CAR_Public/130524.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, May 24, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 102

                             Headlines


ABBOTT LABS: Humira Ruling's Impact on 25 Similar Suits Uncertain
AMERICAN MANAGED: "Concha" Suit Stayed Due to Chapter 11 Filing
AVEO PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces Securities Class Actions
BAYER AG: Judge Wants Female Lawyers to Join Plaintiffs' Committee
BOYD & ASSOCIATES: Certification Ordered in Security Guards' Suit

BP PLC: Mexicans Mull Class Action Over 2010 Oil Spill
COMCAST CORP: Plaintiffs' Lawyer Seeks Status Conference
FOSTER FARMS: Recalls 6,165 Lbs. of RTE Grilled Chicken Strips
GMAC MORTGAGE: "Ulbrich" Suit Settlement Gets Final Court Approval
IMPERIAL TOBACCO: Begins Defense Against $27-Bil. Class Action

INTERNET GOLD: Defends Suit vs. Unit Over Concealed Limitations
INTERNET GOLD: Dismissal of Suit Over Updating of Rates Appealed
INTERNET GOLD: Goldmind Faces Suit vs. Electronic Trade Web Sites
INTERNET GOLD: Inspector Appointed in Suit Over Call Plans
INTERNET GOLD: Parties Asked to Withdraw Service Tariffs Suit

INTERNET GOLD: Pelephone Accused of Unlawful Payment Collection
INTERNET GOLD: Pelephone Defends Suit Over Spare Parts Provision
INTERNET GOLD: Pelephone Faces Suits Over Network Malfunction
INTERNET GOLD: Plaintiffs Abandoned Class Suit vs. Pelephone
INTERNET GOLD: Still Defends Suit vs. Unit Over Internet Speed

INTERNET GOLD: Suit Alleging Unlawful Ad on Music on Hold Pending
INTERNET GOLD: Suit Over Cell Radiation Abandoned in November
INTERNET GOLD: Suit Over Continuing Transactions Abandoned
INTERNET GOLD: Sup. Ct. Denied Disconnection Signal Suit Appeal
INTERNET GOLD: Unit Continues to Defend Suit Over VAT Collection

INTERNET GOLD: Unit Still Defends Subscribers' Suit Over Refunds
INTERNET GOLD: Unit Awaits OK of Deal in Suit vs. Cellular Firms
INTERNET GOLD: Unit's Bid to Appeal to Supreme Court Denied
INTERNET GOLD: Units Defend Carriers Provision Violation Suit
INTERNET GOLD: Withdrawal of Suits vs. Bezeq Approved in April

INVERSIONISTAS UNIDOS: Accused of Defrauding Latino Community
KUBOTA MANUFACTURING: Recalls 8,600 ZG100 Series Riding Mowers
LEA INDUSTRIES: Recalls 63,600 Children's Beds Due to Fall Hazard
MERCK & CO: Plaintiffs Counsel May Seek Fees From State Lawyers
OZZIE JUROCK: Real Estate Investors Withdraw Condo Class Action

PET VALU: Justice Winkler Reiterates Key Points in Opt-Out Process
PRIMAL CONCEPTS: Class Claims in "Szijjarto" Suit Withdrawn
RICHMOND SCHOOL: Settles Class Action for $5 Million
SERVIER LABS: On Trial Over Suspected Weight Loss Drug Deaths
SKECHERS USA: Settles Class Action Over Toning Shoes for $40MM

STARBUCKS CORP: Settles Wage Class Action for $3 Million
TELSTRA COUNTRYWIDE: 50 Local Businesses to Join Fire Class Action
TOYOTA MOTOR: Judge Set to Decide on Settlement Next Month
UNITED STATES: Disability Claims Settlement Gets Initial Okay
VITAMIN SHOPPE: Has Until May 29 to Respond to Class Action

* Australia Securities Class Suits Exceed $480MM in 2012
* Hip Implant Firms May Use FDA Review Process to Avoid Liability
* Lawyers Can Seek Legal Fees in Late-Filed Vaccine Claims
* Medical Malpractice Payouts Only 0.05% of U.S. Healthcare Costs
* Plaintiffs in Patent MDLs Oppose Consolidation Motions

* Portable Heaters, Bicycle Forks Among Recalled Products


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: CenterPoint Continues to Defend PI Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Midwest Generation Had 248 Fibro Cases
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Noble Corp. Continues to Defend 30 Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ashland & Unit Had 87,000 PI Claims at March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ITT Corp. Records $752.1MM Exposure at March 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: ITT Corp. Had 64,000 Pending Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Curtiss-Wright Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: AIG Unit Has $134MM Gross Reserves at March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3M Company Continues to Defend PI Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3M Company Has $80MM Receivables for Insurance

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3M Company Unit Records $28MM Liability
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chicago Bridge Had 1,400 Pending Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: W.R. Grace Had $2.06B Liability as of March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meritor Inc. Unit Had 2,500 PI Claims at March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wrongful Death Suit v. Pepco Unit Goes to Trial

ASBESTOS UPDATE: MRC Global Continues to Defend 266 Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Select Income Properties Contain Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: BNSF Records $453MM for PI Claims Settlement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parker Drilling Continues to Defend 15 PI Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Albany Int'l. Had 4,296 PI Claims as of April 19

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Albany Int'l. Unit Had 7,866 Claims at April 19
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cytec Industries Continues to Defend PI Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: AK Steel Has 424 Pending PI Suits at March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Foster Wheeler Continues to Defend US PI Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Foster Wheeler Continues to Defend UK PI Suits

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meritor Inc. Unit Records $75-Mil. Reserves
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Denies Trane's Bid for Summary Judgment
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 15 PI Suits Consolidated for Trial Purposes
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Carbide Bid to Junk "Lieberman" Suit Okayed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Specialty Products' Liability Pegged at $1.2BB

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Use Plaintiffs' Wrongful Death Claims Barred
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Order Granting Demurrer to "Curran" Suit Reversed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Court Keeps Ruling in "Seymour" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Search for Meso Clients Intensifies on TV, Web
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Christchurch Patients Had Fibro Risk, Say Workers

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Russia, Zimbabwe Pick Up Fibro Baton from Canada
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Fears Taint Rotto Holiday
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Church Faces GBP5,000 Fine After Fibro Discovery
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Funds Set to Pay GBP300MM to Victims of Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso Victims Get 2.2% Compensation Hike

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Int'l Pressure Over Fibro Yielding Results
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro is a Time Bomb
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Builders Warned of Spot Fines
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Concerns at Christchurch Hospital
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Guelph Child Care Centre Shut Down Due to Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Torbay Roof Fire

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Raises NBN Fibro Fears
ASBESTOS UPDATE: WorkSafeBC Seeks Tougher Penalty v. Contractor
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gateshead Factory Worker in Fibro Cash Pay-out
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Matoaka Couple Name 69 Defendants in PI Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kentucky Couple Name 56 Defendants in PI Suit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Oldham Pensioner Wins Battle for Pay-out
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bid to Separate Coal Tar & Fibro Claims Rejected
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxins to be Removed from Former Creamery
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Removed From Australia Aquatic Center
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Bill to Make Victim Payouts Easier

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Democrats Oppose Bill Affecting Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Bill Will Deny Payouts to Many
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Sonoma State University Offices
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Transnet To Dump Fibro Near Northern Cape Town
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lebanon Businessman Sentenced for Violation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Claims Ex-Labourer's Life
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bracklesham Holiday Park Link to Meso Death
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Nations Agree to New Ban on Flame Retardant
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Warning After Derbyshire Factory Fire
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Disappointed in UN Rotterdam Convention List

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Daughter of Meso Victim Seeks Answers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: JFK High School Reopens After Fibro Cleanup
ASBESTOS UPDATE: John Woodcock's Statement on UK Mesothelioma Bill
ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Substance" From Belper Explosion Probed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Beatrice School Board Approves Abatement Bid

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Problem at Storage Buildings


                             *********


ABBOTT LABS: Humira Ruling's Impact on 25 Similar Suits Uncertain
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Dan Brillman, writing for Reuters, reports that a jury has decided
against the makers of the blockbuster arthritis drug Humira and
awarded $2.2 million, but legal experts say it is inconclusive if
the case will be a bellwether in 25 other similar lawsuits against
the same company.

A Cook County jury found on May 9 that Abbott Laboratories Inc.
and its sister company AbbVie did not properly notify doctors and
hospitals of the possible side effects of Humira, a so-called TNF
blocker that suppresses the immune system in the course of
treatment.

Humira, one of the world's best-selling drugs, is primarily used
to treat rheumatoid arthritis but is also used for Crohn's disease
and ulcerative colitis.  The medication was originally
manufactured by Abbott, which in January 2013 spun off AbbVie,
which now researches and manufactures pharmaceuticals.

The case was filed by Delores and Milton Tietz of Mandan, North
Dakota, and centered on the 20 months that elapsed between a U.S.
Food and Drug Administration directive instructing drug companies
to notify doctors of the risks of TNF blockers and Abbott's
notification to physicians.

The Tietz's lawsuit said Delores took Humira for rheumatoid
arthritis from October 2009 through May 2010 when she developed
flu-like symptoms.

Delores Tietz was eventually diagnosed with disseminated
histoplasmosis, a severe infection that can be fatal if untreated,
according to the couple's lawyer, Jim Perdue of Houston-based
Perdue, Kidd & Vickery, which is handling all but one of the 26
Humira lawsuits.

Delores Tietz died of a heart attack in March 2013, shortly before
trial, although her lawyers did not claim her death was the result
of or associated with the drug.

In the lawsuit, the Tietzes said the FDA had issued a directive in
2008 instructing drug companies to notify doctors and hospitals
that TNF inhibitors such as Humira carried the risk of fungal
infections.

The couple alleged that Abbott waited almost two years to send out
the "Dear Doctor" letter and that the doctors would have diagnosed
Delores's disseminated histoplasmosis earlier if Abbott had
notified them in accordance with the FDA directive.  They
requested $5.5 million in compensatory damages.

                        The Pharma Argument

Abbott and AbbVie contended that the medical community was aware
of Humira's side effects and that the drug's label warned of the
risk of serious infections.  Additionally, according to Perdue,
Abbott argued that it was unable to send out a warning letter
before the FDA approved a communication plan in April 2010.

Michael Foradas -- michael.foradas@kirkland.com -- a lawyer for
Abbott at Kirkland & Ellis, declined to comment.  AbbVie
spokeswoman Adelle Infante said in a statement that Humira would
"appeal this verdict based in part on the jury's assessment that
the medical community was sufficiently warned about the risk of
histoplasmosis."

Such an appeal would likely center on the argument that there was
no basis for causation and that the judge erred by sending the
case to trial, said David Levine, a professor of Civil Procedure
and Remedies at UC Hastings who was not involved in the
litigation.

Most of the other 25 failure-to-warn cases over Humira have been
consolidated in Illinois Cook County Circuit Court, but there is
also litigation in federal court in Massachusetts, Texas and
Tennessee.

It is difficult to draw conclusions about what the $2.2 million
verdict might mean for the remaining lawsuits, however, because
only some cover the period before May 17, 2010, when Abbott sent
out its Dear Doctor warning letter, said Max Kennerly, a product
liability lawyer at The Beasley Firm, who was not involved in the
litigation.

Cases that fall within the same time frame could be helped by the
Tietz verdict, said Kennerly in an email, but "for the cases that
don't fit within that (period), it's a much harder call," he said.
"I think at a minimum Abbott's going to take at least a couple
more to trial in the group of patients infected between September
2008 and May 17, 2010, before we could see a significant number of
settlements."

AbbVie and Abbott could also settle down the road, depending on
how their appeal goes and as other Humira cases are tried, said
Levine of UC Hastings.  But to draw conclusions, he said, "you
need a bigger sample size."

The case is 2012-L-002715, Cook County Circuit Court, Illinois.

For Milton Tietz: Jim Perdue, Arnold Anderson Vickery and Fred
Shepherd of Perdue Kidd & Vickery and Gary McCallister of Gary D.
McCallister & Associates.

For Abbott/AbbVie: Michael Foradas of Kirkland & Ellis.


AMERICAN MANAGED: "Concha" Suit Stayed Due to Chapter 11 Filing
---------------------------------------------------------------
CONCHA v. AMERICAN MANAGED CARE, LLC is before the Court pursuant
to American Managed Care's Suggestion of Bankruptcy, which was
filed on May 14, 2013.

"Due to the Defendant's bankruptcy filing and the operation of the
automatic stay, this matter is stayed and administratively
closed," ruled District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington.

In addition, the Court notes that it previously stayed and
administratively closed the case on May 9, 2013, after the
Defendant filed a Notice indicating that Universal Health Care,
Inc. and American Managed Care, LLC were subject to liquidation
proceedings by the Florida Department of Financial Services. The
Court's May 9, 2013, Order also imposed the requirement that the
parties file status reports on a periodic basis.

"The recent bankruptcy filing also requires that this case be
stayed and administratively closed," Judge Hernandez added.
"The previously imposed stay will continue and no further action
will be taken in this case until such time as the bankruptcy court
lifts the stay or the stay lapses."

The case is KEVIN DE LA CONCHA, on his own and on behalf of others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. AMERICAN MANAGED CARE, LLC,
Defendant, Case No. 8:12-cv-1520-T-33MAP, (M.D. Fla.).

A copy of the District Court's May 15, 2013 Order is available at
http://is.gd/1ZWNzHfrom Leagle.com.

                     About American Managed

American Managed Care LLC filed for protection under Chapter 11 of
the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Case No. 13-05952) on
May 3, 2013.  Roberta A Colton, Esq., represents the Debtor.


AVEO PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces Securities Class Actions
----------------------------------------------------
John Carroll, writing for FierceBiotech, reports that now that
Aveo's share price has been badly mauled in the aftershock of an
FDA panel vote rejecting its kidney cancer drug tivozanib, the
class action suits are starting to pile up at the front door.  On
May 12, Federman & Sherwood became at least the third law firm in
four days to file a class action suit against the biotech company
($AVEO), claiming investors had been badly damaged by the
company's "false misrepresentations."  It isn't likely to be the
last.

Aveo isn't the first publicly traded biotech company to get hit
with lawsuits after a regulatory setback.  But with some analysts
calling for the resignation of CEO Tuan Ha-Ngoc after the beating
delivered by the FDA's oncology chief, Richard Pazdur, the legal
insults are multiplying at a rapid-fire pace in the wake of the
public humiliation.

Aveo's PR and regulatory disaster began when the FDA's internal
review revealed that regulators were having severe misgivings
about the biotech's development strategy for tivozanib way back in
the spring of 2012.  Regulators didn't care for the rare
appearance of American patients in the study, which was heavily
weighted toward Eastern Europe, nor was it buying Aveo's rationale
for the embarrassing fact that the drug -- while meeting the
primary goal on progression-free survival -- had been bested by
Nexavar on the overall-survival front.

Even at that time, the company was being advised to consider a
follow-up study.  Aveo, though, maintained that the OS data was
skewed by the fact that patients whose disease had progressed were
switched to new drugs, often tivozanib.  And the company won over
a legion of analysts who remained confident that Aveo would win
out in the end.

Once Mr. Pazdur took to the floor during the panel review, the
game was over for Aveo.  Mr. Pazdur argued vehemently against
tivozanib, saying that a vote in favor of a drug that had produced
data of an increased risk of death would set a dangerous
precedent.  In the end, the panel voted 13 to one against an
approval, leaving Aveo to suffer in silence until the formal
decision comes down.

Over the past year, the company's shares have fallen 78%, leaving
Aveo in a badly weakened condition as it faces one of its biggest
challenges.

                   Federman & Sherwood Filing

On May 9, 2013, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against
AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  The complaint alleges violations of
federal securities laws, Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, including
allegations of issuing a series of material or false
misrepresentations to the market which had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price during the Class Period,
which is January 3, 2012 through May 1, 2013.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all AVEO
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. shareholders who purchased common stock
during the Class Period and are therefore a member of the Class as
described above.  If you are an investor with large losses, you
may move the Court no later than Monday, July 8, 2013 to serve as
a lead plaintiff for the entire Class.  However, in order to do
so, you must meet certain legal requirements pursuant to the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

If you wish to discuss this action, obtain further information or
participate in this or any other securities litigation, or should
you have any questions or concerns regarding this notice or
preservation of your rights, please contact:

          K. Lynn Nunn
          FEDERMAN & SHERWOOD
          10205 North Pennsylvania Avenue
          Oklahoma City, OK 73120
          Email: kln@federmanlaw.com
          Web site at http://www.federmanlaw.com


BAYER AG: Judge Wants Female Lawyers to Join Plaintiffs' Committee
------------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Baynes, writing for Reuters, reports that a federal judge in
New York overseeing dozens of personal injury lawsuits against
Bayer AG over its popular Mirena intrauterine device encouraged
lawyers for the plaintiffs to include some women in the proposed
leadership committee, given the nature of the litigation.

Over 50 federal lawsuits have been consolidated in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging
that the label for the Mirena IUD failed to adequately warn that
the device could perforate a woman's uterus and migrate to other
parts of the body.

At the first status conference over the Mirena IUD on May 17 in
White Plains, New York, four male lawyers asked to be appointed to
the executive committee for the multidistrict litigation
proceeding.  Motley Rice's Fred Thompson, James Ronca of Anapol
Schwartz and Matthew McCauley of Parker Waichman sought to be
appointed co-lead counsel, with Diogenes Kekatos of Seeger Weiss
as liaison counsel.

But U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel urged the lawyers to include
at least some women in their leadership ranks.  "I think that's
important," she said.

Some plaintiffs' lawyers had expressed opposition to the all-male
executive committee before the May 17 conference.  In a May letter
to Judge Seibel, Michigan lawyer Alyson Oliver argued that the
female plaintiffs in the litigation would benefit from having at
least some qualified female attorneys who could relate to their
challenges and promote that empathy to a judge or jury.  She said
Bayer is likely to use the gender of its lawyers strategically,
and the plaintiffs should do the same.  Bayer's lead lawyer is
Shayna Cook -- scook@goldmanismail.com -- a female attorney at
Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum.

Proposed co-lead James Ronca, addressing the court on May 17, said
lawyers from 35 plaintiff firms involved in the litigation had met
the night before and reached a consensus in backing the proposed
four-man executive committee.  He said the plaintiffs also wanted
to select a separate, larger steering committee to spearhead the
litigation efforts.

                       A Larger Leadership

Having a larger committee helps fund the litigation costs, with
each firm contributing between $200,000 and $300,000 up front,
Mr. Ronca explained.  In addition, significant manpower is needed
to organize and prepare for depositions and trial, he said.

Judge Seibel expressed concern about having a plaintiffs' side
that was "too top-heavy," with multiple leadership teams doing
duplicative work and instructed lawyers to bill by task, not
lawyer, so she could spot unnecessary work.

In addition to the federal lawsuits, there are at least 113 cases
consolidated in New Jersey state court before Judge Brian
Martinotti, and a handful of cases in Missouri, New York,
California and Mississippi state courts.  In their position
statement, the plaintiffs' lawyers said they expected thousands of
cases to eventually be filed in the multidistrict litigation.

All of the plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation accuse Bayer
of failing to adequately warn of the risk of perforation and
migration. They contend that Bayer's label and other warnings only
informed of the risk of perforation during the insertion, not that
the device could spontaneously migrate after a successful
insertion.

Bayer claims that since introducing the device in 2001, the
company has warned of the risk of perforation and cautioned
doctors and patients to monitor its placement by checking for
threads attached to the device. What's more, even if Bayer had
provided a stronger warning, doctors would likely have prescribed
the device anyway, the company contends, given that they learn of
the perforation risks associated with all IUDs in their medical
training.

"We do have a lot of faith in our warnings," Bayer's Ms. Cook told
Judge Seibel on May 17, adding that the company was interested in
moving the litigation forward to reach its merits.

After the hearing, plaintiffs' lawyer Rachel Abrams of Levin Simes
said the lawyers for the plaintiffs would meet in coming days to
select a steering committee, which will likely include some gender
diversity.

The case is In re Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation, U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 13-2434.

For the plaintiffs: Fred Thompson of Motley Rice, James Ronca of
Anapol Schwartz, Matthew McCauley of Parker Waichman, Diogenes
Kekatos of Seeger Weiss.

For Mirena: Shayna Cook of Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan &
Baum.


BOYD & ASSOCIATES: Certification Ordered in Security Guards' Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports that a lawsuit charging a
company that employs security guards throughout Southern
California with failing to pay correct amounts of overtime must be
certified as a class action, the Fourth District Court of Appeal
ruled on May 10.

Div. Three, which had previously ordered class certification as to
one of the plaintiffs' three proposed subclasses, said all three
subclasses should be certified as a result of a recent state
Supreme Court decision.

The defendant is Boyd & Associates, Inc., which has offices in
North Hollywood, Palm Desert, Santa Ana and Oxnard.

The plaintiffs, Josie Faulkinbury and William Levene, brought
their action on behalf of about 4,000 past and present employees
of Boyd.  They claimed that while employed by the company several
years ago -- Ms. Faulkinbury for about 13 months and Mr. Levene
for a little over two years -- they were denied the right to take
meal and rest breaks as mandated by the state Industrial Welfare
Commission.

They also claimed that a gasoline allowance and a uniform
maintenance allowance amounting to 70 cents per hour, along with a
nondiscretionary bonus paid annually to employees who had been at
the company for more than 12 months, should have been treated as
wages for overtime purposes.

In denying class certification, Orange Superior Court Judge Gail
Andler concluded that it was "not clear . . . that the proposed
classes are ascertainable" and that "it appears that individual
questions of fact predominate."

Three years ago, Div. Three said overtime subclass should have
been certified.  The panel upheld the denial of certification as
to the meal-break and rest-break subclasses, finding substantial
evidence that the company's liability for failure to provide those
breaks depended on employees' individual circumstances.

The state Supreme Court subsequently granted review, holding the
case pending its decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior
Court (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1004, which raised similar employee class
certification issues.  After deciding Brinker, the high court sent
the Faulkinbury case back to the Court of Appeal for
reconsideration.

Justice Richard Fybel, writing for Div. Three on May 10, said all
three subclasses should be certified, based on Brinker's
conclusion that where an employer is alleged to have violated
wage-and-hour laws by implementing illegal policies, a class
action is an appropriate means of challenging the policy, even if
some employees were treated as exceptions.

With respect to meal breaks, the justice explained, Boyd's defense
relies on Industrial Welfare Commission regulations, that say an
employer is not required to provide off-duty meal breaks "when the
nature of the work prevents an employee from being relieved of all
duty and when by written agreement between the parties an on-the-
job paid meal period is agreed to."

Boyd, Justice Fybel noted, requires all of its employees to sign
on-the-job meal period agreements.  The legality of that
requirement, the justice said, is appropriately determined on a
classwide basis under Brinker.

"Indeed, by requiring blanket off?duty meal break waivers in
advance from all security guard employees, regardless of the
working conditions at a particular station, Boyd treated the off-
duty meal break issue on a classwide basis," he wrote.
He elaborated:

"In Faulkinbury I, we concluded that even if Boyd's on?duty meal
break policy was unlawful, Boyd would be liable only when it
actually failed to provide a required off?duty meal break.
Brinker leads us now to conclude Boyd would be liable upon a
determination that Boyd's uniform on?duty meal break policy was
unlawful."

Similarly, with respect to rest breaks, the plaintiffs' claim that
they and other class members were denied breaks, and the company's
lack of a rest-break policy in compliance with the law, made
classwide certification appropriate under Brinker.

With regard to overtime, the panel reiterated its previous
conclusion that the issues of whether the annual bonus and the gas
and uniform allowance were wages are amenable to determination on
a class-wide basis, since the company's policies on those subjects
are uniform.

The case is Faulkinbury v. Boyd & Associates, Inc., G041702.


BP PLC: Mexicans Mull Class Action Over 2010 Oil Spill
------------------------------------------------------
Inter Press Service reports that a group of Mexican citizens are
preparing the first civil lawsuit in the Mexican courts against
British oil company BP for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The plaintiffs are bringing the class action lawsuit under a 2011
reform of the Mexican constitution that allows a large number of
people with a common interest in a matter to sue as a group.

The civil lawsuit encompasses "damages to people living in the
area or who own residential and commercial property along the
coast, and people indirectly affected" by the spill, lawyer Oscar
Preciado, with the law firm Rincon Mayorga Roman Illanes Soto y
Compania, told IPS.

"Without a doubt, this will set an important precedent. Class
action lawsuits have been brought, but in questions relating to
consumer, rather than environmental, rights," said the lawyer,
whose firm is representing the plaintiffs.

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by Swiss-
based Transocean Ltd and under lease to BP, exploded off the coast
of Louisiana, leaving 11 workers dead and 17 injured.  It sank two
days later.

By July 15, 2010, when the oil leak was finally sealed, nearly
five million barrels of oil had been spilled -- only 800,000 of
which were recovered -- and at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic
chemical dispersants had been injected into the Gulf of Mexico.

The spill poses a long-term threat to flora, fauna and fishing
resources in the Gulf of Mexico, which bathes the coasts of the
Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Quintana Roo, and to
tourist sites, although the final extent of the damage is unknown,
experts say.

"The government and BP can be sued in Mexico.  The government was
guilty of omission in this case," Rene Sanchez, the coordinator of
Colectivas, told IPS.  The non-governmental organization was born
in November 2012 to provide advice to organizations and
individuals with respect to filing class action lawsuits.

However, the 2011 law on collective action, which allows groups of
consumers and PROFECO, Mexico's federal consumer protection
agency, to sue public and private companies, does not contemplate
reparations.

The Gulf of Mexico disaster gave rise to a massive class action
lawsuit involving more than 130,000 plaintiffs, known as multi-
district litigation 2179 (MDL-2179), overseen by federal Judge
Carl Barbier in New Orleans.

In January, BP pleaded guilty to 14 criminal counts and was
sentenced to pay 4.5 billion dollars in penalties and fines.
However, the amount is expected to climb as the lawsuit continues
to wind its way through the courts.

The following month, TransOcean was found guilty by a U.S. federal
judge of violating the U.S. Clean Water Act, and was fined 1.4
billion dollars.

Judge Barbier set a June 21 deadline for the attorneys to file
their conclusions about evidence presented in the first phase of
the trial.

In April, the government of conservative Mexican President Enrique
Pena Nieto sued BP and other companies in a U.S. court, after his
predecessor Felipe Calderon (2006-December 2012) failed to do so.

The government's lawsuit will fall under MDL-2179.  In 2010, the
state governments of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Quintana Roo, as
well as several companies, had brought legal action against BP and
TransOcean for damages to the marine environment, the coastline,
and local estuaries.

Government agencies in Mexico spent more than 11 million dollars
on studies, assessments, lab tests, training and overflights
related to the disaster, the state governments argued.  BP Mexico
did not respond to IPS' queries about the government or class
action lawsuits.

The dearth of studies on the magnitude of the damages in the Gulf
of Mexico has been the Achilles' heel of the environmental
organizations and lawyers involved in preparing the class action
lawsuit in Mexico.  "That is the question that has limited us the
most," Mr. Preciado said.  "The Mexican state has not been very
participative.

"The damages will appear over the course of years, and this won't
be easily resolved.  But we are not frightened of taking on BP --
on the contrary, we are very motivated," added the lawyer, who is
working on another class action lawsuit against Mexico's state-
owned oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) involving oil
spills in the southeast state of Tabasco.

The class action suit will pose a challenge to the Mexican judges,
who are not accustomed to environmental litigation, when it is
presented to a federal court in the capital on a date that has not
yet been established.


COMCAST CORP: Plaintiffs' Lawyer Seeks Status Conference
--------------------------------------------------------
David Ingram, writing for Reuters, reports that Barry Barnett was
on the losing side of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in March in
Comcast Corp v. Behrend, the latest setback for class action
plaintiffs' lawyers at the high court, but Mr. Barnett is not
ready to give up.

A partner at Susman Godfrey, he has been invested in the case
since he was one of the lawyers on the original complaint in
December 2003.

Asked whether the Supreme Court's ruling could be the suit's death
blow, he told Reuters, "Absolutely not."  He wants a status
conference soon in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

Writing for a 5-4 majority on the high court, Justice Antonin
Scalia held that the trial judge improperly certified the class
action by Comcast cable service subscribers who say the company
acts as a monopoly.  Justice Scalia wrote that the subscribers did
not have a clear enough way to measure the damages they might have
suffered.

The antitrust plaintiffs' bar breathed a sigh of relief that the
ruling did not go further, although they still did not welcome it
and The New York Times recently cited the decision as an example
of corporations' high win rate at the Supreme Court.

Mr. Barnett, who also writes the blog Blawgletter, spoke in a
phone interview from Dallas.  The questions and answers have been
edited for brevity and clarity.

Reuters: This case was filed in 2003.  How much of your life has
this taken up for the past decade?

Barnett: I'd say a significant amount of my time and energy -- at
times more intense than others.  We've had several waves of
activity in the case, beginning with motions to dismiss.  And when
(Bell Atlantic Corp v.) Twombly came out, a motion for judgment on
the pleadings in light of Twombly (which changed the requirements
for federal pleadings).  Disputes about the arbitration clause,
which went both to the 3rd Circuit and the 1st Circuit.  Now, here
we are almost 10 years into the case and we're still dealing with
class certification.

Reuters: Where does the case go from here? Is there a way to keep
it moving forward for the plaintiffs?

Barnett: Yes, the 3rd Circuit remanded the case to the district
court for proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court's
decision.  So it is now formally back in the district court, and
we expect shortly to request a status conference with Judge (John)
Padova.

Reuters: What's your analysis of the impact this could have on
other cases still to come?

Barnett: My sense is it will have zero effect on antitrust cases.
As a practical matter in antitrust cases, particularly in
monopolization cases but also price-fixing cases, the lawyers are
very aware of issues related to impact, certainly since Hydrogen
Peroxide came out at the end of 2008 from the 3rd Circuit
(requiring the resolution of expert disputes before
certification).  Dealing with the damages and antitrust impact are
things that people were already doing.  Whether it will have some
sort of repercussion with other sorts of cases, I'm not nearly as
well qualified to talk about.

Reuters: Essentially lawyers will just have to be careful about
presenting their damage formulas?

Barnett: The defense lawyers feel like they've got a new arrow in
their quiver and they will flog this case for all it's worth, and
maybe more than it's worth.  And they'll aggrandize it and say,
'This is really important, judge,' but the reality is that it does
not change things in any significant way.

Reuters: Do you agree with the academic study spotlighted in The
New York Times that found that this Supreme Court is the most pro-
business in modern history?

Barnett: The wise thing for me to say since I haven't read the
study is that I don't have evidence to contradict it.

Reuters: In other words, not from your own personal experience?

Barnett: It is fair to say that this court has been friendly
toward raising procedural hurdles that plaintiffs have to get
over, and that has substantially affected the ability of
plaintiffs to prevail.  I can remember (law professor) Arthur
Miller when I was a little bitty 1L saying 'I'll give you the
substantive law, you give me the procedural law, and I'll beat you
six or seven times out of 10.'  I think that's borne out by what
the court has done in the last seven, eight years.

Reuters: Do you think there's any interest inside the Federal
Trade Commission or the Department of Justice to enforce antitrust
laws in cases like these?

Barnett: There's more interest but there's no way that those
agencies have the resources to police all the antitrust issues
that are out there.  Having private attorneys general is
essential.  There's just too much to do.  Corporate America has
tremendous resources and the little bitty Antitrust Division can't
match the resources that corporate America can throw at them.

Reuters: Do you watch cable television?

Barnett: I do. I get it through AT&T U-verse.

Reuters: Are you a satisfied customer?

Barnett: Sometimes.  I'm not going to give AT&T a clean bill of
health, but yes, sometimes I'm happy with the service I get.  It's
not all skittles and beer.


FOSTER FARMS: Recalls 6,165 Lbs. of RTE Grilled Chicken Strips
--------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Farms, a Porterville, California establishment, is
recalling approximately 6,165 pounds of ready-to-eat grilled
chicken breast strips that contain wheat and soy, known allergens,
which are not declared on the product label, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
announced.

The following products are subject to recall:

   * 4.5 lb. cases containing 12, 6-oz. trays of "FOSTER FARMS
     GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST STRIPS BONELESS & SKINLESS WITH RIB
     MEAT 97% FAT FREE," with an identifying case code of
     "000606."

The recalled product bears the establishment number "P-20923"
inside the USDA mark of inspection and a use-by date of "JUN 22
2013" printed on each tray.  The product was produced on April 23,
2013, and was distributed to retail establishments in Arizona,
California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.  Pictures
of the recalled products' labels are available at:
http://is.gd/MA6d4o

The problem was discovered as a result of a customer complaint and
occurred because the company inadvertently used labels for another
chicken product it produces that does not contain wheat or soy.
FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions
associated with consumption of these products.  Anyone concerned
about an adverse reaction should see a health care professional.

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 the product is no longer
available to consumers.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Teresa
Lenz, the company's Consumer Affairs Manager, at 209-394-6914.
Media with questions about the recall should contact Lorna Bush,
with Fineman PR, at 415-326-3199.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS
virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or
via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.  "Ask Karen" live chat services
are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Eastern Time.  The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-
MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and
can be reached from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday
through Friday.  Recorded food safety messages are available 24
hours a day.  The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring
System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://is.gd/vlfH9I


GMAC MORTGAGE: "Ulbrich" Suit Settlement Gets Final Court Approval
------------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. granted final approval to a
class action settlement in ULBRICH v. GMAC MORTGAGE, LLC.

Jude Scola finds the Settlement fair, reasonable, and adequate, in
the best interests of the Settlement Class, satisfying the
requirements for final approval under Rule 23(e).

The persons who have validly requested exclusion from the
Settlement Class are not members of the Settlement Class, will
have no rights or interests with respect to the Settlement, and
will not be bound by any orders or judgments entered in respect to
the Settlement. A list of those persons who have validly requested
exclusion from the Settlement Class was previously filed with the
Court on March 22, 2013.

The Court approves the Class Counsel's requested award of
attorneys' fees in the amount of $216,666.67, and finds that the
requested amount of fees is reasonable and appropriate.

The Court finds that time spent on the bankruptcy case involving
GMAC is compensable even though GMAC is not a party to this
settlement because the claims against GMAC and Balboa are so
inexorably intertwined.

The Court approves the Class Counsel's requested costs in the
amount of $25,468.70.

The Court approves the award of $10,000 as Class Representative
Compensation to Ms. Ulbrich.

After Judgment becomes final, and within 10 days of the Settlement
Effective Date, Balboa will make the payment prescribed in the
Settlement Agreement into a segregated Settlement Account
established by the Class Counsel.

Within 14 days of the Settlement Effective Date, the Class Counsel
will distribute the funds in the Settlement Agreement.

All Settlement Class Members who did not properly and timely
submit an opt-out form requesting exclusion are permanently barred
and enjoined from asserting, instituting, or prosecuting, either
directly or indirectly, the Released Claims against the Released
Parties.

The Action is dismissed with prejudice and, except as provided,
without costs.

The case is CHRISTINA ULBRICH, as an individual and as a
representative of the classes, Plaintiff, v. GMAC MORTGAGE, LLC,
formerly known as GMAC MORTGAGE CORPORATION, and BALBOA INSURANCE
SERVICES, INC., Defendants, Case No. 11-CIV-62424-SCOLA/SELZER,
(S.D. Fla.).

A copy of the District Court's May 10, 2013 Order is available at
http://is.gd/P2lSRkfrom Leagle.com.


IMPERIAL TOBACCO: Begins Defense Against $27-Bil. Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
CBC News reports that three of Canada's tobacco giants began their
defense on May 13 against a C$27-billion class-action lawsuit in
Montreal by calling a witness who said the dangers of smoking are
no secret.

Historian and professor Jacques Lacoursiere testified tobacco's
health risks have been common knowledge for decades.  He pointed
to over 700 references to the hazards of smoking dating back to
the 1950s, including TV and radio reports, school manuals,
government releases and health professionals.

One of the many examples included a newspaper article that
outlined a significant increase in lung cancer risk following the
prolonged use of cigarettes.

The proceedings were set to continue on May 14 with the
plaintiffs' cross-examination of Mr. Lacoursiere.

"What these historians miss is all the coverage that came out in
the media about how the industry was involved in a conspiracy to
hide all that information," said Damphousse Francois, the Quebec
director of the Non-Smoker's Rights Association.

"They knew about the health effects of their products, but they
didn't meet the obligation to inform their public about what they
knew."

                   Landmark Class-Action Lawsuit

The complainants, two groups of individuals representing a total
of 1.8 million Quebecers, allege three tobacco companies did
everything possible to encourage addiction:

Imperial Tobacco.
JTI-MacDonald.
Rothmans, Benson & Hedges.

One group involves individuals who have become seriously ill from
smoking, and members of the other group say they are unable to
quit smoking.

They also allege the companies failed to properly warn their
customers about the dangers of smoking, underestimated evidence
relating to the harmful effects of tobacco, engaged in
unscrupulous marketing and destroyed documents.

The class-action lawsuit, which is being touted as the biggest
civil case in Canadian history, was first filed years ago.

Lawyers for the tobacco companies attempted to have the entire
civil suit thrown out, but the judge rejected the dismissal.


INTERNET GOLD: Defends Suit vs. Unit Over Concealed Limitations
---------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. continues to defend a subsidiary
against a purported class action lawsuit alleging it intentionally
conceals significant limitations pertaining to certain benefits,
according to the Company's April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In March 2011, a claim was filed in the District Court (Central
Region) together with an application for its certification as a
class action.  The amount of the action is NIS122 million.  The
applicants allege that Pelephone Communications Ltd. intentionally
conceals significant limitations pertaining to benefits on
selected destinations and even acts in contravention of the
communications agreement with respect to these destinations.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Dismissal of Suit Over Updating of Rates Appealed
----------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal was filed in connection with the dismissal of a
purported class action lawsuit alleging a subsidiary of Internet
Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. unlawfully updated its rates, according
to the Company's April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In January 2012, a claim was filed with the Tel Aviv District
Court, together with a motion for its certification as a class
action, against Pelephone Communications Ltd.  The claim alleged
that Pelephone misled a portion of its business customers by
unlawfully updating its rates.  The total monetary relief sought
was estimated by the petitioners at approximately NIS381 million,
which includes reimbursement of the amounts charged to Pelephone's
business customers as a result of the updated rates and
cancellation of the update.  On February 7, 2013, the Tel Aviv
District Court dismissed the claim and the motion to certify it as
a class action.  On April 10, 2013, an appeal was filed with the
Supreme Court.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Goldmind Faces Suit vs. Electronic Trade Web Sites
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd.'s subsidiary is facing a
purported class action lawsuit brought against various electronic
trade Web sites operating in Israel, according to the Company's
April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On April 22, 2013, a claim was filed with the Central District
Court together with a motion to certify the claim as a class
action, against various electronic trade Web sites operating in
Israel and against Goldmind Media Ltd.  The claim alleges that the
defendants violated the law and misled consumers and users of
electronic trade Web sites who took part in "private sale"
activities, in which the users made price quotes for purchasing
various products without being aware of the actual price of the
sold item, resulting in, allegedly, their deception and
overcharging of consumers.  The aggregate amount sought by the
class action is approximately NIS101 million.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Inspector Appointed in Suit Over Call Plans
----------------------------------------------------------
An inspector was appointed in the class action lawsuit relating to
call plans with fixed monthly payment, according to Internet Gold
- Golden Lines Ltd.'s April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In July 2010, an action was filed against Bezeq - The Israel
Telecommunications Corp., Ltd. in the Central District Court,
together with an application for its certification as a class
action, alleging that Bezeq offers its customers to join call
plans with a fixed monthly payment, which results in a financial
loss to customers for whom the track is not worthwhile, thus
misleading them.  The plaintiff is claiming restitution of the
difference between the amount paid by customers on the new track
and the amount they would have paid on the ordinary track, which
he estimates is "tens of millions of shekels", as well as
compensation of NIS1,500 per customer for an ostensible
infringement of privacy.  In June 2012 the Court approved
publication of a compromise settlement reached by the parties at a
cost of NIS6.5 million to Bezeq, and instructed that the
settlement be sent to the relevant parties before it hands down
the verdict.  Subsequently, an inspector was appointed to estimate
the damage and the amount of the compensation.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Parties Asked to Withdraw Service Tariffs Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. disclosed in its April 24, 2013,
Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012, that the Tel Aviv District
Court asked the parties of a lawsuit over service tariffs to
consider the possibility of filing a mutually agreed upon notice
of withdrawal.

