CAR_Public/130510.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Friday, May 10, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 92

                             Headlines


ALP LIQUIDATING: "Rothal" Class Suit Remains Pending in Florida
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA: NLSA Gets $55,000 Share From Settlement
ARIZONA: Class Suit Over Ineffective Bilingual Programs Resolved
BCE INC: Cassel Brock Discusses Securities Class Action Ruling
CARGILL INC: Recalls Showmaster(R) S-Series Show Lamb Feed

CENTURY ALUMINUM: Reached Deal to Settle Retiree Benefits Suit
CENTURY ALUMINUM: Stockholders Plead for Rehearing En Banc
CODA AUTOMOTIVE: Former Employee Files WARN Class Action
EBIX INC: Parties in Securities Suit to Move to Discovery Phase
EMERALD GRAIN: Farmers Launch Class Action Over Pool Returns

FALCONSTOR SOFTWARE: Has Yet to File Suit Settlement Documents
FIRST DATA: Awaits Ruling on Bid for Rehearing in Antitrust Suit
FIRST FINANCIAL: Faces Merger-Related Class Suit in Delaware
FIRST FRANKLIN: 9th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling
FREDERICK'S OF HOLLYWOOD: Defends "Harvey-Smith" Suit in Calif.

FREDERICK'S OF HOLLYWOOD: In Mediation to Settle "Weber" Suit
GOOGLE INC: Students File Class Action Over Email Snooping
GULF RESOURCES: Continues to Defend "Lewy" Suit in California
HEALTHMARKETS INC: Massachusetts Suit Settlement Approved in Dec.
HECKMANN CORP: Bid to Certify Class in Securities Suit Pending

HEMISPHERX BIOPHARMA: Awaits Decision in "Frater" Class Suit
HEMISPHERX BIOPHARMA: Faces Class Action Suit in Pennsylvania
IIROC: De Grandpre Chait Law Firm to File Privacy Class Action
IMAX CORP: Cassel Brock Discusses Ontario Court Ruling
MACQUARIE BANK: Settles Storm Financial Class Action for AUD82.5MM

MANNKIND CORP: Consolidated Securities Suit Now Concluded
MINNESOTA: Seeks Dismissal of Drivers' License Class Action
MOLYCORP INC: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Dismiss Securities Suit
MPG OFFICE: Shareholders File Class Action Over Buyout
NATIONAL WESTERN: Continues to Defend Deferred Annuities Suit

NOVA SCOTIA HOME: N.S. Gov't Accused of Wiping Out Abuse Evidence
OUTDOOR CHANNEL: Suits Over Merger With InterMedia Now Moot
P.E. & F.: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
PARTNER COMMS: Unit Faces Consumer Class Suit in Haifa
PARTNER COMMS: Awaits Decision in Consumer Class Suit

PARTNER COMMS: Awaits OK of Deal in Suit Over Charges
PARTNER COMMS: Awaits OK of Accord in Spam Law Violation Suit
PARTNER COMMS: Awaits Ruling in Phone Accessories Suit
PARTNER COMMS: Awaits Ruling in Suit Over Quality Issues
PARTNER COMMS: Awaits Ruling in Suit Over SMS Services

PARTNER COMMS: Continues to Defend Suit Over VAT Charges
PARTNER COMMS: Deal in Suit vs. 012 Revised in March
PARTNER COMMS: Defends 012 in Suit Over Unified Tariff
PARTNER COMMS: Defends Class Suit Over Unused Minutes
PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suit by Pre-Paid Subscribers

PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suit Over 12-Second Charges
PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suit Over Tethering Function
PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suits Over Environmental Claims
PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suits Over Health Effects of RF
PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suits Over Monetary Refunds

PARTNER COMMS: Defends Unit in Suit Over Ads on Tariff
PARTNER COMMS: Dismissal of Rounding Up Suit Appealed
PARTNER COMMS: Implements Terms of Suit Settlement
PARTNER COMMS: Issue on Wireless Access Devices Pending
PARTNER COMMS: Parties Signed Revised Deal in March

PARTNER COMMS: Suit Over 3G Network Sites Dismissed
PARTNER COMMS: Tel-Aviv Court Certified Class in March
POWERCOR: 21 People Join Class Action Over 2009 Bushfire
PRESRITE CORP: Settles EEOC Class Action for $700,000
PROSPER MARKETPLACE: Summary Judgment Bid Denied in January

SPRINGLEAF FINANCE: Settlement Funds in "King" Suit Distributed
STAFFING NETWORK: Temporary Workers File Class Action
STERICYCLE INC: Faces Class Action Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
SWISHER HYGIENE: Still Defends Shareholder MDL in North Carolina
TIBOR'S GOURMET: Recalls 200 Lbs. of RTE Smoked Pork Sausages

TRANSNET: Court Ruling on Pensioners' Class Action May Hit Rating
TRICO BANCSHARES: Reached $2.5-Mil. Tentative Class Suit Deal
UNIVERSAL MUSIC: Continues to Fight Digital Royalty Class Action
VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD: Municipal Officials Deposed in Class Action
VOLKSWAGEN AG: Judge Tosses Class Action Over Recorded Calls

ZUMIEZ INC: Faces "Steele" Employee Class Suit in California

* 64% of Big Banks Require Mandatory Binding Arbitration
* Customers in Suit Over Bank Fees Set to File Claims by May-End
* Idaho Inmate Accused of Running Class Action Scheme


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Appeals Court Remands Melendrez PI Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CSX Corp. Has $311MM Reserve for PI Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Pacific Had $136MM Liability at March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Honeywell Int'l Had $41MM Charge for PI Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Yarway Corp. Shields Parent from Fibro Claims

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Senate Bill 404 Aims to Remove Double Dip Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ct. Finds UCC's 20-Year Old Evidence Insufficient
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co.'s Bid for Summary Judgment Denied
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Denies Bids to Dismiss "Meyer" Action
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Won't Disrupt Lithgow SES Operations

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Removal in North Chicago Deemed Improper
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Scare at Eden Pre-School
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Waste Workers Met With Law Firms Over Fibro Fears
ASBESTOS UPDATE: McLellan Brook Residents Fear Facility Risks
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Advocate Max Baucus to Leave U.S. Senate

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Former Pressed Steel Worker Dies of Mesothelioma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Employees Directed to Pay Meso Survivor
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Thai Ministry Doesn't Recognize Harm in Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Removal, Demolition Contracts for Coultrap OK'd
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contractor Fights B.C. Public Works Over Exposure

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Queensland Says $12.3MM Not Enough for Cleanup
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro to be Removed After Blaze in Primary School
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Retired Gas & Heating Engineer Dies of Asbestosis
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NZ Workshop Tackles Asbestos-Related Diseases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Remains Major Workplace Hazard

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dust Removal in Final Stage at Federal Building
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Prince Albert Ahead of Fibro Reporting Curve
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso Rates Steady Despite Declining Fibro Use
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Clean Up to Begin on Aboyne Site
ASBESTOS UPDATE: U.N. Chemicals Summit to Adopt New Controls

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Family Seeks Help From Meso Victim's Colleagues
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Baron and Budd Observes Major Milestone in Libby
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Center Urges Victim to Call for Proven Results
ASBESTOS UPDATE: City of Casper Cited for Fibro Testing
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Newcastle Housing Bosses Reported for Fibro

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Extension Granted to Burned-out Key Largo Casino
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Northville Township OKs Budget for Fibro Removal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bids for Contaminated Billings Bldg. Top $1.9MM
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Russia Urges Thailand to Rethink Proposed Ban
ASBESTOS UPDATE: On-Site Detector Promises Better Workplace Safety

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Delays in West Australia Bldg.'s Fibro Clean-up
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Estimation Still Under Advisement in Pa. Court
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carpenter Dies of Occupational Mesothelioma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Woman Dies of Meso for Washing Husband's Overall
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Failure to Remove Fibro in Demolition on the Rise

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Airport Link Re-Opens After Asbestos Spill
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crippled Veteran Fears Fibro Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Symptoms Usually Expressed at 50s
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Navy Sailor Dies of Asbestos-Related Cancer
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victims Blame Insurers for "Insulting" Payouts


                             *********


ALP LIQUIDATING: "Rothal" Class Suit Remains Pending in Florida
---------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit styled Rothal v. Arvida/JMB Partners
Ltd., et al., remains pending in Florida, according to ALP
Liquidating Trust's March 19, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2012.

On September 30, 2005, Arvida/JMB Partners, L.P. (the
"Partnership") completed its liquidation by contributing all of
its remaining assets to ALP Liquidating Trust ("ALP"), subject to
all of the Partnership's obligations and liabilities.  Arvida
Company ("Arvida"), an affiliate of the former general partner of
the Partnership, acts as Administrator (the "Administrator") of
ALP.  Arvida/JMB Managers, Inc., is the former General Partner of
the Partnership.

The Partnership, the General Partner and certain related parties
as well as other unrelated parties have been named defendants in
an action entitled Rothal v. Arvida/JMB Partners Ltd. et al., Case
No. 03-10709 CACE 12, filed in the Circuit Court of the 17th
Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida.  In this
lawsuit that was originally filed on or about June 20, 2003, the
plaintiffs purport to bring a class action allegedly arising out
of construction defects occurring during the development of
Camellia Island in Weston, which has approximately 150 homes.  On
May 9, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a nine count second amended
complaint seeking unspecified general damages, special damages,
statutory damages, prejudgment and post-judgment interest, costs,
attorneys' fees, and such other relief as the court may deem just
and proper.  The Plaintiffs complain, among other things, that the
homes were not adequately built, that the homes were not built in
conformity with the South Florida Building Code and plans on file
with Broward County, Florida, that the roofs were not properly
attached or were inadequate, that the truss systems and
installation thereof were improper, and that the homes suffer from
improper shutter storm protection systems.  The Plaintiffs have
filed a motion to expand the class to include other homes in
Weston.  The motion to expand the class was denied.

The case went to mediation on March 11, 2010.  The case did not
settle.  The Arvida defendants have filed their answer to the
amended complaint.  The Arvida defendants believe that they have
meritorious defenses and intend to vigorously defend themselves.
The court concluded its hearings on the motion to certify the
class covering the homes in Camellia Island and certified the
class by order dated September 16, 2010.  On October 15, 2010, the
Partnership filed its notice of appeal challenging the
certification order.  On June 1, 2011, the appellate court
affirmed the trial court's order certifying the class.  The case
has been returned to the trial court for further proceedings
including trial.  The defense of the case is proceeding.

The Partnership intends to vigorously defend itself.  The
Partnership is not able to determine what, if any, loss exposure
that it may have for this matter.  This case has been tendered to
one of the Partnership's insurance carriers, Zurich American
Insurance Company (together with its affiliates collectively,
"Zurich"), for defense and indemnity.  Zurich is providing a
defense of this matter under a purported reservation of rights.
The Partnership has also engaged other counsel in connection with
this lawsuit.  The ultimate legal and financial liability of the
Partnership, if any, in this matter cannot be estimated with
certainty at this time.  The Partnership is unable to determine
the ultimate portion of the expenses, fees and damages, if any,
which will be covered by its insurance.

ALP Liquidating Trust was organized in Delaware and is
headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.  ALP is the liquidating trust
of Arvida/JMB Partners, L.P.


ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA: NLSA Gets $55,000 Share From Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Neighborhood Legal Services Association on May 2 disclosed that it
received more than $55,000 as a result of unclaimed funds from the
Allegheny County strip search class action settlement.

Robert N. Peirce III presented the check at the nonprofit's
downtown headquarters to NLSA Board President Carol Mills McCarthy
and the organization's Executive Director Robert Racunas.  NLSA is
a non-profit, public interest law firm providing civil legal
representation to residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and
Lawrence Counties who, for a variety of reasons, would otherwise
not have access to legal services.  For more than 47 years, NLSA
has been serving thousands of individuals and families in the
Pittsburgh region, with the mission to ensure equal access to
justice for all residents of the area.

"When people have been treated unjustly, lawsuits serve not only
to secure compensation for the victims but also to make sure that
the injustice doesn't continue," said Robert N. Peirce III, whose
firm, Robert Peirce & Associates, served as class counsel in the
case.  "In this case, we have not only achieved justice for our
clients and changed practices at the county jail, but we have been
able to use the settlement to help the low-income and vulnerable
individuals who are clients of NLSA fight for their rights."

NLSA offers free legal services for individuals and families who
may otherwise be unable to achieve civil justice because of an
inability to pay for an attorney. Many of NLSA's clients include
low-wage earners, victims of domestic violence, disabled
individuals, abused seniors, and the homeless.

The Strip Search class action lawsuit was filed against Allegheny
County on behalf of plaintiffs in Allegheny County who had been
arrested between July 13, 2004 and March 18, 2008 on charges of
minor offenses, such as misdemeanors, failure to pay child
support, and traffic infractions.  Individuals were strip searched
upon arrival at the Allegheny County Jail even though authorities
had no reasonable suspicion that individuals were carrying illicit
materials into the jail.

Plaintiffs argued that the strip search violated their protection
from unreasonable search as stated in the Fourth Amendment to the
United States Constitution.

The case was settled out of court, with $3 million awarded to the
plaintiffs.  Approximately 90 of the 1,660 claimants did not cash
their settlement checks, resulting in residual funds remaining of
more than $55,000.  The attorneys representing the class action
victims recommended that the funds be donated to NLSA, which was
approved by Judge Terrence McVerry.

As part of the settlement, the Allegheny County Jail agreed to
alter its practices to avoid illegal strip searches of those who
are accused of minor misdemeanors.

The class action plaintiffs were represented by attorneys from
Robert Peirce & Associates, Pittsburgh, PA; The Law Offices of
Elmer Robert Keach, III, P.C., Amsterdam, NY; Levin, Fishbein,
Sedran & Berman, Philadelphia, PA; Mason, LLP, Washington D.C.;
and Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP, Washington, D.C.

The donation of residual settlement funds from the strip search
case allows NLSA to sustain its mission of providing civil legal
aid to individuals who have nowhere else to turn when facing an
urgent legal crisis.  Every year, approximately 24,000 individuals
turn to NLSA with civil legal problems affecting life's most basic
needs -- health, housing, employment and personal safety.


ARIZONA: Class Suit Over Ineffective Bilingual Programs Resolved
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rosalie Porter, writing for Washington Times, reports that what
may be one of the longest lawsuits in Arizona history has finally
been resolved, to the benefit of Arizona's schoolchildren and for
the financial well-being of the state.

Flores v. Arizona began in 1992, when the Arizona Justice
Institute filed a class-action suit against the state on behalf of
Miriam Flores and other parents with Spanish-speaking children in
the Nogales schools.  They alleged that the district was not
spending enough on programs to help children learn English.  At
that time, plaintiffs' suit was justified.

On Jan. 24, 2000, the Arizona Center for Law in the Public
Interest, representing Ms. Flores, won the case for the
plaintiffs.  Judge Alfredo Marques ruled that the state must spend
more on programs for "English learners," children who start school
with limited English.

Education funding is a complex mix of federal, state and local
moneys, sometimes targeted for certain groups, sometimes
overlapping, sometimes inadequate.  School administrators tiptoe
carefully through competing boundaries to gather sufficient
resources to educate every child in every classroom, a daunting
task.

Ms. Porter said "My involvement with Nogales, a working-class city
near the Mexican border, began in 2001 when the READ Institute was
commissioned to do a cost study, comparing Nogales with other
districts in Arizona and elsewhere.  We reported on per-pupil
funding and results in student achievement over time. Nogales
schools were improving measurably, and state funding for English
learners was increasing, but very slowly."

In 2000, 63 percent of Arizona voters approved ending the largely
ineffective bilingual programs and requiring special English
teaching instead.  No longer would children that don't speaking
English be obliged to spend years being taught in their native
language.  English-language help is now provided from the first
day of school.

This legal change and the Flores lawsuit wrought a dramatic
overhaul in Arizona education policy.  How these changes in
curriculum, teaching and accountability came about is best
described in Arizona educator Johanna Haver's new book, "English
for the Children: Mandated by the People, Skewed by the
Politicians and Special Interests."

Improvement in English-learner achievement in Arizona provides an
essential lesson for school districts across the country.  English
learners number 5 million and constitute the fastest-growing group
of students in U.S. public schools.  English learners in Nogales
and other districts learn English in an average of two years, not
the three to six years that these children would have spent in
bilingual classrooms.  Inclusion in regular classrooms with
English speakers has social as well as academic benefits.  Once
they master English, this group scores as high as, or higher, on
state tests of reading, writing and math as all other students in
the state -- an immense satisfaction for teachers and parents.

One assumes that by documenting higher spending and greater
success for students, the case would end.  Not so.  The impulse to
right a wrong morphed into an unwillingness to let go, ignoring
the good results.  The U.S. Supreme Court took up the case,
handing down a ruling in June 2009 favoring the state of Arizona.
In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. declared
the legal standard to be "the quality of education programming and
services provided to students, not the amount of money spent on
them."  Justice Stephen G. Breyer affirmed "the rights of Spanish-
speaking students attending public school near the Mexican border,
to learn English in order to live their lives in a country where
English is the predominant language."

The court remanded the case to district court for dismissal, but
plaintiffs then put forth new complaints: The schools spend too
much time teaching English, more districts should be part of this
case, and the new "4-Hour Model" program producing success is too
segregative.  Ms. Poster said "Never in my three decades in public
education have I heard of a state being criticized for doing too
much good, demanding that less be done."

Ms. Flores continued to require Arizona to spend time, energy and
money to defend itself in court.  Ms. Porter said "In 2011, I
testified as an expert witness on behalf of the state.  A ruling
was expected in early 2012, but the fatal shooting of a federal
judge attending Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' event in Tucson caused
delays."

On March 29, Judge Raner Collins handed down a decision bringing
joy to many who suffered through Flores: closure for Arizona
educators.  The judge denied the attempt to broaden the case;
ruled that grouping students by proficiency is not segregation;
confirmed that the success of any educational initiative is the
level of student achievement, not the amount of money spent; and
lastly, ordered that "the clerk shall enter judgment in favor of
defendants and close its file in this matter."

Justice prevails at last, according the people of Arizona relief
from a burden of two decades.  Ms. Poster said "In my professional
opinion, Arizona schools are doing more and better than most other
states for students that don't speak English."


BCE INC: Cassel Brock Discusses Securities Class Action Ruling
--------------------------------------------------------------
Robert B. Cohen, Esq., at Cassel Brock Lawyers, reports that in
the recent ruling of 1654776 Ontario Limited v. Stewart, 2013 ONCA
184, the Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal of a
party who was seeking disclosure of the identities of a
journalist's confidential sources in order to support a proposed
class action by that party against BCE Inc. and others under the
secondary market disclosure regime of the Securities Act.  In so
doing, the Court of Appeal has not only struck a blow to the
prosecution of the putative class action, it has also resuscitated
the fragile "journalist-source" privilege asserted by members of
the press.

For the most part, journalists have sought to assert "journalist-
source" privilege in the context of responding to subpoenas in
both civil and criminal trials, in which case they run the risk of
being found in contempt of court and jailed for refusing to
disclose their confidential sources.  In this case, however, the
applicant had sought a "Norwich order" against the respondent,
Sinclair Stewart, a reporter for The Globe and Mail, to require
Mr. Stewart to disclose the names of the confidential sources used
by him to report on the troubled negotiations pertaining to the
takeover of BCE Inc. in June of 2008.  More specifically, the
applicant was seeking an Order requiring Mr. Stewart to disclose
the identities of the anonymous executives who were referenced in
his newspaper article and who were involved in these negotiations,
it being the applicant's intention to then name these executives
and pursue them in the proposed class action involving allegations
of and corresponding liability for non-compliance with the ongoing
disclosure requirements of the Securities Act.

In considering whether to uphold "journalist-source" privilege and
deny the request for the "Norwich order", the appellate court had
to consider both the legal test for a "Norwich order" and the
"Wigmore analysis" of privilege.  In terms of the legal test for
seeking a "Norwich order", the applicant had to first demonstrate
that:

    * it had a valid, bona fide, or reasonable claim;
    * the respondents were somehow involved in the acts
      complained of;
    * the respondents were the only practical source of
      the information;
    * the respondents could be indemnified for any costs of
      the disclosure; and
    * the interests of justice favored the obtaining of
      disclosure.

The Court of Appeal recognized that the fifth factor, the
"interest of justice", was a broad factor that would encompass the
interests of each of the applicant, the respondent, the alleged
wrongdoer and the administration of justice at large.  The court
also noted that "the interests of the respondent and the greater
public interest sweep in their claim of journalist-source
privilege" such that the privilege claim had to be determined by
application of the Wigmore test, and in this way, the Norwich and
Wigmore tests intersected.

In terms of the "Wigmore analysis" for establishing "journalist-
source" privilege, the court set out the basic principles for
establishing such privilege as follows:

    * the communication had to originate in confidence on
      the basis that the source's identity would not be disclosed;
    * anonymity was essential to the relationship in which the
      communication arose;
    * the relationship was one which should be sedulously
      fostered in the public interest; and
    * the public interest served by protecting the identity of
      the source outweighed the public interest in getting at
      the truth.

In applying this analysis to the facts of this case, the Court of
Appeal stated that the public interest in a free press is clear
and, more specifically, "the public has an interest in being
informed about matters of importance that may only see the light
of day through the cooperation of sources who will not speak
except on the condition of confidentiality".  On the other hand,
the Court of Appeal also recognized the applicant's argument that
the proposed class action and the identification of alleged
wrongdoers would likewise serve the public interest by promoting
compliance with the continuous disclosure regime of the Securities
Act.  Ultimately, however, the appellate court held that the lack
of evidence submitted by the applicant to show that the statements
made by the confidential sources to Mr. Stewart were false or
materially misleading led the court to conclude that the
applicant's proposed class action against these sources was not
likely to be successful, which tipped the scales in favor of
upholding the journalist-source privilege and denying the
applicant's request for a "Norwich order".

Members of the press should continue to be wary in terms of the
sanctity of the journalist-source privilege despite this ruling.
In fact, the Court of Appeal warned that the privilege may have
been snubbed had the strength of the applicant's case against the
confidential sources been more compelling.  In short, the court
continues to retain its discretion to disregard the journalist-
source privilege where the merits of the case are strong or where
there is some overriding public interest in requiring disclosure
of a journalist's confidential sources.


CARGILL INC: Recalls Showmaster(R) S-Series Show Lamb Feed
----------------------------------------------------------
Cargill's animal nutrition business announced a voluntary recall
of Showmaster(R) S-Series Show Lamb Feed (BW) because it contained
incorrect sodium molybdate levels.  To date, there are 170,
50-pound bags of feed still out in the market.  Cargill continues
to take appropriate steps to pursue retrieval on those bags.

The affected products were manufactured at Cargill's Burlington,
Washington facility between March 1, 2013, and March 15, 2013, and
were sold only in Washington and Idaho.  No other Cargill Animal
Nutrition products are involved in this recall.

The recall applies only to this single product with the following
Packaging Date Codes (lot numbers):

   * 38306326464
   * 38306726610
   * 38307426757

Sodium Molybdate is an essential nutrient for livestock.  Undue
levels of molybdenum in lamb diets may lead to adverse animal
health effects, which are transitory in nature.  Call your
veterinarian if your animals are exhibiting severe diarrhea or
have experienced other adverse health effects while consuming the
affected product. Customers should return remaining products to
their local distributor for a full refund.  For more information,
call toll free 509-771-1439.

                          About Cargill

Cargill -- http://www.cargill.com/-- is an international producer
and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial
products and services.  Founded in 1865, the privately held
company employs 142,000 people in 65 countries.  Cargill helps
customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is
committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help
meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it
does business.


CENTURY ALUMINUM: Reached Deal to Settle Retiree Benefits Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The parties in a class action lawsuit filed a subsidiary of
Century Aluminum Company have agreed in principle to settle the
case upon a successful restart of the Company's facility in
Ravenswood, West Virginia, according to the Company's March 18,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Century Aluminum of West Virginia, Inc. ("CAWV") amended its
postretirement medical benefit plan, effective January 1, 2010,
for all current and former CAWV salaried employees, their
dependents and all bargaining unit employees who retired before
June 1, 2006, and their dependents.  Effective January 1, 2011,
CAWV no longer provided retiree medical benefits to active
salaried CAWV personnel or any other personnel who retired prior
to November 1, 2010.

In November 2009, CAWV filed a class action complaint for
declaratory judgment against the United Steel, Paper and Forestry,
Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service
Workers International Union ("USWA"), the USWA's local union, and
four CAWV retirees, individually and as class representatives,
seeking a declaration of CAWV's rights to modify/terminate retiree
medical benefits.  Later in November 2009, the USWA and
representatives of a retiree class filed a separate lawsuit
against CAWV, Century Aluminum Company, Century Aluminum Master
Welfare Benefit Plan, and various John Does with respect to the
foregoing.  These actions, entitled Dewhurst, et al. v. Century
Aluminum Co., et al., and Century Aluminum of West Virginia, Inc.
v. United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber Manufacturing, Energy,
Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union, AFL-
CIO/CLC, et al., have been consolidated and venue has been set in
the District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

In January 2010, the USWA filed a motion for preliminary
injunction to prevent the Company from implementing the foregoing
changes while these lawsuits are pending, which was dismissed by
the trial court.  In August 2011, the Fourth Circuit Court of
Appeals upheld the District Court's dismissal of the USWA's motion
for preliminary injunction, finding that the USWA had failed to
establish the likelihood of success on the merits of the
underlying matter.  In October 2011, CAWV filed a motion to
dismiss plaintiff's first amended complaint with the trial court,
which was dismissed.  The case is currently in the discovery
stage.  The parties have agreed in principle to settle the lawsuit
upon a successful restart of the Company's facility in Ravenswood,
West Virginia.

Century Aluminum Company -- http://www.centuryaluminum.com/--
through its subsidiaries, produces primary aluminum in the United
States, China, and Iceland.  The Company also holds a 40% joint
venture interest in a carbon anode and cathode facility located in
the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of south China.  The Company
was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Monterey, California.


CENTURY ALUMINUM: Stockholders Plead for Rehearing En Banc
----------------------------------------------------------
The Plaintiffs of a consolidated stockholder lawsuit have filed a
motion for rehearing en banc, according to Century Aluminum
Company's March 18, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In March 2011, the purported stockholder class actions pending
against the Company consolidated as In re: Century Aluminum
Company Securities Litigation were dismissed with prejudice by the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California.  The plaintiffs in the class actions allege that the
Company improperly accounted for cash flows associated with the
termination of certain forward financial sales contracts which
accounting allegedly resulted in artificial inflation of the
Company's stock price and investor losses.  The Plaintiffs are
seeking rescission of the Company's February 2009 common stock
offering, unspecified compensatory damages, including interest
thereon, costs and expenses and attorneys' fees.  In March 2011,
the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the order and judgment
entered by the trial court.  In January 2013, the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the "Ninth Circuit") affirmed the
trial court's decision.  The Plaintiffs have filed a pending
motion for rehearing by the Ninth Circuit en banc.

Century Aluminum Company -- http://www.centuryaluminum.com/--
through its subsidiaries, produces primary aluminum in the United
States, China, and Iceland.  The Company also holds a 40% joint
venture interest in a carbon anode and cathode facility located in
the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of south China.  The Company
was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Monterey, California.


CODA AUTOMOTIVE: Former Employee Files WARN Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Gigaom.com reports that a former employee of electric car company
Coda Automotive has filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the
automaker conducted mass layoffs in December 2012 without giving
workers 60 days notice.  The lawsuit is the second alleged WARN
Act violation filed against an electric car startup this year,
following a lawsuit against Fisker Automotive last month, and is
the third high profile alleged violation against a cleantech
company, following Solyndra's lawsuit in late 2011.

In the suit against Coda Automotive, former employee Tony Bulchack
says that Coda laid off 125 employees around December 14, 2012.
The complaint says that these workers weren't given 60 days notice
of the planned layoffs in writing.  Now that Coda has filed for
bankruptcy, the suit was filed in the bankruptcy court.


EBIX INC: Parties in Securities Suit to Move to Discovery Phase
---------------------------------------------------------------
The parties in a consolidated securities class action lawsuit
against Ebix, Inc., will now move into the discovery phase of the
litigation, according to the Company's March 18, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

Between July 14, 2011, and July 21, 2011, securities class action
complaints were filed against the Company and certain of its
officers in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York and in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Georgia.  The complaints assert claims
against (i) the Company and the Company's CEO and CFO for alleged
violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
(the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and
(ii) the Company's CEO and CFO as alleged controlling persons.
The complaints generally allege false statements in earnings
reports, SEC filings, press releases, and other public statements
that allegedly caused the Company's stock to trade at artificially
inflated prices.  The Plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of
damages.  The New York action has been transferred to Georgia and
has been consolidated with the Georgia action, now styled In re:
Ebix, Inc. Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 1:11-CV-02400-
RSW (N.D. Ga.).  A Consolidated Amended Complaint ("CAC") was
filed by the Plaintiffs on November 28, 2011.

On January 12, 2012, the Company filed a Motion to Dismiss the
CAC, which raised various defenses that the CAC failed to state a
claim.  On September 28, 2012, the Court entered an order denying
the Company's Motion to Dismiss.

The parties will now move into the discovery phase of the
litigation.  In connection with this shareholder class action
lawsuit, there have been three derivative complaints brought by
certain shareholders on behalf of the Company, which name certain
of the Company's officers and its entire board of directors as
Defendants.  The first such derivative action was brought by a
shareholder named Paul Nauman styled Nauman v. Raina, et al.,
Civil Action File No. 2011-cv-205276 (Superior Court of Fulton
County, Georgia).  The second such derivative action was brought
by a shareholder named Gilbert Spagnola styled Spagnola v. Bhalla,
et al., Civil Action No. 1:13-CV-00062-RWS (N.D. Ga.), filed
January 7, 2013.  The third such derivative action was brought by
a shareholder named Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of
New York City Pension Fund styled Hotel Trades Council and Hotel
Association of New York City, Inc. Pension Fund v. Raina, et al.,
Civil Action No. 1:13-CV-00246-RWS (N.D. Ga.), filed January 23,
2013.  These derivative actions are based on substantially the
same factual allegations in the shareholder class action lawsuit,
but also variously claim breach of fiduciary duties, abuse of
control, gross mismanagement, the wasting of corporate assets,
negligence, unjust enrichment by the Company's directors, and
violation of Section 14 of the Exchange Act.  The Nauman and
Spagnola cases have been stayed pending the completion of expert
discovery in the shareholder class action lawsuit.

The Company denies any liability and intends to defend the federal
and derivative actions vigorously.  The likelihood of an
unfavorable outcome for this matter is not estimable.

Ebix, Inc. -- http://www.ebix.com/-- was founded in 1976 as
Delphi Systems, Inc., a California corporation.  In December 2003
the Company changed its name to Ebix.  The Atlanta, Georgia-based
Company is an international supplier of software and e-commerce
solutions to the insurance industry.


EMERALD GRAIN: Farmers Launch Class Action Over Pool Returns
------------------------------------------------------------
Bobbie Hinkley, writing for The Land, reports that a group of WA
farmers who committed grain to Emerald Grain's 2011/12 wheat and
barley pools are expected to launch a class action against the
independent marketing company in coming months.

