/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/130531.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, May 31, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 107


AMYRIS INC: Faces Investor Class Action Over Production Claims
APOTEX INC: Faces Class Action Over Recalled Birth Control Pill
ARUP PTY: Class Action Under Way Over Airport Link Toll Road
AU OPTRONICS: Supreme Court Set to Resolve Jurisdiction Split
AUSTRALIA: Nobby Owner Joins Class Action Over Equine Flu Outbreak

BANK OF AMERICA: Judge Denies Appeal in RMBS Class Action
BANSKIA: Debt Holders Hope to Get Full Payment of Money Owed
BARCLAYS PLC: Court Dismisses "Gusinsky" Securities Class Action
CHARLES SCHWAB: Temporarily Reverses Client Class Action Waiver
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Settles Class Action Over Subscription Rates

CHRYSLER LLC: No Free Car or Money for Disgruntled Customer
COMPUTER SCIENCES: Settles Class Action for $97.5 Million
COPA BRAZILIAN: May Face Class Action Over Salmonella Outbreak
DOW CHEMICAL: Ordered to Pay $1.2-Bil. to Settle Price-Fixing Case
DOW CHEMICAL: To Appeal Price-Fixing Class Action Ruling

DR HORTON: 5th Cir. Has Yet to Decide on Arbitration Issue
FLEETWOOD: Recalls 4 American Eagle and Tradition Motorhomes
FLEETWOOD: Recalls 40 American Allegiance and Other Motorhomes
GAF MATERIALS: Court Denies Bid to Issue Notice to Class Members
GLAXOSMITHKLINE: WLF Urges Court to Protect Right to Federal Forum

GREAT PERFORMANCES/ARTISTS: Sued Over $3-Mil. in Employee Tips
HARMONY JUVENILE: Recalls 9,300 Convertible Child Car Seats
HARMONY JUVENILE: Recalls 9,300 V7 3-IN-1 Convertible Car Seats
HEARST CORP: Critics of Unpaid Internships Balk at Baer's Ruling
LEIGHTON HOLDINGS: Faces Class Action Over Profit Write-Downs

LUZERNE COUNTY, PA: Judge Certifies Juvenile Center Class Action
MADISON COUNTY, IL: Motions to Dismiss Tax Class Action Filed
MCGRAW-HILL COS: 2nd Cir. Affirms Royalties Class Action Dismissal
MERVIN MANUFACTURING: Recalls 8K Pairs of GNU Snowboard Bindings
MICHIGAN: Judge Allows Class Action Over Asset Seizures to Proceed

MOUNT OLIVET, KY: Sued Over Occupational Tax Ordinance
NEW YORK: Judge Tosses FLSA Overtime Class Action v. City Health
NEW YORK: DOJ Eyes "Stop-and-Frisk" Constitutionality
PEMEX: Tabasco Residents File Class Action Over Oil Spills
PILOT FLYING J: Freeh Group to Help in Rebate Scam Investigation

SEQUEL NATURALS: Recalls Vega(R) Sport Brand Protein Bars
SOVEREIGN GRACE: Judge Dismisses Most of Child Sex Abuse Suit
UNITED STATES: ACLJ Mulls Class Action Over IRS Targeting
UNITED STATES: Hennepin County's Judgment Bid in FCRA Suit Denied
WELLS FARGO: Cites New Facts in Bid Against Investor Class Action

WELLS FARGO: Settles Force-Placed Insurance Class Action
YOUTUBE INC: Class Cert. Bid in Copyright Infringement Suit Denied

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pittsburgh Corning Plan Up for 2nd Approval
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Industries Had 260 Cases at March 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: IntriCon Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Le@P Technology Accrued $32,000 in Legal Fees
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kaiser Ventures Has Insurance to Cover PI Claims

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Momentive Specialty Continues to Defend PI Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Independence Realty Properties Contain Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: CCOM Group Continues to Defend PI Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: International Textile Facilities Contain Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rexnord Has $254.2MM Insurance for PI Suits

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trial Court's Ruling in "Rendon" Suit Reversed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Bid Granted Due to "Boomer"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Consolidated 4 Meso Cases for Trial
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parties in NY PI Suit Fight Over Jurisdiction
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Untimely Removal of Suit Warrants Remand

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Santa Barbara Jury Returns Defense Verdict
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Work at Pan Am Site to be Awarded
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Young Laborers Exploited to Save Costs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sunderland Buildings on Asbestos Risk List
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rwanda Gov't. to Eradicate Asbestos Roofing

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Nottingham Plumber Fined for Asbestos Work
ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Money for Mesothelioma Research Would Help
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Councilor Lends Support to Asbestos Walk
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Registers Being Checked in S. Australian Schools
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Indian Environment Minister Denies Fibro Hazards

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Head Teachers "Childish" Over Cwmcarn Fibro Row
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Co. Boss Given Six Months for Factory Demolition
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADEM Issues Statement on Asbestos Removal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lung Cancer Widow Claims Asbestos Damages
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Blackpool Man Succumbs to Mesothelioma

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Australian Gov't. to Invest $10.5MM for Safety
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Queen Elizabeth II Stadium Fibro Cleanup Underway
ASBESTOS UPDATE: S. Australia Gov't Fails to Check Schools
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Surrey Company Fined for Poole Asbestos Breaches
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ART Pays Out RMB250MM to 3,600 Claimants

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sarnia Park Partly Closed Due to Toxic Dusts
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 7 Countries Block Moves to Limit Fibro Shipping
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Planned Lordswood Depot "Too Close" to Houses
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ugandans At Risk of Cancer Due to Roofing
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Top French Politician Cleared Over Fibro

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bassetlaw Residents Angered Over Fibro Dump
ASBESTOS UPDATE: MP's Fury at Insurers Over Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Canberra Family Exposed to Deadly Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exhibit of Asbestos History in McLean County
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fixing Hakea Prison's Asbestos to Cost $2.5MM

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos, A Killer 40 Years Later
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Takes 2 Years to Decide in Dumping Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Firm Build Execs Plead No Contest in Fibro Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fraud Makes Asbestos Illness Situation Worse
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plea for Info After Sheffield Man's Death

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Australian Gov't.'s $10.5MM Safety Plan Welcomed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sunshine Coast Fibro Disposal Rules Coming
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Fights for Justice Over Fibro Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Family of Asbestos Victim Pleas for Justice
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Stowey Quarry Fibro Dump Plans Go to Appeal

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sunderland Hospitals in Asbestos Registry List
ASBESTOS UPDATE: House Committee Breaks Promise to Fibro Victims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Levy Phillips Defeat LIRR's Summary Judgment Plea
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Levy Phillips Opens Office in White Plains, NY
ASBESTOS UPDATE: May Whitney Fibro Removal to Continue

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bans Influenced by Mesothelioma "Visibility"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: House Committee Passes Asbestos Transparency Bill
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Contributes to Failing Grades of NJ SDs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Victims in Line for GBP100,000 Bonus
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposure to Toxic Dust Causes Grandfather's Death

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NBN Work Contaminates Penrith Street with Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow of Mesothelioma Victim Appeals for Help
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ulverston Widow Awarded Six-Figure Settlement


AMYRIS INC: Faces Investor Class Action Over Production Claims
The Associated Press reports that a law firm said it has filed a
federal securities class action lawsuit against the company,
saying Amyris misled investors about its production capabilities.