In December 2011, a claim was filed with the Tel Aviv District
Court, together with an application for its certification as a
class action, against Pelephone Communications Ltd. for a total
amount of NIS381 million.  The plaintiff alleged that Pelephone
unlawfully updated its service tariffs for business customers.
The Court asked the parties to consider the possibility of filing
a mutually agreed upon notice of withdrawal.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Pelephone Accused of Unlawful Payment Collection
---------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd.'s subsidiary is accused of
unlawfully collecting payment for the cost of a cellular handset
and a cancelled phone line, among other things, according to the
Company's April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In September 2012, a claim was filed against Pelephone
Communications Ltd. in the Tel Aviv District Court together with a
motion for its certification as a class action.  The plaintiff
contends that Pelephone unlawfully collected money for: the cost
of a cellular handset, a cancelled phone line, surfing services,
various services, as well as for collection expenses and voucher
fees.  The amount of the application is estimated at NIS57 million
for the causes claimed plus NIS1,000 for distress for each member
of the group.  A class action is currently pending against
Pelephone, in which some of the allegations are similar to those
in this claim.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Pelephone Defends Suit Over Spare Parts Provision
----------------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. is defending a
purported class action lawsuit alleging it does not provide its
customers with spare parts, according to the Company's April 24,
2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In August 2012, a claim was filed against Pelephone Communications
Ltd. in the Tel Aviv District Court together with a motion for its
certification as a class action.  The action was filed against
Pelephone, Cellcom Israel Ltd. and Partner Communications Company
Ltd.  The amount of the claim is estimated at NIS120 million for
each of the defendants.  Additionally, orders for mandamus and
declaratory relief were requested.  The applicants allege that as
part of the repair services which the defendants provide for
payment (payment for the repair or a monthly payment for the
repair service), if a certain part in the handset must be
replaced, the defendants do not provide the customer with the
spare part, and this in contravention of the law.  Additionally,
the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants use the replaced part
in future when providing repair services for other customers, thus
enriching themselves twice.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Pelephone Faces Suits Over Network Malfunction
-------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd.'s subsidiary is facing two
purported class action lawsuits arising from a nationwide
malfunction on its network in February 2012, according to the
Company's April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In February 2013, a claim was filed against Pelephone
Communications Ltd. in the Nazareth District Court together with a
motion for its certification as a class action.  The applicant
alleges that due to a nation-wide malfunction on Pelephone's
network on February 3, 2012, the applicant as well as other
Pelephone customers were disconnected from Pelephone's services
for several hours and were unable to use their cellular handsets
to receive or make calls and SMS messages.  As a result, they
incurred losses.  The total amount of the class action is NIS450
million.  In March 2013, another claim arising from the same
incident was filed in the Jerusalem District ?Court, with a
petition for certification as a ?class action lawsuit, for an
amount estimated at ?approximately NIS160 million.  According to
the applicant, the plaintiff group members are ?all cellular
telephone customers, including ?customers of companies hosted on
the ?network (Rami Levi and Hot Mobile).

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Plaintiffs Abandoned Class Suit vs. Pelephone
------------------------------------------------------------
The Plaintiffs in a purported class action lawsuit against
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd.'s subsidiary abandoned their
claims, according to the Company's April 24, 2013, Form 20-F
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

In December 2007, a claim was filed with the Tel Aviv District
Court against Pelephone Communications Ltd., Cellcom Israel Ltd.
and Partner Communications Company Ltd., together with a motion to
certify it as a class action in the amount of NIS1 billion.  The
claim relates to alleged radiation damage from cellular antennas
which were allegedly erected unlawfully.  On
February 28, 2012, the parties notified the Court that they need
additional time to reach an agreed settlement.  In June 2012, the
Court approved the plaintiff's abandonment of the action.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Still Defends Suit vs. Unit Over Internet Speed
--------------------------------------------------------------
In December 2011, a claim was filed with the Tel Aviv District
Court, together with a motion to certify it as a class action,
against Bezeq International Ltd., a subsidiary of Internet Gold
- Golden Lines Ltd.  The plaintiffs alleged that during October
2011, Bezeq International failed to provide its Internet customers
with the speed it had undertaken in their contacts.  The
plaintiffs are seeking restitution of the monthly charge and
compensation for distress, and they estimate the total monetary
compensation claimed to be NIS120 million.

No further updates were reported in the Company's April 24, 2013,
Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Suit Alleging Unlawful Ad on Music on Hold Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The purported class action lawsuit alleging Internet Gold - Golden
Lines Ltd. unlawfully broadcasts its own advertising on Music on
Hold remains pending, according to the Company's
April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In October 2011, an action was filed at the Tel Aviv District
Court, together with an application for its certification as a
class action, alleging that Bezeq - The Israel Telecommunications
Corp., Ltd. unlawfully broadcasts its own advertising on the Music
on Hold (music played to callers while the dial-up to a Bezeq
subscriber is under way) about subscribing to the service.  The
plaintiffs are seeking restitution of the service fees and
compensation for prohibited advertising (for callers to
subscribers to the service) and estimate the total amount of the
claim to be NIS200 million, for period commencing the date that
Bezeq initiated this service.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Suit Over Cell Radiation Abandoned in November
-------------------------------------------------------------
The abandonment of a purported class action lawsuit related to
bodily damage arising from exposure to cellular radiation was
approved in November 2013, according to Internet Gold - Golden
Lines Ltd.'s April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In March 2010, a claim was filed with the Tel Aviv District Court,
together with a motion to certify it as a class action, against
Pelephone Communications Ltd. and Cellcom Israel Ltd.  The total
amount of the claim is approximately NIS4.2 billion and the amount
of the claim against Pelephone is NIS2.1 billion.  The plaintiffs
claim that Pelephone acts in contravention of its license and the
law in that it does not purchase insurance covering its liability
for bodily damage arising from exposure to cellular radiation.
The application also seeks an order instructing Pelephone to take
out such insurance.  On October 25, 2010, the Court requested the
Minister of Communication to provide its position on this issue.
On November 19, 2012, the Court approved the withdrawal of both
the claim and the motion to certify the claim as a class action.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Suit Over Continuing Transactions Abandoned
----------------------------------------------------------
The Tel Aviv District Court approved the plaintiff's abandonment
of a class action lawsuit related to agreements to change or add
to a continuing transaction, according to Internet Gold - Golden
Lines Ltd.'s April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In October 2010, a claim was filed with the Tel Aviv District
Court, together with a motion to certify it as a class action,
against Bezeq International Ltd. in the amount of NIS39 million.
The claim alleges that Bezeq International does not provide its
customers with a written document as required under the Consumer
Protection Law, when entering into an agreement to change or add
to a continuing transaction.  On June 20, 2012, the Tel Aviv
District Court approved the plaintiff's abandonment of the claim
and the application for its recognition as a class action.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Sup. Ct. Denied Disconnection Signal Suit Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Israeli Supreme Court denied in October 2012 an appeal in the
class action lawsuit over disconnection signal against
subsidiaries of Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd., according to
the Company's April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In November 2006, a claim and application for certification as a
class action was filed with the Tel Aviv District Court against
Bezeq - The Israel Telecommunications Corp., Ltd. ("Bezeq"),
Pelephone Communications Ltd. ("Pelephone"), HOT Telecom, Cellcom
Israel Ltd. and Partner Communications Company Ltd., in the amount
of NIS158 million.  The plaintiffs allege that when completing a
call made from a cellular line to a fixed line, if the call is
disconnected by the fixed line call recipient, Bezeq and HOT delay
sending the disconnection signal for approximately 60 seconds,
which is then reflected in airtime costs and interconnect fees.
In a procedural arrangement among the parties, it was decided that
the claim would be heard against Bezeq and HOT, while the claim
against Pelephone, Partner and Cellcom would be heard as part of a
similar claim filed against them in August 2006 alleging damages
of NIS100 million.  On October 28, 2010, the Court denied the
application and on December 16, 2010, the plaintiffs filed an
appeal of the decision in the Supreme Court.  On October 17, 2012,
the Supreme Court denied the appeal.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Unit Continues to Defend Suit Over VAT Collection
----------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd.'s subsidiary continues to defend
itself against a purported class action lawsuit related to the
collection of Value Added Tax, according to the Company's April
24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In August 2010, a claim and a motion to certify it as a class
action were filed in the Central District Court against Pelephone
Communications Ltd.  The amount of the claim is not stated, but
the application is estimated in the tens of millions of shekels.
According to the applicant, Pelephone should refrain from
collecting Value Added Tax from customers who use its services
when they are outside Israel.  The application also includes the
relief of an order instructing Pelephone to cease charging its
customers for the services they use outside Israel, and an order
instructing that the money collected to date be restituted.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Unit Still Defends Subscribers' Suit Over Refunds
----------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd.'s subsidiary continues to defend
a purported class action lawsuit seeking refund of amounts
allegedly over-collected from subscribers, according to the
Company's April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In July 2008, a claim was filed with the Tel Aviv District Court
together with a motion to certify it as a class action for the
total amount of NIS240 million.  The claim is for the refund of
amounts which the plaintiffs allege were over-collected from
Pelephone Communications Ltd.'s subscribers, in connection with
its collections of interest in arrears from subscribers who are
late in paying Pelephone, as well as from interest where payments
are rescheduled.  The plaintiff also alleges that Pelephone
collects payment in respect of a standing order, handling fees for
the voucher and commission for payment of a voucher at a service
center, ostensibly in contravention of its license.  On October 5,
2011, the Court gave the plaintiffs an option to abandon the claim
without ordering expenses against them.  On October 18, 2011, the
plaintiffs notified the Court that they insist on proceeding with
the claim and the parties agreed to submit written closing
arguments.

In May 2012, an additional claim and an application for its
recognition as a class action in the amount of NIS74 million was
filed in the Tel Aviv District Court, alleging the unlawful
billing for payment by standing order, which claim was
subsequently abandoned.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Unit Awaits OK of Deal in Suit vs. Cellular Firms
----------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd.'s subsidiary is awaiting court
approval of its settlement of a class action lawsuit brought
against cellular companies, according to the Company's April 24,
2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In May 2010 a claim was filed in the Tel Aviv District Court
together with a motion to certify it as a class action.  The claim
was filed against the four cellular companies (Pelephone
Communications Ltd., Partner Communications Company Ltd., Cellcom
Israel Ltd. and Mirs Communications Ltd.) where the amount of the
claim against each of Pelephone, Partner and Cellcom is NIS3.68
billion and the total amount of the claim (against the four
companies) is more than NIS12 billion.  The applicants argue that
the cellular companies are in breach of the following duties: (1)
to erect cellular antenna sites of the required scope, proportion
and deployment; (2) to check, correct and provide information
about the non-ionizing radiation values in cellular handsets after
repair, etc.; (3) to warn against the risks involved in how the
cellular handset is held.  The application includes numerous other
declaratory reliefs and applications for writs of mandamus
relating to the matter.

In January 2013, Pelephone signed a compromise settlement with the
plaintiffs to settle the claim in return for Pelephone verifying
and ascertaining certain matters relating to the claim and in
return for the sale of earphones to customers at a reduced price
for a period.  This arrangement has been submitted to the court
and is awaiting approval.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Unit's Bid to Appeal to Supreme Court Denied
-----------------------------------------------------------
The application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court filed by
a subsidiary of Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. was denied in
September 2012, according to the Company's April 24, 2013, Form
20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2012.

During the second quarter of 2008, four claims were filed with the
District Court for the Central District together with an
application for its certification as a class action against Bezeq
International Ltd. and two other holders of licenses to provide
Bezeq International's services.  The four claims were later
consolidated into one claim.  The claims related to the use of
international calling cards to the Philippines, Thailand and
Nepal.  The plaintiffs, who are foreign workers, claimed, among
other things, that (i) the calling cards provide an average of 50%
of the call duration indicated to the purchasers of the cards;
(ii) when Bezeq International deduct the time spent on
unsuccessful call attempts it does not use units of round minutes
as it indicates; (iii) Bezeq International provides misleading
information about the number of units on the card; and (iv) it
formed a cartel with other international communication companies
that raised the prices of calling cards.  The plaintiffs seek
court approval to file their claim as a class action on behalf of
groups of people that include anyone who purchased the relevant
calling cards during the seven year period prior to filing the
claim or during the proceedings themselves.  The plaintiffs
estimate that the damages caused to all the members of the group
is NIS1.1 billion.  The plaintiffs also petitioned the Court to
order the defendants to cease their alleged improper conduct.  The
court accepted the application for certification as a class action
on the grounds of deception on November 3, 2010, but dismissed
some of the grounds for the claimed action and ruled that the
existence of deception, if existed, ceased after the purchase of a
number of calling cards.  Bezeq International filed a leave to
appeal to the Supreme Court.  The application for leave to appeal
filed by Bezeq International was denied on September 19, 2012, due
to the settlement agreement signed by the other defendants in the
proceedings and the plaintiffs.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Units Defend Carriers Provision Violation Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd.'s subsidiaries are defending a
purported class action lawsuit alleging violations of the carriers
provision of telecommunication services to handicapped customers,
according to the Company's April 24, 2013, Form 20-F filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In February 2012, a claim was filed in the Jerusalem District
Court against Pelephone Communications Ltd., Cellcom Israel Ltd.,
Partner Communications Company Ltd. and Bezeq - The Israel
Telecommunications Corp., Ltd., together with an application for
its certification as a class action.  The amount of the action is
NIS361 million.  The claim relates to a failure to comply with the
provisions of the law with respect to handicapped customers when
rendering telecommunication services.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INTERNET GOLD: Withdrawal of Suits vs. Bezeq Approved in April
--------------------------------------------------------------
The withdrawal of two purported class action lawsuits against a
subsidiary of Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. was approved in
April 2013, according to the Company's April 24, 2013, Form 20-F
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

In April 2011, a claim was filed against Bezeq - The Israel
Telecommunications Corp., Ltd. in the Tel Aviv District Court
together with an application for its certification as a class
action, alleging that in contravention of the law, Bezeq does not
include a call details record in the phone bills, which it sends
to its subscribers.  The application estimates the amount of the
class action at NIS127 million.  In September 2012, another claim
was filed against Bezeq in the Tel Aviv District Court together
with an application for its certification as a class action in the
same matter, and the plaintiff estimates the amount of the claim
at NIS154 million.  On April 4, 2013, and April 13 2013,
respectively, the Court approved the withdrawal of both claims and
ordered their dismissal.  The Court approved the withdrawal
pursuant to its assessment that the claim has low chances for
success, if any.

Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd. -- http://www.igld.com/-- is a
communications group in Israel headquartered in Ramat Gan.  The
Company's principal subsidiaries are B Communications Ltd.,
formerly known as 012 Smile.Communications Ltd., and Goldmind
Media Ltd., formerly known as Smile.Media Ltd.


INVERSIONISTAS UNIDOS: Accused of Defrauding Latino Community
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ruben Loja, Rosa Siguencia, Luis Encalada, Luis Lema, Jose Acosta,
Nestor Cordero, and All Others Similarly Situated v.
Inversionistas Unidos Corp., Searching Capital Corp., Liliano
Henao, Oswaldo Patino, Gerardo Mattos, Luis Parra, Ximena Ibarra,
Case No. 701820/2013 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Queens Cty., May 20, 2013)
arises out of an alleged fraud perpetrated on the Plaintiffs, all
members of the Latino community, and others by the Defendants.

From 2009 through 2011, the Defendants conspired to defraud the
Plaintiffs into investing $1.0135 million, into fraudulent, sham
"joint venture" agreements in a scheme, which in total defrauded
430 investors of over $12 million, the Plaintiffs allege.  The
Plaintiffs contend that the Defendants induced the Plaintiffs to
invest by falsely representing that the investments were safe,
carried no risk, and would return 4% to 6% every 35-45 days.  The
Plaintiffs add that the Defendants falsely represented that they
were engaged in agricultural commodities wholesale and
distribution, when in reality, they invested in high risk
alternative investments and kept the money for personal gain.

Ruben Loja, Rosa Siguencia, Luis Encalada, Luis Lema and Nestor
Cordero are residents of Queens County, New York.  Jose Acosta is
a resident of Nassau County, New York.

Inversionistas Unidos Corp. is a New York domestic corporation.
Searching Capital is a New York domestic corporation and served as
one of IUC's investment subsidiaries, particularly where
international alternative investments were concerned.

Oswaldo Patino, Liliana Henao, Gerardo Mattos, Luis Parra and
Ximena Ibarra are residents of Queens County, New York.  They were
officers, shareholders, managers, agents, employees, or principals
of IUC and Searching Capital.  Mr. Mattos also served as the
Coordinator/IRA Retirement Consultant and persuaded and induced
the Plaintiffs to rollover their IRA and other retirement funds to
IUC and its fraudulent "joint venture" investment.  Mr. Parra is
the sole or main principal of Key Accounting & Tax Services Inc.
and served as the accountant for the Corporate Defendants and
others involved in the scheme.  Ms. Ibarra served as a "notario,"
and, therefore, responsible for the management and legal affairs
of the scheme.

When Ms. Henao and Mr. Patino fled New York, Ms. Ibarra took
center stage in the alleged fraud and spent over nine months
making false claims that the funds would be returned to investors
in an attempt to stall efforts to recoup the funds.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Argilio Rodriguez, Esq.
          RODRIGUEZ LAW, P.C.
          304 Park Avenue South, 11th Floor
          New York, NY 10010
          Telephone: (212) 960-3305
          E-mail: argilio@lawrodriguez.com


KUBOTA MANUFACTURING: Recalls 8,600 ZG100 Series Riding Mowers
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp., of Gainesville, Georgia,
announced a voluntary recall of about 8,600 Kubota ZG100 Series
Zero Turn riding mowers.  Consumers should stop using this product
unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt
to resell a recalled consumer product.

The fuel tank's pressure relief valve can malfunction, causing the
tank to expand and rub against the transmission drive belt and
drive cooling fan.  This can wear a hole in the fuel tank and
cause a fuel leak, posing a fire hazard.

The firm has received 56 reports of mowers' fuel tanks leaking.
No injuries or property damage have been reported.

This recall involves orange-colored Kubota ZG100 Series Zero Turn
riding mowers with the following model and serial numbers: Model
ZG124E with serial numbers between 10002 and 12179, Model ZG123S
with serial numbers between 10002 and 12505, Model ZG127E with
serial numbers between 10002 and 11574 and Model ZG127S with
serial numbers between 10003 and 12959.  Kubota is printed on the
front of the mower and on the side.  The model and serial numbers
are printed on the data plate on the left part of the frame near
the operator's foot area.  Picture of the recalled products is
available at: http://is.gd/iLqs1g

The recalled products were manufactured in United States of
America and sold at authorized Kubota dealers nationwide from
December 2012 through April 2013 for between $5,000 and $6,300.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled mowers and
contact Kubota for a free repair.  Kubota is contacting its
customers directly.  Kubota may be reached at (800) 752-0290; from
8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday, or
online at http://www.kubota.com/and click on Safety for more
information.


LEA INDUSTRIES: Recalls 63,600 Children's Beds Due to Fall Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in conjunction with
Health Canada and in cooperation with Lea Industries, High Point,
North Carolina, announced a voluntary recall of about 59,200 Lea
Panel, Loft and Bunk Beds in the United States of America and
4,200 in Canada.  Consumers should stop using this product unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

The bed's side mattress support rails can break, posing a fall
hazard.

There have been 22 reports of incidents involving the recalled
beds in the U.S. since 2009 and one in Canada.  Two injuries were
reported.  In a 2009 incident in Madison, Wisconsin, an 11-year-
old girl was placing a fitted sheet on the top bunk when the
child, mattress and bed supports collapsed on her 6-year-old
sister in the bed below.  The 6 year old was treated at a hospital
emergency department for a head injury involving a cut to her
face.

This recall involves the side rails on 34 different Lea children's
bed collections, including loft, bunk and panel styles in twin,
full and queen sizes.  The wooden beds were sold in various wood
finishes and paint colors, including black or white.  The beds
have two side mattress support rails connecting the headboard to
the footboard and slats or a Bunkie board to support the mattress.
Item numbers and purchase order numbers included in this recall
are listed below.  The date code, rail item number and purchase
order number are located on a white label on the inside of one of
the side rails.  Date codes between August 2008 and March 2013,
shown as 8-2008 through 3-2013, are included in this recall.
Platform beds manufactured since 2010 are not included in this
recall.  Recalled bed names, item numbers and purchase order
numbers include:

   Item Number on Bed Rail      Bed Collection Name
   -----------------------      -------------------
   012-023, 012-024             Haley
   060-099, 060-975             Sponge Bob Surf Club
   070-099                      Lea Elite Zoe
   085-076                      Home Town
   134-099                      Lea Elite Boutique
   139-076, 139-099             Lea Elite Logan County
   145-076, 145-099             Lea Elite Covington
   147-076, 147-099             Lea Elite Hannah

   148-076, 148-097, 148-099    Lea Elite Retreat
   149-076, 149-097, 149-099

   203-091, 203-094, 203-097    Jessica McClintock
   207-963C, 207-963W           Bunks and Lofts
   207-965C, 207-965W           Bunks and Lofts
   228-091, 228-094, 228-097    Jessica McClintock-Cherry
   237-076, 237-097, 237-099    Americana
   302-076, 302-09C             Jackson Creek
   342-064N, 342-076N           My Place-Maple
   343-064N, 343-076N           The Getaway-White
   505-09L                      Elation

   590-076, 590-076B,           My Style
   590-076C, 590-076M,
   590-076W, 590-088B,
   590-088C, 590-088M,
   590-088W

   606-091                      Emma's Treasures
   618-076, 618-975             Austin
   625-076                      Deer Run
   711-076, 711-091, 711-097    Freetime

   816-076, 816-091, 816-094,   Lea Elite Classics
   816-097, 816-975

   826-076, 826-091, 826-094,   Lea Elite Crossover
   826-097, 826-975

   846-091, 846-094, 846-097    Lea Elite Rhapsody

   856-076, 856-091, 856-094,   Lea Elite Expressions
   856-097, 856-923, 856-924

   876-076, 876-091, 876-094,   Lea Elite Reflections
   876-097, 876-923, 876-924

   906-076, 906-975             Dillon
   917-024                      Midtown
   950-099, 950-939             Nick and Funtime

   960-097, 960-099, 960-923,   Tweennick
   960-924

   970-091, 970-094             Teennick

   Purchase Order Numbers are IM92784 through IM94038 for all
   beds, except platform beds made since 2010

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:
http://is.gd/L3dBOf

The recalled products were manufactured in China and Vietnam and
sold at Direct Buy stores and furniture stores nationwide, and
online at Amazon.com and various other Web sites from August 2008
through March 2013 for between $400 and $3,000.

Consumers should immediately stop using the beds and contact Lea
Industries to receive free replacement side rails for the beds.
Lea Industries may be reached toll-free at (888) 770-7116, from
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, or
online at http://www.leaindustries.com/and click on Recall for
more information.


MERCK & CO: Plaintiffs Counsel May Seek Fees From State Lawyers
---------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Baynes, writing for Reuters, reports that a federal judge
has ruled that lawyers for individuals who sued Merck & Co Inc.
over the painkiller Vioxx may be entitled to some of the legal
fees Pennsylvania's outside counsel received in a settlement with
Merck in January.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon of the Eastern District of
Louisiana ruled that the claim was not covered by Pennsylvania's
immunity as a state and did not interfere with its ability to
choose its own lawyers.

While lawyers for individuals, known as the plaintiffs' steering
committee, often ask courts for so-called "common-benefit" fees
from other plaintiffs who recover money in multidistrict
litigation, it is unusual for the committee to seek fees from the
lawyers for a state.

Merck received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in
1999 to sell Vioxx to treat pain and inflammation resulting from
arthritis and other conditions.  In 2004, Merck withdrew the drug
from the market after data showed that Vioxx carried an increased
risk of heart attack and stroke.

Thousands of individual lawsuits and numerous class actions were
filed against Merck in state and federal courts alleging various
product liability and tort claims.  In addition, numerous state
and local governments, including Pennsylvania, sued Merck under
consumer protection statutes to recover money their citizens paid
for Vioxx prescriptions.  All of the suits were transferred to the
multidistrict litigation proceeding in the Eastern District of
Louisiana.

Most of the states involved in the litigation, including Alaska,
Mississippi, Montana, Utah and Kentucky, agreed by contract to pay
the steering committee, which includes about a dozen law firms, a
common-benefit fee of 6.5 percent of any recovery.  Pennsylvania
was the only state that refused to enter into such an agreement,
according to court documents.

                   Claim for Damages vs State

Pennsylvania's attorney general hired lawyers from the
Philadelphia firm Cohen Placitella & Roth to bring the state's
claims.  In December, the steering committee for the individual
plaintiffs asked the court to impose a common-benefit legal fee on
the funds paid to Pennsylvania's outside counsel in the
settlement.  Lawyers on the steering committee argued that
Pennsylvania's lawyers had benefited from their work, including
access to their collection of documents and valuable discovery
material that they had uncovered. Pennsylvania reached a
settlement with Merck in January.

In response to the steering committee's motion, Pennsylvania's
lawyers argued that the request was actually a claim for damages
against the state, and therefore was barred by the doctrine of
sovereign immunity, which prevents states from being sued.

But Judge Fallon rejected that argument in an order filed on
April 30, finding that the steering committee's claim was not for
damages and did not interfere with the state's ability to choose
its own lawyers.

A factual dispute remains over whether the steering committee's
work actually benefited Pennsylvania's lawyers.  Judge Fallon
refused to decide that question, but referred the issue to a
special master to determine how much the steering committee should
reap from the state's settlement.

Robert Dassow, a lawyer at Hovde Dassow & Deets who represents
plaintiffs in similar pharmaceutical litigation, said he could not
recall a prior case where the plaintiffs' steering committee had
gone after a state attorney general's lawyers for legal fees from
a settlement.

However, "it's not a far stretch for the plaintiff steering
committee to be seeking funds where they did a significant amount
of work and the attorneys general jump on the bandwagon," he said.

Such requests are likely to become more common as more state
attorneys general retain outside private lawyers on a contingency
fee basis in multidistrict litigation, he said.  Because the
litigation is highly specific, it makes sense for state attorneys
general to retain plaintiff firms with expertise in pharmaceutical
litigation, he added.

Pennsylvania's lawyer, Christopher Placitella of Cohen Placitella
& Roth, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is In Re Vioxx Product Liability Litigation, U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 05-md-
1657.

For the plaintiffs' steering committee: Leonard Davis --
ldavis@hhklawfirm.com -- of Herman Herman & Katz.

For Pennsylvania: Christopher Placitella of Cohen Placitella &
Roth.


OZZIE JUROCK: Real Estate Investors Withdraw Condo Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
David Baines, writing for Vancouver Sun, reports that the
plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit have agreed to withdraw
allegations that self-styled real estate expert Ozzie Jurock and
two associates sold them defective condos.

The plaintiffs have also agreed to provide Mr. Jurock and his two
associates, David Barnes and Ralph Case, with an unconditional
apology.

In return, Mr. Jurock and his two associates have agreed to drop a
countersuit alleging that two of the plaintiffs made defamatory
comments about them.  Each side will pay their own legal costs.

This sort of resolution, with each side picking up their gloves
and going home, is common in litigation.

What is unusual in this case is that Mr. Jurock and his two
associates have also agreed to pay the plaintiffs $750,000.

Usually, in cases where the plaintiffs withdraw allegations and
provide apologies, they also pay money as compensation for the
injury they have caused the defendants.  In this case, it's the
defendants who are paying the money.

And no small sum, either.  After legal fees and disbursements,
just under $400,000 will be distributed to the plaintiffs,
amounting to about $9,000 for each of the 44 units in question.

The representative plaintiff in the action was Bowen Island
resident Gregory Bosworth, who bought a unit in the Roosevelt
Apartments in Prince Rupert for $73,000 in February 2007.

In March 2010, he filed a lawsuit alleging that the developer -- a
joint venture of three private companies owned by Messrs. Jurock,
Barnes and Case -- had failed to disclose serious maintenance
issues.  He claimed the defendants provided him with a disclosure
statement certifying that the apartments were "free from material
defect" when, in fact, a previous engineer's report had identified
serious maintenance issues.  He claimed the true value of his
unit, taking into account the alleged deficiencies, was $57,000.
He estimated it would cost an additional $35,109 per unit to
rectify those deficiencies.

Mr. Jurock and his associates not only denied the allegations,
they fired back with a counterclaim alleging that two other
investors, Shannon Stange of Vancouver and Frank Lonardelli of
Calgary, had made disparaging and defamatory comments about them.

Judge Jon Sigurdson determined that Bosworth had an arguable case,
that there was an identifiable class of claimants with common
issues, and that Bosworth was a suitable representative plaintiff.
On this basis, he certified Bosworth's lawsuit as a class action.

The case was set to go to trial on May 6, but when court convened,
the litigants instead presented a proposed settlement agreement.

The settlement states that, as a result of several years of
litigation, both sides "recognize the uncertainties as to the
ultimate outcome of the action and the likelihood that any final
result could require years of complex litigation and substantial
expense."

To achieve a "final resolution" of the matter, both sides agree to
withdraw their respective allegations.

The agreement states that the settlement shall not be construed as
an admission of any wrongdoing by either the defendants --
Mr. Jurock and his two associates -- or the counterclaim
defendants -- Messrs. Stange and Lonardelli.

The settlement also includes a proposed letter in which Messrs.
Bosworth, Stange and Lonardelli state:

"During the course of this action, I understand no evidence was
found, and thus I have no reason to believe, that (the defendants)
ever knew of any significant defects in the buildings when they
were sold to us."

They add: "We apologize for making those allegations and we
sincerely regret the harm those allegations may have caused (the
defendants) and their families."

The settlement also includes a separate letter from Eric Fergie --
who is president of the strata council and a class action member
-- apologizing for a TV interview in which he alleged that
Mr. Jurock "knowingly sold me a condo in a building that he knew
to be leaky."

Mr. Fergie said he now understands those remarks are not true and
apologized to Mr. Jurock and his family for making them.

The settlement agreement prohibits Mr. Jurock and his associates
from publishing the apologies in the media, although they may
disclose their existence to third parties and provide copies in
the ordinary course of their business.

The settlement was ratified by Judge Sigurdson and is scheduled to
be completed within 90 days.

Messrs. Jurock, Barnes and Case are still facing another class
action lawsuit filed by Delta resident Brian Stanchniak in July
2011 with respect to an apartment unit he bought in the 76-unit
Crestwood Estates development in Williams Lake.

Mr. Stanchniak alleges they failed to report major repair work
that needed to be done, misrepresented the value of the units, and
failed to upgrade the units as promised.

Once again, Mr. Jurock and his associates have denied the
allegations, but barring a settlement, the trial is scheduled to
start on Nov. 25.

Mr. Jurock has appeared in various B.C. media outlets, including
The Vancouver Sun.

Radio and television business commentator Michael Campbell also
features Mr. Jurock as a guest on his Money Talks program on CKNW
radio and at his annual World Outlook Financial Conference.

Mr. Jurock also hosts real estate seminars (The Real Estate Action
Weekend) and monthly meetings (The Real Estate Monthly Action
Group), which feature topics such as how to build and maintain a
rental portfolio and how to buy an apartment building with no
money down.  He also takes the opportunity to pitch his own deals,
sometimes at prices which he claims are below appraised value. He
peppers his pitches with exhortations such as "it's never too late
(to) attract that great passive income we all need for a self-
actualized life."  He also offers a $500 referral fee to every
member who convinces a friend or family member to invest in one of
his deals.

Among other things, he has recommended attendees buy apartments
and condos in remote communities such as Williams Lake, Prince
Rupert, Prince George and Merritt.


PET VALU: Justice Winkler Reiterates Key Points in Opt-Out Process
------------------------------------------------------------------
According to Canadian Lawyer's Margaret L. Waddell, "I'm sure
there is nothing that warms the bottom of the heart of class
action defendants more than seeing a mass exodus of potential
class members from the proceeding following certification.  Fewer
class members mean reduced exposure to the payment of damages.
And if enough people opt out, it could effectively render the
class proceeding economically unviable from the perspective of
class counsel.  That, in turn, could lead to an early and lower
settlement, or in an extreme case, a discontinuance of the
proceeding or successful motion to decertify."

In 1250264 Ontario Inc. v. Pet Valu Canada Inc., a franchise class
action, death of the action from a million cuts is exactly what a
group of franchisees hoped to achieve.  The "dissident"
franchisees did not want to participate in the class action.  They
were anxious to prove their loyalty to the franchisor, upon whom
they are dependent for their livelihood.

But these franchisees did much more than simply exercising their
own right to opt out of the class action.  In the last 10 days of
the opt-out period, the dissidents organized a "systematic and
highly effective campaign . . . to deal a death blow to the class
action by persuading other franchisees to opt out," according to
the decision.  Patently the dissidents' intent was to do serious
harm to the viability of the class action.  Pressing other
franchisees to opt out of the proceeding was entirely irrelevant
to the dissident's direct business relationship with the
franchisor; but as the motions judge fairly concluded, they did so
to ingratiate themselves with management.

Ms. Waddell said "In my view, once the dissidents had opted out of
the class action, they were no longer parties to the proceeding
and their conduct, which was highly coercive, was tantamount to
officious intermeddling in a proceeding to which they were no
longer party.  This is particularly troubling in this case, which
had been highly contentious between the parties from the outset."

Because of the heated atmosphere, the issue of communications with
the class during the opt-out period had been expressly addressed
by the certification judge, who ruled that no communications from
the parties were to be made to the class without court approval
(exclusive of day-to-day operational communications between
franchisor and franchisees).  Justice George Strathy explained:

"The provision limiting communications before the end of the opt-
out period to those approved by the court reflected the concern
that the integrity of the opt-out process would be impaired if
class members were subjected to unfair, misleading or oppressive
communications by either party.  That concern exists in all class
proceedings, but it exists in particular in cases such as this
one, where the class members have an ongoing relationship with the
defendant.  It also reflected the fact that the atmosphere had
been heated and there was some risk that the fairness of the opt-
out process would be undermined if the court did not exercise
careful control."

Not surprisingly, the plaintiff took exception to the dissident's
conduct, particularly in the face of the court's direction that
had been aimed at silencing coercive communications during the
opt-out period.  The plaintiff brought a motion to set aside the
opt outs delivered after the dissidents began their targeted
campaign.

The motions judge found the opt-out campaign had spread
misinformation and was coercive, contrary to the fundamental
principle that class members "ought to be free to exercise their
right to participate in or abstain from the class action on an
informed, voluntary basis, free from undue influence," as noted in
2002's 1176560 Ontario Ltd. v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Co. of
Canada Ltd.

The motions judge recognized the facts before him were exceptional
and he thoughtfully crafted a remedy to the case.  The opt outs
delivered after the campaign began were declared void, and those
putative opt outs would be given the opportunity to reconsider
their choice after a pending summary judgment motion was decided.

The defendant appealed.  It was, not surprisingly, pleased with
the results of the dissidents' campaign, which had resulted in
well over half of the current franchisees excluding themselves
from the action.  Chief Justice Warren Winkler allowed the appeal,
finding the facts did not support the conclusions reached by the
motions judge.

While the appeal was allowed based upon the Court of Appeal's
starkly different interpretation of the evidence before the court
(it found the conduct was not coercive), the message from that
court was consistent with the message of the trial judge.
Particularly, the courts will be highly vigilant to protect the
integrity of the class proceeding, including the opt-out process.
Justice Winkler reiterated the following key points:

    * class members have the right to make a fully informed and
voluntary decision about whether to remain as a member of the
class or to opt out;

    * class members should be free to exercise that decision on an
informed, voluntary basis, free from undue influence;

    * where class members engage in conduct that amounts to
misinformation, threats, intimidation, coercion, or that reveals
some other improper purpose in an attempt to undermine the opt-out
process, the court may intervene to restrain and remediate the
effect of such conduct;

    * where the parties become aware that class members or former
class members are engaging in tactics that may demand judicial
scrutiny during the opt-out period, the representative plaintiff
should promptly seek the intervention of the supervising judge,
and if the defendant does nothing, it does so at its own risk.

While Justice Winkler did not agree with the motion judge's
findings on the facts he did deliver a stern warning against the
type of conduct that occurred in this case:

"I think it is important to emphasize that the [Class Proceedings
Act] does not contemplate the politicization of the opt-out
process. . . . Within the statutory framework of the CPA, there is
no legitimate purpose that can be achieved by politicizing the
opt-out process.  As explained in A&P, at para. 32, certification
motions are not determined through a referendum of the class
members.  Nor is the viability of the class action dependent on
majority support.  Just as the percentage of support amongst class
members is not an element of certification, opting out cannot stop
a class action.  The number of opt-outs does not in itself provide
a basis for decertifying a class action."

The mere fact the Pet Valu appeal was allowed should not be taken
as a signal to defendants or their supporters among putative class
members or opt outs that they will now have a freer reign in
encouraging class members to exclude themselves from a certified
proceeding.  The Court of Appeal has confirmed their conduct will
continue to be subjected to careful scrutiny and, in appropriate
circumstances, the court will not hesitate to take action to
maintain the integrity of its process.


PRIMAL CONCEPTS: Class Claims in "Szijjarto" Suit Withdrawn
-----------------------------------------------------------
On April 23, 2013, plaintiffs in the lawsuit captioned ROBERT
SZIJJARTO, et al., Plaintiffs, v. KYLE McCARRELL AND DANTE FARIAS,
dba Primal Concepts, Defendants, Civil Action No. H-11-4226, (S.D.
Tex.), withdrew their class action allegations and stated that the
parties were attempting to settle.  The plaintiffs also stated
that they would provide the court with a status update within two
weeks.

District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal directed the parties to file a
written status report on the status of settlement negotiations and
of the efforts by defendant Primal Concepts to secure legal
representation, now that the case is proceeding only as an
individual claim.

A copy of the District Court's May 10, 2013 Order is available at
http://is.gd/MevaQSfrom Leagle.com.


RICHMOND SCHOOL: Settles Class Action for $5 Million
----------------------------------------------------
Rachel DePompa, writing for WWBT, reports that a proposed
$5 million settlement is in the works for a class action lawsuit
against a "for-profit" college in Henrico County.