Granich Partners lawyer Alex Granich confirmed that he and
colleague Nathan Draper were initially approached by up to a dozen
concerned Wheatbelt growers keen to mount a class action against
Emerald after the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in pool
payments.

"We are in the process of talking to growers at the moment whose
businesses have been severely affected by the losses," Mr. Granich
said.

"We are now working with many, many more growers to collate
documents and information before we can proceed to the next
stages."

Mr. Granich credited his Eastern Wheatbelt upbringing and farming
family ties for his interest in the issue.

"I've been involved with agricultural businesses for a long time
so I understand what these growers are going through," he said.

"Some growers are experiencing a tough time at the moment after a
succession of poor seasons and the pool payment issue has only
contributed to the problem."

Some growers believe a significant amount of money was lost after
Emerald's Stable and Traditional pools severely under-performed
their estimated pool returns (EPRs) in WA.

While growers understood the EPRs were nothing more than a
ballpark figure (as reiterated by Emerald) they also claimed the
lowering of both pools by $10 to $20 a tonne wasn't good enough.

Emerald claimed the pool faced a number of market force-induced
challenges over its two-year life span which impacted on the
disappointing final result.

It also claimed to have used a prescriptive and conservative
marketing strategy in line with the marketing strategy published
and outlined for both pools.

The Stable and Traditional pools were also hedged early on and as
a consequence, missed the May-July 2012 rally.

An Emerald representative told Farm Weekly the company accepted
that it was a pool participant's right to seek whatever recourse
they considered to be appropriate.


FALCONSTOR SOFTWARE: Has Yet to File Suit Settlement Documents
--------------------------------------------------------------
FalconStor Software, Inc., has yet to file for court approval
documents in connection with its $5 million settlement of a class
action lawsuit, according to the Company's March 18, 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 a class action lawsuit brought in
United Stated District Court for the Eastern District of New York,
by Company shareholders (the "Class Action").  The other
defendants are James Weber, the Company's former CFO and Vice
President for Operations, and the estate of ReiJane Huai.  Mr.
Huai was the Company's former Chairman, President and CEO.

The Class Action complaint alleges that the defendants defrauded
shareholders by falsely certifying in the Company's SEC filings
that they had disclosed any fraud, whether or not material, that
involved management or other employees who had a significant role
in the registrant's internal control over financial reporting.
The Class Action complaint alleges that the defendants were in
fact aware of fraud.

In January, 2013, the parties to the Class Action reached an
agreement in principle to settle the Class Action.  Pursuant to a
Memorandum of Understanding signed by counsel for the class
plaintiffs and by counsel for all defendants, the Company will pay
$5.0 million to settle the Class Action.  This amount includes
damages, plaintiffs' attorneys' fees, and costs of administration
of the settlement.  The Company expects to pay this settlement
with a combination of cash on hand and insurance proceeds.  In
accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, a stipulation of
settlement and a joint motion for preliminary approval of the
settlement will be submitted to the court for its approval.  Final
settlement of the Class Action is subject to certain conditions
and to approval by the court.  The Company says it cannot predict
if or when the court might approve the settlement.  Certain of the
defendants may be entitled to indemnification by the Company under
the laws of Delaware and/or the Company's by-laws.

While the Company has insurance policies that it believes will
cover it for the allegations of the Class Action, the Company has
already reached an agreement with one insurance carrier that gave
it less than the face amount of the insurance.  There can be no
assurance that the recovery the Company makes on the remainder of
its insurance will be adequate to cover the costs of its defense
or settlement of the Class Action, or any damages that might
ultimately be awarded against the Company or anyone to whom the
Company might owe indemnification if the settlement is not
approved by the court.  The Company's insurers may deny coverage
under the policies.  If the Company's insurance recovery is not
adequate to cover the costs of defense, settlement, damages and/or
indemnification, or its insurers deny coverage, the amounts to be
paid by the Company could have a significant negative impact on
its financial results, its cash flows and its cash balances.

The Company's Directors and Officers ("D&O") Insurance, is
composed of more than one layer, each layer written by a different
insurance company.  After the close of the third quarter, in
connection with the Class Action, and in connection with the
Derivative Action, the Company entered into an agreement with the
carrier of the first $5.0 million layer of the Company's D&O
insurance.  Pursuant to this agreement, the Company accepted a
payment of $3.9 million from the first layer insurance carrier in
satisfaction of the carrier's obligations to the Company under the
first layer D&O insurance policy.  The combined costs of (i)
defense of the Class Action and the Derivative Action, and (ii)
the proposed $5.0 million settlement of the Class Action exceeds
$3.9 million, and the Company is responsible for paying the next
$1.1 million of costs, settlement amounts or liability up to $5.0
million, before the next layer of the Company's D&O insurance
might cover the Company.  This $5.0 million payment, when and if
made, will negatively impact its cash flows and its cash reserves
when paid.  In addition, as part of the October 2012 agreement
with the carrier, the Company agreed to indemnify the carrier of
the first layer of D&O insurance against potential claims by
certain named insured persons under the first layer D&O insurance
policy.  The Company cannot predict the likelihood or the outcome
of any such claims by the named insureds.

There can be no assurance that the amount of remaining D&O
insurance will be adequate to cover the costs of the Company's
defense of the Class Action or any damages that might be awarded
against the Company or any defendant(s) to whom the Company owes
indemnification.  The Company's remaining insurers may deny
coverage under the policies.  If the plaintiffs are awarded
damages and the Company's insurance is not adequate to cover the
amounts, or its insurers deny coverage, the amounts to be paid by
the Company could have a significant negative impact on its
financial results, its cash flow and its cash reserves.

To date, the Company has recorded $6.6 million of total costs
associated with the Class Action and the Derivative Actions.  The
Company has recorded a liability in the amount of $5.2 million in
"accrued expenses" in the consolidated balance sheets as of
December 31, 2012, which includes estimated costs of the proposed
Class Action settlement and legal fees for both the Class Action
and the Derivative Action to date.  As a result of the agreement
reached with the Company's D&O insurance carrier, the Company has
recorded an insurance recovery of approximately $3.9 million of
legal expenses previously incurred related to the class action and
derivative lawsuits as well as the potential settlement of the
class action lawsuits.  The $3.9 million insurance recovery was
reimbursed by the Company's insurance carrier during 2012.  In
connection with  discussions with the insurer of the Company's
next layer of D&O insurance regarding that insurer's obligations
to the Company, the Company has recorded a $1.0 million receivable
in "prepaid expenses and other current assets" in the consolidated
balance sheet as of December 31, 2012.

During 2012, the Company recorded a $0.3 million reduction of
investigation, litigation and settlement related costs.  The
reduction was comprised of (i) a $1.7 million reduction in the
accrual for certain costs associated with the resolution of the
government investigations and (ii) a recovery of $0.3 million of
legal expenses previously incurred related to the class action and
derivative lawsuits, partially offset by (i) $1.5 million of legal
expenses related to the class action and derivative lawsuits as
well as for the potential settlement of the class action lawsuit
that are not or may not be recoverable through insurance and (ii)
$0.2 million of legal fees incurred related to  the resolution of
the government investigations.

Headquartered in Melville, New York, FalconStor Software, Inc. --
http://www.falconstor.com/-- delivers disk-based backup,
continuous data protection, WAN-optimized replication and disaster
recovery automation.  FalconStor solutions are available through a
worldwide network of partners, including solution providers, top-
tier strategic partners and major OEMs.


FIRST DATA: Awaits Ruling on Bid for Rehearing in Antitrust Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
First Data Corporation is awaiting a court decision on a petition
for rehearing en banc in the antitrust class action lawsuit
commenced by Pamela Brennan, et al., according to the Company's
March 19, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On July 2, 2004, Pamela Brennan, Terry Crayton, and Darla Martinez
filed a class action complaint on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California against the Company, its
subsidiary Concord EFS, Inc., and various financial institutions
("Brennan").  The Plaintiffs claim that the defendants violated
antitrust laws by conspiring to artificially inflate foreign ATM
fees that were ultimately charged to ATM cardholders.  The
Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief,
compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, costs and such other relief
as the nature of the case may require or as may seem just and
proper to the court.  Five similar lawsuits were filed and served
in July, August and October 2004, two in the Central District of
California (Los Angeles), two in the Southern District of New
York, and one in the Western District of Washington (Seattle).
All cases were transferred to the Northern District Court of
California and the Court consolidated all of the ATM interchange
cases pending against the defendants in Brennan (referred to
collectively as the "ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation").

On August 3, 2007, Concord filed a motion for summary judgment
seeking to dismiss plaintiffs' per se claims.  On March 24, 2008,
the Court entered an order granting the defendants' motions for
partial summary judgment.  On February 2, 2009, the plaintiffs
filed a Second Amended Complaint and on April 6, 2009, the
defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint.
On September 4, 2009, the Court entered an order dismissing the
Second Amended Complaint and, on October 16, 2009, the plaintiffs
filed a Third Amended Complaint.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Third Amended
Complaint on November 13, 2009.  On June 21, 2010, the Court
partially dismissed plaintiffs' Third Amended Complaint and
ordered the parties to brief a summary judgment on an alternative
claim by the plaintiffs.  On September 16, 2010, the Court entered
an order granting defendants' motion for summary judgment,
dismissing all of the claims against the defendants except for the
claims for equitable relief.  The Court granted judgment in favor
of the defendants, dismissing the case on September 17, 2010.  On
October 14, 2010, the plaintiffs appealed the summary judgment.
On July 12, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit affirmed the Northern District Court of California's
dismissal of all the claims against the defendants.  On July 26,
2012, the plaintiffs petitioned the Ninth Circuit for rehearing en
banc.

The Company believes the complaints are without merit and intends
to vigorously defend them.

First Data Corporation -- http://www.firstdata.com/-- is a
provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for
merchants, financial institutions and card issuers globally and
has operations in 34 countries, serving approximately 6.2 million
merchant locations.  FDC was incorporated in Delaware in 1989 and
is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.


FIRST FINANCIAL: Faces Merger-Related Class Suit in Delaware
------------------------------------------------------------
First Financial Holdings, Inc., is facing a merger-related class
action lawsuit in Delaware, according to the Company's March 18,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On February 19, 2013, First Financial entered into the Agreement
with SCBT Financial Corporation ("SCBT") pursuant to which First
Financial plans to merge with and into SCBT, with SCBT continuing
as the surviving corporation (referred to as the "merger").  The
Agreement also provides that, immediately following the closing of
the merger, First Federal Bank will merge with and into SCBT Bank,
with SCBT Bank continuing as the surviving bank in the merger.

On March 5, 2013, an alleged shareholder of First Financial filed
a lawsuit in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware
captioned Arthur Walter v. R. Wayne Hall et al., naming First
Financial, members of the Board and SCBT as defendants.  This
lawsuit is purportedly brought on behalf of a putative class of
First Financial's common shareholders and seeks a declaration that
it is properly maintainable as a class action, with the plaintiff
as the proper class representative.  The lawsuit alleges that
First Financial, First Financial's Board and SCBT breached duties
and/or aided and abetted such breaches by failing to obtain
adequate consideration for First Financial's shareholders in the
merger.  Among other relief, the complaint seeks to enjoin the
merger.  First Financial believes that the claims asserted are
without merit.

First Financial Holdings, Inc. --
http://www.firstfinancialholdings.com/-- is a Delaware
corporation with its principal executive office located in
Charleston, South Carolina.  First Financial offers integrated
financial solutions, including personal, business and wealth
management services.


FIRST FRANKLIN: 9th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling
-----------------------------------------------------------
Sindhu Sundar, writing for Law360, reports that Merrill Lynch &
Co. Inc. on May 1 shook off a proposed class action by a home
buyer accusing its unit First Franklin Financial Corp. of unlawful
residential mortgage lending practices when the Ninth Circuit
ruled federal laws over a bank's real estate lending ability
preempt state laws that impede it.  A three-judge panel affirmed a
lower court's November 2011 decision granting summary judgment to
the defendants and said that Roger Deming's claims were preempted
by the National Banking Act, according to the order.


FREDERICK'S OF HOLLYWOOD: Defends "Harvey-Smith" Suit in Calif.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Frederick's of Hollywood Group Inc. is defending a class action
lawsuit brought by Kassandra Harvey-Smith in California, according
to the Company's March 18, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended January
26, 2013.

On December 18, 2012, a former California store employee filed a
purported class action lawsuit in the California Superior Court,
County of Los Angeles, against the Company, Frederick's of
Hollywood, Inc. and Frederick's of Hollywood Stores, Inc.
(Kassandra Harvey-Smith, on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated v. Frederick's of Hollywood Group Inc. et al,
Case No. BC497673).  The complaint alleges, among other things,
violations of the California Labor Code, failure to pay overtime,
failure to provide meal and rest periods and termination
compensation, various additional wage violations and violations of
California's Unfair Competition Law.  The complaint seeks, among
other relief, collective and class certification of the lawsuit
(the class being defined as all California retail store hourly
employees), unspecified damages, costs and expenses, including
attorneys' fees, and such other relief as the Court might find
just and proper.  The Company contests these allegations and
intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.  This lawsuit is in its
early stages and the Company is unable to estimate its potential
liability in the event of an unfavorable outcome with respect to
these allegations.

Frederick's of Hollywood Group Inc. -- http://www.fredericks.com/
-- through its subsidiaries, sells women's apparel and related
products under its proprietary Frederick's of Hollywood(R) brand
predominantly through U.S. mall-based specialty stores and through
its catalog and Web site.  The Company was incorporated in New
York and is headquartered in Hollywood, California.


FREDERICK'S OF HOLLYWOOD: In Mediation to Settle "Weber" Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Frederick's of Hollywood Group Inc. is engaged in mediation to
settle a class action lawsuit initiated by Michelle Weber,
according to the Company's March 18, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
January 26, 2013.

On February 2, 2012, a former California store employee filed a
purported class action lawsuit in the California Superior Court,
County of San Francisco, against Frederick's of Hollywood, Inc.,
one of the Company's subsidiaries (Michelle Weber, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated v. Frederick's of
Hollywood, Inc., Case No. CGC-12-517909).  The complaint alleges,
among other things, violations of the California Labor Code,
failure to pay overtime, failure to provide meal and rest periods
and termination compensation and violations of California's Unfair
Competition Law.  The complaint seeks, among other relief,
collective and class certification of the lawsuit (the class being
defined as all California retail store hourly employees),
unspecified damages, costs and expenses, including attorneys'
fees, and such other relief as the Court might find just and
proper.  The Company contests these allegations and denies any
liability with respect to the lawsuit.  The Company answered the
Plaintiff's first amended complaint on April 2, 2012.  The parties
agreed to stay discovery proceedings and are continuing to engage
in mediation.  Therefore, the Company is unable to predict the
likely outcome and whether such outcome may have a material
adverse effect on its results of operations or financial
condition.

Frederick's of Hollywood Group Inc. -- http://www.fredericks.com/
-- through its subsidiaries, sells women's apparel and related
products under its proprietary Frederick's of Hollywood(R) brand
predominantly through U.S. mall-based specialty stores and through
its catalog and Web site.  The Company was incorporated in New
York and is headquartered in Hollywood, California.


GOOGLE INC: Students File Class Action Over Email Snooping
----------------------------------------------------------
Gavin Broady, writing for Law360, reports that two university
students hit Google Inc. with a potentially billion-dollar
nationwide class action in California on April 29 claiming it
unlawfully intercepts communications via its Gmail-based Google
Apps for Education program, which provides student, faculty and
alumni email addresses to educational institutions.  Plaintiffs
Robert Fread and Rafael Carrillo allege the Web giant violates the
Electronic Communications Privacy Act by systematically harvesting
content from emails sent and received via those educational
addresses.


GULF RESOURCES: Continues to Defend "Lewy" Suit in California
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gulf Resources, Inc., continues to defend itself against a class
action lawsuit commenced by Lewy, et al., in California, according
to the Company's March 18, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2012.

The Company and certain of its officers and directors (Ming Yang,
Xiaobin Liu, and Min Li, collectively, the "Individual
Defendants") have been named as defendants in a putative
securities class action lawsuit alleging violations of the federal
securities laws.  That action, which is now captioned Lewy, et al.
v. Gulf Resources, Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-3722 ODW (MRWx), was
filed on April 29, 2011, in the United States District Court for
the Central District of California.  The lead plaintiffs, who seek
to represent a class of all purchasers and acquirers of the
Company's common stock between March 16, 2009, and April 26, 2011,
inclusive, filed an amended complaint on September 12, 2011.  The
Lead plaintiffs assert claims for violations of Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
The amended complaint alleges the defendants made false or
misleading statements in the Company's Annual Reports on Form 10-K
for the years ended December 31, 2008, 2009, and 2010, and in
interim quarterly reports by, among other things, overstating
revenue and net income and failing to disclose material related
party transactions and certain facts about the CEO's prior
employment at another company.  The amended complaint also asserts
claims against the Individual Defendants for violations of Section
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The amended
complaint seeks damages in an unspecified amount.  The Company
filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint.  On May 15, 2012,
the Court denied the Company's motion to dismiss the amended
complaint.  On July 31, 2012, the Court issued a Scheduling and
Case Management Order pursuant to which the parties were ordered
to begin discovery, among other things.

The Company says it intends to defend vigorously against the
lawsuit.  The Company currently cannot estimate the amount or
range of possible losses from this litigation.

Gulf Resources, Inc. -- http://www.gulfresourcesinc.com/-- is a
Delaware corporation based in Shouguang City, in Shandong, China.
The Company manufactures and trades bromine and crude salt, and
manufactures and sells chemical products used in oil and gas field
exploration, oil and gas distribution, oil field drilling,
wastewater processing, papermaking chemical agents and inorganic
chemicals.


HEALTHMARKETS INC: Massachusetts Suit Settlement Approved in Dec.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
HealthMarkets, Inc.'s settlement of a class action lawsuit in
Massachusetts was approved in December 2012, according to the
Company's March 19, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On July 6, 2010, HealthMarkets, Inc., and its subsidiaries, The
MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company and Mid-West National Life
Insurance Company of Tennessee, were named as defendants in a
putative class action (Jeffrey Cutter, Rina Discepolo, on behalf
of themselves and others similarly situated v. HealthMarkets, Inc.
et al.) pending in the Norfolk County Superior Court, Commonwealth
of Massachusetts, Case No. 1:10-cv:11488-JLT.  On August 13, 2010,
this matter was removed to the United States District Court for
the District of Massachusetts.  The complaint alleges that the
named plaintiffs (former district sales leaders contracted with
the Company's insurance subsidiaries) were employees (rather than
independent contractors) under Massachusetts law and are therefore
entitled, among other relief, to recover certain business costs
under the Massachusetts Wage Act.  On July 21, 2011, the Court
certified the class.  In August 2012, the parties agreed to settle
this matter, which settlement was approved by the Court on
December 11, 2012.  The resolution of this matter, after
consideration of applicable reserves and/or potentially available
insurance coverage benefits, did not have a material adverse
effect on the Company's consolidated financial condition and
results of operations.

HealthMarkets, Inc. -- http://www.healthmarketsinc.com/-- is a
Delaware corporation incorporated in 1984 and headquartered in
North Richland Hills, Texas.  Through its insurance subsidiaries,
HealthMarkets underwrites and administers a broad range of health
and life insurance and supplemental products for individuals,
families, the self-employed and small businesses.


HECKMANN CORP: Bid to Certify Class in Securities Suit Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
Richard P. Gielata's motion to certify a class and appoint class
representatives and counsel remains pending, according to Heckmann
Corporation's March 18, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2012.

On May 21, 2010, Richard P. Gielata, an individual purporting to
act on behalf of stockholders, served a class action lawsuit filed
May 6, 2010, against the Company and various directors and
officers in the United States District Court for the District of
Delaware captioned In re Heckmann Corporation Securities Class
Action (Case No. 1:10-cv-00378-JJF-MPT) (the "Class Action").  The
Class Action alleges violations of federal securities laws in
connection with the acquisition of China Water.  The Company
responded by filing a motion to transfer the Class Action to
California and a motion to dismiss the case.  On October 6, 2010,
the Magistrate Judge issued a report and recommendation to the
District Court Judge to deny the motion to transfer.  On
October 8, 2010, the court-appointed lead plaintiff, Matthew
Haberkorn, filed an Amended Class Action Complaint that adds China
Water as a defendant.  On October 25, 2010, the Company filed
objections to the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation on
the motion to transfer.  The court adopted the report and
recommendation on the motion to transfer on March 31, 2011.  The
Company filed a motion to dismiss the Amended Class Action
Complaint and a reply to lead plaintiff's opposition to the motion
to dismiss.  On June 16, 2011, the Magistrate Judge issued a
report and recommendation to the District Court Judge to deny the
motion to dismiss.  The Company filed objections to the Magistrate
Judge's report and recommendation on the motion to dismiss and
Plaintiffs filed a response.  On October 25, 2011, the court heard
oral argument on the Company's objections to the report and
recommendation on the motion to dismiss.  The court has not yet
ruled on the objections.

On February 2, 2012, the Plaintiff filed motion to modify the
automatic discovery stay in place pursuant to the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act.  The Company filed an opposition
on February 13, 2012.  On February 15, 2012, the Magistrate Judge
entered an order modifying the discovery stay and requiring the
Company to produce documents to plaintiff that have been produced
in the Derivative Action against the Company.  On February 2,
2012, the Plaintiff filed motion to modify the automatic discovery
stay in place pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act.  The Company filed an opposition on February 13, 2012.  On
February 15, 2012, the Magistrate Judge entered an order modifying
the discovery stay and requiring the Company to produce documents
to the Plaintiff that have been produced in the derivative action
pending in the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside,
captioned Hess v. Heckmann, et al.  On May 25, 2012, the court
entered a memorandum order overruling the Company's objections,
adopting the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation, and
denying the Company's motion to dismiss.  On June 25, 2012, the
court entered a scheduling order setting forth a schedule for,
among other things, discovery and dispositive motions, and
document discovery has commenced.  On July 9, 2012, the Company
filed its Answer to the Amended Class Action Complaint.  On
September 19, 2012, the Company filed a Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment and a Motion for Proposed Briefing Schedule.  The
Magistrate Judge denied the Motion for Proposed Briefing Schedule
on October 4, 2012, and the Company filed objections to the
Magistrate Judge's ruling.

On January 16, 2013, the Court adopted the Magistrate Judge's
ruling and denied the Company's request for a briefing schedule on
its Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.  On October 19, 2012, the
plaintiff filed a motion to certify a class and appoint class
representatives and class counsel.  On January 18, 2013, the
Company filed its opposition and a motion to exclude the
declaration of plaintiff's class certification expert.  On
February 19, 2013, the Plaintiff filed a reply brief.  A hearing
on Plaintiff's motion to certify a class and appoint class
representatives and class counsel has not been scheduled.  The
Company says it intends to vigorously defend this case.

The Company has not recorded any liabilities for the Class Action
on the basis that such liabilities are currently neither probable
or estimable.

Heckmann Corporation -- http://www.heckmanncorp.com/-- is an
environmental solutions company dedicated to providing
comprehensive and full-cycle environmental solutions to its
customers in energy and industrial end-markets.  The Scottsdale,
Arizona-based Company focuses on the delivery, collection,
treatment, recycling, and disposal of restricted solids, water,
waste water, used motor oil, spent antifreeze, waste fluids and
hydrocarbons.


HEMISPHERX BIOPHARMA: Awaits Decision in "Frater" Class Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc., is awaiting a court decision on
motions to be appointed lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit
filed by Stephanie A. Frater, according to the Company's March 18,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On December 21, 2012, a putative federal securities class action
complaint was filed against the Company and three of its officers
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania.  This action, Stephanie A. Frater v. Hemispherx
Biopharma, Inc., et al., was purportedly brought on behalf of a
putative class of Hemispherx investors who purchased the Company's
publicly traded securities between March 19, 2012, and December
17, 2012.  The complaint generally asserts that Defendants made
material misrepresentations and omissions regarding the status of
the Company's New Drug Application for Ampligen(R), which had been
filed with the United States Food and Drug Administration, in
alleged violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and
Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  On February 22, 2013, several
putative members of the alleged plaintiff class filed motions to
be appointed Lead Plaintiff pursuant to the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("PSLRA"), 15 U.S.C. Section 78u-4.
Pursuant to Court order, within 15 calendar days following the
Court's appointment of a lead plaintiff and approval of the lead
plaintiff's selection of lead counsel, the parties will submit an
additional stipulation and proposed order setting forth a mutually
agreeable schedule for the filing of any amended complaint and the
briefing of Defendants' motion to dismiss.  Under the PSLRA,
discovery will be stayed pending the Court's decision on the
Defendants' motion to dismiss.

The Company intends to vigorously defend the action.  The Company
says the potential impact of these actions, which seek unspecified
damages, equitable relief, attorneys' fees and expenses, is
uncertain.  There can be no assurance that an adverse result in
these proceedings would not have a potentially material adverse
effect on the Company's business, results of operations and
financial condition.

Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. -- http://www.hemispherx.net/-- is a
specialty pharmaceutical company based in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and engaged in the clinical development of new drug
therapies based on natural immune system enhancing technologies
for the treatment of viral and immune based chronic disorders.


HEMISPHERX BIOPHARMA: Faces Class Action Suit in Pennsylvania
-------------------------------------------------------------
Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc., is facing a putative class action
lawsuit in Pennsylvania, according to the Company's March 18,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On March 4, 2013, a shareholder derivative and putative class
action complaint was filed against the Company, as nominal
defendant, and certain of its officers and directors in the First
Judicial District of Pennsylvania of the Court of Common Pleas of
Philadelphia.  The complaint alleges violations of state law,
including breaches of fiduciary duties, waste of corporate assets,
and unjust enrichment.  To date, none of the defendants has been
served with the complaint.

The Company intends to vigorously defend the action.  The Company
says the potential impact of these actions, which seek unspecified
damages, equitable relief, attorneys' fees and expenses, is
uncertain.  There can be no assurance that an adverse result in
these proceedings would not have a potentially material adverse
effect on the Company's business, results of operations and
financial condition.

Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. -- http://www.hemispherx.net/-- is a
specialty pharmaceutical company based in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and engaged in the clinical development of new drug
therapies based on natural immune system enhancing technologies
for the treatment of viral and immune based chronic disorders.


IIROC: De Grandpre Chait Law Firm to File Privacy Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
According to Advisor.ca, La Presse has learned that IIROC may soon
be the subject of a class-action suit instituted by Montreal law
firm De Grandpre Chait.

In February, an IIROC employee lost a portable device containing
sensitive information on 52,000 customers from 32 brokerage firms.
The data was not encrypted.  De Grandpre Chait estimated the
damage caused by stress, potential for fraudulent information use,
and inconvenience at C$1,000 per customer.

The firm's lawyer, Louis Demers, told La Presse he believes IIROC
has contravened the Privacy Act, which provides that "business
must take security measures to protect personal information they
have collected."

Lucy Becker, Vice President, Public Affairs told Conseiller.ca by
email that "it is inappropriate to comment as the matter is before
the courts."

On April 30, IIROC announced additional measures it's taking to
protect the credit ratings of any concerned clients.

The SRO had already arranged to put a six-year alert on client
credit files through Equifax Canada, but customers can also
subscribe to credit monitoring for one year.  They can opt in to
receive this service by calling Equifax at 1-866-205-0679, or 1-
866-466-9577 (for service in French).

It made similar arrangements with TransUnion, which clients can
opt out of by 1-800-663-9980, or 1-877-713-3393 (for service in
French).


IMAX CORP: Cassel Brock Discusses Ontario Court Ruling
------------------------------------------------------
Wendy Berman, Esq., and Jonathan Wansbrough, Esq., at Cassel Brock
Lawyers report that a recent decision by the Ontario Superior
Court of Justice in Silver v. IMAX Corporation amended a
previously certified global class to carve out approximately 85%
of its members who were overlapping class members in a parallel
U.S. action, which had conditionally settled.  This decision, a
first in Canadian securities class actions, is a significant
development in multi-jurisdictional parallel class proceedings and
indicates not only the court's willingness to recognize foreign
class settlements but also its willingness to significantly amend
the class on the basis that an Ontario proceeding no longer
remains the preferable procedure for that portion of the class.

This decision provides welcome comfort to public companies that,
where appropriate, Ontario courts will recognize foreign
settlements as binding on overlapping class members but will also
likely have a significant impact on settlement dynamics.  Although
the decision arguably alleviates the pressure to reach a global
coordinated settlement it may ultimately trigger a "race to
settle" with different pressures.

The IMAX case with a "certify now, worry later" approach to global
classes deferred consideration of complex jurisdictional issues,
including the reasonable expectations of overlapping class
members, to a much later stage in the proceeding.  This recent
decision reducing the class in the Ontario proceedings by 85%
sharply illustrates some of the legal and practical complexities
of overlapping multi-jurisdictional class proceedings, including
fairness, efficient use of resources and comity for both companies
and investors in class actions.  It remains to be seen whether
this decision will ultimately temper enthusiasm for global classes
in Canada.

Background

In 2006, parallel class proceedings were commenced in Canada and
the United States against IMAX Corporation, a publicly traded
Canadian company with its shares listed on both the TSX and
NASDAQ, alleging material misrepresentations in its financial
disclosure.  In the United States, eight proposed class actions
were commenced claiming relief under Rule 10b-5 of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and were ultimately consolidated into a
single proceeding.  In Canada, the class action commenced in
Ontario asserted both common law claims and statutory claims under
the secondary market liability regime in Part XXIII.1 of the
Ontario Securities Act.

Notably, the Ontario Proceeding was certified as a global class
and included all persons who acquired IMAX shares on the TSX and
the NASDAQ.  Originally the plaintiff in the U.S. Proceeding also
sought to certify a global class but was obliged to narrow the
class definition to include only persons who acquired IMAX shares
on the NASDAQ a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in
Morrison v. National Australian Bank Ltd., which effectively
mandates exclusion of purchasers of shares on any foreign
exchanges from the U.S. class action regime.  As result, there was
a significant overlap between the Ontario and U.S. classes.

Although the Ontario Proceeding progressed more rapidly, the
parties in the U.S. Proceeding settled first and entered into a
settlement agreement in January 2012, for a total amount of US$12
million, inclusive of costs.  Of interest to the Ontario court was
the fact that despite the distribution of 87,000 notices of the
proposed settlement, only one investor objected to the settlement
and only seven opted out of the class settlement.  The settlement
was approved by the court in the U.S. conditional on the Ontario
court amending the Ontario class definition to exclude the members
of the U.S. class, being all NASDAQ purchasers.  Shortly
thereafter, IMAX, together with the other defendants in the
Ontario Proceeding, brought a motion for an order amending the
Ontario class definition to exclude those persons who would be
bound by the settlement of the U.S. Proceeding.

