss the third amended consolidated
complaint, which was granted in part and denied in part.

The plaintiffs filed a fourth amended consolidated complaint on
November 5, 2012.  The Company filed a motion to dismiss most of
the claims asserted in the fourth amended consolidated complaint.
The plaintiffs have not yet filed a response.  The OON surgical
center voluntarily dismissed their claims.  Fact discovery is
complete.

At the end of 2009, the Company filed a motion in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, or the
Florida Court, to enjoin the claims brought by the medical doctors
and doctors of osteopathy and certain medical associations based
on prior litigation releases, which was granted in 2011, and that
court ordered the plaintiffs to dismiss their claims that are
barred by the release.  The plaintiffs then filed a petition for
declaratory judgment asking the court to find that these claims
are not barred by the releases from the prior litigation.  The
Company filed a motion to dismiss the declaratory judgment action,
which was granted.  The plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of the
declaratory judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the
Eleventh Circuit, but the dismissal was upheld.  The enjoined
physicians have not yet dismissed their claims.  The Florida Court
found the enjoined physicians in contempt and sanctioned them on
July 25, 2012.  The barred physicians are paying the sanctions.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend these lawsuits;
however, their ultimate outcome cannot be presently determined.

Indianapolis, Indiana-based WellPoint, Inc., is one of the largest
health benefits companies in the United States of America, serving
more than 36 million medical members through its affiliated health
plans.  The Company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross
and Blue Shield Association, and is licensed to conduct insurance
operations in all 50 states through its subsidiaries.


WELLPOINT INC: Continues to Defend Demutualization-Related Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
WellPoint, Inc. continues to defend class action lawsuits arising
from the 2001 demutualization of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc.,
according to the Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2012.

The Company is defending a certified class action filed as a
result of the 2001 demutualization of Anthem Insurance Companies,
Inc., or AICI.  The lawsuit names AICI as well as Anthem, Inc., or
Anthem, n/k/a WellPoint, Inc., and is captioned Ronald Gold, et
al. v. Anthem, Inc. et al.  AICI's 2001 Plan of Conversion, or the
Plan, provided for the conversion of AICI from a mutual insurance
company into a stock insurance company pursuant to Indiana law.
Under the Plan, AICI distributed the fair value of the company at
the time of conversion to its Eligible Statutory Members, or ESMs,
in the form of cash or Anthem common stock in exchange for their
membership interests in the mutual company.  Plaintiffs in Gold
allege that AICI distributed value to the wrong ESMs.  Cross
motions for summary judgment were granted in part and denied in
part on July 26, 2006, with regard to the issue of sovereign
immunity asserted by co-defendant, the State of Connecticut, or
the State.  The court also denied the Company's motion for summary
judgment as to plaintiffs'
claims on January 10, 2005.  The State appealed the denial of its
motion to the Connecticut Supreme Court.  The Company filed a
cross-appeal on the sovereign immunity issue.  On May 11, 2010,
the Court reversed the judgment of the trial court denying the
State's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's claims under sovereign
immunity and dismissed the Company's cross-appeal.  The case was
remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.  Plaintiffs'
motion for class certification was granted on December 15, 2011.

The Company and the plaintiffs filed renewed cross-motions for
summary judgment on January 24, 2013.  The Company says it intends
to vigorously defend the Gold lawsuit; however, its ultimate
outcome cannot be presently determined.

The Company settled a separate lawsuit captioned Mary E. Ormond,
et al. v. Anthem, Inc., et al., also filed as a result of the 2001
demutualization of AICI.  The Ormond case involves a certified
class that consists of all ESMs residing in Ohio, Indiana,
Kentucky or Connecticut who received cash compensation in
connection with the demutualization.  The class does not include
employers located in Ohio and Connecticut that received cash
distributions pursuant to the Plan.  On June 15, 2012, plaintiffs
filed an unopposed motion for preliminary approval of a $90.0
million cash settlement, including any amounts to be awarded for
attorneys' fees and expenses and other costs to administer the
settlement.  As a result, during the six months ended June 30,
2012, the Company recorded selling, general and administrative
expense of $90.0 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, associated
with this settlement, which was non-deductible for tax purposes.
The Court granted plaintiffs' motion and entered preliminary
approval of the settlement on June 18, 2012.  As a result, the
trial that had been set for June 18, 2012, was vacated.

The cash settlement was paid on July 3, 2012, into an escrow
account.  A final fairness hearing on the settlement was held on
October 25, 2012.  On November 16, 2012, the Court granted
plaintiffs' motion and entered an amended final order approving
the settlement.  An award of attorneys' fees was issued on
November 20, 2012, together with a final judgment dismissing all
of plaintiffs' claims.  Two appeals of the court's final orders
have been taken by objectors to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Seventh Circuit.  The appeals involve challenges to (i)
the amount of attorneys' fees awarded to plaintiffs' counsel out
of the settlement fund and (ii) the provision of the Court's order
granting final approval of the settlement that requires any
residual settlement funds remaining after two rounds of
distributions to class members to be paid to the Eskanazi Health
Foundation as a cy pres award.

Indianapolis, Indiana-based WellPoint, Inc., is one of the largest
health benefits companies in the United States of America, serving
more than 36 million medical members through its affiliated health
plans.  The Company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross
and Blue Shield Association, and is licensed to conduct insurance
operations in all 50 states through its subsidiaries.


WESTERN UNION: Has Initial Approval of Colorado Suits Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Western Union Company received preliminary approval in January
2013 of its settlement of class action lawsuits commenced in
Colorado, according to the Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company and one of its subsidiaries are defendants in two
purported class action lawsuits: James P. Tennille v. The Western
Union Company and Robert P. Smet v. The Western Union Company,
both of which are pending in the United States District Court for
the District of Colorado.  The original complaints asserted claims
for violation of various consumer protection laws, unjust
enrichment, conversion and declaratory relief, based on
allegations that the Company waits too long to inform consumers if
their money transfers are not redeemed by the recipients and that
the Company uses the unredeemed funds to generate income until the
funds are escheated to state governments.  The Tennille complaint
was served on the Company on April 27, 2009.  The Smet complaint
was served on the Company on April 6, 2010.  On September 21,
2009, the Court granted the Company's motion to dismiss the
Tennille complaint and gave the plaintiff leave to file an amended
complaint.  On October 21, 2009, Tennille filed an amended
complaint.  The Company moved to dismiss the Tennille amended
complaint and the Smet complaint.  On November 8, 2010, the Court
denied the motion to dismiss as to the plaintiffs' unjust
enrichment and conversion claims.  On February 4, 2011, the Court
dismissed plaintiffs' consumer protection claims.  On March 11,
2011, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that adds a claim
for breach of fiduciary duty, various elements to its declaratory
relief claim and Western Union Financial Services, Inc. as a
defendant.  On April 25, 2011, the Company and Western Union
Financial Services, Inc. filed a motion to dismiss the breach of
fiduciary duty and declaratory relief claims.  Western Union
Financial Services, Inc. also moved to compel arbitration of the
plaintiffs' claims and to stay the action pending arbitration.  On
November 21, 2011, the Court denied the motion to compel
arbitration and the stay request.  Both companies appealed the
decision.  On January 24, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals
for the Tenth Circuit granted the companies' request to stay the
District Court proceedings pending their appeal.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, the parties executed a
settlement agreement, which the Court preliminarily approved on
January 3, 2013.  The settlement agreement, which is subject to
the Court's final approval, would result in a substantial amount
of the settlement proceeds to be paid from the Company's existing
related unclaimed property liabilities.  If a settlement agreement
is not approved, the Company and Western Union Financial Services,
Inc. intend to vigorously defend themselves against both lawsuits.


ZILLOW INC: Defends Suit Alleging Violations of Securities Laws
---------------------------------------------------------------
Zillow, Inc., is defending itself against a securities class
action lawsuit initiated in Washington, according to the Company's
February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In November 2012, a securities class action lawsuit was filed
against the Company and certain of its executive officers in the
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at
Seattle.  The complaint purports to state claims for violations of
federal securities laws on behalf of a class of those who
purchased the Company's common stock between February 15, 2012,
and November 6, 2012.  In general, the complaint alleges, among
other things, that during the period between February 15, 2012,
and November 6, 2012, the Company issued materially false and
misleading statements regarding the Company's business practices
and financial results.  The Company anticipates that a
consolidated amended complaint will be filed in the second quarter
of 2013.  The Company says it intends to deny the allegations of
any wrongdoing and vigorously defend the claims in the lawsuit.


                        Asbestos Litigation


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ky. Ct. Dismisses Inmate's Exposure Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
Judge John G. Heyburn, II, of the United States District Court for
the Western District of Kentucky, in Louisville, granted the
motion for summary judgment filed by defendants in a pro se action
initiated by an inmate who alleged exposure to products containing
friable asbestos and lead paint dust and fumes while incarcerated
at Kentucky State Reformatory.  Accordingly, the Plaintiff's
claims are dismissed with prejudice.

The case is EVERETT ABNEY, Plaintiff, v. LaDONNA THOMPSON, et al.,
Defendants, Civil Action No. 3:10-CV-606-H (W.D. Ky.).  A full-
text copy of Judge Heyburn's Memorandum Opinion and Order, dated
Feb. 19, 2013, is available at http://is.gd/7z05zFfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Order Denying Dependent's Benefits Affirmed
------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia affirmed the
decision of the West Virginia Workers' Compensation Board of
Review in denying Eloise Danko's request for dependent's benefits.

The request arose from Ms. Danko's husband's death.  Her husband
worked for Pechiney Rolled Products for 35 years and had received
a prior 10% permanent partial disability award for occupational
pneumoconiosis.  The husband passed away in 2007. Thereafter, Ms.
Danko filed the request for dependent's benefits arguing that
occupational pneumoconiosis was a material contributing factor in
her husband's death and she is entitled to dependent's benefits.
Her doctors concluded that the decedent's occupational exposure to
asbestos was sufficient to have caused or contributed to the
development of Mr. Danko's lung cancer.

The Supreme Court, in denying Ms. Danko's appeal, pointed out that
the Occupational Pneumoconiosis Board has found that no asbestos
fibers were found during the autopsy, nor was there evidence of
asbestosis in the case.  Moreover, the Supreme Court held that the
Occupational Pneumoconiosis Board's findings and testimony were
not clearly wrong to conclude that occupational pneumoconiosis did
not play a material contributing role in the decedent's death.

The case is ELOISE DANKO, WIDOW OF GEORGE DANKO, Claimant Below,
Petitioner v. WEST VIRGINIA OFFICE OF INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
Commissioner Below, Respondent and PECHINEY ROLLED PRODUCTS, LLC,
Employer Below, Respondent, No. 11-0870 (W.Va.).  A full-text copy
of the Supreme Court's Memorandum Decision dated Feb. 20, 2013, is
available at http://is.gd/pEtuGefrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ill. Court Denies Request to Stay YCC v. GPI Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Charles P. Kocoras of the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, denied Goulds
Pumps Incorporated's motion to stay the action captioned YEOMANS
CHICAGO CORPORATION, an Illinois corporation, Plaintiff, v. GOULDS
PUMPS, INCORPORATED, a Delaware corporation, Defendant, No. 12 C
6822 (N.D. Ill.), pending the resolution of an action pending in a
California court.

YCC filed the action against GPI for breach of contract. The
complaint states that YCC and GPI entered into a Product Line
Acquisition Agreement in 1996 under which YCC purchased GPI's
assets used in the production, marketing, and sale of the "Morris
Pumps" product line.  The Acquisition Agreement included a
provision memorializing GPI's obligation to defend and indemnify
YCC against product liability or warranty claims related to Morris
Pumps products shipped prior to the Closing Date.  YCC relates
that since the closing date of the sale, it has been sued in 20
lawsuits alleging products liability as a result of exposure to
asbestos found in Morris Pumps products that were shipped to YCC
prior to the Closing Date.  YCC stated that it has notified GPI of
the lawsuits but GPI refused to defend or indemnify YCC.  In the
action, YCC seeks a declaratory judgment that GPI's refusal to
indemnify or defend the YCC lawsuits violated the Acquisition
Agreement.

In the California action, titled Cannon Electric, Inc. et al. v.
Affiliated FM Insurance Co., et al., Case No. BC 290354, GPI has
successfully added YCC as one of the two non-insurance company
defendants.  In the California Action, GPI seeks a declaration
that YCC's co-defendant Employers Insurance of Wausau is obligated
to defend and indemnify YCC against asbestos suits under the
Acquisition Agreement.

In denying GPI's motion to stay the Illinois Action, Judge Kocoras
ruled that, under the Colorado River doctrine, two factors favor
his abstention, while the rest favor retaining jurisdiction.  In
consideration of the Court's "unflagging obligation" to exercise
jurisdiction and YCC's strong interest to litigate its claim in
its chosen forum, Judge Kocoras found that the "exceptional
circumstances" necessary for abstention are not present in the
case.  Accordingly, Judge Kocoras denied GPI's motion to stay.

A full-text copy of Judge Kocoras' Memorandum Opinion dated
Feb. 21, 2013, is available at http://is.gd/j61J3Afrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Statute Inapplicable to Foreign Firms
-------------------------------------------------------------
In a review to resolve a conflict in the Courts of Appeal
concerning interpretation of Corporations Code section 2010, which
governs the winding-up and survival of dissolved corporations, the
Supreme Court of California agreed with the Court of Appeal and
concluded that the statute does not apply to foreign corporations
-- those formed in states other than California.

In December 2008, Plaintiffs Walter Greb (now deceased) and his
wife Karen filed a complaint for asbestos-related personal
injuries and loss of consortium against several entities,
including Diamond International Corporation.  The Plaintiffs
sought recovery from unexhausted liability insurance that covered
the Defendant during the decades when it did business in
California.  In response, the Defendant alleged that in 2005 it
obtained a corporate dissolution pursuant to the laws of Delaware,
its state of incorporation.  Accordingly, the Defendant argued,
pursuant to Delaware's three-year survival statute, that when the
Plaintiffs filed their complaint in 2008, the Defendant lacked the
capacity to be sued.  The Plaintiffs opposed the motion, arguing
that their action was permitted under California's own survival
statute, section 2010, which they asserted takes precedence over
Delaware law in this setting.