The court is looking for people who went to the Richmond School of
Health and Technology between 2004 and February of this year.  You
may be able to join the multi-million dollar lawsuit started by
several former students.

The students went to the school to become surgical technicians,
medical assistants, and billing encoders.  These students say they
left RSHT without any preparation for certification or licensing
tests.

"If you go to the store and you buy something that's not good,
what do you do? You take it back and get a refund.  I can't take
my degree back and get a refund," said La-Deva Dabney.

Ms. Dabney signed on to the suit last summer after our stories
first aired.  She and seven other plaintiffs, like Amanda Smith,
make similar claims.

The students say the school -- which has a campus at Willow Lawn
in Henrico and another in Chester -- encourages students to take
out large loans for an education the schools knows is inadequate.

If the suit is accepted by a judge, Amanda would get back her
$33,000 in loans and fees.  Ms. Dabney would receive at least
$25,000.

If you went to the school, you can still sign on to the suit -
but, under the proposal right now, you'd only get a maximum of
about $1,000.  Call 1-866-897-8900 to find out if you qualify.

WWBT reached out to the school and are still waiting for attorneys
to send us a statement.  In the past, RSHT has vehemently denied
the allegations in the suit.


SERVIER LABS: On Trial Over Suspected Weight Loss Drug Deaths
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that the makers of a diabetes and
weight loss drug suspected in the deaths of hundreds of people
went on trial on May 21, facing charges they misled the public
about the product's safety.

But after years of delays in one of France's biggest recent health
scandals, the proceedings could still be pushed back further.

Between 1976 and 2009, around 5 million people took Mediator,
which was used to treat weight problems among diabetics and also
marketed more widely.  The European Medicines Agency pulled
Mediator from shelves when it found that its active ingredient,
benfluorex, could lead to a dangerous thickening of heart valves.

French health officials have said the drug may be linked 500
deaths; other studies have put the figure several times higher.
Others who took the drug have suffered health problems.

Servier Laboratories, which sold Mediator, and its founder Jacques
Servier face charges of "aggravated deception" in a trial that
opened in Nanterre, outside Paris.

The 91-year-old Servier was present as proceedings began,
slouching in his chair with his arms crossed.

Solange Roine, who once took Mediator, said she was glad that
Mr. Servier was there to answer the charges.

"I hope he will confess at least," she said as she entered the
court room.  She wanted him to address "all the victims, because I
am not the only one and some are not here anymore to talk about
it."

But Mr. Servier left after two hours, after his lawyer asked for
permission from the court, without saying much beyond confirming
his name.

The day was filled with arguments over whether the trial should go
forward or wait for the results of a separate investigation being
carried out by a Paris judge.

Lawyers for Mr. Servier and the company argued that it was unfair
that their clients face two trials on the same facts.

In addition to fraud charges, the investigation in Paris is also
looking into manslaughter charges, and some victims would prefer
to wait for those more thorough -- and serious -- proceedings to
play out.

But other victims contend that Mr. Servier and his company are
just using delaying tactics.  Their lawyers argued on May 21 that
the Nanterre trial was completely separate from the Paris
investigation because it concerned their cases.  The Paris
investigation, they contend, is broader.

A trial could also help some victims move forward their claims for
financial compensation.


SKECHERS USA: Settles Class Action Over Toning Shoes for $40MM
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a federal judge approved a
$40 million class-action settlement on May 13 between Skechers USA
Inc. and consumers who bought toning shoes after ads made
unfounded claims that the footwear would help people lose weight
and strengthen muscles.

U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell in Louisville approved the
deal, which covers more than 520,000 claims.  About 1,000 people
eligible for coverage by the settlement opted not to take part.

Those with approved claims will be able to get a maximum repayment
for their purchase -- up to $80 per pair of Shape-Ups; $84 per
pair of Resistance Runner shoes; up to $54 per pair of Podded Sole
Shoes; and $40 per pair of Tone-Ups.

Judge Russell also awarded $5 million for the attorneys in the
case to split.  Judge Russell ordered that the money cannot come
from the $40 million settlement fund set aside for consumers.

Two people that served as the lead plaintiffs in the case will
receive payments of $2,500 each.

Judge Russell considered multiple factors in deciding to approve
the settlement and found it provides just compensation to the
plaintiffs.

"Accordingly, the court finds that the proposed settlement is
fair, reasonable and adequate," Judge Russell wrote.

The approval comes a year after Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based
Skechers reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission over the
ads.  The settlement covers more than 70 lawsuits from across the
country.  The lawsuits were consolidated in federal court in
Louisville.  Skechers denied the allegations but said it settled
to avoid long litigation.

The settlement grew out of a series of ads Skechers aired
featuring celebrity endorsers such as Kim Kardashian and Brooke
Burke, with claims that the shoes could help people lose weight
and strengthen their butt, leg and stomach muscles.

Skechers billed its Shape-ups as a fitness tool designed to
promote weight loss and tone muscles with the shoe's curved
"rocker" or rolling bottom -- saying it provides natural
instability and causes the consumer to "use more energy with every
step."  Shape-ups cost about $100 and are sold at retailers
nationwide.

Ads for the Resistance Runner shoes claimed people who wear them
could increase "muscle activation" by up to 85 percent for
posture-related muscles and 71 percent for one of the muscles in
the buttocks.

Eleven people filed objections to the settlement, ranging from
people seeking the full purchase price of their shoes in return to
one person saying the settlement would preclude him from seeking
damages on his own.

The judge rejected those arguments.

Should claims not consume the entire $40 million settlement,
Russell ordered the remaining money to go to the Federal Trade
Commission.

A settlement with the FTC bars Skechers from running the ads in
the future.

The agency settled similar charges with Reebok last year over its
EasyTone walking shoes and RunTone running shoes.  That $25
million agreement also provided customer refunds.


STARBUCKS CORP: Settles Wage Class Action for $3 Million
--------------------------------------------------------
Dan Prochilo, writing for Law360, reports that Starbucks Corp.
agreed to pay $3 million to resolve a class action filed by
workers in California alleging the company denied them required
meal breaks and issued inaccurate wage statements, according to
documents filed in California federal court on May 10.

The agreement would settle a five-year-old suit against the
company from workers who alleged that, while company policy
officially permitted them to take meal breaks, they were
effectively denied off-duty breaks because the company's
coffeehouses were always busy and understaffed.


TELSTRA COUNTRYWIDE: 50 Local Businesses to Join Fire Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC News reports that a Warrnambool-based law firm has announced a
class action against Telstra over the exchange fire that caused a
telecommunications blackout in south-west Victoria last November.

Maddens Lawyers says about 65,000 people lost phone and internet
services and the economy lost up to AUD27 million as a result.

Lawyer Brendan Pendergast says the compensation offered by Telstra
is inadequate and the class action will seek to recover the losses
suffered by local businesses.

"We've got in excess of 50 local businesses registered with us and
then we've got the ongoing dialogue with local accountants
throughout the region and then scores and scores of casual
enquiries," he said.

"I'm quite confident now we've got the class action commenced
there'll be hundreds of businesses come on board."

However, Telstra denies claims it is not providing adequate
compensation to businesses affected by the exchange fire.

Bill Mundy of Telstra Countrywide says it has been giving people
their compensation claims in full, if they have provided the right
information.

"On average, where customers have responded to our compensation
process with the appropriate information and have been able to do
that thoroughly, we've been able to pay their claims without
question," he said.

"We're certainly asking for them to identify the lost profit and
the expense that they may have incurred as a result of trying to
work through the outage and where they're able to do that we're
certainly paying the compensation appropriately."

According The Standard's Clare Quirk, Mr. Pendergast referred to a
study into the outage which found the economic impact on the
region was between AUD13 million and AUD27 million.  He said
compensation being offered by Telstra was just a fraction of the
gross impact on the region.

"The compensation scheme that businesses are being presented with
as a means to soothe their losses is nothing like adequate," he
said.

He said customers who feared they had run their race by accessing
funds via the Telstra compensation scheme could still join the
class action.

"Our advice is the release that customers have been required to
sign may not be binding; businesses concerned about their losses
would be well-advised to seek further legal advice -- the cost for
which is also recoverable," he said.

An RMIT study has identified that around 65,000 landline and
16,500 ADSL services across south-west Victoria were impacted by
the November 22 exchange blaze.  This is in addition to the mobile
phone, broadband, ATM and EFTPOS services that were rendered
useless by the outage.  Mr. Pendergast said the next step would be
to identify the lead plaintiffs and then issue the proceedings.


TOYOTA MOTOR: Judge Set to Decide on Settlement Next Month
----------------------------------------------------------
David Shepardson, writing for The Detroit News, reports that a
federal judge will decide next month whether to grant final
approval to a class-action settlement covering as many as 22
million current and former Toyota owners over sudden acceleration
claims valued at as much as $1.63 billion.

The settlement is "a landmark, if not a record, settlement in
automobile defects class action litigation in the United States,"
said Steve Berman, a lawyer for the owners, in a recent court
filing.

Preliminary notices have been sent to 22.6 million current and
former Toyota owners that were identified through R.L. Polk & Co.
data.

Some safety advocates are objecting to a plan to spend $30 million
on an automobile safety research and education fund.

The settlement includes $14.2 million for a driver education media
campaign, $15 million for research into active safety features and
$800,000 for a consumer study on defense driving and proper use of
vehicle safety systems.

Toyota spokeswoman Celeste Migliore defended the agreement.

"This agreement is structured in ways that we believe provide real
value to our customers and demonstrate that they can count on
Toyota to stand behind our vehicles.  We believe that approval of
this settlement is in the best interests of all affected parties,"
she said.

Benjamin Kelley, a former U.S. auto safety and vice president at
the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said the settlement
"would pursue long-discredited approaches for changing the
behavior of drivers, rather than the safety performance levels of
vehicles 'rendered unsafe.'"

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that electronic defects were to
blame for some of the incidents of sudden acceleration.  Toyota
executives point to a report by the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration and NASA released in 2011 that found no
evidence of electronic failures.

Mr. Kelley argues that "somehow 'educating' drivers will solve the
problems brought on by Toyota's misbehavior. This is a dangerous
and dishonest assumption."

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety,
argued it is "far better to cure unintended acceleration rather
than targeting the symptoms of unintended acceleration."  He wants
the research program focused on "underlying issues of failures in
electronic systems and controls in modern research."

But Mr. Berman said the $30 million fund "will significantly
advance vehicle and driver safety" and will fund research at five
universities, including the University of Michigan.

The U-M Transportation Research Institute will conduct a three-
year project to help drivers avoid crashes and "provide new
knowledge, models, and tools to enable improved designs of
automotive crash avoidance systems and more effective deployment
strategies."

Any cash not claimed by Toyota owners will be used for additional
auto safety research by the five schools.

Mr. Berman said the driver education campaign will be guided by
the $800,000 study that will ask drivers about unintended
acceleration.  U.S. District Judge James Selna will hold a June 14
"fairness hearing" in California on the settlement.  It doesn't
cover wrongful death lawsuits that are pending against Toyota.

About 9 million owners are eligible for payments that will range
from $37.50 to $125.

The settlement also includes $200 million in lawyers fees that
Toyota will pay to the owners and $27 million in costs.


UNITED STATES: Disability Claims Settlement Gets Initial Okay
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Dye, writing for Reuters, reports that a federal judge in
Brooklyn on May 3 gave preliminary approval to a proposed
settlement in a lawsuit that alleges five administrative law
judges displayed hostility and bias toward disability benefit
claimants.

U.S. District Judge Carol Amon also conditionally certified a
class of potentially thousands of individuals whose Social
Security disability insurance claims were fully or partially
rejected by one of the five administrative law judges named in the
2011 lawsuit.

A fairness hearing on the settlement has been set in Brooklyn
federal court for July 24.

The complaint was brought in 2001 against Social Security
Administrator Michael Astrue by eight disabled individuals whose
disability benefit claims were rejected by one of the five ALJs --
David Nisnewitz, Marilyn Hoppenfeld, Seymour Fier, Michael Cofresi
and Hazel Strauss.  They were all in the Queens Office of
Disability Adjudication and Review, which is part of the Social
Security Administration.

The complaint said that the ALJs created a "brick wall of bias"
and accused them of systematically ignoring medical evidence,
failing to adhere to legal standards and depriving claimants of
fair hearings.

While the proposed settlement would allow the ALJs to keep their
jobs, an estimated 4,000 individuals whose benefit claims were
fully or partially rejected by one of the five ALJs since 2008
would be entitled to new hearings before different ALJs in Queens,
according to court filings.

The terms of the proposed settlement would also require the five
ALJs to be retrained and their decisions to be monitored for signs
of misconduct or legal error.

A lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Jim Walden of Gibson Dunn &
Crutcher, called the ruling "another important step forward for
thousands of disabled New Yorkers, who have waited far too long
for justice and disability benefits."

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in the Eastern District
of New York, which represented the Social Security Administration
in the case, declined to comment.

The case is Padro v. Astrue, U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York, No. 11-1788.

For the plaintiffs: Jim Walden of Gibson Crutcher & Dunn and
Emilia Sicilia and Ian Feldman of the Urban Justice Center.

For Social Security: Carlotta Wells of the U.S. Department of
Justice, Civil Division, and Gail Matthews of the U.S. Attorney's
office for the Eastern District of New York.


VITAMIN SHOPPE: Has Until May 29 to Respond to Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Joan Verdon, writing for NorthJersey.com, reports that executives
at North Bergen-based retailer Vitamin Shoppe Inc. have been
accused in a class-action lawsuit of issuing false statements
regarding the company's operations, and of profiting by selling
their stock at inflated prices.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Newark by law firms
in Saddle Brook and Melville, N.Y., was triggered by a drop in
Vitamin Shoppe's stock price that began on Feb. 25, the day the
company reported fourth-quarter and full-year financial results
for 2012 that were below analysts' estimates.

Within two days of the earnings release, some 5 million shares of
the company's stock had been traded and the stock price had fallen
from $64.85 to $51.44, a decline of about 20 percent.  The
company's stock closed at $45.94 on May 13 in New York Stock
Exchange trading, down close to 30 percent since Feb. 25.

The law firms Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP of Saddle
Brook and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP of Melville, and more
than half a dozen other firms, are seeking plaintiffs who bought
Vitamin Shoppe stock between May 8, 2012, and Feb. 25 of this year
to join the class action.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a Michigan man, alleges that
company executives "issued materially false and misleading
statements regarding the company's operations, business trends and
same-store sales trends."

The complaint alleges that Vitamin Shoppe executives failed to
disclose that sales were being hurt by competition from online
retailers and by discounting at competitor GNC and that sales at
stores open at least a year (same-store sales) were trending down.
The suit also alleges that three of the company's top executives
-- Chief Executive Officer Anthony Truesdale, Executive Chairman
of the Board Richard Markee and President and Chief Operating
Officer Michael Archbold -- benefited from those misleading
statements by being able to sell $30.8 million of Vitamin Shoppe
stock at inflated prices.

Vitamin Shoppe has until May 29 to reply to the complaint,
according to summons.  A spokeswoman for the company declined to
comment on the suit, saying the Vitamin Shoppe does not comment on
pending litigation.


* Australia Securities Class Suits Exceed $480MM in 2012
--------------------------------------------------------
According to The Bull Premium, litigation funders typically
receive around 30 per cent of the settlement for a class action
and have their legal bills reimbursed by the losing side.  High
returns are needed because class actions are an all-or-nothing
pursuit for funders if they go to trial.

King & Wood Mallesons' latest Class Actions in Australia report
said securities class actions exceeded $480 million in 2012, a
booming year for litigation funding that saw a record 13 class-
action settlements and the prominent $200-million Centro
settlement.

Centro's settlement and the bank-fees class action, the largest
collective legal action in Australia in which 12 banks are being
sued for charging customers unfair fees, has greatly boosted the
profile of litigation funding and sparked complaints from
companies and boards that dislike the practice.

Litigation-funding critics believe the industry's slice of case
settlements is too high and that super-normal profits will
encourage more funders to set up in Australia and pursue cases
with less merit in the hope of early settlement.  Critics fear
this country, like the US, will become excessively litigious and
that the only long-term winners will be law firms and litigation
funders.

More competition and the tighter regulation are significant risks
for IMF and other litigation funders.  But IMF has a dominant
industry position and regulatory changes so far have been fewer
than expected. IMF has a stellar position in an industry with
strong growth prospects.

Moreover, litigation funding is deceptively complex to do well and
has higher barriers to entry than is widely known.  It takes great
skill to pick class actions to bankroll, for a few bad verdicts
can leave a litigation funder with millions in legal costs.  IMF's
case-selection record over a long period is exemplary.

Like Slater & Gordon, IMF has good potential to expand offshore --
in its case, the United States -- and it is also due for a pause
after strong share-price gains this year.

Of the two, Slater & Gordon has the lower risk profile and is
better suited to portfolio investors who want to increase their
allocation to small and mid-cap stocks.  IMF arguably offers the
better value, particularly with two of Australia's biggest class
actions -- the bank-fees case and an IMF-led class action against
ratings agency Standard & Poor's -- offering a potential earnings
boost in the next few years.


* Hip Implant Firms May Use FDA Review Process to Avoid Liability
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Baynes, writing for Reuters, reports that the leading
plaintiff trial lawyers association has asked the Food and Drug
Administration to prevent the manufacturers of controversial all-
metal hip implants from using a proposed change in the device-
approval process to shield the companies from liability.

The implants were developed to be more durable than those made
from a plastic socket and ceramic or metal ball, but studies have
shown that the all-metal versions can shed debris, potentially
damaging bone and soft tissue.  Several makers have been inundated
with lawsuits claiming injuries, and a number of the all-metal
implants have been recalled.

In response, the FDA in January issued a proposed rule that would
require the manufacturers to go through a more extensive safety
review process in order to continue selling the devices or to
bring new ones to market.

That would be a change from the current process, where
manufacturers obtain approval by showing that their all-metal
designs are similar enough to those on the market that they don't
have to submit clinical studies.

In a letter submitted to the FDA on April 18, the American
Association for Justice, a plaintiff lawyers' industry group, said
it supported the agency's switch to the more intensive approval
process for metal-on-metal hips.

However, the group expressed concern that when a device is
approved through the alternative process, known as "premarket
approval," consumers could lose the ability to sue the device
maker in court over alleged injuries.

"It would be absolutely unfair . . . if these claims all of a
sudden were thrown into jeopardy solely because the government
determined that the products needed additional safety testing
before being marketed to consumers again," wrote Mary Alice
McLarty, the president of the American Association for Justice, in
the letter to the FDA.

The association said it was worried that manufacturers would be
able to use to their advantage a 2008 Supreme Court case, Riegel
v. Medtronic, which found that most personal injury claims against
a device approved through the rigorous premarket approval process
are barred by federal law.

                      'Unanswered Questions'

The plaintiff lawyers' group cautioned in the letter that a
manufacturer could obtain premarket approval for an existing all-
metal hip implant, and then use that to shield itself from
liability -- even for alleged injuries that occurred before the
product met the heightened safety test.

The organization urged the FDA to include language in its final
rule that would prevent manufacturers from attempting to use
premarket approval retroactively to defeat personal injury claims
that originated before the process changes.

Peter Goss, a lawyer at Blackwell Burke who represents medical
device makers in product liability suits, said manufacturers could
argue that if a product already on the market obtains heightened
FDA clearance, then it has been proven safe, and past claims
should be pre-empted.

"But that's going to be a very difficult argument to make from a
legal standpoint, just because of the timing," Mr. Goss said.

Erica Jefferson, a spokeswoman for the FDA, declined to comment on
the association's request or whether the agency would prevent
manufacturers from using the new approval process to thwart past
legal claims.  She said the agency plans to finalize the proposed
order within a year, at which point the manufacturers would have
90 days to submit clinical data showing their safety and
effectiveness.

Spokeswomen for Johnson & Johnson unit DePuy and Wright Medical
Group, both of which continue to make all-metal hip implants,
declined to comment on whether they would undertake the expensive
premarket approval process or simply stop selling the products.

Julie Tracy, the spokeswoman for Wright Medical Group, said sales
of the all-metal products account for less than 0.5 percent of
Wright's annual revenues.

Even if the plaintiffs' group does persuade the FDA to add
language preventing manufacturers from using the rule change as a
shield to deflect past legal claims, that language may not carry
much legal weight, said Jeffrey Shapiro, a lawyer at Hyman Phelps
& McNamara who represents medical device companies before the FDA.

"I don't know that the courts would defer to that" in deciding
whether past claims are pre-empted, Mr. Shapiro said.  "There are
a lot of unanswered questions here."


* Lawyers Can Seek Legal Fees in Late-Filed Vaccine Claims
----------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers who file claims on behalf of clients alleging injury from
a vaccine may recover their legal fees even if the claim is
dismissed as untimely, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on May 20.

The high court found Dr. Melissa Cloer, who says she developed
multiple sclerosis from three hepatitis-B vaccinations, can seek
attorneys' fees under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation
Program, even though she filed her claims too late to recover
payment for her alleged injuries.

Congress established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation
Program in 1986 in an effort to provide a cost-effective process
for resolving vaccine-injury claims outside of tort litigation and
to ensure a stable market supply of vaccines.  Successful claims
are paid out of a federal trust fund that comes from a tax levied
on every dose of vaccine.

After receiving three Hepatitis-B vaccinations between 1996 and
1997, Dr. Cloer developed a tingling and numbness in one arm.  The
numbness gradually spread, and she was diagnosed with multiple
sclerosis in 2003.  The next year, Dr. Cloer learned about a link
between the vaccine and multiple sclerosis, leading her to file a
claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in 2005.

                        Too Long A Wait

The chief special master of the court dismissed Dr. Cloer's
petition, finding that she had waited too long to file her claim
since her first symptoms appeared in 1997.  The National Childhood
Vaccine Injury Act, which created the program, requires petitions
to be filed within 36 months of the initial symptoms.

Dr. Cloer appealed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which
reversed the chief special master, concluding that the 36-month
clock only started running when the medical community at large
recognized a link between the vaccine and the injury.  But hearing
the case en banc, the full Federal Circuit disagreed, saying the
window started with the onset of the symptom.

Even though Dr. Cloer missed the deadline, she asked the Federal
Circuit to allow her to seek $119,000 from the program to cover
her lawyers' fees.  The Federal Circuit found that Dr. Cloer could
recover the fees, provided her claim was brought in good faith and
with a reasonable basis, and the Supreme Court agreed.

"If Congress had intended to limit fee awards to timely petitions,
it could easily have done so," Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for
the court.  Instead, the law allows courts to award attorneys'
fees for unsuccessful petitions "brought in good faith and for
which there was a reasonable basis," she wrote.

In opposing Dr. Cloer's request for fees, the Justice Department
argued that allowing fees for unsuccessful claims would trigger a
flood of untimely lawsuits, as lawyers would take on cases after
the expiration of the 36-month window in the hope of recovering
fees.  But the high court found the government's fear
"exaggerated."

                   Sotomayor: Faith in Attorneys

"This argument is premised on the assumption that in the pursuit
of fees, attorneys will choose to bring claims lacking good faith
or a reasonable basis in derogation of their ethical duties.
There is no basis for such an assumption," Judge Sotomayor wrote.

Six other justices joined Sotomayor's opinion.  Justices Antonin
Scalia and Clarence Thomas signed on to most of the opinion, but
declined to join one section, which found that the government's
position contradicted one goal of the program -- to encourage
lawyers to represent clients who may have difficulty
distinguishing a vaccine-related injury from an unrelated ailment.

Robert Fishman, who represented Cloer, said the decision will make
it easier for people injured by vaccines to find a lawyer to
represent them and is unlikely to trigger a flood of frivolous
claims to be filed under the vaccine act.

"I wouldn't really expect to see much more than a marginal
increase," he said.

Roughly 300 to 400 petitions are filed each year, according to
data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Those
numbers spiked above 2,500 in 2003, with media attention on the
link between vaccines and autism.  Those autism petitions have
been rejected, because the alleged link was unsubstantiated, said
Fishman.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request
for comment.

The case is Sebelius v. Cloer, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-236.

For Sebelius: Assistant to the Solicitor General Benjamin Horwich.

For Cloer: Robert Fishman of Ridley McGreevy & Winocur; Mari Bush
of Kaye and Bush.


* Medical Malpractice Payouts Only 0.05% of U.S. Healthcare Costs
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Baynes, writing for Reuters, reports that large medical
malpractice payouts by doctors account for only a fraction of the
nation's healthcare expenditures, according to a recent study by a
group of researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine.

Using the National Practitioner Data Bank, a government database
that lists all paid medical malpractice claims, the Hopkins'
researchers looked at all awards over $1 million, so-called
"catastrophic" payouts by U.S. doctors, between 2004 and 2010.

Their findings, published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality,
showed that catastrophic payouts tended to attract the most
attention from the public, media and tort reform advocates, but
that they accounted for an insignificant percentage of healthcare
expenditures.  The high payouts added up to roughly $1.4 billion a
year, or .05 percent of U.S. healthcare expenditures, the study
found.

"The real problem is that far too many tests and procedures are
being performed in the name of defensive medicine, as physicians
fear they could be sued if they don't order them," said Marty
Makary, one of the researchers on the study and an associate
professor of surgery and health policy at Johns Hopkins.
Mr. Makary said that the costs of unnecessary services can run
upwards of $60 billion a year.

Instead of trying to impose medical malpractice caps, which have
only a "minimal impact" on overall healthcare expenditures, tort
reform efforts should focus on defining the so-called "standard of
care" that doctors are measured against in medical malpractice
cases, Mr. Makary said.  That standard should focus less on what
is the practice of the average doctor and rather on what is
reasonable.

                     'Very Vague' Standard

Christopher Robinette, a tort law professor at Widener Law School,
said the legal standard of care in medical malpractice cases is
"very vague" about whether a doctor acted reasonably.

"It leaves a lot of room for interpretation, so doctors may feel
driven to engage in tests that may not be required," he said.  The
uncertainty can also lead to drawn-out legal battles, with the
average medical malpractice case lasting from four to six years.

Tort reform efforts generally have not focused on the doctor's
standard of care, said Mr. Robinette.  Some states, such as
Georgia, have passed legislation requiring plaintiffs in
malpractice cases against emergency room physicians to prove by
"clear and convincing evidence" that the doctor was grossly
negligent.

In addition to the cost findings, the study also reported that
many of the high payouts involved injuries to infants and
newborns.  The odds of a large award also increase if a patient
suffers quadriplegia, brain damage or needs lifelong care, or when
the claim results from a problem with anesthesia, the researchers
found.

A physicians' number of years in practice did not affect the
likelihood of a catastrophic payment, the study found.  It wasn't
the new or the senior doctors but rather the ones in between who
tended to see the most patients that had the most high payouts,
said Mr. Makary.

The finding that liability was not tied to length of experience
could be fodder for tort reform proponents, said Mr. Robinette, as
evidence that the system may be more random than rational.


* Plaintiffs in Patent MDLs Oppose Consolidation Motions
--------------------------------------------------------
Alison Frankel, writing for Thomson Reuters, reports that one of
the key anti-troll elements of the America Invents Act of 2011 was
the patent reform law's restrictions on joinder.  After September
2011, patent owners could not file complaints that named multiple,
otherwise unrelated defendants who happened to make use of the
same IP.  The idea was to make it more expensive for plaintiffs to
bring and litigate patent suits, to prevent forum shopping and to
limit trolls' leverage.  Conventional wisdom was that the new
law's joinder restrictions were going to lead to an uptick in
requests for the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to
consolidate cases for pretrial proceedings.  If plaintiffs could
persuade the JPMDL to consolidate cases for pretrial proceedings -
especially if they could direct consolidated litigation to
sympathetic judges -- they could take some of the sting out of
joinder restrictions.

As usual, reality is more complicated.  Prompted by a squib about
a patent MDL at the Gibbons blog IP Law Alert, Thomson Reuters'
Ms. Frankel went to the JPMDL's site to see if, in fact,
plaintiffs have flocked to the panel since patent reform. Here's
what she found.  There are 19 active MDLs categorized as patent
matters.  Three of them are Hatch-Waxman litigation between brand
and generic drugmakers, so I eliminated them from additional
consideration.  Of the remaining 16 consolidated proceedings, five
preceded the effective date of the patent reform law.  So in the
15 months since AIA, the MDL panel has consolidated 11 patent
matters.  That seems to be a higher rate for consolidating patent
litigation than we saw before patent reform, but the JPMDL still
considers far more product liability, consumer and antitrust
matters than patent litigation.

And interestingly, it was defendants who moved for pretrial
consolidation in seven of the 11 patent MDLs.  Plaintiffs opposed
the consolidation motions in all of those cases.  Plaintiffs,
meanwhile, brought four of the transfer motions, and defendants
opposed all of them.  In two of the four plaintiffs' MDL attempts,
patent holders requested that their cases be consolidated in the
Eastern District of Texas, widely reckoned to be a plaintiff-
friendly jurisdiction (otherwise known as a troll haven). The
JPMDL agreed to consolidate both litigations but sent the matters
to judges in other districts.  The one patent MDL transferred to a
judge in the Eastern District of Texas, In re Parallel Networks,
was consolidated on a motion by defendants that was opposed by the
plaintiff.

The unifying theme of these patent MDLs, in other words, is that
there isn't one, at least not yet.  A few patent holders seem to
believe they're better off if the JPMDL consolidates their cases,
especially in their favored district, but there hasn't exactly
been a rush to the panel by patent plaintiffs.  Defendants are
almost twice as likely as their opponents to request MDL
consolidation, but when plaintiffs suggest it they're opposed.
(That could be, of course, because defendants don't like the venue
recommended by the plaintiffs.) The MDL panel, meanwhile, seems
inclined to consolidate patent cases in the post-AIA reform era,
but not if there's opposition from both plaintiffs and some
defendants, as in the ArrivalStar matter in 2011.  And don't
expect the panel simply to rubber-stamp your suggestion for a
presiding judge.

Defense lawyer Robert Stier of Pierce Atwood argued for
consolidation in one of the two patent MDLs established last
month.  His clients -- banks sued for allegedly infringing a
patent that's part of ATM systems -- successfully moved for
transfer to U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson of Delaware, who has
previously found a related patent asserted by the same plaintiff
to be invalid. (As you might expect in those circumstances, the
patent holder opposed the MDL.) Mr. Stier told me that pretrial
MDL consolidation is different from the rampant joinder eliminated
by the patent reform law.  For one thing, plaintiffs don't control
the venue in MDL proceedings.  The MDL panel picks a presiding
judge, after both sides have had a say.  And MDLs are only
consolidated for pretrial proceedings so plaintiffs don't have the
leverage they used to have when they'd bring multidefendant cases
before East Texas judges known for speeding up discovery and
rushing cases to trial before sympathetic juries.

By contrast, Mr. Stier said, the MDL process brings order to the
process of claims construction by putting that crucial pretrial
determination before a single judge.  That way, plaintiffs lose
the chance to pick off defendants who don't want to expend the
cost of litigation.  "The nuisance value of the cases goes down,"
Mr. Stier said.

Plaintiffs' lawyer Marc Fenster of Russ August & Kabat, who
represents IP owners in the newly ordered NeuroGrafix patent MDL,
told me that patent holders haven't made extensive use of the MDL
process because they've figured out other ways to litigate groups
of cases before a single judge. (The NeuroGrafix plaintiffs, for
the record, opposed defendants' MDL motion, but mostly,
Mr. Fenster told me, because the patent holders didn't want their
cases to be transferred to the judge requested by defendants.)
MDLs only come into play when cases are being litigated in more
than one federal district.  So some plaintiffs have incorporated
in Delaware and sued there, where lots of patent defendants are
also incorporated.  The Delaware courts, Mr. Fenster said, make a
practice of assigning related patent cases to the same judge, so,
effectively, patent plaintiffs enjoy the benefit of litigating in
a single proceeding.

Indeed, another client of Mr. Fenster's firm, Parallel Iron,
recently beat back an attempt by the defendant EMC to move its
case from Delaware to Massachusetts, where EMC is headquartered.
Parallel Iron is a non-practicing entity that sued more than a
dozen companies over the same patent it asserted against EMC.  All
of the cases are proceeding before U.S. District Judge Gregory
Sheet in Delaware.  And according to a transcript of a hearing on
April 25, that's where EMC's case will stay.  Even if Parallel's
motive in setting up shop in Delaware was a bit suspect, the judge
said, it doesn't promote efficiency to send one case to
Massachusetts and litigate 15 others in Delaware.

Patent plaintiffs -- particularly those whose business model is to
assert IP rights rather than make products -- are all about
streamlining the litigation process yet proceeding against as many
defendants as possible.  In the post-AIA era, that sometimes means
filing multiple complaints in jurisdictions such as East Texas and
Delaware.  And sometimes, Mr. Fenster said, it means asking for
consolidation through the MDL process.  "It's not universally pro-
defendant," he told me.  "I've seen plaintiffs use MDLs to
parallel the efficiency they used to achieve through joinder."


* Portable Heaters, Bicycle Forks Among Recalled Products
---------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a line of portable heaters that
can overheat and cause a fire are among recently recalled consumer
products.  Others include defective bicycle forks and riding lawn
mowers.

Here's a more detailed look:

PORTABLE HEATERS

DETAILS: Optimus Tower Quartz heaters.  The front section of the
top has the brand name Optimus, a power light, a caution light and
two dials. One dial turns the heater on or off and selects the
power of either 750 watts or 1500 watts.  The other control knob
selects the heat range between high and low.  The rear section of
the top has fire, high temperature, and shock warnings and
diagrams of the heater being used in 750 watt mode and 1500 watt
mode.  Model number "H-5232" is on a silver sticker on the bottom
of the heater below the words "Optimus" and "Quartz Heater." They
were sold at Family Dollar Stores from September 2012 through
December 2012.

WHY: They can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

INCIDENTS: 10 reports of overheating, including some reports of
temperature knobs melting.  The firm has not received reports of
injury, fire or property damage.

HOW MANY: About 19,640.

FOR MORE: Call Family Dollar Stores at 800-547-0359 or visit
www.familydollar.com, then click on Product Recalls in the Help
section at the bottom of the page.

BICYCLE FORKS

DETAILS: Surly Pugsley bicycle forks, made by Aprebic Industry Co.
Ltd., of Taiwan, a wholly-owned brand of Quality Bicycle Products
Inc.  The recall involves 100mm and 135mm bicycle forks made of
tubular chromoly steel.  The 100mm bicycle forks were sold
individually only.  They are black, have triple water bottle
mounts on each side, rack/fender mounts on the top and bottom and
have date code 2012 03 20 stamped on the steerer tube.  "Surly" is
printed on both legs of the fork.  "Pugsley" is printed on the
fork's packaging and on the frame of bikes with the recalled
forks.  The 135mm forks are black, yellow or red and are stamped
with date code 2012 06 19 on the steerer tube.  Model number
FK3175, FK3181 or FK0706 is printed on the packaging for forks
sold individually.  Surly Pugsley bicycle models FM3110-3114,
FM3175-79, BK3110-14 and BK3175-79 were sold with the recalled
forks as original equipment.  The bicycle's model number is
printed on the bicycle's packaging.  They were sold from May 2012
through February 2013.

WHY: The bicycle fork can bend above the disc brake mount, posing
a fall hazard to the rider.

INCIDENTS: One report of a fork bending above the disc brake
mount. No injuries have been reported.

HOW MANY: About 975.

FOR MORE: Call Surly Bikes at 877-946-9333 or visit
www.surlybikes.com and click on the Safety Recall button for more
information.

RIDING LAWN MOWERS

DETAILS: 2012 and 2013 Toro Z Master Commercial 2000 Series ZRT
riding mowers.  The mowers are red and black.  "Toro" and "2000
Series" are printed on the side and "Z Master Commercial" on the
front of the mowers.  When viewed from the operator's seat, the
model and serial numbers are on a metal plate located at the front
of the mower, below the seat, on the right-hand side.  The
following models and corresponding serial numbers are included in
this recall: model number 74141 with serial numbers ranging from
312000101 to 312000784 and 313000101 to 313000364; model number
74143 with serial numbers ranging from 312000101 to 312000881 and
313000101 to 313000432; and model number 74145 with serial numbers
ranging from 312000101 to 312001178 and 313000101 to 313000443.
They were sold at Toro dealers nationwide from January 2012
through April 2013.

WHY: The idler pulley can rub against the mower's fuel tank,
posing a fire hazard.

INCIDENTS: Six reports of incidents. No injuries have been
reported.

HOW MANY: About 3,700 in the U.S. and 60 in Canada.  About 2,600
units were previously recalled in the U.S. and 30 in Canada in
November 2012.

FOR MORE: Call Toro at 855-493-0090 or visit www.toro.com and
click on Product Recall Information on the bottom right-hand side
of the page for more information.

CONVECTION HEATERS

DETAILS: Touch Point portable baseboard convection heaters made by
Foshan Guanmei Electrical Co. with number model BBC-1500 and date
code 0611.  "Touch Point" can be found on the front of the product
and the model and date code can be found on a silver sticker on
the back side of the product.  The heaters were made in June 2011
and sold at Meijer stores from September 2011 through February
2013.

WHY: The heaters can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

INCIDENTS: Two reports of overheating, including one report of a
fire that resulted in minor property damage.  No injuries have
been reported.

HOW MANY: About 4,560.

FOR MORE: Call Meijer at 800-927-8699 or visit www.meijer.com and
click on Product Recalls under the Help section.

2013-05-10 20:15:41 GMT


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: CenterPoint Continues to Defend PI Lawsuits
------------------------------------------------------------
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., continues to defend itself against
lawsuits filed by individuals who claim injury due to exposure to
asbestos, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended March 31, 2013.

Some facilities owned by CenterPoint Energy contain or have
contained asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing
materials. CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries have been named,
along with numerous others, as a defendant in lawsuits filed by a
number of individuals who claim injury due to exposure to
asbestos. Some of the claimants have worked at locations owned by
subsidiaries of CenterPoint Energy, but most existing claims
relate to facilities previously owned by CenterPoint Energy's
subsidiaries. CenterPoint Energy anticipates that additional
claims like those received may be asserted in the future. In 2004
and early 2005, CenterPoint Energy sold its generating business,
to which most of these claims relate, to a company which is now an
affiliate of NRG. Under the terms of the arrangements regarding
separation of the generating business from CenterPoint Energy and
its sale of that business, ultimate financial responsibility for
uninsured losses from claims relating to the generating business
has been assumed by the NRG affiliate, but CenterPoint Energy has
agreed to continue to defend those claims to the extent they are
covered by insurance maintained by CenterPoint Energy, subject to
reimbursement of the costs of that defense by the NRG affiliate.
Although their ultimate outcome cannot be predicted at this time,
CenterPoint Energy intends to continue vigorously contesting
claims that it does not consider to have merit and, based on its
experience to date, does not expect these matters, either
individually or in the aggregate, to have a material adverse
effect on CenterPoint Energy's financial condition, results of
operations or cash flows.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is a public utility holding company whose
indirect wholly owned subsidiaries include CenterPoint Energy
Houston Electric, LLC (CenterPoint Houston), which engages in the
electric transmission and distribution business in a 5,000-square
mile area of the Texas Gulf Coast, which includes the city of
Houston, and CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. (CERC Corp. and,
together with its subsidiaries, CERC), which owns and operates
natural gas distribution systems in six states. Subsidiaries of
CERC Corp. own interstate natural gas pipelines and gas gathering
systems and provide ancillary services. The Company operates in
six business segments: Electric Transmission & Distribution,
Natural Gas Distribution, Competitive Natural Gas Sales and
Services, Interstate Pipelines, Field Services and Other
Operations. Effective November 1, 2011, CenterPoint Energy
Services, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the
Company, announced that it acquired Asgard Energy, LLC.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Midwest Generation Had 248 Fibro Cases
-------------------------------------------------------
Midwest Generation, LLC, had approximately 248 asbestos cases that
had not been settled and dismissed, 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.