The Decision

The Ontario court considered four primary issues in deciding
whether to grant the defendants' motion to amend the class
definition, including: a) whether it had authority to amend the
class to exclude the overlapping class members; b)  whether to
recognize the U.S. settlement; c) whether the motion was, in
effect, for the approval of a settlement under the Class
Proceedings Act (CPA); and d) whether the Ontario Proceeding
remained the "preferable procedure" for the overlapping class
members given the finalization of the U.S. settlement.

a) The Court has Authority to Amend the Class Under the CPA

The Ontario court confirmed its authority under section 10(1) of
the CPA to amend the class definition where, as a result of
developments in the U.S. Proceeding, such proceeding no longer
remained the "preferable procedure" for the determination of the
claims of the overlapping class members who have not opted out of
the U.S. settlement.  Contrary to arguments raised by the
plaintiff, the Ontario court concluded that the existence of the
U.S. settlement was "clearly relevant to the question of whether
the Ontario Action remains the preferable procedure" for resolving
the claims of the overlapping class members.

b)  The U.S. Settlement Ought to be Recognized in the Ontario
Proceeding

In determining whether to recognize the U.S. settlement, the court
applied the factors set out by the Ontario Court of Appeal in
Currie v. McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd. (Currie), namely,
whether:

    * the U.S. court had a "real and substantial connection" to
the claims of the overlapping class members;
    * whether the overlapping class members were accorded
procedural fairness, including adequate notice; and
    * whether the interests of the overlapping class members were
adequately represented.

The court concluded that the U.S. settlement should be recognized
as binding on the overlapping class members in the Ontario
Proceeding as the U.S. court properly had jurisdiction, there was
order and fairness in the treatment of the claims of the
overlapping class members and in their representation in the U.S.
Proceeding.  With respect to the factor of procedural fairness and
notice, the court noted that U.S. court considered the same
factors in its determination of the fairness of the U.S.
settlement as considered by Ontario courts in determining whether
to approve the settlement of a class proceeding.

c) Review and Approval of the U.S. Settlement is Not Required

Despite the arguments advanced by the plaintiffs, the court
declined to review the adequacy or fairness of the U.S. settlement
as part of its consideration of whether to recognize the U.S.
settlement.  Rather the court determined that, based on the Currie
decision, the focus of its review was on the process that was
followed in the U.S. Proceeding and whether that process
adequately protected the interests of absent class members.
However, the court considered the adequacy of the U.S. settlement
in its determination of whether the Ontario Proceeding remained
the preferable procedure for a global class.

d) The Ontario Proceeding is No Longer the "Preferable Procedure"
for the Overlapping Class Members

The question of whether the Ontario Proceeding remains the
"preferable procedure", involves a consideration of whether it is
preferable "to other 'reasonably available means of resolving the
class members' claims" and having regard to the objectives of
class proceedings, including: judicial economy, access to justice
and behavior modification.

The court compared the advantages and disadvantages associated
with continuing the claim of the overlapping class members in its
determination of whether it was the preferable procedure to amend
the global class.  Importantly, and in contrast to its recognition
of the U.S. settlement, the court did consider the adequacy of the
U.S. settlement in this portion of its analysis, including expert
evidence of both parties (the plaintiffs experts concluded the
U.S. settlement provided a recovery of either 11% or 13% of the
maximum value of the damages for NASDAQ purchasers).  The court
found that the evidence did not establish that the U.S. settlement
was improvident compared to the resolution of other class actions
in this jurisdiction.

Notably, the court indicated two specific factors which, although
not determinative, weighed in favor of granting an order removing
overlapping class members: (i) the U.S. court had a strong
jurisdictional connection to the overlapping class members and "it
would be consistent with the reasonable expectations of the
overlapping class members, who acquired their shares on the
NASDAQ, and in circumstances where IMAX was subject to both U.S.
and Ontario securities laws, that their rights could be determined
by the U.S. court in the context of applicable U.S. law." and (ii)
the robust procedure followed by the U.S. court, including the
fairness consideration of the U.S. settlement.

The court determined that in these circumstances remaining in the
global class would be of no clear advantage to the overlapping
class members and that participation in the U.S. settlement would
satisfy the objective of access to justice.  Similarly, the court
rejected an argument that there would be a negative effect on TSX
purchasers by removing the NASDAQ purchasers from the global class
due to the inherent risks associated with litigation, and since
the TSX purchasers were made the same offer (proportionally) as
the NASDAQ purchasers.  In concluding that access to justice was
not impeded, the court stated:

It is not the function of this court to seek to jealously guard
its own jurisdiction over a class proceeding that has been
certified here. Such an approach is inconsistent with the
principles of comity.  It is also not the function of the court to
favor or to protect the interests of class counsel within this
jurisdiction . . .

Ultimately, the court found that it was the preferable procedure
to remove the claims of the overlapping class members from the
Ontario Proceeding and granted the order amending the class
definition to exclude NASDAQ purchasers.


MACQUARIE BANK: Settles Storm Financial Class Action for AUD82.5MM
------------------------------------------------------------------
Rae Wilson, writing for Coffs Coast Advocate, reports that
Macquarie Bank has reached an AUD82.5 million settlement with
investors who took out margin loans to buy indexed funds in Storm
Financial.

Lawyers for both sides are now asking a Federal Court judge to
sanction the compromise which came after complex negotiations and
lengthy mediation.

The Storm investors have pursued compensation from the bank since
they began funding legal action in 2010.  They, and the Australian
Securities and Investments Commission, alleged the bank engaged in
"unconscionable conduct" for approving large loans and breaching
loan contracts.  Many investors lost everything when Storm
Financial collapsed just after the stock market crashed in 2008.

There is also legal action against Commonwealth Bank, Bank of
Queensland and Westpac through the court system.

Douglas Campbell, counsel for the class action, told the Brisbane
court the settlement with Macquarie would not exclude class action
members from pursuing compensation from the other banks involved.
He said group members had been involved in the confidential
mediation.  Mr. Campbell said the settlement was "hard-fought"
after a "long and complex litigation".

John Sheahan, counsel for Macquarie, described the figure as "a
substantial amount".  "It's not the full amount if the claims were
successful but that wouldn't be a compromise," he said.

Mr. Sheahan said it would be unfair to compare the figure to the
Commonwealth Bank settlement, which in total has added up to $268
million, because they were "apples and oranges".  He said the CBA
was involved with Storm "on every level" and operated four of the
managed funds.

Mr. Sheahan said Macquarie was purely a margin lender and was
operating on "a more detached level".  He said this settlement
should relieve his clients from any other compensation liability
under ASIC litigation still afoot.

Justice John Logan, who must make the decision, said he was
concerned that members who contributed less legal funding to the
class action model would get less when they simply lost so much
money in the Storm "catastrophe" that they could not contribute.
He said there was also a concern that many who feared throwing
good money after bad with a risky chance of getting any money at
all would miss out altogether.

The hearing continues.

According to the Associated Press, more than 1000 Storm Financial
clients was set to learn on May 3 if an AUD82.5 million settlement
with Macquarie Bank has been sanctioned by a Brisbane court.

A representative group of investors whose financial security was
devastated when the Townsville-based financial services company
folded in early 2009 converged on the Federal Court on May 2 to
hear arguments about the terms of the proposal.

Under the proposed order, Macquarie Bank would hand over AUD82.5
million to 1050 Storm clients who took out margin loans with the
bank.

The matter has already been the subject of an extensive court
hearing last year, where class action barrister Douglas Campbell
alleged on his clients' behalf that the bank signed off on multi-
million dollar margin loans without any consideration of whether
they could be repaid.

Mr. Campbell said the bank was prepared to let investors risk
their homes because it wished to maintain its strong relationship
with Storm, whose clients were worth AUD556 million in margin
loans in 2008.  He told the court on May 2 that the bank, lawyers,
and investors had engaged in five days of mediation to settle on a
compensation figure.

However, barrister Michael Colbran QC, said his client, the
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), was still
not satisfied that the terms of distribution among investors were
fair.  He said the proposed 35 per cent premium to go directly
into the pockets of the 315 investors who funded the class action
was too high.

Mr. Colbran said a fairer solution would be to offer funding
investors their money back with interest, allowing a greater
amount to be distributed among the entire class.

Justice John Logan was set to rule on the settlement on May 3.


MANNKIND CORP: Consolidated Securities Suit Now Concluded
---------------------------------------------------------
MannKind Corporation disclosed in its March 18, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012, that the consolidated securities
lawsuit has been concluded.

Beginning January 31, 2011, several complaints were filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against
the Company and four of its officers -- Alfred E. Mann, Hakan S.
Edstrom, Dr. Peter C. Richardson (a former officer) and Matthew J.
Pfeffer -- on behalf of certain purchasers of the Company's common
stock.  The complaints include claims asserted under Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended, or the Exchange Act, and were brought as purported
shareholder class actions. In general, the complaints alleged that
the defendants violated federal securities laws by making
materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company's
business and prospects for AFREZZA, thereby artificially inflating
the price of the Company's common stock.  The U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California consolidated the pending
actions for all purposes.  The consolidated action is referred to
as the Securities Action.

On July 23, 2012, the Company, while continuing to deny all
allegations of wrongdoing or liability whatsoever arising out of
the Securities Action, and without in any way admitting fault or
liability, entered into a stipulation of settlement to resolve the
Securities Action. The current and former officers and directors
named as individual defendants in the consolidated lawsuits also
entered into the stipulation of settlement.

In exchange for a release of all claims by the class members,
among others, and a dismissal of the consolidated lawsuits, the
Company agreed (i) to cause the Company's insurers to pay class
members and their attorneys a total of $16.0 million; and (ii) to
issue to class members and their attorneys 2,777,778 shares of the
Company's common stock. On December 21, 2012, the U.S. District
Court issued the Order and Final Judgment, providing final
approval of the settlement for the Securities Action. As of
December 31, 2012, the Securities Action was concluded.

MannKind Corporation -- http://www.mannkindcorp.com/-- is a
biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development
and commercialization of therapeutic products for diseases such as
diabetes.  The Company is a Delaware corporation headquartered in
Valencia, California.


MINNESOTA: Seeks Dismissal of Drivers' License Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Eric Roper, writing for StarTribune, reports that the Attorney
General's office has asked a federal judge to dismiss what it says
could be a "catastrophic" class action lawsuit regarding one state
employee's misuse of drivers' license data.

Five different lawsuits, all seeking class action status, have
been filed in relation to former Department of Natural Resources
employee John Hunt repeatedly accessing drivers' license data
inappropriately.  They are being handled jointly.

The state said Mr. Hunt, an administrative manager for the
department, made 11,747 queries of the protected data while off
duty.  He has been charged criminally for misusing the driver and
vehicle services (DVS) database, which contains photographs,
addresses and driving records on most Minnesotans.

The attorney general's motion in the civil case, which was filed
on April 30, contends the state should not be held liable for the
actions of one employee.  They say Mr. Hunt alone should be sued.
Whether a judge agrees is important, since the damages could be
hefty.

"The results would be catastrophic, particularly if statutorily
liquidated damages of $2,500 per violation were imposed," the
motion said.

The motion added that if the state were held liable, "state
officials may be left with the impossible choice of either
shutting down the database or running the risk of ruinous personal
liability."

The attorney general's office also argued that the data contained
on a drivers' license is not protected by the constitutional right
to privacy.  "Individuals show drivers' licenses to provide
identity in a myriad of situations -- when entering a bar, when
cashing a check, when boarding a plane," the filing says.

Altogether, about 11 cases are pending in federal court related to
misuse of drivers' license records.  Five are connected to the
Hunt allegations.

Getting favorable opinions from federal judges will be key for
local prosecutors, who fear major payouts of taxpayer dollars if
damages are awarded.

Minneapolis city attorney Susan Segal said recently that the
federal statute that protects driver data has not been widely
interpreted by the courts nationally.  Questions remain, for
example, about how damages are calculated.

"We are going to try to get some reasonable rulings out of the
court," Ms. Segal said, speaking generally.  "Because while people
have an absolute right to expect that private information in the
hands of governmental agencies is only going to be accessed
appropriately, it's another thing for people to get a windfall out
of taxpayer dollars."


MOLYCORP INC: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Dismiss Securities Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Molycorp, Inc., is awaiting a court decision on its motion to
dismiss a securities class action lawsuit, according to the
Company's March 18, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In February 2012, a purported class action lawsuit was filed in
the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado against the
Company and certain of its current executive officers alleging
violations of the federal securities laws.  The Consolidated Class
Action Complaint filed on July 31, 2012, also names most of the
Company's Board members and some of its stockholders as
defendants, along with other persons and entities.  That Complaint
alleges 18 claims for relief arising out of alleged:  (1)
securities fraud in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 during the proposed class period from February 11, 2011,
through November 10, 2011; and (2) materially untrue or misleading
statements in registration statements and prospectuses for the
Company's public offering of preferred stock in February 2011 and
of common stock in June 2011, in violation of the Securities Act
of 1933.  The Company's motion to dismiss that Complaint was filed
in October 2012 and is pending.  The Company believes that this
lawsuit is without merit, and the Company intends to vigorously
defend itself against these claims.

Due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation and regulatory
proceedings, including the current purported class action lawsuit
and the SEC investigation, the Company cannot determine with
certainty the ultimate outcome of any such litigation or
proceedings.  If the final resolution of any such litigation or
proceedings is unfavorable, the Company's financial condition,
operating results and cash flows could be materially affected.

Molycorp, Inc. -- http://www.molycorp.com/-- engages in the
production and sale of rare earth oxides in the western
hemisphere.  The Company's rare earth products include oxides,
metals, alloys, and magnets for various inputs in existing and
emerging applications comprising clean energy technologies,
multiple high-tech uses, defense applications, and water treatment
technology.  Molycorp is headquartered in Greenwood Village,
Colorado.


MPG OFFICE: Shareholders File Class Action Over Buyout
------------------------------------------------------
Kaitlin Ugolik, writing for Law360, reports that an MPG Office
Trust Inc. shareholder on April 29 launched a putative class
action against the real estate investment trust in California,
claiming its recent agreement to sell its assets to Brookfield
Office Properties Inc. leaves shareholders holding the short end
of the stick.  Hilary Coyne argued on behalf of a putative class
of shareholders that Brookfield is now set to become the largest
landlord in downtown Los Angeles and reap substantial value from a
deal that inadequately compensates MPG shareholders.


NATIONAL WESTERN: Continues to Defend Deferred Annuities Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
National Western Life Insurance Company continues to defend itself
against a class action lawsuit initiated in California, according
to the Company's March 18, 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 a class action lawsuit
pending as of June 12, 2006, in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of California.  The case is titled In Re
National Western Life Insurance Deferred Annuities Litigation.
The complaint asserts claims for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act ("RICO") violations, Financial Elder Abuse,
Violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17200, et seq, Violation of
Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17500, et seq., Breach of Fiduciary Duty,
Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Fraudulent
Concealment, Cal. Civ. Code 1710, et seq, Breach of the Duty of
Good Faith and Fair Dealing, and Unjust Enrichment and Imposition
of Constructive Trust.  On July 12, 2010, the Court certified a
nationwide class of policyholders under the RICO allegation and a
California class under all of the remaining causes of action
except breach of fiduciary duty.

The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses in this
cause and intends to vigorously defend itself against the asserted
claims.  In addition, given the speculative and vague damage
theories presented by the plaintiffs in the matter, the inability
to ascertain any financial harm to the class of policyholders, and
the current status of the case before the Court, the Company is
unable to reasonably estimate a possible range of loss for
disclosure in the accompanying financial statements.  Therefore,
no amounts have been provided in the financial statements of the
Company as of December 31, 2012, for this matter.  Trial was set
for April 22, 2013.

National Western Life Insurance Company --
http://www.nationalwesternlife.com/-- is a stock life insurance
company, chartered in Colorado in 1956, and is headquartered in
Austin, Texas.  National Western provides life insurance products
for the savings and protection needs of approximately 133,000
policyholders and for the asset accumulation and retirement needs
of 141,000 annuity contract holders.


NOVA SCOTIA HOME: N.S. Gov't Accused of Wiping Out Abuse Evidence
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Eva Hoare, writing for The Chronicle Herald, reports that in a
rare legal move, the Nova Scotia government is trying to wipe out
evidence filed against the province in the Nova Scotia Home for
Colored Children case.

Lawyers for the attorney general's department filed 35 pages on
April 30 in Nova Scotia Supreme Court asking the court to throw
out "all or portions" of certain affidavits filed by former
residents of the home.

Those affidavits contain widespread allegations of "severe abuse"
-- physical, sexual and/or psychological -- suffered at the hands
of staffers and others.  The former residents hope to launch a
class action against the province alleging negligence, starting
June 10.

This latest salvo appears "extreme," said Wayne MacKay, a
constitutional law expert at Dalhousie University's Schulich
School of Law.

"It would be more typical that they would object . . . because the
group doesn't (allegedly) conform to (class-action) criteria,"
Mr. MacKay said in an interview on May 1.

"This is more, in some ways, a broad political than a legal
action."

Mr. MacKay said he finds it puzzling that from "the premier on
down," the province appears to be seeking a resolution to help
former residents.  But at the same time, government
representatives took this action, he said.

"The . . . Justice Department (is) taking such a dismissive
approach to the case, while the government at the other level is
talking to the residents and the claimants and at least
considering some kind of investigative . . . process.

"At first glance, it would seem to me to be (that) the right arm
of government doesn't seem to be the same as the left."

Ray Wagner, who is spearheading the proposed class action, agreed,
saying that such an "aggressive" tactic had never been taken
before in the country.

"From our research, this is the first time in the history of class
actions in all of Canada that a defendant is doing what the
province is doing," Mr. Wagner said in an interview Wednesday.

"It is simply unprecedented.  This . . . is seen by the former
residents as yet another attempt by the government to obstruct
their need to get to the bottom of what happened and why.  Why is
it again that the former residents are being treated differently?"

Mr. Wagner also questioned government's motives at the same time
it is talking about healing. In late March, the province said it
would establish some form of independent panel to examine what
happened at the home.

"Actions speak louder than words," Mr. Wagner said.  "The province
has taken a highly unusual and aggressive attempt to strike out
every word of every affidavit of every former resident that has
been filed with the court.

"The premier and the minister of justice made very public
declarations of (their) desire to treat the former residents
fairly and support them in their search for truth and
reconciliation.  The hard-line, aggressive approach . . . lies in
striking contrast to its recent public commitment towards healing
and getting at the truth.

"Sadly, they feel that this is simply a perpetuation of the
historical injustices which caused their harms in the first
place."

A spokesperson for the provincial Justice Department said on May 1
that there would be no comment as the case is before the court.

In its filing, the province lists 13 affidavits it would like "all
or portions of" expunged.  Ten are from former residents.

The remaining three are from the former residents' lawyer, Mike
Dull, with Wagners Law; Jane Earle, a former executive director of
the home; and Sandra Scarth, a child welfare expert.

Provincial lawyers want to spare affidavits filed in support of
the province, the court papers say.

The province, which repeats text from each of the affidavits it
wants tossed over a span of 11 pages, argues that none are
"relevant" to a proper certification hearing.

"The attorney general submits that . . . the plaintiffs are
inviting the court to certify the proceeding on the basis of
irrelevant matters, such as the degree to which the allegations of
the plaintiffs are shocking, disturbing or appear serious," the
province said.

"These are not considerations for a certification hearing."

The province also maintains the "rules of the court" allow such
affidavits to be wiped from the record.  It goes on to cite case
law in which some affidavits were not admissible because they were
based on "speculation."

The attorney general's lawyers also contend there are
"restrictions" on affidavits submitted by solicitors, meaning the
one given by Dull in support of the former residents.


OUTDOOR CHANNEL: Suits Over Merger With InterMedia Now Moot
-----------------------------------------------------------
Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. said in its March 18, 2013, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2012, that the class action lawsuits
arising from its proposed merger with InterMedia Outdoors
Holdings, LLC, have been rendered moot because that merger
agreement was terminated.

On March 13, 2013, the Company entered into a definitive merger
agreement with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, LLC, a Delaware
limited liability company ("KSE"), and KSE Merger Sub, Inc. a
Delaware corporation and direct wholly-owned subsidiary of KSE
(the "KSE Merger Agreement"), which was unanimously approved by
the Company's Board of Directors.  Under the terms of the KSE
Merger Agreement, at the closing, KSE Merger Sub will merge with
and into the Company, and the Company will survive the merger as a
wholly-owned subsidiary of KSE (the "KSE Merger").

The execution of the KSE Merger Agreement followed the
determination by the Company's Board of Directors that the terms
of the KSE proposal constituted a Superior Proposal under the
terms of the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated as of
November 15, 2012, by and among the Company, InterMedia Outdoors
Holdings, LLC, InterMedia Outdoor Holdings, Inc and certain of its
indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries (the "InterMedia Merger
Agreement").  Prior to entering into the KSE Merger Agreement, the
Company terminated the InterMedia Merger Agreement and paid
InterMedia a termination fee of $6.5 million as required by the
terms of the InterMedia Merger Agreement.

On January 2, 2013, a lawsuit seeking class action status on
behalf of stockholders of the Company was filed against the
Company, InterMedia Outdoors Holdings, LLC, InterMedia Outdoor
Holdings, Inc. and certain of its indirect wholly-owned
subsidiaries, and the Company's Board of Directors in the Superior
Court of Riverside County, State of California, captioned Kurt
Hueneke v. Perry Massie, et al., MCC 1300001.  On February 4,
2013, a second purported class action lawsuit was filed in the
Superior Court of Riverside County, State of California, captioned
Richard A. Crockett v. Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc., et al., MCC
1300140.  The complaints name as primary defendants the members of
the Company's Board of Directors and generally allege that the
directors violated the fiduciary duties owed to the Company's
stockholders by approving the InterMedia Merger Agreement.  The
complaints allege that the board members engaged in an unfair
process, agreed to unfair deal terms, and agreed to a price that
allegedly fails to maximize value for stockholders.  The
complaints further allege that the other named defendants aided
and abetted the purported breach of those fiduciary duties.  The
complaints seek various forms of relief, including injunctive
relief that would, if granted, prevent the completion of the
merger and an award of attorneys' fees and expenses.

Given the Company's announcement of the KSE Merger Agreement and
termination of the InterMedia Merger Agreement, the Company
believes these specific lawsuits have, for all intents and
purposes, been rendered moot.

Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. -- http://www.outdoorchannel.com/-
- is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Temecula, California.
The Company is an entertainment and media company with operations
in three segments: The Outdoor Channel, Inc., the Production
Services segment comprised of Winnercomm, Inc., and the Aerial
Cameras segment comprised of CableCam, LLC and SkyCam, LLC.


P.E. & F.: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service disclosed that certain stores in various states received
frozen, ready-to-eat meatballs due to possible contamination with
Listeria monocytogenes products that have been recalled by P.E. &
F. Inc., a St. Louis establishment.

The FSIS says the list of store locations may not include all
retail locations that have received the recalled product or may
include retail locations that did not actually receive the
recalled product.  Therefore, the FSIS says, it is important that
consumers use the product-specific identification information
available at http://is.gd/BFkkT4,in addition to the list of
retail stores, to check meat or poultry products in the consumers'
possession to see if they have been recalled.

    Nationwide, State-Wide, or Area-Wide Distribution
    -------------------------------------------------
    Retailer Name      Location
    -------------      --------
    My Store           (Example) All franchises in Michigan,
                       Indiana, and Ohio

    Specific Store-Wide Distribution (Stores and Location)
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Retailer Name       City and State
    -------------       --------------
    Schnucks            Collinsville, Illinois
    Dierbergs           Shiloh, Illinois
    Schnucks            Arnold, Missouri
    Schnucks            Cottleville, Missouri
    Schnucks            Des Peres, Missouri
    Schnucks            Florissant, Missouri
    Shop N Save         Mexico Loop Road East, Ofallon, Missouri
    Dierbergs           Ofallon, Missouri
    Schnucks            3029 Highway K, Ofallon, Missouri
    Shop N Save         3740 Monticello Plaza, Ofallon, Missouri
    Schnucks            Veterans Memorial Parkway, Ofallon, MO
    Shop N Save         St. Charles, Missouri
    Schnucks            1950 Zumbehl Road, St. Charles, Missouri
    Dierbergs           St. Charles, Missouri
    Schnucks            800 S. Duchesne, St. Charles, Missouri
    Schnucks            St. Louis, Missouri
    Dierbergs           Lemay Ferry Rd., St. Louis, Missouri
    Dierbergs           5640 Telegraph Road, St. Louis, Missouri
    Shop N Save         St. Peters, Missouri
    Dierbergs           St. Peters, Missouri
    Schnucks            Wildwood, Missouri


PARTNER COMMS: Unit Faces Consumer Class Suit in Haifa
------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of Partner Communications Company Ltd. is facing a
consumer class action lawsuit in Haifa, Israel, according to the
Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On December 24, 2012, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as
a class action were filed against 012 Smile Telecom Ltd. to the
District Court in Haifa, Israel.  The claim alleges that 012 Smile
breached certain provisions of its licenses and the Consumer
Protection Law by enabling a third party the use of automated
dialers for  marketing and billing purposes over 012 telecom
services.  As the plaintiff has not yet determined the size of the
group, the estimated amount of the entire claim is not yet known.

The Company says it has begun to assess the risk involved for the
Company in the class action lawsuit but at this stage in its
analysis, the Company is not yet in a position to form a judgment.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Awaits Decision in Consumer Class Suit
-----------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is awaiting a court decision
on a motion to certify a class in a lawsuit alleging violations of
the Israeli Consumer Protection Law, according to the Company's
March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On January 9, 2012, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against the Company.  The claim alleges
that the Company did not comply with the provisions of the Israeli
Consumer Protection Law and its license with respect to the manner
of handling customer complaints regarding incorrect charges and
that as a result the group members suffered non pecuniary damages
as a result of anguish and a waste of their time.  If the claim is
recognized as a class action, the total amount claimed from the
Company is estimated by the plaintiffs to be approximately NIS 392
million.  The claim is still in its preliminary stage of the
motion to be certified as a class action.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Awaits OK of Deal in Suit Over Charges
-----------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is awaiting court approval of
its settlement of a class action lawsuit over charges for certain
content services, according to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form
20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2012.

On April 12, 2010, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against the Company.  The claim alleges
that the Company charges its subscribers for certain content
services without their consent.  If the claim is recognized as a
class action, the total amount claimed from the Company is
estimated by the plaintiffs to be approximately NIS 343 million.
On December 18, 2011, the parties filed a request to approve a
settlement agreement.  Following the courts' remarks, the parties
were instructed to file a revised agreement, which was filed on
March 18, 2012.  Following further remarks by the court, the
parties filed a revised agreement on September 28, 2012.  The
Company has accrued in the financial statements an amount to
settle this claim based on the proposed agreement.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Awaits OK of Accord in Spam Law Violation Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is awaiting court approval of
its settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging violations of
the Israeli's spam law, according to the Company's March 19, 2013,
Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On February 1, 2011, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as
a class action were filed against the Company.  The claim alleges
that the Company did not comply with the requirements set by the
Israeli Communications Law (telecommunications and broadcast)
(amendment 40), 2008, regarding transmission of advertisements
through telecommunication means (also known as "the spam law").
If the claim is recognized as a class action, the total amount
claimed from the Company is estimated by the plaintiffs to be
approximately NIS 560 million.  On February 13, 2013, the parties
filed a revised request to approve a settlement agreement that is
subject to the court's approval.  The Company has accrued in the
financial statements an amount to settle this claim based on the
proposed agreement.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/--
is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Awaits Ruling in Phone Accessories Suit
------------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is awaiting a court decision
on a motion to certify a class in a lawsuit relating to phone
accessories, according to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

On June 6, 2011, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against the Company and the three other
cellular operators.  The claim alleges that the Company sell or
supply accessories that are intended for carrying cellular
handsets on the body, in a manner that contradicts the
instructions and warnings of the cellular handset manufacturers
and the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, all this
without disclosing the risks entailed in the use of these
accessories when they are sold or marketed.  If the claim is
recognized as a class action, the total amount claimed from the
Company is estimated by the plaintiffs to be approximately NIS
1.010 billion.  The claim is still in its preliminary stage of the
motion to be certified as a class action.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Awaits Ruling in Suit Over Quality Issues
--------------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is awaiting a court decision
on a motion to certify a class in a lawsuit over quality of
services, according to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

On May 23, 2010, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against the Company and the other cellular
operators.  The claim alleges that the Company, as well as the
other defendants, is breaching its contractual and/or legal
obligation to erect cellular sites in the appropriate scope,
quantity and coverage in order to provide cellular services in the
required and appropriate quality.  The plaintiffs claimed that
this omission also causes, inter alia, monetary damages caused to
consumers as a result of lack of sufficient coverage, including
call disconnections, insufficient voice quality etc., as well as a
significant increase in the non-ionized radiation that the public
is exposed to mainly from the cellular telephone handset.

In addition, it is claimed that the Company and the other
defendants are breaching their contractual and/or legal obligation
to ensure and/or check and/or repair and/or notify the consumer,
that after repair and/or upgrade and/or exchange of cellular
handsets, the handsets may emit radiation in levels that exceed
the levels of radiation as set forth by the manufacturer in the
handset data and even exceeds the maximum permitted levels set
forth by law.  In addition, it was claimed that the Company and
the other defendants do not fulfill their obligation to caution
and warn the consumers of the risks involved in holding the
handset and the proximity of the handset to the body while
carrying it and during a phone call.  In addition, it was claimed
that if the handsets marketed by the Company and the other
defendants emit non-ionizing radiation above the permitted level,
at any distance from the body, then the marketing and sale of such
handsets is prohibited in Israel.  If the claim is recognized as a
class action, the total amount claimed from the Company is
estimated by the plaintiffs to be approximately NIS 3.677 billion.
The claim is still in its preliminary stage of the motion to be
certified as a class action.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/--
is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Awaits Ruling in Suit Over SMS Services
------------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is awaiting a court decision
on a motion to certify a class in the lawsuit relating to charges
in services sent through text messages, according to the Company's
March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On September 7, 2010, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as
a class action were filed against the Company.  The claim alleges
that the Company unlawfully charges its customers for services of
various content providers, which are sent through text messages
(SMS).  If the claim is recognized as a class action, the total
amount claimed from the Company is estimated by the plaintiffs to
be approximately NIS 405 million.  The claim is still in its
preliminary stage of the motion to be certified as a class action.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Continues to Defend Suit Over VAT Charges
--------------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. continues to defend itself
against a class action lawsuit over V.A.T. charges for roaming
services that are consumed abroad, according to the Company's
March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On July 14, 2010, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against the Company.  The claim alleges
that Partner is breaching its contractual and/or legal obligation
and/or is acting negligently by charging V.A.T. for roaming
services that are consumed abroad.  If the claim is recognized as
a class action, the plaintiff demands to return the total amount
of V.A.T. that was charged by Partner for roaming services that
were consumed abroad.  The plaintiff also pursues an injunction
that will order Partner to stop charging V.A.T. for roaming
services that are consumed abroad.  The claim is still in the
preliminary stage of the motion to certify it as a class action.