Milberg LLP said its lawsuit will include investors who bought
Amyris securities between April 2011 and February 2012.  The law
firm said Amyris mislead investors about its ability to produce
its chemical Biofene.  Milberg said Amyris overstated its
production capacity initially, and then announced in November 2011
that it couldn't produce Biofene in the quantities it had
previously expected, but that it had found a way to address the

In February 2012 the company again lowered its expectations.

The Emeryville, Calif., company did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.

Amyris uses genetically modified microorganisms -- mainly yeast --
to make products for a variety of markets including specialty
chemicals, fuels and fragrances.  In 2011 the company initially
said it would produce between 6 million and 9 million liters of
Biofene, but in November it cut that estimate to 1 million to 2
million liters.

Amyris said it expected to produce 40 million to 50 million liters
in 2012, but in February of that year it withdrew that guidance
because it had decided to expand one manufacturing plant instead
of two, and said it would look for additional financing to pay its

In April 2013 one of Amyris' partners, French drugmaker Sanofi,
started large-scale production of a malaria treatment using
technology Amyris developed.  Sanofi plans to make the medicine
available at low cost and Amyris won't get royalties on sales of
the medication, but the news could be seen as a milestone for the

Shares of Amyris fell 16 cents, or 5 percent, to $3.04 in
afternoon trading.  The stock fell 92 percent between Nov. 1, 2011
and May 16, 2012.  The shares have roughly doubled in value from
that low point, but they are still down about 83 percent since
Amyris cut its 2011 production guidance.

San Francisco Business Times' Lindsay Riddell reports that
investors are also suing Amyris' CEO John Melo.

APOTEX INC: Faces Class Action Over Recalled Birth Control Pill
Justin Fauteux, writing for The Globe and Mail, reports that a
group of Ontario women, including 40 who are pregnant, have
launched an C$800-million class action against Apotex Inc., the
maker of the recalled Alysena birth control pill.

The lawsuit involves about 60 women, among whom there have been 40
unwanted pregnancies and four abortions, according to Sandy
Zaitzeff, a lawyer with Thunder Bay firm Watkins Law Professional
Corporation, which launched the suit.

"They're angry, they're distressed, they're worried," Mr. Zaitzeff
said of his clients.  "There's a lot of stress in something like

A total of 50,000 packages of the Alysena birth control pill with
the lot number LF01899A were recalled April 8 when it was
discovered that some packs contained two rows of placebo pills
instead of just one.  On April 13, the recall was expanded to 11
other lot numbers.

Apotex did not notify customers of the initial recall for five
days after the problem was identified, prompting federal Health
Minister Leona Aglukkaq to order an investigation into the delay
on April 11.

Mr. Zaitzeff said the first plaintiff came to his firm last month,
and since then the numbers have grown.  He added that his clients
come from across Canada and that he expects the number of women
involved in the case to increase.

"The damages are substantial," he said, adding that his clients
are facing financial, ethical, moral and health issues.  "An
unwanted pregnancy -- to raise a child today is millions of
dollars.  Just because somebody had sex with another individual in
today's world does not mean that they should be burdened with the
costs of raising a child."

Mr. Zaitzeff said that the medical condition of the women involved
in the suit is being "carefully investigated."  However, he claims
several health problems could arise.

"There are numerous health conditions which would warrant a person
not becoming pregnant because of the type of drugs that the person
was on.  Which makes the pregnancy not only difficult, but perhaps
dangerous to the health of the mother and dangerous and life-
threatening to the health of the fetus."

A request for comment from Apotex was not immediately returned.  A
company spokesperson told Global News in April that Apotex would
not comment on legal matters before the court.

According to Globalnews.ca, in the wake of Apotex's recall of
birth control pill Alysena in April, lawyers at Watkins Law
Professional Corporation says that 40 women are pregnant while
other women have stepped forward to join the class action.

"Over the last couple of weeks, our website and other forms of
social media inputs have been inundated with calls from concerned
women and potential claimants," lawyer Christopher Watkins said in
a statement.

His colleague, Mr. Zaitzeff says that so far, 40 pregnancies and
four abortions have occurred so far.  About 60 women from across
Canada have joined the class action.

"We have well over 25 women who now claim to have become
wrongfully pregnant while taking the drug Alysena.  We have
hundreds more who have contacted us and expressed concern and
trauma and are in a waiting game."

The statement says a "steady stream" of callers are anxious after
hearing that the contraceptive "they placed so much dependency on"
may have failed.

"Some have serious medical issues which could result in potential
severe medical complications if they become pregnant.  Others are
left in turmoil of how they will react . . ., " the statement

Apotex has not yet responded to the claims made in the lawsuit.

Mr. Watkins was not available for comment on May 16.

In an interview when the class action was first launched, he told
Global News that women don't have to be pregnant to join the

He said that in some instances, if women deliver babies with birth
defects or any issues that would need additional care, they could
sue for damages linked to these costs.  Meanwhile, other women may
have taken time off work to deal with pregnancy, the fallout of
relationships or health concerns.

"The gamut is very wide," Mr. Watkins had said.

On April 8, Health Canada warned women that the product contained
two weeks' worth of placebos instead of one.

It added that the "possibility of unplanned pregnancy cannot be
ruled out."

About 50,000 packets of the product with the recalled lot number
LF01899A was distributed across Canada, except for in Alberta,
Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Days later, the recall was expanded to include 11 additional lots
of the pill, but only as a precautionary measure.

Now, Watkins is appealing to women across Ontario and other parts
of Canada to contact him on the firm's website.

Mr. Watkins says that he filed the class action after a few women
reached out to him.  Only three people are needed to form a class

The claim has been issued in the Superior Court of Justice in
Thunder Bay, Mr. Watkins said.  He says he anticipates that other
provinces could be taking on their own cases.