Midwest Generation entered into a supplemental agreement with
Commonwealth Edison and Exelon Generation Company LLC on February
20, 2003 to resolve a dispute regarding interpretation of Midwest
Generation's reimbursement obligation for asbestos claims under
the environmental indemnities set forth in the Asset Sale
Agreement. Under this supplemental agreement, Midwest Generation
agreed to reimburse Commonwealth Edison and Exelon Generation for
50% of specific asbestos claims pending as of February 2003 and
related expenses less recovery of insurance costs and agreed to a
sharing arrangement for liabilities and expenses associated with
future asbestos-related claims as specified in the agreement. The
obligations under this agreement are not subject to a maximum
liability. The supplemental agreement had an initial five-year
term with an automatic renewal provision for subsequent one-year
terms (subject to the right of either party to terminate);
pursuant to the automatic renewal provision, the supplemental
agreement has been extended until February 2014. There were
approximately 248 cases for which Midwest Generation was
potentially liable that had not been settled and dismissed at
March 31, 2013. Midwest Generation had $53 million recorded in
LSTC at March 31, 2013 related to this contractual indemnity.

Midwest Generation, LLC sells wholesale electricity to markets in
the Midwest. The independent power producer has a generating
capacity of almost 5,480 MW, primarily from its six coal-fired
power plants in Illinois (5,172 MW); it also oversees the
operation of the Fisk and Waukegan on-site generating plants which
have 305 MW of capacity. Affiliate Edison Mission Marketing and
Trading acts as a conduit for Midwest Generation's wholesale
energy activities. Midwest Generation is a subsidiary of Edison
International unit Edison Mission Midwest Holdings Co. In 2010
regional transmission organization PJM Interconnection accounted
for 79% of the company's revenues.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Noble Corp. Continues to Defend 30 Lawsuits
------------------------------------------------------------
Noble Corporation continues to defend 30 asbestos-related
lawsuits, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended March 31, 2013.

The Company states: "We are from time to time a party to various
lawsuits that are incidental to our operations in which the
claimants seek an unspecified amount of monetary damages for
personal injury, including injuries purportedly resulting from
exposure to asbestos on drilling rigs and associated facilities.
At March 31, 2013, there were 30 asbestos related lawsuits in
which we are one of many defendants. These lawsuits have been
filed in the United States in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi
and Texas. We intend to vigorously defend against the litigation.
We do not believe the ultimate resolution of these matters will
have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results
of operations or cash flows."

Noble Corporation (Noble) is an offshore drilling contractor for
the oil and gas industry. The Company performs contract drilling
services with its fleet of 79 mobile offshore drilling units
globally. It also owns one floating production storage and
offloading unit (FPSO) located globally. As of December 31, 2012,
its fleet consisted of 14 semisubmersibles, 14 drillships, 49
jackups and two submersibles, including 11 units under
construction, including five drillships and six jackups. As of
February 7, 2013, approximately 85% of its fleet was located
outside the United States in areas, which included Mexico, Brazil,
the North Sea, the Mediterranean, West Africa, the Middle East,
India and Australia.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ashland & Unit Had 87,000 PI Claims at March 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ashland Inc. and its affiliate had 87,000 open claims alleging
personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos, according to the
Company's Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2013.

Ashland and Hercules, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ashland that
was acquired in 2009, have liabilities from claims alleging
personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos. To assist in
developing and annually updating independent reserve estimates for
future asbestos claims and related costs given various
assumptions, Ashland retained Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Associates,
Inc. (HR&A). The methodology used by HR&A to project future
asbestos costs is based largely on recent experience, including
claim-filing and settlement rates, disease mix, enacted
legislation, open claims and litigation defense. The claim
experience of Ashland and Hercules are separately compared to the
results of previously conducted third party epidemiological
studies estimating the number of people likely to develop
asbestos-related diseases. Those studies were undertaken in
connection with national analyses of the population expected to
have been exposed to asbestos. Using that information, HR&A
estimates a range of the number of future claims that may be
filed, as well as the related costs that may be incurred in
resolving those claims.

The claims alleging personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos
asserted against Ashland result primarily from indemnification
obligations undertaken in 1990 in connection with the sale of
Riley Stoker Corporation, a former subsidiary. The amount and
timing of settlements and number of open claims can fluctuate
significantly from period to period.

For the six months ended March 31, 2013, there were 66,000 open
claims for Ashland.

From the range of estimates, Ashland records the amount it
believes to be the best estimate of future payments for litigation
defense and claim settlement costs, which generally approximates
the mid-point of the estimated range of exposure from model
results. Ashland reviews this estimate and related assumptions
quarterly and annually updates the results of a non-inflated, non-
discounted approximate 50-year model developed with the assistance
of HR&A. During the most recent annual update of this estimate,
completed during the June 2012 quarter, it was determined that the
liability for asbestos claims should be increased by $11 million.
Total reserves for asbestos claims were $505 million at March 31,
2013 compared to $522 million at September 30, 2012.

Ashland has insurance coverage for most of the litigation defense
and claim settlement costs incurred in connection with its
asbestos claims, and coverage-in-place agreements exist with the
insurance companies that provide most of the coverage currently
being accessed. As a result, increases in the asbestos reserve
have been largely offset by probable insurance recoveries. The
amounts not recoverable generally are due from insurers that are
insolvent, rather than as a result of uninsured claims or the
exhaustion of Ashland's insurance coverage.

For the Ashland asbestos-related obligations, Ashland has
estimated the value of probable insurance recoveries associated
with its asbestos reserve based on management's interpretations
and estimates surrounding the available or applicable insurance
coverage, including an assumption that all solvent insurance
carriers remain solvent. Approximately 69% of the estimated
receivables from insurance companies are expected to be due from
domestic insurers. Of the insurance companies rated by A. M. Best,
all have a credit rating of B+ or higher as of March 31, 2013. The
remainder of the insurance receivable is due from London insurance
companies, which generally have lower credit quality ratings, and
from Underwriters at Lloyd's, whose insurance policy obligations
have been transferred to a Berkshire Hathaway entity. Ashland
discounts this piece of the receivable based upon the projected
timing of the receipt of cash from those insurers unless likely
settlement amounts can be determined.

During the December 2011 quarter, Ashland received $7 million in
cash after reaching a settlement with certain insolvent London
market insurance companies. The cash received from this settlement
during the prior period was recognized as an after-tax gain of $6
million within discontinued operations of the Statements of
Consolidated Comprehensive Income since Ashland's policy is to not
record asbestos receivables for any carriers that are insolvent.

In October 2012, Ashland initiated arbitration proceedings against
Underwriters at Lloyd's and certain Chartis (AIG member) companies
seeking to enforce these insurers' contractual obligations to
provide indemnity for asbestos liabilities and defense costs under
existing coverage-in-place agreements. In addition, Ashland has
initiated a lawsuit in Kentucky state court against certain
Berkshire Hathaway entities (National Indemnity Company and
Resolute Management Inc.) on grounds that these Berkshire entities
have wrongfully interfered with Underwriters' and Chartis'
performance of their respective contractual obligations to provide
asbestos coverage by directing the insurers to reduce and delay
certain claim payments. While Ashland anticipates its position
will be supported by the proceedings, an adverse resolution of
these proceedings could have a significant effect on the timing of
loss reimbursement and the amount of Ashland's recorded insurance
receivables from these insurers.

At March 31, 2013, Ashland's receivable for recoveries of
litigation defense and claim settlement costs from insurers
amounted to $416 million, of which $68 million relates to costs
previously paid. Receivables from insurers amounted to $423
million at September 30, 2012. During the June 2012 quarter, the
annual update of the model used for purposes of valuing the
asbestos reserve, and its impact on valuation of future recoveries
from insurers, was completed. This model update resulted in an
additional $19 million increase in the receivable for probable
insurance recoveries.

Hercules has liabilities from claims alleging personal injury
caused by exposure to asbestos. Such claims typically arise from
alleged exposure to asbestos fibers from resin encapsulated pipe
and tank products which were sold by one of Hercules' former
subsidiaries to a limited industrial market. The amount and timing
of settlements and number of open claims can fluctuate
significantly from period to period.

For the six months ended March 31, 2013, there were 21,000 open
claims for Hercules.

From the range of estimates, Ashland records the amount it
believes to be the best estimate of future payments for litigation
defense and claim settlement costs, which generally approximates
the mid-point of the estimated range of exposure from model
results. Ashland reviews this estimate and related assumptions
quarterly and annually updates the results of a non-inflated, non-
discounted approximate 50-year model developed with the assistance
of HR&A. During the most recent annual update of this estimate,
completed during the June 2012 quarter, it was determined that the
liability for Hercules asbestos related claims should be increased
by $30 million. Total reserves for asbestos claims were $306
million at March 31, 2013 compared to $320 million at September
30, 2012.

For the Hercules asbestos-related obligations, certain
reimbursements pursuant to coverage-in-place agreements with
insurance carriers exist. As a result, increases in the asbestos
reserve are partially offset by probable insurance recoveries.
Ashland has estimated the value of probable insurance recoveries
associated with its asbestos reserve based on management's
interpretations and estimates surrounding the available or
applicable insurance coverage, including an assumption that all
solvent insurance carriers remain solvent. The estimated
receivable consists exclusively of domestic insurers. Of the
insurance companies rated by A. M. Best, all have a credit rating
of B+ or higher as of March 31, 2013.

As of March 31, 2013 and September 30, 2012, the receivables from
insurers amounted to $55 million and $56 million, respectively. As
previously mentioned, during the June 2012 quarter, the annual
update of the model used for purposes of valuing the asbestos
reserve and its impact on valuation of future recoveries from
insurers was completed. This model update caused a $9 million
increase in the receivable for probable insurance recoveries.

Projecting future asbestos costs is subject to numerous variables
that are extremely difficult to predict. In addition to the
significant uncertainties surrounding the number of claims that
might be received, other variables include the type and severity
of the disease alleged by each claimant, the long latency period
associated with asbestos exposure, dismissal rates, costs of
medical treatment, the impact of bankruptcies of other companies
that are co-defendants in claims, uncertainties surrounding the
litigation process from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from case
to case, and the impact of potential changes in legislative or
judicial standards. Furthermore, any predictions with respect to
these variables are subject to even greater uncertainty as the
projection period lengthens. In light of these inherent
uncertainties, Ashland believes that the asbestos reserves for
Ashland and Hercules represent the best estimate within a range of
possible outcomes. As a part of the process to develop these
estimates of future asbestos costs, a range of long-term cost
models was developed. These models are based on national studies
that predict the number of people likely to develop asbestos-
related diseases and are heavily influenced by assumptions
regarding long-term inflation rates for indemnity payments and
legal defense costs, as well as other variables mentioned
previously. Ashland has currently estimated in various models
ranging from approximately 40 to 50 year periods that it is
reasonably possible that total future litigation defense and claim
settlement costs on an inflated and undiscounted basis could range
as high as approximately $830 million for the Ashland asbestos-
related litigation and approximately $500 million for the Hercules
asbestos-related litigation (or approximately $1.3 billion in the
aggregate), depending on the combination of assumptions selected
in the various models. If actual experience is worse than
projected, relative to the number of claims filed, the severity of
alleged disease associated with those claims or costs incurred to
resolve those claims, Ashland may need to further increase the
estimates of the costs associated with asbestos claims and these
increases could be material over time.

Ashland Inc. (Ashland) is a global specialty chemical company that
provides products, services and solutions throughout a variety of
industries. Ashland's business operates in four segments: Ashland
Specialty Ingredients; Ashland Water Technologies; Ashland
Performance Materials and Ashland Consumer Markets. On March 31,
2011, Ashland completed the sale of substantially all of the
assets of its global distribution business to Nexeo Solutions,
LLC. On August 23, 2011, Ashland completed the acquisition of
International Specialty Products Inc. (ISP). In January 2012,
Celanese Corporation acquired certain assets from Ashland, which
include two product lines, Vinac and Flexbond. In October 2012,
the Company had set up a specialties technical research and
development centre in Mumbai to support producers of personal and
home care products in India and southeast Asia. In April 2013,
JANA Partners LLC acquired a 7.361% stake in Ashland Inc.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ITT Corp. Records $752.1MM Exposure at March 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
ITT Corporation recorded a net asbestos exposure of $752.1
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.

ITT, including its subsidiary Goulds Pumps, Inc., has been joined
as a defendant with numerous other companies in product liability
lawsuits alleging personal injury due to asbestos exposure. These
claims allege that certain of the Company's products sold prior to
1985 contained a part manufactured by a third party (e.g., a
gasket) which contained asbestos. To the extent these third-party
parts may have contained asbestos, it was encapsulated in the
gasket (or other) material and was non-friable. Frequently, the
plaintiffs are unable to identify any ITT or Goulds Pump product
as a source of asbestos exposure. In addition, a large majority of
claims pending against the Company have been placed on inactive
dockets because the plaintiff cannot demonstrate a significant
compensable loss. The Company's experience to date is that a
substantial portion of resolved claims have been dismissed without
payment by the Company.

The Company states: "We record a liability for pending asbestos
claims and asbestos claims estimated to be filed over the next 10
years. While it is probable that we will incur additional costs
for future claims to be filed against the Company, a liability for
potential future claims beyond the next 10 years is not reasonably
estimable due to a number of factors. As of March 31, 2013, we
have recorded an undiscounted asbestos-related liability for
pending claims and unasserted claims estimated to be filed over
the next 10 years of $1,338.7 million, including expected legal
fees, and an associated asset of $586.6 which represents estimated
recoveries from insurers, resulting in a net asbestos exposure of
$752.1 million."

ITT Corporation is a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered
critical components and customized technology solutions for the
energy, transportation, and industrial markets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ITT Corp. Had 64,000 Pending Exposure Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
ITT Corporation had 64,000 pending active claims alleging personal
injury claims due to asbestos exposure, 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.

ITT, including its subsidiary Goulds Pumps, Inc., has been joined
as a defendant with numerous other companies in product liability
lawsuits alleging personal injury due to asbestos exposure. These
claims generally allege that certain products sold by us or our
subsidiaries prior to 1985 contained a part manufactured by a
third party (e.g., a gasket) which contained asbestos. To the
extent these third-party parts may have contained asbestos, it was
encapsulated in the gasket (or other) material and was non-
friable.

As of March 31, 2013, there were 64 thousand pending active claims
against ITT, including Goulds Pumps, filed in various state and
federal courts alleging injury as a result of exposure to
asbestos.

Frequently, plaintiffs are unable to identify any ITT or Goulds
Pumps product as a source of asbestos exposure. In addition, a
large majority of claims pending against the Company have been
placed on inactive dockets (including in Mississippi) because the
plaintiffs cannot demonstrate a significant compensable loss. Our
experience to date is that a substantial portion of resolved
claims are dismissed without any payment from the Company.
Management believes that a large majority of the pending claims
have little or no value. In addition, because claims are sometimes
dismissed in large groups, the average cost per resolved claim, as
well as the number of open claims, can fluctuate significantly
from period to period. ITT expects more asbestos-related suits
will be filed in the future, and ITT will aggressively defend or
seek a reasonable resolution, as appropriate.

Asbestos litigation is a unique form of litigation. Frequently,
the plaintiff sues a large number of defendants and does not state
a specific claim amount. After filing of the complaint, the
plaintiff engages defendants in settlement negotiations to
establish a settlement value based on certain criteria, including
the number of defendants in the case. Rarely do the plaintiffs
seek to collect all damages from one defendant. Rather, they seek
to spread the liability, and thus the payments, among many
defendants. As a result, the Company is unable to estimate the
maximum potential exposure to pending claims and claims estimated
to be filed over the next 10 years.

Estimating our exposure to pending asbestos claims and those that
may be filed in the future is subject to significant uncertainty
and risk as there are multiple variables that can affect the
timing, severity, quality, quantity and resolution of claims. Any
predictions with respect to the variables impacting the estimate
of the asbestos liability and related asset are subject to even
greater uncertainty as the projection period lengthens. In light
of the uncertainties and variables inherent in the long-term
projection of the Company's asbestos exposures, although it is
probable that the Company will incur additional costs for asbestos
claims filed beyond the next 10 years which could be material to
the financial statements, we do not believe there is a reasonable
basis for estimating those costs at this time.

The asbestos liability and related receivables reflect
management's best estimate of future events. However, future
events affecting the key factors and other variables for either
the asbestos liability or the related receivables could cause
actual costs or recoveries to be materially higher or lower than
currently estimated. Due to these uncertainties, as well as our
inability to reasonably estimate any additional asbestos liability
for claims which may be filed beyond the next 10 years, it is not
possible to predict the ultimate cost of resolving all pending and
unasserted asbestos claims. We believe it is possible that future
events affecting the key factors and other variables within the
next 10 years, as well as the cost of asbestos claims filed beyond
the next 10 years, net of expected recoveries, could have a
material adverse effect on our financial position, results of
operations and cash flows.

ITT Corporation is a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered
critical components and customized technology solutions for the
energy, transportation, and industrial markets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Curtiss-Wright Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
------------------------------------------------------------------
Curtiss-Wright Corporation continues to defend itself against
lawsuits that allege injury from exposure to asbestos, according
to Company's Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2013.

The Company has been named in a number of lawsuits that allege
injury from exposure to asbestos. To date, the Corporation has not
been found liable for or paid any material sum of money in
settlement in any case. The Company believes its minimal use of
asbestos in its past and current operations and the relatively
non-friable condition of asbestos in its products makes it
unlikely that it will face material liability in any asbestos
litigation, whether individually or in the aggregate. The Company
maintains insurance coverage for these potential liabilities and
believes adequate coverage exists to cover any unanticipated
asbestos liability.

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a diversified, multinational
provider of engineered, technologically advanced products and
services. It designs and manufactures engineered, advanced
technologies that perform critical functions in demanding
conditions in the defense, power generation, oil and gas,
commercial aerospace, and general industrial markets. It operates
through three segments: Flow Control, Motion Control, and Metal
Treatment. Its principal manufacturing facilities are located in
the United States in California, New York, North Carolina,
Pennsylvania, and Texas, and internationally in Canada and the
United Kingdom. In January 2013, it acquired Exlar Corporation. In
January 2013, it acquired the assets of F.W. Gartner Thermal
Spraying, Ltd. In March 2013, it completed the acquisition of 100%
interest of Phonix Holding GmbH.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: AIG Unit Has $134MM Gross Reserves at March 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of American International Group, Inc., has asbestos
reserves relating to foreign risks written by non-U.S. entities of
$134 million gross and $111 million net as of March 31, 2013,
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.

As described more fully in the 2012 Annual Report, AIG's reserves
relating to asbestos and environmental claims reflect a
comprehensive ground-up analysis performed periodically. In the
first quarter of 2013, a minor amount of incurred loss pertaining
to the asbestos loss reserve discount was recognized.

AIG Property Casualty has asbestos reserves relating to foreign
risks written by non-U.S. entities of $134 million gross and $111
million net as of March 31, 2013. The asbestos reserves relating
to non-U.S. risks written by non-U.S. entities were $140 million
gross and $116 million net as of December 31, 2012.

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is an international
insurance company, serving customers in more than 130 countries.
AIG companies serve commercial, institutional and individual
customers through property-casualty networks of any insurer. In
addition, AIG companies are providers of life insurance and
retirement services. AIG's segments include Chartis, SunAmerica
Financial Group (SunAmerica), Aircraft Leasing and Other
Operations. On February 1, 2011 and August 18, 2011, it divested
its Japan-based life insurance subsidiaries, AIG Star Life
Insurance Company Ltd. (AIG Star) and AIG Edison Life Insurance
Company, and Nan Shan Life Insurance Company, Ltd. (Nan Shan). On
October 7, 2011, ILFC completed the acquisition of AeroTurbine.
AeroTurbine is a providers of aircraft engines, aircraft and
engine parts and supply chain solutions. On December 3, 2012, the
Company's life and retirement business, AIG Life and Retirement,
acquired Woodbury Financial Services, Inc.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3M Company Continues to Defend PI Suits
--------------------------------------------------------
3M Company continues to defend itself against lawsuits alleging
personal injury from exposure to asbestos, silica, coal mine dust
or other occupational dusts, 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.

As of March 31, 2013, the Company is a named defendant, with
multiple co-defendants, in numerous lawsuits in various courts
that purport to represent approximately 2,095 individual claimants
compared to approximately 2,060 individual claimants, with actions
pending at December 31, 2012.

The vast majority of the lawsuits and claims resolved by and
currently pending against the Company allege use of some of the
Company's mask and respirator products and seek damages from the
Company and other defendants for alleged personal injury from
workplace exposures to asbestos, silica, coal mine dust or other
occupational dusts found in products manufactured by other
defendants or generally in the workplace. A minority of the
lawsuits and claims resolved by and currently pending against the
Company generally allege personal injury from occupational
exposure to asbestos from products previously manufactured by the
Company, which are often unspecified, as well as products
manufactured by other defendants, or occasionally at Company
premises.

The Company's current volume of new and pending matters is
substantially lower than its historical experience. The Company
expects that filing of claims by unimpaired claimants in the
future will continue to be at much lower levels than in the past.
Accordingly, the number of claims alleging more serious injuries,
including mesothelioma and other malignancies, will represent a
greater percentage of total claims than in the past. The Company
has prevailed in all nine cases taken to trial, including seven of
the eight cases tried to verdict (such trials occurred in 1999,
2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2007), and an appellate reversal in
2005 of the 2001 jury verdict adverse to the Company. The ninth
case, tried in 2009, was dismissed by the Court at the close of
plaintiff's evidence, based on the Court's legal finding that the
plaintiff had not presented sufficient evidence to support a jury
verdict. The plaintiffs appealed, but in February 2012 the
California Court of Appeals granted the plaintiff's voluntary
dismissal of the appeal.

The Company has demonstrated in these past trial proceedings that
its respiratory protection products are effective as claimed when
used in the intended manner and in the intended circumstances.
Consequently the Company believes that claimants are unable to
establish that their medical conditions, even if significant, are
attributable to the Company's respiratory protection products.
Nonetheless the Company's litigation experience indicates that
claims of persons with malignant conditions are costlier to
resolve than the claims of unimpaired persons, and it therefore
believes the average cost of resolving pending and future claims
on a per-claim basis will continue to be higher than it
experienced in prior periods when the vast majority of claims were
asserted by the unimpaired.

As previously reported, the State of West Virginia, through its
Attorney General, filed a complaint in 2003 against the Company
and two other manufacturers of respiratory protection products in
the Circuit Court of Lincoln County, West Virginia and amended its
complaint in 2005. The amended complaint seeks substantial, but
unspecified, compensatory damages primarily for reimbursement of
the costs allegedly incurred by the State for worker's
compensation and healthcare benefits provided to all workers with
occupational pneumoconiosis and unspecified punitive damages.
While the case has been inactive since the fourth quarter of 2007,
the court held a case management conference in March 2011, but no
further activity has occurred in the case since that conference.
No liability has been recorded for this matter because the Company
believes that liability is not probable and estimable at this
time. In addition, the Company is not able to estimate a possible
loss or range of loss given the minimal activity in this case and
the fact that the complaint asserts claims against two other
manufacturers where a defendant's share of liability may turn on
the law of joint and several liability and by the amount of fault
a jury allocates to each defendant if a case is ultimately tried.

The Company estimates its respirator mask/asbestos liabilities,
including the cost to resolve the claims and defense costs, by
examining: (i) the Company's experience in resolving claims, (ii)
apparent trends, (iii) the apparent quality of claims (e.g.,
whether the claim has been asserted on behalf of asymptomatic
claimants), (iv) changes in the nature and mix of claims (e.g.,
the proportion of claims asserting usage of the Company's mask or
respirator products and alleging exposure to each of asbestos,
silica, coal or other occupational dusts, and claims pleading use
of asbestos-containing products allegedly manufactured by the
Company), (v) the number of current claims and a projection of the
number of future asbestos and other claims that may be filed
against the Company, (vi) the cost to resolve recently settled
claims, and (vii) an estimate of the cost to resolve and defend
against current and future claims.

Developments may occur that could affect the Company's estimate of
its liabilities. These developments include, but are not limited
to, significant changes in (i) the number of future claims, (ii)
the average cost of resolving claims, (iii) the legal costs of
defending these claims and in maintaining trial readiness, (iv)
changes in the mix and nature of claims received, (v) trial and
appellate outcomes, (vi) changes in the law and procedure
applicable to these claims, and (vii) the financial viability of
other co-defendants and insurers.

As a result of the greater cost of resolving claims of persons
with more serious injuries, including mesothelioma and other
malignancies, the Company increased its accruals in the first
quarter of 2013 for respirator mask/asbestos liabilities by $13
million. In the first quarter of 2013, the Company made payments
for fees and settlements of $7 million related to the respirator
mask/asbestos litigation. As of March 31, 2013, the Company had
accruals for respirator mask/asbestos liabilities of $132 million
(excluding Aearo accruals). The Company cannot estimate the amount
or range of amounts by which the liability may exceed the accrual
the Company has established because of the (i) inherent difficulty
in projecting the number of claims that have not yet been
asserted, particularly with respect to the Company's respiratory
products that themselves did not contain any harmful materials,
(ii) the complaints nearly always assert claims against multiple
defendants where the damages alleged are typically not attributed
to individual defendants so that a defendant's share of liability
may turn on the law of joint and several liability, which can vary
by state, (iii) the multiple factors that the Company considers in
estimating its liabilities, and (iv) the several possible
developments that may occur that could affect the Company's
estimate of liabilities.

3M Company is a diversified global manufacturer, technology
innovator and marketer of a wide variety of products and services.
3M manages its operations in five operating business segments:
Industrial; Safety and Graphics; Electronics and Energy; Health
Care; and Consumer. From a geographic perspective, any references
to EMEA refer to Europe, Middle East and Africa on a combined
basis.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3M Company Has $80MM Receivables for Insurance
---------------------------------------------------------------
3M Company has $80 million receivable for insurance recoveries
related to respirator mask/asbestos litigation, 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.

As of March 31, 2013, the Company's receivable for insurance
recoveries related to the respirator mask/asbestos litigation was
$80 million. The Company estimates insurance receivables based on
an analysis of its numerous policies, including their exclusions,
pertinent case law interpreting comparable policies, its
experience with similar claims, and assessment of the nature of
the claim and remaining coverage, and records an amount it has
concluded is likely to be recovered.

Various factors could affect the timing and amount of recovery of
this receivable, including (i) delays in or avoidance of payment
by insurers; (ii) the extent to which insurers may become
insolvent in the future, and (iii) the outcome of negotiations
with insurers and legal proceedings with respect to respirator
mask/asbestos liability insurance coverage. The difference between
the accrued liability and insurance receivable represents in part
the time delay between payment of claims on the one hand and
receipt of insurance reimbursements on the other hand. Because of
the lag time between settlement and payment of a claim, no
meaningful conclusions may be drawn from quarterly or annual
changes in the amount of receivables for expected insurance
recoveries or changes in the number of claimants.

As previously reported, on January 5, 2007 the Company was served
with a declaratory judgment action filed on behalf of two of its
insurers (Continental Casualty and Continental Insurance Co. --
both part of the Continental Casualty Group) disclaiming coverage
for respirator mask/asbestos claims. The action, pending in the
District Court in Ramsey County, Minnesota, seeks declaratory
judgment regarding coverage provided by the policies and the
allocation of covered costs among the policies issued by the
various insurers. The action named, in addition to the Company,
over 60 of the Company's insurers. This action is similar in
nature to an action filed in 1994 with respect to breast implant
coverage, which ultimately resulted in the Minnesota Supreme
Court's ruling of 2003 that was largely in the Company's favor.
The plaintiff insurers have served an amended complaint that names
some additional insurers and deletes others. The plaintiffs,
Continental Casualty and Continental Insurance Co., as well as a
significant number of the insurer defendants named in the amended
complaint have been dismissed because of settlements they have
reached with 3M regarding the matters at issue in the lawsuit.
Trial is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2013. During the
first quarter of 2013, the Company received payments of $8 million
from settlements with insurers.

3M Company is a diversified global manufacturer, technology
innovator and marketer of a wide variety of products and services.
3M manages its operations in five operating business segments:
Industrial; Safety and Graphics; Electronics and Energy; Health
Care; and Consumer. From a geographic perspective, any references
to EMEA refer to Europe, Middle East and Africa on a combined
basis.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3M Company Unit Records $28MM Liability
--------------------------------------------------------
3M Company, through its subsidiary, Aero Holding Corp., recorded
$28 million estimate of probable liabilities for product
liabilities and defense costs related to asbestos- and silica-
related claims, 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.

On April 1, 2008, a subsidiary of the Company purchased the stock
of Aearo Holding Corp., the parent of Aearo Technologies ("Aero").
Aearo manufactured and sold various products, including personal
protection equipment, such as eye, ear, head, face, fall and
certain respiratory protection products.

As of March 31, 2013, Aearo and/or other companies that previously
owned and operated Aearo's respirator business (American Optical
Corporation, Warner-Lambert LLC, AO Corp. and Cabot Corporation
("Cabot")) are named defendants, with multiple co-defendants,
including the Company, in numerous lawsuits in various courts in
which plaintiffs allege use of mask and respirator products and
seek damages from Aearo and other defendants for alleged personal
injury from workplace exposures to asbestos, silica-related, or
other occupational dusts found in products manufactured by other
defendants or generally in the workplace.

As of March 31, 2013, the Company, through its Aearo subsidiary,
has recorded $28 million as the best estimate of the probable
liabilities for product liabilities and defense costs related to
current and future Aearo-related asbestos and silica-related
claims. Responsibility for legal costs, as well as for settlements
and judgments, is currently shared in an informal arrangement
among Aearo, Cabot, American Optical Corporation and a subsidiary
of Warner Lambert and their insurers (the "Payor Group").
Liability is allocated among the parties based on the number of
years each company sold respiratory products under the "AO Safety"
brand and/or owned the AO Safety Division of American Optical
Corporation and the alleged years of exposure of the individual
plaintiff. Aearo's share of the contingent liability is further
limited by an agreement entered into between Aearo and Cabot on
July 11, 1995. This agreement provides that, so long as Aearo pays
to Cabot a quarterly fee of $100,000, Cabot will retain
responsibility and liability for, and indemnify Aearo against, any
product liability claims involving exposure to asbestos, silica,
or  silica products for respirators sold prior to July 11, 1995.
Because of the difficulty in determining how long a particular
respirator remains in the stream of commerce after being sold,
Aearo and Cabot have applied the agreement to claims arising out
of the alleged use of respirators involving exposure to asbestos,
silica or silica products prior to January 1, 1997. With these
arrangements in place, Aearo's potential liability is limited to
exposures alleged to have arisen from the use of respirators
involving exposure to asbestos, silica, or silica products on or
after January 1, 1997. To date, Aearo has elected to pay the
quarterly fee. Aearo could potentially be exposed to additional
claims for some part of the pre-July 11, 1995 period covered by
its agreement with Cabot if Aearo elects to discontinue its
participation in this arrangement, or if Cabot is no longer able
to meet its obligations in these matters.

In March 2012, Cabot CSC Corporation and Cabot Corporation filed a
lawsuit against Aearo in the Superior Court of Suffolk County,
Massachusetts seeking declaratory relief as to the scope of
Cabot's indemnity obligations under the July 11, 1995 agreement,
including whether Cabot has retained liability for coal workers'
pneumoconiosis claims, and seeking damages for breach of contract.
Fact discovery in the first phase of the case is scheduled to
conclude in May 2013.

Developments may occur that could affect the estimate of Aearo's
liabilities. These developments include, but are not limited to:
(i) significant changes in the number of future claims, (ii)
significant changes in the average cost of resolving claims, (iii)
significant changes in the legal costs of defending these claims,
(iv) significant changes in the mix and nature of claims received,
(v) trial and appellate outcomes, (vi) significant changes in the
law and procedure applicable to these claims, (vii) significant
changes in the liability allocation among the co-defendants,
(viii) the financial viability of members of the Payor Group
including exhaustion of available coverage limits, (ix) the
outcome of pending insurance coverage litigation among certain
other members of the Payor Group and their respective insurers,
and/or (x) a determination that the interpretation of the
contractual obligations on which Aearo has estimated its share of
liability is inaccurate. The Company cannot determine the impact
of these potential developments on its current estimate of Aearo's
share of liability for these existing and future claims. If any of
the developments were to occur, the actual amount of these
liabilities for existing and future claims could be significantly
larger than the amount accrued.

Because of the inherent difficulty in projecting the number of
claims that have not yet been asserted, the complexity of
allocating responsibility for future claims among the Payor Group,
and the several possible developments that may occur that could
affect the estimate of Aearo's liabilities, the Company cannot
estimate the amount or range of amounts by which Aearo's liability
may exceed the accrual the Company has established.

3M Company is a diversified global manufacturer, technology
innovator and marketer of a wide variety of products and services.
3M manages its operations in five operating business segments:
Industrial; Safety and Graphics; Electronics and Energy; Health
Care; and Consumer. From a geographic perspective, any references
to EMEA refer to Europe, Middle East and Africa on a combined
basis.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chicago Bridge Had 1,400 Pending Exposure Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. had approximately 1,400 pending
asbestos-related claims, 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 lawsuits wherein
plaintiffs allege exposure to asbestos due to work we may have
performed at various locations. We have never been a manufacturer,
distributor or supplier of asbestos products. Over the past
several decades and through March 31, 2013, we have been named a
defendant in lawsuits alleging exposure to asbestos involving
approximately 5,300 plaintiffs and, of those claims, approximately
1,400 claims were pending and 3,900 have been closed through
dismissals or settlements. Over the past several decades and
through March 31, 2013, the claims alleging exposure to asbestos
that have been resolved have been dismissed or settled for an
average settlement amount of approximately one thousand dollars
per claim. We review each case on its own merits and make accruals
based upon the probability of loss and our estimates of the amount
of liability and related expenses, if any. We do not believe that
any unresolved asserted claims will have a material adverse effect
on our future results of operations, financial position or cash
flow, and, at March 31, 2013, we had approximately $2,000 accrued
for liability and related expenses. With respect to unasserted
asbestos claims, we cannot identify a population of potential
claimants with sufficient certainty to determine the probability
of a loss and to make a reasonable estimate of liability, if any.
While we continue to pursue recovery for recognized and
unrecognized contingent losses through insurance, indemnification
arrangements or other sources, we are unable to quantify the
amount, if any, that we may expect to recover because of the
variability in coverage amounts, limitations and deductibles, or
the viability of carriers, with respect to our insurance policies
for the years in question."

Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. is an energy infrastructure
focused company and a provider of government services. The
Company's segments include Technology; Engineering, Construction
and Maintenance; Fabrication Services, and Government Solutions.
Its Technology segment provides licensed process technologies,
catalysts, specialized equipment and engineered products.
Engineering, Construction and Maintenance provides engineering,
procurement, fabrication and construction of energy infrastructure
facilities, as well as comprehensive and integrated maintenance
services. Fabrication Services provides piping solutions and
storage tanks and vessels for the oil and gas, water and
wastewater, mining and power generation industries. Government
Solutions leads programs and projects, including design-build
infrastructure projects, for federal, state and local governments.
On February 13, 2013, it acquired The Shaw Group Inc. (Shaw).


ASBESTOS UPDATE: W.R. Grace Had $2.06B Liability as of March 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co. recorded $2.065 billion in asbestos-related
liability, 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.

Grace is a defendant in property damage and personal injury
lawsuits relating to previously sold asbestos-containing products.
As of the Filing Date, Grace was a defendant in 65,656 asbestos-
related lawsuits, 17 involving claims for property damage (one of
which has since been dismissed), and the remainder involving
129,191 claims for personal injury. Due to the Filing, holders of
asbestos-related claims are stayed from continuing to prosecute
pending litigation and from commencing new lawsuits against the
Debtors. Grace's obligations with respect to present and future
asbestos claims will be determined through the Chapter 11 process.

The plaintiffs in asbestos property damage lawsuits generally seek
to have the defendants pay for the cost of removing, containing or
repairing the asbestos-containing materials in the affected
buildings. Various factors can affect the merit and value of PD
Claims, including legal defenses, product identification, the
amount and type of product involved, the age, type, size and use
of the building, the legal status of the claimant, the
jurisdictional history of prior cases, the court in which the case
is pending, and the difficulty of asbestos abatement, if
necessary.

Out of 380 asbestos property damage cases (which involved
thousands of buildings) filed prior to the Filing Date, 16 remain
unresolved.  Eight cases relate to ZAI and eight relate to a
number of former asbestos-containing products (two of which also
are alleged to involve ZAI).

Approximately 4,400 additional PD claims were filed prior to the
March 31, 2003, claims bar date established by the Bankruptcy
Court. (The March 31, 2003, claims bar date did not apply to ZAI
claims.) Grace objected to virtually all PD claims on a number of
legal and factual bases. As of March 31, 2013, approximately 430
PD Claims subject to the March 31, 2003, claims bar date remain
outstanding. The Bankruptcy Court has approved settlement
agreements covering approximately 410 of such claims for an
aggregate allowed amount of $151.7 million.

Eight of the ZAI cases were filed as purported class action
lawsuits in 2000 and 2001. In addition, 10 lawsuits were filed as
purported class actions in 2004 and 2005 with respect to persons
and homes in Canada. These cases seek damages and equitable
relief, including the removal, replacement and/or disposal of all
such insulation. The plaintiffs assert that this product is in
millions of homes and that the cost of removal could be several
thousand dollars per home. As a result of the Filing, all of these
cases have been stayed.

Based on Grace's investigation of the claims described in these
lawsuits, and testing and analysis of this product by Grace and
others, Grace believes that ZAI was and continues to be safe for
its intended purpose and poses little or no threat to human
health. The plaintiffs in the ZAI lawsuits dispute Grace's
position on the safety of ZAI. In December 2006, the Bankruptcy
Court issued an opinion and order holding that, although ZAI is
contaminated with asbestos and can release asbestos fibers when
disturbed, there is no unreasonable risk of harm from ZAI. In the
event the Joint Plan does not become effective, the ZAI claimants
have reserved their right to appeal such opinion and order if and
when it becomes a final order.

At the Debtors' request, in July 2008, the Bankruptcy Court
established a claims bar date for U.S. ZAI PD Claims and approved
a related notice program that required any person with a U.S. ZAI
PD Claim to submit an individual proof of claim no later than
October 31, 2008. Approximately 17,960 U.S. ZAI PD Claims were
filed prior to the October 31, 2008, claims bar date, and as of
March 31, 2013, an additional 1,310 U.S. ZAI PD Claims were filed.
Under the Canadian ZAI Settlement, all Canadian ZAI PD Claims
filed before December 31, 2009, would be eligible to seek
compensation from the Canadian ZAI property damage claims fund.
Approximately 13,100 Canadian ZAI PD Claims were filed by December
31, 2009.