Based on its best judgment of the merits or lack thereof of the
class action, the Company says the likely range of damages which
may be involved, and any provisions made in respect thereof in the
Company's balance sheet, the Company does not currently believe
that the outcome of the class action will have a material negative
effect on its financial situation.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Deal in Suit vs. 012 Revised in March
----------------------------------------------------
Parties in a consolidated class action lawsuit against
international telephony companies, including a subsidiary of
Partner Communications Company Ltd. signed a revised settlement
agreement in March 2013, according to the Company's March 19,
2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

During 2008, several claims and motions to certify the claims as
class actions were filed with various District Courts in Israel
against several international telephony companies, including the
Company's subsidiary, 012 Smile Telecom Ltd.  The plaintiffs
allege that with respect to prepaid calling card services the
defendants mislead the consumers in certain issues, charged
consumers in excess, and formed a cartel that arranged and raised
the prices of calling cards.  On September 25, 2008, the Court
decided to hear all the lawsuits and four other claims in which
the 012 is not a party, but involve similar issues as the present
claim, in the same proceeding.

On December 9, 2008, the Court approved a motion to amend the
actions and requests of all the unified claims.  On January 1,
2009, the unified and amended lawsuit and request were filed in
place of the original lawsuits and requests (in this section: "the
Amended Lawsuit" and "the Amended Request").  In the event of
certification of the Lawsuit and the Amended Lawsuit as class
actions the total amount claimed against 012 is NIS 354 million.
The Plaintiffs claim additional damages, which are not estimated,
with respect to unsuccessful attempts to make calls utilizing the
cards.  On November 3, 2010, the court granted the plaintiff's
request and certified the lawsuit as a class action against all of
the defendants.  On December 13, 2010, 012 Smile filed a Motion
with the Supreme Court for leave to appeal on the district court's
decision granting class action certification.

On April 14, 2011, the Supreme Court recommended that the parties
turn to a mediation route.  On May 10, 2012, the parties signed a
settlement agreement regarding the Amended Request and regarding
an additional lawsuit, dealing with similar issues.

On March 11, 2013, the parties signed a revised settlement
agreement.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Defends 012 in Suit Over Unified Tariff
------------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is defending a subsidiary
against a class action lawsuit over unified tariff, according to
the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On August 8, 2012, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against 012 Smile Telecom Ltd. and another
Internet Service Provider to the Central District Court in Israel.
The claim alleges that the defendants breached certain provisions
of their licenses by not offering their services at a unified
tariff to all customers.  The total amount claimed against 012
Smile if the lawsuit is recognized as a class action was not
stated by the plaintiff.

The Company says it has begun to assess the risk involved for the
Company in the class action lawsuit but at this stage in its
analysis, the Company is not yet in a position to form a judgment.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Defends Class Suit Over Unused Minutes
-----------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is defending a class action
lawsuit alleging misrepresentation regarding the balance of unused
minutes, according to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

In February 7, 2012, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as
a class action were filed against the Company.  The claim alleges
that the Company misled its customers by misrepresenting to them
the balance of unused minutes of the package of minutes, while in
fact it charged them for minutes that exceeded the package.  If
the claim is recognized as a class action the total amount claimed
from the Company is estimated by the plaintiffs to be
approximately NIS 475 million.  The claim is still in its
preliminary stage of the motion to be certified as a class action.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suit by Pre-Paid Subscribers
---------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is defending a class action
lawsuit alleging it unlawfully charges pre-paid subscribers for
services of various content providers, according to the Company's
March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On October 16, 2012, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as
a class action was filed against the Company.  The claim alleges
that the Company unlawfully charges the Company's Pre-Paid
subscribers for services of various content providers.  If the
claim is recognized as a class action the total amount claimed
against the Company is estimated by the plaintiffs to be
approximately NIS 700 million.  The claim is still in its
preliminary stage of the motion to be certified as a class action.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suit Over 12-Second Charges
--------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. continues to defend itself
against a class action lawsuit over charges for a time unit that
is longer than 12 seconds, according to the Company's March 19,
2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On July 14, 2010, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against the Company.  The claim alleges
that during the period between September 3, 2007, and Dec. 31,
2008, Partner charged some of its subscribers for a time unit
which is longer than 12 seconds while this charge was inconsistent
with Partner's license.  The total amount claimed from Partner is
estimated by the plaintiffs to be more than the minimum amount for
the authority of the District Court in Israel, which is NIS 2.5
million.  On September 6, 2012, the court certified the claim as a
class action.  In light of the fact that Partner has already
credited the relevant customers, Partner does not anticipate that
it will be required to pay any additional amounts to the said
customers.

Based on its best judgment of the merits or lack thereof of the
class action, the Company says the likely range of damages which
may be involved, and any provisions made in respect thereof in the
Company's balance sheet, the Company does not currently believe
that the outcome of the class action will have a material negative
effect on its financial situation.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suit Over Tethering Function
---------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is defending a class action
lawsuit over the tethering function of smartphone handsets,
according to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On September 19, 2012, a lawsuit and a motion to certify the
lawsuit as a class action were filed against the Company and
another cellular operator.  The claim alleges that the Company
limited and/or blocked the tethering function that allows
smartphone handsets to be used as a wireless router for other
handsets not in accordance with the Telecommunications Law.  If
the claim is recognized as a class action the total amount claimed
from the Company is estimated by the plaintiffs to be
approximately NIS 8.089 billion.  The claim is still in its
preliminary stage of the motion to be certified as a class action.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suits Over Environmental Claims
------------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is defending itself against
class action lawsuits alleging environmental claims, according to
the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

Two lawsuits and motions for the recognition of these lawsuits as
class actions are filed against Partner with respect to
environmental issues.  As of the date of approval of these
financial statements, the amounts claimed from these lawsuits sum
up to NIS 4.61 billion.

In addition, during 2012, the court dismissed a claim and the
request to certify the claim as a class action in an amount of NIS
333 million.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suits Over Health Effects of RF
------------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. continues to defend itself
against lawsuits alleging adverse health effects relating to radio
frequency, according to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

Several lawsuits have been filed against operators and other
participants in the wireless industry alleging adverse health
effects and other claims relating to radio frequency transmissions
to and from sites, handsets and other mobile telecommunications
devices, including lawsuits against the Company.  A class action
was filed against the Company and three other operators alleging,
among other things, that health effects were caused due to a lack
of cell sites, resulting in elevated levels of radiation, mainly
from handsets.  Another class action filed against the Company and
two other cellular operators claimed, among other things, the
opposite, that adverse environmental effects were caused by an
excessive amount of cell sites that the Company erected.  The
parties agreed to the dismissal of the claim.  In both class
actions, the plaintiffs stressed that health damages are not a
part of these claims.  A class action was also filed against the
Company and three other operators alleging, among other things,
that the supply of accessories that are intended for carrying
cellular handsets on the body are sold in a manner that
contradicts the instructions and warnings of the cellular handset
manufacturers and the recommendations of the Ministry of Health,
and without disclosing the risks entailed in the use of these
accessories when they are sold or marketed.  In addition, a tort
claim that was filed against the Company alleging that the use of
handsets, under certain circumstances, results in elevated
radiation which caused health damage, has been dismissed.
However, the Company may still be subject to additional future
litigation relating to these health concerns.

In February 2009, a municipal court ruled against one of the
Company's competitors, stating that there is no need for the
standard burden of proof to prove damages from a cellular network
site, and that under certain circumstances it would be sufficient
to prove the possibility of damage in order to transfer the burden
of proof to the cellular companies.  To the best of the Company's
knowledge, the defendant appealed the ruling and the ruling was
dismissed as part of a settlement between the parties.  Although
the Company was not a party to this proceeding, such rulings could
have an adverse effect on the Company's ability to contend with
claims of health damages as a result of the erection of network
sites.

The Company says the perception of increased health risks related
to network sites may cause the Company increased difficulty in
obtaining leases for new network site locations or renewing leases
for existing locations or otherwise in installing mobile
telecommunication devices.  If it is ever determined that health
risks existed or that there was a deviation from radiation
standards which would result in a health risk from sites, other
telecommunication devices or handsets, this would have a material
adverse effect on the Company's business, operations and financial
condition, including through exposure to potential liability, a
reduction in subscribers and reduced usage per subscriber.
Furthermore, the Company does not expect to be able to obtain
insurance with respect to such liability.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Defends Suits Over Monetary Refunds
--------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is defending itself against a
class action lawsuit over monetary refunds to customers, according
to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2012.

On May 13, 2012, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against the Company.  The claim alleges
that the Company does not grant its customers monetary refunds for
cellular handsets that were purchased from the Company, starting
from the first month after the purchase, as alleged that they are
entitled to, and thereby breaches the Israeli Consumer Protection
Law and profits unlawfully.  If the claim is recognized as a class
action the total amount claimed from the Company is estimated by
the plaintiffs to be approximately NIS 235 million.  The claim is
still in its preliminary stage of the motion to be certified as a
class action.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Defends Unit in Suit Over Ads on Tariff
------------------------------------------------------
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is defending a subsidiary from
a class action lawsuit over advertisements regarding tariffs,
according to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On July 31, 2012, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against 012 Smile Telecom Ltd. to the
Central District Court in Israel.  The claim alleges that 012
Smile's advertisements regarding certain tariffs did not include
correct and complete information as to possible additional tariffs
charged of third parties.  As the plaintiff has not yet determined
the size of the group, the estimated amount of the entire claim is
not yet known.

The Company says it has begun to assess the risk involved for the
Company in the class action lawsuit but at this stage in its
analysis, the Company is not yet in a position to form a judgment.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Dismissal of Rounding Up Suit Appealed
-----------------------------------------------------
The Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of a class action lawsuit
related to the rounding up of charges for calls executed abroad,
according to Partner Communications Company Ltd.'s March 19, 2013,
Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On August 21, 2011, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a
class action were filed against the Company and two other cellular
operators.  The claim alleges that Partner charges its customers
for calls executed abroad by rounding up the actual duration of
the call based on an interval that differs from that set out in
its licenses.  If the claim is recognized as a class action, the
total amount claimed from Partner is estimated by the plaintiff to
be at least the amount within the authority of the District Court
in Israel, which is NIS 2.5 million.

On September 6, 2012, the court dismissed the claim and the
request.  On November 1, 2012, the plaintiff submitted an appeal
to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem.

Based on its best judgment of the merits or lack thereof of the
class action, the Company says the likely range of damages which
may be involved, and any provisions made in respect thereof in the
Company's balance sheet, the Company does not currently believe
that the outcome of the class action will have a material negative
effect on its financial situation.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Implements Terms of Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------
Parties in a class action lawsuit alleging miscalculation of the
number of minutes consumed by a customer are implementing the
terms of their settlement agreement, according to Partner
Communications Company Ltd.'s March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2012.

During 2010, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a class
action were filed against Partner.  The claim alleges that in the
process of generating bills to its customers, Partner wrongfully
miscalculates the number of minutes consumed by a customer
multiplied by the tariff per minute, in Partner's favor.  The
total amount of damages claimed by the plaintiffs is approximately
NIS 2 million.  On August 18, 2011, the court granted the
plaintiff's request and certified the lawsuit as a class action.
On January 10, 2012, the parties filed an agreed request for the
court's approval of a compromise settlement reached by the
parties.  On January 31, 2013 the court approved the settlement
agreement, which the parties are implementing.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Issue on Wireless Access Devices Pending
-------------------------------------------------------
The matter relating to building permits of wireless access devices
is still pending before the Supreme Court and the High Court of
Justice in Israel, according to Partner Communications Company
Ltd.'s March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

The Company has set up several hundred small communications
devices, called wireless access devices, pursuant to a provision
in the Telecommunications Law, which exempts such devices from the
need to obtain a building permit.  A claim was raised that the
exemption does not apply to cellular communications devices and
the matter reached first instance courts a number of times,
resulting in conflicting decisions.  This claim is included in an
application to certify a class action filed against the three
principal Israeli cellular operators.  In May 2008 a district
court ruling adopted the position that the exemption does not
apply to wireless access devices.  The Company, as well as its
competitors, filed a request to appeal this ruling to the Supreme
Court.  In May 2008, the Attorney General filed an opinion
regarding this matter stating that the exemption does apply to
wireless radio access devices under certain conditions; two
petitions were filed with the High Court of Justice in opposition
to the Attorney General's opinion.  The matter is still pending
before the Supreme Court and the High Court of Justice.

If a definitive court judgment holds that the exemption does not
apply to cellular devices at all, the Company may be required to
remove the existing devices and would not be able to install new
devices on the basis of the exemption.  As a result, the Company's
network capacity and coverage would be negatively impacted, which
could have an adverse effect on its revenue and results of
operations.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Parties Signed Revised Deal in March
---------------------------------------------------
Parties in a class action lawsuit against a subsidiary of Partner
Communications Company Ltd. brought by purchasers of prepaid
calling cards signed a revised settlement agreement in March 2013,
according to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On February 15, 2012, a claim and a motion to certify the claim as
a class action were filed against 012 Smile Telecom Ltd. and other
telecommunication operators (the "defendants").  The claim alleges
that the defendants misled the purchasers of prepaid calling cards
designated for international calls with respect to certain bonus
minutes.  The total amount claimed against 012 (and against each
of the other defendants) if the claim is recognized as a class
action is estimated by the plaintiff to be NIS 2.7 billion.  On
May 10, 2012, the parties signed a settlement agreement regarding
the Amended Request and regarding an additional lawsuit, dealing
with similar issues.  On March 11, 2013, the parties signed a
revised settlement agreement.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Suit Over 3G Network Sites Dismissed
---------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit against Partner Communications Company Ltd.
asking for the revocation of building permits given to the 3G
network sites was dismissed during 2012, according to the
Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

Since June 2002, following the approval of the National Building
Plan 36 (the "Plan"), which regulates network site construction
and operation, building permits for the Company's network sites
(where required) have been issued in reliance on the Plan.
Several local planning and building authorities have questioned
the ability of Israeli cellular operators to receive building
permits, in reliance on the Plan, for network sites operating in
frequencies not specifically detailed in the frequency charts
attached to the Plan.  In a number of cases, these authorities
have refused to grant building permits for 3G network sites,
claiming that 3G frequencies are not included in the Plan.  There
has been no judicial ruling at this stage.  A class action that
was filed against the Company as well as other cellular operators
a number of years ago with a request for the revocation of the
building permits given to the 3G network sites was dismissed
during 2012.

The Plan is in the process of being changed.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/
-- is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


PARTNER COMMS: Tel-Aviv Court Certified Class in March
------------------------------------------------------
The Tel-Aviv District Court certified a class action lawsuit
against Partner Communications Company Ltd. in March 2013,
according to the Company's March 19, 2013, Form 20-F filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On September 26, 2011, a claim and a motion to certify the claim
as a class action were filed against Partner.  The claim alleges
that Partner unlawfully charged payments from costumers who
requested to port-in their phone number from another cellular
operator for services which were given to them prior to the
completion of the port-in.  The amount claimed in the lawsuit was
estimated by the plaintiffs to be approximately NIS 25 million.
On March 3, 2013, The Tel-Aviv District Court approved the motion
and recognized the lawsuit as a class action.  At this stage, the
trial will begin to be heard as an ordinary civil claim.  Partner
estimates that even if the claim will be decided in favor of the
relevant costumers, the damages that Partner will be required to
pay for are immaterial.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. -- http://www.orange.co.il/--
is an Israeli telecommunications company headquartered in Rosh-
Ha'ayin, Israel.  The Company provides a range of cellular and
fixed-line telecommunication services, and offers its subscribers
competitive tariffs, advanced technologies and services, including
its 3G services and cellular data services through external or
internal cellular modems, tablets and smartphones.


POWERCOR: 21 People Join Class Action Over 2009 Bushfire
--------------------------------------------------------
ABC News reports that lawyers representing people whose homes were
destroyed by a Black Saturday bushfire near Colac say everyone who
is eligible has joined a class action.

The February 2009 fire destroyed about 1,300 hectares of farmland
at Pomborneit and Weerite.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court approved a settlement between
Powercor and affected landholders that gives landholders 100 per
cent of their costs.

Brendan Pendergast from Maddens Lawyers says 21 claimants have
registered for compensation and he hopes to have the claims
finalized by the end of the year.

"It's difficult to be precise about that but our best estimate
based upon the loss assessment work that's been done to date, and
there's a fairly extensive body of work now completed, probably
around $10 million across the whole area is a reasonable estimate
of loss," he said.

"I think people are very pleased with the outcome, it's 100 per
cent of their losses.

"The only compromise that was made is they forego some penalty
interest from the day the writ was issued through to the first of
January this year

"So it's a quite outstanding result really and we've been met with
nothing but praise for the outcome by the people who were affected
by the fire."


PRESRITE CORP: Settles EEOC Class Action for $700,000
-----------------------------------------------------
HR.BLR.com reports that a manufacturing company headquartered in
Cleveland will pay $700,000, offer jobs to no fewer than 40 women
to settle a systemic class action lawsuit brought by the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency
announced on May 2.

The EEOC's lawsuit charged widespread discrimination against women
who applied to work at one or more of company's three plants in
Cleveland and Ashtabula County.

According to the EEOC, the company, Presrite Corporation -- a
federal contractor -- consistently passed over female applicants
in favor of less-qualified males for entry-level positions at all
three plants.

The EEOC also cited evidence that women who were hired for such
positions were harassed.  The agency pointed to testimony from a
former Presrite employee who testified that her male-coworkers
told her women should not be working there; called her a "dumb
b----h"; drew degrading pictures of her; and suggested that she
open the top of her work uniform to pose for a photograph.

The EEOC also charged the company with failing to keep
applications and other employee data in violation of federal law.
The EEOC alleged that Presrite failed to produce more than a
thousand employment applications for persons the company hired and
failed to maintain accurate or complete data about applicants.  As
a result, the EEOC said, it was unable to identify by name all of
the female applicants who were unlawfully denied hire.

The EEOC filed suit in 2011 in U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Ohio after first attempting to reach a
pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

On April 24, Judge Patricia A. Gaughan signed a publicly filed
consent decree resolving the case.  Under the terms of the decree,
Presrite will pay $700,000 in compensatory damages to establish a
class fund for women who sought certain positions at Presrite and
were denied hire.  Over the course of the next three years,
Presrite will also offer jobs to no fewer than 40 women identified
by the EEOC during the claims process. The decree compels Presrite
to give those females priority consideration and to offer them
jobs before any current applicants.

The decree also requires Presrite to implement a number of
measures designed to prevent future discrimination such as
periodic reports to EEOC disclosing the number of females and
males who applied as compared to those who were hired; mandatory
training; and compulsory retention of applicant and employment
records, including creating and producing electronic data.

The decree includes an injunction prohibiting Presrite from
discriminating against women in the recruiting and hiring process
and compelling the company to make all good-faith, reasonably
necessary efforts to find female candidates to fill vacancies in
laborer or operative positions.

"We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with this
defendant," said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez.

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence said, "The EEOC continues to
pursue class action litigation to obtain relief for victims of
discrimination.  As demonstrated in this case, the EEOC is
committed to enforcing Title VII violations in all aspects of
employment -- particularly where employers refuse to hire women
for jobs that or have been, or are perceived to have been,
traditionally filled by men.  Here, the consent decree not only
includes substantive monetary relief, but also compels the
employer to hire a significant number of women."

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-
based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against
racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and
people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities
identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).


PROSPER MARKETPLACE: Summary Judgment Bid Denied in January
-----------------------------------------------------------
Prosper Marketplace, Inc. and other defendants' motion for summary
judgment was denied in January 2013, according to the Company's
March 19, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On November 26, 2008, plaintiffs, Christian Hellum, William
Barnwell and David Booth, individually and on behalf of all other
plaintiffs similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit
against PMI and certain of its executive officers and directors in
the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco,
California.  The lawsuit was brought on behalf of all promissory
note purchasers on the platform from January 1, 2006, through
October 14, 2008.  The lawsuit alleges that PMI offered and sold
unqualified and unregistered securities in violation of the
California and federal securities laws.  The lawsuit seeks class
certification, damages and the right of rescission against PMI and
the other named defendants, as well as treble damages against PMI
and the award of attorneys' fees, experts' fees and costs, and
pre-judgment and post-judgment interest.

On February 25, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a Third Amended
Complaint, which removed David Booth as a plaintiff and added
Brian Russom and Michael Del Greco as plaintiffs.  The new
plaintiffs are representing the same class and prosecuting the
same claims as the previously named plaintiffs.  On February 29,
2012, the court issued a procedural order granting the plaintiffs'
motion for class certification.  On October 4, 2012, PMI and the
other named defendants filed a motion for summary judgment seeking
dismissal of the lawsuit.  On January 17, 2013, the motion for
summary judgment was denied.

                        Greenwich Action

PMI's insurance carrier with respect to the class action lawsuit,
Greenwich Insurance Company ("Greenwich"), denied coverage.  On
August 21, 2009, PMI filed a lawsuit against Greenwich in the
Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, California.
The lawsuit sought a declaration that PMI was entitled to coverage
under its policy with Greenwich for losses arising out of the
class action lawsuit as well as damages and the award of
attorneys' fees and pre- and post-judgment interest.

On January 26, 2011, the court issued a final statement of
decision finding that Greenwich had a duty to defend the class
action lawsuit, and requiring that Greenwich pay PMI's past and
future defense costs in the class action lawsuit up to $2 million.
Greenwich subsequently made payments to PMI in the amount of $2
million to reimburse PMI for the defense costs it had incurred in
the class action lawsuit.  On July 1, 2011, PMI and Greenwich
entered into a Stipulated Order of Judgment pursuant to which PMI
agreed to dismiss its remaining claims against Greenwich.  On
August 12, 2011, Greenwich filed a notice of appeal of the court's
decision regarding Greenwich's duty to defend up to $2 million.
On July 16, 2012, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the
trial court's decision.  On October 22, 2012, Greenwich made an
additional payment of $142,585 to PMI for pre-judgment interest.
As a result, Greenwich has now satisfied its obligations with
respect to PMI's defense costs for the Hellum lawsuit.

PMI says it intends to vigorously defend the class action lawsuit.
PMI cannot, however, presently determine or estimate the final
outcome of the lawsuit, and there can be no assurance that it will
be finally resolved in PMI's favor.  If the class action lawsuit
is not resolved in PMI's favor, PMI might be obliged to pay
damages, and might be subject to such equitable relief as a court
may determine.  Accordingly, PMI has not recorded an accrued loss
contingency in connection with its sale of promissory notes
through the platform prior to November 2008. Accounting for loss
contingencies involves the existence of a condition, situation or
set of circumstances involving uncertainty as to possible loss
that will ultimately be resolved when one or more future event(s)
occur or fail to occur.  An estimated loss in connection with a
loss contingency shall be recorded by a charge to current
operations if both of the following conditions are met: first, the
amount can be reasonably estimated; and second, the information
available prior to issuance of the financial statements indicates
that it is probable that a liability has been incurred at the date
of the financial statements.

As of December 31, 2012, the probable outcome of the class action
lawsuit cannot presently be determined, nor can the amount of
damages or other costs that might be borne by PMI be estimated.

San Francisco, California-based Prosper Marketplace, Inc. --
http://www.prosper.com/-- operates as a peer-to-peer lending
marketplace in the United States.  The Company connects
prospective borrowers with people, who have money and a
willingness to lend through an online community.  The Company
handles funding and servicing of the loan on behalf of the matched
borrowers and investors.


SPRINGLEAF FINANCE: Settlement Funds in "King" Suit Distributed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Funds in connection with Springleaf Finance Corporation's
settlement of a class action lawsuit were distributed beginning in
late December 2012, according to the Company's March 19, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In the lawsuit captioned King v. American General Finance, Inc.,
Case No. 96-CP-38-595, in the Court of Common Pleas for Orangeburg
County, South Carolina, filed in 1996, the plaintiffs asserted
class claims against the Company's South Carolina operating entity
for alleged violations of S.C. Code Section
37-10-102(a), which requires, among other things, a lender making
a mortgage loan to ascertain the preference of the borrower as to
an attorney who will represent the borrower in closing the loan.
After almost 17 years of litigation, on August 27, 2012, the
parties settled the case on a claims made basis.  Preliminary
approval of the settlement was obtained on September 6, 2012, and
final approval was obtained on November 19, 2012.

At December 31, 2012, the remaining reserve for this class action
lawsuit totaled $3.5 million.  Funds were distributed beginning in
late December 2012.  Class members who made a claim and had one
loan in the class period received $5,000; those with two loans,
$5,750; those with three loans, $6,500; those with four loans,
$7,250; and those with five or more loans, $8,000.  Aggregate
payments to these class members totaled $16.8 million in 2012.  In
addition, the Company paid $13.5 million in attorney fees and
costs in December 2012 and $3.5 million of unclaimed funds to
South Carolina charities in February 2013.

Headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, Springleaf Finance
Corporation -- http://www.SpringleafFinancial.com/-- was
incorporated in Indiana in 1927 as successor to a business started
in 1920.  The Company is a national consumer finance company
offering responsible consumer lending products and related credit
insurance products to "Main Street" America.


STAFFING NETWORK: Temporary Workers File Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------
Xin Sheng, writing for Medill Reports, reports that four Chicago-
area temporary workers filed suit in Chicago federal court for
alleged back pay due for the past three years.  They seek class
action status for their lawsuit to cover untold numbers of workers
they allege have been similarly underpaid, in violation of both
state and federal employment laws.

The complaint alleges that they have been denied minimum wages and
overtime pay.  They also aver that the defendants have violated
Illinois laws requiring at least four hours' pay for each work day
and prohibiting deduction of the workers' transportation expenses
to their work sites.

The workers -- Miguel Martinez, Eduardo Reyes, Jose Miguel Rojo
and Brian Lucas -- named as defendants a temporary help agency,
Staffing Network Holding LLC, and Great Kitchens Inc., said to
produce private-label pizza for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other
retailers, in a plant in Romeoville, south of Chicago.   The
workers allege that are full-time but temporary employees,
employed by the temp agency that delivers them to their place of
work rather than by that company.

Their lawyer, Christopher J. Williams, said in an interview on
May 1 that he would add three more defendants to the lawsuit on
May 2: Norelco, Start Sampling and Ryder Link.  In their
complaint, the workers also maintain that they are denied wages
when regularly required to wait in the cafeteria for 30 to 60
minutes or more at the beginning or during their shift while
production lines are repaired.  They also allege that are
regularly required to continue to work 10 to 15 minutes or more
past the end of their shifts without compensation.  In addition,
Brian Lucas, one of the plaintiffs, alleges that he was unlawfully
fired from Staffing Network for complaining about unfair
treatment.

Mr. Williams, the lawyer, said this case reveals a common problem
in the United States.  "There are thousands of employees working
through Staffing Network, and they are all victims of the same
violations," Mr. Williams said, "so that's why we bring a class
action."

Whether the lawsuit will be certified as a class action will be
determined by the court.

"I think this is a clear violation. This is a very strong case."
Mr. Williams said in an interview.

"In general, under the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act
(DTLSA), it is unlawful for a day and temporary labor service
agency or a third party client, contractor or agent to charge a
fee to transport a day or temporary laborer to or from the
designated work site," Anjali Julka, communications manager of the
Illinois Department of Labor said.  "Third-party clients have an
obligation to verify an agency is registered by checking when it
enters into a contract, and on March 1 and September 1 of each
year.  Penalties on third-party clients and unregistered agencies
are $500 per day for each violation of the Act with each day being
a separate violation."


STERICYCLE INC: Faces Class Action Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
----------------------------------------------------------
Stericycle, Inc., is facing a class action lawsuit in
Pennsylvania, according to the Company's March 18, 2013, Form 8-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

On March 12, 2013, the Company was served with a class action
complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Pennsylvania (Case 1:13-cv-00071-SJM) by an individual
plaintiff for itself and on behalf of all other "similarly
situated" customers of the Company.  The complaint alleges, among
other things, that the Company imposed unauthorized or excessive
price increases and other charges on the Company's customers in
violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
Practices Act and the Company's implied contractual duties of good
faith and fair dealing.  The complaint seeks certification of the
lawsuit as a class action and the award to class members of
appropriate damages and injunctive relief.

The class action complaint has been filed in the wake of the
Company's recent settlement with the State of New York of an
investigation under the New York False Claims Act (which the class
action complaint describes at some length).  In the settlement,
which was announced by the New York Attorney General on January 8,
2013, the Company agreed, without admitting any liability, to pay
$820,000 in refunds to customers and $1,580,000 in penalties to
the State of New York to settle allegations that the Company had
overcharged New York governmental customers over a 10-year period.

The New York investigation arose out of a qui tam (or
"whistleblower") complaint under the federal False Claims Act and
comparable state statutes which were filed under seal in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in April 2008
by a former employee of the Company.  The complaint was filed on
behalf of the United States and 14 states (including New York) and
the District of Columbia.  New York and Tennessee subsequently
issued civil investigative demands to explore the allegations made
on their behalf.  The New York investigation resulted in the
settlement described; Tennessee has not yet decided whether to
join the Illinois action.

The Company believes that it has operated in accordance with the
terms of its customer contracts and that the complaint is without
merit.  The Company intends to vigorously defend itself.

Stericycle, Inc., provides regulated waste management and related
services.  The Company was incorporated in Delaware and is
headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois.


SWISHER HYGIENE: Still Defends Shareholder MDL in North Carolina
----------------------------------------------------------------
There have been six shareholder lawsuits filed in federal courts
in North Carolina and New York asserting claims relating to
Swisher Hygiene Inc.'s March 28, 2012 announcement regarding the
Company's Board conclusion that the Company's previously issued
interim financial statements for the quarterly periods ended March
31, 2011, June 30, 2011, and September 30, 2011, and the other
financial information in the Company's quarterly reports on Form
10-Q for the periods then ended, should no longer be relied upon
and that an internal review by the Company's Audit Committee
primarily relating to possible adjustments to the Company's
financial statements was ongoing.

On March 30, 2012, a purported Company shareholder commenced a
putative securities class action on behalf of purchasers and
sellers of the Company's common stock in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York against the Company, the
former President and Chief Executive Officer ("former CEO"), and
the former Vice President and Chief Financial Officer ("former
CFO").  The plaintiff asserted claims alleging violations of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
based on alleged false and misleading disclosures in the Company's
public filings.  In April and May 2012, four more putative
securities class actions were filed by purported Company
shareholders in the U.S. District Court for the Western District
of North Carolina against the same set of defendants.  The
plaintiffs in these cases have asserted claims alleging violations
of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act") based on alleged false and
misleading disclosures in the Company's public filings.  In each
of the putative securities class actions, the plaintiffs seek
damages for losses suffered by the putative class of investors who
purchased Swisher common stock.

On May 21, 2012, a shareholder derivative action was brought
against the Company's former CEO and former CFO and the Company's
directors for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty by another
purported Company shareholder in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  In this derivative action, the
plaintiff seeks to recover for the Company damages arising out of
a possible restatement of the Company's financial statements.

On May 30, 2012, the Company, and its former CEO and former CFO
filed a motion with the United States Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation ("MDL Panel") to centralize all of the
cases in the Western District of North Carolina by requesting that
the actions filed in the Southern District of New York be
transferred to the Western District of North Carolina.

In light of the motion to centralize the cases in the Western
District of North Carolina, the Company, and its former CEO and
former CFO requested from both courts a stay of all proceedings
pending the MDL Panel's ruling.  On June 4, 2012, the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York adjourned all
pending dates in the cases in light of the motion to transfer
filed before the MDL Panel.  On June 13, 2012, the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of North Carolina issued a stay of
proceedings pending a ruling by the MDL Panel.