Aglukkaq has ordered an investigation into why Canadian women were
not immediately informed of the recall.  An initial recall notice
by Apotex was sent to retailers and distributors but a public
notice wasn't released until five days later.

Apotex spokesperson Elie Betito told Global News in April that the
company will not comment on legal proceedings before the court. He
did not respond to request for comment Thursday.

Sabrina Lombardi, a lawyer with Siskinds LLP in London, Ont., says
that the lawsuit is a novel case in Canada.

"It is a very difficult and novel issue to pursue," she told
Global News.

"It depends on what exactly the damages are with respect to the
pregnancy," she said. She explained that if the pregnancy resulted
in a disabled child, for example, some damages could be recovered
to care for the baby.

"It's very wide open. This area of law is not at all settled," she

In April, other lawyers weighed in, noting that it could be an
uphill climb to prove it was these recalled pills that caused

"The short story is that people will very likely bring lawsuits in
Canada against this manufacturer," said Harvard University
professor and Canadian Glenn Cohen.

"They'll have to show the mistake regarding the placebo caused
them to be pregnant and had it not been one of these placebo
pills, they would not have gotten pregnant."

ARUP PTY: Class Action Under Way Over Airport Link Toll Road
James McCullough, writing for The Courier-Mail, reports that a
class action is under way against engineering group Arup Pty Ltd
over the company's overly optimistic traffic forecasts for the
troubled Airport Link toll road project in Brisbane.

Litigation funder IMF (Australia) has agreed to fund class action
law firm Maurice Blackburn to bring proceedings against Arup by
investors in the project.

The listed BrisConnections Management Company Ltd may also be
claimed against for allowing a defective Product Disclosure
Statement to be issued and other companies involved in the failed
project may also be pursued.

"Inaccurate traffic and profitability forecasts made by Arup in
relation to Airport Link had been relied on by investors who have
lost millions on their investments in the Brisconnections Unit
Trusts," according to IMF's Queensland manager Andrew Charles.

Maurice Blackburn's Principal Ben Slade agreed, saying Arup's
traffic forecasts had proved to be "overly optimistic".

He said making forecasts without reasonable grounds in a product
disclosure statement was potentially a breach of the Corporations
Act for which damages were payable.

The start of class action proceedings is subject only to there
being enough eligible investors who wish to participate in the

Arup forecast that approximately 179,000 vehicles would use
Airport Link daily after six months of operation.

Instead, in December 2012, actual traffic numbers were averaging
around 47,000 per day or 26 per cent of the forecast, despite
tolls being discounted.

Airport Link's poor traffic numbers and resulting minimal toll
revenue caused BrisConnections to be placed into administration on
February 19, 2013, less than seven months after Airport Link

According to Business Spectator, IMF is bankrolling a AUD450
million class action on behalf of investors in the defunct
Brisconnections against Arup.

Mr. Charles said the action was only open to investors who bought
into the Brisconnections initial public offering in July 2008,
when units were AUD1 apiece.

The suit will accuse Arup of breaching the Corporations Act and
negligence over traffic forecasts in the product disclosure
statement accompanying the IPO.

BrisConnections was put in voluntary administration in February,
less than seven months after the airport link opened, after
revenue generated from its tolls failed to offset the level of its

BrisConnections management company could also be liable under the
action "for making a defective product disclosure statement
available to investors".

Mr. Charles said the sponsors of the IPO were unlikely to join the
action, valuing it at up to AUD450 million.

IMF will allege that Arup breached the Corporations Act by not
including all materially relevant information in the product
disclosure statement on its traffic forecasts, and was negligent
for providing figures without a reasonable basis.

Maurice Blackburn, who is investigating the action with IMF, said
Arup's traffic forecasts for the airport link in the PDS had
proved wildly optimistic.

The airport link opened last July.

"It is likely that information about these lower traffic forecasts
would have had a material influence on the decision of investors
to invest in the BrisConnections Unit Trusts," Maurice Blackburn

The action will also charge that Arup omitted reference to
substantially lower traffic forecasts for the link that had been
prepared by other traffic experts.

Mr. Charles said IMF was carrying about $20 million in risk by
bankrolling the action, according to Business Spectator.

AU OPTRONICS: Supreme Court Set to Resolve Jurisdiction Split
Jessica M. Karmasek, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that the
U.S. Supreme Court could decide whether federal courts have
jurisdiction over lawsuits filed in state courts by state
attorneys general on behalf of consumers.

The nation's high court was set to meet to decide whether to take
up Mississippi ex rel Hood v. AU Optronics Corp. and AU Optronics
Corp. v. South Carolina.

If taken up, oral arguments would be scheduled for the fall term.

In February, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood submitted a
petition for a writ of certiorari with the court, arguing that a
November ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
"warrants plenary review."

The Fifth Circuit, in its Nov. 21 opinion, ruled that the removal
of a lawsuit involving liquid crystal display panels to a federal
district court was proper.

The court found that the suit qualified as a "mass action" under
the Class Action Fairness Act.

The federal statute, passed in 2005, gives federal courts
jurisdiction to certain class actions in which the amount in
controversy exceeds $5 million, and in which any of the members of
a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a state different from any
defendant, unless at least two-thirds or more of the members of
all proposed plaintiff classes in the aggregate and the primary
defendants are citizens of the state in which the action was
originally filed.

Business groups and tort reform supporters had lobbied for the
legislation, arguing that it was needed to prevent class-action
lawsuit abuse.

"After analyzing the complaint, the relevant statutes and the
parens patriae authority of the State, we hold that the real
parties in interest in this suit include both the State and
individual consumers of LCD products.  Because it is undisputed
that there are more than 100 consumers, we find that there are
more than 100 claims at issue in this case.  The suit therefore
meets the CAFA definition of a 'mass action,'" Judge E. Grady
Jolly wrote for the Fifth Circuit.

Mr. Hood, who sued several major suppliers of the LCD panels in
Hinds County Chancery Court in March 2011, argues that the suit
should remain in a state court.  The attorney general says he
filed the suit under his parens patriae powers -- to protect the
physical and economic well-being of the residents of his state.

"First, it is beyond reasonable dispute that the Fifth Circuit's
decision directly conflicts with the decisions of the Fourth,
Seventh and Ninth Circuits.  The Fifth Circuit's judgment also
conflicts with this court's precedent regarding the nature of
parens patriae actions, the real party in interest test, and the
requirement that removal statutes such as CAFA be strictly
construed," Hood wrote in his Feb. 19 petition.

"The decision below involves an important and recurring issue of
federal law and runs counter to deeply-rooted principles of
federalism.  The Fifth Circuit's decision will result in
additional, wasteful jurisdictional battles and administrative
complexity.  Review by this court is amply warranted."