In November 2008, the Debtors, the Putative Class Counsel to the
U.S. ZAI property damage claimants, the PD FCR, and the Equity
Committee reached an agreement designed to resolve all present and
future U.S. ZAI PD Claims. The terms of the U.S. and Canadian ZAI
agreements in principle have been incorporated into the terms of
the Joint Plan and related documents.

Upon the occurrence of the effective date under the Joint Plan,
all pending and future PD Claims would be channeled for resolution
to the PD Trust. PD Claims other than U.S. and Canadian ZAI PD
Claims would be litigated in the Bankruptcy Court or a U.S.
District Court, including all claims and defenses that would have
been available to the parties prior to the filing of the Chapter
11 Cases as well as any defenses based on the March 31, 2003,
claims bar date. Any claims determined to be allowed claims would
be paid in cash by the PD Trust. Grace would be obligated to fund
the PD Trust every six months in an amount sufficient to enable
the PD Trust to pay all such allowed claims and Trust-related
expenses.

All allowed U.S. ZAI PD Claims would be paid by the PD Trust from
the ZAI PD account and all allowed Canadian ZAI PD Claims would be
paid by the Canadian ZAI property damage claims fund. Grace would
have no liability or obligation for asbestos-related ZAI PD
claims, except for its obligations to fund the PD Trust's ZAI PD
account.

Asbestos personal injury claimants allege adverse health effects
from exposure to asbestos-containing products formerly
manufactured by Grace. Historically, Grace's cost to resolve such
claims has been influenced by numerous variables, including the
nature of the disease alleged, product identification, proof of
exposure to a Grace product, negotiation factors, the solvency of
other former producers of asbestos-containing products, cross-
claims by co-defendants, the rate at which new claims are filed,
the jurisdiction in which the claims are filed, and the defense
and disposition costs associated with these claims.

As of the Filing Date, 129,191 PI Claims were pending against
Grace. Grace believes that a substantial number of additional PI
Claims would have been received between the Filing Date and
March 31, 2013, had such PI Claims not been stayed by the
Bankruptcy Court.

The Bankruptcy Court entered a case management order for
estimating liability for pending and future PI Claims. A trial for
estimating liability for PI Claims began in January 2008 but was
suspended in April 2008 as a result of the PI Settlement.
Upon the occurrence of the effective date under the Joint Plan,
all pending and future asbestos-related personal injury claims
would be channeled for resolution to the PI Trust and Grace would
have no liability or obligation for asbestos-related personal
injury claims, except for its obligations to fund the PI Trust.

The recorded asbestos-related liability as of March 31, 2013, and
December 31, 2012, was $2,065.0 million and is included in
"liabilities subject to compromise" in the accompanying
Consolidated Balance Sheets. Grace increased its asbestos-related
liability by $365.0 million in the 2012 fourth quarter to reflect
an updated estimate of the value of the consideration payable to
the PI Trust and the PD Trust (the "Trusts") under the Joint Plan,
assuming emergence from bankruptcy at the end of 2013.  Grace
reached an agreement in October 2012 to cash settle the warrant to
be issued to the PI Trust at emergence.

The components of the consideration payable to the Trusts under
the Joint Plan are as follows:

* The warrant to acquire 10 million shares of the Company's common
stock for $17.00 per share, which will be recorded at fair value
on the effective date of the Joint Plan. Under the agreement to
cash settle the warrant, the warrant will have a value between
$375 million and $490 million. Based on the current trading range
of Company common stock and other valuation factors, Grace
estimates the value of the warrant at emergence will be the
maximum value of $490 million.

* The deferred payment obligation of $110 million per year for
five years beginning January 2, 2019, and of $100 million per year
for ten years beginning January 2, 2024, which will be recorded at
fair value on the effective date of the Joint Plan. Grace
estimates the fair value of the deferred payment obligation to be
$547 million at emergence. The value of the deferred payment
obligation is affected by (i) interest rates; (ii) the Company's
credit standing and the payment period of the deferred payments;
(iii) restrictive covenants and terms of the Company's other
credit facilities; (iv) assessment of the risk of a default, which
if default were to occur would require Grace to issue shares of
Company common stock; and (v) the subordination provisions of the
deferred payment agreement.

* The cash payable by Grace to fund the PI and PD Trusts, which
will be recorded at fair value on the effective date of the Joint
Plan. Grace estimates the fair value of these payments to be $528
million at emergence.

* Proceeds with respect to all of Grace's insurance policies that
provide coverage for asbestos-related claims would be transferred
to the PI Trust under the Joint Plan. The recorded asbestos-
related insurance receivable and related liability of $500.0
million at March 31, 2013, is within the reasonable range of
possible valuations of these policies at emergence.

Grace periodically evaluates the recorded amount of its asbestos-
related liability and may further adjust the liability prior to
the effective date of the Joint Plan if it determines that the
currently recorded amount no longer represents a reasonable
estimate of the value of the consideration payable to the Trusts
under the Joint Plan. The recorded amount of the asbestos-related
liabilities represents a reasonable estimate of the value of the
consideration payable to the PI Trust and the PD Trust based on
the range of reasonable valuations for the warrant, deferred
payment obligations and other consideration payable to the PI
Trust and the PD Trust under the Joint Plan as of March 31, 2013,
and December 31, 2012.

The ultimate cost of settling the asbestos-related liability will
be based on the value of the consideration transferred to the
Trusts at emergence and will vary from the current estimate.
Appeals have been filed in the Third Circuit challenging the
District Court order confirming the Joint Plan. If any such
appeals are resolved adversely to Grace and the other Joint Plan
proponents, and if the Joint Plan cannot be amended to address any
deficiencies identified by the Third Circuit in a manner
satisfactory to Grace and the other Joint Plan proponents, the
Debtors would expect to resume the estimation trial, which was
suspended in April 2008 due to the PI Settlement, to determine the
amount of its asbestos-related liabilities. Through the PI Claim
estimation process and the continued adjudication of PD Claims,
Grace would seek to demonstrate that most claims have no value
because they fail to establish any significant property damage,
health impairment or occupational exposure to asbestos from
Grace's operations or products. If the Bankruptcy Court agreed
with Grace's position on the number of, and the amounts to be paid
in respect of, allowed PI Claims and PD Claims, then Grace
believes that the value of its asbestos-related liability could be
lower than the recorded amount. However, this outcome would be
highly uncertain and would depend on a number of Bankruptcy Court
rulings favorable to Grace's position. Conversely, the PI and PD
Committees and the PI FCR have asserted that Grace's asbestos-
related liabilities are substantially higher than the recorded
amount, and in fact are in excess of Grace's business value. If
the Bankruptcy Court accepted the position of the PI and PD
Committees and the PI FCR, then any plan of reorganization likely
would result in the loss of all or substantially all equity value
by current shareholders.

Grace holds insurance policies that provide coverage for 1962 to
1985 with respect to asbestos-related lawsuits and claims. For the
most part, coverage for years 1962 through 1972 has been
exhausted, leaving coverage for years 1973 through 1985 available
for pending and future asbestos claims. Since 1985, insurance
coverage for asbestos-related liabilities has not been
commercially available to Grace. Pursuant to the Joint Plan,
proceeds with respect to all of Grace's insurance policies that
provide coverage for asbestos-related claims would be transferred
to the PI Trust.

For each insurance year, Grace's coverage consists of both primary
and excess coverage. With one exception, coverage disputes
regarding Grace's primary insurance policies have been settled,
and those settlement amounts have been paid in full.

Grace has entered into settlement agreements, which are dependent
upon the effectiveness of the Joint Plan, with underwriters of a
portion of Grace's insurance coverage, which includes the
unsettled primary coverage.  Under most of these agreements, the
insurers have agreed, subject to certain conditions, to pay to the
PI Trust (directly or through an escrow arrangement) an aggregate
of $395.2 million in respect of coverage under the affected
policies. Under the remaining agreements, the insurers have agreed
to reimburse the PI Trust, subject to certain conditions, which
will result in a partial reimbursement of the claims actually paid
by the PI Trust.

Prior to filing the Chapter 11 Cases, Grace entered into
settlement agreements with various excess insurance carriers that
are not dependent upon the effectiveness of the Joint Plan. The
unpaid maximum aggregate amount available under these settlement
agreements is approximately $487 million. Grace had no agreements
in place with insurers with respect to approximately $483 million
of excess coverage, which are at layers of coverage that have not
yet been triggered. Settlement amounts are generally payable on a
percentage of the claims actually paid, which is based on a number
of factors including the years over which a claimant was exposed
to an asbestos-containing product. Grace estimates that eligible
claims would have to exceed $4.0 billion to access the total $970
million of coverage. In the event the Joint Plan becomes
effective, some of this settled and unsettled coverage will be
superseded by the settlement agreements that are dependent upon
the effectiveness of the Joint Plan.

Grace has excess coverage with insolvent or non-paying insurance
carriers. Non-paying carriers are those that, although technically
solvent, are not currently meeting their obligations to pay
claims. Grace has filed and continues to file claims in the
insolvency proceedings of these carriers, and Grace periodically
receives distributions from some of these insolvent carriers.

The amount of insurance recovered on claims by the PI Trust will
depend on the aggregate amount of insurance settlements on the
effective date of the Joint Plan and a number of factors that will
be determined at the time claims are paid including: the nature of
the claim, the relevant exposure years, the timing of payment, the
solvency of insurers and the legal status of policy rights. Grace
estimates that the recorded amount of $500.0 million is within the
reasonable range of possible valuations of these policies at
emergence.

W.R. Grace & Co. (Grace) is engaged in the production and sale of
specialty chemicals and specialty materials on a global basis. The
Company operates in three segments: Grace Catalysts Technologies;
Grace Materials Technologies; and Grace Construction Products.
Grace Catalysts Technologies will include catalysts and related
technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical
manufacturing applications. Grace's Advanced Refining Technologies
LLC (ART) joint venture will be managed in this segment. Grace
Materials Technologies will include engineered materials, coatings
and sealants used in industrial, consumer, pharmaceutical and
packaging applications. Grace Construction Products will include
specialty construction chemicals and specialty building materials
used in commercial, infrastructure and residential construction.
In November 2012, it acquired the assets of Noblestar Catalysts
Co., Ltd. In April 2013, it acquired Chemind Construction
Products.




ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meritor Inc. Unit Had 2,500 PI Claims at March 31
------------------------------------------------------------------
Meritor, Inc.'s subsidiary ArvinMeritor, Inc., had 2,500 pending
active claims alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to
asbestos, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended March 31, 2013.

Rockwell International (Rockwell) -- ArvinMeritor, Inc. (AM), a
subsidiary of Meritor, along with many other companies, has been
named as a defendant in lawsuits alleging personal injury as a
result of exposure to asbestos used in certain components of
Rockwell products many years ago. Liability for these claims was
transferred at the time of the spin-off of the automotive business
from Rockwell in 1997. At March 31, 2013 and September 30, 2012,
there were approximately 2,500 pending active asbestos claims in
lawsuits that name AM, together with many other companies, as
defendants. A significant portion of the claims do not identify
any of Rockwell's products or specify which of the claimants, if
any, were exposed to asbestos attributable to Rockwell's products,
and past experience has shown that the vast majority of the
claimants will likely never identify any of Rockwell's products.
Historically, AM has been dismissed from the vast majority of
similar claims filed in the past with no payment to claimants. For
those claimants who do show that they worked with Rockwell's
products, management nevertheless believes it has meritorious
defenses, in substantial part due to the integrity of the products
involved and the lack of any impairing medical condition on the
part of many claimants. For these reasons, the company does not
consider the number of claims filed or the damages alleged to be a
meaningful factor in determining asbestos-related liabilities. The
company defends these cases vigorously.

As of March 31, 2013, Rockwell's asbestos-related reserves is $75
million and corresponding asbestos-related recoveries $67 million.

The company engages Bates White to assist with determining whether
it would be possible to estimate the cost of resolving pending and
future Rockwell legacy asbestos-related claims that have been, and
could reasonably be expected to be, filed against the company.
Bates White provided an estimate of the reasonably possible range
of Rockwell's obligation for asbestos personal injury claims over
the next ten years of $37 million to $45 million. The company
recognized a liability of $37 million at March 31, 2013 and
September 30, 2012. The ultimate cost of resolving pending and
future claims is estimated based on the history of claims and
expenses for plaintiffs represented by law firms in jurisdictions
with an established history with Rockwell.

The following assumptions were made by the company after
consultation with Bates White and are included in their study:

* Pending and future claims were estimated for a ten-year period
ending in fiscal year 2022. The ten year assumption is considered
appropriate as Rockwell has reached certain longer-term agreements
with key plaintiff law firms. In addition, filings of mesothelioma
claims have been relatively stable over the last few years
resulting in an improvement in the reliability of future
projections over a longer time period;

* The company believes that the litigation environment will change
significantly beyond ten years, and that the reliability of
estimates of future probable expenditures in connection with
asbestos-related personal injury claims declines for each year
further in the future. As a result, estimating a probable
liability beyond ten years is difficult and uncertain;

* Defense and processing costs for pending and future claims will
be at the level consistent with the company's longer-term
experience and will not have the significant volatility
experienced in the recent years;

* Potential payments made to claimants from other sources,
including other defendants and 524(g) trusts favorably impact the
company's estimated liability in the future; and

* The ultimate indemnity cost of resolving nonmalignant claims
with plaintiff's law firms in jurisdictions without an established
history with Rockwell cannot be reasonably estimated.

In addition to the probable liability for pending and future
claims discussed, the company also recognized a liability of
approximately $7 million in fiscal year 2012 associated with a
previously disclosed asbestos-related claim (Gordon Bankhead)
which was settled during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012.
The payment required by this settlement agreement was made in the
first quarter of fiscal year 2013.

Rockwell maintained insurance coverage that management believes
covers indemnity and defense costs, over and above self-insurance
retentions, for most of these claims. The company has initiated
claims against certain of these carriers to enforce the insurance
policies, which are currently being disputed. The company expects
to recover some portion of defense and indemnity costs it has
incurred to date, over and above self-insured retentions, and some
portion of the costs for defending asbestos claims going forward.
Based on consultation with advisors and underlying analysis
performed by management, the company has recorded an insurance
receivable related to Rockwell legacy asbestos-related liabilities
of $7 million at March 31, 2013 and September 30, 2012. If the
assumptions with respect to the estimation period, nature of
pending claims, the cost to resolve claims and the amount of
available insurance prove to be incorrect, the actual amount of
liability for Rockwell asbestos-related claims, and the effect on
the company, could differ materially from current estimates and,
therefore, could have a material impact on the company's financial
condition and results of operations.

Meritor, Inc. (Meritor) is a global supplier of a range of
integrated systems and components to original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket for the commercial
vehicle, transportation and industrial sectors. The company serves
commercial truck, trailer, off-highway, military, bus and coach
and other industrial OEMs and certain aftermarkets. Its products
are axles, undercarriages, drivelines, brakes and braking systems.
Meritor serves a range of customers globally, including medium-
and heavy-duty truck OEMs, specialty vehicle manufacturers,
certain aftermarkets, and trailer producers. Its new business
segments are Commercial Truck & Industrial; and Aftermarket &
Trailer. On January 2, 2012, it completed the sale of its
Commercial Truck manufacturing facility located in St. Priest,
France to Renault Trucks SAS, an affiliate of AB Volvo.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wrongful Death Suit v. Pepco Unit Goes to Trial
----------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit asserting wrongful death claims filed against Pepco
Holdings, Inc.'s subsidiary was scheduled for trial, 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.

In September 2011, an asbestos complaint was filed in the New
Jersey Superior Court, Law Division, against Atlantic City
Electric Company (ACE)(among other defendants) asserting claims
under New Jersey's Wrongful Death and Survival statutes. The
complaint, filed by the estate of a decedent who was the wife of a
former employee of ACE, alleges that the decedent's mesothelioma
was caused by exposure to asbestos brought home by her husband on
his work clothes. New Jersey courts have recognized a cause of
action against a premise owner in a so-called "take home" case if
it can be shown that the harm was foreseeable. In this case, the
complaint seeks recovery of an unspecified amount of damages for,
among other things, the decedent's past medical expenses, loss of
earnings, and pain and suffering between the time of injury and
death, and asserts a punitive damage claim. At this time, ACE has
concluded that a loss is reasonably possible with respect to this
matter, but ACE was unable to estimate an amount or range of
reasonably possible loss because (i) the damages sought are
indeterminate, (ii) the proceedings are in the early stages, and
(iii) the matter involves facts that ACE believes are
distinguishable from the facts of the "take-home" cause of action
recognized by the New Jersey courts. A trial date has been set for
May 20, 2013.

Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI) is a holding company, that, through
regulated public utility subsidiaries, is engaged primarily in the
transmission, distribution and default supply of electricity and
the distribution and supply of natural gas (Power Delivery):
Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), Delmarva Power & Light
Company (DPL) and Atlantic City Electric Company (ACE). As of
December 31, 2012, the Company segments include Power Delivery,
consisting of the operations of Pepco, DPL and ACE, engaged in the
transmission, distribution and default supply of electricity and
the distribution and supply of natural gas, Pepco Energy Services
and Other Non-Regulated, consisting primarily of the operations of
PCI. PHI Service Company, a subsidiary service company of PHI,
provides a range of support services, including legal, accounting,
treasury, tax, purchasing and information technology services, to
PHI and its operating subsidiaries.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: MRC Global Continues to Defend 266 Exposure Suits
------------------------------------------------------------------
MRC Global Inc., continues to defend itself against 266 lawsuits
seeking damages for personal injury allegedly caused by exposure
to asbestos, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended March 31, 2013.

The Company states: "We are one of many defendants in lawsuits
that plaintiffs have brought seeking damages for personal injuries
that exposure to asbestos allegedly caused. Plaintiffs and their
family members have brought these lawsuits against a large volume
of defendant entities as a result of the defendants' manufacture,
distribution, supply or other involvement with asbestos, asbestos
containing-products or equipment or activities that allegedly
caused plaintiffs to be exposed to asbestos. These plaintiffs
typically assert exposure to asbestos as a consequence of third-
party manufactured products purportedly distributed by MRC. As of
March 31, 2013, we are named a defendant in approximately 266
lawsuits involving approximately 903 claims. No asbestos lawsuit
has resulted in a judgment against us to date, with a majority
being settled, dismissed or otherwise resolved. Applicable third-
party insurance has substantially covered these claims, and
insurance should continue to cover a substantial majority of
existing and anticipated future claims. Accordingly, we have
recorded a liability for our estimate of the most likely
settlement of asserted claims and a related receivable from
insurers for our estimated recovery, to the extent we believe that
the amounts of recovery are probable. While the outcome of legal
proceedings is inherently uncertain, based upon our historical
experience with these types of claims and analysis of pending
claims, we do not believe that there is a reasonable possibility
of potential losses arising from these claims that would have a
material adverse impact on our consolidated financial statements.

MRC Global Inc., formerly known as McJunkin Red Man Holding
Corporation is a holding company. The Company is the distributor
of pipe, valves and fittings (PVF) and related products and
services to the energy industry. The Company operates in two
segments: North American segment and International segment. Its
North American segment includes over 180 branch locations, six
distribution centers in the United States, one distribution center
in Canada, 11 valve automation service centers and over 170 pipe
yards located in the oil and natural gas regions in North America.
Its International segment includes over 40 branch locations
throughout Europe, Asia and Australasia with distribution centers
in each of the United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia and 10
automation service centers in Europe and Asia. In January 2013,
the Company's subsidiary, McJunkin Red Man Corporation, acquired
operating assets of Production Specialty Services, Inc.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Select Income Properties Contain Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------
Certain of Select Income REIT's real estate assets contain
hazardous substances, including asbestos, 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: "Since January 1, 2013, we have acquired five
properties with a combined 779,010 square feet for an aggregate
purchase price of $158,320, excluding closing costs. We allocated
the purchase prices of these acquisitions based on the estimated
fair values of the acquired assets and assumed liabilities.

Certain of our real estate assets contain hazardous substances,
including asbestos. We believe the asbestos at our properties is
contained in accordance with current environmental regulations and
we have no current plans to remove it. If these properties were
demolished today, certain environmental regulations specify the
manner in which the asbestos must be removed and we could incur
substantial costs complying with such regulations. Certain of our
industrial lands in Hawaii may require environmental remediation,
especially if the use of those lands is changed; however, we do
not have any present plans to change the use of those land parcels
or to undertake this environmental cleanup. We do not have any
insurance designated to limit any losses that we may incur as a
result of known or unknown environmental conditions which are not
caused by an insured event, such as, for example, fire or flood.
However, as of March 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, accrued
environmental remediation costs totaling $8,415 and $8,644,
respectively, were included in accounts payable and accrued
expenses in our condensed consolidated balance sheets. These
accrued expenses relate to maintenance of our properties for
current uses. We do not believe that there are environmental
conditions at any of our properties that will have a material
adverse effect on us. However, no assurances can be given that
such conditions are not present in our properties or that other
costs we incur to remediate contamination will not have a material
adverse effect on our business or financial condition. Charges for
environmental remediation costs are included in other operating
expenses in the condensed consolidated statements of income and
comprehensive income."

Select Income REIT is a real estate company formed to primarily
own and invest in net leased, single tenant properties. During the
year ended December 31, 2011, approximately 68.1% of the Company's
total revenues were from 228 properties it owns in Oahu, Hawaii.
As of December 31, 2011, its 251 properties had a total of
approximately 21.4 million rentable square feet and were
approximately 95.3% leased (based upon rentable square feet). As
of December 31, 2011, these properties were leased to 224
different tenants, with a weighted average remaining lease term
(based on annualized rents). The Company is a wholly owned
subsidiary of CommonWealth REIT (CWH) that owns office and
industrial properties. On February 16, 2012, CWH contributed 251
properties to the Company. During 2011, the Company acquired one
property located in Chelmsford, Massachusetts with approximately
98,000 square feet.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: BNSF Records $453MM for PI Claims Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
BNSF Railway Company recorded $453 million as the best estimate of
its future obligation for the settlement of asbestos-related
personal injury claims, 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 is party to a number of personal injury claims by
employees and non-employees who may have been exposed to asbestos.
The heaviest exposure for BNSF Railway employees was due to work
conducted in and around the use of steam locomotive engines that
were phased out between the years of 1950 and 1967. However, other
types of exposures, including exposure from locomotive component
parts and building materials, continued after 1967 until they were
substantially eliminated at BNSF Railway by 1985.

BNSF Railway assesses its unasserted asbestos liability exposure
on an annual basis during the third quarter. BNSF Railway
determines its asbestos liability by estimating its exposed
population, the number of claims likely to be filed, the number of
claims that will likely require payment and the estimated cost per
claim. Estimated filing and dismissal rates and average cost per
claim are determined utilizing recent claim data and trends.

Throughout the year, BNSF Railway monitors actual experience
against the number of forecasted claims and expected claim
payments and will record adjustments to the Company's estimates as
necessary.

Based on BNSF Railway's estimate of the potentially exposed
employees and related mortality assumptions, it is anticipated
that unasserted asbestos claims will continue to be filed through
the year 2050. The Company recorded an amount for the full
estimated filing period through 2050 because it had a relatively
finite exposed population (former and current employees hired
prior to 1985), which it was able to identify and reasonably
estimate and about which it had obtained reliable demographic data
(including age, hire date and occupation) derived from industry or
BNSF Railway specific data that was the basis for the study. BNSF
Railway projects that approximately 60, 80 and 95 percent of the
future unasserted asbestos claims will be filed within the next
10, 15 and 25 years, respectively.

BNSF Railway estimates its other personal injury liability claims
and expense quarterly based on the covered population, activity
levels and trends in frequency and the costs of covered injuries.
Estimates include unasserted claims except for certain repetitive
stress and other occupational trauma claims that allegedly result
from prolonged repeated events or exposure. Such claims are
estimated on an as-reported basis because the Company cannot
estimate the range of reasonably possible loss due to other non-
work related contributing causes of such injuries and the fact
that continued exposure is required for the potential injury to
manifest itself as a claim. BNSF Railway has not experienced any
significant adverse trends related to these types of claims in
recent years.

BNSF Railway monitors quarterly actual experience against the
number of forecasted claims to be received, the forecasted number
of claims closing with payment and expected claim payments.
Adjustments to the Company's estimates are recorded quarterly as
necessary or more frequently as new events or revised estimates
develop.

For the three months ended March 31, 2013, the Company's accrued
obligations for asbestos and other personal injury matters is $453
million.

At March 31, 2013, $95 million was included in current
liabilities. In addition, defense and processing costs, which are
recorded on an as-reported basis, were not included in the
recorded liability. The Company is primarily self-insured for
personal injury claims.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the ultimate outcome of
personal injury claims, it is reasonably possible that future
costs to settle personal injury claims may range from
approximately $405 million to $520 million. However, BNSF Railway
believes that the $453 million recorded at March 31, 2013, is the
best estimate of the Company's future obligation for the
settlement of personal injury claims.

The amounts recorded by BNSF Railway for personal injury
liabilities were based upon currently known facts. Future events,
such as the number of new claims to be filed each year, the
average cost of disposing of claims, as well as the numerous
uncertainties surrounding personal injury litigation in the United
States, could cause the actual costs to be higher or lower than
projected.

Although the final outcome of personal injury matters cannot be
predicted with certainty, considering among other things the
meritorious legal defenses available and liabilities that have
been recorded, it is the opinion of BNSF Railway that none of
these items, when finally resolved, will have a material adverse
effect on the Company's financial position or liquidity. However,
the occurrence of a number of these items in the same period could
have a material adverse effect on the results of operations in a
particular quarter or fiscal year.

BNSF Railway Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Burlington
Northern Santa Fe, LLC (BNSF), and is the principal operating
subsidiary of BNSF. All intercompany accounts and transactions
have been eliminated.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parker Drilling Continues to Defend 15 PI Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Parker Drilling Company continues to defend itself against 15 of
asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits, 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 from time to time a party to various
lawsuits in the ordinary course that are incidental to our
operations in which the claimants seek an unspecified amount of
monetary damages for personal injury, including injuries
purportedly resulting from exposure to asbestos on drilling rigs
and associated facilities. At March 31, 2013, there were
approximately 15 of these lawsuits in which we are one of many
defendants. These lawsuits have been filed in the United States in
the State of Mississippi.

We intend to defend ourselves vigorously and, based on the
information available to us at this time, we do not expect the
outcome to have a material adverse effect on our financial
condition, results of operations or cash flows. However, we are
unable to predict the ultimate outcome of these lawsuits. No
amounts were accrued at March 31, 2013."

Parker Drilling Company (Parker) is a provider of contract
drilling and drilling-related services. The Company operates in
six segments: Rental Tools, U.S. Barge Drilling, U.S. Drilling,
International Drilling, Technical Services and Construction
Contract. During year ended December 31, 2012, the Company
operates on 12 countries. The Company has operated in over 50
foreign countries and the United States. In April 2013, the
Company announced the acquisition of International Tubular
Services Limited and certain affiliates (ITS), subsidiaries of ITS
Tubular Services (Holdings) Limited.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Albany Int'l. Had 4,296 PI Claims as of April 19
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Albany International Corp. had 4,296 claims alleging personal
injury arising from exposure to asbestos as of April 19, 2013,
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: "Albany International Corp. is a defendant in
suits brought in various courts in the United States by plaintiffs
who allege that they have suffered personal injury as a result of
exposure to asbestos-containing products that we previously
manufactured. We produced asbestos-containing paper machine
clothing synthetic dryer fabrics marketed during the period from
1967 to 1976 and used in certain paper mills. Such fabrics
generally had a useful life of three to twelve months.

We were defending 4,296 claims as of April 19, 2013.

We anticipate that additional claims will be filed against the
Company and related companies in the future, but are unable to
predict the number and timing of such future claims.

Exposure and disease information sufficient to meaningfully
estimate a range of possible loss of a particular claim is
typically not available until late in the discovery process, and
often not until a trial date is imminent and a settlement demand
has been received. For these reasons, we do not believe a
meaningful estimate can be made regarding the range of possible
loss with respect to pending or future claims.

While we believe we have meritorious defenses to these claims, we
have settled certain claims for amounts we consider reasonable
given the facts and circumstances of each case. Our insurer,
Liberty Mutual, has defended each case and funded settlements
under a standard reservation of rights. As of April 19, 2013, we
had resolved, by means of settlement or dismissal, 36,567 claims.
The total cost of resolving all claims was $8.6 million. Of this
amount, almost 100% was paid by our insurance carrier. The Company
has over $125 million in confirmed insurance coverage that should
be available with respect to current and future asbestos claims,
as well as additional insurance coverage that we should be able to
access.

In some of these asbestos cases, the Company is named both as a
direct defendant and as the "successor in interest" to Mount
Vernon Mills ("Mount Vernon"). We acquired certain assets from
Mount Vernon in 1993. Certain plaintiffs allege injury caused by
asbestos-containing products alleged to have been sold by Mount
Vernon many years prior to this acquisition. Mount Vernon is
contractually obligated to indemnify the Company against any
liability arising out of such products. We deny any liability for
products sold by Mount Vernon prior to the acquisition of the
Mount Vernon assets. Pursuant to its contractual indemnification
obligations, Mount Vernon has assumed the defense of these claims.
On this basis, we have successfully moved for dismissal in a
number of actions.

Although we do not believe, based on currently available
information and for the reasons stated, that a meaningful estimate
of a range of possible loss can be made with respect to such
claims, based on our understanding of the insurance policies
available, how settlement amounts have been allocated to various
policies, our settlement experience, the absence of any judgments
against the Company or Brandon, the ratio of paper mill claims to
total claims filed, and the defenses available, we currently do
not anticipate any material liability relating to the resolution
of the aforementioned pending proceedings in excess of existing
insurance limits. Consequently, we currently do not anticipate,
based on currently available information, that the ultimate
resolution of the aforementioned proceedings will have a material
adverse effect on the financial position, results of operations,
or cash flows of the Company. Although we cannot predict the
number and timing of future claims, based on the foregoing factors
and the trends in claims against us to date, we do not anticipate
that additional claims likely to be filed against us in the future
will have a material adverse effect on our financial position,
results of operations, or cash flows. We are aware that litigation
is inherently uncertain, especially when the outcome is dependent
primarily on determinations of factual matters to be made by
juries."

Albany International Corp. is an advanced textile and material
processing company. The Company's business is a producer of
custom-designed fabrics and belts essential to paper and
paperboard production. The consumable fabrics are used to
manufacture all grades of paper from lightweight paper to
heavyweight containerboard. The Company has five segments: Paper
Machine Clothing segment (PMC), Engineered Composites (AEC),
Albany Door Systems (ADS), Engineered Fabrics (EF) and PrimaLoft
Products. Albany International supplies the worldwide pulp and
paper industry, as well as other process industries, with
technologically advanced structured materials and related
services. The Company maintains manufacturing facilities in
Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy,
Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, and the United
States. On January 11, 2012, the Company sold its assets in the
Albany Door Systems (ADS) segment to ASSA ABLOY AB.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Albany Int'l. Unit Had 7,866 Claims at April 19
----------------------------------------------------------------
Albany International Corp.'s subsidiary Brandon Drying Fabrics,
Inc., had 7,866 claims alleging personal injury arising from
exposure to asbestos as of April 19, 2013, 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.

Brandon, a subsidiary of Geschmay Corp., which is a subsidiary of
the Company, is also a separate defendant in many of the asbestos
cases in which Albany is named as a defendant. Brandon was
defending against 7,866 claims as of April 19, 2013.

We acquired Geschmay Corp., formerly known as Wangner Systems
Corporation, in 1999. Brandon is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Geschmay Corp. In 1978, Brandon acquired certain assets from Abney
Mills ("Abney"), a South Carolina textile manufacturer. Among the
assets acquired by Brandon from Abney were assets of Abney's
wholly owned subsidiary, Brandon Sales, Inc. which had sold, among
other things, dryer fabrics containing asbestos made by its
parent, Abney. Although Brandon manufactured and sold dryer
fabrics under its own name subsequent to the asset purchase, none
of such fabrics contained asbestos. Because Brandon did not
manufacture asbestos-containing products, and because it does not
believe that it was the legal successor to, or otherwise
responsible for obligations of Abney with respect to products
manufactured by Abney, it believes it has strong defenses to the
claims that have been asserted against it. As of January 30, 2013,
Brandon has resolved, by means of settlement or dismissal, 9,733
claims for a total of $0.2 million. Brandon's insurance carriers
initially agreed to pay 88.2% of the total indemnification and
defense costs related to these proceedings, subject to the
standard reservation of rights. The remaining 11.8% of the costs
had been borne directly by Brandon. During 2004, Brandon's
insurance carriers agreed to cover 100% of indemnification and
defense costs, subject to policy limits and the standard
reservation of rights, and to reimburse Brandon for all indemnity
and defense costs paid directly by Brandon related to these
proceedings.

We do not believe a meaningful estimate can be made regarding the
range of possible loss with respect to these remaining claims.

Albany International Corp. is an advanced textile and material
processing company. The Company's business is a producer of
custom-designed fabrics and belts essential to paper and
paperboard production. The consumable fabrics are used to
manufacture all grades of paper from lightweight paper to
heavyweight containerboard. The Company has five segments: Paper
Machine Clothing segment (PMC), Engineered Composites (AEC),
Albany Door Systems (ADS), Engineered Fabrics (EF) and PrimaLoft
Products. Albany International supplies the worldwide pulp and
paper industry, as well as other process industries, with
technologically advanced structured materials and related
services. The Company maintains manufacturing facilities in
Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy,
Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, and the United
States. On January 11, 2012, the Company sold its assets in the
Albany Door Systems (ADS) segment to ASSA ABLOY AB.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cytec Industries Continues to Defend PI Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cytec Industries, Inc., continues to defend itself against
lawsuits alleging asbestos-related product liability and personal
injury, 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 the subject of numerous lawsuits and
claims incidental to the conduct of our or certain of our
predecessors' businesses, including lawsuits and claims relating
to product liability and personal injury, including asbestos,
environmental, contractual, employment and intellectual property
matters.

As of March 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, the aggregate self-
insured and insured contingent liability was $49.5 [million] and
$49.8 [million], respectively, and the related insurance recovery
receivable for the liability as well as claims for past payments
was $20.5 [million] at March 31, 2013 and $20.7 [million] at
December 31, 2012. The asbestos liability included in the amounts
at March 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012 was $39.2 [million] and
$39.3 [million], respectively, and the insurance receivable
related to the liability as well as claims for past payments was
$20.2 [million] and $20.4 [million], respectively. We anticipate
receiving a net tax benefit for payment of those claims for which
full insurance recovery is not realized.

We, like many other industrial companies, have been named as one
of hundreds of defendants in a number of lawsuits filed in the
U.S. by persons alleging bodily injury from asbestos. The
claimants allege exposure to asbestos at facilities that we own or
formerly owned, or from products that we formerly manufactured for
specialized applications. Most of these cases involve numerous
defendants, sometimes as many as several hundred. Historically,
most of the closed asbestos claims against us have been dismissed
without any indemnity payment by us; however, we can make no
assurances that this pattern will continue.

For the three months ended March 31, 2013, there were 8,100
claimants involved in asbestos claims with us.

Numbers in the foregoing table are rounded to the nearest hundred
and are based on information as received by us which may lag
actual court filing dates by several months or more. Claims are
recorded as closed when a claimant is dismissed or severed from a
case. Claims are opened whenever a new claim is brought, including
from a claimant previously dismissed or severed from another case.

Our asbestos related contingent liabilities and related insurance
receivables are based on an actuarial study performed by a third
party, which is updated every three years. During the third
quarter of 2012, we completed an actuarial study of our asbestos
related contingent liabilities and related insurance receivables,
which updated our last study prepared in the third quarter of
2009. The study is based on, among other things, the incidence and
nature of historical claims data through June 30, 2012, the
incidence of malignancy claims, the severity of indemnity payments
for malignancy and non-malignancy claims, dismissal rates by claim
type, estimated future claim frequency, settlement values and
reserves, and expected average insurance recovery rates by claim
type.

In 2012, as a result of our findings, we recorded a decrease of
$2.1 to our self-insured and insured contingent liabilities for
indemnity costs for pending and anticipated probable future claims
and recorded a decrease of $1.0 related to receivables for
probable insurance recoveries for these pending and future claims.
The reserve decrease was attributable to lower projected claim
filings offset by more severe malignancy rates and settlement
value projections. The decrease in the receivable was a result of
the lower gross liability and a shift in the types of future
claims expected. Overall, we expect to recover approximately 48.0%
of our future indemnity costs. We have completed coverage in place
agreements with most of our larger insurance carriers.

The ultimate liability and related insurance recovery for all
pending and anticipated future claims cannot be determined with
certainty due to the difficulty of forecasting the numerous
variables that can affect the amount of the liability and
insurance recovery. These variables include but are not limited
to: (i) significant changes in the number of future claims; (ii)
significant changes in the average cost of resolving claims; (iii)
changes in the nature of claims received; (iv) changes in the laws
applicable to these claims; and (v) financial viability of co-
defendants and insurers."

Cytec Industries Inc. (Cytec) is a specialty chemicals and
materials company focused on developing, manufacturing and selling
value-added products. Its products serve a diverse range of end
markets, including aerospace and industrial materials, mining and
plastics. Cytec has four business segments: Engineered Materials,
Umeco, In-Process Separation and Additive Technologies. Engineered
Materials segment principally includes advanced composites, carbon
fiber, and structural film adhesives. The Umeco segment includes
composite and process materials, primarily for the aerospace and
defense, wind energy, automotive, recreation and other industrial
segments. The In Process Separation segment includes mining
chemicals and phosphines. The Additive Technologies segment
includes polymer additives, specialty additives and formulated
resins. On July 20, 2012, the Company acquired Umeco plc.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: AK Steel Has 424 Pending PI Suits at March 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
AK Steel Holding Corporation had 424 pending lawsuits alleging
personal injury as a result to exposure from asbestos, 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.

As previously reported, since 1990, AK Steel (or its predecessor,
Armco Inc.) has been named as a defendant in numerous lawsuits
alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos. The
great majority of these lawsuits have been filed on behalf of
people who claim to have been exposed to asbestos while visiting
the premises of a current or former AK Steel facility. The
majority of asbestos cases pending in which AK Steel is a
defendant do not include a specific dollar claim for damages. In
the cases that do include specific dollar claims for damages, the
complaint typically includes a monetary claim for compensatory
damages and a separate monetary claim in an equal amount for
punitive damages, and does not attempt to allocate the total
monetary claim among the various defendants.

A total of 424 asbestos cases is pending at March 31, 2013.

In each case, the amount described is per plaintiff against all of
the defendants, collectively. Thus, it usually is not possible at
the outset of a case to determine the specific dollar amount of a
claim against AK Steel. In fact, it usually is not even possible
at the outset to determine which of the plaintiffs actually will
pursue a claim against AK Steel. Typically, that can only be
determined through written interrogatories or other discovery
after a case has been filed. Thus, in a case involving multiple
plaintiffs and multiple defendants, AK Steel initially only
accounts for the lawsuit as one claim against it. After AK Steel
has determined through discovery whether a particular plaintiff
will pursue a claim against it, it makes an appropriate adjustment
to statistically account for that specific claim. It has been AK
Steel's experience to date that only a small percentage of
asbestos plaintiffs ultimately identify AK Steel as a target
defendant from whom they actually seek damages and most of these
claims ultimately are either dismissed or settled for a small
fraction of the damages initially claimed.