On August 13, 2012, the MDL Panel granted the motion to
centralize, transferring the actions filed in the Southern
District of New York to the Western District of North Carolina.
In response, on August 21, 2012, the Western District of North
Carolina issued an order governing the practice and procedure in
the actions transferred to the Western District of North Carolina
as well as the actions originally filed there.

On October 18, 2012, the Western District of North Carolina held
an Initial Pretrial Conference at which it appointed lead counsel
and lead plaintiffs for the securities class actions, and set a
schedule for the filing of a consolidated class action complaint
and defendants' time to answer or otherwise respond to the
consolidated class action complaint.  The Western District of
North Carolina stayed the derivative action pending the outcome of
the securities class actions.

No further updates were reported in the Company's March 18, 2013,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

Swisher Hygiene Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries provide
essential hygiene and sanitizing solutions to customers throughout
much of North America and internationally through its global
network of Company-owned operations, franchises and master
licensees.  The Company is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.


TIBOR'S GOURMET: Recalls 200 Lbs. of RTE Smoked Pork Sausages
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tibor's Gourmet, a Palmdale, California establishment, is
recalling approximately 200 pounds of ready-to-eat smoked pork
sausage products because they were produced without the benefit of
federal inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food
Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The following Tibor's Gourmet products are subject to recall:

   * "Ready To Eat" Gourmet Hungarian Brand Mild Smoked Sausage
   * "Ready To Eat" Gourmet Hungarian Brand Spicy Smoked Sausage

Each package bears the establishment number "EST. 44866" inside
the USDA mark of inspection.  The products were produced between
March 25, 2013, and May 2, 2013, and shipped to a retail chain in
Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The problem was discovered by an FSIS investigation, during which
the product was found in a retail location.  The Company was in
the process of obtaining federal inspection, but had not received
a Grant of Inspection.

FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of
these products.  Anyone concerned about an illness should contact
a health care provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that
recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that
steps are taken to make certain that recalled product is no longer
available to consumers.  When available, the retail distribution
list(s) will be posted on the FSIS Web site at:
http://is.gd/Mxp5ng

Consumers and members of the media who have questions about the
recall can contact the Company's owner, Tibor Robert Petho, at
(661) 339-3210.

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


TRANSNET: Court Ruling on Pensioners' Class Action May Hit Rating
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ann Crotty, writing for BusinessReport, that a High court decision
in favor of the Transnet pensioners could affect the state-owned
transport company's ability to secure funding for its R300 billion
infrastructure program, Anton Alberts, a Freedom Front Plus (FF+)
MP, told a press conference on April 30.

Mr. Alberts said if the North Gauteng High Court granted the
pensioners the authority to proceed with their R80 billion class
action against Transnet, it would affect the state-owned company's
rating as the claim would have to be treated as a potential
liability.

"In order for the court to accept the pensioners' class action,
their claim has to have merit and if the court accepts that the
pensioners' claim has merit then Transnet will have to take note
of it," Mr. Alberts said.

He added: "If there is no political action to settle the issue, we
will contact the ratings agencies to ensure they are aware of the
claim against Transnet."

On May 1, the Transnet Pensioners' Action Group (TPAG) applied to
the North Gauteng High Court to sanction a class action against
Transnet Funds and Transnet.

Mr. Alberts said the action also implicated the trustees of the
pension fund.  The legal team, which includes Leon Kellerman, an
expert on pension legislation, is acting on a contingency basis.

In an e-mail response to queries from Business Report, Transnet
spokesman Mboniso Sigonyela said on April 30 that it had not
received any formal notification of the court action.

"We are, therefore, not aware of the alleged lawsuit except for
what we read in the media," he said.

The legal action is being taken in parallel with political action
by the FF+.

Mr. Alberts said Pieter Mulder, the FF+ leader and the deputy
minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, would enter into
talks with President Jacob Zuma in a bid to reach a conclusion
that would "enable the Transnet pensioners to enjoy a humane old
age".

Mr. Alberts said the perception that the approximately 66 000
Transnet pensioners who would be affected by the action were all
whites was incorrect.

"About 33 percent are black and 13 percent are Indian and colored,
the remaining 53 percent are white."

The political action being taken by the FF+ is in addition to an
investigation that has been initiated by the public protector at
the request of the DA.

DA public enterprises spokeswoman Natasha Michael told Business
Report that in August last year the public protector agreed to
investigate why the pensioners were not receiving the annual
increases and bonuses that had been agreed to by the National
Assembly's public enterprises portfolio committee in 2010.

Mr. Alberts said the FF+ had not approached the public protector
because it did not believe she had jurisdiction in the matter.  "A
number of pensioners who approached the public protector were told
it did not have jurisdiction."

He added that if Transnet had implemented the recommendations of
the portfolio committee back in 2010, it would have resolved the
issue at a cost of only R1.9bn.

In terms of those recommendations, the government was required to
inject R1.9 billion into the two Transnet funds in order for them
to be able to pay the pensioners five months' bonuses, to ensure
annual increases were 75 percent of inflation and to provide an
upliftment of the two funds.

Mr. Alberts said that although the Treasury and Transnet were part
of the discussions at the committee, both had repudiated the
recommendations made by the committee.


TRICO BANCSHARES: Reached $2.5-Mil. Tentative Class Suit Deal
-------------------------------------------------------------
TriCo Bancshares's subsidiary entered into a $2.5 million
tentative settlement of a class action lawsuit filed in
California, according to the Company's March 18, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

On September 27, 2012, the Company announced that the Company's
principal subsidiary is Tri Counties Bank, entered into a
tentative settlement with a former employee who filed a class
action lawsuit against the Bank in the Superior Court of
California, Kern County, on behalf of herself and a putative class
of current and former Bank employees serving as assistant branch
managers seeking undisclosed damages, alleging that the Bank
improperly classified its assistant branch managers as exempt
employees under California laws.  The lawsuit alleges claims for:
failure to pay overtime compensation; failure to provide meal
periods; failure to provide rest periods; failure to provide
accurate wage statements; failure to provide suitable seating;
declaratory relief; accounting; and unfair business practices in
violation of California Business and Professions Code section
17200.

On September 26, 2012, after efforts to mediate the claim, the
Bank and the former employee agreed to settle the case in an
amount ranging from $2,039,500 to $2,500,000, depending primarily
on the number of class participants who file claims, and pending
approval by the court, including determination of the method to
allocate settlement payments among current and former employees
who are members of the defined settlement class, and the portion
of the total settlement allocable to attorney's fees and costs to
plaintiff's counsel.  On September 26, 2012, the Bank recorded a
$2,090,000 expense and accrued liability in anticipation of
approval of this settlement by the court and estimated related
payroll taxes.

TriCo Bancshares -- http://www.tcbk.com/-- is a bank holding
company incorporated in California in 1981 and headquartered in
Chico, California.  The Company's principal subsidiary is Tri
Counties Bank, a California-chartered commercial bank that offers
banking services to retail customers and small to medium-sized
businesses through 66 branch offices in Northern and Central
California.


UNIVERSAL MUSIC: Continues to Fight Digital Royalty Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Cooke, writing for Complete Music Update, reports that
artist confidentiality has been raised as a new issue in the
ongoing legal squabbling between Universal Music and a consortium
of its legacy artists in America over digital royalties, as the
plaintiffs try to gather information together to help justify
their litigation being a class action.  The mega-major continues
to fight moves to give the case class action status, in addition
to its efforts to have the entire claim dismissed.

But first, some background.  As much previously reported, there
has been plenty of debate -- principally in the US to date -- on
whether download revenues should be treated as 'record sales' or
'licensing income' when labels pay royalties to artists whose
record contracts pre-date digital and therefore make no specific
reference to the sale of MP3s and AACs.  It's a crucial difference
because artists are often paid a much bigger share of licensing
income than record sales money, mainly because traditionally the
latter was so much lucrative than the former.  Needless to say,
the majors are paying the smaller record sale royalty on
downloads.

Early legal action on this issue was inconclusive, but then in
2010 the US courts ruled in favor of FBT Productions, early Eminem
collaborators who are due a royalty on Slim Shady's early
recordings, and who said they should get the higher licensing
royalty on downloads.  The mega-major subsequently agreed new
digital royalty terms with the producers last year.  But the music
giant maintains the FBT case doesn't set a general precedent on
digital royalties, though a plethora of heritage artists -- signed
to both Universal and the other majors -- disagree and have begun
legal action citing the Eminem case.

For Universal the biggest such lawsuit is being led by Rob Zombie
and the estate of Rick James.  They want to make their case a
class action, which would mean that any artist signed to Universal
before iTunes with something nearing a standard record contract
would be able to claim higher digital royalties if the
Zombie/James lawsuit was successful.

Universal disputes Zombie and the Mr. James estate's royalty
arguments, but even more so their attempts at making their
litigation a class action, and the music firm's lawyers cited
various issues with that in their initial unsuccessful attempt to
have the entire lawsuit dismissed.  But with class action status
still a possibility, the plaintiffs are now trying to counter all
the arguments against the lawsuit being give such a certification.

And to that end they want access to digital accounts from
Universal, outlining what kind of revenue different artists are
receiving, both in terms of percentages and pay out amounts.
Obviously the terms of any one artist's royalty agreements with
the label, and the monies they receive, are covered by all sorts
of confidentially agreements.  No problem says the Zombie/James
legal team, only the plaintiff's attorneys need see the data, and
they'd sign NDAs.

But, says Universal in a new court filing, given the size of this
case that means 50 or so lawyers, all of whom work in the music
industry, possibly for competitors of the mega-major, or for
artists who have personal or professional issues with acts signed
to the record company whose confidential accounting information
would be shared.  So such a data share isn't viable, say
Universal's lawyers.

Needless to say, the plaintiffs ain't impressed with the
Universal's data hold out.  According to Billboard, they counter
in their own court filing: "It is ironic that UMG continues to
press for more information about how plaintiffs will calculate
their damages, but seeks here to deprive plaintiffs of important
data plaintiffs can use both for internal analysis of class
certification theories, and to illustrate for the court available
methods for calculating damages for any class or subclass.
Plaintiffs should not be handicapped in these tasks".

It remains to be seen how the judge overseeing the case responds.


VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD: Municipal Officials Deposed in Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Greene, writing for NorthJersey.com, reports that
municipal officials of Midland Park, Wyckoff and Glen Rock are
being deposed in the class-action lawsuit the towns filed against
the Village of Ridgewood on May 11, 2012, claiming it was using
water utility fees to shore up its municipal budget.

The lawsuit states that rate payers of the water utility of each
town has been "saddled with the burden of increased costs to pay
for things such as health insurance for village employees, police
expenses, fire expenses, municipal attorney's fees and engineering
costs, none of which relate to the operation of the water utility,
but, rather, directly benefit only the Village of Ridgewood."

"We're speaking to an official from each town," attorney Joseph
Fiorenzo said.  "We're still in the process of conducting
discovery."

In Wyckoff, Township Administrator Robert Shannon said he was
being deposed.

"I don't know why they want to speak to me," he said after the
April 23 committee meeting.

After an eight-month investigation into the water utility's
finances that began in 2011 showed a 26 percent rate hike imposed
on its customers was unjustified, Mr. Fiorenzo, offering to
represent the towns pro bono, filed the lawsuit seeking a refund
of more than $3 million for the three towns.

The suit was triggered by consecutive rate increases over three
years: 21 percent in 2010 and 5 percent in 2011 and 2012.
Ridgewood Water told the governing bodies in its service area that
it was experiencing deficits in its budgets, citing increases
amounting to "very little" over the previous five years.

Mr. Fiorenzo contends that the deficit does not and never did
exist.  At a press conference in Wyckoff at the time the suit was
filed, he said that over a period of years, the Village of
Ridgewood had been dumping municipal expenses into the budget of
the water utility.

Mr. Fiorenzo said the total indirect expenses unjustly charged to
the water utility from 2004 to 2009 totaled $9,563,195.


VOLKSWAGEN AG: Judge Tosses Class Action Over Recorded Calls
------------------------------------------------------------
Vin Gurrieri, writing for Law360, reports that a California
federal judge on April 30 tossed a proposed class action accusing
the auto financing arm of German-based Volkswagen AG of improperly
recording consumer phone calls, saying that the suit is time-
barred.   In granting VW Credit Inc.'s motion to dismiss, Judge
Stephen V. Wilson ruled that since the illicitly recorded
conversations took place more than one year before Volkswagen
customer Harout Akopian filed suit, the claims fall outside a one-
year statute of limitations required by California law.


ZUMIEZ INC: Faces "Steele" Employee Class Suit in California
------------------------------------------------------------
Zumiez Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit initiated by Robert
Steele in California, according to the Company's March 19, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended February 2, 2013.

On February 15, 2013, a putative class action lawsuit, Robert
Steele v. Zumiez Inc., was filed against the Company in the
Superior Court of the State of California, County of San
Francisco.  The lawsuit purports to be brought on behalf of a
class of all persons who are employed, or who have worked as,
assistant store managers for the Company in the State of
California from February 15, 2009, through the date of
certification of the class in the lawsuit.  The lawsuit alleges
causes of action for failure to pay overtime wages, failure to pay
wages for work done off-the-clock, failure to provide meal periods
and rest breaks (and to pay meal and rest period premiums),
failure to pay terminated employees all wages due at the time of
termination, failure to provide employees with accurate itemized
wage statements, failure to reimburse employees for business
expenses and unfair business practices and declaratory relief.
The Company is investigating Plaintiff's claims and preparing a
response to the complaint.  The Court has not set a date for a
hearing on class certification and has not set a trial date.  At
this stage of the litigation, the Company is not in a position to
predict the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome or the range of
potential loss.

Zumiez Inc. -- http://www.zumiez.com/-- is a multi-channel
specialty retailer of action sports related apparel, footwear,
accessories and hardgoods, focusing on skateboarding,
snowboarding, surfing, motocross and bicycle motocross for young
men and women.  The Company was formed in August 1978 and is a
Washington State corporation headquartered in Lynnwood,
Washington.


* 64% of Big Banks Require Mandatory Binding Arbitration
--------------------------------------------------------
Bankrate.com reports that consumers who get into an argument with
a big bank might want to write off their loss and run for the exit
rather than stand and fight. That's because most large banks
restrict consumers' dispute resolution options, according to
"Banking on Arbitration: Big Banks, Consumers and Checking Account
Dispute Resolution," a report last year by the Safe Checking in
the Electronic Age Project by The Pew Charitable Trusts in
Washington, D.C.

The report found 64% of big banks' checking account agreements
contained clauses that required mandatory binding arbitration,
banned class-action lawsuits, waived the consumer's right to a
jury trial, limited damages and liability, shortened statutes of
limitations, or imposed other limits on dispute resolution.

Given all those restrictions, consumers should try to avoid
arbitration clauses and arbitration if they can, says Christine
Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel at Public Citizen, a
nonprofit advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.

"It's increasingly hard for consumers to avoid arbitration clauses
in consumer contracts, but if they can, they should," Ms. Hines
says.

                    Arbitration Alternatives

One alternative might be small claims court, says Paul Bland,
senior attorney at Public Justice, a public interest law firm in
Washington, D.C.

"Most sophisticated companies have an arbitration clause that says
if you have a smaller case and you want to go to small claims
court, you can," Mr. Bland says.

Another alternative might be to file a complaint with a federal or
state government agency, such as a banking regulator.

"In general, where a government body has its own jurisdiction
separate from the individual, they can go ahead and perform their
statutory duties even if the consumer is bound by an arbitration
clause," Mr. Bland says.

If arbitration is the only option, research and preparation are
crucial.  The first step is to read the arbitration clause and
understand what the rules are.  These clauses can be complex and
few consumers are familiar with the process, so legal advice is
recommended, Ms. Hines says.

Perhaps the biggest risk is a so-called loser-pays clause, which
obligates the losing party to pay the winner's legal costs.

"If you felt that your credit card company owed you $500, you
pursued them in arbitration and then you had to pay their lawyers'
fees, you'd be out not only the $500, but probably tens of
thousands of dollars," Mr. Bland says.  "It's an incredibly risky
proposition."

The next step is to find out which organization will provide the
arbitration services.  The two largest are JAMS, formerly known as
Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, and the American
Arbitration Association.  Mr. Bland says JAMS has a better
reputation for protecting consumers' interests, though much
depends on who the individual arbitrator is.

Typically, the consumer has no say in who the provider or
arbitrator is.

There's no hard evidence that arbitrators selected by the industry
are more likely to favor the company instead of the individual,
Bland says.  That might be because while consumer lawyers
naturally tend to feel arbitration isn't as fair to consumers as
the courts are, companies also have a larger objective.

"Most banks seem to me to have an incentive to try to keep the
system from being too unfair so they can hold onto the class-
action ban," he says.

                      Arbitration Strategies

Arbitration happens outside the court system, but that doesn't
mean consumers can't hire an attorney to help them.  In fact,
Mr. Bland says an attorney should be consulted.

"Particularly in a larger case, you should try to get a lawyer to
go with you and represent you.  When one side has a lawyer and the
other doesn't, there is a huge disadvantage to the side that
doesn't," he says.

Arbitration typically starts with filing a claim through a website
and paying a fee.  The consumer then submits a letter describing
his or her case.  The company responds.  The consumer may then
reply, and then a hearing is held in person or by telephone.  The
arbitrator makes a decision, which is almost always final.

The arbitrator has a lot of discretion in how the arbitration is
conducted, Ms. Hines says.  That introduces greater uncertainty
and unpredictability that might make the process even less
attractive to consumers.

"Consumers need to determine what their resources are and how
serious their claim is, and they have to look at the entire
picture to see if it's something they can take on and follow
through on," Ms. Hines says.  "Most consumers don't sue in the
first place, and of those who have valid claims, most are not
going to go through the (arbitration) process because it may not
be worth it to them.  What the companies have done is just cut off
legal claims by putting arbitration clauses in the contracts."


* Customers in Suit Over Bank Fees Set to File Claims by May-End
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gareth Vaughan, writing for interest.co.nz, reports that the group
pledging to sue banks on behalf of customers over bank default
fees says more than 22,000 people have signed up for the legal
action and it plans to file a statement of claim by the end of
May.

New Zealand lawyer Andrew Hooker, who is fronting the Fair Play on
Fees group, told interest.co.nz court papers were being prepared.

"The court proceedings are going to be filed, we anticipate,
before the end of May," Mr. Hooker said.

"And we've got all the numbers that we need.  We're just working
with the barristers to get the court proceedings finalized.  So
it's all go."

The Fair Play on Fees group also includes Australian law firm
Slater & Gordon, and Australian litigation funder Litigation
Lending Services.  At a press conference launching their action in
March the group said they wanted to claim back "excessive" bank
default fees from the past six years, which is the limitation
timeframe for such action.  At the time Mr. Hooker said it was New
Zealand's largest ever planned class action and banks had been
"unlawfully overcharging" Kiwis for many years.

Fees at the center of the case are what are known as honor and
dishonor fees, plus credit card late payment and credit card over
limit fees.  Mr. Hooker said such fees were excessive and add up
to around NZ$1 billion over the past six years.

"We've got over 22,000 people registered and that's well and truly
enough in terms of the critical mass to get the proceedings off
the ground," Mr. Hooker said on May 1.

"We would anticipate that when we announce the launch of the
proceedings officially and file them, getting a lot more people
registering then.  History suggests you could even double those
figures."

The group was currently working to identify its most suitable
plaintiffs, and would be talking to these people about what being
a plaintiff would involve.

"There's likely to be more than one plaintiff because there are
different types of (bank) relationships so you need to cover off
all the different type of banking relationships," said Hooker.

A primary defendant, being one of the banks, would also be named
becoming the target of the primary case.  Which bank this would be
hadn't yet been determined, Mr. Hooker said.

Asked whether any one bank's customers were over represented among
those who've signed up for the legal action, he said the list of
names reasonably accurately reflected banks' marketshare.  That
said, Kiwibank customers were probably over represented.

"I would say, if anything, from the information I've seen I think
Kiwibank is probably higher than their overall market share.  But
I wouldn't want to read too much into that because it's
potentially the type of customers they have.  A lot of lower
socio-economic customers are hit by this and I suspect Kiwibank
are reasonably strong in there," said Mr. Hooker.

"But more importantly I think the pro-active people who have moved
to Kiwibank are probably the people who are more proactive about
sticking up for their rights."

No talks planned with the banks

The group has had no contact with the banks, or any
representatives of them, Mr. Hooker said.

"They've got my number," he said.  "They know what's happening.
If they wanted to contact me they could contact me.  We're not
planning a meeting or anything."

The New Zealand Bankers' Association responded to the Fair Play on
Fees announcement last month by saying it was failing to take into
account differences between the New Zealand and Australian banking
sectors.  It said three of the four fees being targeted have been
overseen by the Commerce Commission for 10 years, and customers
concerned about fees should talk to their bank rather than to
lawyers.  A Commerce Commission spokeswoman told interest.co.nz
the consumer watchdog did not know what legislation the legal
action would be taken under.

The parties behind Fair Play on Fees stand to pocket 25% of any of
the money won through their action, plus getting Litigation
Lending Services' costs of between NZ$3 million and NZ$4 million
back.


* Idaho Inmate Accused of Running Class Action Scheme
-----------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that federal prosecutors say a
53-year-old Idaho inmate was doing more behind bars than paying
his debt to society.  U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said on May 1 Mark
Anthony Brown was arraigned on 12 counts of mail fraud for
allegedly running a class-action scheme from his cell.

According to his federal indictment, Mr. Brown between 2007 and
this February purported to be a claimant of various class-action
lawsuits, bankruptcy settlements and other lawsuits.

Any proceeds he received went into his Department of Correction
trust account, among others.

The government now wants him to forfeit $64,000 in currency or
substitute assets.

Each mail fraud count could carry a 20 year prison sentence.

Mr. Brown is at the Idaho Correctional Center in Orofino on grand
theft and burglar convictions and won't be eligible for parole
until 2019.


                        Asbestos Litigation


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Appeals Court Remands Melendrez PI Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Melendrez, et al., on behalf of the estate of Lario David
Melendrez brought a wrongful death action against numerous
entities, including Special Electric Company, Inc., alleging that
the decedent died of mesothelioma as the result of exposure to
asbestos.  SECO was alleged to be liable as a manufacturer and
supplier of crocidolite mats, and as a supplier of raw crocidolite
asbestos.

SECO filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004.  The company's
Second Amended Plan of Reorganization, which reduced SECO to a
shell for the sole purpose of processing asbestos lawsuits, was
approved in 2006.  Under the Plan, the insurers were required to
defend and/or settle the asbestos claims.

The Melendrez personal injury suit was thus passed to SECO's
insurer for resolution.  When discovery was propounded to SECO,
the company's attorney (who had been provided by the insurers)
filed substantive responses to the discovery, but represented to
the trial court that the responses could not be verified, as SECO
had no officer, director, employee, or agent who could verify the
discovery responses.  The Melendrezes challenged the sufficiency
of the discovery responses.  The trial court agreed that, under
the circumstances, no individual existed who could verify the
responses, and, at SECO's request, simply deemed them verified.
The Melendrezes thus filed a writ petition, challenging the trial
court's order.

On review, the Court of Appeals of California, Second District,
noted that the law provides that an attorney can verify responses
on behalf of a corporation, although such an act constitutes a
limited waiver of the attorney-client and work product privileges
with respect to the identity of the sources of the information
contained in the response.  In the current case, the attorney
argued that she could not verify the discovery responses because
SECO was the holder of the attorney-client privilege, but had no
officer or director who could waive it.

The Appeals Court concludes that the trial court could have
directed that further effort be made to have a director elected or
appointed on behalf of SECO.  It may, however, be that the
corporation no longer exists and no director can be elected or
appointed.  If that is the case, the Appeals Court believes that
SECO's attorney-client privilege would be passed to its insurers,
the de facto assignee of its policies and the claims against them.
The Appeals Court thus grants the Melendrezes' petition for a writ
of mandate and remand for further proceedings on the issue.

The case is MARY MELENDREZ et al., Petitioners, v. SUPERIOR COURT
OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, Respondent;
SPECIAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC., Real Party in Interest, Case No.
B243320 (Cal. App.).  The appeals court's April 30, 2013 order is
available at http://is.gd/xzv407from Leagle.com.

Brian P. Barrow, Esq. -- bbarrow@sgpblaw.com -- and Nectaria
Belantis, Esq. -- nbelantis@sgpblaw.com  -- at SIMON GREENSTONE
PANATIER BARTLETT, in Longbeach, California, represent Mary
Melendrez, et al.

Edward R. Hugo, Esq, -- ehugo@bhplaw.com -- Jeffrey Kaufman, Esq.
-- jkaufman@bhplaw.com -- and Amber Lee Kelly, Esq. --
akelly@bhplaw.com -- at BRYDON HUGO & PARKER represent Special
Electric Company, Inc.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: CSX Corp. Has $311MM Reserve for PI Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
CSX Corporation had casualty reserves of $311 million that
represented accruals for personal injury, occupational injury and
asbestos claims, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended March 29, 2013.

Casualty reserves of $311 million for the first quarter 2013
represent accruals for personal injury, occupational injury and
asbestos claims. The Company's self-insured retention amount for
these claims is $50 million per occurrence. Currently, no
individual claim is expected to exceed the self-insured retention
amount. In accordance with the Contingencies Topic in the ASC, to
the extent the value of an individual claim exceeds the self-
insured retention amount, the Company would present the liability
on a gross basis with a corresponding receivable for insurance
recoveries. These reserves fluctuate based upon the timing of
payments as well as changes in independent third-party estimates,
which are reviewed by management. Actual results may vary from
estimates due to the number, type and severity of the injury,
costs of medical treatments and uncertainties in litigation. Most
of the claims relate to CSXT.  Defense and processing costs, which
historically have been insignificant and are anticipated to be
insignificant in the future, are not included in the recorded
liabilities.

CSX Corporation (CSX), together with its subsidiaries, is a
transportation supplier. The Company provides rail-based
transportation services, including traditional rail service and
the transport of intermodal containers and trailers. CSX's
operating subsidiary, CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT), provides
link to the transportation supply chain through its approximately
21,000 route mile rail network, which serves centers in 23 states
east of the Mississippi River, the District of Columbia and the
Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. It has access to over 70
ocean, river and lake port terminals along the Atlantic and Gulf
Coasts, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the St.
Lawrence Seaway. The Company's intermodal business links customers
to railroads through trucks and terminals. CSXT also serves
production and distribution facilities through track connections
to approximately 240 short-line and regional railroads.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Pacific Had $136MM Liability at March 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
Union Pacific Corporation's asbestos-related liability ending
balance for the three months ended March 31, 2013, was $136
million, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
March 31, 2013.

The Company states: "We are a defendant in a number of lawsuits in
which current and former employees and other parties allege
exposure to asbestos. We assess our potential liability using a
statistical analysis of resolution costs for asbestos-related
claims. This liability is updated annually and excludes future
defense and processing costs. The liability for resolving both
asserted and unasserted claims was based on the following
assumptions:

* The ratio of future claims by alleged disease would be
consistent with historical averages adjusted for inflation.

* The number of claims filed against us will decline each year.

* The average settlement values for asserted and unasserted claims
will be equivalent to historical averages.

* The percentage of claims dismissed in the future will be
equivalent to historical averages.

Our liability for asbestos-related claims is not discounted to
present value due to the uncertainty surrounding the timing of
future payments. Approximately 23% of the recorded liability
related to asserted claims and approximately 77% related to
unasserted claims at March 31, 2013.

Our asbestos-related liability ending balance for the three months
ended March 31, 2013, was $136 million.

We have insurance coverage for a portion of the costs incurred to
resolve asbestos-related claims, and we have recognized an asset
for estimated insurance recoveries at March 31, 2013, and December
31, 2012.

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

Union Pacific Corporation (UPC) owns transportation companies. Its
principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company, links
23 states in the western 66% of the country. Union Pacific
Railroad Company's business mix includes agricultural products,
automotive, chemicals, energy, industrial products and intermodal.
Union Pacific Railroad Company connects with Canada's rail systems
and is the railroad serving six gateways to Mexico. Union Pacific
Railroad Company (UPRR) is a Class I railroad operating in the
United States. In June 2012, the Company's wholly owned
subsidiary, PS Technology (PST), acquired the Yard Control Systems
division of Ansaldo STS USA.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Honeywell Int'l Had $41MM Charge for PI Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International Inc., recognized a charge of $41 million
primarily representing an update to its estimated liability for
the resolution of Bendix related asbestos claims as of March 31,
2013, net of probable insurance recoveries, according to the
Company's Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2013.

The Company states: "In the quarter ended March 31, 2013, we
recognized a charge of $54 million for environmental liabilities
deemed probable and reasonably estimable in the quarter. We also
recognized a charge of $41 million primarily representing an
update to our estimated liability for the resolution of Bendix
related asbestos claims as of March 31, 2013, net of probable
insurance recoveries."

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

                       http://is.gd/NzvjUx

Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell) is a diversified
technology and manufacturing company, serving customers worldwide
with aerospace products and services, control, sensing and
security technologies for buildings, homes and industry,
turbochargers, automotive products, specialty chemicals,
electronic and advanced materials, process technology for refining
and petrochemicals, and energy efficient products and solutions
for homes, business and transportation. Honeywell operates four
business segments: Aerospace, Automation and Control Solutions,
Performance Materials and Technologies, and Transportation
Systems. In December 2011, the Company acquired King's Safetywear
Limited (KSW), a provider of branded safety footwear. In August
2011, it completed the acquisition of EMS Technologies, Inc.
(EMS). In June 2012, the Company acquired INNCOM. In October 2012,
the Company's UOP business had completed its acquisition of a 70%
interest in Thomas Russell Co.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Yarway Corp. Shields Parent from Fibro Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lance Duroni of BankruptcyLaw360 reported that defunct industrial
manufacturer Yarway Corp. launched a suit Monday to protect its
Swiss parent Tyco International Ltd. and other nondebtor
affiliates from the asbestos claims that tipped the company into
bankruptcy last month.

According to the report, filed in Delaware bankruptcy court, the
adversary suit targets dozens of asbestos plaintiffs firms and
hundreds of their clients who have already sued Yarway, seeking to
extend the automatic stay in the company's Chapter 11 case to
cover Tyco for any pending or future asbestos claims associated
with Yarway.

Yarway sought Chapter 11 protection (Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 13-
11025) on April 22, 2013, to deal with claims arising from
asbestos containing products it allegedly sold as early as the
1920s.

Yarway was founded in 1908 by Robert Yarnall and Bernard Waring as
the Simplex Engineering Company and originally manufactured pipe
clamps, steam traps, valves and controls.  Based in Pennsylvania,
Yarway was a privately-owned company until 1986 when KeyStone
International, Inc. bought equity in the company.  Yarway became a
unit of Tyco International Ltd. when Tyco purchased KeyStone in
1997.

Yarway's asbestos-related liabilities derive from Yarway's (i)
purported use of asbestos-containing gaskets and packing,
manufactured by others, in its production of steam valves and
traps from the 1920s to 1970s, and (ii) alleged manufacture of
expansion joint packing that was allegedly made up of a compound
of Teflon and asbestos from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Over the past five years, about 10,021 new asbestos claims have
been asserted against Yarway, including 1,014 in Yarway's 2013
fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

The Debtor estimated assets and debts in excess of $100 million as
of the Chapter 11 filing.