Mr. Hood noted in his petition that there is a "clear and
substantial" circuit split regarding the interpretation of CAFA
with respect to parens patriae actions.

In fact, the same question presented is pending before the court
in a certiorari petition in South Carolina.

In that case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
held that two lawsuits filed by South Carolina's attorney general
can remain in state court. The LCD makers are appealing the Fourth
Circuit's decision.

Mr. Hood, in a recent filing with the Supreme Court, argues that
the issue before the court now should be limited to whether the
case qualifies as a "mass action."

"This is the issue at the core of the circuit split," the attorney
general wrote in a 12-page reply brief in support of his recently
filed petition.

Mr. Hood added that the court should hold off on ruling in South
Carolina until a decision is made in his own.

Private firms hired to represent Mississippi in the LCD case are
Abraham & Rideout of Greenwood, Miss.; Zimmerman Reed of
Minneapolis; and Wise, Carter, Child & Caraway of Jackson.

A. Lee Abraham Jr. donated $1,000 to Mr. Hood's campaign fund in
2011, while three Zimmerman Reed attorneys each gave Hood $1,000
in 2007.

The Zimmerman Reed firm gave Mr. Hood $11,250 from 2007-11.

AUSTRALIA: Nobby Owner Joins Class Action Over Equine Flu Outbreak
Laura Hunt, writing for Sunshine Coast Daily, reports that six
years on from the Equine Influenza outbreak that devastated the
horse industry, Nobby stud owner Gary Turkington believes his
business is still feeling the effects.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn filed a class action against the
Commonwealth Government this week for losses incurred to the horse
and racing industry.

Mr. Turkington, who runs Wattle Brae stud, is one of 550 clients
involved in the case.

Following the outbreak, the stud was in quarantine for the whole
of its breeding season.

"I believe we've got a very good case and I believe it was pure
negligence," Mr. Turkington said.

"We should never have been put through this ordeal."

Maurice Blackburn class actions principal Damian Scattini said it
was most likely a trial date wouldn't be set until next year.

"We've been involved for about a year and have a very
comprehensive document that we've filed," he said.

"I'm confident we'll prevail."

Mr. Scattini said it was well-known the Australian Quarantine
Inspection Service had failed to ensure appropriate quarantine

"Those people deserve to be compensated for what happened to
them," he said.

BANK OF AMERICA: Judge Denies Appeal in RMBS Class Action
Matthew Heller, writing for Law360, reports that a New York
federal judge on May 16 denied a bid by Bank of America NA and
U.S. Bank NA for interlocutory appeal of her ruling that they can
be sued in a class action for allegedly failing to protect
investors in their role as trustees of mortgage-backed securities.

The banks asked U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest to
certify an interlocutory appeal after she denied their motion to
dismiss a putative class action arising out of the 2008 collapse
of Washington Mutual NA.

BANSKIA: Debt Holders Hope to Get Full Payment of Money Owed
Blair Thomson, writing for Bendigo Advertiser, reports that some
Banskia debt holders believe they could receive all of their owed
money back, plus interest.

Investors owed money from the company's collapse were on May 17
set to receive 45 cents in the dollar back, taking total payments
to 65c in the dollar.

Receiver Tony McGrath is still confident that will eventually
reach 80 to 85c.

But Lawrence Bolitho, the lead plaintiff in a class action against
the lender and its directors, on May 16 said the lawsuit could
recoup all the remaining funds.

"I think that's what is anticipated," he said.

"That class action may pick up that 15c."

Solicitor Mark Elliott is pursuing the class action on behalf of
the 16,000 debenture holders, which Mr. Bolitho said he believed
would ramp up next month.

One of those debenture holders, Strathfieldsaye resident Jim
Stein, said the outlook was looking more positive.

"I'm much more relieved," he said.  "(The payment) is better than

"It's slowly coming together.

"In those early days we didn't know what we were going to get.

"I think they were talking about 30 cents in the dollar, it was
all over the place."

Mr. Stein, who lost AUD136,000 in the collapse, said he had been
told by "people in the know" that all owed money may be recouped
with interest.

Mr. Elliott told the Bendigo Advertiser in February there was
revenue outside the scope of the receivers, like insurance, that
could be accessed.

Maiden Gully resident Barry Taylor, who lost AUD436,000 in the
collapse, will have had about AUD280,000 returned to him by
May 17.

"We're sort of starting to get our confidence back a bit," he

"We're reasonably stable and always have been, but no-one likes to
do AUD430,000.

"We've worked hard for it."

Receivers had said 10c in the dollar would be paid in May, then a
further 35c by June 30.

The company collapsed last October leaving about 16,000 people,
mainly from rural and regional areas, owed AUD660 million.

BARCLAYS PLC: Court Dismisses "Gusinsky" Securities Class Action
District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin granted a motion to dismiss the
GUSINSKY LIVING TRUST, Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, v. BARCLAYS PLC, et al.,
Defendants, No. 12 Civ. 5329 (SAS), (S.D. N.Y.).

The Plaintiffs brought the putative class action on behalf of
themselves and others similarly situated against Barclays PLC,
Barclays Bank PLC, and Barclays Capital Inc., and John Varley,
Robert Diamond, Christopher Lucas, and Marcus Agius. The Class
consists of all persons and entities who purchased American
Depositary Shares of Barclays PLC between July 10, 2007 and June
27, 2012, inclusive, and were allegedly damaged thereby.  The
Plaintiffs assert violations of: (1) Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder against all defendants; and (2) Section 20(a) of the
Exchange Act against the Individual Defendants.  The Plaintiffs
raise four categories of misstatements: (1) Barclays'
representations about its Business Practices in its Financial
Statements; (2) Barclays' contingent liability disclosures in its
Financial Statements; (3) Barclays' LIBOR submissions; and (4)
Diamond's conference call statements.

The Defendants moved under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint on the grounds
that: (1) the Plaintiffs fail to plead any actionable
misrepresentations; (2) the Plaintiffs fail to plead facts giving
rise to a strong inference of scienter; (3) the Plaintiffs fail to
plead loss causation; (4) many of the alleged misstatements are
not actionable because they are protected by the safe harbor
provision in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,
or the bespeaks caution doctrine; and (5) the Plaintiffs' Section
20(a) claims for control person liability must be dismissed
because the Plaintiffs have failed to adequately allege a primary
violation of Section 10(b) or culpable participation on the part
of the Individual Defendants.