For the three months ended March 31, 2013, the total amount paid
in settlements is $0.7 million.

Since the onset of asbestos claims against AK Steel in 1990, five
asbestos claims against it have proceeded to trial in four
separate cases. All five concluded with a verdict in favor of AK
Steel. AK Steel intends to continue to vigorously defend the
asbestos claims asserted against it. Based upon its present
knowledge, and the factors set forth, the Company believes it is
unlikely that the resolution in the aggregate of the asbestos
claims against AK Steel will have a materially adverse effect on
the Company's consolidated results of operations, cash flows or
financial condition. However, predictions as to the outcome of
pending litigation, particularly claims alleging asbestos
exposure, are subject to substantial uncertainties. These
uncertainties include (1) the significantly variable rate at which
new claims may be filed, (2) the effect of bankruptcies of other
companies currently or historically defending asbestos claims, (3)
the uncertainties surrounding the litigation process from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from case to case, (4) the type
and severity of the disease alleged to be suffered by each
claimant, and (5) the potential for enactment of legislation
affecting asbestos litigation.

AK Steel Holding Corporation (AK Holding) is an integrated
producer of flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels
and tubular products through its wholly-owned subsidiary, AK Steel
Corporation (AK Steel and, together with AK Holding, the Company).
The Company's operations consist primarily of nine steelmaking and
finishing plants and tubular production facilities located in
Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Company's operations
produce flat-rolled value-added carbon steels, including coated,
cold-rolled and hot-rolled carbon steel products, and specialty
stainless and electrical steels that are sold in sheet and strip
form, as well as carbon and stainless steel that is finished into
welded steel tubing. In addition, the Company's operations include
European trading companies that buy and sell steel and steel
products and other materials, AK Coal Resources, Inc.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Foster Wheeler Continues to Defend US PI Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler AG continues to defend itself against asbestos-
related lawsuits filed against its U.S. subsidiaries, 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: "Some of our U.S. and U.K. subsidiaries are
defendants in numerous asbestos-related lawsuits and out-of-court
informal claims pending in the U.S. and the U.K. Plaintiffs claim
damages for personal injury alleged to have arisen from exposure
to or use of asbestos in connection with work allegedly performed
by our subsidiaries during the 1970s and earlier.

                       UNITED STATES

A summary of the Company's U.S. claim activity is as follows:

                                              Three Months Ended
   Number of Claims by period:                  March 31, 2013
   ---------------------------                ------------------
Open claims at beginning of period               125,310,000
New claims                                         1,210,000
Claims resolved                                   (1,040,000)
                                              ------------------
Open claims at end of period                     125,480,000

The Company said, "We had the following U.S. asbestos-related
assets and liabilities recorded on our consolidated balance sheet
as of the dates set forth.  Total U.S. asbestos-related
liabilities are estimated through the first quarter of 2028.
Although it is likely that claims will continue to be filed after
that date, the uncertainties inherent in any long-term forecast
prevent us from making reliable estimates of the indemnity and
defense costs that might be incurred after that date."

   United States Asbestos                          March 31, 2013
   ----------------------                          --------------
Asbestos-related assets recorded within:
Accounts and notes receivable-other                   $24,738,000
Asbestos-related insurance recovery receivable        102,893,000
                                                   --------------
Total asbestos-related assets                        $127,631,000

Asbestos-related liabilities recorded within:
Accrued expenses                                      $41,875,000
Asbestos-related liability                            220,909,000
                                                   --------------
Total asbestos-related liabilities                   $262,784,000

Liability balance by claim category:
Open claims                                           $41,322,000
Future unasserted claims                              221,462,000
                                                   --------------
Total asbestos-related liabilities                   $262,784,000

The Company said, "We have worked with Analysis, Research &
Planning Corporation, or ARPC, nationally recognized consultants
in the U.S. with respect to projecting asbestos liabilities, to
estimate the amount of asbestos-related indemnity and defense
costs at each year-end based on a forecast for the next 15 years.
Each year we have recorded our estimated asbestos liability at a
level consistent with ARPC's reasonable best estimate. Our
estimated asbestos liability decreased during the first three
months of 2013 as a result of indemnity and defense cost payments
totaling approximately $14,600, partially offset by an increase of
$2,000 related to the accrual of our rolling 15-year asbestos-
related liability estimate. The total asbestos-related liabilities
are comprised of our estimates for our liability relating to open
(outstanding) claims being valued and our liability for future
unasserted claims through the first quarter of 2028."

"Our liability estimate is based upon the following information
and/or assumptions: number of open claims, forecasted number of
future claims, estimated average cost per claim by disease type --
mesothelioma, lung cancer and non-malignancies -- and the
breakdown of known and future claims into disease type --
mesothelioma, lung cancer and non-malignancies, as well as other
factors. The total estimated liability, which has not been
discounted for the time value of money, includes both the estimate
of forecasted indemnity amounts and forecasted defense costs.
Total defense costs and indemnity liability payments are estimated
to be incurred through the first quarter of 2028, during which
period the incidence of new claims is forecasted to decrease each
year. We believe that it is likely that there will be new claims
filed after the first quarter of 2028, but in light of
uncertainties inherent in long-term forecasts, we do not believe
that we can reasonably estimate the indemnity and defense costs
that might be incurred after the first quarter of 2028.

Through March 31, 2013, total cumulative indemnity costs paid,
prior to insurance recoveries, were approximately $805,000 and
total cumulative defense costs paid were approximately $393,900,
or approximately 33% of total defense and indemnity costs. The
overall historic average combined indemnity and defense cost per
resolved claim through March 31, 2013 has been approximately $3.2.
The average cost per resolved claim is increasing and we believe
it will continue to increase in the future.

The Company said, "Over the last several years, certain of our
subsidiaries have entered into settlement agreements calling for
insurers to make lump-sum payments, as well as payments over time,
for use by our subsidiaries to fund asbestos-related indemnity and
defense costs and, in certain cases, for reimbursement for
portions of out-of-pocket costs previously incurred. As our
subsidiaries reach agreements with their insurers to settle their
disputed asbestos-related insurance coverage, we increase our
asbestos-related insurance asset and record settlement gains.

Asbestos-related assets under executed settlement agreements with
insurers due in the next 12 months are recorded within accounts
and notes receivable-other and amounts due beyond 12 months are
recorded within asbestos-related insurance recovery receivable.
Asbestos-related insurance recovery receivable also includes our
best estimate of actual and probable insurance recoveries relating
to our liability for pending and estimated future asbestos claims
through the first quarter of 2028. Our asbestos-related assets
have not been discounted for the time value of money.

"Our insurance recoveries may be limited by future insolvencies
among our insurers. Other than receivables related to bankruptcy
court-approved settlements during liquidation proceedings, we have
not assumed recovery in the estimate of our asbestos-related
insurance asset from any of our currently insolvent insurers. We
have considered the financial viability and legal obligations of
our subsidiaries' insurance carriers and believe that the insurers
or their guarantors will continue to reimburse a significant
portion of claims and defense costs relating to asbestos
litigation. As of March 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, we have
not recorded an allowance for uncollectible balances against our
asbestos-related insurance assets. We write off receivables from
insurers that have become insolvent; there were no such write-offs
during the three months ended March 31, 2013 and 2012. Insurers
may become insolvent in the future and our insurers may fail to
reimburse amounts owed to us on a timely basis. If we fail to
realize the expected insurance recoveries, or experience delays in
receiving material amounts from our insurers, our business,
financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be
materially adversely affected.

"Our net asbestos-related provision during the three months ended
March 31, 2013 and 2012 was $2,000 and $1,997, respectively, and
the provision in each period was the result of the accrual of our
rolling 15-year asbestos liability estimate.

"For the three months ended March 31, 2013, our approximate
asbestos-related payments is $5,700,000.

"We expect to have net cash outflows of $14,700 during the full
year 2013 as a result of asbestos liability indemnity and defense
payments in excess of insurance proceeds. This estimate assumes no
settlements with insurance companies and no elections by us to
fund additional payments. As we continue to collect cash from
insurance settlements and assuming no increase in our asbestos-
related insurance liability, the asbestos-related insurance
receivable recorded on our consolidated balance sheet will
continue to decrease.

"The estimate of the liabilities and assets related to asbestos
claims and recoveries is subject to a number of uncertainties that
may result in significant changes in the current estimates. Among
these are uncertainties as to the ultimate number and type of
claims filed, the amounts of claim costs, the impact of
bankruptcies of other companies with asbestos claims,
uncertainties surrounding the litigation process from jurisdiction
to jurisdiction and from case to case, as well as potential
legislative changes. Increases in the number of claims filed or
costs to resolve those claims could cause us to increase further
the estimates of the costs associated with asbestos claims and
could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition,
results of operations and cash flows.

"Based on our December 31, 2012 liability estimate, an increase of
25% in the average per claim indemnity settlement amount would
increase the liability by $42,000 and the impact on expense would
be dependent upon available additional insurance recoveries.
Assuming no change to the assumptions currently used to estimate
our insurance asset, this increase would result in a charge on our
consolidated statement of operations of approximately 85% of the
increase in the liability. Long-term cash flows would ultimately
change by the same amount. Should there be an increase in the
estimated liability in excess of 25%, the percentage of that
increase that would be expected to be funded by additional
insurance recoveries will decline."

Foster Wheeler AG (Foster Wheeler), operates through two business
groups: the Global Engineering and Construction Group (Global E&C
Group), and its Global Power Group. In addition to these two
business groups, the Company also report corporate center
expenses, its captive insurance operation and expenses related to
certain liabilities, such as asbestos, in the Corporate and
Finance Group (C&F Group). Foster Wheeler serves industries,
including oil and gas, oil refining, chemical/petrochemical,
pharmaceutical; environmental, metals and mining, power generation
and power plant operation and maintenance. During the year ended
December 31, 2011, it acquired a company based in Germany. In
January 2012, the Company acquired Graf-Wulff GmbH. In November
2012, the Company acquired Three Streams Engineering, Ltd.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Foster Wheeler Continues to Defend UK PI Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler AG continues to defend itself against asbestos-
related lawsuits against its U.K. subsidiaries, 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: "Some of our subsidiaries in the U.K. have
also received claims alleging personal injury arising from
exposure to asbestos. To date, 1,026 claims have been brought
against our U.K. subsidiaries, of which 299 remained open as of
March 31, 2013. None of the settled claims have resulted in
material costs to us.

"The following table summarizes our asbestos-related liabilities
and assets for our U.K. subsidiaries based on open (outstanding)
claims and our estimate for future unasserted claims through the
first quarter of 2028:

   United Kingdom Asbestos                        March 31, 2013
   -----------------------                        --------------
Asbestos-related assets:
Accounts and notes receivable-other                     $961,000
Asbestos-related insurance recovery receivable        27,541,000
                                                  --------------
Total asbestos-related assets                        $28,502,000

Asbestos-related liabilities:
Accrued expenses                                        $961,000
Asbestos-related liability                            29,669,000
                                                  --------------
Total asbestos-related liabilities                   $30,630,000

Liability balance by claim category:
Open claims                                           $7,004,000
Future unasserted claims                              23,626,000
                                                  --------------
Total asbestos-related liabilities                   $30,630,000

"The liability estimates are based on a U.K. House of Lords
judgment that pleural plaque claims do not amount to a compensable
injury and accordingly, we have reduced our liability assessment.
If this ruling is reversed by legislation, the total asbestos
liability recorded in the U.K. would increase to approximately
$43,300, with a corresponding increase in the asbestos-related
asset.

"In the ordinary course of business, we are parties to litigation
involving clients and subcontractors arising out of project
contracts. Such litigation includes claims and counterclaims by
and against us for canceled contracts, for additional costs
incurred in excess of current contract provisions, as well as for
back charges for alleged breaches of warranty and other contract
commitments. If we were found to be liable for any of the
claims/counterclaims against us, we would incur a charge against
earnings to the extent a reserve had not been established for the
matter in our accounts or if the liability exceeds established
reserves.

"Due to the inherent commercial, legal and technical uncertainties
underlying the estimation of our project claims, the amounts
ultimately realized or paid by us could differ materially from the
balances, if any, included in our financial statements, which
could result in additional material charges against earnings, and
which could also materially adversely impact our financial
condition and cash flows."

Foster Wheeler AG (Foster Wheeler), operates through two business
groups: the Global Engineering and Construction Group (Global E&C
Group), and its Global Power Group. In addition to these two
business groups, the Company also report corporate center
expenses, its captive insurance operation and expenses related to
certain liabilities, such as asbestos, in the Corporate and
Finance Group (C&F Group). Foster Wheeler serves industries,
including oil and gas, oil refining, chemical/petrochemical,
pharmaceutical; environmental, metals and mining, power generation
and power plant operation and maintenance. During the year ended
December 31, 2011, it acquired a company based in Germany. In
January 2012, the Company acquired Graf-Wulff GmbH. In November
2012, the Company acquired Three Streams Engineering, Ltd.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meritor Inc. Unit Records $75-Mil. Reserves
------------------------------------------------------------
Meritor, Inc.'s subsidiary, Maremont Corporation, recorded $75
million asbestos-related reserves, 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.

Maremont Corporation("Maremont"), a subsidiary of Meritor,
manufactured friction products containing asbestos from 1953
through 1977, when it sold its friction product business. Arvin
Industries, Inc., a predecessor of the company, acquired Maremont
in 1986. Maremont and many other companies are defendants in suits
brought by individuals claiming personal injuries as a result of
exposure to asbestos-containing products. Maremont had
approximately 5,000 pending asbestos-related claims at March 31,
2013 and September 30, 2012. Although Maremont has been named in
these cases, in the cases where actual injury has been alleged,
very few claimants have established that a Maremont product caused
their injuries. Plaintiffs' lawyers often sue dozens or even
hundreds of defendants in individual lawsuits on behalf of
hundreds or thousands of claimants, seeking damages against all
named defendants irrespective of the disease or injury and
irrespective of any causal connection with a particular product.
For these reasons, Maremont does not consider the number of claims
filed or the damages alleged to be a meaningful factor in
determining its asbestos-related liability.

As of March 31, 2013, Maremont's asbestos-related reserve is $75
million and corresponding asbestos-related recoveries is $67
million.

Prior to February 2001, Maremont participated in the Center for
Claims Resolution ("CCR") and shared with other CCR members in the
payment of defense and indemnity costs for asbestos-related
claims. The CCR handled the resolution and processing of asbestos
claims on behalf of its members until February 2001, when it was
reorganized and discontinued negotiating shared settlements. Since
the CCR was reorganized in 2001, Maremont has handled asbestos-
related claims through its own defense counsel and has taken a
more aggressive defensive approach that involves examining the
merits of each asbestos-related claim. Although the company
expects legal defense costs to continue at higher levels than when
it participated in the CCR, the company believes its litigation
strategy has reduced the average indemnity cost per claim.

Maremont engages Bates White LLC (Bates White), a consulting firm
with extensive experience estimating costs associated with
asbestos litigation, to assist with determining the estimated cost
of resolving pending and future asbestos-related claims that have
been, and could reasonably be expected to be, filed against
Maremont. Bates White prepares these cost estimates annually in
September. Although it is not possible to estimate the full range
of costs because of various uncertainties, Bates White advised
Maremont that it would be possible to determine an estimate of a
reasonable forecast of the cost of the probable settlement and
defense costs of resolving pending and future asbestos-related
claims, based on historical data and certain assumptions with
respect to events that may occur in the future.

Bates White provided an estimate of the reasonably possible range
of Maremont's obligation for asbestos personal injury claims over
the next ten years of $72 million to $88 million. Maremont
recognized a liability of $75 million at March 31, 2013 and
September 30, 2012. The ultimate cost of resolving pending and
future claims is estimated based on the history of claims and
expenses for plaintiffs represented by law firms in jurisdictions
with an established history with Maremont.

The following assumptions were made by Maremont after consultation
with Bates White and are included in their study:

* Pending and future claims were estimated for a ten-year period
ending in fiscal year 2022. The ten-year assumption is considered
appropriate as Maremont has reached certain longer-term agreements
with key plaintiff law firms and filings of mesothelioma claims
have been relatively stable over the last few years resulting in
an improvement in the reliability of future projections over a
longer time period;

* Maremont believes that the litigation environment will change
significantly beyond ten years and that the reliability of
estimates of future probable expenditures in connection with
asbestos-related personal injury claims will decline for each year
further in the future. As a result, estimating a probable
liability beyond ten years is difficult and uncertain;

* Defense and processing costs for pending and future claims filed
outside of Madison County, Illinois will be at the level
consistent with Maremont's prior experience;

* Potential payments made to claimants from other sources,
including other defendants and 524(g) trusts favorably impact the
company's estimated liability in the future; and

* The ultimate indemnity cost of resolving nonmalignant claims
with plaintiffs' law firms in jurisdictions without an established
history with Maremont cannot be reasonably estimated.
Recoveries: Maremont has insurance that reimburses a substantial
portion of the costs incurred defending against asbestos-related
claims. The coverage also reimburses Maremont for any indemnity
paid on those claims. The coverage is provided by several
insurance carriers based on insurance agreements in place.
Incorporating historical information with respect to buy-outs and
settlements of coverage, and excluding any policies in dispute,
the insurance receivable related to asbestos-related liabilities
is $67 million as of March 31, 2013 and September 30, 2012. The
difference between the estimated liability and insurance
receivable is primarily related to proceeds received from settled
insurance policies. Certain insurance policies have been settled
in cash prior to the ultimate settlement of the related asbestos
liabilities. Amounts received from insurance settlements generally
reduce recorded insurance receivables. Receivables for policies in
dispute are not recorded.

The amounts recorded for the asbestos-related reserves and
recoveries from insurance companies are based upon assumptions and
estimates derived from currently known facts. All such estimates
of liabilities and recoveries for asbestos-related claims are
subject to considerable uncertainty because such liabilities and
recoveries are influenced by variables that are difficult to
predict. The future litigation environment for Maremont could
change significantly from its past experience, due, for example,
to changes in the mix of claims filed against Maremont in terms of
plaintiffs' law firm, jurisdiction and disease; legislative or
regulatory developments; Maremont's approach to defending claims;
or payments to plaintiffs from other defendants. Estimated
recoveries are influenced by coverage issues among insurers and
the continuing solvency of various insurance companies. If the
assumptions with respect to the estimation period, nature of
pending and future claims, the cost to resolve claims and the
amount of available insurance prove to be incorrect, the actual
amount of liability for Maremont's asbestos-related claims, and
the effect on the company, could differ materially from current
estimates and, therefore, could have a material impact on the
company's financial condition and results of operations.

Meritor, Inc. (Meritor) is a global supplier of a range of
integrated systems and components to original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket for the commercial
vehicle, transportation and industrial sectors. The company serves
commercial truck, trailer, off-highway, military, bus and coach
and other industrial OEMs and certain aftermarkets. Its products
are axles, undercarriages, drivelines, brakes and braking systems.
Meritor serves a range of customers globally, including medium-
and heavy-duty truck OEMs, specialty vehicle manufacturers,
certain aftermarkets, and trailer producers. Its new business
segments are Commercial Truck & Industrial; and Aftermarket &
Trailer. On January 2, 2012, it completed the sale of its
Commercial Truck manufacturing facility located in St. Priest,
France to Renault Trucks SAS, an affiliate of AB Volvo.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Denies Trane's Bid for Summary Judgment
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiff William E. Krauss was diagnosed with lung cancer in June
2011.  On January 17, 2012, Mr. Krauss and his wife Jeanne Krauss
commenced an action to recover for injuries allegedly caused by
his exposure to asbestos containing products.  Over the course of
nine days between February and April of 2012, Krauss provided
deposition testimony concerning his alleged asbestos exposure.
His de beneesse deposition was held on April 10, 2012.  Krauss
testified that he worked as a union sheet metal worker from 1951
to the early 1970's and from 1978 to 1986.  Among other things he
installed new air conditioning units and cooling towers at
hundreds of job sites throughout New York City.  He testified that
he disassembled new air conditioners in order to fit them into
building elevators and hallways, and reassembled them once inside.
Similarly, he disassembled cooling towers so they could be hoisted
to the tops of low-rise buildings piece by piece and reassembled
on the roof.  During the dismantling process Krauss chiselled and
scraped asbestos gaskets which released asbestos-containing dust
into the air around him.  He then reassembled these units by
cutting gaskets from a roll of sheet material. This also caused
asbestos dust to be released into his immediate vicinity.  Krauss
testified that defendant Trane US, Inc., was one of several
manufacturers of air conditioning units and cooling towers with
which he worked throughout his career.

Trane now moves for summary judgment claiming that Krauss's
identification of Trane as a manufacturer of air conditioners with
which he worked is unreliable.  In this regard, Trane relies on
testimony from Krauss's de beneesse deposition that he could only
specifically recall encountering one or two Trane air conditioners
during his career, and he could not specifically recall being
exposed to asbestos from these units.  The Defendant further
submits that because Trane did not manufacture cooling towers
until 2006 Krauss misidentified Trane cooling towers as a source
of his asbestos exposure.

In a May 1, 2013 decision and order, Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of
the Supreme Court, New York County, denied Trane's motion for
summary judgment.  Read in its entirety, Krauss's deposition
testimony sufficiently identifies the defendant as a source of his
asbestos exposure, Judge Heitler said.  The fact that there are
discrepancies in the record does not entitle the defendant to
summary judgment; rather, those issues go to the weight of the
testimony, a determination which must be made by the trier of
fact, Judge Heitler added, citing Alvarez v NY City Hous. Auth.,
295 Ad2d 225, 226 (1st Dept 2002).

The case is WILLIAM E. KRAUSS and JEANNE KRAUSS, Plaintiffs, v. 3M
COMPANY, et al., Defendants, Docket No. 190020/12, Motion Seq. No.
009 (N.Y. Sup.).  A full-text copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/qarH7ifrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 15 PI Suits Consolidated for Trial Purposes
------------------------------------------------------------
In a May 1, 2013 decision and order, Judge Barbara Jaffe of the
Supreme Court, New York County, consolidated 15 asbestos-related
personal injury actions into four trial groups and ordered that
all the parties appear for a settlement conference and discuss any
remaining discovery issues.

Judge Jaffe consolidated the actions after determining that the
factors set forth in Malcolm v Ntl. Gypsum Co., 995 F.2d 346 (2d
Cir 1993) have been satisfied.

The case is IN RE: NEW YORK CITY ASBESTOS LITIGATION, relating to
LINDA J. AMBRUSO as Executrix for Estate of LEONARD A. AMBRUSO, et
al., Plaintiffs, v. A.O. SMITH WATER PRODUCTS COMPANY, et al.,
Defendants, Docket No. 116087/05, Motion Seq. No. 14 (N.Y. Sup.).
A full-text copy of Judge Jaffe's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/fIJDKNfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Carbide Bid to Junk "Lieberman" Suit Okayed
------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiff Leonid Liberman, now deceased, was diagnosed with
mesothelioma on or about December 28, 2011.  On February 2, 2011
Mr. Liberman and his wife Dina Liberman commenced an action to
recover for personal injuries allegedly caused by Mr. Liberman's
exposure to asbestos-containing products.  Mr. Liberman was
deposed on February 14, 15 and 16, 2012.

Defendant Union Carbide Corporation ("UCC") manufactured and sold
asbestos-containing phenolic molding compound under the trade name
"Bakelite" until 1975.  Bakelite, which has the appearance of hard
plastic, was commonly used in electrical panels, insulators and
switches due to its electrically nonconductive and heat-resistant
properties.  While most Bakelite did not contain asbestos, some
varieties did, including one form designated BMRS-5314.  UCC moves
for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and all cross claims
against it on the ground that it was not the exclusive supplier of
phenolic molding compound to Square D, which had dozens of North
American facilities in addition to the Lexington, Kentucky plant.
UCC also argues there is no evidence to show that Square D's
Lexington, Kentucky plant manufactured circuit breakers and panel
boxes, which are the types of materials Mr. Liberman testified to
working on, and assuming it did, that such products were supplied
to the New York market.

In a May 1, 2013 decision and order, Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of
the Supreme Court, New York County, granted UCC's motion for
summary judgment and the action and any cross-claims against the
Defendant are severed and dismissed in their entirety.

Judge Heitler found that the memorandum in question refers only to
Square D's Lexington, Kentucky facility, whereas Square D had at
least four dozen plants throughout North America besides the
Kentucky plant, and the Plaintiffs have not shown that the
asbestos-containing products manufactured in Kentucky supplied the
New York region.  In fact, Square D's March 9, 2006 interrogatory
responses filed in Madison County, Illinois provide that the
company purchased its phenolic molding compounds from at least
seven different suppliers, Judge Heitler said.

The case is LEONID LIBERMAN and DINA LIBERMAN, Plaintiffs, v. A.O.
SMITH WATER PRODUCTS CO., et al., Defendants, Docket No.
190057/12, Motion Seq. No. 002 (N.Y. Sup.).  A full-text copy of
Judge Heitler's Decision is available at http://is.gd/YyCdltfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Specialty Products' Liability Pegged at $1.2BB
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Judith Fitzgerald of the United States Bankruptcy Court
for the District of Delaware entered a memorandum opinion dated
May 20, 2013, accepting $1.2 billion as the estimated amount of
Specialty Products Holding Corp. and its debtor affiliates'
liability for present and future mesothelioma claims.

Pursuant to Section 502(c)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code, an
estimation of the amount of contingent or unliquidated claims
against Debtors, including the present and future mesothelioma
claims caused by exposure to the Debtors' asbestos, was conducted.

Based on the Debtors' postulate of how their actual historical
payments to claimants should be reduced for purposes of assessing
present and future claims, the Debtors' expert, Dr. Charles H.
Mullin, estimated the Debtors' total future liabilities at between
$465-$700 million nominal, or $300-$575 million net present value
with a discount rate of 5.5 percent.

Using traditional analysis, Dr. Mark Peterson, a lawyer and
behavioral scientist who testified for the Asbestos Creditors'
Committee, estimated that the most appropriate estimate of
Debtors' total liability, applying a 3.7 percent discount rate, is
$1.255 billion net present value.

Dr. Thomas Vasquez, an economist and vice president of Analysis,
Research & Planning Corporation, testified for the Future
Claimants' Representative, Eric Green.  Dr. Vasquez estimated
Debtors' total liability at $1.1 billion, net present value. He
applied a 3.45 percent discount rate.

Judge Fitzgerald noted that one difference in the approaches of
the three experts was their use of a forecasting model.  Dr.
Mullin and Dr. Peterson used the Nicholson approach.  Dr. Vasquez
averaged the Nicholson and Peto approaches to reach his
conclusion.  He did so because Dr. Nicholson's forecast is limited
to those who are occupationally exposed while the Peto approach
considers non-occupational exposure.  The Peto approach considers
"whoever gets asbestos from whatever source."

Judge Fitzgerald declined to accept the Debtors' novel approach in
the case and credit the testimony of the ACC's and FCR's experts,
adopting for the most part that of Dr. Vasquez.

Tom Hals, writing for Reuters, reported that Judge Fitzgerald's
51-page opinion contained what one legal expert called "sweeping"
language that could have implications for future asbestos
litigation.

Todd Brown, a professor at State University of New York Buffalo,
said there are plenty of circumstances in which a company will
settle claims that have little merit, particularly when they are
represented in bulk by the same plaintiffs' attorney, the report
added.

"The language Judge Fitzgerald used is so sweeping that it will
lend itself to use in other cases where it is pretty clear
settlements are driven by factors other than the merits," Brown
told the news agency. "This could be read to suggest that just
because a claim is settled it had some intrinsic value other than
as a nuisance claim, even where the settlement values are so low
that few rational plaintiffs asserting meritorious claims would
accept them."

Dr. Mullin, on behalf of Specialty Products, argued that the
history of asbestos claims brought against the company overstated
the number of injuries caused by its products, because it was
settling nuisance cases to cut the cost of litigation. If those
nuisance settlement costs were stripped out of the estimation
process, Specialty Products argued it would need to set aside far
less money to cover future claims.  Judge Fitzgerald flatly
rejected that argument, holding that "it cannot be rationally
doubted that a settlement places a value on the claim that both
parties accept." She went on to say that "as our task is to
estimate what amount will compensate present and future victims
exposed to Debtors' products, the value both sides (debtors and
tort victims) historically chose is clearly relevant."

The Debtors said in a statement they intend to appeal, according
to Reuters.  "The debtors, Bondex and SPHC, firmly believe that
the opinion substantially overstates the amount of their liability
and is not supported by the facts or the law," they said.

The case is IN RE: Specialty Products Holding Corp. a/k/a RPM,
Inc., Chapter 11, Debtor, Bondex International, Inc., Debtor,
Bankruptcy Nos. 10-11780-JKF, 10-11779-JKF, Jointly Administered
at Bankr. No. 10-11780 (Bankr. D. Del.).  A full-text copy of
Judge Fitzgerald's Decision is available at http://is.gd/siK2Q2
from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Use Plaintiffs' Wrongful Death Claims Barred
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Wallace & Gale Settlement Trust appeals verdicts rendered
against it by a jury sitting in the Circuit Court for Baltimore
City, as to claims of survival and wrongful death in four cases
consolidated for trial, in favor of:

   (1) in the Carter case, plaintiffs, Sonia Carter and the Estate
       of Rufus Carter, and use plaintiffs, Rufus Carter, Jr.,
       Kenneth Carter, and Natasha Sloan;

   (2) in the James case, plaintiff, the Estate of Levester James,
       and use plaintiffs, Katherine James, Monica James, and
       Kevin James;

   (3) in the Lawrence case, plaintiffs, Bernice Lawrence and the
       Estate of Mayso Lawrence, Sr., and use plaintiffs, Elaine
       McPherson, Mayso Lawrence, Jr., Phaedra Bailey, Tyrone
       Lawrence, Cephus Lawrence, Sean Lawrence, and Tanesha
       Lawrence; and

   (4) in the Hewitt case, plaintiffs, Annette Hewitt, Roger
       Hewitt, Jr., and the Estate of Roger Hewitt, and use
       plaintiffs, Idalyn Williams and Penny Hewitt.

Following trial, the Appellant moved for judgment notwithstanding
the verdict or for remittitur or new trial, which the circuit
court denied.  The Appellant noted an appeal raising three issues:

   I. Did the circuit court err in allowing substantial damage
      awards to fifteen "use plaintiffs" who never joined any case
      prior to verdict?

  II. Did the circuit court err in the Hewitt case by rejecting
      allocation of damages according to the respective harm
      caused by smoking and exposure to asbestos?

III. Did the circuit court err in instructing the jury that
      suppliers and installers have a duty to inspect, analyze,
      and test any product that they supply or install?

In an opinion dated May 2, 2013, the Court of Special Appeals of
Maryland answered questions I and II in the affirmative and
question III in the negative.  Accordingly, the Court of Special
Appeals reversed and vacated the judgments entered against the
Appellant in favor of the use plaintiffs, concluding that the
statute of limitations now bars the use plaintiffs from bringing
wrongful death claims.  As to the Hewitt case, the Court of
Special Appeals reversed the judgments entered against the
Appellant in favor of the Plaintiffs, and remanded for a new
trial.  The Court affirmed the judgments entered against the
Appellant in favor of the Plaintiffs in the Carter case, the James
case, and the Lawrence case.

The case is THE WALLACE & GALE ASBESTOS SETTLEMENT TRUST, v. SONIA
CARTER, ET AL., No. 2018. September Term, 2011 (Md. Spec. App.).
A full-text copy of the Decision is available at
http://is.gd/LdDvgGfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Order Granting Demurrer to "Curran" Suit Reversed
------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Curran performed maintenance and repair work at the Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power's Haynes Powerhouse in Seal
Beach, California from 1965 through the 1970's. He insulated
cokers, heat exchangers, piping, pumps, boilers and valve
fittings. Mr. Curran applied asbestos-containing block and pipe
covering; insulation; and fibrous adhesive.

Mr. Curran also performed various jobs as an electrician at the
Los Angeles Water Treatment Plant and the Los Angeles County Sewer
Treatment plant. This work included the installation of electrical
wiring, which involved running, splicing and installing high
voltage, asbestos-insulated wiring and cable. As an employee of
Owens Corning Fiberglas in the 1970's, Mr. Curran worked at the
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Scattergood Powerhouse
in El Segundo, California. There, he performed insulation repair
and replacement work throughout the powerhouse, which included
cutting and installing asbestos-containing pipe and block
insulation. He also cut and installed asbestos cloth and mixed and
applied asbestos-containing insulation cement.

Barbara Ann Curran filed a complaint against the City of Los
Angeles, alleging that the city knew or should have known of the
dangerous working conditions at the aforementioned premises, and
negligently failed to abate or correct the hazardous conditions or
warn Mr. Curran of the existence of the dangerous conditions.  Mr.
Curran was diagnosed with asbestosis and asbestos-related pleural
disease on December 11, 2009. Mr. Curran died on July 19, 2012.

Ms. Curran appeals from a final judgment entered in favor of the
city acting by and through the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and
Power after the trial court sustained, without leave to amend, the
city's demurrer to appellant's complaint.  The Appellant contends
that the trial court erred in granting the demurrer on the ground
that appellant did not timely file a claim under the Government
Claims Act.

In a decision dated May 2, 2013, the Court of Appeals of
California, Second District, Division Two, found that the
complaint sufficiently alleges facts suggesting that the city
waived the defense of untimeliness under the Government Claims
Act.  Accordingly, the Court reversed.

The Court, citing Green v. State Center Community College Dist.
(1995) 34 Cal.App.4th 1348, 1354, fn. omitted, pointed out that
under the Government Claims Act, the filing of an untimely claim
"triggers a duty by the public entity to notify the potential
claimant of the claim's insufficiency stating, with particularity,
the defects or omissions.  If the public entity fails to send this
notice, it waives any defenses as to the sufficiency of the claim
based upon a defect or omission."  Because the complaint alleges
that the city did not respond to the Appellant's claim, the
complaint makes a prima facie showing that the defense of
untimeliness was waived, the Court said.  The city's demurrer was
not properly sustained on the ground that the Appellant's claim
was not timely filed, the Court added.

The case is IN RE LAOSD ASBESTOS CASES, No. B241095 (Cal. App.).
A full-text copy of the Decision is available at
http://is.gd/9lwtzVfrom Leagle.com.

Alan R. Brayton, Esq., Gilbert L. Purcell, Esq., and Lloyd F.
LeRoy, Esq., at Brayton Purcell, LLP, in Novato, California, for
the Plaintiff and Appellant.

Carmen A. Trutanich, City Attorney, Richard M. Brown, General
Counsel for Water and Power, and Lisa S. Berger, Deputy City
Attorney, for Defendant and Respondent.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Court Keeps Ruling in "Seymour" Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Anthony Seymour commenced an action seeking damages for injuries
he allegedly sustained as a result of his exposure to coal tar
pitch fumes and asbestos while employed as a laborer in the carbon
electrode industry.  In the complaint, the Plaintiff separated the
defendants into two groups: the coal tar pitch industry
defendants, which included defendants Beazer East, Inc., Domtar
Corporation, and Honeywell International, Inc., (the "Appellants")
and the asbestos industry defendants.

The Plaintiff alleged in the complaint that products manufactured
and sold by the Coal Tar Pitch Industry Defendants exposed him to
coal tar pitch fumes, which caused him to contract bladder cancer.
The Plaintiff further alleged that products manufactured and sold
by the asbestos industry defendants exposed him to asbestos, which
caused injuries related thereto.  The Appellants appeal from an
order denying their motion for severance of all claims and causes
of action against them.

In a May 3, 2013, decision, the Appellate Division of the Supreme
Court of New York, Fourth Department, affirmed holding that the
determination of whether to grant or deny a request for a
severance is a matter of judicial discretion, which should not be
disturbed on appeal absent a showing of prejudice to a substantial
right of the party seeking the severance.  The burden, according
to the Court, is on the party seeking the severance to show that a
joint trial would result in substantial prejudice.  Severance, the
Court added, is appropriate where individual issues predominate,
concerning particular circumstances applicable to each defendant
and there is the possibility of confusion for the jury.

In this case, although the Appellants contended that a joint trial
might result in juror confusion and would be inappropriate because
the Plaintiff's alleged injuries with respect to his exposure to
coal tar pitch fumes and to asbestos were distinct, they did not
satisfy their burden of establishing that a joint trial would
result in substantial prejudice, the Court ruled.  Thus, the Court
perceived no reason to disturb Supreme Court's exercise of
discretion in denying the motion.

The Appellants' contention that severance was warranted because
they would be prejudiced by the procedures relating to asbestos
cases was raised for the first time in their reply papers and was
therefore not properly before the court, the Court said.

Finally, the Appellants' contention that, without severance, they
will be denied the opportunity to seek removal of their action to
federal court is raised for the first time on appeal and thus is
not properly before the Court.

The case is IN RE: EIGHTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ASBESTOS LITIGATION.
ANTHONY SEYMOUR, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. NIAGARA INSULATIONS,
INC., ET AL., Defendants, BEAZER EAST, INC., DOMTAR CORPORATION
AND HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL, INC., Defendants-Appellants, 238 CA
12-01809 (N.Y. App. Div.).  A full-text copy of the Decision is
available at http://is.gd/6A0ij4from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Search for Meso Clients Intensifies on TV, Web
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dionne Searcey, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reported that
years ago lawyers combed newspaper obituaries for victims of
asbestos-related cancer. Now, law firms spend millions of dollars
annually to advertise on television and the Internet in search of
mesothelioma patients.

According to the WSJ report, often, the firms with the highest
profile on TV don't even try cases. Instead, they specialize in
"lead generation," reeling in mesothelioma patients and passing
them on, for a price, to attorneys who will sign the clients or
litigate the case.

WSJ related that Texas attorney Mark Lanier, whose firm has
represented asbestos plaintiffs for years, divides the new strata
of mesothelioma attorneys into what he calls "chicken catchers and
chicken pluckers," or those who drum up clients and those who
litigate their cases. He adds: "The best of the catchers do
actually keep up with the case afterward."

Trolling online for new clients can be costly, WSJ said.  On
Google's AdWords, which charges advertisers for their ads to
appear next to specific keywords entered by users, lawsuit-related
phrases including "mesothelioma" are the most expensive category
of keyword, sometimes going for as much as $900 a click for the
top ad spot, Larry Kim, founder of WordStream Inc., a provider of
Internet marketing software and services, told WSJ. "This is the
most expensive niche there is, period."

WSJ said Internet domain names with variations of "mesothelioma"
and "asbestos" are touted by entrepreneurs who snapped them up
first. Patrick V. Palmer, who specializes reselling domain names
he has purchased, initially tried to peddle his 1,000
mesothelioma-related domains such as "detroitmesothelioma.com" to
asbestos plaintiffs' attorneys but decided they would be so
lucrative he is going to keep them. He plans to set up websites to
lure potential plaintiffs and sell any "leads" to plaintiffs'
lawyers.

"A light bulb went off in my head -- why am I selling these
things?" Mr. Palmer told WSJ.  "One lead will justify the cost of
selling a domain."