Attorneys at Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard, P.A. and
Sidley Austin LLP serve as the Debtor's counsel in the Chapter 11
case.  Logan and Co. is the claims and notice agent.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Senate Bill 404 Aims to Remove Double Dip Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal
Reform, made the following statement on May 7 applauding Oklahoma
Governor Mary Fallin for signing into law Senate Bill 404, strong
bipartisan legislation which will prevent abusive "double dip"
claims against businesses and personal injury trust funds,
including asbestos victims' compensation funds:

"This law will go a long way toward eliminating fraud in
litigation, discouraging improper 'double dipping' by plaintiffs'
lawyers, and ensuring that companies and bankruptcy trusts both
pay their fair share to claimants.  It will also protect jobs by
ensuring that Oklahoma companies are not unfairly bankrupted by
fraudulent claims.

"We hope Oklahoma's leadership will embolden elected officials in
other states to pass similar laws to ensure that their states'
tort systems work together, where needed, with personal injury
trust funds to fairly compensate victims.

"We commend Governor Fallin for swiftly signing this bill into
law, and we also commend Senator Clark Jolley and Representative
Fred Jordan, the co-authors of SB 404, for their leadership on
this important issue."

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative,
political, judicial, and educational activities at the national,
state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- http://www.uschamber.com-- is the
world's largest business federation representing the interests of
more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions,
as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ct. Finds UCC's 20-Year Old Evidence Insufficient
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Thomas B. Russell, Senior District Judge for the United
States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division, entered a
memorandum opinion and order dated April 23, 2013, denying
defendant Union Carbide Corporation's Motion for Summary Judgment
after ruling that UCC's 20-year old argument remains insufficient
to warrant judgment as a matter of law.

In the case captioned CAROL HOLLAND, et al., Plaintiffs, v. UNION
CARBIDE CORPORATION, et al., Defendants, Civil Action No. 5:02-CV-
00006 (W.D. Ky.), the Plaintiff, as Executrix of the Estate of
Verdie R. Culp and Frances E. Culp, filed an action against
various defendants, alleging that her decedent, Verdie Culp,
developed asbestos-related disease as a result of exposure to
asbestos-containing products while working at the Paducah gaseous
diffusion plant.  According to the Plaintiff, Mr. Culp, who died
of mesothelioma in 2001, worked at the gaseous diffusion plant at
various times during and throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  The
Plaintiff filed the claims on theories of strict products
liability, negligence, and misrepresentation, alleging that UCC
knew of the hazards of asbestos yet failed to warn the federal
government of those hazards at the Paducah gaseous diffusion
plant.

In its Motion for Summary Judgment, UCC alleged that the
Plaintiff's claims are barred by the "military contractor
defense."  UCC said it is entitled to the military contractor
defense because the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant was
constructed at the direction of the Atomic Energy Commission for
the purpose of producing weapons-grade uranium for the U.S.
military.

Judge Russell denied UCC's motion for summary judgment after
finding that UCC presented the same evidence it presented 20 years
ago in a different case, without filing a supplemental reply in
support of its current motion.  Judge Russell noted that the Court
in 1993 found the exact evidence insufficient.  Today, the
evidence is all the more insufficient to establish that UCC is
entitled to immunity under the military contractor defense and,
thus, is insufficient to warrant judgment as a matter of law,
Judge Russell ruled.

A full-text copy of Judge Russell's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/iEcn4Zfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co.'s Bid for Summary Judgment Denied
------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of the Supreme Court, New York County,
entered in a decision and order dated April 23, 2013, denied
defendant Crane Co. and Crane Pumps & Systems, Inc.'s motion for
summary judgment seeking dismissal of an asbestos-related personal
injury action.

In the case captioned DEBRA A. HILPERT, as Administratrix of the
Estate of WILLIAM PISANO Plaintiff, v. AIR & LIQUID SYSTEMS CORP.,
et al. Defendants, Docket No. 190077/11, Mot. Seq. Nos. 006, 007
(N.Y. Sup.), Judge Heitler denied Crane Co. and Crane Pumps'
motion holding that in light of the documentary evidence produced
in the case, coupled with the testimony, there is triable issue of
fact whether Mr. Pisano was exposed to asbestos from the
Defendants' products sufficient to preclude summary judgment.

Crane Co. and Crane Pumps argued that they are entitled to summary
judgment because William Pisano did not specifically identify any
product manufactured or sold by Crane as a source of his exposure.
In opposition, the Plaintiff submits Mr. Pisano's testimony that
he was exposed to asbestos from valves and pipes in the boiler
rooms of the USS Compton and USS Purvis as well as archived USN
ship records to show that Crane valves were utilized on both these
ships in the precise areas where Mr. Pisano worked.

A full-text copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/yuUS2zfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Court Denies Bids to Dismiss "Meyer" Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of the Supreme Court, New York County,
entered two separate decisions and orders denying two defendants'
motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of the asbestos-
related personal injury action captioned TIMOTHY MEYER and KAREN
MEYER, Plaintiffs, v. A.O. SMITH WATER PRODUCTS, CO., et al.,
Defendants, Docket No. 190094/2012, Motion Seq. 002. (N.Y. Sup.).

The first defendant, Columbia Boiler Company of Pottstown, alleged
it is entitled to summary judgment because it did not sell or
repackage Scotch Marine type boilers during the period of Mr.
Meyer's alleged exposure.  In denying Columbia's motion for
summary judgment, Judge Heitler found that it did not provide any
documentary evidence to support its affiant's conclusions that
Scotch Marine type boilers did not appear in Columbia's price
books until approximately 2002 or 2003.

The second defendant, Union Carbide Corporation, argued that
Azrock, which bought asbestos from UCC and which asbestos was
integrated into Azrock's vinyl asbestos tiles, only manufactured
tiles until 1977 whereas Mr. Meyers did not install Azrock tiles
until 1978.  UCC also argued that as a bulk supplier of asbestos
it had no duty to warn Mr. Meyer of the dangers associated with
its asbestos product because it provided adequate warnings to
Azrock.  In denying UCC's contention, Judge Heitler noted that the
issue has been addressed in several identical cases where the
Court ruled that UCC had an affirmative duty to warn its customers
of the dangers associated with its asbestos product and that the
adequacies of any such warnings were questions of fact to be
determined by the jury.

Judge Heitler's Decision with respect to Columbia, dated April 24,
2013, is available at http://is.gd/kjOC4Kfrom Leagle.com.

Judge Heitler's Decision with respect to UCC, dated April 30,
2013, is available at http://is.gd/KgIudvfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Won't Disrupt Lithgow SES Operations
-----------------------------------------------------------
ABC News reported that the extent of the asbestos problem that
forced the closure of the Lithgow SES and RFS headquarters is
still unknown.

The report said State Emergency Service has received the results
of an audit of the council owned building identifying asbestos on
site.

The SES will temporarily operate out of a shop front on the main
street, while the Rural Fire Service has moved to the Hartley
Building, according to the report.

Craig Ronan from the SES says investigations into the situation
are ongoing, the report added.

"We've had an audit conducted that says there's asbestos in the
building, there's still more work to be done about the extent and
what has to be done to fix the problem," the report cited.

Despite the move, services are not expected to be affected,
according to the report.

Mr Ronan told the news agency operations will continue as normal.
"All of the equipment necessary to operate in the temporary
headquarters has been removed.  Members have gone in wearing PPE
and the appropriate dust masks and have removed all the equipment
that's necessary to operate in the temporary headquarters."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Removal in North Chicago Deemed Improper
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rachel E. Gross, writing for Medell-Reports Chicago, reported that
the transformation of a former troubled nursing home into an
apartment complex that some community leaders are hoping will
revitalize this stretch of North Side has stalled due to alleged
asbestos contamination.

According to the report, construction workers and the sound of
jackhammers on the corner of Argyle Street and North Sheridan Road
foretold a renovated apartment building ringed with commercial
spaces. The towering brick edifice with a swooping fa‡ade was
meant to be a "linchpin for the revitalization of Sheridan Road,"
said Joseph Trendl, president of the Carmen-Winona Block Club.

But earlier in April, a City of Chicago inspector documented
workers removing asbestos without proper attire and wearing only
paper respirators, the report related.  Attorney General Lisa
Madigan has also filed a complaint against the building's owners
and announced that construction would halt, the report further
related.

Air pollution, endangering the environment, and improper handling
of asbestos are among the eight counts of EPA violations building
owners face, said a spokesperson for the Attorney General's
office, the report cited.

The building, originally a 1920s hotel, is currently owned by
Zidan Management Group, Inc. Zidan and the other two defendants in
the case -- Dubai, Inc. and Somerset Place Realty, LLC -- are to
appear in court for a status hearing on May 21, the report said.
Zidan did not return calls for comment.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber often found in old building materials
-- floor tile, drywall mud, window caulking, boiler insulation --
that travels by air, Ron Robeen, who manages the Illinois EPA's
asbestos unit, told the news agency. Too small to be seen,
asbestos fibers can enter the lungs, where they cause plaque and
cancer.

"There's asbestos in the air that we breathe every day," Robeen
further told the news agency. "But you wouldn't want to be next to
a building covered in asbestos."

Somerset Place at 5009 Sheridan Rd. stood vacant with boarded
windows. "Danger: Asbestos. Cancer and Lung Disease Hazard," read
a sign duct-taped to the inside of the glass doors.

When told about the accusations of improper removal, some
residents expressed concern, the report said.

"We don't want that," said resident Jason Hendrix, 49, who passes
the building every day on his way to work. "Especially when
there's an elementary school one block away."

But others, like Kenny Greenwald, who lives across the street,
shrugged.

"It don't concern me," said Greenwald, smoking a cigarette and
leaning against the wall of Somerset Place. "As long as they keep
it inside, I'm happy."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Scare at Eden Pre-School
----------------------------------------------------
Amanda Stroud, writing for Eden Magnet, reported that a potential
asbestos scare at Eden Pre-school has Bega Valley Shire Council on
the front foot to quickly identify if the fibres discovered are
asbestos and if so, what, if any risk they pose to pre-schoolers
and staff.

According to the report, the asbestos was discovered when work was
being carried out on an electrical panel at the back of the
building, in what is normally a locked storeroom, at the end of
term on Friday, April 12.

Once found, council called in cleaners and hygienists to test the
air at the pre-school for any asbestos contamination, the report
said.

"A very minute amount of fibres was recorded," council's Leanne
Barnes advised, according to the report.  "While the amount would
not normally cause any concerns at all and is well within
guidelines, because this is a pre-school and we want to reassure
parents and workers alike that they will be safe, we have had
another test performed which we are driving to Canberra . . ."

The report said the council will be meeting with staff and parents
at the pre-school to answer any questions and provide the results
of the latest test.

"We've gone through all the right processes, and we'll be talking
with the tradesmen. But because children are involved we got our
health and safety guys down there straight away, and we've done a
risk assessment and it was given a low risk rating.  We wanted air
sampling done so we get an all clear before anyone gets back into
the centre. We will do a further risk assessment on Monday when we
get the (second set of) results back. Then we will talk face-to-
face with families and staff . . .," Mrs. Barnes told the news
agency.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Waste Workers Met With Law Firms Over Fibro Fears
------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC News reported that a law firm has briefed waste disposal
company employees who may have been exposed to asbestos at a
Darling Downs' facility.

According to the report, the Transport Workers Union says the
potentially deadly substance was placed in a skip bin at the
JJ Richards and Sons' site in Toowoomba in March.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland issued the company with a
prohibition notice and the area has been decontaminated, the
report related.

A senior associate at law firm Maurice Blackburn, Trent Johnson,
says a number of employees may have been exposed to asbestos, the
report said.

"There's a very long latency period between exposure and illness,
so it's more so about educating those workers who were exposed,
their family members and any concerned members of the community as
to how they can report their exposure or alleged exposure at this
time so that if they do become unwell in the future they can then
take appropriate action," he told ABC News.

He says employees need to be tested if they believe they may have
been exposed, the report added.  "The workers can then of their
own accord or request of the workers' compensation insurer, which
in this case is I understand WorkerCover Queensland, to pay with
the relevant doctor and also usually [get] a chest X-ray.
However, given the latency periods at this stage it's mainly just
to clear those workers to confirm they're not presently suffering
from any asbestos-related illness."

JJ Richards and Sons says it complies with all workplace health
and safety laws and the safety of its staff and the community is
its highest priority, the report further related.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: McLellan Brook Residents Fear Facility Risks
-------------------------------------------------------------
The News reported that news that a disposal facility for asbestos
has been approved for McLellan's Brook has at least one Pictou
County resident concerned about the potential health risks.

"I'm appalled," Valerie White told The News.  "It's known to cause
cancer and yet we have a (facility) coming here for 20 some
years."

She said Pictou County already has a high cancer rate and fears
this could only worsen the matter, the report added.

The asbestos waste management site is being built by Marinus
Verhagen Enterprises Ltd., The News said.

According to a public notice, the site will be next to the
company's current construction and demolition waste disposal site
located in McLellan's Brook, the report noted.  Construction is
expected to start this spring with the site commissioned by mid-
2013.

Although the notice was made public and information made
accessible at several locations including the Stellarton Public
Library and the New Glasgow Public Library, White said she didn't
know anything about it until its approval was announced, the
report related.

An environmental assessment was conducted by the Department of
Environment and Minister Sterling Belliveau signed a letter
granting approval with conditions, the report said.

"I am satisfied that any adverse effects or significant
environmental effects of the undertaking can be adequately
mitigated through compliance with the attached terms and
conditions," he told The News.

According to documents posted on the Nova Scotia Environment's
website, the project is located on Old Mill Road (also known as
Thomson Road), the report noted.  The site is bound by the
existing C& D waste disposal site and the Trans Canada Highway to
the north, undeveloped forest covered land to the east and south,
and agricultural land to the west.  The nearest residential
dwelling is located approximately 600 metres to the southwest on
Douglas Crescent, the documents state. The nearest local business
to the project site is also located on Douglas Crescent.  Two
farming operations are the next closest operations to the Project
site. One farm is located approximately 600 m north of the site on
Thompson Road on the north side of the TCH, and the second farm is
located approximately 900 m west of the site off McLellans Brook
Road.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Advocate Max Baucus to Leave U.S. Senate
---------------------------------------------------------
Tim Povtak, writing for Asbestos.com, reported that the
mesothelioma community will be losing one of its most powerful
advocates in 2014 when U.S. Senator Max Baucus of Montana leaves
Congress for the last time.

According to the report, Baucus, who has served the last 36 years
in the U.S. Senate, announced on the last week of April that he
will not be seeking reelection in 2014, surprising even some of
his closest supporters.

"It's an extremely difficult decision," Baucus told the Missoulian
State Bureau in Montana.  "The most difficult decision I've
faced."

Baucus, 71, is a longtime proponent of tighter regulation for
asbestos, the naturally occurring mineral that was once mined in
his state, the report noted.  Asbestos hasn't been banned in the
U.S. and it causes mesothelioma cancer in addition to other
respiratory illnesses.  He also has been a tireless advocate for
the victims of asbestos exposure in Libby, Mont., where W.R. Grace
and Co. operated an asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine for
nearly 30 years.

For the past seven years, Baucus introduced a resolution in
Congress that officially designated the first week of April as
Asbestos Awareness Week, the report said.  It was his way of
honoring the 300 residents of Libby who have died from an
asbestos-related disease.

Although the mine closed in 1990, Baucus has visited Libby more
than 20 times since, pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) to eventually declare it a public health emergency in
2009 while securing millions of dollars in federal money to help
with clean up and future healthcare for residents, the report
noted.  He also convinced numerous White House cabinet secretaries
to visit Libby for a closer look at the damages inflicted. During
the recent writing of the controversial Affordable Health Care
Act, Baucus ensured that three provisions were included
specifically to help to victims in Libby.

In his interview with the Missoulian, he listed his work in Libby
as one of the proudest accomplishments during his long career in
the Senate, the report related.  In the Billings Gazette, his
advocacy for asbestos victims in Libby was high on the list of his
career highlights.

"I've had the greatest privilege of my life representing Montana,"
Baucus said, the report cited. "I want people to know how grateful
I am to serve, that here's a guy who's honest, straightforward,
who did his best. Each of us, when we leave this place, we need to
leave it in a better place than when we found it. That's what I've
tried to do."

Although his work for Libby has taken decades of dogged effort,
only recently has aid come to help affected residents, the report
said. Federally funded medical care for those with asbestos-
related illnesses started in 2010, stemming from the Public Health
Emergency declaration by the EPA.  Earlier this year, he publicly
chastised the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for
its lack of progress that created a backlog of cases and delayed
government settlements to Libby victims. The head of the agency
later promised Baucus her personal attention to the matter.

"There have been so many levels of injustice in Libby, Mont., and
this backlog shouldn't be one of them," Baucus said, the report
further cited. "We can never forget the suffering people in Libby
have faced in the name of corporate greed."

The decision by Baucus to not seek reelection halted campaign
fundraising that had already secured $5 million for 2014, the
report said. It also will allow him to focus more during his final
18 months on the job and on issues that concern him the most.

He said his priorities include addressing the crippling national
debt, helping to reform a "dysfunctional" federal tax code, and
protecting the outdoors, the report related.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Former Pressed Steel Worker Dies of Mesothelioma
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Oxford Times reported that asbestos exposure at Pressed Steel
during the 1950s lead to the death of a grandfather.

According to the report, Denis Barnes, 86, of Manor Road, Witney,
died at Witney Community Hospital on January 18. He was diagnosed
with a lung disease the previous year.  Mr Barnes spent 14 months
working at Pressed Steel in Cowley.

Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter recorded his cause of death as
malignant mesothelioma -- from asbestos exposure, the report said.

He added: "I am satisfied Mr Barnes was exposed to asbestos while
working in industry in the 1950s in Cowley," the report cited.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Employees Directed to Pay Meso Survivor
-----------------------------------------------------------
Lizzie Anderson, writing for The Northern Echo, reported that a
former hospital porter who developed a deadly lung disease after
he was exposed to asbestos in the workplace has won his battle for
compensation.

According to the report, Lawrence Coles will receive a six figure
settlement from his former employers, the North East Strategic
Health Authority and Shlumberger Flow Measurement, after a court
ruled they were responsible for his exposure to the deadly dust.

The 58-year-old, of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, was diagnosed
with the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in January 2011
after first suffering chest problems in 2005, the report said.  He
has since undergone chemotherapy to ease the symptoms of the
terminal condition which has left him with little appetite, no
sense of taste and an inability to walk short distances without
stopping to catch his breath.

Mr Coles said the diagnosis had devastated his entire family and,
although he is relieved his former employers have been brought to
justice, he remains inconsolable, the report related.

"The money means nothing to us," he told the news agency.  "If
they gave us a million pounds it would not make any difference.  I
am upset, my partner is upset and my son is upset. The money does
not change that.  We are going through hell. You don't expect
something like this to happen to you."

The report said Mr Coles was first exposed to asbestos while
working at Smart and Browns Engineering -- now Shlumberger Flow
Measurement -- in Spennymoor from 1967 to 1969.  When new
production lines were added to the factory, dust from pipe lagging
was scattered all over his workbench. From 1976 to 1985, Mr Coles
was a night porter at Aycliffe Hospital, near Newton Aycliffe.
During this time he was exposed to asbestos while accompanying
engineers repairing lagging on heating pipes.

His solicitor, Isobel Lovett, a specialist asbestos lawyer at
Irwin Mitchell in Newcastle, told the news agency: "As a result of
Mr Coles' illness he now faces incredible discomfort and increased
care needs.  The settlement will provide financial security for
his family and will enable him to pay for care to improve his
quality of life as he suffers from mesothelioma."

The North-East Strategic Health authority ceased to exist on March
31 as part of changes to the NHS, the report related. A
spokesperson from the Department of Health said the body was
unable to comment on local issues.  A spokesperson from
Schlumberger Flow Measurement said the company was formed in 1989
and incorporated Smart and Brown through a series of mergers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Thai Ministry Doesn't Recognize Harm in Fibro
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Bangkok Post reported that the Thai Health Ministry has
refused to recognize that asbestos, a known human carcinogen used
in construction materials, is dangerous to health.

According to the report, deputy secretary-general Charnwit
Tharathep in April said there is not enough medical evidence to
support the view that asbestos poses a health danger. His
statement flies in the face of the asbestos ban imposed by the
World Health Organisation (WHO) and more than 50 countries, the
report noted.

The powerful asbestos lobby has been trying to mislead the public
into believing that chrysotile, a type of asbestos that is used in
Thailand, is safe, the report said.  This is not true, says the
WHO; all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans and may
cause mesothelioma and cancer of the lung, larynx and ovaries as
well as difficulty in breathing and severe coughing.

In 2010, the National Economic and Social Development Board
(NESDB) proposed a ban on asbestos, the report recalled.  The
cabinet approved it in 2011. With the Industry and Public Health
ministries insisting on more and more studies, the ban has been
delayed for two years now.

Thailand, according to the report, is the world's second biggest
importer of asbestos, mainly from Russia and Canada.

Asbestos is used heavily in the construction industry for
insulating materials and floor covering, the report explains. It
is also used for brake linings, clutch assemblies and heat-
resistant household appliances such as toasters, irons and ovens.

It becomes a serious health hazard when people inhale its very
fine durable fibres that damage their lungs, the report said.
Workers at asbestos plants, construction and demolition sites, and
consumers are exposed to the health risks. The WHO says there are
125 million of them around the world and more than 107,000 people
die each year from asbestos-related diseases resulting from
occupational exposure.  Yet the ministry still refuses to
recognise asbestos health dangers. Meanwhile, the NESDB says low
figures for asbestos-related diseases here result from poor
reporting and diagnosis in the healthcare system itself.

Public confidence in the ministry is now at its lowest, the report
said. To restore credibility, it must prove it is not serving
business interests as alleged. It could start by accepting
asbestos as a health hazard, which has long been acknowledged
worldwide.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Removal, Demolition Contracts for Coultrap OK'd
----------------------------------------------------------------
Susan Sarkauskas, writing for Daily Herald, reported that the
Geneva school district will spend $140,200 to remove asbestos-
containing material from the former Coultrap School, and $545,900
to tear the building down.

According to the report, the school board approved contracts for
the work. Holian Asbestos and Encapsulation Corp. of Spring Grove
was the low bidder for the asbestos work. Alpine Demolition of
Batavia received the demolition contract. It was the second-lowest
bidder, but the lowest bidder withdrew because it made a mistake
in its calculations.

Asbestos removal is slated to start May, followed by demolition,
the report said.

The cornerstone and 100 bricks will be saved, for possible use in
a memorial or for fund-raising, the report related.

The school board also approved renaming the district headquarters
to the Coultrap Educational Services Center, the report added.

Harry Coultrap was the first principal of the new Geneva High
School when it opened in 1923, and then became district
superintendent, the report further related.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contractor Fights B.C. Public Works Over Exposure
------------------------------------------------------------------
Julie Ireton, writing for CBC News, reported that Don Garrett says
it should have been one of the simplest construction jobs he'd
ever done.  Instead, the British Columbia contractor said he was
exposed to high levels of asbestos, almost lost his business and
has been fighting with federal government bureaucrats for more
than three years.

"I was taking this material home, it was on my clothes. I didn't
know I was dealing with asbestos so it entered my household,"
Garrett told the news agency.

The report related that Garrett owns a construction business in
Hope, B.C. In 2009, he was contracted by Public Works Government
Services Canada to replace 160 sinks and toilets inside the Kent
Institution -- a maximum security, federal prison in B.C.'s Fraser
Valley.  The job should have taken a month to complete, he said,
but it took seven months from start to finish. He blames the
delays on the discovery of asbestos on three separate occasions.

"A project in an older building where there's a chance of having
asbestos, there's a requirement to produce a pre-construction,
hazardous materials report and that should have been with the
tender package. It wasn't. I remember writing and asking for that
two to three times," Garrett said.

While replacing prison toilets, Garrett said he had to replace
small gaskets that were old and difficult to remove. It required
scraping and grinding. It wasn't until several days into the job
he realized the gaskets were made of asbestos.

"I'd breathed this material without a mask or any sort of
containment for a whole week -- wire brushing, scraping, filing --
very difficult to remove. The whole floor was covered in this
material," recalled Garrett.

               Inmate swept up asbestos with broom

A report from Work Safe BC confirms Garrett and his construction
workers "were exposed to asbestos containing material in the
plumbing hardware," CBC said.  Lab tests revealed the gasket
contained 85 to 90 per cent chrysotile asbestos, a human
carcinogen, according to the report.

"My crew was exposed too. Actually, when asbestos finally got
cleaned up there was an inmate who swept it up with a push
broom..."

"The guards, they're afraid to bring this forward for fear of
reprisals," he told the news agency.

               Corrections officers concerned

Correctional officers inside the Kent Institution are also
concerned about exposure to asbestos on this and previous
occasions, the report related. Gord Robertson, the Pacific
regional president for the Union of Canadian Correctional
Officers, said his members were aware of various asbestos removal
issues when Garrett worked at Kent.

"Officers at the time were concerned their feelings of being
exposed were being minimized. They felt their reporting went
basically unheard. We are concerned about maybe not a cover-up,
but a minimization of the situation," said Robertson.

The office of Corrections Investigator Howard Sapers is now
probing the case.

Garrett has had CAT scans and pulmonary tests. He's found a mark
on one lung, but he said there's no way of knowing if that's from
exposure at the prison.

"They want a steady amount of testing to monitor what that
asbestos is doing in my lungs . . .  asbestos can be a death
sentence. It haunts me."

Garrett said Public Works doesn't follow its own rules when it
comes to maintaining health and safety in the workplace -- for
government workers or contractors. He said the department has
mishandled his case.

"They figure it's fine to avoid doing these pre-construction,
hazardous materials investigations. And what I've experienced,
when they get caught they panic and they bring in consultants
. . . there should be an inventory of any hazardous materials and
it seems to me, if they have an inventory, they're certainly not
maintaining it."

       Commissioner says issues dealt with 'appropriately'

Garrett said Public Works also owes him money for the delays
during his work at Kent prison.

"I've gone to the highest levels at Public Works. My complaints
have all landed up in Ottawa, to three different agencies," he
said.

Those agencies included the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman
and the Office of the Public Service Integrity Commissioner.

Mario Dion, the public service integrity commissioner, sent
Garrett a decision in early April.

It reads: "I believe the concerns and issues raised by you and or
any other parties involved in the construction project were
appropriately dealt with by the proper organizations."

Garrett also sought help from an Ottawa whistleblower group,
Canadians for Accountability. The group's founder, Allan Cutler,
said he's reviewed Garrett's claims and agrees the case has been
mishandled.

"He only wants what he's entitled to . . .  The other one is, the
asbestos issue. Nobody seems to worry about people and the
potential long term through asbestos. And somebody has to take
action and it's a federal problem in this case."

The entire process has left Garrett frustrated and upset.

"When things go to Ottawa, it seems to me that they come back as
cover-up reports and this is alarming," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Queensland Says $12.3MM Not Enough for Cleanup
---------------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Burdon, writing for Warwick Daily News, reported that
patients could be taken from their hospital beds and students
removed from classrooms if a national asbestos removal program is
approved, the Queensland Government has warned the Commonwealth.

According to the report, a Federal Government bill to create a
national asbestos safety and eradication agency is currently being
examined by a Senate committee.  The bill aims to ensure the
removal of asbestos in public buildings, including schools and
hospitals, by 2030, as part of a national effort to eradicate the
hazardous material.  But in a submission to the Senate inquiry,
the State Government said the $12.3 million that would be
allocated to the program was inadequate.

The state also argued the mass removal of the cancer-caused fibre
from Queensland buildings could result in a "significant
disruption to goods and services," the report related.

"For example, during removal works, children would need to be
relocated from their schools classrooms, patients from their
hospital beds and electricity sub-stations turned off," the
submission reads, according to the report.

The state also said the costs of such a national program would put
undue burden on state and local governments, as well as
potentially lead to the illegal dumping of asbestos, the report
added.  However, the Australian Council of Trade Unions -- which
was involved in court cases related to asbestos-related cancer
-- also put in a submission supported the bill, arguing it was
needed to prevent further disease and suffering of the nation's
workers due to the hazardous fibre.

ACTU assistant secretary Michael Borowick said the Queensland
Government's submission put lives at risk by disregarding the key
messages of a recent national asbestos management review, the
report said.  Mr Borowick said the comments in the state's
submission demonstrated a "worrying disregard for the dangers of
asbestos", and school rooms and hospitals would not be shut down.

"This is especially concerning when you consider the extreme
weather in the state," he told the news agency.  "Events like
cyclone Yasi and the Brisbane floods saw fibres from buildings
dislodged putting thousands of people in danger of contracting
asbestos related cancers.

He further told the news agency the government should be informing
the public, rather than misleading people on issues as important
as asbestos.  "The Queensland Government have signed up to
national asbestos regulations and is aware of the new
qualifications of clean up professionals.  Yet, they have launched
a pre-emptive attack on their professionalism."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro to be Removed After Blaze in Primary School
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Bolton News reported that asbestos had to be removed from a
school by specialist contractors following a blaze at a
neighbouring historic mill.

According to the report, Gilnow Primary School will stay closed
until a fire investigation has been completed after the fire
ripped through Valley Recycling at Gilnow Mill in the early hours
of April 23.

Crews managed to save 90 per cent of the grade II listed mill,
which was built in 1857, but part of a warehouse connected to it
was destroyed, the report said.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service told
the news agency an investigation has been launched into the cause
of the blaze at the warehouse, off Gilnow Road.

The school, in neighbouring Gilnow Gardens, was closed for safety
reasons after debris from the fire landed in the playground, the
report related.  A Bolton Council spokesman said it would remain
shut until the investigation was completed.

Valley Recycling specialises in synthetic fibre recovery, and
between 10 and 15 tonnes of carpet were well alight when fire
crews arrived at the scene, the report said.

The spokesman for the council further told the news agency: "We
employed a specialist contractor to remove the debris from Gilnow
School and a small amount of asbestos was removed which was deemed
to be low risk.  After the fire service completes their
investigation a final check will be made of the area to ensure the
school grounds are safe."

Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris is a governor at Gilnow Primary
and said he would be looking for answers, the report further
related.  He added: "We're working with the local authority to get
the school reopened and we'll be looking to get the children back
to school as soon as possible.  The school has been closed through
no fault of its own and, when the clean-up is complete, I'll be
asking for a meeting with the mill owners to find out how this
happened and to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The owner of Valley Recycling declined to comment, the report
noted.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Retired Gas & Heating Engineer Dies of Asbestosis
------------------------------------------------------------------
Becky Barnes, writing for Bracknell Forest Standard, reported that
a retired gas and heating engineer died of a disease triggered by
asbestos exposure, an inquest heard.

According to the report, Mervyn Higgs died in Frimley Park
Hospital on November 23 last year from a type of pneumonia as a
result of lung cancer caused by asbestosis.