The California Supreme Court, in affirming the Court of Appeal's
ruling, relied on the interpretation of section 2010 as set out in
the precedent cases, North American Asbestos Corp. v. Superior
Court (1982) 128 Cal.App.3d 138 (North American I), and Riley v.
Fitzgerald (1986) 178 Cal.App.3d 871 (Riley).

The case is WALTER GREB et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v.
DIAMOND INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, Defendant and Respondent, No.
S183365 (Cal.).  A full-text copy of the Supreme Court's Decision
dated Feb. 21, 2013, is available at http://is.gd/4Ge338from
Leagle.com.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

         Ted W. Pelletier, Esq.
         LAW OFFICE OF TED W. PELLETIER

              - and -

         Jack K. Clapper, Esq.
         Steven J. Patti, Esq.
         Christine A. Renken, Esq.
         CLAPPER, PATTI, SCHWEIZER & MASON
         2330 Marinship Way, Suite 140
         Sausalito, CA 94965
         Tel: (415) 332-4262
         Fax: (415) 331-5387

The Defendant is represented by:

         Edmund G. Farrell III, Esq.
         Scott L. Hengesbach, Esq.
         Maria A. Starn, Esq.
         MURCHISON & CUMMING
         801 South Grand Avenue, 9th Floor
         Los Angeles, CA 90017
         Tel: (213) 623-7400
         Fax: (213) 623-6336
         Email: efarrell@murchisonlaw.com
                shengesbach@murchisonlaw.com
                kstarn@murchisonlaw.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: R.I. Ct. Retains Jurisdiction on Exposure Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
In the asbestos personal injury action captioned NANCY SANTOS, as
Executrix of the Estate of JOHN JOSEPH SOUZA, v. A.C. McLOON OIL
CO., et al., C.A. No. PC 2009-5475 (R.I.), six of the Defendants
brought identical Motions to Dismiss arguing that the Superior
Court of Rhode Island, Providence, may not exercise personal
jurisdiction over them because they are non-resident parties who
have not established sufficient "minimum contacts" with the State
of Rhode Island.  The Defendants further contend that the
Plaintiff has not stated a claim for relief in her Amended
Complaint because they have never produced or sold asbestos or
asbestos-containing products.

In a decision dated Feb. 22, 2013, the Court found that its
exercise of specific personal jurisdiction over the Defendants is
proper.  The Court pointed out that the Plaintiff has alleged
sufficient facts to satisfy the Rhode Island state's "long-arm"
statute, and has also demonstrated that exercising specific
personal jurisdiction over the Defendants comports with
constitutional due process. Specifically, the Plaintiff has shown
that the Defendants, non-resident aquatic transportation
businesses, established the requisite "minimum contacts" with the
state of Rhode Island because they voluntarily and affirmatively
purchased passenger boats from Blount, a resident ship-building
corporation, and therefore "purposefully availed" themselves of
the privilege of "conducting business" in Rhode Island.  An
analysis of the "gestalt factors" demonstrates that exercising
specific personal jurisdiction over the Defendants is reasonable
and appropriate, the Court said.

Moreover, the Court concluded that the Plaintiff has alleged
sufficient facts in her Amended Complaint to properly set forth
claims against the Defendants for failure-to-warn, negligence,
strict products liability, breach of the implied warranty of
merchantability, and wrongful death. The Court further found that
the Plaintiff has failed to properly set forth the necessary
elements of claims for breach of express warranties and breach of
the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.

A full-text copy of the Court's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/lRr7jmfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Denies Successor's Bid to Dismiss Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of the Supreme Court, New York County,
denied a motion to dismiss filed by third-party defendant,
Approved Oil Co. of Brooklyn, Inc., after concluding that under
well-settled New York law, a corporation which acquires the assets
of another may nevertheless be deemed to have acquired a selling
corporation's tort liabilities.

Approved Oil was successor-in-interest to MVC Corporation, d/b/a
Bell Fuel Oil Company, which was named one of the defendants in an
underlying personal injury action where the Plaintiff alleged
exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured,
distributed, sold or installed by several defendants.  Approved
Oil said it entered into an asset purchase agreement with the
owner of MVC but MVC, pursuant to the APA, specifically retained
all tort liabilities arising out of events that occurred prior to
the closing date of the APA, including the Plaintiff's alleged
exposure asbestos.

The case is DOROTHY CULLENS, as Administratrix for the Estate of
JOSEPH L CULLENS, and DOROTHY CULLENS, Individually Plaintiffs, v.
A.O. SMITH WATER PRODUCTS CO., et al., Defendants. KOHLER CO.,
Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff, v. APPROVED OIL CO. OF BROOKLYN,
INC, Individually and as successor-in-interest to MVC HEATING
CORPORATION d/b/a BELL FUEL OIL COMPANY, et al., Third-Party
Defendants, Docket No. 113473/04, No. 590486/12, Motion Seq. No.
001 (N.Y.).  A full-text copy of Judge Heitler's Decision and
Order dated Feb. 26, 2013, is available at http://is.gd/g9Mr0Q
from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Colfax Corp. Had $434MM Liability at Dec. 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
Colfax Corporation had total asbestos liabilities of $434 million
as of December 31, 2012, according to the Company's Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company states: "Certain subsidiaries are each one of many
defendants in a large number of lawsuits that claim personal
injury as a result of exposure to asbestos from products
manufactured with components that are alleged to have contained
asbestos. Such components were acquired from third-party
suppliers, and were not manufactured by any of the Company's
subsidiaries nor were the subsidiaries producers or direct
suppliers of asbestos. The manufactured products that are alleged
to have contained asbestos generally were provided to meet the
specifications of the subsidiaries' customers, including the U.S.
Navy.

"The subsidiaries settle asbestos claims for amounts the Company
considers reasonable given the facts and circumstances of each
claim. The annual average settlement payment per asbestos claimant
has fluctuated during the past several years. The Company expects
such fluctuations to continue in the future based upon, among
other things, the number and type of claims settled in a
particular period and the jurisdictions in which such claims
arise. To date, the majority of settled claims have been dismissed
for no payment.

[The Company had 23,523 unresolved asbestos claims as of
December 31, 2012.]

"As of December 31, 2012, we had total asbestos liabilities,
including current portion, of $434.0 million and total asbestos
insurance assets, including current portion, of $394.8 million."

A copy of the Company's regulatory filing is available at:

                       http://is.gd/x7oJXM

Colfax Corporation is a diversified global industrial
manufacturing and engineering company that provides gas- and
fluid-handling and fabrication technology products and services to
commercial and governmental customers around the world under the
Howden, ESAB and Colfax Fluid Handling brand names.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lorillard Unit Still Defending 54 Filter Cases
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lorillard Inc.'s subsidiary, Lorillard Tobacco Company, was a
defendant of 54 Filter Cases as of February 11, 2013, according to
the Company's Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

Claims have been brought against Lorillard Tobacco and Lorillard,
Inc. by individuals who seek damages resulting from their alleged
exposure to asbestos fibers that were incorporated into filter
material used in one brand of cigarettes manufactured by a
predecessor to Lorillard Tobacco for a limited period of time
ending more than 50 years ago. As of February 11, 2013, Lorillard
Tobacco was a defendant in 54 Filter Cases. Lorillard, Inc. was a
defendant in four Filter Cases, including three that also name
Lorillard Tobacco. Since January 1, 2011, Lorillard Tobacco has
paid, or has reached agreement to pay, a total of approximately
$22.4 million in settlements to finally resolve 85 claims,
including the Lenney case. The related expense was recorded in
selling, general and administrative expenses on the consolidated
statements of income. Since January 1, 2011, verdicts have been
returned in the following three Filter Cases: Lenney v. Armstrong
International, Inc., et al., tried in the Superior Court of
California, San Francisco County, McGuire v. Lorillard Tobacco
Company and Hollingsworth & Vose Company, tried in the Circuit
Court, Division Four, of Jefferson County, Kentucky, and
Couscouris v. Hatch Grinding Wheels, et al., tried in the Superior
Court of the State of California, Los Angeles. In the Lenney
trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs as to their
claims for compensatory damages and damages for loss of
consortium, but it determined that plaintiffs were not entitled to
an award of punitive damages from Lorillard Tobacco or
Hollingsworth & Vose. Pursuant to the terms of a 1952 agreement
between P. Lorillard Company and H&V Specialties Co., Inc. (the
manufacturer of the filter material), Lorillard Tobacco is
required to indemnify Hollingsworth & Vose for legal fees,
expenses, judgments and resolutions in cases and claims alleging
injury from finished products sold by P. Lorillard Company that
contained the filter material. The final judgment entered by the
trial court awarded plaintiffs a total of approximately $1.1
million in compensatory damages, damages for loss of consortium
and costs from Lorillard Tobacco and Hollingsworth & Vose.
Lorillard Tobacco and Hollingsworth & Vose noticed an appeal to
the California Court of Appeals. In 2012, Lorillard Tobacco
reached agreement with the plaintiffs to resolve plaintiffs'
pending claims, and any claims they might assert in the future,
for an amount that is included in the above total for settlements
reached since January 1, 2011. The jury in the McGuire case
returned a verdict for Lorillard Tobacco and Hollingsworth & Vose,
and the Court entered final judgment in May 2012. Plaintiff has
noticed an appeal to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. On October 4,
2012, the jury in the Couscouris case returned a verdict for
Lorillard Tobacco and Hollingsworth & Vose, and the court entered
final judgment on November 1, 2012. An appeal is pending in the
California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District. As of
February 11, 2013, 29 Filter Cases were scheduled for trial or
have been placed on courts' trial calendars. Trial dates are
subject to change.

Lorillard Inc. is the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in
the United States. It produces cigarettes for both the premium and
discount segments of the domestic cigarette market.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CSX Corp. Had $56 Million Liability as of Dec.
---------------------------------------------------------------
CSX Corporation recorded $56 million total liability related to
asbestos claims as of December 2012, according to the Company's
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 28, 2012.

The Company is party to a number of asbestos claims by employees
alleging exposure to asbestos in the workplace.  The heaviest
possible exposure for employees resulted from work conducted in
and around steam locomotive engines that were largely phased out
beginning around the 1950s. Other types of exposures, however,
including exposure from locomotive component parts and building
materials, continued until these exposures were substantially
eliminated by 1985.  Additionally, the Company has retained
liability for asbestos claims filed against its previously owned
international container shipping business.  Diseases associated
with asbestos typically have long latency periods (amount of time
between exposure to a disease and the onset of the disease) which
can range from 10 to 40 years after exposure.

An analysis of occupational claims is performed quarterly by an
independent third-party actuarial firm and reviewed by management.
Management performs a quarterly review of asserted asbestos
claims, and an analysis is performed annually by an independent
third-party specialist and reviewed by management. The objective
of the occupational and asbestos claims analyses performed by the
third-party actuarial firm and specialist (the "third-party
specialists") is to determine the number of incurred but not
reported ("IBNR") claims.  With the exception of carpal tunnel,
management has determined that seven years is the most probable
time period in which unasserted claim filings and claim values can
be estimated.  Carpal tunnel claims use a three-year period to
estimate the reserve due to the shorter latency period for these
types of injuries.

The third party specialists analyze CSXT's historical claim
filings, settlement amounts, and dismissal rates to determine
future anticipated claim filing rates and average settlement
values for occupational and asbestos claims reserves.  The
potentially exposed population is estimated by using CSX's
employment records and industry data. From this analysis, the
third-party specialists provide an estimate of the IBNR claims
liability.

Undiscounted liabilities recorded related to asbestos claims were
$56 million at December 2012.

The estimated future filing rates and estimated average claim
values are the most sensitive assumptions for these reserves. A 1
percent increase or decrease in either the forecasted number of
occupational and asbestos IBNR claims or the average claim values
would result in approximately a $1 million increase or decrease in
the liability recorded for unasserted occupational and asbestos
claims.

During 2012 and 2011, there were no significant changes in
estimates recorded to adjust occupational or asbestos reserves.
Adjustments in reserves are included in materials, supplies and
other in the consolidated income statements.

A copy of the Company's regulatory filing is available at:

                       http://is.gd/04uZy0

CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries based in Jacksonville,
Florida, provide rail-based transportation services including
traditional rail service and the transport of intermodal
containers and trailers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: FMC Corp. Had 12,100 Pending Claims at Dec. 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
FMC Corporation faced approximately 12,100 premises and product
asbestos claims as of December 31, 2012, in several jurisdictions,
according to the Company's Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company states: "Like hundreds of other industrial companies,
we have been named as one of many defendants in asbestos-related
personal injury litigation. Most of these cases allege personal
injury or death resulting from exposure to asbestos in premises of
FMC or to asbestos-containing components installed in machinery or
equipment manufactured or sold by discontinued operations. The
machinery and equipment businesses we owned or operated did not
fabricate the asbestos-containing component parts at issue in the
litigation, and to this day, neither the U.S. Occupational Safety
and Health Administration nor the Environmental Protection Agency
has banned the use of these components. Further, the asbestos-
containing parts for this machinery and equipment were accessible
only at the time of infrequent repair and maintenance. A few
jurisdictions have permitted claims to proceed against equipment
manufacturers relating to insulation installed by other companies
on such machinery and equipment. We believe that, overall, the
claims against FMC are without merit.

"As of December 31, 2012, there were approximately 12,100 premises
and product asbestos claims pending against FMC in several
jurisdictions. Since the 1980s, approximately 101,000 asbestos
claims against FMC have been discharged, the overwhelming majority
of which have been dismissed without any payment to the claimant.
Settlements by us with claimants have totaled approximately $52
million.