Judge Scheindlin granted the motion to dismiss saying that with
respect the Plaintiffs four categories of misstatements, the first
two categories are not actionable misstatements or omissions.  The
second two categories, even if they are actionable, are too
attenuated from the 2012 corrective disclosure to establish loss

"Plaintiffs are typically granted leave to amend at least once,
particularly when claims are dismissed for failure to meet the
heightened pleading standards under Rule 9(b). In this case,
however, Plaintiffs received notice of the deficiencies in their
First Amended Complaint at a pre-motion conference on January 10,
2013, and in a follow up letter of January 16, 2013, and were
given, and took, the opportunity to amend again. Moreover, the
reasons that the allegations in the SAC are insufficient, as set
forth above, do not go to lack of specificity but are fundamental
deficiencies under the securities laws. Because amendment would be
futile, I will not grant leave to file a third amended complaint,"
Judge Scheindlin concluded.

Judge Scheindlin ordered the Clerk of the Court to close the case.

David Avi Rosenfeld, Esq. -- DRonsenfeld@rgrdlaw.com -- Samuel
Howard Rudman, Esq. -- SRuman@rgrdlaw.com -- Christopher Michael
Barrett, Esq. -- cbarrett@rgrdlaw.com -- of Robbins Geller Rudman
& Dowd LLP, in Melville, NY, and Gregory Mark Nespole, Esq. --
nespole@whafh.com -- Robert B. Weintraub, Esq. --
weintraub@whafh.com  -- of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz
LLP, in New York, NY, represented the Plaintiffs.

Jonathan D. Schiller, Esq. -- jschiller@bsfllp.com -- James
Meadows, Esq. -- jmeadows@bsfllp.com -- of Boies Schiller &
Flexner LLP, in New York, NY, Michael Brille, Esq. --
mbrille@bsfllp.com -- of Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP, in
Washington, D.C., David H. Braff, Esq. -- braffd@sullcrom.com --
Jeffrey T. Scott, Esq. -- scottj@sullcrom.com -- Matthew S.
Fitzwater, Esq. -- fitzwaterm@sullcrom.com -- Matthew J. Porpora,
Esq. -- porporam@sullcrom.com -- of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, in
New York, NY, Andrew J. Levander, Esq., of Dechert LLP, in New
York, NY, Cheryl A. Krause, Esq., of Dechert LLP, in Philadelphia,
PA represented the Defendants.

A copy of the District Court's May 13, 2013 Opinion and Order is
available at http://is.gd/xlrB5Sfrom Leagle.com.

CHARLES SCHWAB: Temporarily Reverses Client Class Action Waiver
Jed Horowitz and Suzanne Barlyn, writing for Reuters, report that
Charles Schwab Corp. has temporarily reversed its requirement that
clients waive their right to bring class-action lawsuits, adding a
new twist in a battle closely watched by the securities industry
and plaintiffs' attorneys.

"Effective immediately, Schwab is modifying its account agreements
to eliminate the existing class-action lawsuit waiver for disputes
related to events occurring on or after May 15, 2013 and for the
foreseeable future," the San Francisco-based brokerage company
said in a statement that was posted on its website on May 15.

Schwab still believes that arbitration is the best forum for
clients to resolve disputes with the firm, but said it was backing
off the litigation ban in deference to clients who are uncertain
about their rights as it fights to defend its original ban.

Schwab's right to stop clients from bringing coordinated court
actions was challenged last year by the Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority, the securities industry's principal
regulator.  A FINRA hearing panel in February ruled that Schwab's
policy does violate FINRA rules but was consistent with federal
law and recent Supreme Court interpretations of the Federal
Arbitration Act.

FINRA is appealing the decision to the National Adjudicatory
Council, its in-house appellate body.

"Given that the process will likely take considerable time to
resolve, and may leave clients with a degree of uncertainty about
their dispute resolution options in the meantime, we have elected
to remove that uncertainty until the legal and regulatory process
is completed," Schwab wrote in its statement.

Consumer advocates, along with class-action lawyers, have blasted
Schwab's efforts to limit the lawsuits, saying many ordinary
investors cannot afford to pay on their own for the cost of
arbitration hearings.

In its statement, Schwab noted it will continue to pay arbitration
fees for any investor who pursues an arbitration claim under
$25,000 against the company.

Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group that has been
circulating a petition asking Schwab to rescind the class-action
ban, congratulated the company for its "responsible" decision.  It
said many of its 19,000 supporters who signed the petition also
are Schwab customers who spoke directly to the firm.

Schwab last year asked its almost 9 million clients to sign new
account agreements that agreed to waive their class-action rights.
The revised policy followed settlements of such suits in which the
firm agreed to pay $235 million for misleading marketing of its
YieldPlus money-market fund between May 2006 and March 2008.

Several U.S. legislators led by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota
last month urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to prevent
all broker-dealers from mandating that clients bring disputes only
through arbitration forums.

Separately, more than 90 percent of shareholder votes tallied at
Schwab's annual meeting on May 16 were cast in favor of reelecting
founder Charles Schwab and three other directors who were running
unopposed for board seats.

At the same time, almost one-third favored a shareholder proposal
that would allow them to directly nominate board candidates and a
second that would require Schwab to disclose its political
contributions.  The company opposed both proposals.

In answer to a shareholder question about raising its dividend,
Schwab said he was "optimistic" that as earnings improve "in the
next year or so," the company's board will consider a dividend

Despite relatively lackluster earnings amid rock-bottom interest
rates in recent years, Schwab has been paying out about 30 percent
of its net income to shareholders through dividends, he said.

Chief Financial Officer Joe Martinetto said that for the second
straight year, client trading is proving weaker than Schwab had
expected and will likely be up only "modestly" from last year's
low trading volume.  But he and Chief Executive Walt Bettinger
said that by cutting expenses and continuing to attract record
amounts of new assets from clients, the company's profit margin
and stock price remains solid.

"We are widening our lead over our competitors," Mr. Bettinger
said, adding that the $112 billion of net new assets collected
from clients last year was up 30 percent, outpacing the growth at
Merrill Lynch , Morgan Stanley , TD Ameritrade Holding Corp and
E*Trade Financial Corp .

While Schwab was created 40 years ago to appeal to self-directed
clients who did not want advice from brokers, Schwab is earning
increasingly high fees for providing advice today while trading
commissions are declining.  About 13 percent of clients assets at
Schwab are being held in cash, which Bettinger called a
"historically" high level, but more than 70 percent of new clients
are enrolling in advice-related programs, he said.

Shares of Schwab, which are up 31.7 percent since the beginning of
the year, fell 7 cents or 0.4 percent to close at $18.91 in
trading on May 16 on the New York Stock Exchange.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Settles Class Action Over Subscription Rates
Robert Channick, writing for The Chicago Tribune, reports that the
news organization began mailing out a proposed offer on May 16 to
settle a class-action lawsuit brought by two subscribers who
claimed the newspaper illegally charged increased rates to
subscribers' credit and debit cards.