The inquest at Windsor Guildhall on April 18 heard the 83-year-old
of Lytham, Great Hollands, was treated for several lung and heart
problems in 2012 including asbestosis, pleural plaques, emphysema,
lung collapse and an uneven heartbeat, the report related.

Coroner Peter Bedford said a cancerous growth was found in Mr
Higgs' chest at King Edward VII Hospital, Windsor, in February
2012 but medical notes from doctors said the growth had gone in
July.

Mr Higgs' wife Jean, who was at the inquest with two of her
nieces, said she had never got over her husband being given the
'all clear' and then him dying four months later, the report said.

The inquest heard Mr Higgs was admitted to Frimley Park Hospital
in November after suffering a series of strokes, according to the
report. He returned home for four days but following increased
congestion in his lungs he returned to hospital where one of his
lungs collapsed and he died.

Mr Bedford told the news agency there was 'no magic cure' and the
cause of death was 'a complicated picture.'  However, recording a
narrative verdict he said the cause of death was basal
bronchopneumonia due to cancer to which exposure to asbestos was a
'significant contributory factor'.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NZ Workshop Tackles Asbestos-Related Diseases
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dawn Gibson, writing for The Fiji Times Online, reported that
occupational diseases such as lung cancer related to asbestos
inhalation often remain unreported or misdiagnosed by doctors.

This was a point of concern raised during the Tripartite
Occupational Diseases workshop that aims to address occupational
diseases in the workplace, the report said.  The workshop
discussed the issue of occupational diseases on a global and local
scale.

Speaking at the meet on April 25, Ministry of Labour medical
assessor Doctor Rauni Tikoinayau said this was because a number of
those diseases had long hibernation periods, the report related.

"Most of the occupational diseases are under-diagnosed or
misdiagnosed because of the latency period of the disease, for
example, mesothelioma, which is another word for tumours or cancer
of the linings of the lungs," Dr Tikoinayau said, the report
cited.

According to the report, he said on average, it took between 30
and 40 years before this type of cancer could be detected.  "It is
related to inhaled dust such as asbestos. Worldwide, there is
still a lot, possibly millions of tonnes of asbestos, being used
for insulation purposes and other purposes even though it is
banned.  Late last year, there was an asbestos problem in Fiji and
we still have asbestos being used in companies and houses and in
motor vehicles. It takes years after being exposed to this before
you can contract the disease or the symptoms of that particular
disease."

He said although there was no known reports of lung cancer related
to asbestos inhalation in Fiji, it did not mean it was non-
existent, the report further cited.  "This is possibly because of
under-reporting and people going undiagnosed. Asbestos exposure
takes its toll on people's health and this needs to be addressed."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Remains Major Workplace Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Adams, writing for Open Media Boston, reported that there
were 32 fatal on-the-job accidents in Massachusetts last year and
an estimated 300 plus deaths due to occupational diseases -- over
90 due to asbestos-related illness -- according to a report.

According to the report, launched on the steps of the State House,
Dying for Work in Massachusetts: Loss of Life and Limb in
Massachusetts Workplaces is an annual joint effort by
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
(MassCOSH) and Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

The report said in a month that saw on-duty MIT police officer
Sean Collier shot to death, the event also marked the 25th annual
Workers' Memorial Day for those who have lost their lives at
workplaces across the Bay State.

Executive Director of MassCOSH, and co-author of the report Marcy
Goldstein-Gelb, told the news agency the event was held to, "shine
a spotlight on the toll of unsafe working conditions."

"Too often there are basic safety measures that employers are
simply ignoring . . . putting profit over human beings' lives, and
we know that we deserve better," she added.

Ms. Gelb commented on what she sees as the "meteoric growth" in
temp workers, day laborers, and other working conditions where
employers are "trying to separate themselves from being
responsible to the safety and well-being of their workers," the
report cited.

Geoffrey Almeida, a boat building and repair worker on the North
Shore died in 2011 following a battle with cancer related to
asbestos.

His widow, Catherine Devitt, told the crowd gathered at the State
House in a quiet voice, "I'm not a public speaker, I would not
choose to do this, but Geoffrey would have had me come, and he
would have loved that his name was being spoken at this place, on
this podium."

She said Geoffrey's nickname was "Mr. Be Careful," because he saw
danger everywhere, and always took every precaution available to
him and his workers.

"His death was terrible. He did not die suddenly like so many
. . . we lost him over a year and a half. He went from a vibrant
59 year old to a 60 year old man who could not live; he weighed
very little, he looked like he was 90,"said Devitt through tears.

Though it's regulated by a number of federal and state agencies
asbestos is still legal in Massachusetts, and there are no laws or
regulations requiring its removal from buildings according to the
MassDEP website.

Ms. Goldstein-Gelb criticized the effectiveness of the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the body
responsible for overseeing safety in private sector workplaces.

She says that Dying for Work shows, "it would take OSHA 140 years
to inspect every Massachusetts workplace within their
jurisdiction, and what that says is that they're completely under-
resourced; there is not enough inspectors, there is not enough
funding."

She also criticized the lack of substantial penalties for
employers in violation of OSHA regulations with the report stating
that the average fine against employers in Massachusetts was
$9,590.

Some of the key findings in the report for 2012 in the report
state:

There were an estimated 1,800 workers in Massachusetts with newly
diagnosed with cancers caused by workplace exposures, and an
estimated 50,000 more were seriously injured.
While the number of fatalities in 2012 was lower than in previous
years, similar declines in fatalities have occurred before only to
be followed by increases in subsequent years.

The average age of death was 50 years old in an age range from 19-
73 years old.  53% of those who were 50 or older, with 28% between
the ages of 40-49, and 25% over 60.

James Ivanov, a 19 year old student, was the youngest person to
lose his life in 2012. It was reported in news media that he fell
from the roof of a house in West Springfield while working
construction.

The construction industry was one of the most dangerous industries
for workers with six fatalities in 2012; four of those working at
sea lost their lives; and seven firefighters died from work-
related cancer and heart disease.

Seven workplace deaths are included in the report up until March
12 this year, the same figure recorded on the same date last year,
but Sean Collier's death on April 18 brings the total deaths in
2013 to eight.

In a bill sponsored by Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), MassCOSH is
now pushing for occupational safety and health standards to be
applied to state employees, like their private sector
counterparts.

Another bill sponsored by Sen. Brian Joyce (D-Milton) would see
the compensation for burial allowance of those who lose their
lives in work-related instances doubled from $4,000 to $8,000.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dust Removal in Final Stage at Federal Building
----------------------------------------------------------------
John Huotari, writing for Oak Ridge Today, reported that work
crews are wrapping up a four-month project to clean up and remove
asbestos-containing insulation from the Joe L. Evins Federal
Building in Oak Ridge, and displaced federal workers and
contractors could move back into the building next month, a
spokeswoman said.

"We have reached the final stage of the project and expect to have
the building available to tenants in May," Saudia Muwwakkil,
regional public affairs officer for the U.S. General Services
Administration, which owns the building, told the news agency.

According to the report, there have been about 350 workers in the
five-story building, which is home to the U.S. Department of
Energy Oak Ridge Office as well as a district office for U.S. Rep.
Chuck Fleischmann. The workers include roughly 200 federal
employees and close to 150 contractors.

In June, a semiannual inspection found insulation with asbestos
had fallen into heating and cooling units. Many of the workers had
to temporarily move elsewhere while the GSA removed the
insulation, the report said.

In January, GSA awarded a $2.5 million contract to Katmai Support
Services LLC of Alaska to abate and remove the asbestos-containing
material. The project was scheduled to end in April, the report
related.

"The project included removal of asbestos-containing material from
HVAC fan coils and pipe chases, demolition and construction of
affected wall partitions, and surface cleaning on floors, ceilings
and walls," Muwwakkil said in an e-mail sent to the news agency.
She said it affected about 92 percent of the facility.

A separate $80,000 contract was awarded to industrial hygienist
Synergy Solutions to conduct independent testing, inspection, and
verification of the abatement, ensuring compliance with state
regulations, Muwwakkil told the news agency.

During part of the project, there was a white tent erected in
front of the building, the report related. Muwwakkil said the
contractor used it as a workshop to make metal ductwork that
replaced some vertical ducts in the building.

Mike Koentop, a DOE spokesman in Oak Ridge, said the department
will "continue to work with GSA to develop a schedule to move back
into the Federal Building," the report further related.

In February, Koentop said some workers have been temporarily
housed in other federal space at Building 2714-G on Laboratory
Road and at the Office of Scientific and Technical Information in
east Oak Ridge. Emergency operations continued to run in the
Federal Building's basement.

Some employees worked in leased commercial space at 545 Oak Ridge
Turnpike, where Oak Ridge National Laboratory used to have
offices, Koentop said.

Koentop said then that the rent at 545 Oak Ridge Turnpike was
$46,667 per month, and it was $5,678 per month at OSTI. DOE
normally pays $120,000 per month to rent the Federal Building, but
the department can fit all of its employees into the 155,000-
square-foot building, making it much more efficient, Koentop said.

In June, officials said air samples from the Federal Building
suggested that no employees were exposed to asbestos from the
loose insulation that had fallen into heating and cooling ducts.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Prince Albert Ahead of Fibro Reporting Curve
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tyler Clarke, writing for Prince Albert Herald, reported that with
provincial legislation passing in April that requires the
mandatory reporting of asbestos in public buildings, Prince Albert
facilities are ahead of the curve.

According to the report, the City of Prince Albert has taken part
in annual asbestos testing in all city buildings, the results of
which are publicly available on the city website.

"What's pleased me is we were doing it on our own, and now it
comes out that it has to be done, and that makes us feel good
because we're being proactive," Mayor Greg Dionne told the news
agency.

The city started testing for asbestos a few years ago, so "we know
what we have," Dionne explained, noting that while it doesn't pose
a harm as long as it's undisturbed, it's important to know where
it is so it isn't accidentally disturbed, the report related.
"When you go to renovations there's a different way that you have
to deal with it than normal practices," he explained

"The main thing is -- it's not a safety issue as long as you don't
touch it . . .  For example, lots of buildings have pipes with
asbestos in it, and as long as you don't cut or saw or touch the
piping, it's not an issue."

City operations manager Alain Trudel also told the news agency
that city staff are well-versed on how to deal with asbestos --
the keys being sealing it off while working with it, and wetting
it to prevent asbestos dust particles from being inhaled.

"If you run across it while doing maintenance, there are
procedures that our staff follow to deal with that, as does any
contractor in the city," Trudel said.

The Prince Albert SPCA has a sign on one of its walls, warning of
Zonolite containing asbestos, noting "Do not disturb without
proper training and equipment."

Zonolite was a brand of insulation that contains asbestos -- a
brand Health Canada warns on their website "can cause health risks
if disturbed during maintenance, renovation or demolition."

As with any asbestos product, Health Canada's website shares the
message Dionne has been sharing -- that "there is currently no
evidence of risk to your health if the insulation is sealed behind
wallboards and floorboards, isolated in an attic, or otherwise
kept from exposure to the interior environment."

The SPCA's sign system, or a similar such initiative that marks
where asbestos is, limits the risk of accidentally disturbing it.
"We have the report, so now we're putting together a plan together
on how to deal with it, and the best way to deal with it, in my
opinion, is to mark it," Dionne said.

The estimated cost to remove all asbestos from city buildings is
as much as $1.1 million, according to a report by facilities
manager William Hill.

The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region already marks the
location of asbestos, completing an asbestos survey a few months
ago that began in 2008.

Its asbestos findings are also available online, noting that all
buildings built before the early '80s contain asbestos.
The city's inspections reveal similar findings, with a long list
of buildings containing asbestos.

Inspected on an annual basis, the majority of city buildings had
asbestos in "excellent" condition in 2012, according to an R.S.
Management Services Inc. report.

It notes that the Girls Guide Hall contains asbestos in block
walls in "fair" condition requiring some cleanup -- work that was
done last year.

The SPCA building, airport residence, city yards main building,
PCC plant, water plant lower lift building and East Hill Community
Club also note asbestos in "fair" condition, but do not require
removal unless renovating or demolition takes place.

The airport terminal has spray-on asbestos on the ceiling in
"fair" condition, which the city report notes requires ongoing
maintenance.

When asbestos is removed, the city has a special way of dealing
with the waste material, Trudel said.

"We bury it in a certain spot, it's capsulated in that area, and I
do believe our surveyors pinpoint the spot and determine that
location and that's kept on file," he explained, reiterating that
waste department staff properly knows how to deal with it.

The Saskatchewan Asbestos Registry, which passed earlier this
month, has already begun, with government buildings, health
regions, municipalities and schools posting their findings online,
at www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/asbestos.

More findings are expected to be posted as inspections are made
and organizations send their information to the government.
When inhaled, asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis (a scarring of
the lungs), mesothelioma (a rare cancer that lines the chest or
abdominal cavity) and lung cancer.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso Rates Steady Despite Declining Fibro Use
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jane Hanley in her article "Mesothelioma incidence in 50 states
and the District of Columbia, United States, 2003-2008," wrote
that although asbestos use in the United States has been in
decline for more than 30 years, the threat of mesothelioma is
still very real.

A new CDC analysis of data from the National Program for Cancer
Registries and the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results
program shows that mesothelioma rates in the U.S. remained steady
from 2003 to 2008. The National Program for Cancer Registries is a
national database of all cancer cases in the U.S. It allows the
CDC to observe and track trends and find patterns in cancer
occurrence.

The newly-released CDC mesothelioma analysis was based on the
theory that "the decline in asbestos use in the United States may
impact mesothelioma incidence." But according to a summary of the
findings in the International Journal for Occupational and
Environmental Health, that has not happened. In the five-year
period studied, there were an average of 1 to 5 mesothelioma cases
diagnosed per 100,000 people in the U.S. The overall number of
cases diagnosed each year remained relatively level, although the
number of men contracting mesothelioma did decrease. Among women,
the incidence of mesothelioma remained steady.

Mesothelioma is the most deadly of the diseases known to be caused
by exposure to asbestos. Because of the shape of the tiny fibers,
the body appears to be unable to rid itself of inhaled or ingested
asbestos, triggering a chain of physiological reactions that can
result in mesothelioma even decades after initial exposure.
Although mesothelioma is rare, it is very aggressive and median
survival is about 12 months, although there are some long-term
survivors.

Before it was publicly linked to mesothelioma in the 1960s and
1970s, asbestos was used in everything from building products to
home insulation, brake linings, and even fire-proof Christmas
decorations. But when workers began to get sick and die of
mesothelioma, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) instituted
regulations designed to protect workers and the public from
asbestos. Nonetheless, there is no comprehensive asbestos ban in
the United States.

Today, an estimated 2,500 to 3,200 cases of mesothelioma are
diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Based on these numbers, the CDC
report concludes that "the U.S. population is still at risk."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Clean Up to Begin on Aboyne Site
------------------------------------------------------------
Piper reported that a clean up of the Bellwood car park, where
fragments of asbestos and other hazardous materials were found in
March, is due to begin.

According to the report, car park owners Mid-Deeside Ltd (MDL)
have reached an agreement with the Scottish Environmental
Protection Agency (SEPA) over the action required for the site.

A registered waste carrier will be on the site to remove the
material around the car parking area, and it will then be removed
to a licensed waste disposal site, the report said.

In a statement, MDL said: "We have undertaken to meet SEPA's
requirements and the regulator has confirmed that it will be
satisfied once this work is complete.  Once the material has been
removed, further minor work will be required, following final
agreement with Aberdeenshire Council's Environmental Health
service," the report cited.

There will be no access to the woodland from Bellwood Drive while
the work is undertaken, with the area fenced off and residents
asked to keep away, according to the report.

Fragments of chrysolite asbestos were found on the site in early
March with raised concern for resident's safety, the report said.

The Bellwood Area Residents Association (BARA) has since been
formed, the report related.  Any interested parties should
contact: bellwoodresidents@gmail.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: U.N. Chemicals Summit to Adopt New Controls
------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reported that at the start of a major
conference to regulate chemical and hazardous waste safety, top
officials voiced optimism that delegates will approve new
international controls on several industrial compounds and agree
to clamp down on some cross-border pollution.

According to the report, the three key international treaties that
govern chemicals and hazardous waste, each headquartered in
Geneva, are holding an unprecedented joint two-week convention of
more than 1,500 delegates from 170 nations that is meant to
consider new limits on some substances and look at ways the
treaties can be better put to use together.

The conference will culminate in a high-level meeting among about
80 ministers on May 9-10, the report related.

Jim Willis, executive secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and
Stockholm Conventions, told AP that he expects delegates will
likely agree to gradually ban one of the commonly used flame
retardants, hexabromocyclododecane, or HBCD -- which is put in
building insulation, furniture, vehicles and electronics -- while
exempting some uses in buildings.  Such a ban would come under the
Stockholm Convention, which now regulates 22 toxic substances,
such as DDT and PCBs, that travel long distances and don't break
down easily, working their way up the food chain.

Willis told reporters that delegates also are expected to accept
stricter requirements for disclosing information about exports of
several other substances including a powerful herbicide, Paraquat,
the AP report also related. The others are an insecticide,
Azinphos-methyl; two flame retardants, PentaBDE and OctaBDE; a
fabric protector, PFOS; and the construction material, Chrysotile
asbestos. That action would come under the Rotterdam Convention,
which regulates information about the export and import of 43
hazardous chemicals.

Together, the three treaties aim to "help countries to take better
control of the pesticides they agree to use," Christine Fuell, a
senior technical officer with the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture
Organization who helps oversee the Rotterdam Convention, told AP.

Perhaps the most contentious proposals involve HBCD -- which has
been found in human breast milk and tissues and in wildlife and
marine life around the world, raising health concerns -- and
Chrysotile asbestos, which is linked to respiratory disease and
lung cancer, Joe DiGangi, a science adviser with advocacy group
IPEN, a global network of more than 700 public interest non-
governmental organizations, told AP.

In the case of asbestos, Canada -- a major producer of the mineral
-- and several other nations blocked a similar measure two years
ago, the report related. This time around, Willis said, Canada
appears to be supportive of the proposal, and he is hopeful that
Russia, which has large reserves of asbestos and is a newcomer to
the treaty, won't block action.

Swiss environment ambassador Franz Perrez, who will preside over
talks on the Basel Convention, told AP he expects agreement on new
ways of managing trade in hazardous waste, based on an Indonesian-
Swiss initiative that includes technical guidelines on cross-
border shipments of discarded electronic and electrical products.
The Basel Convention regulates the exports and imports of
hazardous waste.

Perrez added that Switzerland, a major hub and producer in the
chemical and pharmaceutical industries, proposed trying for new
"synergies" among the three treaties it hosts in Geneva by holding
a single conference that would seek more unified, global
approaches.

All three treaties take decisions based on consensus among all the
nations' delegates, but officials and observers say it is
difficult for a single country to block action in the face of
pressure from most or all of the others, the report related.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Family Seeks Help From Meso Victim's Colleagues
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dewsbury Reporter reported that the family of a man who died as a
result of asbestos exposure is calling on his old colleagues to
come forward and help with a legal battle.

According to the report, Malcolm James, who grew up in Thornhill
before moving to Mirfield in his 20s, worked for Sheffield-based
scrap metal merchants Thos-W-Ward Ltd, know as Tommy Wards, in the
1960s.  He also worked as a self-employed labourer, or 'oxy-
cutter,' at power stations across Yorkshire where he dismantled
turbine houses, boilers, chimneys and pipe work for scrap.

The report said Mr James, 69, died of lung cancer caused by
asbestos exposure in 2009, by which point he was living in Filey.
Now solicitors Irwin Mitchell have been hired by Mr James' son,
John, of Greenside Road, Mirfield, to find out where the exposure
to asbestos occurred.

If you have any information, call Ian Toft on 0113 218 6453 or
email ian.toft@irwinmitchell.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Baron and Budd Observes Major Milestone in Libby
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Riverfront Park near Libby, after nearly $500 million spent over
the last 12 years, is the first important completed piece of a
federal cleanup initiated in 1999 after EPA investigators
discovered an asbestos cataclysm in the small mining town of
3,000.  Riverfront Park sits on a mountaintop over the site where
vermiculite was mined for a century near the Canadian border,
upwind five miles of Libby.

The EPA described what it found in Libby "the worst case of
industrial poisoning of a whole community in American history."

"Earth Day also reminds us of Libby, Montana," say the
mesothelioma lawyers at Baron and Budd. "When we speak of ridding
the earth of all things toxic, what better microcosm to observe
than the town of Libby, Montana, where 13 years ago a monolithic
asbestos cleanup began and continues today."

A CNN report described the town as being "surrounded by toxic
asbestos [that] covered patches of grass, dusted the tops of cars
and drifted through the air in a hazy smoke that became a part of
their daily lives," referring to residents who lived and died in
the haze; as children they played with asbestos powder in their
mouths.

Toward the end of the Riverfront cleanup, vermiculite turned up in
an excavation prior to installing a central communication line
through the 17-acre park. Rebecca Thomas, EPA manager of the site,
said every time more vermiculite was found in an already treated
area it was removed or buried under clean soil. Thomas said they
had utmost certainty that "everything in the top 18 inches is
clean" and that it made no sense to keep digging.

On Earth Day, Libby is a reminder that preservation is superior to
damage control. Asbestos cleanup, likewise, is like trying to take
back a cruel word: 18 inches under the park's surface beneath a
canopy of clean soil lies a fluorescent orange blockade warning
those who would dig there in the future that danger still lies
below.

                       About Baron and Budd

Baron & Budd, PC, has been "Protecting What's Right" for asbestos
sufferers and their families for nearly four decades. As one of
the first law firms to prevail in an asbestos lawsuit, Baron and
Budd continues actively standing for military personnel, industry
workers, and others taken ill as a consequence of asbestos
inhalation. The firm insistently calls for the U.S. to stop
importing chrysotile from Brazil and join the Worldwide Ban on
Asbestos. To date 55 nations have signed the ban including all
European Union members. Contact Baron and Budd (day or night) at
1.866.855.1229 for additional information on mesothelioma
treatments, mesothelioma cancer doctors, treatment centers, and
mesothelioma attorneys.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Center Urges Victim to Call for Proven Results
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Lung Cancer Asbestos Victims Center is now urging diagnosed
victims of mesothelioma, or their family members to call them for
the names, and specific contacts of the most experienced
mesothelioma lawyers in the United States, because there is a
direct relationship between the skill of the mesothelioma lawyer,
and compensation for this rare form of cancer, that is 100%
related to exposure to asbestos. The group says, "The types of
victims of mesothelioma we hope to help are US Navy Veterans, who
were exposed to asbestos on a US Navy ship, shipyard workers,
power plant workers, manufacturing workers, or any type industrial
worker who had significant exposure to asbestos in their place of
work." For more information diagnosed mesothelioma cancer victims,
or their family members are urged to call the Lung Cancer Asbestos
Victims Center at 866-714-6466-Get proven results.

The Lung Cancer Asbestos Victims Center says, "The states with the
highest incidence of a rare form of cancer call mesothelioma
include Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia,
Washington, and Wyoming. However, we believe California, Texas,
Florida, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, Louisiana,
Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah,
Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, and Alaska should also be on the
list, because these states had military bases, heavy industry, or
both where asbestos was present." For more information about
mesothelioma please visit the Mesothelioma Victims Center at
http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

The Lung Cancer Asbestos Victims Center says, "Aside from the US
Navy, and shipyards, other high risk workplaces for asbestos
exposure, lung cancer, and mesothelioma include power plants,
manufacturing factories, chemical plants, oil refineries, mines,
smelters, aerospace manufacturing facilities, demolition
construction work sites, railroads, automotive manufacturing
facilities, or auto brake shops. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer
that is 100% related to exposure to asbestos. Many victims lung
cancer victims, or diagnosed victims of mesothelioma never smoked,
and never made the connection between the asbestos exposure, and
their cancer. As long as the victim, or their family members can
prove the exposure to asbestos, we will do everything possible to
help them get to the most experienced mesothelioma lawyers in the
nation, because the most skilled mesothelioma lawyers get the best
financial compensation results for their clients." For more
information diagnosed victims of mesothelioma, or lung cancer that
is related to exposure to asbestos are urged to call the Lung
Cancer Asbestos Victims Center anytime at 866-714-6466.
http://LungCancerAsbestosVictimsCenter.Com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: City of Casper Cited for Fibro Testing
-------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Byer, writing for Star-Tribune, reported that the Department
of Environmental Quality recently served the city of Casper with a
notice for allegedly failing to fully test for asbestos before
demolishing a residential building.

The report related that the city contracted with Recycled
Materials for inspection of an abandoned house at 1427 Oakcrest
Ave., and the DEQ Air Quality Division notice states that the
company failed to sample enough material. There was insufficient
sampling of lathe and plaster material and spray-on acoustic
material as well as no sampling of the floor tile or asphalt
roofing, according to the notice.

Robinson Contracting had already removed the material before a DEQ
site visit on Feb. 28, but the inspector took samples of the
remaining material, according to the report.  A laboratory
analysis found 15 percent asbestos in the floor tile and 5 percent
asbestos in the tile adhesive.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber in rock and soil used as an insulating
and fire-resistant building material, according to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, the report related.  Exposure can
increase a person's risk of developing lung disease.

Steve Dietrich, air quality administrator, said the agency issued
a notice to both the city and contractors, the report further
related.  "They have equal responsibility," he said.

Each case is separate, and the next step for both is a meeting
with DEQ to work toward a settlement, the report said.  Dietrich
said the meeting, as of yet unscheduled, will allow the city or
contractor to present any additional information.

The DEQ notice states that violations are punishable by a maximum
fine of $10,000 for each day the violation occurred and/or an
injunction, according to the report.  Dietrich said fines are
calculated and will vary based on the circumstances of each case.

"We take the regulation of asbestos materials seriously," he told
Star Tribune.  "First and foremost, we want to protect not only
the workers but also the general public."

According to Star Tribune, the Casper City Council authorized a
demolition report and $4,701 lien on the property April 16. City
Manager John Patterson did not have details about the status of
the DEQ case, but said the building had stood empty for years.

"Ultimately we took it down to abate the nuisance because it was
causing troubles in the neighborhood, both with infestation of
different critters but also, in spite of trying to board it up,
folks were always breaking into it," he told the newspaper.

City Attorney Bill Luben told Star Tribune his office is reviewing
the notice, but he doesn't think the city has any liability since
contractors were used for the inspection and demolition. He said
the DEQ has the option of filing an action against the city in
district court.

"We're kind of waiting to see what they do at this point," he
said, Star Tribune cited.

A message left with Robinson Contracting was not returned.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Newcastle Housing Bosses Reported for Fibro
------------------------------------------------------------
Chronicle Live reported that a housing provider and its
contractors accused of discovering and then leaving asbestos
spores in a family home have been reported to health chiefs.

According to the report, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has
confirmed it has been informed of the incident on April 12 which
saw pregnant Michelle Lee left fearing for the health of her and
seven-year-old daughter Regina.

It's also emerged Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) -- which manages
council-owned homes in Newcastle -- has previously been subject to
a HSE improvement notice, put in place to ensure information about
asbestos was passed on to contractors, the report said.

A HSE spokesman told the news agency: "An improvement notice was
served on YHN in April 2010 requiring the introduction of a system
of management and control to ensure that information on asbestos
is passed to the principal contractor.

"YHN complied with the notice by July 2010 and there have been no
further notices since this time. An incident relating to Jubilee
Crescent on April 12 has been reported to us. There are no further
details at this time."

The debacle for Michelle, 28, started when routine work to replace
a gas fire led to a plasterer disturbing potentially dangerous
asbestos, the report related.  Despite reporting the find to those
responsible for the repair work, the Newcastle City Council-run
City Build, on April 12 Michelle says no action was taken until
the following Monday leaving her family exposed to the airborne
spores.

While senior City Build staff visited the property in Gosforth on
the day of the incident it's claimed no attempt was made to seal
the area, clean up the dust or board up the fire place, the report
said.  Instead it fell to Michelle, who has lived in the Your
Homes Newcastle (YHN) property for seven years, to deal with the
mess clearing up the dangerous dust with a vacuum cleaner that was
only later confiscated due to contamination fears.

Michelle, a full-time mum, told the news agency: "I cleaned up the
best I could and had the windows open but my daughter has been on
the floor playing. On Monday (April 15) contractors came out to
board up the fireplace and did an air quality test but by that
point there wouldn't have been a true reading."

The following day they returned and stripped her living room and
kitchen of curtains, blonds, carpets, rugs, her laundry basket and
daughter's trainers amid contamination concerns, the report
related.

Both YHN and City Build say the appropriate air tests have been
carried out and the readings showed "the amount of contamination
in her home is well below any level that might be harmful to her
or her family's health".

Crucially for Michelle, living in her home for three days after
the asbestos was disturbed, neither organisation has said when the
air tests were carried out, the report added.

The Chronicle asked YHN when the asbestos discovery was first
reported and why the fireplace was not sealed and boarded up.

The YHN spokesman told the Chronicle: "These are questions that
will be asked as part of that investigation."

Nigel Hails, director of Neighbourhood Services for Newcastle City
Council, added: "We'll work hard with landlord YHN to minimise any
disruption while repairs are made and investigations continue."

A full investigation has now been launched by YHN into the
incident, the Chronicle said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Extension Granted to Burned-out Key Largo Casino
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Conor Shine, writing for Las Vegas Sun, reported that what's left
of the fire-ravaged Key Largo casino near the Las Vegas Strip will
remain standing for at least the next few months after county
officials granted the property's owner an extension on the
demolition deadline.

According to the report, the Clark County Building Department
issued an abatement order requiring the vacant casino be torn
down, after it suffered heavy damage in a fire last month.  But
after filing initial demolition plans with the county, the owner,
Flamingo 2005 LLC, was granted a four-month extension due to the
complexity of tearing down the building, Clark County spokeswoman
Stacey Welling said.

"It's a pretty complex project because there's asbestos involved.
They have to abate the asbestos and then tear down the building,"
she told the Sun.  "Given the condition of the building, it's hard
to get in there, so it's going to take some time."

The March 28 fire, a suspected case of arson, caused $4.5 million
damage, including a collapsed roof on the north side of the
building that used to be over the casino floor, according to the
Sun report.

The Key Largo building was built in 1974 and closed in 2005 to
make room for a proposed condominium tower that never came to
fruition, the Sun related.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Northville Township OKs Budget for Fibro Removal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tatum Ryan, writing for Northville Patch, reported that the
Northville Township Board of Trustees approved using money from
it's general fund to have asbestos removed by hand from the former
psychiatric hospital's powerhouse.

According to the report, the Board of Trustees approved the
spending of an additional $288,000 from the general fund,
according to the Observer & Eccentric, so the structure could be
safely demolished.

During the State of the Community address in April, Township
Supervisor Robert Nix told the audience that an additional
$350,000 to $400,000 had been added to the cost of the demolition
when asbestos was found on the property, the report related.  The
demolition project is in part funded by a grant, but Nix said the
township plans to use the revenue acquired by the REIS development
on the property -- the University of Michigan medical center and
planned retail center -- to fund the demolition.