"We intend to continue managing these asbestos-related cases in
accordance with our historical experience. We have established a
reserve for this litigation within our discontinued operations and
believe that any exposure of a loss in excess of the established
reserve cannot be reasonably estimated. Our experience has been
that the overall trends in terms of the rate of filing of
asbestos-related claims with respect to all potential defendants
has changed over time, and that filing rates as to us in
particular have varied significantly over the last several years.
We are a peripheral defendant - that is, we have never
manufactured asbestos or asbestos-containing components. As a
result, claim filing rates against us have yet to form a
predictable pattern, and we are unable to project a reasonably
accurate future filing rate and thus, we are presently unable to
reasonably estimate our asbestos liability with respect to claims
that may be filed in the future."

FMC Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries are a
diversified chemical company serving agricultural, consumer and
industrial markets globally with innovative solutions,
applications and market-leading products.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ford Motor Continues to Defend Exposure Lawsuits
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ford Motor Company continues to defend itself against lawsuits
alleging exposure to asbestos, according to the Company's Form 10-
K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company states: "Asbestos was used in some brakes, clutches,
and other automotive components from the early 1900s. Along with
other vehicle manufacturers, we have been the target of asbestos
litigation and, as a result, are a defendant in various actions
for injuries claimed to have resulted from alleged exposure to
Ford parts and other products containing asbestos. Plaintiffs in
these personal injury cases allege various health problems as a
result of asbestos exposure, either from component parts found in
older vehicles, insulation or other asbestos products in our
facilities, or asbestos aboard our former maritime fleet. We
believe that we are being targeted more aggressively in asbestos
suits because many previously-targeted companies have filed for
bankruptcy.

"Most of the asbestos litigation we face involves individuals who
claim to have worked on the brakes of our vehicles over the years.
We are prepared to defend these cases, and believe that the
scientific evidence confirms our long-standing position that there
is no increased risk of asbestos-related disease as a result of
exposure to the type of asbestos formerly used in the brakes on
our vehicles. The extent of our financial exposure to asbestos
litigation remains very difficult to estimate and could include
both compensatory and punitive damage awards. The majority of our
asbestos cases do not specify a dollar amount for damages; in many
of the other cases the dollar amount specified is the
jurisdictional minimum, and the vast majority of these cases
involve multiple defendants, with the number in some cases
exceeding one hundred. Many of these cases also involve multiple
plaintiffs, and often we are unable to tell from the pleadings
which plaintiffs are making claims against us (as opposed to other
defendants). Annual payout and defense costs may become
significant in the future."

Ford Motor Company is a producer of cars and trucks. The Company
and its subsidiaries also engage in other businesses, including
financing vehicles.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rogers Corp. Had 319 Pending Claims at Dec. 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rogers Corporation, as of December 31, 2012, had 319 pending
asbestos-related product liability claims, according to the
Company's Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company states: "A significant number of asbestos-related
product liability claims have been brought against numerous United
States industrial companies where the third-party plaintiffs
allege personal injury from exposure to asbestos-containing
products. We have been named, along with hundreds of other
companies, as a defendant in some of these claims. In virtually
all of these claims filed against us, the plaintiffs are seeking
unspecified damages, or, if an amount is specified, such amount
merely represents a jurisdictional amount.  However, occasionally
specific damages are alleged and in such situations, plaintiffs'
lawyers often sue dozens of defendants, frequently without factual
basis or support.  As a result, even when a specific amount of
damages is alleged, such action can be arbitrary, both as to the
amount being sought and the defendant being charged with such
damages.

"We did not mine, mill, manufacture or market asbestos; rather we
made a limited number of products which contained encapsulated
asbestos.  Such products were provided to industrial users.  We
stopped manufacturing these products in the late 1980s.

   * Claims

"We have been named in asbestos litigation primarily in Illinois,
Pennsylvania and Mississippi.  As of December 31, 2012, there were
319 pending claims compared to 242 pending claims at December 31,
2011.  The number of pending claims at a particular time can
fluctuate significantly from period to period depending on how
successful we have been in getting these cases dismissed or
settled.  Some jurisdictions prohibit specifying alleged damages
in personal injury tort cases such as these, other than a minimum
jurisdictional amount which may be required for such reasons as
allowing the case to be litigated in a jury trial (which the
plaintiffs believe will be more favorable to them than if heard
only before a judge) or allowing the case to be litigated in
federal court.  This is in contrast to commercial litigation, in
which specific alleged damage claims are often permitted.  The
prohibition on specifying alleged damages sometimes applies not
only to the suit when filed but also during the trial -- in some
jurisdictions the plaintiff is not actually permitted to specify
to the jury during the course of the trial the amount of alleged
damages the plaintiff is claiming.  Further, in those
jurisdictions in which plaintiffs are permitted to claim specific
alleged damages, many plaintiffs nonetheless still choose not to
do so. In those cases in which plaintiffs are permitted to and
choose to assert specific dollar amounts in their complaints, we
believe the amounts claimed are typically not meaningful as an
indicator of a company's potential liability. This is because (1)
the amounts claimed may bear no relation to the level of the
plaintiff's injury and are often used as part of the plaintiff's
litigation strategy, (2) the complaints typically assert claims
against numerous defendants, and often the alleged damages are not
allocated against specific defendants, but rather the broad claim
is made against all of the defendants as a group, making it
impossible for a particular defendant to quantify the alleged
damages that are being specifically claimed against it and
therefore its potential liability, and (3) many cases are brought
on behalf of plaintiffs who have not suffered any medical injury,
and ultimately are resolved without any payment or payment of a
small fraction of the damages initially claimed.  Of the 319
claims pending as of  December 31, 2012,  72 claims do not specify
the amount of damages sought,  245 claims cite jurisdictional
amounts, and only two (2) claims (less than 1.0% of the total
pending claims) specify the amount of damages sought not based on
jurisdictional requirements. Of these two (2) claims, one (1)
claim alleges compensatory and punitive damages of $20 million
each and one (1) claim alleges compensatory damages of $65 million
and punitive damages of $60 million. These two (2) claims name
between ten (10) and 21 defendants.  However, for the reasons
cited above, we do not believe that this data allows for an
accurate assessment of the relation that the amount of alleged
damages claimed might bear to the ultimate disposition of these
cases.

"We believe the rate at which plaintiffs filed asbestos-related
suits against us increased in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 because of
increased activity on the part of plaintiffs to identify those
companies that sold asbestos-containing products, but which did
not directly mine, mill or market asbestos.  A significant
increase in the volume of asbestos-related bodily injury cases
arose in Mississippi in 2002.  This increase in the volume of
claims in Mississippi was apparently due to the passage of tort
reform legislation (applicable to asbestos-related injuries),
which became effective on September 1, 2003 and which resulted in
a higher than average number of claims being filed in Mississippi
by plaintiffs seeking to ensure their claims would be governed by
the law in effect prior to the passage of tort reform.  The number
of asbestos related suits filed against us decreased slightly in
2005 and 2006, but increased slightly in 2007, declined in 2008
and increased again in 2009 and 2010.  The number of lawsuits
filed against us in 2011 and 2012 was significantly higher than in
2010.  These new lawsuits are reflected on the NERA and Marsh
reports.

   * Defenses

In many cases, plaintiffs are unable to demonstrate that they have
suffered any compensable loss as a result of exposure to our
asbestos-containing products.  We continue to believe that a
majority of the claimants in pending cases will not be able to
demonstrate exposure or loss.  This belief is based in large part
on the limited number of asbestos-related products manufactured
and sold by us and the fact that the asbestos was encapsulated in
such products.  In addition, even at sites where the presence of
an alleged injured party can be verified during the same period
those products were used, our liability cannot be presumed because
even if an individual contracted an asbestos-related disease, not
everyone who was employed at a site was exposed to the asbestos
containing products that we manufactured.  Based on these and
other factors, we have and will continue to vigorously defend
ourselves in asbestos-related matters.

   * Dismissals and Settlements

"Cases involving us typically name 50-300 defendants, although
some cases have had as few as one (1) and as many as 833
defendants.  We have obtained dismissals of many of these claims.
For the year ended December 31, 2012, we were able to have 93
claims dismissed and settled sixteen (16) claims.  For the year
ended December 31, 2011, 120 claims were dismissed and eight (8)
were settled.  The majority of costs have been paid by our
insurance carriers, including the costs associated with the small
number of cases that have been settled.  Such settlements totaled
approximately $6.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2012,
compared to $8.1 million for the year ended 2011 and such
settlement amounts were paid by our insurance carriers.   Although
these figures provide some insight into our experience with
asbestos litigation, no guarantee can be made as to the dismissal
and settlement rates that we will experience in the future.

"Settlements are made without any admission of liability.
Settlement amounts may vary depending upon a number of factors,
including the jurisdiction where the action was brought, the
nature and extent of the disease alleged and the associated
medical evidence, the age and occupation of the claimant, the
existence or absence of other possible causes of the alleged
illness of the alleged injured party and the availability of legal
defenses, as well as whether the action is brought alone or as
part of a group of claimants.  To date, we have been successful in
obtaining dismissals for many of the claims and have settled only
a limited number.  The majority of settled claims were settled for
immaterial amounts, and the majority of such costs have been paid
by our insurance carriers.  In addition, to date, we have not been
required to pay any punitive damage awards."

A copy of the Company's regulatory filing is available for free
at:

                        http://is.gd/Y8rKL8

Rogers Corporation manufactures plastics, polymers, busbars and
electronic connectors for a wide array of industries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Cos. Had $236MM Losses Paid in 2012
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Travelers Companies, Inc.'s net asbestos losses paid in 2012
reached $236 million, according to the Company's Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company believes that the property and casualty insurance
industry has suffered from court decisions and other trends that
have expanded insurance coverage for asbestos claims far beyond
the original intent of insurers and policyholders. The Company has
received and continues to receive a significant number of asbestos
claims from the Company's policyholders (which includes others
seeking coverage under a policy). Factors underlying these claim
filings include intensive advertising by lawyers seeking asbestos
claimants and the continued focus by plaintiffs on previously
peripheral defendants. The focus on these defendants is primarily
the result of the number of traditional asbestos defendants who
have sought bankruptcy protection in previous years. In addition
to contributing to the overall number of claims, bankruptcy
proceedings may increase the volatility of asbestos-related losses
by initially delaying the reporting of claims and later by
significantly accelerating and increasing loss payments by
insurers, including the Company. The bankruptcy of many
traditional defendants has also caused increased settlement
demands against those policyholders who are not in bankruptcy but
that remain in the tort system. Currently, in many jurisdictions,
those who allege very serious injury and who can present credible
medical evidence of their injuries are receiving priority trial
settings in the courts, while those who have not shown any
credible disease manifestation are having their hearing dates
delayed or placed on an inactive docket. This trend of
prioritizing claims involving credible evidence of injuries, along
with the focus on previously peripheral defendants, contributes to
the claims and claim adjustment expense payments experienced by
the Company. The Company's asbestos-related claims and claim
adjustment expense experience also has been impacted by the
unavailability of other insurance sources potentially available to
policyholders, whether through exhaustion of policy limits or
through the insolvency of other participating insurers.

The Company continues to be involved in coverage litigation
concerning a number of policyholders, some of whom have filed for
bankruptcy, who in some instances have asserted that all or a
portion of their asbestos-related claims are not subject to
aggregate limits on coverage. In these instances, policyholders
also may assert that each individual bodily injury claim should be
treated as a separate occurrence under the policy. It is difficult
to predict whether these policyholders will be successful on both
issues. To the extent both issues are resolved in a policyholder's
favor and other Company defenses are not successful, the Company's
coverage obligations under the policies at issue would be
materially increased and bounded only by the applicable per-
occurrence limits and the number of asbestos bodily injury claims
against the policyholders. Accordingly, although the Company has
seen a moderation in the overall risk associated with these
lawsuits, it remains difficult to predict the ultimate cost of
these claims.

Many coverage disputes with policyholders are only resolved
through settlement agreements. Because many policyholders make
exaggerated demands, it is difficult to predict the outcome of
settlement negotiations. Settlements involving bankrupt
policyholders may include extensive releases which are favorable
to the Company but which could result in settlements for larger
amounts than originally anticipated. There also may be instances
where a court may not approve a proposed settlement, which may
result in additional litigation and potentially less beneficial
outcomes for the Company. As in the past, the Company will
continue to pursue settlement opportunities.

In addition to claims against policyholders, proceedings have been
launched directly against insurers, including the Company, by
individuals challenging insurers' conduct with respect to the
handling of past asbestos claims and by individuals seeking
damages arising from alleged asbestos-related bodily injuries. It
is possible that the filing of other direct actions against
insurers, including the Company, could be made in the future. It
is difficult to predict the outcome of these proceedings,
including whether the plaintiffs will be able to sustain these
actions against insurers based on novel legal theories of
liability. The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to
these claims and has received favorable rulings in certain
jurisdictions.

Travelers Property Casualty Corp. (TPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary
of the Company, had entered into settlement agreements which are
subject to a number of contingencies, in connection with a number
of these direct action claims (Direct Action Settlements).

During 2012, total gross and net asbestos-related payments
decreased when compared with 2011, primarily resulting from a
decline in both gross and net payments to policyholders with whom
the Company has entered into settlement agreements. The Home
Office and Field Office categories, which account for the vast
majority of policyholders with active asbestos-related claims,
experienced a modest reduction in gross asbestos-related payments
during 2012 when compared with 2011, while net asbestos payments
were flat. Payments on behalf of policyholders in these categories
continue to be influenced by the high level of litigation activity
in a limited number of jurisdictions where individuals alleging
serious asbestos-related injury continue to target previously
peripheral defendants. The number of policyholders tendering
asbestos claims for the first time in 2012 and the number of
policyholders with open asbestos claims both increased slightly
when compared with 2011.

The Company's quarterly asbestos reserve reviews include an
analysis of exposure and claim payment patterns by policyholder
category, as well as recent settlements, policyholder
bankruptcies, judicial rulings and legislative actions. The
Company also analyzes developing payment patterns among
policyholders in the Home Office, Field Office and Assumed
Reinsurance and Other categories as well as projected reinsurance
billings and recoveries. In addition, the Company reviews its
historical gross and net loss and expense paid experience, year-
by-year, to assess any emerging trends, fluctuations, or
characteristics suggested by the aggregate paid activity.
Conventional actuarial methods are not utilized to establish
asbestos reserves nor have the Company's evaluations resulted in
any way of determining a meaningful average asbestos defense or
indemnity payment.