The suit, filed in December 2011 in the Circuit Court of Cook
County by Cheryl Naedler and Theodore Raab, alleges that the
Chicago Tribune breached the contracts of subscribers and violated
the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act by charging a higher than agreed
upon rate without giving at least 30 days advance notice.

"This particular subscription increase, they just did it," said
Daniel Edelman, a partner with Edelman, Combs, Latturner &
Goodwin, a Chicago-based law firm representing the plaintiffs.
"What they should do is send notice at least one billing cycle in
advance saying we're going to increase it . . . if you agree to
pay it.  And they didn't do it."

Some 41,000 subscribers will receive $6.50 each as part of the
settlement, pending final court approval July 23.  Ms. Naedler and
Mr. Raab will each receive $2,000 as class representatives.

"We periodically assess and adjust subscription pricing and our
approach is to be transparent to our valued subscribers when price
increases occur," Chicago Tribune spokeswoman Maggie Wartik said
in a statement on May 18.  "In 2011, a portion of our EZ Pay
customers -- less than 10 percent of our home delivery subscribers
-- did not receive notifications in time and are set to receive a
$6.50 credit on their bill or refund if they are no longer
subscribers.  We are committed to ensuring this does not happen to
our valued subscribers."

CHRYSLER LLC: No Free Car or Money for Disgruntled Customer
Ross Fiorani won't be getting a free car or money from Chrysler,
Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein has ruled.

In 2007, Mr. Fiorani of Kingstowne, VA, purchased a Dodge Charger
R/T.  At the time, he apparently wanted one with a gear shifter on
the column.  He was told by a dealer that Dodge did not make a
Dodge Charger with that feature, but according to Mr. Fiorani,
this was a lie.  He complained to various state and federal
agencies charged with enforcing consumer protection laws.

Mr. Fiorani's 2007 Charger was stolen in November 2008, and he
wanted to replace it.  His principal contention is that he
received pre-approved credit from Chrysler Financial, but various
Dodge and Chrysler dealerships refused to sell him the Dodge
Charger he wanted.

Each denial largely followed a similar pattern.  Mr. Fiorani would
travel to a dealership, discuss purchasing a car with a sales
representative, and the sales representative would relay Mr.
Fiorani's interest to a manager. Once a manager was consulted, the
Dealership would deny Mr. Fiorani's request to buy a car outright
or tell him that it needed to verify his information and would
contact him later.

Mr. Fiorani claims the Dealerships refused to deal with him in
retaliation for his participation as a member of a consumer-victim
class action.  The class supposedly challenged the failure of
Chrysler LLC, now renamed Old Carco LLC, to regulate its
dealerships in light of the Dealerships misrepresentations and
violations of the various consumer protection laws.

According to Mr. Fiorani, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis LLP
was named counsel for the class of the Committee of Consumer
Victims, which was renamed the Official Committee of Tort
Claimants, consisting of consumers victimized by the fraudulent
practices of Old Carco and the Dealerships.  Mr. Fiorani claims he
was a member of the class.

No such class was ever proposed or recognized. The Court's records
reflect that an Ad Hoc Committee of Consumer-Victims of Chrysler
LLC, represented by Benjamin P. Deutsch, Esq. of Schnader, filed a
motion on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee to appoint an Official
Committee of Tort Claimants.  The Committee proposed to represent
tort claimants that had personal injury claims.  The motion was
later withdrawn, but the Ad Hoc Committee continued to represent
tort claimants.  Mr. Fiorani's name was not included in a verified
statement filed by the attorneys for the Ad Hoc Committee that
listed the parties represented by the Ad Hoc Committee.
Furthermore, no class was ever certified, and even if such a class
had been certified, it did not represent victims of alleged
fraudulent practices.

Mr. Fiorani recently supplied evidence suggesting that Old Carco
(and New Chrysler) took a more active role, directing its dealers
not to sell Mr. Fiorani a car.  In an e-mail that appears to be
dated December 14, 2011, sent to Mr. Fiorani by Justin Chenoweth,
a sales consultant at one of the Dealerships, Mr. Chenoweth
stated: "You may remember me from your inquiry of our Charger R/T
in 2009, with your explanation of your alleged lawsuit against
seve. . . ers.  Since that time, all dealerships in the Mid-
Atlantic Business Center have been notified by Chrysler, LLC to
refuse business with you. . . ., but please do not come to our
dealership, we will not be able to assist you with your purchase
at this time. You will not receive an . . . contact from us."

Mr. Fiorani filed his motion on May 23, 2009, seeking two forms of
relief.  First, the heading of the Motion asks the Court to
appoint a class-counsel to represent all consumer-victims of
Chrysler Dodge's failure to regulate its Dealerships' violations
of the consumer protection laws.  This request is presumably based
on the mistaken belief that there is an existing class and Mr.
Fiorani is a member of that class. The text of the Motion also
requests the Court to direct a Dodge dealer to immediately deliver
the Dodge Charger R/T that he had chosen as part compensation for
his damages totaling $75,000 or more.  Recently, Mr. Fiorani
insists on $1.2 million, and possibly, a new Dodge Charger R/T as

According to Judge Bernstein, Mr. Fiorani's claims against any
non-debtor dealerships and New Chrysler are beyond the
jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court. They are asserted by a non-
debtor against non-debtors and do not have any conceivable effect
on the Old Carco estate.

Judge Bernstein explained that Mr. Fiorani's claims against Old
Carco (and any other debtors) are barred as a result of his
failure to file a proof of claim.  Although Mr. Fiorani's more
recent papers refer to a five-year conspiracy, the conspiracy
began around the time he started looking for a replacement vehicle
in November 2008, and at oral argument, Mr. Fiorani stated that
his claim arose in February 2009.  Furthermore, he did not detail
any specific post-petition, pre-sale conduct by Old Carco that
might give rise to an administrative claim. Accordingly, his claim
against Old Carco is a pre-petition claim, and he was required to
file his claim by the claims bar date established in Old Carco's
bankruptcy case. His failure to do so means he is not entitled to
any distribution from the estate.

Finally, even if he was entitled to a distribution, the confirmed
plan does not provide for the distribution of motor vehicles to
creditors on account of their claims, and Mr. Fiorani has failed
to show that he is entitled to a monetary distribution of $1.2
million (or any other sum) under the plan, Judge Bernstein said.

A copy of the Court's May 2, 2013 Memorandum Decision and Order is
available at http://is.gd/qjkuuafrom Leagle.com.