One Pennsylvania company called ServicesToLawyers last spring
offered up "very elusive" leads on potential mesothelioma clients
for $5,000 each, the WSJ report said.

"If this is the league that you play in please give me a call to
personally discuss the process," said an email to plaintiffs'
attorneys sent by Jesse Levine, the company's founder, WSJ
related. Mr. Levine declined to comment.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Christchurch Patients Had Fibro Risk, Say Workers
------------------------------------------------------------------
PSYCHE -- MAY 6
Georgina Stylianou and Olivia Carville, writing for Stuff.co.nz,
reported that industrial abseilers, from left, Neil Silcock, Liam
Milner, Petra Doner and Jeff Richards who are not impressed with
the response to them discovering they were dealing with asbestos
while working on the Parkside Block at Christchurch Hospital.

According to the report, contractors exposed to asbestos while
working at Christchurch Hospital are outraged they may have
unknowingly put patients and staff at risk to the poisonous
substance while walking through active wards.

Official test results, obtained by The Press, confirm
subcontractors for exterior building firm Goleman were exposed to
asbestos while working on the roof of the hospital's earthquake-
damaged Parkside building in early April, the report related.

Several workers say they walked through wards and saw patients in
hospital beds, unknowingly wearing potentially contaminated
material, for more than a week after Goleman had received test
results that confirmed the presence of white asbestos on the roof
site, the report further related.

The Government is investigating the issue after it received a
complaint about the possible health risk but the Canterbury
District Health Board (CDHB) said there was no concern for patient
or staff safety, the report added.

The workers, who were removing moss and lichen from the hospital
roof, were concerned the material they were working with contained
asbestos and gave the CDHB maintenance officer a sample to test on
March 27, the report said.

According to the report, external chemical risk management
company, Chemsafety, tested the sample and preliminary results
confirming the presence of white asbestos were sent to the CDHB on
April 2.

Goleman was informed of the test results and advised to stop work
immediately by the CDHB, the report related.

An agenda for a Goleman staff meeting, which 25 of the 27 possible
employees attended, mentioned the possibility of asbestos on the
site with the phrase "stop, think and if not safe, don't do," the
report also related.

However, four contractors maintain they were not told about the
risk, the news agency said.  The work continued for the next 10
days.

Workers told The Press up to 10 Goleman employees may have been
exposed to asbestos and said they were not advised of the
potential health and safety hazard or told of the positive test
results by Goleman, the report said.

A group of 10 workers approached Fletchers, the project manager
for the hospital, amid growing concerns their workplace could be
contaminated, on April 10. Fletchers immediately shut the site
down.

Results from a second test sample were received by the CDHB on
April 12, which once again came back as positive, and Goleman was
again immediately informed.

On that same day, Goleman workers were ordered to pick up gear,
including ropes, clothing and hoses, from the contaminated work
site and carry it in sealed plastic bags through Parkside and into
Christchurch Women's Hospital, where they were due to begin work
on the roof.

The workers say they were told by Goleman that the tests had come
back positive later that same afternoon and were asked to bring in
any clothing that may have been contaminated.

Goleman employees Jeff Richards and his partner, Petra Doner, both
handed in their resignation on April 15, furious they were "put in
danger without choice".

Richards, an industrial abseiler who worked on the site, believes
Goleman downplayed the risk of exposure to asbestos for the
workers, hospital staff and patients and handled the situation
"very poorly".

He said workers were not formally told about the asbestos until
the site had been shut down and that they were not given any
warning of the potential danger or any advice or extra protective
equipment by Goleman after the positive test results.

Richards and fellow colleagues Liam Milner and Neil Silcock said
they walked through corridors "past patients in hospital beds",
and used the same elevators as doctors, nurses and the public
during the week the work continued at the site.

"The gear we were wearing and carrying was potentially covered in
asbestos and there is a good chance those people were exposed to
it that we walked past in the hospital," Richards said.

"It's a massive public health issue."

Goleman general manager Luke Goleman disputed his employees'
claims and said the firm "took action the moment we found there
has been the slightest risk of asbestos". Goleman changed the work
methodology to protect staff.

Clothing samples taken from the workers for testing have all
returned free of any contamination, he said.

He believed Goleman handled the situation well.

"Goleman acted on all information as it came to hand and were
proactive in the initial testing of the roofing material to assure
the safety of our staff."

CDHB chief executive David Meates was made aware of the situation
only on Friday morning, after Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove informed
him.

Four Goleman employees (Richards, Doner, Milner and Silcock)
provided Cosgrove with written statements and a copy of the tests
results at his mobile office in Rangiora on April 29.

"These are some very serious allegations. We're talking about
patients, staff and Goleman workers being exposed to potentially
contaminated material," Cosgrove said.

Meates said he was confident CDHB staff acted "promptly and
appropriately" when they were first alerted to the possibility of
asbestos being present in the roofing material.

"I would like to stress that at no time has there been any
concerns for patient or staff safety."

A CDHB spokeswoman said last night there she would find out if the
workers had had access to hospital wards.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Russia, Zimbabwe Pick Up Fibro Baton from Canada
-----------------------------------------------------------------
PSYCHE -- MAY 6
Kathleen Ruff, writing for The Toronto Star, reported that in
February last year, an Italian court sentenced two asbestos
industrialists to 16 years in prison for criminal conduct in
having for years covered up the hazards of asbestos and failed to
implement safety measures.

According to the report, as a result of this coverup, thousands of
workers and nearby residents of their Eternit asbestos-cement
factory at Casale, Italy, died painful deaths from asbestos-
related diseases. And the death toll at Casale continues to rise.
Yet the asbestos industry is fighting to carry on this same deadly
coverup today. To date, Canada has been the industry's chief
political ally in achieving this goal. But this is about to
change.

At the UN Rotterdam Convention conference in Geneva, asbestos
lobbyists will be working to defeat the recommendation of the
convention's expert scientific committee to put chrysotile
asbestos on the convention's list of hazardous substances, the
report said.

The convention does not ban trade in hazardous substances; it
simply requires that countries act responsibly and obtain prior
informed consent before shipping a listed hazardous substance to
another country. This allows developing countries -- where
asbestos and most hazardous substances are shipped nowadays -- to
be informed of the dangers. They thus have the right to refuse the
product or, at least, have a better chance of protecting their
population from harm.

This will be the fourth time that the recommendation to list
chrysotile asbestos as hazardous will be presented to the UN
conference. Chrysotile asbestos represents 95 per cent of all
asbestos used over the past century. The scientific consensus is
clear that all forms of asbestos cause deadly diseases. Other
forms of asbestos are already on the convention's list but not
chrysotile asbestos, representing 100 per cent of the global
asbestos trade today.

At previous conferences, Canada played the role of saboteur-in-
chief, refusing to allow chrysotile asbestos to be put on the
list. Even though chrysotile asbestos is listed as a hazardous
substance under Canadian law, Canada maintained that, once it left
Canadian shores (as virtually all of it did because Canadians did
not want asbestos in their homes and schools), it should no longer
be treated as a hazardous substance.

At the last conference in 2011, when, finally, consensus had been
reached to list chrysotile asbestos, Canada alone refused consent,
single-handedly blocking the listing.

The Harper government has stated that it will not block the
listing at the upcoming conference. But this turnaround is not
because the government supports the convention's mandate of health
protection. Instead, it is for totally cynical reasons.

Harper's Quebec lieutenant, Christian Paradis -- a longtime ally
of the Quebec asbestos industry -- explained that, since the new
Parti Quebecois government has refused to subsidize the bankrupt
Quebec asbestos industry, thus causing its shutdown, there would
be no point in Canada blocking the listing of chrysotile asbestos.

Canada's message to the world is clear and sordid: if you can make
money from exporting a hazardous substance, then oppose safety
requirements, as they might damage profits. If you have no vested
interest, then don't bother to oppose.

If other countries follow Canada's example, the convention becomes
worthless.

Canada does not even intend to support the listing of chrysotile
asbestos. Instead, it will maintain a cowardly, ambiguous silence.

Russia, the world's biggest asbestos exporter, will take over
Canada's role of sabotaging the convention, the report said. Of
the 1 million tons of asbestos exported in 2011, Russia exported
750,000. Russia, therefore, has a big financial interest in the
continued uncontrolled export of asbestos and continued coverup of
its hazards.

Russia will be attending for the first time as a party to the
convention. It has indicated that it intends to use its new status
to prevent chrysotile asbestos from being put on the hazardous
substance list. In Russia, with a population of 141 million
people, there is not a single scientist or a single scientific
organization that opposes the government's pro-asbestos policy.
Or, at any rate, there is not a single scientist or scientific
body that dares to do so publicly.

Zimbabwe also will be attending as a party for the first time and
also plans to oppose the listing. Zimbabwe wants to reopen its
asbestos mines and resume asbestos exports. Safety measures are
not on its wish list.

Canada's heartless asbestos legacy lives on, inherited by Russia
and Zimbabwe. Many will die painful, unnecessary deaths as a
result. We have a lot to answer for, the report said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Fears Taint Rotto Holiday
------------------------------------------------
Tayissa Barone, writing for The West Australian, reported that
when little Annabel Utting returned from her fossick around
Rottnest Island's Geordie Bay, her parents did not expect to find
asbestos among her collected treasures.

"She had no idea," the six-year-old's mother Jacquie told the news
agency."She had these prized possessions she was really pleased to
find and we were horrified to see one was what looked like
asbestos."

According to the report, Mrs Utting said her daughter's find
dampened an enjoyable holiday with her family of five, including
Annabel's sisters Emily, 9, and Louisa, 4.

"It's made me really anxious about letting my children frolic
around and do what kids do, which is explore and pick up shells
and things," she further told the news agency.  "If there's a
danger of them picking up asbestos, it ruins the family holiday."

Annabel said she did not know what the light coloured object was
but thought she should show her father David, who alerted the
Rottnest Island Authority, the report related.

"I thought it was a rock and I wasn't sure what it was so I
brought it up to my dad," she said.

Regular visitors to Rottnest, the Uttings said the experience had
not turned them off their "idyllic" island but they expected the
authority to clean the area thoroughly, according to the report.

Contractors collected the piece, described as 10cm by 5cm wide and
took it for testing.

They also made a sweep of surrounding units and found what
appeared to be other small pieces.

An RIA spokeswoman said rain or ground disturbance could uncover
old material and it had strict guidelines.

Asbestos roofs on the island were replaced in 2005.

"All asbestos roof material has been removed and a risk register
documents any known remaining materials," the spokeswoman said.

"Where appropriate, units containing asbestos have a warning
notice. Asbestos in a stable condition is not dangerous to
health."

An avid explorer and collector, Annabel said she was not deterred
from her pastime.

"Hopefully it's not there any more," she said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Church Faces GBP5,000 Fine After Fibro Discovery
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Smith-Dawkins, writing for Nottingham Post, reported that
a church must find GBP5,000 to remove asbestos found in its cellar
-- and is in desperate need of money to pay for the work.

According to the report, St John's Church in Nottingham Road,
Hucknall, was found to have asbestos in bad condition under the
main church -- which can be dangerous to human health.

During the usual five-year inspection of St John's the church
architect recommended in his report that an asbestos check be
undertaken, the report said.

Surveyors were then called in and discovered the asbestos in the
cellar, although the main church is completely safe to use, the
report added.

The church must now find GBP5,000 after being told to remove it as
soon as possible, according to the report.  Church vicar Reverend
David Ford, said: "GBP5,000 is an enormous hit to the church. We
do not have the kind of reserve funds that can accommodate for
these types of things.  "We have to increase our fund-raising and
it means other things can't happen now."

Since the discovery of asbestos, church workers have had to wear
protective clothing to go down to the cellar if they need to turn
the boiler on -- and all equipment and storage in the basement has
now been removed, the report related.

Mr Ford said that the church, which costs around GBP700 to run a
week, is already stretched for money.  He said that the annual
Spring Fair, to be held at the church on Saturday, May 11, would
help to raise some of the money needed for the work.

Mr Ford said: "We do appreciate all the help and support we get
from people in Hucknall. We are keen for local people to come
along to the spring fair."

The spring fair will feature a variety of stalls selling home-made
produce, gifts, clothes books and cards. A raffle and game stalls
will also be set up.

People wanting to hold a stall are to set up at 9am, before the
event is opened to the public from noon to 3pm. The cost of a
table is GBP5 and can be booked on 0115 963 3490.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Funds Set to Pay GBP300MM to Victims of Asbestos
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Miles Costello, writing for The Times, reported that thousands of
sufferers of an asbestos-related cancer appear set to receive
compensation under a scheme expected to be unveiled by the
Government.

According to the report, a plan to help those affected by
mesothelioma to receive faster access to compensation is likely to
be detailed in the Queen's Speech.

Under the plan, an annual levy on specialist insurers of about
GBP35 million will effectively establish a compensation fund, the
report related.  This is expected to run for the next 40 years and
to lead to 3,000 mesothelioma sufferers receiving more than GBP300
million over the next decade.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso Victims Get 2.2% Compensation Hike
--------------------------------------------------------
Londonderry Sentinel reported that the amount of compensation
payable to asbestos victims or their dependants has increased by
2.2 per cent.

According to the report, the maximum that can be paid from
April 1, 2013 is just over GBP83,330 for a person aged 37 or
under.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Int'l Pressure Over Fibro Yielding Results
-----------------------------------------------------------
Lisa Singh, writing for The Age, reported that about 2 million
tonnes of asbestos is produced each year, almost all of which is
chrysotile, the last type of this deadly substance to be traded
without international regulation.

According to the report, at a meeting for an obscurely named
international treaty, this could change -- or vital safeguards
could be scuttled by irresponsible nations.

That Russia has become party to the convention in order to wreck
it is reprehensible, the report related.

The report further related that from May 7-10, parties to the
United Nations Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent
Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in
International Trade will gather in Geneva for their sixth
conference.

The convention, according to the report, is the main way the world
monitors and regulates the trade of chemicals that are hazardous
to people and the environment. Once a chemical is listed in an
annex to the convention, exporters are required to advise
importing countries of the hazardous nature of the substance being
traded so that importers can make informed decisions about whether
to allow it in.

The report said there was a time when asbestos was freely traded,
with suppliers happy to try to keep up with demand for the miracle
material. Australia was at the forefront of the global asbestos
industry, exporting asbestos and products manufactured using it
until mining was banned in 1983. Domestically, asbestos "fibro"
cement sheeting dominated the Australian construction industry
until the late 1980s.

As the true cost of asbestos became clear, campaigns by Australian
unions, doctors and the public eventually convinced the government
to wind down the industry. Asbestos was banned in Australia in
2003.

Tragically, its legacy remains. Not only was it the cause of
Australia's worst industrial disaster at the Wittenoom mine but it
still results in about 700 Australian deaths each year from
asbestos-related disease, a figure that is expect to rise until at
least 2020. Australia notified other countries of its final ban in
2003, triggering discussion within the Rotterdam convention to
list chrysotile.

At each conference since, Australia has strongly supported the
international regulation of chrysotile, based on a determination
to protect the rest of the world from repeating our mistakes.
Outside these meetings, Australia has made direct representations
on the issue, particularly to Canada and Russia.

Asbestos exports go almost exclusively to developing countries,
such as India and Vietnam. Most developed nations, including
exporters, have banned asbestos or introduced strict regulations
on its domestic use. But in developing countries, asbestos retains
the allure it once held for postwar Australia.

Worse, the pace and poor safety standards of construction in the
developing world almost guarantees that the deadly effects of
asbestos are spread widely during construction.

Asbestos exposure is not only a lethal occupational hazard, it is
an ever-present danger of life in asbestos-flooded communities.
Objections to the listing of asbestos have been raised since
international discussions began. For the past decade, the
principal opponent was Canada, then home to the largest asbestos
mine in the world.

In September 2012, the Parti Quebecois won the Quebec election on
a platform of withdrawing a government loan that was keeping the
Jeffrey asbestos mine alive. For the first time, Canada has
pledged not to veto chrysotile's inclusion. Its abstention is a
blow to the chrysotile lobby and creates significant momentum
before next week's meeting. Since this decision, India and Brazil,
which have previously objected to chrysotile's listing, will
follow Canada's lead and abstain from voting.

Russia now has the questionable distinction of being the world's
largest asbestos exporter. President Vladimir Putin has indicated
that Russia will veto the listing of chrysotile asbestos in its
first conference as a voting member.

Putin is known for living dangerously but such recklessness about
the lives of thousands across the developing world stretches even
his macho persona. That Russia has become party to the convention
in order to wreck it is reprehensible.

It also places Russia in the company of Zimbabwe, another first-
time voter at this week's meeting. After closing its asbestos
mines years ago, Zimbabwe is experiencing a flight of capital to
its booming asbestos production, much of which flows from Russia.

Many in the Zimbabwean government are deeply connected to the
industry, and have pursued an agenda in government and the media
to deliberately conceal the health effects of asbestos.

Zimbabwean objections to regulating the trade of chrysotile are a
continuation of the deception and sectional interests that has
been the rule in their domestic politics.

Australia is leading the world in responding to the legacy of
asbestos. The Gillard government has introduced legislation to
establish a national asbestos safety and eradication agency as we
seek to avoid the threatened "third wave" of asbestos-related
disease.

International regulation of this industry is inevitable: the only
question is whether it will come in time to prevent a global
pandemic.

Lisa Singh is a Labor senator for Tasmania. As a minister in the
state government, she introduced a whole-of-government asbestos
policy. She is also the founder of the Asbestos Free Tasmania
Foundation, a support organisation for asbestos disease sufferers.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro is a Time Bomb
-------------------------------------
Emma Judd, writing for The News, reported that it's a silent
killer. A ticking time bomb in your chest that hides its timer and
doesn't even let you hear the ticking as it winds down.  Until,
one day, you might get a little short of breath while walking up a
hill. You might feel a little bit tired all the time, but dismiss
it as a side effect of getting older.

Except that's not what happened.

Take Mavis Nye, who lives in Kent.

For just six months, between 45 and 50 years ago, she washed the
overalls her husband wore when he went to work at the dockyard in
Chatham, according to the report.

Nothing wrong with that. It was the 60s, and that's what happened.
But the trouble was his overalls were covered with asbestos
fibres, and as Mavis washed them, she breathed them in --
invisible fibres that are so small they travel straight down into
the lungs. And there they wait, silent killers, waiting to strike.

'For years I've been talking about ladies getting asbestos-related
diseases from washing their husband's overalls,' Chris Ward, who
runs asbestos training on behalf of his company, Havant-based
Award Health and Safety, told the news agency.

'But I actually met Mavis.

'She and her husband Ray have been married for 51 years. They went
on holiday together and Mavis found she was getting short of
breath.

'She went to have some tests when she got back, and they ended up
draining all this liquid out of her lungs.

'They tested it and found she had mesothelioma, and gave her three
months to live.

'But that was five years ago and she's still here.'

There is no such thing as safe asbestos.

Some people would have you believe that so-called white asbestos
won't kill you, and instead it's the nasty brown and blue asbestos
that will. It's not true. While white asbestos may be slightly
less nasty than the brown and blue stuff, it will cause just the
same cancer if it is inhaled.

So what is asbestos? Chris says it is found naturally in rock. The
fibres are extracted and then mixed with other things, like
concrete.

'Asbestos is wonderful stuff,' Chris says confusingly.

'More than 3,000 products contain asbestos, but most people just
think of it as being in the garage roof, or in their ceiling
tiles.

'But we used to use it in all sorts of things, like in concrete to
make it stronger.

'Or in pipe lagging because of its insulation properties.

'We even used to coat car parts with it, and make fire blankets
with it because it's flame retardant.

'The Romans used to weave it into napkins, then to clean the
napkins they'd chuck them on the fire. The blood and food would
burn off, but the napkin itself would be fine.'

But therein lies the problem. Brown and blue asbestos was outlawed
in this country in the 1980s.

White asbestos followed suit in 1999. Every building in
Portsmouth, including the Guildhall, pictured, is, in Chris's
words: riddled with the stuff.

In fact, he says the only iconic structures not to have asbestos
in them in Portsmouth is probably the Spinnaker Tower and the new
Mary Rose Museum.

'It's in your home,' he said.

'If you knock through a wall, chances are your whole house is
contaminated with asbestos fibres.

'If you had a builder do it, they should have considered that
before they carried out the work, but in reality they don't.

'You could be sitting on your sofa, and it could be covered in
asbestos fibres.

'What about schools? The maintenance people might go around
drilling into walls and ceilings, releasing asbestos into the
atmosphere.

'In the last 10 years in the UK 228 teachers have died from
asbestos-related diseases.

'In the US, figures show that for every one teacher who died, nine
pupils have also died.'

Luckily, getting rid of the fibres is easy. All you need to do is
call any company who will do an asbestos air test, which costs
GBP71 and will give you an asbestos fibre count.

If there is asbestos, the company will perform an environmental
clean, which removes the fibres. They'll do another air test to
confirm everything is safe again.

Chris's aim is to see every school maintenance person, every
builder and handyman, business people, landlords and others fully
aware of the dangers of asbestos.

He is a founder member of the Independent Asbestos Training
Providers (AITP) organisation, which seeks to raise awareness of
the its dangers, and how we are surrounded by it in every day
life.

One of the things it is trying to do is persuade DIY firms like
B&Q to carry leaflets warning of the dangers.

The organisation also raises money for charities which help people
like Mavis, who are trying to live with the disease.

Chris said: 'It's not true that a single fibre will kill you.

'But we don't know how individual people will react to it.

'Mavis got mesothelioma from washing her husband's overalls for
six months years ago. But Ray is fine.

'One gentleman I met, who was 71 at the time, was an apprentice
and used to actually saw it up every day and then in the breaks he
and his mates would throw balls of it around as if they were
having a snowball fight, and he's as fit as a flea.'

WHAT IS ASBESTOS AND HOW DO YOU GET RID OF IT?

There are three types: brown, blue and white.

Brown and blue asbestos are amphibole fibres, which means the
fibres themselves are like needles.

They're resistant to everything, including water, fire,
electricity and sound. For that reason they are mostly used in
ceiling tiles, artex, bath panels and have been sprayed on car
parts.

The fibres can only be seen under a powerful electron microscope,
and are called brown and blue because of the hue they give off.

Both brown and blue asbestos was banned in the UK in 1985.

White asbestos, Chrysotile, is best for weaving because its fibres
are curly. That's the fibre that's used in concrete, so will be
what your garage roof is made of, will be hiding in your walls,
and makes up the vast majority of asbestos found in the UK today.
It was banned in 1999.

So how do you get rid of asbestos? The white stuff is easy to get
rid of, as you don't need to have a licence. However, any person
who says they can get rid of it must have a certificate to say
they are insured specifically for asbestos removal. The risk is,
if they don't, the asbestos will just be dumped.

However, for blue and brown asbestos it's more complicated. Firms
taking that away have to have a licence from the Health and Safety
Executive, and will need to remove the asbestos in controlled
conditions to ensure there's no contamination.

'It's very hard and very expensive to get that licence,' said
Chris.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Builders Warned of Spot Fines
------------------------------------------------
Emma Macdonald, writing for The Canberra Times, reported that ACT
Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe will seek approval from the
ACT government to slap $5000 fines on builders who fail to dispose
of asbestos properly, saying too many were risking the health of
their workers and members of the public to avoid the time and cost
of safe removal.

According to the report, Mr McCabe lifted a prohibition notice on
a home in Murray Crescent in Griffith after stopping work last
week after the ACT Planning and Land Authority discovered
uncontained bonded asbestos on the site.

The report related that the authority made the discovery while
checking on electrical issues at the site, where a house is being
demolished for a renovation.

When ACT Work Safe inspectors arrived they confirmed the site was
contaminated and work was stopped immediately while a licensed
asbestos assessor and removalist was called in, the report added.

Mr McCabe said the story was not uncommon and there was a group of
ACT builders that knowingly flouted the law rather than organise
and pay for asbestos to be removed safely.

The site was also subject to a stop-work order from ACTPLA.

"Unfortunately this practice is far more common than we would
like. We have explored education options and we have made it clear
to the industry the seriousness of the situation, but a percentage
of builders chooses not to do the right thing. So, now we need to
look at enforcement," Mr McCabe said.

In the Murray Crescent case, Mr McCabe noted there was no avenue
for him to impose a fine under current regulations, but there was
a potential for the regulator to prepare a case for court
prosecution.

"I think we need to look at substantial on-the-spot fines -- in
the order of $5000 -- to provide a financial disincentive to these
builders."

Griffith resident and near neighbour Anne Forrest -- who is vice-
president of the Inner South Community Council -- said she
regularly walked down that street and had seen dust coming from
the site over the weekend.

"I think it is absolutely shocking to find out that a stop-work
order had been placed on this site due to asbestos. It should be
of enormous concern to the community."

She was further concerned that removal processes were appropriate
and were being followed up "to make sure the asbestos is actually
disposed of in a safe manner."

Mr McCabe said the amount of bonded asbestos and small amount of
fibres from lagging around pipes presented a relatively low risk
to the public. "But while it is a low risk, it has potentially
extreme consequences. That's why we have rigorous requirements for
handling asbestos correctly.

"I also have particular concern for workers on site who come into
direct contact with asbestos fibres."

Mr McCabe said builders had a duty of care to their crew and it
was their job to know whether asbestos was present in buildings --
particularly of the age and type of the Murray Crescent home.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Concerns at Christchurch Hospital
--------------------------------------------------------
Radio New Zealand News reported that industrial abseiling
contractors have grave fears they have spread white asbestos
through Christchurch Hospital.

According to the report, the contractors were repairing the
hospital's roof and says the company, Goleman, knew about the
asbestos 10 days before the workers were told.

A sample of the roof tested by Chemsafety on April 2 confirmed the
presence of white asbestos but work continued on site until
employees reiterated their concerns to the project manager,
Fletcher, about 10 days later, the report added.

Abseiler Liam Milner says Goleman handled the problem very badly.

"Extremely poorly -- they got very defensive, didn't want to take
any responsibility or own up to any mistakes being made. And then
just basically harassed us and tried to make it go away and keep
it under covers," the report added.

The site was shut down by Fletcher on April 10, the report said.
Goleman would not comment on what measures it took over the
asbestos.

Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates said he is certain
that staff and patients have not been exposed to the health
hazard.

"We are absolutely confident that there has been no risk of
exposure. There are some access areas that the contractors have
been going out and those are the only likely areas there could
have been any possible traces."

But another contractor, Neil Silcock, said workers were given
swipe cards allowing them wide access to the hospital.  He said he
worked on the site for about two weeks and during that time was in
frequent contact with staff and patients.

Mr Silcock said he is concerned that he has unknowingly spread
contaminated dust via his clothes and equipment through the
hospital.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Guelph Child Care Centre Shut Down Due to Fibro
----------------------------------------------------------------
CTV Kitchener reported that for the second time in two years, the
Willowdale Child Care Centre in Guelph's west end has been shut
down due to asbestos concerns.

The asbestos was discovered peeking out from behind a baseboard,
the report said.

Parents were notified of the shutdown over the weekend and
informed that they would have to find alternative arrangements for
their children.  Cleaning up the asbestos is expected to take
about a week.

"We found vermiculite insulation that traditionally has some
asbestos in it," Mario Petricevic, the City of Guelph's manager of
building maintenance, told the news agency.  "We're not sure what
the concentration is here."

The same situation occurred at the Willow Road facility in
December 2011 and resulted in the building being shut down for
nearly a year while the daycare operated from a temporary
location, the report related.

Jennifer Bloomberg, whose three-year-old daughter attends
Willowdale, says she's become increasingly concerned about the
facility.

"I'm thinking health risks for kids, health risks for parents.
It's not a safe environment," she tells CTV.

Officials at the City of Guelph, which owns the building, says
there is only a low risk to human health but they still don't want
to take any chances.

"We have to take every precaution," says Petricevic.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Torbay Roof Fire
------------------------------------------------
BBC News Devon reported that an elderly couple have been treated
for shock after a roof fire at their bungalow in Torbay involving
asbestos.

According to the report, about a quarter of the roof and a section
of the roof space were damaged after the fire broke in Primley
Park, Paignton.

The Environment Agency was called because of roof slates which
were thought to contain a low-hazard form of asbestos, the fire
service said.  The cause of the fire was believed to be
accidental, it added.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Raises NBN Fibro Fears
---------------------------------------------
ABC News reported that there are calls for work to stop
immediately on Tasmania's NBN roll-out amid concerns about the
potential for exposure to asbestos.

According to the report, the Electrical Trades Union's David Mier
says he has visited 13 sites around Hobart, with some next to
asbestos pits.  He says only a handful of about 100 subcontractors
at the sites had received mandatory asbestos safety training, the
report related.

"Not only are they exposing themselves to the potential of
asbestos fibres, but the general public as well," he said.
"Clearly I'd be suggesting the work should cease until they've
been adequately trained."

He says unwitting workers are digging up asbestos-lined telephone
pits.

"Potentially it can put lives at risk, the workforce and the
general public," he said.  "I'll be writing a chronology of events
and a precis of what we've seen here and we'll be submitting that
to Conroy and NBN Co and we'll be asking questions: why aren't
their obligations being fulfilled?"

The agency responsible for the safety of workers installing the
NBN admits there are issues surrounding asbestos.

In a statement, Comcare says it is intervening on specific sites.
It says it is working with NBN Co to improve current systems,
including around asbestos awareness training.

NBN Co released a statement saying it is investigating the claims.
Its contractor Visionstream says its workers have all received
training in asbestos awareness and handling.

Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been contacted
for comment.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: WorkSafeBC Seeks Tougher Penalty v. Contractor
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gordon Hoekstra, writing for The Vancouver Sun, reported that
WorkSafeBC will ask the court for stronger action against a Lower
Mainland asbestos removal contractor that could result in rare
jail time for exposing workers to health risks.

According to the report, B.C's workplace safety agency filed an
application in B.C. Supreme Court on April 26 for a hearing this
month that asks a judge to find Mike Singh, son Shawn Singh and
company Seattle Environmental Consulting Ltd. in "contempt of
court" for ignoring a 2012 court order to stop exposing employees
to asbestos.

Last year, another asbestos contractor who repeatedly flouted the
rules was jailed for 60 days for contempt of court, the report
said.

WorkSafeBC cannot take away a company's right to operate, so
instead uses a combination of education, orders and fines to
encourage compliance with worker safety laws, the report related.

In September 2012, as a "last resort," WorkSafeBC obtained a B.C.
Supreme Court order against Mike and Shawn Singh, Seattle
Environmental and an earlier Singh company, Skylite Building
Maintenance Ltd., calling on them not to expose people to
asbestos.

It was the first step in setting up a contempt-of-court charge.

At the end of last month, in nearly 900 pages of affidavits from
WorkSafeBC occupational safety officers and supporting documents
filed in court, the safety agency argues the Singhs and Seattle
Environmental have breached the earlier court order.

In the seven months since the court order was issued, the Singhs
and Seattle Environmental have been in breach of rules to protect
workers from exposure to asbestos 51 times, according to the
WorkSafeBC documents filed in court.

WorkSafeBC declined to comment directly on the contempt-of-court
request.

"I can tell you that this type of court action is relatively
rare," WorkSafeBC spokeswoman Donna Freeman said in an email.

"We have sought court injunctions against employers in the past,
and contempt of court findings once before," she noted.

Asbestos has largely been cleaned up in institutional and
industrial buildings in British Columbia, but remains a health
risk in homes that are being bulldozed or renovated.

It's of particular concern in the Lower Mainland, where older
homes are being torn down to put up condos or bigger, more
expensive houses.

Mike Singh says he has done nothing wrong, is being treated
unfairly and repeated his earlier claim that WorkSafeBC is
discriminating against him because he is Indo-Canadian.

He noted his latest company, Seattle Environmental, has been
slapped with a $60,000 fine. His fines now total $340,000.

"We are going to fight this," said Singh, noting he has retained a
lawyer to address the WorkSafeBC contempt-of-court petition.

Singh's two companies -- Skylite Building Maintenance and Seattle
Environmental -- now have had nearly 290 asbestos-related orders
written against them.

By the summer of 2012, WorkSafeBC had issued 237 written orders
dating back to 2009 against Skylite for violations of the Workers
Compensation Act of British Columbia and the Occupational Health
and Safety Regulations.

WorkSafeBC inspectors say that the Singh's companies -- Skylite
and Seattle Environmental -- have issued "clearance" certificates
before demolition when there was still asbestos material in the
homes.

The companies were also not properly removing asbestos materials
from houses, says the safety agency.

Just weeks after the September 2012 court order calling on the
Singhs to stop exposing people to asbestos, a WorkSafeBC
inspection at a North Vancouver home found textured ceiling
material that contained asbestos, even though Seattle
Environmental had issued a letter that the home was clear of
asbestos, according to court documents.

In WorkSafeBC's only other contempt-of-court proceeding, asbestos-
removal contractor Arthur Moore was handed a 60-day jail sentence
for repeatedly ignoring a B.C. Supreme Court order to cease
exposing unsuspecting employees to asbestos contamination.

Moore hired people as young as 14 years of age to remove asbestos-
impregnated drywall without providing them with any form of
protective clothing.

Asbestos remains the single largest occupational killer in B.C.,
responsible for the deaths of 512 workers between 2002 and 2011,
according to WorkSafeBC figures.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gateshead Factory Worker in Fibro Cash Pay-out
---------------------------------------------------------------
ChronicleLive reported that a former factory worker has won a
battle for compensation after being diagnosed with terminal
asbestos-related cancer.

According to the report, Gerald MacEwan, who now lives in
Gateshead, was exposed to the toxic fibres while working at Rolls
Royce's Hillington plant, in Scotland, in 1964.  The building was
undergoing repair work but Gerald said staff were not warned or
given protective masks, the report said.

Last year, at the age of 66, Gerald was diagnosed with
mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell issued High Court proceedings
after the company denied responsibility.  Now they have secured an
out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum from Rolls- Royce
Group PLC.

Gerald, who has five children and 11 grandchildren, said: ""I was
absolutely distraught to learn that I have mesothelioma. The
cancer has made me very tired all the time and I just don't feel
like going out and walking as much as we used to. It has disrupted
life for my family."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Matoaka Couple Name 69 Defendants in PI Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kyla Asbury, writing for West Virginia's Legal Journal, reported
that a Matoaka couple has named 69 defendants in a case claiming
asbestos exposure caused lung injuries.

According to the report, David Leroy Estes was diagnosed with
asbestosis and pleural plaques on Oct. 25, 2011, according to a
complaint filed April 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Estes claims he smoked one-half pack of cigarettes per day from
approximately 1960 until 2000, but then quit.

The 69 defendants exposed Estes to asbestos and/or asbestos-
containing products during his employment as a laborer, machinist
and maintenance supervisor from 1959 until 2006, according to the
suit.

Estes claims the defendants are being sued based on theories of
negligence, contaminated buildings, breach of expressed/implied
warranty, strict liability, intentional tort, conspiracy,
misrepresentation and post-sale duty to warn.

Certain defendants are also being sued as premises owners and as
Estes' employers for deliberate intent/intentional tort, according
to the suit.

Estes and his wife, Salvajean J. Estes, are seeking a jury trial
to resolve all issues involved. They are being represented by
James A. McKowen of James F. Humphreys & Associates.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The 69 defendants include 3M Company; 4520 Corporation Inc.; A.W.
Chesterton Company; Aurora Pump Company; Bechtel Corporation;
Borg-Warner Corporation; Brand Insulations Inc.; Buffalo Pumps
Inc.; BW/IP Inc.; and CBS Corporation.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-767


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kentucky Couple Name 56 Defendants in PI Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kyla Asbury, writing for The West Virginia Record, reported that
an Ashland, Ky., couple are suing 56 companies they claim are
responsible for a mesothelioma diagnosis.

According to the report, on Jan. 7, Jimmie Elliott Epling Sr.
was diagnosed with mesothelioma, according to a complaint filed
April 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Epling claims he smoked less than one-half pack of cigarettes per
day from 1963 until 1993, but then quit.

The defendants exposed Epling to asbestos and/or asbestos-
containing products during his employment as an orderly, machinist
and operator from 1952 until 2000, according to the suit.

Epling is suing the defendants for negligence, contaminated
buildings, breach of expressed/implied warranty, strict liability,
intentional tort, conspiracy, misrepresentation and post-sale duty
to warn.

Certain defendants are also being sued as premises owners and as
Epling's employers for deliberate intent/intentional tort,
according to the suit.

Epling and his wife, Ernestine Epling, are seeking a jury trial to
resolve all issues involved. They are being represented by James
A. McKowen of James F. Humphreys & Associates.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The 56 defendants named in the suit include 3M Company; A.W.
Chesterton Company; Amdura Corporation; Bucyrus International
Inc.; Buffalo Pumps Inc.; CBS Corporation; Caterpillar Inc.; Clark
Equipment Company; Certainteed Corporation; and Cleaver Brooks
Company Inc.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-768


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Oldham Pensioner Wins Battle for Pay-out
---------------------------------------------------------
Helen Korn, writing for Oldham Evening Chronicle, reported that an
Oldham pensioner exposed to asbestos 50 years ago says he is
"absolutely delighted" to win more than GBP15,000 in compensation.

According to the report, Ken Partridge (84) appealed via the
Chronicle in 2011 for former colleagues to help his fight.  The
former joiner, from Shaw, developed asbestosis -- caused by
inhaled asbestos dust -- due to work at Newroyd Mills from 1963-
65.

After the appeal was featured, his solicitor was able to find the
evidence needed to settle his claim.

"I worked at Newroyd Mills, following my service in the Army at
the end of the 1940s," he said.

"Back in those days we didn't know just how dangerous asbestos
was."

Former colleagues of Mr Partridge contacted his solicitor to
compile evidence to confirm asbestos had been common in his work
environment.

With that evidence, Lesley Mynett negotiated a settlement with the
company's insurer.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bid to Separate Coal Tar & Fibro Claims Rejected
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Harris Martin Publishing reported that a New York appellate court
has affirmed a trial court order keeping claims arising out of
asbestos and coal tar exposure together, ruling that the
defendants have not proven they would be prejudiced by trying the
claims jointly.

According to the report, in the May 3 two-page opinion, the 4th
Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate
Division, further found that several arguments raised by the
defendants in their efforts to sever the coal tar pitch exposure
claims from the asbestos claims were not properly before the
court.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxins to be Removed from Former Creamery
----------------------------------------------------------
Stephen J. Pytak, writing for Standard Speaker, reported that
America's Oldest Brewery has hired a contractor to clean asbestos
and lead paint from the former ice cream factory, Richard J.
"Dick" Yuengling, president of D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc.,
Pottsville, said May 6.

According to the report, when Yuengling applied for the building
permit for the $405,000 job May 6, Donald J. Chescavage, city code
enforcement officer, was under the impression that Yuengling
intended to demolish the 93-year-old blighted building on the
northeast corner of Fifth and Mahantongo streets.

The word "demolition" is typed right on the permit.

When asked if the building would be demolished, however, Yuengling
did not have a definite answer and did not want to discuss plans
for the building, the report related.

"We don't know what we're going to do with it yet. We don't have a
plan yet. We have to clean it out. It's all we're doing,"
Yuengling said.

"I guess that's the cost of the abatement, then," Chescavage said
of the estimated cost on the permit.

"That might just be for the abatement. If that $406,000 is for
both the abatement and the demolition, that's a good deal," Craig
S.L. Shields, CEO of Barefield Development Corp., said.