The completion of these reviews and analyses in 2012, 2011 and
2010 resulted in $175 million, $175 million and $140 million
increases, respectively, in the Company's net asbestos reserves in
each period. In each year, the reserve increases were primarily
driven by increases in the Company's estimate of projected
settlement and defense costs related to a broad number of
policyholders in the Home Office category and by higher projected
payments on assumed reinsurance accounts. The increase in the
estimate of projected settlement and defense costs resulted from
payment trends that continue to be moderately higher than
previously anticipated due to the impact of the current litigation
environment discussed above. The increase in 2010 also reflected
increases in costs of litigating asbestos-related coverage matters
and was partially offset by a $70 million benefit from the
reduction in the allowance for uncollectible reinsurance resulting
from a favorable ruling related to a reinsurance dispute.
Notwithstanding these trends, the Company's overall view of the
underlying asbestos environment is essentially unchanged from
recent periods, and there remains a high degree of uncertainty
with respect to future exposure to asbestos claims.

Net asbestos losses paid in 2012, 2011 and 2010 were $236 million,
$284 million and $350 million, respectively. Approximately 6%, 19%
and 32% of total net paid losses in 2012, 2011 and 2010,
respectively, related to policyholders with whom the Company had
entered into settlement agreements limiting the Company's
liability.

A copy of the Company's regulatory filing is available at:

                       http://is.gd/rothOc

The Travelers Companies, Inc., is a holding company principally
engaged, through its subsidiaries, in providing a wide range of
commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products
and services to businesses, government units, associations and
individuals.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Cos. Continues to Monitor PCC Case
-------------------------------------------------------------
On January 29, 2009, The Travelers Companies, Inc., and PPG
Industries, Inc ("PPG"), along with approximately 30 other
insurers of PPG, agreed in principle to an agreement to settle
asbestos-related coverage litigation under insurance policies
issued to PPG. The tentative settlement agreement has been
incorporated into the Modified Third Amended Plan of
Reorganization ("Amended Plan") proposed as part of the Pittsburgh
Corning Corp. ("PCC", which is 50% owned by PPG) bankruptcy
proceeding. Pursuant to the proposed Amended Plan, which was filed
on January 30, 2009, PCC, along with enumerated other companies
(including PPG as well as the Company as a participating insurer),
are to receive protections afforded by Section 524(g) of the
Bankruptcy Code from certain asbestos-related bodily injury
claims. Under the agreement in principle, the Company has the
option to make a series of payments over the next 20 years
totaling approximately $620 million to the Trust to be created
under the Amended Plan, or it may elect to make a one-time
discounted payment, which, as of March 31, 2013, would total
approximately $481 million (approximately $452 million after
reinsurance). The agreement in principle with PPG is subject to
numerous contingencies, including final court approval of the
Amended Plan, and the Company has no obligation to make the
settlement payment until all contingencies are satisfied.

No further updates were reported in the Company's Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2012.

The Travelers Companies, Inc. is a holding company principally
engaged, through its subsidiaries, in providing a wide range of
commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products
and services to businesses, government units, associations and
individuals.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Fire-Damaged Pasadena Complex
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brian Day at The Pasadena Star-News reports that nineteen families
affected by a weekend fire at an apartment complex have learned
they will be displaced from their homes for weeks, rather than
days, after asbestos was discovered in the damaged building,
authorities said.

Five apartments were red-tagged by city officials due to damage
from the fire on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 24, in the 700
block of Worcester Avenue, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman
Lisa Derderian said.

And then "The property owners received an asbestos report back,
which was positive," Derderian said.

Derderian said diapers left next to a heater likely caused the
blaze.

Sitting on a cot at an evacuation center at the Robinson Park
Community Center Wednesday, Feb. 27, Juan Chileli, 38, said in
Spanish that he believed all of his family's belongings were
destroyed in the fire.

He had only the clothes on his back, he said.  "We need help."

His wife, three children, brother and sister-in-law were spending
the day at a local church, he added.

But none of his family members were hurt in the fire, and for that
he said he thanked God.  He also thanked the Red Cross and other
volunteers who were helping his family in the wake of the fire.

The shelter, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., was set up by the city and
the Red Cross, with help from a host of community organizations
and businesses, officials said.

Concepcion Salazar, 54, who lives in an apartment with two other
adult family members, said she believed her apartment was largely
unscathed.

"I'm more worried about other families (whose apartments were
destroyed)," she said in Spanish.

As she spent her fourth day at the shelter, the thing she said she
and her family needed the most was patience.

Salazar said she was also grateful to shelter workers for the
"excellent service" provided since the fire.

Twenty-four people slept at the center Tuesday night (Feb. 26),
according to Red Cross shelter supervisor Alex Mendoza.

It was unclear how many people would make use of the shelter
overnight on Feb. 27, he said, as some families were finding
temporary lodgings with family or friends rather than staying at
the evacuation center.

Other services such as a medical station were set up at the
evacuation center as well.

Many agencies, business and charities lined up to offer help in
recent days, Red Cross volunteer and spokesman Carlos Rodriguez
said.

"It's inspiring," he said.

It is ultimately the responsibility of the building owner to find
shelter for the displaced apartment residents, Derderian said.
But the city and its partnered agencies were doing what they could
to help.

The manager of the building, Vincent Huang, declined to comment
for this story, deferring questions to the Pasadena Fire
Department.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of Pekin's Old Times Building On
-----------------------------------------------------------
Ken Harris for The GateHouse News Service reports that on the
night the Tazewell County Board welcomed a new member, the board
on Wednesday, Feb. 27, also approved a bid to remove the asbestos
from the former Pekin Daily Times building and approved the sale
of items from within the building, which is scheduled to be razed
before the summer ends.

The board awarded the bid to remove the asbestos from the 19th-
century building at the corner of South Fourth Street and
Elizabeth Street to Atlantic Plant Services for $33,850.  The
company actually submitted the second lowest bid, but got the
award because it has a Pekin-based branch office and would use
local labor, according to the recommendation submitted by the
county's buildings and ground manager, Dan Gillette.  Atlantic
Plant Services also performed the same service for the county when
it remodeled the McKenzie Building about six years ago, the
recommendation said.

"Project coordination efforts would also be greatly enhanced by
dealing with a local company," Gillette said in his
recommendation.

The county will also be putting up for sale on its website excess
property left in the old Times building and the old radio station
next door, both of which are slated for demolition to make way for
more county parking.

The county bought the two buildings in September 2011 for a total
of $267,000.  The old Times building had been on the market for
years at that point, but nobody came forward with the intention of
investing the large amount of money required to bring the building
up to code.

County Administrator Mike Freilinger confirmed in early February
that the buildings will not survive 2013 and that the county has
no intention of changing its plan.

"We haven't gotten any type of proposal or anything, and we
haven't done any type of marketing for that," Freilinger said.
"My understanding when I came here is it was purchased
specifically for the county to demolish for either parking or,
perhaps, a building at some point in time.  It was not the
county's intent to buy it and then sell it."

The board also officially approved on Feb. 27, the appointment of
John Redlingshafer to take the seat representing District 3 left
vacant by Paul Hahn, who resigned in January for health reasons.
Redlingshafer is an attorney specializing in local government law
who lives in Washington.

He missed out on a Republican nomination to run unopposed for the
board in 2012 when he fell 81 votes shy in the primary election of
the final spot on the general election ballot.

Redlingshafer took his oath of office with his wife and four
daughters at his side.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Barangaroo Despite Certification
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Associated Press reports that the Construction
Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says its officials found
23 asbestos fragments at Sydney's Barangaroo site, just 10 minutes
after being told by environment company Baulderstone the area had
been certified as asbestos-free.

CFMEU organizer Darren Taylor said workers had raised concerns
with Baulderstone after asbestos was found in the same area.

"If its actions over the past three weeks are any indication,
Baulderstone Hornibrook is clearly out of its depth and has no
appreciation of the danger asbestos poses," he said in a
statement.

"It defies belief that a company could certify a site clear of
asbestos and we can walk in and in 10 minutes have 23 pieces of
asbestos fragments.

"Baulderstone are playing with these workers lives."

"Baulderstone needs to take action immediately to rectify this
dangerous situation."

Comment is being sought from Baulderstone and the Barangaroo
Delivery Authority.

Workers at the Barangaroo site walked off the job twice last year
over concerns about asbestos.

The Barangaroo development will include a six-star casino,
parklands, cultural space and a large business and urban
residential site.

The Barangaroo Delivery Authority defended the actions of
Baulderstone, saying the construction contractor had followed its
asbestos management plan.

"When asbestos material is found, Baulderstone's procedures are to
suspend work immediately in the affected area, isolate the area
and have qualified personnel collect the material and store it in
a sealed bin prior to its removal," the authority said in a
statement.

"The area is then certified by an occupational hygienist prior to
work recommencing."

The authority said the discovery of asbestos on the site "was
expected" as the Barangaroo site is on "reclaimed land."

"The discovery of more asbestos is not unexpected and that is why
there are robust testing and validation procedures in place.

"This includes engaging full time occupational hygienists to
undertake visual inspections during excavation, conducting
extensive air quality monitoring in and around the site and an
extensive testing regime."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pembroke Regional Cited for Health/Safety Breach
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBC News (Canada) reports that The Pembroke Regional Hospital has
been fined CAD60,000 for violating the Occupational Health and
Safety Act after workers were not protected against asbestos
exposure.

The hospital west of Ottawa pleaded guilty to four violations of
the act after maintenance workers drilled into a wall and ceiling
that contained asbestos.  The hospital was fined CAD15,000 for
each violation.

In one instance in October 2011, workers only wore masks to cover
their mouths and noses as they were not told there was asbestos in
the wall and they were not trained on how to handle the hazards.

The drill also was not equipped with a HEPA filter, which would
help limit the exposure.

In a second incident in the spring of 2012, workers drilled into a
ceiling and removed ceiling tiles but they were not alerted to the
material which possibly contained asbestos.

As a result, none of the employees took precautions to protect
themselves or other workers in the area.

The Ministry of Labour also discovered the supervisor who assigned
that task did not know how to identify work that could include
asbestos.

The hospital pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that:

-- Workers were provided with information about the presence of
asbestos.

-- Workers were properly trained to work in an area containing
asbestos material.

-- A competent supervisor was appointed, with respect to the
workplace.

-- Appropriate measures and procedures were used to protect
workers from possible contact with asbestos-containing materials.

The court also imposed a 25 percent victim surcharge, which is
required under a provincial act.  That money goes to a fund for
victims of crime.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: WHSQ Clears Gladstone Theatre Removalist's Work
----------------------------------------------------------------
David Sparkes of The Gladstone Observer (Aus) reports that an
asbestos removal job on Gladstone's main street is being
investigated, but authorities are confident the job was done
properly.

A spokesman for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland confirmed
it had received a "verbal complaint" from CFMEU Gladstone
organizer Ben Loakes.

The old Gladstone Civic Theatre in Goondoon St. was demolished on
Feb. 6.

Frater Asbestos and Demolition Services was responsible for the
safe removal of old fibro sheeting from the building.

Mr. Loakes believes removal of the asbestos-laden sheeting was not
done safely.  WHSQ has inspected the site and is continuing its
inquiries.

"The demolition contractor is an authorized removalist for
asbestos-containing material and made a notification to WHSQ as
required by the regulation of the intent to perform removal work
for ACM," the spokesman said.

"This material removed from the cinema was stabilized or bonded
asbestos product bound in a matrix of concrete.

"WHSQ received an earlier complaint about this site from a member
of the public as the building was in the process of being
demolished.

"WHSQ undertook an assessment of that complaint and obtained
information from the contractor that the ACM had been removed
prior to the demolition work proper proceeding, and that a
clearance certificate had been issued in accordance with the
removalist's responsibilities."

The spokesman said the bonded material presented little risk to
human health if it was not disturbed.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dale Farm Fibro Abatement Operation Underway
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Billericay Gazette (UK) reports that a clean-up operation at
Dale Farm has begun to clear asbestos from the former traveller
site.

The work, which started on Monday, Feb. 25, will clear debris from
a small part of the six acre Green Belt site in Crays Hill.

This follows a fire last year which destroyed an old industrial
unit and damaged roofing sheets made of asbestos.

The clean-up follows the 2011 eviction of 80 traveller families
who had been living on the site without planning permission.

A cesspool overflow will also be prevented from polluting a nearby
ditch.

A contractor working on behalf of the council is carrying out the
work at the site.

Representatives of the traveller community have been informed
about these works, which are necessary to minimize risks to public
health.

Council leader Tony Ball, said: "The council issued formal notices
and reminders last year, however these have been ignored.

"The council now has no choice but to act and do this work now to
address the health issues and then seek to recover the costs from
the landowners concerned."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Warns of Schools' Loss of Fibro Information
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Education Executive (UK) relates that as more schools become
academies or free schools there is a danger that the little
knowledge about asbestos within school buildings will be lost,
says union.

GMB, the union for school support staff, has welcomed the call for
evidence by the House of Commons Education Select Committee on the
issues around asbestos in schools.

The call was made on Feb. 26.  The Education Select Committee will
hear evidence on asbestos in schools on Wednesday, March 13 at
9.30 am.

The union has fed in evidence as part of the joint union asbestos
committee (JUAC) submission as it represents an increasing number
of school support staff who may be negligently exposed to the
deadly asbestos fibers.  Over 75% of state schools contain
asbestos -- much of it in a dangerous condition.

Concerns have been raised about asbestos being excluded from the
Department for Education's audit on the condition of schools.