                       About Chrysler Group

Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic
alliance with Fiat Group, produces Chrysler, Jeep(R), Dodge, Ram
Truck, Mopar(R) and Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) brand vehicles
and products.  Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Chrysler
Group LLC's product lineup features some of the world's most
recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler
and Ram Truck.  Fiat will contribute world-class technology,
platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-sized cars,
allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line
including environmentally friendly vehicles.

Chrysler LLC and 24 affiliates on April 30, 2009, sought Chapter
11 protection from creditors (Bankr. S.D.N.Y (Mega-case), Lead
Case No. 09-50002).  The U.S. and Canadian governments provided
Chrysler LLC with $4.5 billion to finance its bankruptcy case.

In connection with the bankruptcy filing, Chrysler reached an
agreement to sell all assets to an alliance between Chrysler and
Italian automobile manufacturer Fiat.  Under the terms approved by
the Bankruptcy Court, the company formerly known as Chrysler LLC
in June 2009, formally sold substantially all of its assets to the
new company, named Chrysler Group LLC.

                           *     *     *

Chrysler has a 'B1' corporate family rating from Moody's.

Moody's upgraded the rating from 'B2' to 'B1' in February 2013.
Moody's said that the upgrade reflects Moody's expectation that
Chrysler will be able to sustain the progress it has made during
the past 18 months in strengthening its competitive position in
North America.

COMPUTER SCIENCES: Settles Class Action for $97.5 Million
Andrew Zajac, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that Computer
Sciences Corp. (CSC) agreed to pay $97.5 million to settle a
class-action lawsuit over alleged false statements about
accounting and the company's performance on a multibillion-dollar

A proposed settlement was filed on May 15 in federal court in
Alexandria, Virginia, and is subject to approval by a judge.  A
hearing on the accord is set for May 24.  The case had been
scheduled for trial on May 21.

Marcel Goldstein, a spokesman for Computer Sciences, and Deborah
Allan, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, whose
board is the lead plaintiff in the case, didn't immediately
respond to phone messages requesting comment on the accord.

The settlement covers investors who acquired Computer Sciences
common stock from Aug. 5, 2008, to Dec. 27, 2011, according to a
filing in the case.

Investors alleged that Computer Sciences officials "made false or
misleading statements or omitted to disclose material facts" about
the effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting
and about the company's performance on a $5.4 billion electronic
patient records contract with the U.K.'s National Health Service,
according to a memo filed in support of the settlement.

The "false statement and omissions caused the price of CSC common
stock to be artificially inflated" and subsequently declined "when
truthful corrective information was disclosed," lawyers for the
plaintiffs said in the memo.

Computer Sciences, based in Falls Church, Virginia, took a $1.5
billion writedown on the health service contract for 2011.  The
company has been under investigation by the Securities and
Exchange Commission for accounting issues in that contract,
according to its annual report.

The case is In Re Computer Sciences Corporation Securities
Litigation, 11-cv-00610, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of
Virginia (Alexandria).

COPA BRAZILIAN: May Face Class Action Over Salmonella Outbreak
Peter Jean, Stephanie Anderson and Michael Inman, writing for The
Canberra Times, report that dozens of restaurant patrons are
expected to launch legal action after they suffered food poisoning
after eating at a Dickson restaurant.

About 140 people became ill, and 15 were hospitalized, as a result
of a salmonella outbreak at the Copa Brazilian Churrasco

The ACT Health Directorate believes that potato salad served at
the restaurant contained salmonella but is still investigating
whether any other foods were contaminated as well.

At least two law firms could launch legal action on behalf of
clients who became ill after eating at the restaurant.

Lawyer Ben Aulich, of Ben Aulich and Associates, said his firm had
signed up 20 clients for a possible class action in relation to
the outbreak.

Mr. Aulich said the outbreak was the most serious case of food
poisoning that had ever occurred in the ACT.

"We have spoken with more than 20 victims so far, some of whom
have spent time in hospital, and we expect to commence a class
action very shortly," he said.

Mr. Aulich said some patients were still in hospital.

"Some of our clients who were victims of the poisoning said to us
that the Canberra Hospital was like a scene from a war movie. It
must have been awful for them," he said.

Slater and Gordon Canberra manager Gerard Rees said several people
who had fallen ill after eating at the restaurant had contacted
his office.

Mr. Rees represented 14 people who became sick after buying
chicken caesar rolls at the Silo bakery in Kingston in 2011.

The cases have since been resolved and are subject to
confidentiality agreements.

"The legal principle is this: the venue owes a duty to its patrons
to provide a product fit for human consumption," Mr. Rees said.

"Serving food contaminated with salmonella breaches that duty. I
would encourage anyone who has been affected by this latest
outbreak of salmonella to seek legal advice."

It is not yet clear whether class actions would be launched
against the restaurant itself, or another party, such as a food

A Health Directorate spokeswoman said the restaurant could not
reopen until the Health Protection Service was satisfied that risk
to the public had been resolved.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on what charges could be laid
against the business, or fines imposed, because the case was still
being investigated.

A spokesman for Copa Brazilian Churrasco confirmed plans to reopen
the restaurant, adding that a further statement would be issued in
coming days.

Both critics and supporters of the establishment have taken to its
Facebook page, some of them posting comments calling for refunds
to be given to affected diners as well as a formal apology.

There have also been accusations that the restaurant has been
deleting comments from the page, prompting the page facilitators
to post: "We will not tolerate racist or offensive remarks being
posted on this page.

"We wish all those affected by the outbreak a speedy recovery back
to full health."

DOW CHEMICAL: Ordered to Pay $1.2-Bil. to Settle Price-Fixing Case
Casey Sullivan, writing for Reuters, reports that a federal judge
in Kansas City, Kansas, ordered Dow Chemical Co. on May 15 to pay
$1.2 billion in a price-fixing case involving chemicals used to
make foam products in cars, furniture and packaging, according to
court documents.

Dow was one of several chemical company defendants named in a 2005
class action lawsuit alleging a conspiracy to fix urethane
chemical prices, but it was the only defendant not to settle.

In January, Dow went to trial in Kansas City and in February a
federal jury rendered a $400 million verdict against the chemical
company after finding that it conspired to fix prices of urethane.

On May 15, U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum denied Dow's
request to overturn that verdict and the $400 million in damages
were tripled under U.S. antitrust law, bringing Dow's overall
payment to $1.2 billion.

David Bernick, an attorney for Dow, said he would appeal the
judgment, saying the statistical formula used by an expert to
calculate the price-fixing was not reliable.