According to the Observer and Eccentric, Nix said the township had
an obligation to complete the demolition if they wanted to quality
for future grants that would help with the cleanup of the
remaining buildings on the former hospital property and complying
with the brownfield cleanup plan was "crucial," the report further
related.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bids for Contaminated Billings Bldg. Top $1.9MM
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reported that bids for the old federal
courthouse in Billings have topped $1.9 million.

The General Services Administration is holding the auction for the
former James F. Battin Federal Courthouse, according to the AP
report.

The five-story, 221,509-square-foot building is contaminated with
asbestos, leading to the construction of an $80 million courthouse
about a block away, AP said.

The auction opened on April 27, with bids going back and forth
between two unidentified bidders, AP said.  The sale will continue
until 24 hours pass without a new bid.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Russia Urges Thailand to Rethink Proposed Ban
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Nation reported that Russia has urged Thailand to think
carefully about a proposed ban on asbestos imports because of
concerns over the health and safety of consumers.

The report related that Thailand and Russia have set up a working
committee to consider the issue. Vladimir Romanov, acting Russian
trade representative in Thailand, expects it to come up with
concrete solutions to allow asbestos imports to Thailand.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, Thailand imported 50,816.5
tonnes ($22.7 million worth) of asbestos from Russia last year to
support domestic industry, the report said.  Asbestos is a generic
trade name of a group of natural minerals whose crystals occur in
fibrous forms. Thailand only uses chrysotile fibre for the
manufacture of asbestos-cement sheets and asbestos-cement pipes.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: On-Site Detector Promises Better Workplace Safety
------------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos was once called a miracle material because of its
toughness and fire-resistant properties. It was used as
insulation, incorporated into cement and even woven into firemen's
protective clothing. Over time, however, scientists pinned the
cause of lung cancers such as mesothelioma on asbestos fiber
inhalation. Asbestos was banned in the many industrialized
countries in the 1980s, but the threat lingers on in the ceilings,
walls and floors of old buildings and homes. Now a team of
researchers from the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K. has
developed and tested the first portable, real-time airborne
asbestos detector. They hope that the prototype, described in a
paper published in the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal
Optics Express, will be commercialized in the U.K. in the next few
years, providing roofers, plumbers, electricians and other workers
in commercial and residential buildings with an affordable way to
quickly identify if they have inadvertently disturbed asbestos
fibers into the air.

"Many thousands of people around the world have died from asbestos
fiber inhalation," says Paul Kaye, a member of the team that
developed the new detection method at the University of
Hertfordshire's School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics.
"Even today, long after asbestos use was banned in most Western
countries, there are many people who become exposed to asbestos
that was used in buildings decades earlier, and these people too
are dying from that exposure."

Currently, the most common way to identify hazardous airborne
asbestos at worksites is to filter the air, count the number of
fibers that are caught, and later analyze the fibers with X-ray
technology to determine if they are asbestos. The approach
requires expensive lab work and hours of wait time. An alternative
method to evaluate work site safety is to use a real-time fiber
detector, but the current, commercially available detectors are
unable to distinguish between asbestos and other less dangerous
fibers such as mineral wool, gypsum and glass. The University of
Hertfordshire team's new detection method, in contrast, can
identify asbestos on-site. It does so by employing a laser-based
technique that takes advantage of a unique magnetic property of
the mineral.

When exposed to a magnetic field, asbestos fibers orient
themselves to align with the field. The property is virtually
unique among fibrous materials. "Asbestos has a complex
crystalline structure containing several metals including silicon,
magnesium and iron. It is thought that it is the iron atoms that
give rise to the magnetic properties, but the exact mechanism is
still somewhat unclear," says Kaye. Kaye notes that his team
wasn't the first to try to exploit the magnetic effect to develop
an asbestos detector. "Pioneering U.S.-based scientist Pedro
Lilienfeld filed a patent on a related approach in 1988, but it
seems it was not taken forward, possibly because of technical
difficulties," he says.

The Hertfordshire team's new detection method, developed under the
European Commission FP7 project 'ALERT' (FP7-SME-2008-2), works by
first shining a laser beam at a stream of airborne particles. When
light bounces off the particles, it scatters to form unique,
complex patterns. The pattern "is a bit like a thumbprint for the
particle," says Kaye, sometimes making it possible to identify a
particle's shape, size, structure, and orientation by looking at
the scattered light. "We can use this technique of light
scattering to detect single airborne fibers that are far too small
to be seen with the naked eye," he says. After identifying the
fibers, the detector carries them in an airflow through a magnetic
field, and uses light scattering again on the other side to tell
if the fibers have aligned with the field. "If they have, they are
highly likely to be asbestos," Kaye says.

The team has tested their detector in the lab and has worked with
colleagues in the U.K. and Spain to develop prototypes that are
now undergoing field trials at various locations where asbestos
removal operations are underway. "Our colleagues estimate that it
will take 12 to 18 months to get the first production units for
sale, with a target price of perhaps 700-800 U.S. dollars," Kaye
says. As production increases after the initial product launch,
Kaye hopes that costs may be cut even further, making the
detectors even more affordable for an individual plumber,
electrician or building renovator. "These tradespeople are the
most frequently affected by asbestos-related diseases and most who
get the diseases will die from them," Kaye says. The team hopes
that, over time, the new detector will help to reduce the 100,000
annual death toll that the World Health Organization attributes to
occupational exposure to airborne asbestos.

Paper: "Real-time detection of airborne asbestos by light
scattering from magnetically re-aligned fibers," C. Stopford et
al., Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 9, pp. 11356-11367 (2013).

                      About Optics Express

Optics Express reports on new developments in all fields of
optical science and technology every two weeks. The journal
provides rapid publication of original, peer-reviewed papers. It
is published by the Optical Society and edited by Andrew M. Weiner
of Purdue University. Optics Express is an open-access journal and
is available at no cost to readers online at
www.OpticsInfoBase.org/OE.

                              About OSA

Uniting more than 180,000 professionals from 175 countries, the
Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community
through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to
advance the common interests of the field, providing educational
resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who
work in the field by promoting the science of light and the
advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA
publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics
knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an
interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit
www.osa.org

CONTACT:

The Optical Society
Angela Stark, 202-416-1443
Email: astark@osa.org


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Delays in West Australia Bldg.'s Fibro Clean-up
----------------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Emerson, writing for The West Australian, reported that
almost 740 State houses remain in urgent need of asbestos removal
2 and a half years after they were deemed to be of the "highest
priority" by a Government audit.

According to the report, Housing Minister Bill Marmion has blamed
the delay on negotiations with neighbours of public housing
tenants to pay half the cost of replacing asbestos fences.

The Government has been steadily reducing the number of public
houses with asbestos-containing materials after a two-year audit
completed in December 2010 found the dangerous fibre in 45 per
cent of homes, the report said.  That proportion has fallen to 40
per cent of the State's 36,676 public houses, according to
Department of Housing figures.

Properties in the "highest priority" category have fallen from
2082 to 737 in the past two years, the report said, but Asbestos
Diseases Society president Robert Vojakovic said it was
"unacceptable" so many remained on the list.

"This is of the utmost urgency," he told The West Australian.  He
was concerned about children being exposed to asbestos.  "They
breathe three times faster than adults do, they have smaller
lungs, if they breathe same amount of asbestos adults do, the
burden on the lungs is much greater and they are closer to the
ground, where most asbestos is," he said.

Department of Housing service delivery general manager Steve Parry
told the news agency there was no health risk when the material
was not disturbed.  The houses in the highest priority had "damage
that needs to be rectified but does not constitute an emergency",
he said.

Shadow housing minister Fran Logan also told the news agency all
homes on the priority list should have been repaired by now and
accused the Government of playing down the risk.  "If they're in
the highest risk category, there's a reason why they're there," he
said.

Mr Marmion told The West Australia most of the highest priority
properties had asbestos only in fences.  "A smaller percentage of
properties are also vacant homes undergoing refurbishment or
awaiting demolition," he said.  "The department ensures that any
risk from exposed or damaged asbestos-containing materials has
been removed prior to allocating a property to a family."

It had spent $17 million re-moving asbestos-containing materials
from public housing, the report said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Estimation Still Under Advisement in Pa. Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jon Campisi, writing for Legal Newsline, reported that it's been
nearly three months since federal Judge Judith Fitzgerald ordered
the submittal of post-trial briefs in an asbestos bankruptcy case
originating out of Delaware, and thus far, it appears the case is
in a state of limbo.

According to the report, Fitzgerald, a U.S. bankruptcy judge who
splits her time between the District Court in Delaware and the
Western District of Pennsylvania, convened a weeklong proceeding
known as an estimation trial during the second week in January,
the goal of which was to try and close the discrepancy between
what the debtors in the case figure they will owe to future
asbestos claimants and what those representing the claimants and
future claimants contend the now-insolvent companies will likely
owe in damages.

The debtors in the case are Specialty Products Holding Corp.,
Bondex International and RPM International, the report said.

The debtors had previously been asbestos defendants in the tort
system until they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a maneuver that
puts a halt on civil litigation and requires the formerly solvent
companies to set up a trust fund to compensate victims, the report
related.

In this case, lawyers representing the debtors and attorneys
representing the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury
Claimants put on their case before Fitzgerald in her sky-high
courtroom on the 52nd floor of a Pittsburgh commercial tower from
Jan. 7 to 11, the report said.  Since then, however, the case has
remained fairly stagnant as the parties await Fitzgerald's ruling,
which the jurist signaled would come before her planned May 31
retirement.

Fitzgerald, the report said, is tasked with trying to get the
disputed dollar amounts closer to an agreed upon figure; the
debtors currently estimate their future asbestos liabilities to be
somewhere in the range of $116 million, while the lawyers
representing the claimants and future claimants put the figure
closer to between $1.1 and $1.3 billion.

A look at the court docket shows little activity in the case,
other than a handful of omnibus motions and other minor filings
during the past few months, according to the report.

This was confirmed by Natalie Ramsey, an attorney with
Philadelphia-based Montgomery McCracken, which is representing the
Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants, the
report related.  "There has been virtually no activity and nothing
of substance since the estimation trial," Ramsey wrote in an
emailed message. "The case is kind of 'on hold' pending the
Judge's ruling, which we expect sometime late May." In a follow-up
phone interview, Ramsey explained that the case cannot move
forward until Fitzgerald issues her ruling.

The parties have agreed to hold off on filing any new motions and
taking any further steps in the litigation until Fitzgerald's
ruling comes through, she told the news agency.  "Until that
ruling comes down it's difficult for the case to take a better
direction," Ramsey said.

Fitzgerald did hold one hearing in April, according to Ramsey,
during which the judge said it was her intention that when she
reassigned the case to another judge upon her retirement, she
would do so with the suggestion that the parties go back into
mediation, the report further related.  Ramsey, however, said she
doesn't know at this point whether or not mediation would occur,
or if the parties would change their respective positions on the
estimated damages.

As for Fitzgerald, the judge is charged with making a
determination on what she believes to be the present and future
asbestos liabilities of the debtors, the report noted.

Attorneys representing the claimants take the position that
Fitzgerald should calculate this based upon what the debtors'
liabilities would have been had they stayed in the tort system,
while the lawyers for the bankrupt companies disagree that this
should be the legal standard behind the judge's determination, the
report said.

As for now, at least according to Ramsey, the parties are still in
stark disagreement over the estimated future asbestos liabilities,
the report pointed out.  "We were way apart on our assessments,"
Ramsey said on how things were when the case started out.

And that hasn't seemed to have changed one bit, the report said.

Fitzgerald's ruling could come down any day, the report added.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carpenter Dies of Occupational Mesothelioma
------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Gaw, writing for EADT24.com, reported that a carpenter who
cut asbestos boards for use in caravans died from an industrial
disease, a coroner has ruled.

According to the report, Gerry Blinston, of Willow Close, Walsham-
le-Willows, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2012 and
died at his home six months later on March 24.

An inquest in Bury St Edmunds, heard evidence from 75-year-old Mr
Blinston himself in a statement prepared before his death, the
report said.  It said that he had been employed making parts for
caravans for a number of years.

The statement, read to the inquest by Suffolk coroner Peter Dean,
said he had been responsible for cutting asbestos boards to fit
behind stoves in caravans, the report related.  The boards were
cut with a handsaw and then filed by hand, resulting in large
amounts of dust.

He added: "Dust and scrap asbestos was swept up before we moved
down the line."

Mr Blinston's widow Angela previously said her husband had been
employed by the now defunct Caravans International Ltd, at The
Oaks, Fordham Road, Newmarket, the report further related.

She added: "In April 2012, Gerry began suffering with a persistent
cough and feeling generally unwell. By August it was clear there
was something wrong with his health and after visiting his GP he
was admitted to hospital where he had an operation to drain more
than four litres of fluid from his lungs.  After Gerry was
diagnosed with mesothelioma in October last year his health really
began to deteriorate."

Dr Dean said that due to Mr Blinston's employment history and
contact with asbestos he would return a verdict of death by
industrial disease, the report said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Woman Dies of Meso for Washing Husband's Overall
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rachel Reilly, writing for The Mail Online, reported that a
retired electrician has been awarded GBP187,500 after his wife
died from exposure to the asbestos dust on his work overalls.

According to the report, mother-of-three Yvonne Moaby, 66,
contracted the incurable lung cancer mesothelioma while husband
John was repairing and stripping out storage heaters for four
years in the 60s.  She was diagnosed in 2009 and died at her home
in Quenington, Gloucestershire, in May 2010.

The report said Mr Moaby, 71, secured the payment after the case
went to the High Court.  He said: 'It is nice [to have the money]
but you can't put a value on someone's life. It's taken such a
long time and a lot of heartache.'  The Moaby's case was
eventually settled out of court, with SSE plc (formerly Scottish &
Southern Energy) agreeing the compensation figure.

The report explained that asbestos is a naturally occurring
fibrous mineral that became a popular building material in the
1950s.   Widely used as insulation and a fire-deterrent, it also
found its way into products such as ceiling tiles, pipe
insulation, boilers, sprayed coatings and garage roof tiles.
Mesothelioma has a very strong association with exposure to
asbestos. The disease affects the lining of the lungs and is
almost always fatal, with survival from point of diagnosis is
usually just 18 months.  There were over 2,300 deaths from
mesothelioma in the UK in 2009 -- more than from cervical cancer
or malignant melanoma.

Twice as many people die from asbestos exposure in Britain as are
killed on the roads, according to a recent All Party Parliamentary
Group report, The Mail Online said.  And mesothelioma incidence is
still rising due to the long 'time lag' between exposure and the
development of the disease -- typically between 30 and 40 years.
Mesothelioma is much less common in women -- men account for 80
per cent of cases -- they tend to work less in industry so have
had less exposure.

'Asbestos fibres seem to alter the way in which cells multiply and
divide,' explains Dr John Moore-Gillon, an Honorary Medical
Adviser at the British Lung Foundation, the report said. 'Even a
small amount of asbestos exposure -- from clothes, for example --
is enough.'  Indeed, secondary exposure is increasingly becoming a
legal and insurance wrangle, says Christine Winter of the
Independent Asbestos Training Providers, which champions safety
and awareness when working with asbestos.

She told the news agency: 'Unfortunately there is a real injustice
of compensation pay outs for this area.'

Describing his wife as an unsung hero who worked tirelessly for
the community, Mr Moaby said three years on he had still not
recovered from losing her, the report related.  He said: 'Yvonne
was an angel. She was my rock.'

'Long before her illness she said to me "If I go first, don't sit
around and vegetate -- find someone else".

'She was always there for me and it's only now I realise what she
did.'

He added they had managed to secure a GBP50,000 compensation
payment while Yvonne was alive, which the couple spent on two
exotic cruises before she became too ill to go away, the report
related.

John said: 'She never complained once. She just kept saying 'I'm
not going anywhere," the report added.  'She kept her looks and
looked just as young as she did before she was ill.'

Although Yvonne spent some time at a hospice in Swindon, she spent
her last days at home surrounded by her family and friends.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Failure to Remove Fibro in Demolition on the Rise
------------------------------------------------------------------
The News-Messenger reported that when a Michigan company began
demolishing an elevator factory in Toledo five years ago, it
reported finding no asbestos in the building.

According to the report, the site inspector found that suspicious,
considering most older buildings contain asbestos, said Brad
Ostendorf, an investigator for the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's Criminal Investigative Division.

The substance is a mineral fiber used in construction materials
such as insulation, ceiling, floor tiles and shingles. People
exposed to asbestos fibers -- which happens when material
containing asbestos is damaged or disturbed in a way that releases
particles and fibers into the air -- could have an increased risk
of lung diseases, according to the U.S. EPA, the report said.

The inspector went to the partly demolished site and found what he
thought was asbestos, Ostendorf told the news agency.  And surveys
of the site done in 2004 and 2005 showed the building had
contained asbestos.

An environmental crimes task force, which includes Ostendorf and
other representatives of federal, state and local agencies, got
involved, the report related.  They tested samples from the
factory site and determined there was asbestos there, Ostendorf
said.

Ultimately, the owner of the company, H & M Demolition of Holland,
Mich., was charged with a felony clean air violation, Ostendorf
said, the report further related.  He was later sentenced to 13
months in prison on the Toledo case and another case in Michigan.

Cases like this one are becoming more and more common with
buildings being torn down and renovated as part of urban renewal,
Robert Cheugh, a prosecutor with Ohio Attorney General's Office
Environmental Enforcement Section, told the news agency.

Cheugh and Ostendorf spoke during an environmental law enforcement
training workshop sponsored by Keep Ohio Beautiful and the Ohio
EPA at the Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency.  "If you
have a demolition project, it's safe to say you probably have
asbestos," said Rick Hassinger of OEPA, the report cited. "The
stuff has to be removed properly before they knock a building
down."

Failing to properly remove asbestos is one many environmental
crimes the task force investigates and prosecutes, according to
the report. Members cited other examples of cases, including a
Toledo plating company that dumped chemicals into the sanitary
sewer and a chicken farm that dumped chemicals into a river.

The workshop was aimed at educating participants about the impact
of environmental crimes and how cases are investigated and
prosecuted, the report said.

Ostendorf said the task force doesn't have the authority to shut
down businesses that commit environment crimes, the report added.
Its focus is on investigating and prosecuting crimes.

The motivation for these crimes almost always is money, Ostendorf
told the news agency.  Abating asbestos and properly disposing of
waste can be expensive, he said.

Attendees at the workshop included workers from the Sandusky
County Juvenile Detention Center, Ottawa County Juvenile Court,
the Ottawa County Health Department and Morrow County Sheriff's
Office, the report related.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Airport Link Re-Opens After Asbestos Spill
-----------------------------------------------------------
Naomi Lim, writing for The Courier-Mail, reported that The Airport
Link has reopened following an accident which left sheets of
asbestos in the tunnel.

According to the report, the northbound tunnel was closed due to
the accident and reopened at 11.45pm on May 4.  Earlier, a truck
carrying sheets of asbestos crashed in Brisbane's Airport Link
tunnel and lost its load.

Clean-up crews first on scene reported that passing traffic had
been driving over the sheets and breaking them in the tunnel near
Kedron, in Brisbane's north, the report related.  Multiple crews
and a scientific unit with breathing apparatus and protective gear
are in the process of picking up the sheets and dampening down the
loose particles before sweeping them up and disposing of them
safely.

Crews will be decontaminated before they leave the scene, the
report said.

The Airport Link is reportedly closed until further notice and
motorists have been advised to take alternate routes, the report
added.  No one was hurt in the incident.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crippled Veteran Fears Fibro Exposure
------------------------------------------------------
Southend Standard reported that an army veteran who was left
crippled with breathing difficulties after being blown up by an
IRA bomb fears proposed home improvements will expose him to
asbestos.

According to the report, Ian Roberts, 41, who was medically
discharged after eight years in the Kings Division, has had X-rays
at Southend Hospital for breathing problems he fears are being
made worse by asbestos in his Southchurch flat.

Charity Haig Homes, which provides the flat in Lloyd Wise Close,
has offered to clear the problem over two days if Mr Roberts, who
served in Iraq and Northern Ireland, puts all his possessions in
one room one day and another the next, the report said.  But the
former gunner, who can hardly walk after the bomb shattered his
knee and broke both his ankles in 1992, cannot move his things and
fears sleeping in the house as the asbestos is removed -- one
fibre of which can cause terminal lung cancer.

Mr Roberts told the news agency: "It's an absolute disgrace the
way they expect me to move furniture and be present in the
property when they rip the asbestos up. It doesn't matter how
small the fibres are, they are deadly."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Symptoms Usually Expressed at 50s
---------------------------------------------------------------
Silver Surfer Today reported that mesotheliomas are tumours caused
by exposure to asbestos, a white insulating substance found
commonly in buildings constructed before the year 2000.

What causes mesothelioma?

Medical studies show that this form of cancer is usually caused by
increased exposure to asbestos. In particular, if you work in a
building with high levels of asbestos you will be more at risk of
developing a mesothelioma.

Who is most at risk?

People who work directly with asbestos are most at risk. Men have
a greater chance than women of developing the disease and older
people have a higher chance of being diagnosed and dying from the
condition.

Does the danger increase with age?

Because mesotheliomas sometimes take decades to develop in the
body, symptoms are often not felt until later in life. The cancer
can be dormant in the body for between 10 and 40 years, without
symptoms telling the patient they are at risk. This means that a
younger person may have a mesothelioma, but not be aware of the
condition because the symptoms have not become noticeable.

What age-group is most at risk?

Mesothelioma symptoms are not usually expressed until patients
reach their 50s. The average age to die of the condition is 74
years and at least 75% of patients who die are 65 years or older.

What are the chances of surviving?

The probability of surviving a mesothelioma once diagnosed is low
and this chance drops with age. About 40% of patients survive 1
year after diagnosis, 20% survive the 2nd year and just 10% of
patients are alive by the 4th year. However, people diagnosed
before they reach the age of 50 have a 20% chance of living a
decade or more. This chance drops to 1%in older patients.

Why is the survival rate so low for older people?

Medical professionals believe younger people have a better
response to aggressive treatment. Younger bodies are healthier and
more likely to recover from invasive procedures such as surgery.
This means that the more robust forms of combating the condition
are often not provided to the elderly, because of the risk of
complications.

What can I do if I am diagnosed?

Following professional medical advice is the top priority. There
is nothing more important than preserving the health you have
left.

Another route is to contact a Lawyer Mesothelioma who will be able
to take up your case, to find out if you can start legal action
against the party responsible for your exposure to asbestos.
Specialist lawyers might be able to take out a law-suit that could
make the difference in the quality of life you can access while
combating mesothelioma.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Navy Sailor Dies of Asbestos-Related Cancer
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Tyler, writing for Derby Telegraph, reported that a retired
computer engineer died the day before his 81st birthday, years
after he was exposed to asbestos as he slept on a ship as a
teenager.

According to the report, Gerald Grant worked as a sailor in the
Royal Navy for 14 years, often sleeping near the deadly dust in
his bunk bed, an inquest heard.  He died on October 28, 2012, at
the Royal Derby Hospital of lung-related heart disease.

The report said Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner's Court heard
how Mr Grant, of Staveley Close, in Shelton Lock, left school at
the age of 14 and worked on the railway.  He volunteered for the
Royal Navy at the age of 15 and joined in May 1947.  He worked as
a messenger boy before transferring to work with radars.

Speaking at the inquest into his death, Mr Grant's niece Adele
Thompson said: "He said the pipes near where he slept were wrapped
with padding.  It was quite dusty in the sleeping quarters on
board the ship," the report related.

Mr Grant left the Navy in October 1961 and worked for ICL, in
Burton, as a computer engineer until March 1978, the report said.
He then worked for a second computer firm until the age of 76 when
he retired.

Dr Andrew Hitchcock, consultant pathologist at the Royal Derby
Hospital, said Mr Grant died of cor pulmonale -- pulmonary heart
disease -- due to interstitial pulmonary fibrosis -- chronic lung
disorder, the report related.  He said: "His lungs were abnormal
in their entirety and they were very extensively scarred and
damaged.  He also had pleural plaques, these are said to be a very
sensitive indicator of exposure to asbestos above background
levels.  The absence of asbestos bodies in the lung tissue does
not, in my opinion, exclude pulmonary asbestosis."

Assistant deputy coroner Paul McCandless returned a narrative
verdict, the report related.  He said: "Gerald Roy Grant died on
the 28th October 2012 at the Royal Derby Hospital of lung-related
heart disease.  He had been predisposed to this by his extensively
and significantly scarred lungs.  At post mortem, he had pleural
plaques and the scarring to his lungs was found to be of a type
associated with pulmonary asbestosis.  The deceased had a
compelling work history as a Royal Navy sailor between the years
of 1947 and 1961, working, living and sleeping on board ships on
which asbestos cladding was used and placed near to his bunk bed.
Sometimes, this cladding would be disturbed and resultant dust
released.  The overall pathological picture is one which makes it
more likely than not that occupational exposure to asbestos dust
has played a direct, causative part in bringing about the disease
process from which Mr Grant has died."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victims Blame Insurers for "Insulting" Payouts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Emily Dugan, writing for The Independent, reported that thousands
of families whose relatives die because of exposure to asbestos
will be left with little or no compensation under a new law to be
announced.

Legislation that forces the insurance industry to pay victims
whose employers' policies can't be found will be announced in the
Queen's Speech, the report said, but it has been so watered down
after lobbying from insurers that it will help only a fraction of
the victims, and payouts will be 30 per cent lower than is
standard for the asbestos cancer mesothelioma.

The Independent has campaigned since 2009 for a victims' fund paid
for by insurers, but the deal that has been struck is
significantly poorer than was first proposed. A victims' group
said the Mesothelioma Bill was an "insult" to the thousands who
had paid for employers' negligence with their lives.

According to the report, when the Labour government first put
forward the scheme in 2010, it was meant to apply to all those
with fatal asbestos-related conditions who could not trace an
insurer. The new scheme will apply only to people with
mesothelioma, who make up about half the cases. Those with other
lung cancers or conditions caused by asbestos will get nothing if
they cannot trace an insurer. In what is a major blow to families
whose relatives have already died from mesothelioma -- and who
have long waited for compensation -- only those diagnosed after
July 2012 will be eligible for payouts.

Membership of the new government scheme will be compulsory for all
employers' liability insurers, who will fund the payouts, the
report said.  It will not look at individual cases, but instead
pay a flat fee banded by age and calculated as 70 per cent of the
average paid out.

The law has been watered down after extensive lobbying from the
insurance industry, according to the report. Department for Work
and Pensions minister Lord Freud met insurers 14 times about
asbestos between October 2010 and September 2012. Over the same
period, he met victims' groups twice.

Tony Whitston, chairman of the Asbestos Victims Support Group,
told The Independent: "For decades, insurers systematically
destroyed or simply lost policies then, years later, refused
compensation because the policies could not be traced, saving
hundreds of millions. Forced to face their failure, they've
negotiated the cheapest deal possible."

Asbestos exposure is the biggest killer in the British workplace,
causing more than 4,000 deaths a year, the report said. The fibres
can be in a person's lungs for up to half a century before causing
cancer; deaths in the UK are not expected to peak until 2016.

Labour's work and pensions spokesman Liam Byrne told The
Independent: "Ministers have a moral duty to do everything they
can to support victims. Labour started a process to bring fairness
to the system and we will be looking closely at any new
legislation to ensure that it stays true to that principle."

Typical payouts for mesothelioma, when an employer's insurance
policy is found, are about GBP65,000, but they often rise to six
figures when a victim is younger or has dependants, the report
related.

Because it takes 40 years on average for inhalation of asbestos
dust to cause cancers, many records of insurance policies meant to
protect workers have disappeared, the report said.  Some will have
been lost, but industry critics also claim there has been
wholesale destruction of paperwork when it became clear a massive
compensation bill was looming. Kevin Johnson, a lawyer who
specializes in asbestos cases, said: "People with mesothelioma
deserve full compensation and this doesn't give them that. It's
because of the insurance industry's failure to keep records that
we need this scheme. There are institutional shortcomings in how
they kept their records -- they should have done more when they
knew cases would take years to come."

More than 300 mesothelioma sufferers a year miss out on
compensation because insurance documents for their employer have
disappeared, the report noted. Many of these "lost" policies date
from after 1972, when it was compulsory to have employer
insurance. Untraced cases are estimated to have saved the
insurance industry GBP60m a year, leaving sufferers and their
families to struggle on benefits.

The Association of British Insurers, which, together with Zurich
Insurance, Royal Sun Alliance and Aviva, had repeated meetings
with Lord Freud, denied lobbying for reduced compensation. A
spokesman said: "Insurers want to do all they can to provide
financial support to sufferers and their families. The package of
measures we have worked on with the Government will provide
compensation to many more sufferers and speed up and simplify
compensation payments," the report related. It insisted it had not
looked to "water down anything".

A DWP spokesman told The Independent: "The mesothelioma support
scheme will end the injustice that means many victims and their
families do not receive compensation and it will be in place for
3,000 people over the next 10 years as we face a peak in cases."

But Mr Whitston said: "The argument that paying something is
better than getting nothing is an insult to the thousands of
victims who have paid with their lives for their employers'
negligence, and have also paid the price of millions of pounds in
lost compensation due to insurers' failure to keep records.
Asbestos victims have paid enough. It's time they received the
justice they deserve."

'We'll get nothing. It's so unfair. We've all got the same pain'

Sue Hurrell's husband Jeff died of mesothelioma in 2006 and the
family has never received compensation. The new policy compensates
only those diagnosed after July 2012, meaning she gets nothing

"I've been waiting for this for six and a half years, and now I
find out it won't apply to me. It's disgusting. Jeff was 50 when
he died in 2006. Andrew, my youngest, was nine and Christopher was
18. The money would have been a tremendous help. Andrew leaves
school in a few weeks and then my benefits will end. I get child
benefit and bereavement benefit, but that stops when he starts an
apprenticeship in seven weeks' time. I'm glad for the people that
are being compensated now, but I'm no different to them, am I? It
wasn't his fault. If it wasn't for asbestos he'd be here today. It
was a shock, because he was very healthy. He was very, very fit.
He only worked with it when he was an apprentice at 17. The
companies he worked for don't exist now and the tracing system
couldn't find their policies. Now, because he died before 2012,
we'll get nothing. It's so unfair. We've all got the same pain.
This policy is really wrong."

'I have a death sentence, and they are trying to reduce the amount
I deserve'

Larrie Lewington, 65, is a former decorator from Eynsham,
Oxfordshire. He was exposed to asbestos in his twenties while
working briefly as a lagger, but the firm he worked for closed two
decades ago and there are no insurance records. Diagnosed with
mesothelioma last August, he is eligible for compensation

"I'm disgusted because 90 per cent of the work I did was for
people like the Ministry of Defence, police and hospitals. I now
have this death sentence hanging over me for helping the
government and they are trying to reduce the amount of money that
I deserve. It's an absolute insult. I could have had another 20
years left, everything else is perfectly healthy except this
horrible disease. No amount of money will ever compensate what
this has done to me and my family but it will help, and give me
peace of mind that I can live without worry for the rest of my
time."

He has spent much of his savings getting a treatment in Germany
that may prolong his life and is worried the compensation will not
arrive before he dies. "I want to enjoy what is left of my life
without having to worry."


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

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