John McClean, GMB national health and safety officer, said "GMB
welcomes the call for evidence on asbestos in schools.  Last
year's report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational
Health & Safety made it clear that a cohesive and clear strategy
to deal with this serious matter needed to take place.  Hopefully
the Education Select Committee which holds it hearing on
Wednesday, March 13 will reach similar conclusions that enable the
DfE to begin dealing comprehensively with this problem."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso-Victim's Brother Advocates for Bill C-45
--------------------------------------------------------------
Gordon Hoekstra of The Vancouver Sun reports that Clayton Fernie
was a martial artist with a zest for life who died a "hard,
horrible" death in 2010 from an asbestos-related disease (ARD),
wasting away in front of his family's eyes.

He had spent decades in the construction sector, most of those in
Kamloops, and had been complaining of a pain in his back but
hadn't chalked it up to anything specific.

An active man who neither smoked nor drank, he would sometimes run
home after having a coffee at Tim Hortons, a distance of several
kilometers.

One day, suddenly, he simply could not do it anymore.

He went to see a doctor: He had mesothelioma, a cancer linked to
asbestos exposure that attacks the lining of the organs, most
often the lungs.

In five months, he was gone.

Fernie was 63 years old, and left behind two sons and four
grandchildren.

"This was the toughest man I ever knew.  You could bounce bricks
off him.  He did the work of three men," said Derrick Fernie,
Clayton's brother who lives in Vancouver.  "To go that way, it's
so heart-wrenching for the family.  He did not deserve this.
Nobody deserves this."

Fernie was angered by a story in The Vancouver Sun on Monday, Feb.
25, that revealed Skylite Building Maintenance, and its successor
company Seattle Environmental Consulting, racked up more than 250
orders for violations for exposing workers to asbestos under the
Workers' Compensation Act of B.C. and the Occupational Health and
Safety Regulations, as well as more than CAD280,000 in fines
dating back to 2009.

Skylite was issued the second and third largest WorkSafeBC
penalties in 2012 of CAD105,000 each, according to the workplace
safety and regulatory agency.

Seattle Environmental and its principals, Mike Singh and son
Shawn, remain in the asbestos removal business.  They deny any
wrongdoing and say they are being discriminated against because
they are Indo-Canadian.

Asbestos-related disease -- which can take decades to surface --
is the No. 1 occupational killer in B.C., responsible for the
deaths of 512 workers between 2002 and 2011, according to
WorkSafeBC figures.

Fernie, a self-styled asbestos activist since his brother's death,
said B.C. needs to get much tougher on bad operators in the
asbestos removal business.

Fernie says criminal charges must be pursued under Bill C-45,
which amended the Criminal Code to beef up worker protection after
the deadly Westray Mine disaster.

"If you are a repeat offender, you go to jail," argued Fernie.

WorkSafeBC has said it takes time to pursue orders and penalties
before you can build a court case where an operator can be charged
for contempt of court for not protecting workers' safety.

WorkSafeBC has not pursued any action under Bill C-45, which would
need police involvement as the offence falls under the Criminal
Code.

"In the case of Skylite, no option has been ruled out for future
non-compliance," WorkSafeBC spokeswoman Donna Freeman said in an
email.

Because Fernie worked in the same industry his brother did --
installing walls and ceilings -- he is confronted with the
possibility that he too will contract some kind of asbestos-
related disease.

But it's not his potential condition Fernie's concerned about --
it's the 16- or 17-year-old "starry-eyed" workers just starting in
the construction industry who have no idea of the risks of
exposure to asbestos.

"I'll fight this until the day I die," said Fernie, who has signed
up thousands of people to a petition calling for a ban on Canadian
exports of asbestos.

Among the hundreds of materials asbestos was used in are ceiling
tiles, which is where Fernie believes his brother came into
contact with asbestos.

Research -- including at the University of B.C. -- has shown that
lung cancer, particularly mesothelioma, and a lung disease called
asbestosis is elevated in workers who have been exposed to
asbestos in the workplace.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mandatory Listing of Public Fibro Buildings Urged
------------------------------------------------------------------
The StarPhoenix reports that health groups and the family of a
Saskatoon man who died from an asbestos-related cancer want a
mandatory registry of public buildings with the material.

The Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the
Lung Association of Saskatchewan have started an online petition
to support a private member's bill dubbed Howard's Law.

The bill, named for the late building inspector Howard Willems,
would make the reporting of asbestos in public buildings
mandatory.

The province said last fall that it would provide lists of
government buildings that contain asbestos.

But the groups say that doesn't go far enough because it's not
mandatory for public buildings, such as schools or hospitals, to
register.

Members of the legislature are expected to vote on the bill in the
coming weeks.

Asbestos is typically found in building materials such as
insulation.  It is not considered harmful if undisturbed, but
renovations or construction work stirs up hazardous fibers that
can be inhaled.

Willems had argued that people should know if they're going into
buildings that have asbestos -- especially if construction is
being done.

"We lost our stepdad because he didn't know there was asbestos in
the buildings he inspected," said Jesse Todd, Willems's stepson
and spokesman for the Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness
Organization.

"If he had known, he would have taken the necessary steps to
protect himself and would still be with us today.  He dedicated
the last two years of his life trying to save others from
suffering the same fate as he did and we're determined to carry on
Howard's fight."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Woodville Mall Pre-Demolition Process Initiated
----------------------------------------------------------------
Larry Limpf of The Press Publications reports that a survey of
asbestos in the Woodville Mall, which would be an initial step in
the demolition process of the deteriorating retail structure, is
being scheduled according to the mall's former general manager.

Juanita Jones, who's told Northwood city officials she is
representing the new owner of the mall for the demolition, said
she's received bids from two companies for demolishing the mall
and was expecting a third bid.

During a Jan. 24 town hall meeting, Jones told city council and
Mayor Mark Stoner the mall "is coming down" when asked about the
owner's plans.

Bob Anderson, city administrator, said the owner would need a
demolition permit from the city and would have to post a bond
before razing could start.  As of last month, no one has applied
for a permit, he said.

A permit from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency would be
needed to remove asbestos.

The city filed a lawsuit Jan. 17 against Soleyman Ghalchi, of
Great Neck, New York, who bought the mall for $800,000 in
December, and the seller, Mehran Kohansieh, of Little Neck, New
York.  The complaint is for nuisance abatement and the removal of
buildings and contends the structure is in violation of fire
regulations and health department codes.

Northwood Police Chief Tom Cairl last month said Jones has had
glass doors and windows boarded up and weeds and debris removed.

"That is greatly appreciated," he said, adding the building had
been a target for vandals and metal scrappers.

Except for a Sears store, which remains as one of three anchor
stores, and the Andersons, which closed recently, the mall has
been vacant for more than a year.

Jones told a packed council chambers during the town hall meeting
the new owner is open to ideas for re-developing the site,
including a strip mall between the Sears store and former
Andersons site.

City officials were skeptical and said the lawsuit would proceed.
Residents attending the meeting complained of vandalism and
roofing material blowing into their yards from the mall.  They
were also concerned about flooding of retention ponds which
collect water from the parking lot.

Anderson last week said the city would keep the pressure on the
owner to proceed with the demolition.

Jones, in an email message to The Press, said she has received
calls from two "major companies wanting to build on the property
as soon as it is torn down."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Owners, Landlords Reminded of Extended Fibro Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Wells Journal reports that Estate agency, Greenslade Taylor
Hunt, which has an office in Wells, is reminding everyone in
commercial premises to be aware of asbestos regulations.

They say there is a duty of care upon all owners and occupiers of
commercial premises, including the common areas in residential
blocks of flats, to protect anyone working in or using these
premises against exposure to asbestos.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 extends previous Health
and Safety Executive requirements to protect people against
exposure to asbestos.

Any business or individual occupying a commercial property, or a
landlord responsible for maintenance of a building or common
areas, must do the following:

   (1) Commission an asbestos survey to identify asbestos-
containing materials and their condition;

   (2) Keep an up-to-date record of asbestos-containing materials
and advise anyone liable to work on or disturb them of their
presence; and

   (3) Prepare a plan detailing the risks and how these will be
managed, to include periodic reviews.

With the onus of responsibility being on proprietors of business
and landlords, it is essential to commission asbestos surveys
where there are none in place as soon as possible.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Off The Chart" Fibro Find Doubles Abatement Bill
------------------------------------------------------------------
Nathan Mayberg Hudson for The Catskill Newspapers reports that
Asbestos in the basement of the existing Columbia County
Courthouse, which wasn't anticipated and budgeted for, could cost
the county an additional $165,000, which is more than the entire
amount planned on for asbestos removal.

The county's $8 million courthouse project has approximately
$700,000 in allowances for change orders such as the asbestos
removal, said Department of Public Works Commissioner David
Robinson on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

The county had budgeted $144,000 for asbestos removal so the
$165,000 estimate could bring the total work to more than
$300,000.  Robinson said the estimate could be negotiated.

The finding of the asbestos has ground renovation work at the
courthouse to a halt this month and project manager John Cutsumpas
of the architectural firm Lothrop Associates said the additional
asbestos remediation could delay the project by another four to
six weeks.  He said there was an "off the chart" amount of
asbestos found that hadn't been planned on.

Robinson told the Public Works Committee of the Columbia County
Board of Supervisors on Feb. 27 that the county was forwarded an
estimate for the work from their consultant Alpine Environmental
Services Inc. based on a projection by the general contractor
Eugene Dilorenzo Inc.  Committee Chairman Michael Benson, R-New
Lebanon, who runs a construction company said he was surprised
that Alpine Environmental Services had not presented a cost
breakdown in its estimate.  Robinson said he has asked for one.

"I have never seen a lump sum presented in my career," said
Benson.  Alpine Environmental Services had also provided
consulting on the county's planned multi-million dollar Pine Haven
renovation project.

Wednesday's discussions between supervisors followed discussions
last month on a change order for $56,744 to change electric
paneling at the courthouse, which resulted in supervisors
questioning who would take responsibility for the planning
mistake.

Benson once again questioned if the planners of the project would
be responsible.  "They are the expert," said Benson.  "They did
something grossly wrong."  Cutsumpas responded by saying "you
can't see through walls," although he added there could be "some
mistakes there."

Supervisor Jeffrey Nayer, I-Copake, said the courthouse is an old
building, and that not all of the asbestos could have been
accounted for earlier.  "It's not something they knew," he said.

Meanwhile, the board is seriously considering overhauling its
heating system in the courthouse, which could add anywhere from
$300,000 to more than $400,000 on top of the project cost.
Supervisor Ron Knott, R-Stuyvesant, advocated for the work and
drew support from other supervisors.  Supervisor Thomas Garrick,
R-Gallatin, said the work was necessary since the steam pipe
heating system was "ancient" and would need to be replaced
eventually.  He said it would cost twice as much if the county
waited to do it after the courthouse was reoccupied.

"It seems like a waste of taxpayer's money, but it's not," said
Nayer.

The supervisors want to hear engineering cost estimates for the
new heating system before going forward.

The supervisors are also considering replacing windows at the
courthouse, which could be an additional major expense and will
require a new bid.

The committee signed off on hiring architect Donald Widjeskog for
$7,500 to provide code review services at the Claverack School,
based on a request from the town of Claverack Building Inspector
to have a code review done before a building permit can be issued.
Robinson had submitted a request to approve a $9,000 contract with
a local architect for the work earlier in the month, but that was
deemed too high.  According to officials, Widjeskog has already
begun working for the county even though supervisors have not
formally authorized the work.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Alamogordo Motels' Owner to Find Own Removalist
----------------------------------------------------------------
John Bear of The Alamogordo Daily News reports the city commission
voted Tuesday (Feb. 26) night to allow the owner of two vacant
motel buildings on the west side of Alamogordo to find his own
asbestos abatement company.

The extension came with the caveat, however, that Calkins have a
contract with an abatement company in place within a month.

Otherwise, the city will move ahead with abatement with a company
of its choosing.

The commission postponed taking action on the asbestos abatement
and demolition of the buildings, owned by Morris Calkins.

The two items have been postponed several times in recent months
as the city sought additional bids among concerns that one
provided by an El Paso-based abatement company was too high,
nearly $11,000.

City staff reported on Feb. 26 that the city has received three
additional bids, but Calkins said he had received a bid for about
$8,500, lower than the other three bids.

The city has also received two bids from construction companies
related to the demolition of the buildings, but action on that was
also postponed.

Calkins said he has already began dismantling one of the
buildings.

He has said previously that the buildings contain vintage redwood,
which he has plans to use on an unrelated construction project on
a separate piece of property he owns.

Calkins has been in a dispute with the city over the fate of the
long empty motel buildings, which Calkins has used to store
equipment related to his machine shop located next door.

Mayor Susie Galea said the issue has been ongoing for at least 15
years.

Asbestos, once used frequently in the construction industry, is
now heavily regulated because it has been found to cause certain
types of cancer.

If a building is found to contain sufficient levels of asbestos,
it must be professionally removed.

The Plaza Building in Alamogordo was recently abated by one of the
companies vying for the contract on Calkins' property.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Study Links Fibro Exposure to Cholangiocarcinoma
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Faith Franz of The Mesothelioma Center reports that more than a
dozen diseases are currently associated with asbestos exposure.
Some (like mesothelioma) have a confirmed connection.  Others are
not officially linked, but show evidence of a loose association.
And because asbestos is a known carcinogen, researchers are
continuously studying its relationship with various diseases.

Recently, the Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty
Medicine at the University of Bologna noted an odd coincidence.

"[We observed] a high frequency of [cholangiocarcinoma] subjects
with a former asbestos exposure among our inpatients," lead
researcher Giovanni Brandi told Asbestos.com.

From 2002 to 2008, they saw 258 total cases of the bile duct
cancer, which affects roughly two out of every 100,000 people
worldwide.  The team's medical surveys found that 24 of their
patients had sustained occupational or household exposure to
asbestos.

Ten of the patients lacked any other risk factors for the disease.
These contributing risk factors include conditions like Hepatitis
C infection, alcohol-induced cirrhosis and ulcerative colitis.

Brandi's research team published these findings in a 2009 journal
article.  Since then, they've been working on the next step.