Ultimately, Yuengling has permission to knock the building down,
Chescavage said.

On May 6, D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc., using the name DGY Limited
Real Estate Partners, paid the City of Pottsville $4,100 for a
permit. Its official name is an "Application for Building Permit
or Alteration," according to the document.

In the section "detailed description of proposed alteration," the
following is listed: "Demolition -- Notify all utilities, cap
sewer, upon completion of capping, call sewer authority to inspect
before backfill (570) 622-0513, cleanout of sewer line must be
visible above grade, proof of insurance, dumping receipts and
asbestos abatement to be on file."

AMC Enterprises, 147 W. Odgen St., Girardville, is the contractor
in charge of the project, according to the permit.

Two trucks were parked at the back of the former creamery Monday
(May 6) afternoon, one from Forrester Environmental Inc.,
Bloomsburg, and another from Olde Good Things Architectural
Antiques, Scranton.

"We're cleaning it out. That's what we're doing right now,"
Yuengling said.

The future of the Yuengling Creamery has been in question for
years. It's been vacant for more than a decade, and Chescavage
said he wondered about its fate in light of recent events.

In April, Yuengling rejected a plan submitted in 2012 by Barefield
Development Corp. to build 25 apartments for the elderly and a
brew pub there.

Meanwhile, the Greater Pottsville Area Sewer Authority has been
putting pressure on Yuengling to install a sewage pretreatment
facility for its brewery at 501 Mahantongo St., built in 1831.

"We don't have a square foot to build a sewage treatment plant.
That's why we haven't done anything," Yuengling said Monday.

In 2000, the authority required the brewery to develop the system
by October 2001. Thirteen years later, the situation hasn't been
addressed to the authority's satisfaction. While the authority
hasn't fined Yuengling, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
might, Timothy R. Yingling, executive director of the sewer
authority, said previously.

When asked, Yuengling would not say if pressure from the sewer
authority is spurring his decision to work on the creamery
building.

Checavage said if the building isn't going to be rehabilitated,
demolition is the best option.

"If you can't repair it, the next best step is to have it removed
if it's deteriorating as much as it is. The more the building
deteriorates, the more the liability will become for the owner,"
Chescavage said.  Yuengling said he had "no idea" how long the
abatement would take.

"The only timetable involved is how fast Yuengling and its
contractor take to determine how bad the asbestos is in the
building," Colleen Connolly, a spokeswoman for the state
Department of Environmental Protection's Northeast Regional
Office, said.

Connolly outlined the steps Yuengling would have to take to remove
asbestos from the property:

* Hire a contractor and have the structure inspected for asbestos.

* Notify DEP of findings by filling out a form, the Asbestos
Abatement and Demolition/Renovation Notification, a requirement
established in 1990 by DEP and EPA.

"The form is filed in Harrisburg and then sent to regional
offices," Connolly said. She said her office hasn't seen an
application from Yuengling.

* If an inspection cannot be completed for safety reasons, a Labor
and Industry certified asbestos supervisor needs to be present
during the demolition and waste removal process.

* If friable asbestos or non-friable asbestos that has a
likelihood of being rendered friable during the demolition process
is present, the material would need to be removed prior to the
demolition.

"Friable asbestos-containing material" is as any material
containing more than 1 percent asbestos that, when dry, can be
crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure,
Connolly said.

If it's detected, the contractor will have to submit a separate
notification form to DEP prior to removal, Connolly said.

Yuengling built the creamery, an ice cream factory in 1920, in
response to Prohibition to make up for lost beer sales.

The concrete and steel structure was built on the Fifth Street
slope. The side bordering Mahantongo Street is two stories high
and the side bordering West Norwegian is four stories high.

It's a 40,000-square-foot building and has a parking lot behind it
that would accommodate 20 vehicles, Shields said previously.

The factory closed in 1985. Yuengling donated the property to St.
Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Pottsville, and the church sold
it to Smith & Smith Contracting, which used it for storage. Then,
in the mid-1990s, Yuengling bought the building back for about
$125,000.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Removed From Australia Aquatic Center
------------------------------------------------------------
Lee Gaskin, writing for The Border Mail, reported that asbestos is
being removed from the Australian Institute of Sport Aquatic
Centre at the same time the country's elite swimmers are using the
centre.

According to the report, renovations on the 28-year-old building
have been taking place for a month and are expected to be
completed by the end of the month.

The report said several swimmers walked past the construction site
on their way to training, although there is a barrier and signs
clearly stating the removal of asbestos to prevent the public from
coming into contact with it.

Tests are being conducted daily to ensure no particles are in the
air around the worksite.

Comcare gave the green light for the removal of the asbestos after
examining the details of the project.

All staff at the Australian Sports Commission and the AIS were
informed on April 8 of the decision.

The asbestos is being removed from the outside of the building and
replaced with compressed fibro.

A spokesman for the ASC described the asbestos as "low-risk" and
said all the required steps had been followed to ensure its safe
removal. Those include:

* An ACT-certified asbestos remover being retained to advise on
and remove the bonded asbestos sheeting from the site.

* Comcare approving the project approach and removal of asbestos.

* An independent organisation conducting daily tests throughout
the removal period to verify that no particulate asbestos are
found in the air around the worksite.

* The ASC occupational health and safety adviser being informed
and agreeing to the process proposed and remaining on call should
any OH&S issues arise.

"An exclusion zone has been set up around the work area to cordon
off access from the public and staff since the start of the work,"
the spokesman said.

"Arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the removal
process complied with applicable work, health and safety laws."

The AIS pool will be closed to the public from May 19 to June 7
for maintenance work.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Bill to Make Victim Payouts Easier
----------------------------------------------------------------
Express & Star reported that the Queen has laid out plans to make
it easier for victims of asbestos-related cancer to claim
compensation.

According to the report, newly diagnosed mesothelioma sufferers
who developed the disease after being exposed at work will be able
to receive help through the support scheme.

The report said many sufferers are unable to claim compensation
from employers because the disease takes many years to develop and
the companies they worked for may no longer exist.

Introducing the Mesothelioma Bill, the Queen's Speech said:
"Legislation will be introduced to ensure sufferers of a certain
asbestos-related cancer receive payments where no liable employer
or insurer can be traced."

Officials estimate that 3,500 victims who are not currently able
to claim compensation will receive GBP355 million over the next 10
years. The money will come from a levy on insurers which provide
employers' liability. Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma after
July 25 last year can make a claim.

Mesothelioma -- a cancer of the lining of internal organs -- kills
more than 1,800 people in the UK every year. It is estimated that
300 people a year receive no civil compensation because their
employer's insurer cannot be traced.

Asbestos is the most common cause of the disease. Most people
diagnosed with mesothelioma will have been exposed to the mineral
at some point in their life.

Construction workers union Ucatt said the plans to introduce
compensation for asbestos victims were "greatly watered down".

Steve Murphy, general secretary of the union, said: "Deaths from
asbestos are entirely preventable. For decades governments and
employers knew the risks but chose to do nothing. It is
disgraceful that even now they are trying wherever possible to
deny workers compensation.

"This watered-down scheme, which denies compensation to many
victims and slashes compensation to those who qualify,
demonstrates that the Conservatives are in the pocket of the
insurance industry."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Democrats Oppose Bill Affecting Exposure Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reported that the state Assembly has passed a
bill opponents say would slow asbestos-exposure lawsuits.

According to the report, the measure would require plaintiffs to
reveal how many businesses their attorneys plan to go after.
Republican supporters say such a move would prevent lawyers from
hiding multiple claims in hopes of maximizing awards.  But
opponents, including trial attorneys, say the measure is designed
to slow cases down in the hopes plaintiffs will die and protect
corporations from making payouts.

Rep. Andre Jacque, of De Pere, says his proposal would inject
transparency into asbestos claims. He says the bill would help
judges and jurors see how many defendants may be at fault for one
person's illness, ensuring they divvy up damages fairly, the
report related.

The bill passed on a 58-39 vote. It now heads to the Senate.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Bill Will Deny Payouts to Many
------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Merrick, writing for The Northern Echo, reported that
victims of asbestos exposure and their families will be denied
compensation after a Government U-turn condemned as a "disgrace".

According to the report, the Queen's Speech promised a
Mesothelioma Bill to provide payouts to sufferers -- many now
deceased -- unable to trace the employer who exposed them to the
deadly dust.

The move has long been demanded in the North-East, which, because
of its long history of heavy industry, is a known blackspot for
asbestos deaths, but a trade union immediately warned a GBP335m
fund fell far short of what was originally promised, because:

* Only victims of mesothelioma will be helped -- not people dead,
or dying, from other asbestos-related conditions.

* Only those diagnosed after July 2012 will receive payouts --
denying help to huge numbers of older cases.

* Payouts will be only 70 per cent of the average compensation
levels for asbestos, because of a complicated banding system.

Steve Murphy, general secretary of UCATT, said: "Deaths from
asbestos are entirely preventable. For decades, Governments and
employers knew the risks but chose to do nothing.

"It is disgraceful that even now they are trying wherever possible
to deny workers compensation."

Nearly 2,400 people, mostly men, die from mesothelioma every year
-- of which 300 do not have an insurer, or that insurer cannot be
traced, the report said.

Asbestos was used in shipbuilding, construction and the automotive
industry, exposing workers. Carpenters, joiners, plumbers and
heating engineers are at particular risk.

A 'standardised mortality ratio' (SMR) is used to identify
blackspots, where a figure of 100 would be the expected number of
deaths, given the age of the population.

The figures are far, far higher in Hartlepool (240), Stockton-on-
Tees (211), Sunderland (230), South Tyneside (317), Redcar and
Cleveland (167) and Middlesbrough (140).

Furthermore, at least 1,500 people die every year nationwide from
other asbestos-linked conditions -- a figure that could reach
7,500, with better diagnosis, it is argued.

UCATT seized on the revelation that major insurers met Lord Freud,
the welfare minister, no fewer than 14 times to discuss the Bill,
over two years.

Mr Murphy added: "This watered down scheme demonstrates that the
Conservatives are in the pocket of the insurance industry."

A proposal for a GBP400m fund -- mainly funded by insurers -- was
put forward by Labour, but progress ground to a halt after the
Coalition came to power.

Under the original plan, payouts were promised for all those with
fatal asbestos-related conditions with no insurer -- not simply
mesothelioma cases.

It takes an average of 40 years for inhalation of asbestos dust to
cause cancers, which means the records of many insurance policies
to protect workers have disappeared.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Found in Sonoma State University Offices
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pat Guth, writing for Mesothelioma.com, reported that a student
publication at Sonoma State University reports that traces of
deadly asbestos dust have been found in at least one building on
the sprawling campus in Rohnert Park, California, prompting
officials to advise faculty members not to disturb the dust lest
they create a health hazard.

The article in the Sonoma State Star explains that friable
asbestos was found in floor and ceiling tiles in Stevenson Hall,
which houses the offices of the school's Sociology Department. The
hall was built in 1965 during an era in which building materials
often contained asbestos. The material was used because of its
exemplary fire-resistant qualities and because adding it to
products such as cement increased the durability and life-span of
those products and made them stronger. Unfortunately, it was later
revealed that asbestos was a carcinogen, causing such cancers as
mesothelioma, which most often attacks the lining of the lungs.

The situation at Sonoma State came to light after faculty members
in Stevenson Hall contacted Craig Dawson, director of energy and
environmental at the university, expressing their concern. The
California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (CalOSHA)
was called in to investigate.

Since that time, emergency cleaning crews have been sent in to
address the dust in the offices at Stevenson Hall, but faculty
members say a lot of dust remains.

"In recent weeks, the university has applied a sealant to the
floor tiles of some faculty offices . . . however, the university
has not taken steps to replace ceiling tiles, since they are so
extensive in this building," said Noel Byrne, professor of
sociology.

"[The university] notes that (unlike floor tiles) ceiling tiles
are not disturbed by the day use of the building. Replacement
would be very expensive. Some faculty believes that the university
is placing faculty, students and staff at risk by not properly
addressing this issue," Byrne adds, noting that the process for
confirming the extent of the asbestos contamination has taken
weeks, prompting further concern about asbestos exposure.

"I want to know if my office is toxic. I have been in here for
years, and am concerned for my own health," said Peter Phillips,
associate professor of sociology. "I hold the high levels of
administration responsible for this, by having faculty members
exposed to this for years."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Transnet To Dump Fibro Near Northern Cape Town
---------------------------------------------------------------
News.24 reported that plans by Transnet to dump asbestos into two
borrow pits near De Aar, in the Northern Cape, are horrifying
residents.

Transnet had to remove asbestos from train yards to prevent
possible health problems, Volksblad reported.  The plan was to
dump 520,000 tons of asbestos, from nine yards, into two grooves
and seal them.

According to the report, residents felt the asbestos could affect
people, livestock, and wildlife such as rare bird species.

                       Legal requirements

Transnet spokesperson Mike Asefovitz told the newspaper it was
following the legal requirements to the letter.

However, De Aar residents' association chairperson Charel Marais
said many questions remained unanswered.

"The area is some 300 metres from a municipal boundary. There are
not houses there, but in future it could become a problem," he was
quoted as saying.

Marais said there were strong winds in the area and that two wind
power plants were planned for the town.

"They cannot guarantee us that asbestos fibre would not be blown
into the air," he said.

Volksblad reported that residents were also not convinced that a
membrane at the bottom of the grooves would hold forever and stop
it from ending up in the underground dolomite formations,
contaminating ground water and eventually drinking water.

Residents reportedly suggested that the asbestos be dumped
elsewhere, in old asbestos mines which had to be rehabilitated
anyway.

Asefovitz said all groups had been consulted in the process.
Residents had two weeks to file their objections.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lebanon Businessman Sentenced for Violation
------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Patrick, writing for St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reported that
a businessman who improperly removed asbestos from a site in
Washington Park was fined $3,000 and sentenced on May 9 to five
months behind bars and three months of house arrest for violating
the Clean Air Act, prosecutors said.

According to the report, Franklin "Al" Bieri, 54, bought the
seven-acre Emerson Electric Facility site, and in April 2010 used
untrained workers who improperly removed building materials that
contained asbestos, prosecutors said. The workers failed to take
steps to prevent the release of asbestos and failed to label the
waste so that it would be properly disposed of, they said, and
Bieri failed to notify the Illinois Environmental Protection
Agency about the work.

"This well-heeled businessman tried to save a few bucks by sending
in untrained and improperly protected people, then had them
dispose of this dangerous material improperly, exposing
unsuspecting landfill workers," said U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton
in a statement, the report said. "This conduct is breathtaking,
literally."

U.S. District Judge David Herndon called it "a profoundly serious
crime" and said Bieri put "people's lives on the line,"
prosecutors said, the report related.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Claims Ex-Labourer's Life
------------------------------------------------
Jenny Moody, writing for Burton Mail, reported that a pensioner
died from asbestos-related cancer more than 50 years after working
as a building labourer, an inquest has heard.

According to the report, Peter Gill died at Rider House Nursing
Home in Stapenhill Road, Stapenhill, on November 28 after battling
mesothelioma.

The 81-year-old's inquest, held at Burton Town Hall, heard he had
worked in many jobs during his lifetime but would have been
exposed to asbestos while acting as a building labourer for a
company called Robinson's during the 1950s and 1960s, the report
said.

Consultant pathologist Dr Peter Acland told the inquest that Mr
Gill was found to have mesothelioma on the lining of his lungs and
thickening of the lining.

In his report, Dr Acland said he found malignant cells in his
pleura, which is a cavity providing a closed space within which
the lungs had grown.

However, he did not see any signs of asbestos bodies in his lungs.

Dr Acland said: "There was no clear evidence of asbestos but it is
mesothelioma which is almost always linked to exposure to
asbestos.

"Also we are aware that he worked for a firm where asbestos was a
problem.

"There was a chest infection which I think was the final straw
which caused his death."

South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh said Mr Gill started to
feel ill in 2012 and there was concern it could be mesothelioma.

He said: "Just about all cases of mesothelioma are linked to
asbestos and there is no cure but it did give him time to consider
where he had been exposed to the substance.

"The main exposure to asbestos was on one of his jobs as a
building labourer for Robinson's between the 1950s and 60s.

"At that time, the risks were not recognised and the time between
exposure and the onset of cancer is delayed.

"The pathologist found no indication of asbestos but Dr Acland is
satisfied it was mesothelioma that killed him."

Mr Haigh ruled that Mr Gill suffered a work-related death and
passed on his sincere condolences to his family.  He added: "It is
a horrible condition which often arises years after exposure to
asbestos."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bracklesham Holiday Park Link to Meso Death
------------------------------------------------------------
Chichester Observer reported that a heartbroken widow is appealing
to her husband's former colleagues to help her battle for justice.

According to the report, David Fry died in June 2011 aged 68, less
than five months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a
cancer caused by inhaling asbestos dust.

David's wife Vivienne is appealing to his co-workers at Gibsons
Holiday Park in Bracklesham Bay, which was devastated by a large
fire in the 1970s, as she believes they may hold vital information
about his exposure to asbestos.

Mr Fry worked on the redevelopment of the site, and was employed
as catering manager.  But his initial role was to help restore the
kitchens, so he worked as a general labourer in 1976 with the
contractors Stirlands.

"When he was diagnosed with mesothelioma we were in complete shock
and disbelief as we were told it was an illness associated more
with the construction rather than leisure industry," she said.

"But David could vividly recall what a dusty job the gutting of
Gibsons was and it was the only time in his life he worked as a
labourer. He was never warned of the dangers of asbestos or given
any protective clothing by Stirlands."

Satpal Singh, an industrial disease expert, said: "Sadly the
nature of asbestos exposure means the symptoms take years to
develop and in almost all cases it is aggressive and fatal," he
said.

Mrs Fry, from Ilfracombe, Devon, said two years after his death:
"I still struggle to accept the fact he has gone.

"We were looking forward to a long and happy retirement together
but we never got the chance to enjoy that. We have two
grandchildren and David is clearly missed.

"David died because of something he was exposed to at work through
no fault of his own and as the country gathers to mark Workers'
Memorial Day at the weekend, I hope it helps trigger people's
memories about asbestos at Gibsons and they get in touch."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Nations Agree to New Ban on Flame Retardant
------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reported that a summit on chemicals and
hazardous wastes ended on May 10 with an agreement to globally
phase out a widely used flame retardant and to accept stricter
requirements for disclosing information about exports of four
other chemicals.  But participants fell short in their efforts to
require more information and consent among nations trading in a
construction material, Chrysotile asbestos, and a formulation of
the powerful herbicide, Paraquat, despite support from most of the
169 nations represented at the two-week U.N. summit.

According to the report, Achim Steiner, executive director of the
U.N. Environment Program, said the negotiations by delegates to
three major environmental treaties reflected awareness that many
of the 100,000 chemicals used by industry or agriculture, or sold
in commercial products, still haven't been tested for their
effects on people and nature.

"If you just take the fact that 100,000 of these are out there,
you can imagine that for many countries, particularly for
developing countries and least-developed countries, this presents
an enormous problem simply being able to ascertain, to regulate
and to manage the inflow of these products. That is why
international cooperation is essential," Steiner said.

"Some of these compounds are dangerous, some of them are lethal,
whether to human health, to the environment," he added.
"Therefore, as evidence becomes available, the conventions have
tried to provide the mechanisms for the phasing out of these
substances, or for introducing the principle of prior informed
consent, so countries are made aware that products they import
contain substances that are deemed to be of high risk, or of great
danger to environment and human health."

Officials in charge of three key international treaties said
delegates agreed by consensus to a gradual phase out of the flame
retardant hexabromocyclododecane, or HBCD, which is used in
building insulation, furniture, vehicles and electronics. The
phase out would begin a little more than a year from now, but
there also would be specific exemptions for five years on some
construction uses in buildings.

The chemical will be added to the Stockholm Convention, which now
regulates 22 toxic substances such as DDT and PCBs. The treaty
takes aim at chemicals that can travel long distances in the
environment and don't break down easily.

Delegates also agreed to tougher controls on disclosure of
information about exports of an insecticide, Azinphos-methyl; two
flame retardants, PentaBDE and OctaBDE; and a fabric protector,
PFOS. But efforts to include two other substances -- Chrysotile
asbestos and a Paraquat formulation -- were blocked by a few
nations. India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam,
and Zimbabwe did not support adding Chrysotile asbestos; Guatemala
and India were opposed to adding the Paraquat formulation.

The Paraquat formulation already is banned in more than 40
countries, including Switzerland, the home country of
agrochemicals giant Syngenta, the main manufacturer of it.

Those actions fell under the Rotterdam Convention, which regulates
information about the export and import of 43 hazardous chemicals.

Some 1,885 delegates and observers participated in the first joint
meeting of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions that
govern chemicals and hazardous waste and are each headquartered in
Geneva. The conference culminated in a high-level meeting among
about 80 ministers.

The Basel Convention regulates the export and import of hazardous
waste. Participants in that treaty tried to finalize e-waste
guidelines, but they were not adopted because some developed
countries and the electronics industry would not agree without
adding loopholes to allow repairable electronic waste to be
exempted, said advocacy group IPEN, a global network of more than
700 public interest non-governmental organizations.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Warning After Derbyshire Factory Fire
------------------------------------------------------------
Channel 4 News reported that thick black plumes of smoke were
billowing over the Derbyshire town after a reported explosion on
May 10.

According to the report, the explosion was understood to have
occurred at the former site of the chocolate company Thortons.

There are no reported injuries. However residents have been
advised to stay indoors and not pick up any debris amid fears that
the site could have contained asbestos. Health and safety
inspectors are examining the site.

The incident also led to a county cricket match between Derbyshire
and Lancashire being abandoned.

Derbyshire county cricket club chairman Chris Grant told the Derby
Telegraph: "I was watching the game when I spotted the fire and it
became clear the building had exploded.

"I ensured all of the players and the umpires got off the pitch
straight away and got back inside. All of a sudden people started
to move their cars very quickly, in case it started to get worse."
Dramatic scenes

The explosion is thought to have been triggered by some old gas
canisters that exploded in the derelict factory and set the
building alight.

A helicopter, paramedics and two fire engines arrived at the scene
and have since dispersed.

Eyewitness Gary Parsons told Channel 4 News that he saw flames
billowing as high as the building. "We could see flames as high as
the building and thought the worst when paramedics appeared to be
the first people at the scene.

"A helicopter flew over the area instructing people to stay
indoors. Thankfully it has started to rain now which has helped to
extinguish a lot of the fire."

People on the school run could neither see where they were going
nor breathe."

A spokesperson for East Midlands Ambulance Service said a
paramedic was passing the scene in a fast response car at the time
and stopped to attend.

The ambulance service added that no-one had been taken to
hospital.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADAO Disappointed in UN Rotterdam Convention List
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines
education, advocacy, and community as the leading U.S.
organization serving as the voice of asbestos victims, is outraged
after the 2013 United Nations Rotterdam Convention failed to reach
consensus to add chrysotile asbestos to the Prior Informed Consent
(PIC) list of hazardous substances. All six types of asbestos are
carcinogenic, but chrysotile is the only type of asbestos not
included in the list. The Convention does not prohibit trade of
the listed substances, but requires exporters to establish
protocol to inform purchasers about the hazards related to the
substances. Of the 143 countries attending the conference, seven
countries -- India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian
Federation, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe -- opposed the listing.

"Asbestos-related diseases cause great human suffering. Death from
difficult-to-treat cancers and suffocation caused by asbestosis
are terrible ways to die," said Arthur L. Frank MD, Ph.D.,
Professor of Public Health and Pulmonary Medicine, Drexel
University. "The callous disregard of some countries for educating
workers condemns many to unnecessary and painful deaths."

"Chrysotile asbestos is recognized by every leading world
scientific body as a cause of asbestosis, lung cancer and
mesothelioma, as have all other forms of commercially used
asbestos that are currently listed on the PIC List," said Richard
Lemen, Ph.D., MSPH, Assistant Surgeon General (ret.), Rear
Admiral, USPHS (ret.); Adjunct Professor, Rollins School of Public
Health, Emory University. "But because chrysotile asbestos remains
the only type of asbestos commercially exploited, those countries
having a financial stake in its continued use have placed profit
and greed over the protection of the public's health, in order to
promote this carcinogenic product. Today, a few countries have
again blocked chrysotile's listing on the PIC by claiming it is
not hazardous and can be used safely. It is a farce for them to
suggest continued 'controlled use' since by blocking its listing,
the consumer is never informed of chrysotile's hazardous nature.
Thus, the pandemic of asbestos-induced diseases that the world is
currently experiencing will continue to grow as thousands more
uninformed users of this cancerous material will face disease and
death in their future. The action of these few countries
represents a callous disregard for human dignity and life."

"It is reprehensible that India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the
Russian Federation, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe used propaganda
and misinformation to block chrysotile asbestos from being added
to the Rotterdam Convention's list of hazardous substances," said
Linda Reinstein, Co-Founder and President of ADAO. "Each day, 300
innocent people die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases, yet
the asbestos industry, including the Russian Chrysotile
Association, continues to promote the 'safe use' of chrysotile
asbestos. Russia annually mines an estimated 1,000,000 tons of
asbestos and is responsible for half of the world's chrysotile
asbestos production. ADAO is a proud supporter of the 2013
Rotterdam Convention Alliance (ROCA) Position Paper, as well as
Association of Asbestos Victims Families (AFeVA) President Romana
Blasotti Pavesi's global asbestos victims solidarity letter, which
was endorsed by 55 asbestos victims' organizations. Asbestos
victims around the world will not be silenced by thugs and
criminals profiting from the deadly toxic trade. Instead, we will
turn our grief, pain, and anger into action as we continue global
educational and advocacy initiatives to collaboratively ensure
chrysotile asbestos will be added to the PIC List at the 2015
Rotterdam Convention."

Although the chrysotile asbestos industry argues that chrysotile
asbestos is safe, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that
all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans and may lead to
mesothelioma and lung, larynx, and ovarian cancer. WHO estimates
that 107,000 workers die every year from asbestos-related lung
cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. One in every three deaths
from occupational cancer is caused by asbestos.

      About Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

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


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Daughter of Meso Victim Seeks Answers
------------------------------------------------------
LawFuel.com reported that the daughter of a Nottingham woman
killed by an aggressive type of cancer is calling on anyone who
used to work with her mother to come forward and help to answer
questions about how she died.

According to the report, Gladys May Trengove -- more commonly
known as Pat -- passed away on 13 April 2012 at the age of 86
after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a fatal form of cancer
most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos.

A long-term resident of Sneinton, Pat was employed by the
Sketchley Dry Cleaning Company in its Vernon Road premises during
the 1960s, the report said.

Her daughter Joan Smith has instructed specialist industrial
disease solicitors, Thompsons, to seek information about how,
where and when her mother might have been exposed to the deadly
dust.

Joan said: "My mum's diagnosis and death came as a total shock to
our family. She was otherwise in really good health so who knows
how long she would have been with us if she hadn't contracted
mesothelioma.

"To know that her death was potentially brought on prematurely due
to asbestos is devastating. I'm determined to find out where she
was exposed to it and hope that Nottingham residents will help
me."

Peter Magee, a senior serious injury solicitor at Thompsons said:
"Those who knew Pat will remember her as a good natured woman with
a smile for everyone. Today, we ask those people to help Pat's
family to find answers.

"We are in the process of trying to contact anyone who might have
worked with Pat during her time at Sketchley Dry Cleaning in the
Basford area of Nottingham between 1961 and 1968. If you or
someone you know worked with Pat, please contact Peter on 0800 0
224 224 or by email on enquiries@thompsons.law.co.uk."

"Thompsons Solicitors are experts in all personal injury matters.
We will be able to advise you whether or not you have a valid
claim for compensation. Our specialist asbestos solicitors and
lawyers will be happy to talk you through the process of making a
claim in plain English and will be happy to answer any questions
or queries you may have. Telephone us now on 08000 224 224 or
complete one of our online personal injury compensation claim
forms."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: JFK High School Reopens After Fibro Cleanup
------------------------------------------------------------
CTV News reported that John F. Kennedy High School will re-open to
students one year after it was cleared out following the discovery
of asbestos.

According to the report, the 420 students will be able to see out
the term at the Villeray building in St-Michel following the $2.8
million cleanup. Students from the JFK Business Centre will not
return until the start of the next academic semester.

JFK principal Joseph Marra has promised "a grand celebration" for
May 15, which includes a pep rally and barbeque.

"Everyone is relieved," Marra said. "We have been treated well
here at Rosemont but it has been a crowded situation."

The announcement comes one year after traces of asbestos were
found in two ventilation rooms inside the facility.

Students were moved to Rosemont High School for the past year
following the asbestos discovery.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: John Woodcock's Statement on UK Mesothelioma Bill
------------------------------------------------------------------
Annabel Tautou, writing for French Tribune, reported that it has
been found that certain plans sketched to simplify people's claims
have seen a mixed reaction. People affected by asbestos exposure
had made claims. Plans were laid out by the Queen so as to ease
asbestos-related cancer victims' difficulty in claiming
compensation.

According to the report, the country has realized one of the
asbestos-related illness highest rates. Thus, Barrow campaigners,
reportedly, were found keen to see the impact of the new
legislation.

As per the findings, the Mesothelioma Bill is aimed at helping
claimants when their former employer's insurance company could not
be traced. It has been estimated that if the bill passed, the same
could help at least 3,500 victims of mesothelioma.

John Woodcock, Barrow and Furness MP, said that the bill would be
studied by him so as to check if the same had the potential to
help people.  He said the measure would help ensure progress
towards a last resort fund made by John Hutton, while the
horrific, life-shortening disease was being tackled by him in
government.

"This measure would build on the progress towards a fund of last
resort made by John Hutton when he was tackling this horrific,
life-shortening disease in government", Woodcock said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Substance" From Belper Explosion Probed
---------------------------------------------------------
Derby Telegraph reported that a white material found in the area
surrounding an explosion in Belper could be hazardous asbestos,
Amber Valley Borough Council has said.

According to the report, the news comes after police confirmed
they were treating the fire and blasts at the former Thornton's
factory, Derwent Street, as "deliberate".

A statement from the council on substances distributed by the
explosion says there is a suspicion that a "thicker grey/white"
material is asbestos, "which is hazardous," the report related.
It said: "In the interest of public safety, this material is being
treated as asbestos until it can be determined exactly what it
is."

A joint investigation has been carried out by Derbyshire Police
and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service to ascertain the cause of
the fire, the report added.

Detective Sergeant Ryan Finnegan, said: "We are treating it as
deliberate ignition.

"The police and fire service have carried out an investigation and
we are not ruling anything out.

"It may be possible that aerosol cans may have been involved and
caused the fire -- this is a possible line of inquiry."

Belper's new county councillor, John Owen, said a team from
specialist asbestos firm, BDS, was at the scene.

They were asked to check the scene by Amber Valley Borough
Council.

Mr Owen said: "BDS said it was a serious fire and there was
potential asbestos in the roof.

"The position is that it isn't considered to be dangerous and no
evacuations are necessary."

Mr Owen said BDS told him threads of asbestos could have been in
the building's roof.  He said: "They are taking anything away
that's the size of tennis balls or above."  He said BDS had asked
him to issue a warning that, if people find debris, they should
not touch it.  He said: "If people find anything they believe to
be debris from the explosion, they should call BDS on 07973780179
and they will come and clear it up."

Witnesses described hearing loud blasts for about five minutes as
the fire took hold of the building.  A massive plume of smoke
billowed across the town and residents were warned to stay indoors
amid fears asbestos had been released.

Steve Meath, landlord of the Duke of Devonshire pub, in Bridge
Street, told of scenes of panic and confusion as thick black smoke
billowed across the road.  The back of the pub's car park is less
than the 100 metres from the site of the explosion.

Mr Meath said: "People didn't know what was happening.
"People ran up to top of the car park because they thought that
was where the explosion had come from.

"And outside in the street people were abandoning their cars
because they couldn't get through the smoke -- it was that thick."

He said it took between 10 and 15 minutes for the smoke to clear.
There were reports of teenagers running from the scene.

A police spokeswoman said the force had received reports of this
but that the youngsters may not have been connected to the
incident.

The fire started at about 3.30pm when residents described hearing
a number of loud blasts from the derelict building. Police closed
nearby roads and the force helicopter was used to warn people to
stay indoors while the fire was dealt with.  The fire was out by
6.30pm.

Joy Wagg, of Allestree, said she was leaving the car park behind
Poundland in King Street, when thick acrid smoke covered the area.
She said: "My car has ended up covered in lumps of black ash and
people around me were covering their faces with scarves to prevent
them inhaling smoke.

"You couldn't see across the car park as we left and the police
started to arrive and close off streets. It sounded as if
fireworks were going off all the time at the scene of the fire ."
Steven Silverman, who owns Frearsons toy shop, in Bridge Street,
said he had been down Derwent Street to have a look.

He said: "There was a popping sound and a smell of burning plastic
everywhere. I would not have wanted to be downwind of the smoke at
its height, because it was very black and thick."

Laura Taylor, general manager of the nearby Drop Inn Youth Centre,
also saw the fire. She was the victim of another fire at the
centre last December.

She said: "I'd pulled away from the Morrisons island with my
children in the car and suddenly saw all of this thick, black
smoke.

"I thought: 'Oh my God, that's Derwent Street, so I started to
think the worst.

"I spun my car right around and that's when I realised we're on
the opposite side of the street."

Andy Armstrong, manager of Burchell Edwards estate agents, in
Bridge Street, said: "I heard the explosion and then all of a
sudden smelled a horrible smell, followed by all of the thick
black smoke."

Belper chartered surveyor Hugh Broadbent said: "This type of
building will definitely have an asbestos roof and there may be
chemicals inside."

The derelict building, formerly part of the Thornton's chocolate
factory site, was to bought as part of a redevelopment scheme by
Tesco.  But this year the supermarket giant posted poorer-than-
expected profits and pulled out of 100 planned stores, including
the one in Belper.

A spokesman for Tesco said: "I can confirm that we own the
property and we have agents on site working with the emergency
services."

Mr Owen said: "This site has been derelict for years and Belper
cannot be left with a burnt-out shell of a building until Tesco
feels it is economically viable to build on the site."

Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call Derbyshire
police on 101.

Derbyshire County Cricket Club chairman Chris Grant was one of the
first people to spot the fire.  The club's second XI were playing
Lancashire's second XI at the Belper Meadows Cricket Ground at the
time.

Mr Grant said: "I was probably the first person to realise what
was going on.

"I was watching the game when I spotted the fire and it became
clear the building had exploded.

"The warehouse just imploded in really thick black pungent smoke.

"It just submerged the whole of the ground. It was incredible.

"I ensured all of the players and the umpires got off the pitch
straight away and got back inside.

"There was a crowd of around 50 spectators from Belper Meadows
Cricket Club and Derbyshire County Cricket Club.

"All of a sudden people started to move their cars very quickly in
case it started to get worse.

"Players started running off the pitch in full kit."
Play was immediately abandoned.

He added: "This must be one of the first cricket matches abandoned
because of a fire."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Beatrice School Board Approves Abatement Bid
-------------------------------------------------------------
Beatrice Daily Sun reported that the Beatrice Public Schools Board
of Education approved an asbestos abatement bid and staff
resignations at its regular monthly meeting on May 13.

The board plans to take action on approval of asbestos abatement
bid for Beatrice Middle School and elementary buildings, the
report related. The district forecasted removing the asbestos as
part of improvements planned for the summer in March.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Problem at Storage Buildings
--------------------------------------------------------
John Pepin, writing for The Mining Journal, reported that
customers of Second Street Storage at K.I. Sawyer will have to
wait to get their boats, recreational vehicles and other items out
of winter storage until professional consultants assess the full
extent of a recently discovered asbestos problem.

According to the report, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa
Indians owns buildings 421 and 422 at Sawyer -- structures each
measuring roughly 40,000 square-feet -- where the presence of
disrupted asbestos was confirmed May 1.

"The tribe is doing everything it can to expedite this and make
sure everyone is safe," Saulius Mikalonis, a Plunkett Cooney
attorney representing the tribe from Bloomfield Hills, told the
news agency.  Mikalonis said the tribe had been leasing the
buildings commercially -- which are located on 6 acres between
avenues H and F -- since September 2010 to the Second Street
temporary storage business. In February, the buildings were
repossessed by the tribe after the owner fell into arrears on
payments of rent and taxes.

In April, tribal officials cut off locks and pushed open frozen
doors to inspect the premises, the report related.  A piece of
pipe fitting tape suspected to contain asbestos -- later confirmed
through testing -- was found on the floor in one of the buildings.

"We don't know how this asbestos was removed," Mikalonis said.

Tribal officials are operating under the assumption disturbed
asbestos materials are in both storage buildings.

"We don't know, but we have to assume it," Mikalonis said.

A licensed consultant contracted by the tribe is expected to
assess the extent of the asbestos problem within the next week or
so. The findings will determine exactly what abatement measures
will be prescribed and how long that process will take.

Asbestos is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
under the Clean Air Act as a hazardous air pollutant.

Countless older buildings contain asbestos in their building
materials. Undisturbed, the substance is not required to be
disposed of. However, when major renovations are undertaken or
when asbestos containing materials are exposed to the air that can
be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure
steps are taken to remove those "friable" asbestos materials.

The tribe is keeping the Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality -- which addresses asbestos issues on behalf of the EPA --
apprised of the situation. The Michigan Occupational Safety and
Health Administration has also been notified.

"We've talked to all the relevant officials," Mikalonis said.

If the amount of disturbed asbestos present is significant or
widespread, a specific sequence of steps to wet and dispose of the
materials would be required.

"It is a complicated, time consuming and expensive process,"
Mikalonis said.

If the tribe does not properly remedy the situation, large fines
could be imposed.

Meanwhile, the boats, recreation vehicles and other items sitting
in the storage facility cannot be removed until the asbestos
problem is resolved and the buildings deemed safe to occupy.

Mikalonis said the DEQ has been open to waiving a 30-day
notification requirement -- if the asbestos remediation process is
necessary -- to expedite starting the process as an emergency
abatement.

In addition to discovering the presence of friable asbestos, the
tribe is dealing with additional problems at the storage facility.

Civil proceedings between the tribe and Second Street Storage are
continuing in Marquette County District Court, according to court
officials.

Absent logs or other pertinent documents, tribal officials have
been unable to determine who owns many of the items housed in the
storage facility. Mikalonis said he was not sure how much property
has been stored in the buildings, but characterized the number as
"significant."

Tribal officials sent notices to some of the affected individuals
Wednesday and were asking others to claim ownership by sending
receipts, descriptions, license plate numbers and other
identifying information to the tribe's insurance department in
Sault Ste. Marie.

A couple of weeks after the asbestos was found, inspection of the
storage buildings revealed another, potentially related, issue.

"We noticed there were copper wiring and pipes stripped from the
building," Mikalonis said.

Local law enforcement officials, including Marquette County
Sheriff's deputies, are investigating the theft. Tribal officials
don't think anyone has been in the buildings since last fall.

Both of the structures were built in 1956 and used as hangars by
the military when K.I. Sawyer was a U.S. Air Force base. The air
base opened in 1956 and closed in 1995.

The tribe bought the buildings in the year 2000.

To claim items from the storage facility, write the Sault Ste.
Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Insurance Department, 523 Ashmun
Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email
address is jpepin@miningjournal.net


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