"We decided to conduct a case-control study," Brandi said, "to
test the hypothesis that asbestos could be a risk factor for
cholangiocarcinoma."

The results from this follow-up study appear in the February 2013
issue of Cancer Causes and Control.

           The Link Between Asbestos And Cholangiocarcinoma

Brandi's team assembled a group of 155 cholangiocarcinoma patients
who were treated at the Sant'Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital
between 2006 and 2010.  (This group was different than the cohort
in their first study.) They then collected occupational histories,
which they used to determine the patients' risks of asbestos
exposure.

Of the patients who reported past exposure, a significant number
cited a career in construction work.  Thousands of common
construction materials once contained asbestos, and this
occupational group has one of the highest risks for asbestos-
related diseases.

After comparing the exposed group to the never-exposed group,
Brandi's team found exactly what they were expecting:  an
increased risk for cholangiocarcinoma among the patients with a
history of exposure.

The risk was especially high for the intrahepatic subtype of the
disease.  In this type of the disease, the tumors develop in the
ducts inside the liver.  In the other type, extrahepatic
cholangiocarcinoma, the tumors develop in the ducts outside of the
liver.

"These findings seem biologically plausible, since fibers are more
likely to remain trapped near the small intrahepatic bile ducts,"
Brandi explained.

Most asbestos-related diseases are respiratory in nature.  Because
most fibers enter the body through inhalation, it's easy for them
to get trapped in the lungs and larynx.  It takes a little more
work for them to make it to the liver -- but Brandi believes it's
still entirely possible.

"Asbestos fibers, after inhalation... can translocate to any
abdominal organ.  In particular, asbestos can deposit into liver
tissue, due to the high permeability of the small vessels," he
said.

And once they're lodged inside the tissue, the fibers can cause
persistent inflammation.

"The carcinogenic process of cholangiocarcinoma has been linked to
the presence of chronic inflammatory stimuli," Brandi said.

And while researchers haven't conclusively identified all of the
potential inflammatory stimuli, asbestos meets the criteria.
Researchers know that it causes severe inflammation once it's
trapped within the body -- and they believe that this inflammation
is one of the first phases of development for most asbestos-
related diseases.

With mesothelioma, the additional phases of development typically
take several decades.  Cholangiocarcinoma may have a similarly
long latency period.

Just like with mesothelioma, most cholangiocarcinoma diagnoses are
made in patients over the age of 65.  If the cancer is indeed
caused by asbestos, this would mean several decades had likely
passed from their last point of exposure.

To further investigate the potential association between asbestos
and cholangiocarcinoma, Brandi's team developed a new research
program to study the occupational and environmental causes of the
cancer.  Their next project will focus on the dose-response
relationship between asbestos exposure and the risk of the
disease.

Until a connection is confirmed (or ruled out), Brandi suggests
additional health precautions for anyone with a history of
asbestos exposure.

"We believe that more studies need to be conducted to properly
address the issue of early diagnosis.  Theoretically, sonography
(ultrasound testing) could be studied as a first-line diagnostic
approach in high-risk subjects."

Asbestos-related disease specialists can also run further tests to
detect the earliest signs of several associated illnesses.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Sets Back Newport Village Hall Project
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Saffron Walden Reporter (UK) relates that asbestos has been
discovered in the roof of Newport village hall, leaving the
community with a GBP10,000 cleanup bill.

Peter Gibson, chairman of the village hall committee, is fighting
hard to find a quick resolution to the problem and will meet with
the parish council to try and get more money.

The hall has been closed since February 18, when contractors
working on the ceiling discovered asbestos in the roof, and the
hall has already received a lot of support from the community.

Mr. Gibson said: "We were in the process of having a new ceiling
and light installed but the contractors quickly saw the asbestos
which came as quite a blow.

"We've spent a lot of money renovating our hall and this was a
cost we did not see coming, about GBP10,000, but we had no option
other than to close the hall."

The village had replaced its old asbestos cement roof with a metal
one five years ago but the contractors failed to remove all of it.

There is no recourse for the hall, as the contractor has since
gone into liquidation and it is not insured to cover the cost.

Approximately GBP250,000 has been spent on renovating the
building, which was built by the community fifty years ago, and
this is the first major setback in the project.

Village clubs and organizations which normally use the hall for
meetings, events and activities have had to make alternative
arrangements while the building is shut.

Mr. Gibson said: "We are driving this through as fast as we can.

"We are hoping for a very speedy resolution as we feel we are
letting down a lot of people who have booked our hall and we have
a lot of bookings coming up.

"Our work has so far gone without any problems and this is quite a
setback which we didn't expect."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of Rio Grande High Nears Completion
--------------------------------------------------------------
Glen Rosales for The Albuquerque Journal reports that work to
remove and replace asbestos-laced tiles from a small, unoccupied
room is being completed at Rio Grande High School.

"It's a small-scale, short-duration project," said John Miller, an
Albuquerque Public Schools spokesman.

Several weeks ago, a ruptured water line damaged the flooring in a
524-square-foot space and when the tiles were removed to complete
the repairs, it was discovered the tiles contained asbestos, he
said.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil, but
exposure increases the risk of developing lung disease, according
to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website.

Lung cancer, mesothelioma -- a rare form of cancer that is found
in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart --
and asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer
disease of the lungs, are three of the major health effects
associated with asbestos exposure, the website states.

But Miller said no students, faculty or staff were at risk because
the area was contained before any work began.

All the tiles in the room have been removed, Miller said, and have
been replaced.

A notice about the work being done was posted on the school's
website because federal regulations require notification, he said.

"The room will be isolated and the asbestos abatement work will
not pose a health concern for the building occupants," reads a
Feb. 14 letter from Van Lewis, APS manager of the Environmental
Management Department to Rio Grande principal Yvonne Garcia.

That letter was posted to the school website Friday, March 1.

Asbestos is found fairly frequently in buildings constructed
before 1987, Miller said, and poses no danger unless it is
disturbed and the particles become airborne.

Miller was not sure how much the repair work by Southwest Hazard
Control will cost, but he said it is covered by insurance.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Terowie Appeals for Cleanup of Massive Fibro Dump
------------------------------------------------------------------
Pat Guth for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance reports that a small
town in South Australia says they've been an asbestos wasteland
for long enough and are appealing to the government to remove the
debris they say is having a negative effect on the health of
everyone who lives there.

A story aired by the Australian Broadcast Company outlines the
plight of the town of Terowie, where there sits a legal asbestos
dump that's been festering for decades, say residents.  The site
is owned by the South Australian government, they note, but
there's no fence around it and not even any warning signs.

Unfortunately, a playground and school sit downwind from the dump,
and residents say particles from friable asbestos in the dump
often blow in the direction of where children are playing.

One resident, who's lived in Terowie for 2 years, describes the
mess.

"I walked down to the southern rail yards and saw just the massive
asbestos down there," said Dave Perron.  "It blew me away that it
had been there for so long and nobody had bothered to clean it up.
The ground is just covered with broken up fragments of asbestos.
It extends for well over 200 meters from the bottom of the
southern platform to up at the cemetery."

Locals say that Terowie wasn't always a "forgotten town".  It was
once a thriving railway stop, they explain, and served as a
staging area for Allied Forces during World War II.  It was
visited by Douglas MacArthur, they state, proudly.

But when the train station was closed and then demolished in the
early 1970s and the asbestos wreckage left behind, the town's
popularity waned and no one ever bothered to come back and remove
the debris.  Asbestos roof shingles and sheeting and other small
pieces of the material remain at the dumpsite and can be found
along a popular walking trail, says Perron.

"I have young grandchildren who want to come over here and explore
the buildings, the old train station and the old train line," he
said.  "To do that they have to walk on this asbestos.  I won't
allow them here because I don't want my grandchildren in 30 years
time to be diagnosed with mesothelioma."

Some individuals who've lived in the town for years are already
suffering from asbestosis and other respiratory problems.  Those
people have vowed to fight until the South Australian government
commences a clean-up project.  So far, they've made little
progress.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Party Chief Likely to Dodge Fibro Charges
-------------------------------------------------------------
RFI (Fr) reports that Former French Socialist Party chief Martine
Aubry is seeking to have manslaughter proceedings against her
dropped.  She is being investigated for allegedly failing to
protect French workers from toxic asbestos fibers when she was a
senior civil servant with the French labor ministry in the 1980s.

Asbestos was widely used as a building material and manufacturing
before being banned in France in 1997.

The French Senate says that over three decades 30,000 people have
died from inhaling asbestos.

The Aubry scandal dates back to the 1980s.

Aubry was responsible for implementing European Union directives
regarding the presence of asbestos in workplaces.

Last year a French judge placed Aubry, who has twice been a
government minister and is currently mayor of the northern city of
Lille, under formal investigation.

She's accused of taking too long to enact the rulings, thus
putting workers' lives at risk.

Judges want to establish whether Aubry's decisions were swayed by
an industrial lobby called the permanent asbestos committee.

On Feb. 28, hundreds of protesters gathered outside Paris' central
courthouse, calling on magistrates not to drop the investigation.

Victims' groups insist the culprits must be brought to justice.

"I don't think it would be right for there to be impunity for the
poisoners," said Eric Halgand a member of a victims' group on the
demonstration."  I think the judicial authorities are taking too
long over this, but I understand why, because the people involved
are in top positions, and when this all comes out it's going to
hurt."

On Thursday, Feb. 28, right-wing French daily Le Figaro reported
that Aubry is unlikely to be charged.

Judicial sources said that the criminal investigation would
probably be dropped.

That would leave her free to bid for a seat in the current
Socialist government, although she has a troubled relationship
with President Fran‡ois Hollande, having stood against him in the
primary to become the party's presidential candidate last year on
a slightly more left-wing platform.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trial Lawyers Say AB-19 Creates 'So Many Hurdles'
------------------------------------------------------------------
Steven Elbow of The Capital Times reports that while deaths from
asbestos are still on the rise, one state lawmaker is proposing a
law that trial attorneys say will string out asbestos-related
injury cases until the victim dies.

State Rep. Andre Jacque, R-DePere, says the bill, AB 19, prevents
overzealous attorneys from "double-dipping" on jury awards.

"It basically addresses the fact that you have trial attorneys,
plaintiffs' counsel, that in zealously advocating for their
clients are trying to seek additional awards beyond what fair
compensation might be, as a result, in some cases depleting trust
funds that should be available to compensate other victims,"
Jacque says.

Not surprisingly, trial lawyers see it differently.  They say the
law is a way to hold up cases, possibly for years.

Here's what the Wisconsin Association for Justice, the trial
lawyers association, says: "The requirements of AB-19 will
essentially create so many hurdles that many of the asbestos
victims will die before discovery ensues and their testimony is
preserved.  It is exceedingly difficult to gather evidence from
30-50 years ago and make a case if you have no testimony from the
person who actually was exposed to the asbestos."

The proposal by Jacque, a member of the Assembly Judiciary
Committee, doesn't actually mention the word "asbestos," but he
concedes that asbestos cases would be specifically affected by the
legislation.

The bill would require plaintiffs who sue to disclose whether or
not they intend to file a claim against a personal injury trust.
If they do, the court has to stay court proceedings in the case
until the plaintiff produces evidence to support the claim.

More than 60 asbestos-related personal injury trusts, established
after a rash of lawsuits forced bankruptcy claims, have been
established in the U.S. to compensate present and future victims,
according to this U.S. Government Accountability Office document.

It's no accident that laws are now being proposed in several
states to stymie asbestos-related lawsuits.  While miners, factory
workers, shipyard workers, insulators and a host of other laborers
have been dying from exposure to asbestos for decades, a latency
period of up to 50 years pretty much guarantees that there will be
staggering numbers of asbestos-related deaths -- and lawsuits --
in the future.

Richard Lemen, a retired assistant surgeon general who consults
for plaintiffs in asbestos lawsuits, told a Senate committee in
2007 that an estimated 189,000 to 231,000 workers died from
asbestos-related diseases from 1980 to 2007.

"Another 270,000 to 330,000 deaths are expected to occur over the
next 30 years," he told the committee.

(I pulled Lemen's statements from this excellent McClatchy story
on asbestos deaths.)

Inexpensive, resilient and heat-resistant, asbestos was widely
used in the construction, insulation and shipbuilding industries,
all of which are well-represented in Wisconsin.

While there were only 14 asbestos-related lawsuits filed in
Wisconsin in 2011, and nine in 2012, there could be a considerable
increase by the mid-2020s, when some experts say the asbestos
epidemic will begin to wind down, according to this RAND Corp.
study.

"This is prospective legislation," says Jacque, "so it's forward
looking."

Jacque says the bill is based on a similar law in Ohio that went
into effect last year.  He says it prevents trial lawyers from
"double-dipping," that is, winning damages from a personal injury
trust and from a solvent company as well.

But Racine attorney Jill Rakauski, who has handled hundreds of
asbestos cases, says exposure is rarely tied to just one source.

"The fact is, most of these people worked in construction settings
where they're exposed to a multitude of products from different
manufacturers, whether it's drywall, floor tile, insulation."

Those lobbying for Jacque's bill include the Wisconsin Builders
Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the Wisconsin
Insurance Alliance and the Wisconsin Paper Council, according to
the state Government Accountability Board's online lobbying
database.  Also lobbying for the bill is the Wisconsin Civil
Justice Council, a tort reform group that Jacque says brought the
proposal to him.

A similar proposal also exists as model legislation with the
American Legislative Exchange Council, a clearinghouse for
conservative state legislative proposals, but Jacque, who says he
discontinued his membership with the group this session, also says
he didn't utilize that legislation.

Jacque maintains the bill is not intended to hold up court cases,
but rather to limit jury awards to reasonable amounts.

"I understand that this is taking away deeper pockets, basically
double-dipping, that those attorneys might be going after," he
says.  "But I think the truth of the matter is this could really
speed up the situation."

The speed would result from the fact that lawyers for the asbestos
companies wouldn't have to make time-consuming requests for
discovery, that is, evidence of the claims against the trusts,
Jacque says.

"Totally not true," says Rakauski.  "Exactly the opposite."

Rakauski says plaintiffs are required to provide all information
about claims against the trusts.  But having them do that at the
beginning of the process sets up a kind of Catch-22.

"You have to get the evidence, which is generally developed in the
case," she says.  "So if the case is stayed and you can't even get
the evidence, I don't know how you can submit the claim."

In short, requiring plaintiffs to gather evidence to support
claims for personal injury at the front end of the legal process -
- evidence that would otherwise surface during ongoing litigation
-- could add years to a case, Rakauski says.  Additionally, she
says the trusts often pay little in the way of damages.

As an example of the effects of the proposal, Rakauski points to
Donald Krueger, a life-long employee at Pulliam Power Plant in
Green Bay.  Krueger developed mesothelioma (a form of cancer often
linked to asbestos) and, in 2007, sued several companies that
manufactured products containing asbestos that were used at the
plant.

Even under current law, he barely had time to provide testimony.

"He died in the middle of his two depositions," Rakauski says.

"This bill basically holds up the case until you file all these
claims, which they're still in the process of filing in
(Krueger's) case because they take a long time.  He would have
died long before" he was able to testify.

And once the victim of asbestos exposure dies, it's difficult to
make the case, Rakauski says.

"Most people know what they worked with," she says.  "And once
they die, you're relying on someone who may have worked with them
one day a week, or saw them in passing.  A person is their own
best witness, and if they pass away before their testimony is
preserved that substantially reduces the value of the case.  Not
only that, the witnesses are always in their 70s and 80s, so
anytime you put a year delay on something, anyone can pass away."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Experts Slams TBA Rochdale After-Fire Statement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rochdale Online News reports that air monitoring tests conducted
before the Feb. 15 fire at the former Turner Brothers Asbestos
(TBA) Rochdale asbestos site have recorded elevated levels of
asbestos fibers in the air.

Two weeks on, campaigners and experts have had no explanation how
press statements, issued on the day of the fire, including by
Rochdale Council leader Colin Lambert, confidently stated that no
asbestos had been released and there had been no risk to public
health.

It is understood that these assurances were based on a visible
inspection of the smoke plume that came from the site of what was
once the world's largest asbestos textile factory.

Even though Rochdale's MP, Simon Danczuk, called for urgent air
monitoring whilst the fire was raging, no air monitoring was
conducted to assess the aftermath of the blaze

Weeks before the fire, asbestos tests were conducted by United
Utilities for their work in improving water quality to the River
Spodden.

Part of the water company's work to improve the sewerage system
from Shawclough requires connecting an electrically powered unit
to a sewer plant at the edge of the 72 acre former asbestos
factory site.

Baseline air monitoring and soil testing have been conducted in
order to ensure steps are taken for UU contractors and the public
to be safe.

January's test results confirm reasons for concern: Some of the UU
testing has confirmed elevated levels of asbestos -- 0.02f /ml --
that equates to 20,000 fibers per cubic meter -- in the open air
300 meters from the main TBA buildings.

This is double the fiber count used as a "clearance level" after,
for instance, sealed buildings have been professionally cleared of
asbestos containing materials.  The threshold of 0.01f/m is not
classed as a safe workplace level -- in fact the HSE confirm that
there is no known safe level for asbestos exposure.

It is not known why such elevated asbestos fiber levels have been
present.

Campaigners and experts are now raising concerns.

Jason Addy of the Save Spodden Valley campaign comments:  "United
Utilities are to be applauded for the precautions they have taken
and the open way they have tested and published their findings.

"This confirms our long-held concerns about environmental exposure
to asbestos in the Spodden Valley.

"We have been asking for baseline air monitoring for years but it
has never happened.  Do these test result help to explain why?

"Workplace exposure to asbestos is normally calculated for being
working in enclosed buildings for about 8 hours a day 5 days a
week.  Those subject to environmental contamination could be
exposed 24/7.

"Experts suggest environmental exposure amounts to about a 40 fold
increase compared to calculations for workplace exposure.

"These tests were done before the fire on Friday, Feb. 15.

"Why on earth wasn't air monitoring at the TBA done whilst the
fire raged and on the immediately days after the inferno?  It
beggars belief that no air testing was done yet confident claims
were broadcast on BBC Radio Manchester that Friday suggesting that
no asbestos had been released and there was no risk to public
health."

Rochdale's MP Simon Danczuk has asked Greater Manchester Hazards
Centre to investigate issues of health and safety regarding the
TBA fire.

An interim report is to be sent to the All-Party Parliamentary Sub
Committee.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: House of Commons to Discuss Old TBA site Issues
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rochdale Online News reports that action has been promised by the
Government regarding the former TBA site fire and its aftermath.

Speaking in Parliament Feb. 28, Rochdale's MP Simon Danczuk asked
the following question to Leader of the House of Commons Andrew
Lansley:  "Early on 15 February, there was a major fire in
Rochdale at what was the world's biggest asbestos factory, the now
derelict Turner Brothers mill.  Firefighters spent five hours
battling the blaze, and concerns have been raised that no air
monitoring took place.

"Will the Government make a statement that promises the people of
Rochdale that this matter will be investigated, that the site will
be secured, and that all laws to protect our environment and
public health will be fully enforced?"

Mr. Lansley replied: "I confess that I was not aware of the
circumstances that the Honorable Gentleman describes, but they are
obviously very important for his constituency and beyond.  I will
therefore talk to colleagues at the Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs in respect of the Environment Agency and
colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions in relation to
the Health and Safety Executive to see whether they can respond to
his points."

Meanwhile, Laurie Kazan Allen, editor of the British Asbestos
newsletter, a publication that is distributed worldwide comments
on the issues raised by the TBA fire: "I visited the Rochdale site
a number of years ago.  The size of the TBA site in combination
with its extensive history as the location of asbestos processing
operations should have resulted in the area receiving priority
attention from local authorities, government and national
agencies.

"That the buildings and land in Spodden Valley were left to fester
year after year has created the potential for serious public
health problems that demands immediate attention."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Thurrock Council's Non-Action Results to Fines
---------------------------------------------------------------
Thurrock Council has been fined after admitting to failures in how
it managed asbestos across its schools.

Basildon Crown Court heard on March 1, that despite being made
aware of asbestos concerns in a boiler room at Stifford Clays
Junior School, no action was taken.

A specialist contractor tasked with carrying out an asbestos
survey by the council in 2004 said that dust and debris found in
the boiler room containing asbestos fibers should be removed
immediately under licensed conditions.

However, an HSE inspection in April 2010, as part of a national
initiative to ensure that local authorities understand their
duties in managing asbestos across their school estate, found that
nothing had been done.

This was despite school staff and contractors alike regularly
entering the boiler room in the intervening six year period.

HSE served a Prohibition Notice on April 24, 2010 barring entry to
the boiler house until it was made safe.

Thurrock Council was also served with two Improvement Notices
regarding the management of asbestos in its schools elsewhere in
the county.

Thurrock Council, of Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, was
fined a total of GBP35,000 and ordered to pay GBP15,326 in costs
after pleading guilty to a Regulation 10 breach of the Control of
Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2006) and a breach of the Management of
Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 -- both in relation to
failings across the school estate.

The council also admitted a Regulation 11 breach of the Control of
Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2006) in relation to the specific
incident at Stifford Clays Junior School.

After the hearing HSE inspector Samantha Thomson, said:

"This was a clear example of a local Authority failing to manage
asbestos across its schools for a number of years.

"At Stifford Clays Junior School, the caretaker regularly worked
in the boiler room with dust and debris over a period of six
years.  She will have been exposed to asbestos fibers and now
faces an anxious wait to see if it results in any long-term health
issues.

"This was easily preventable.  Thurrock Council was informed of
the potential for exposure in 2004, yet failed to act on the
knowledge until HSE's involvement some six years later."

Notes To Editors

The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator
for workplace health and safety.  It aims to reduce work-related
death, injury and ill health.  It does so through research,
information and advice, promoting training, new or revised
regulations and codes of practice, and working with local
authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
www.hse.gov.uk

Regulation 5 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work
Regulations 1999 states: "(1) Every employer shall make and give
effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to
the nature of his activities and the size of his undertaking, for
the effective planning, organization, control, monitoring and
review of the preventive and protective measures.  (2) Where the
employer employs five or more employees, he shall record the
arrangements referred to in paragraph (1).

Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006
states: "10 (1) Every employer must ensure that any employee
employed by that employer is given adequate information,
instruction and training where that employee is or is liable to be
exposed to asbestos, or if that employee supervises such
employees."

Regulation 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations
2006 states: "Every employer shall prevent the exposure of his
employees to asbestos so far as is reasonably practicable."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cwmcarn High Loses Funding for 100 Pupils
----------------------------------------------------------
The South Wales Argus reports that about 100 children have left
Cwmcarn High since the school temporarily moved to Ebbw Vale, and
the school has lost funding for these pupils, it was revealed at
the Feb. 27 council meeting.

Risca councillor David Rees asked about the situation at the full
Caerphilly council meeting, where officers confirmed that funding
for those pupils will now go to their new schools.

Corporate director of education Sandra Aspinall also said
Cwmcarn's future could be resolved soon, saying a management
report on the asbestos problem was "imminent."

Campaigners chanted "save our school" to councillors arriving for
budget meeting, with organizer Kelly East saying many had ignored
their requests for help beforehand.

She said: "Most won't get involved.  We have knocked their doors
and some have even hidden, so we decided to go to the meeting and
badger them.

"There has been a feeling they have wanted to close it since I was
there in 1989, either to build a new Welsh-medium school on the
site or now under its 21st Century Schools Programme."

Caerphilly council plans to close three schools in the borough in
the next two years, to tackle surplus places that are predicted to
rise to 4,000 by 2022.

However, serious discussions on which schools will close have not
yet begun.  And with those remaining of Cwmcarn's 900 pupils not
able to continue attending their temporary home in Ebbw Vale past
this July, their situation needs to be resolved first.

Campaigners stayed at the budget meeting for around an hour,
before waiting outside, asking councillors to sign their petition
as they left.

A spokesman for the Save Cwmcarn group said that around 20 members
signed the petition, while chief executive Anthony O'Sullivan
stopped to chat to protesters, although he told them he was unable
to add his name because of his position.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Razing of Fibro Buildings in Huskisson Underway
----------------------------------------------------------------
John Hanscombe of The South Coast Register reports that two
derelict asbestos buildings in Huskisson were scheduled to be
removed on Tuesday, March 5.

This follows a protracted campaign by local residents that has
been running for almost three years.

David Rod, who represents Casisea Pty Ltd, the owner of the
cottages, said builders were due on site March 5 to begin the
demolition.

The length of time it has taken to have the buildings removed
contrasts starkly with the almost immediate response to the
asbestos danger in Kiama after several homes were destroyed during
the recent tornado.

As of March 4, the site remained unsecured, with no fence in place
in place to keep out vandals, who have progressively wrecked the
buildings, scattering their asbestos cladding over the site.

A sign warning of the asbestos danger sits at the front of the
block.

Shoalhaven City Council's director of Development Services, Tim
Fletcher, said Casisea Pty Ltd had given an undertaking to have
the site cleared of asbestos by Friday, March 8.

"If it's not done the matter is set to go back before the court,
where court orders and costs will be sought by council."

Mr. Fletcher said the time taken to have the matter resolved was
due to the changing ownership of the land and the fact the current
owners were based overseas.

He said he was unaware the site had not been secured by a fence.
"I haven't looked at it recently," he said.

Mr. Fletcher said the quick Kiama cleanup was due to the co-
operation of property owners.

Gary Kelson, chairman of the Huskisson Woollamia Community Voice,
said residents were concerned by the lack of action so far.

"We had an onsite rally before the election which [Shoalhaven
Mayor] Joanna Gash attended.  She said then she couldn't
understand why it had taken so long to resolve the issue.

"We have continued to raise the issue and the response was always
that it's really difficult because there are overseas owners.

"We're hopeful that with the time that's already elapsed.  We are
most anxious that something is done -- even if it's to get some
security of the site."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EUR1.35 MM From EEA Aids Amiantos Mine Rehab
-------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Stevenson of The Cyprus Mail reports that until the 1990s,
the pretty drive up to the Troodos mountains was always marred by
the grey, barren hillside scar at Amiantos, the price of 84 years
of asbestos mining there.

Even now, 21 years after the state first announced plans to
reforest the area, the damage caused to the landscape is clearly
visible.

The asbestos mine in Amiantos opened in 1904 and closed in 1988
after financial difficulties, and by 1992 its license was revoked.

It is estimated that in the 1930s around 6,000 people were
employed there.

State-funded rejuvenation works have not been sufficiently
generous to fully restore the area, so a large chunk of the
project has been financed by the European Economic Area (EEA)
grant fund.  Last month a further agreement was signed between the
planning bureau and the forestry department for the financing of a
biodiversity conservation project.  The EEA grants will provide
84.3 per cent of the total project budget of EUR1.35 million, with
the government contributing the rest.

Chief Forest Officer, Marios Christodoulou said the project aimed
to establish at the lowest possible cost, a stable, self-
maintained forest ecosystem with features similar to that of the
neighboring forest.

"This will then help to cover certain exposed surfaces that are
potential sources of asbestos fibers being released into the air,
to conserve catchment and to restore the initial potential uses of
the area and its aesthetic and other environmental values as much
as possible," he said.

He explained that the project will begin with the appointment of
the project management team, which will require two experts, one
in hydro-seeding and a second in mine restoration who will
evaluate current restoration techniques, train personnel and
submit technical reports.  They will help evaluate and improve the
current mine restoration techniques.

Christodoulou added that a biodiversity workshop will be organized
in the second year during which experts from different fields will
present practical ways for integrating wildlife.

Plans are in place for an artificial pond with a capacity of
between 30 and 40 thousand cubic meters to be created to meet
irrigation, aesthetic and wildlife needs in the landscaping of the
mine core.  Some direct measures to favor wildlife are also
planned such as the installation of artificial bird nests,
provision of water and feeding points, improvement of bat refuges
and the construction of stonewalls.

The restoration of an area of 14 hectares around the mine core is
planned.  This includes the stabilization and reshaping of waste
heaps, transporting and covering it with natural topsoil, ground
preparation, planting and sowing.

The dangerous nature of asbestos makes mine restoration even more
pressing, said Christodoulou.

"The surface of the mine is occupied by asbestos wastes and rock
fronts, which are potential sources of airborne asbestos fibers,
and therefore they should be covered to reduce fibers being
released in the air," he explained.

"The mine is also part of the Troodos National Forest Park with
the highest recreational and tourist value on the island.  It is
also part of a very important watershed, which flows into the
biggest water dam in Cyprus, whose water is used mostly for
domestic purposes," he said.

When work first began on the rehabilitation project in 1995, the
main focus was to ensure harmful minerals were no longer released
into the atmosphere.

No time target was set even though it was highly desirable to
complete the task the soonest possible according to Christodoulou.

"With the knowledge that asbestos is unsafe, our first efforts
were to make sure no harm could come to the public first and then
to the environment," he said.  "Bearing that in mind, initial work
that was carried out ensured people's safety, first and foremost."

It was also a political commitment to neighboring communities, to
give first priority to the stabilization of waste tips.  These,
under certain circumstances could endanger lives and properties
downstream, especially at the village of Amiantos situated only
one kilometer from the lower edge of the mine.

The rehabilitation program is progressing well according to
Christodoulou who said roughly 125 hectares has already been
reforested.

He explained that there are some major problems that management
has to deal with in the near future though.
"Plant germinability and growth on steep sites is not sufficient
and in many cases this contributes to continuous erosion and
further decline of the site's fertility," he said.  The total
volume of topsoil required for the whole mine is huge, two million
cubic meters, and it is questionable if such a quantity can be
found in the next 10-15 years at a reasonable cost, he said.

"Unfortunately no evaluation of the success of certain
reforestation and re-vegetation techniques was made, making the
cost is too high," Christodoulou said.

One major addition to the area over the last ten years has been
the Botanical Garden situated on the borders of the old asbestos
mine of Amiantos, just a short drive off the main Nicosia-Troodos
road.

The garden, named after the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation for
their financial contribution to the project, has proved a popular
tourist attraction.

"The main objectives of the Troodos Botanical Garden are to
contribute to environmental education and enlightening of the
public, by providing opportunities for recreation, research on
flora and plant communities and the preservation and protection of
endangered plants species," Christodoulou said.

The garden includes both indigenous and selected exotic and
cultivated plants of the region.  When finished, the garden will
host around 500 different plant species.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dr. Levenstein to Speak in ADAO's 2013 Summit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The internationally accredited Asbestos Disease Awareness
Organization (ADAO) convenes March 22-24, 2013, in Washington, DC,
for its ninth consecutive annual summit, this year emphasizing
"The Asbestos Crisis: New Trends in Prevention and Treatment."

Among the distinguished roster of speakers is professor, scholar
and author Dr. Charles Levenstein, whose slated presentation is
entitled "Lessons Learned from AHERA: Asbestos Management in
Schools."  Dr. Levenstein, with Madeleine Scammel, has just
completed editing The Toxic Schoolhouse, upon which the subject of
his ADAO session will center.

Dr. Levenstein is Professor Emeritus of Work Environment Policy at
The University of Massachusetts Lowell.  He holds a Ph.D. in
Economics from M.I.T. and a Master's degree in Physiology and
Occupational Health from Harvard School of Public Health.  He is
Editor Emeritus of New Solutions Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Health Policy and author of numerous articles in
peer-reviewed journals, as well as several books including The
Cotton Dust Papers (with G. DeLaurier and M.L. Dunn), the story of
the 50-year struggle for U.S. recognition of the pernicious
occupational diseases, such as mesothelioma, caused by asbestos
exposure -- despite acknowledgment of its devastation for nearly a
century.

CEO and ADAO co-founder Linda Reinstein notes that the United
States has yet to ban the use of asbestos, though she has
repeatedly urged congressional and OSHA (Occupational Safety and
Health Administration) leaders to support pending legislation
demanding a complete domestic ban.  "Clearly, one life lost to
lung disease is tragic, but hundreds of thousands of lives lost is
unconscionable," she says.  "OSHA has the opportunity -- and the
responsibility -- to protect Americans from these preventable
diseases."

After nine years of hard work by countless volunteers, sponsors,
supporters, and Reinstein herself, ADAO is now the largest
independent anti-asbestos organization in the United States.
National mesothelioma law firm Baron & Budd, platinum sponsor of
ADAO for the second year consecutively, has been committed for
over 35 years to 'Protecting What's Right' for those affected by
asbestos exposure.  In tandem with ADAO, Baron & Budd's
mesothelioma lawyers are devoted to consistent progress in patient
advocacy, treatment and prevention, medical advancements such as
early diagnostic breakthroughs, and a ban on asbestos use.

For more on ADAO and to learn more about the ninth annual
conference, visit http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

If someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, learn
about your options at http://www.mesotheliomanews.com,an
independent online forum sponsored by Baron & Budd.

                   About Baron & Budd, P.C.

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


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Dump Site Near McLellans Brook Proposed
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Power of The Herald Business Reporter (Can) reports that a
Pictou County firm is moving into the approvals process for a
proposed asbestos waste-management site.

Marinus Verhagen Enterprises Ltd. of New Glasgow has registered
the proposed site near McLellans Brook for an environmental
assessment, as required under the provincial Environment Act.

Project documents obtained Monday, March 4, indicate a wide
variety of studies are either completed or underway, including a
botanical survey, an analysis of wildlife and habitats and a water
survey.

The company wants to locate the asbestos waste-management site
adjacent to its existing construction and demolition waste
disposal site in McLellans Brook.

"Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2013, with
commissioning by mid-2013," said a project description on file
with the Environment Department.

Documents note the environment minister can decide on or before
April 22 if the project can be granted conditional environmental
assessment approval.  A notice indicates public comments will be
accepted until March 31.

W. G. Shaw & Associates Ltd., consulting geoscientists, conducted
water monitoring at the site last year.  The study noted the
closest water supply wells to the property are 500 to 1,000 meters
northwest of the facility.

"These wells are up-gradient from the site and are not considered
to be at risk of adverse affects," said the W. G. Shaw study.

The likelihood of disturbing significant archeological resources
at the approximately one-hectare site was ruled out in an
assessment Davis MacIntyre & Associates Ltd. filed.

"It is likely that a few residences were demolished when the
Trans-Canada Highway was constructed, but there is no indication
of historic period settlement with the study area," said the Davis
MacIntyre study.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Former Filtrona UK Worker Seeks Peers' Help
------------------------------------------------------------
The Shields Gazette reports that a former factory worker fears her
health has suffered as a result of the conditions she used to work
in.

Sandra Anne Peterson, nee Raine, from South Shields, was diagnosed
with asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in April last year.

The 57-year-old believes she was exposed to the deadly dust as a
teenager working at Filtrona UK and Plessy's in the 1970s.

She is now appealing for ex-colleagues to come forward, and help
identify how she came into contact with asbestos.

Mrs. Peterson said: "It is absolutely heartbreaking to think my
illness may have been caused by working at these factories when I
was a teenager.

"I was completely unaware of how dangerous asbestos could be back
then."  The grandmother-of-three has joined forces with specialist
lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the working conditions
she endured.

She worked for Filtrona UK on the Bede Industrial Estate, South
Shields, from 1973 to 1975, and was responsible for making paper
cigarette filters.

She believes the 'slurry', or coating, used in the manufacturing
process contained asbestos fibers.

"The job was really dirty, and my overalls, face and hands got
covered in fine, black dust -- it even got up my nose and in my
hair," she said.

"I believe it contained the asbestos fibers which have made me
sick."

She also believes asbestos was commonly used to insulate
electrical components at Plessy's in Eldon Street, South Shields,
where she worked from 1975 to 1976.

Before she fell ill, Mrs. Peterson used to enjoy swimming, Zumba
classes, riding her bike and walking holidays in the Lake
District.  Now she struggles to walk, and needs help from her
husband with jobs around the house.

Roger Maddocks, a partner in the industrial illness team at Irwin
Mitchell's Newcastle office, said:  "Asbestos-related diseases are
the biggest occupational killer of all time, and it can take
decades for victims like Sandra to develop debilitating conditions
which really impact on their quality of life.

"Sandra and her family are still coming to terms with the sad news
she will never recover from this terrible illness, caused by
simply going to work at these factories some 40 years ago when she
was a teenager.

"It's important that we speak to her ex-colleagues from Filtrona
and Plessy's, who may be able to shed light on how the factories
used asbestos and the working conditions she endured, so that we
can get her the justice she deserves."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Columbiana Starts Welfare Office Abatement Plan
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Giambroni at Salem News reports that efforts to demolish the
former county welfare office building received a boost after bids
for asbestos removal came in well under estimates.

The four bids from contractors received by Columbiana County
commissioners at Wednesday's (Feb. 27) meeting ranged from $24,460
to $40,600 -- well below the $60,000-to-$85,000 they were told it
would cost to remove and dispose of asbestos from the building.

"It looks very favorable," said Commissioner Jim Hoppel, after
they voted to review the bids before making a decision.

Commissioners are considering demolishing county Annex No. 1
building on Nelson Avenue, which housed the county Department of
Job and Family Services until the JFS moved into the new county
government services building last April.

After deciding to go forward with the demolition, commissioners
canceled the project when learning it would likely cost $250,000,
due in part to the asbestos remediation expense.  They changed
their mind again and decided to proceed in stages, doing the
asbestos removal and disposal first.

In other action at the meeting, commissioners approved the
annexation of 86 acres from Fairfield Township into the city of
Columbiana.  The property is owned by the city and is where the
80-year-old municipal water treatment plant is located.
Columbiana wanted the property annexed into the city before it
undertook a major upgrade of the plant.

A commission meeting was scheduled at 9 a.m. on March 6.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: $35M Verdict Ruled Against Crane Co., et al.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gavin Broady of Law360 reports that a New York state jury on
Monday, March 4, awarded a $35 million verdict to an asbestos
remover who died of mesothelioma after Crane Co. and others
allegedly failed to warn him about the dangers of their asbestos-
containing products.

The jury returned its verdict in favor of Ivo "John" Peraica, who
was diagnosed with mesothelioma following a career spent removing
asbestos from boilers, and who died in December on the eve of his
trial, according to plaintiff's counsel Weitz & Luxenberg.

Crane was found liable for 15 percent.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lung Cancer on Non-Smoking Women on The Rise
-------------------------------------------------------------
According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer was the
leading cause of cancer deaths among women in 2012.  At a massive
toll of 72,590 female lives, the number is nearly twice that
attributed to breast cancer.  Over the last 33 years, the rate of
new lung cancer cases has surged 106 percent for women, compared
to a drop of 22 percent in men.  Moreover, a Boston University
Department of Medicine study reports lung cancer is on the rise
for women who have never smoked (Never Smoker Lung Cancer, January
24, 2013).

Heather Wakelee, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford
Cancer Institute, says, "A number of environmental pollutants and
occupational exposures, including asbestos, are thought to cause
cancer in never-smokers, but these links have not been
unquestionably proven.  Eventually showing which factors increase
the chances of never-smokers developing lung cancer will allow
doctors to understand, at a molecular level, how the cancer
works."  And this, Wakelee hopes, will lead to new treatment
options.

Stubborn to early detection, asbestos lung cancer, emphatically
mesothelioma, may be caused by even one brief exposure to asbestos
dust.  It then develops slowly, undetected, sometimes over many
decades.  Inhalation that occurred half a century before may
eventually evolve into a life-threatening disease with severe
symptoms appearing out of thin air -- especially when combined
with a history of smoking.  It is undeniably proven that tobacco
smoking and asbestos have a synergistic effect on the formation of
lung cancer.

Most women will consult a doctor for a lump in the breast, about a
third for abnormal bleeding; but for a cough that lasts longer
than three weeks only 10 percent will go for a checkup, notes a
Department of Health survey.  Even then, a persistent cough is
often passed off as bronchial or allergy-related.

The good news: Since 2010, preventive lung cancer screenings first
conducted by the National Lung Screening Trial, have offered a
potential reduction of lung cancer deaths by perhaps 20 percent.
Lung cancer CT scans are more widely offered by an increasing
number of organizations and are urgently recommended for anyone
who believes s/he may have been exposed to asbestos in any form.

More good news: Patients afflicted with mesothelioma and other
asbestos-related diseases have found a defender in the
internationally accredited Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
(ADAO), the largest independent non-profit organization advocating
for medical research and mesothelioma treatment.  ADAO, whose
ninth international conference is scheduled March 22-24 in
Washington, DC, is devoted to spreading awareness through
education while demanding a global ban of the lethal carcinogen.
Many Americans are unaware that asbestos is still used in the
United States.  ADAO persistently lobbies for Congress and other
governmental regulatory agencies to stop domestic asbestos
importation and use.

The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd is a major supporter
of ADAO's mission to promote both urgent research and a worldwide
asbestos ban, having pledged platinum sponsorship for the second
year consecutively.  For over 35 years, Baron and Budd's
mesothelioma attorneys have fought to protect the rights of
mesothelioma patients and put an end to negligent practices of
asbestos companies.

For more on ADAO and to learn more about the ninth annual
conference, visit http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

If someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, learn
more about your options at http://www.mesotheliomanews.com,an
independent online forum sponsored by Baron & Budd.

                   About Baron & Budd, P.C.

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


                           *********

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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania,
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C., USA. Noemi Irene
A. Adala, Joy A. Agravante, Valerie Udtuhan, Julie Anne L. Toledo,
Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and Peter A. Chapman,
Editors.

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $775 for six months delivered via
e-mail. Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each. For subscription information, contact
Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000 or Nina Novak at 202-241-8200.



                 * * *  End of Transmission  * * *