"Dow looks forward to pursuing these and other grounds for
reversal in its appeal," a Dow spokesman said in a news release.
"Dow has always denied plaintiffs' allegations of price fixing."

Joe Goldberg, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said he was pleased
with the judgment.

"The jury found the conspiracy caused approximately $400 million
in damages to thousands of businesses around the United States,"
said Mr. Goldberg.

Other defendants in the case have settled.  In 2006 Bayer AG
agreed to pay $55 million.  In 2011 Huntsman International LLC
agreed to pay $33 million and BASF Corp agreed to pay $51 million.
In settling, none of the companies admitted any wrongdoing.

The case is In Re Urethane Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District
Court, District of Kansas, 04-md-01616.

DOW CHEMICAL: To Appeal Price-Fixing Class Action Ruling
Miles Moore, writing for RubberNews.com, reports that Dow Chemical
Co. said it will appeal the ruling by a Kansas City federal judge
denying Dow's motion to decertify a price-fixing class action and
ordering the company to pay $1.2 billion in damages to the

A jury before the Kansas court found last Feb. 20 that Dow had
participated in a long-term conspiracy to fix prices for urethane
chemicals between Nov. 24, 2000, and sometime in 2003.  At that
time, Judge John W. Lungstrum ordered Dow to pay the plaintiffs
$400 million.  The plaintiffs had originally sought $1.13 billion,
Dow said at the time.

Dow was the only defendant not to reach a settlement in the
multidistrict litigation, which was consolidated in the Kansas
court in 2004 and certified as a class action in 2008. Under
federal antitrust law, Judge Lungstrum has the authority to triple
the damages.

In denying Dow's motion for decertification, Judge Lungstrum said
Dow filed the motion on Jan. 22, the day before the price-fixing
trial began.  "Dow has not offered any reason why it could not
have filed its motion much earlier, and why it instead field its
motion literally on the eve of trial," Judge Lungstrum wrote.

"Reconsideration of the court's certification order at that time
or even post-trial would cause severe prejudice to plaintiffs, who
prepared for a long and complex trial at great expense," he said.

Even if Dow had filed its motion in a timely fashion, the motion
would have failed on its merits, according to Judge Lungstrum.
Dow argued that because a few of the plaintiffs had suffered no
damage from the price fixing, the class action as a whole was
invalid. But case law is to the contrary, Judge Lungstrum ruled.

Judge Lungstrum also denied Dow's motion for a new trial.
According to him, Dow did not prove that plaintiffs' evidence of
classwide impact and damages was insufficient; that the evidence
that Dow participated in the conspiracy was insufficient; or that
the imposition of joint and several liability violated the Due
Process Clause of the Constitution.

"As plaintiffs note and as the jury was instructed, one member of
a conspiracy is responsible for the acts of its co-conspirators in
furtherance of the conspiracy," Judge Lungstrum wrote.

In its statement, Dow said it believes Judge Lungstrum should have
decertified the class action based on a recent U.S. Supreme Court
decision involving Comcast Corp.  "Dow looks forward to pursuing
these and other grounds for reversal," it said.

Because the circumstances in the urethane price-fixing case were
different from those of the Comcast case, the Comcast decision was
not applicable, Jude Lungstrum ruled.

Dow also said it fully cooperated with the U.S. Department of
Justice from 2005 to 2007 in an investigation of the same price-
fixing allegations, and that the agency closed the investigations
without indicting any person or company.

"Consistent with the outcome in the earlier DOJ investigation, Dow
should not be held liable in the civil case," Dow said.

DR HORTON: 5th Cir. Has Yet to Decide on Arbitration Issue
Amanda Becker, writing for Reuters, reports that the 5th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals will decide soon whether mandatory
arbitration agreements signed by workers as a condition of
employment can bar them from bringing collective action.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled in January 2012 that an
arbitration agreement used by homebuilder D.R. Horton violated
federal labor law because it required employees not only to
arbitrate but to do so on an individual basis.

The company appealed to the 5th Circuit and a three-judge panel
heard oral arguments in D.R. Horton v. National Labor Relations
Board in February.

"This case is about whether companies have the right to insert
class-action waivers in their arbitration agreements," said
Ron Chapman -- ron.chapman@ogletreedeakins.com -- an attorney at
Ogletree Deakins representing the company.

The decision could help settle a showdown between the NLRB and
employers over whether the Federal Arbitration Act can be applied
to employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act.

The NLRB, in the D.R. Horton case, decided that it could not.  But
employers said the board had contradicted U.S. Supreme Court

Just the year before, the Supreme Court held in AT&T Mobility v.
Concepcion that class action waivers are permitted in standard
consumer arbitration agreements.  Two months later, in Wal-Mart v.
Dukes, the court dealt a blow to employment class actions by
ruling that 1.6 million women suing the retailer for gender
discrimination could not proceed as a group.

After the NLRB's decision in the D.R. Horton case, employment
disputes around the country have reached mixed resolutions, with
some judges citing the decision as precedent but most saying the
agency does not have the authority to reject the federal
arbitration statute in employment cases.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Sharon Owen v. Bristol
Care Inc., is the only federal appeals court that has weighed in
on applying the D.R. Horton decision, affirming the validity of
mandatory arbitration agreements with class action waivers.

                        Judicial Blackmail

The stakes in the 5th Circuit case are high for both employers and
unions.  Employers have complained that workers brought a flood of
litigation in recent years under the Fair Labor Standards Act,
prompting them to pursue class action waivers as a way to minimize
their exposure.

Without the waivers, employers would be forced to settle even
meritless claims, Mr. Chapman said.  "It's institutionalized
judicial blackmail," he said.

Two of the country's largest unions have pointed out that since
its inception in the 1930s, federal labor law has assumed that
workers have the right to bargain collectively and that right
should extend to the resolution of disputes in arbitration.

"As Congress, the NLRB, and the courts have repeatedly found,
workers who cannot join forces to exercise rights in the workplace
are powerless in the face of their economically dominant
employers," AFL-CIO and SEIU attorneys wrote in a friend-of-the-
court brief filed with the 5th Circuit.

Mr. Chapman said he expects an opinion could come between now and
the end of June.

The NLRB has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation.

The case is D.R. Horton Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board,
5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-60031.

For D.R. Horton: Ronald Wayne Chapman, Bernard Phillip Jeweler,
Christopher Charles Murray --
christopher.murray@ogletreedeakins.com -- Michael Shetterly --
mike.shetterly@ogletreedeakins.com -- and Mark Stubley --
mark.stubley@ogletreedeakins.com -- of Ogletree Deakins.

For NLRB: Linda Dreeben, Ruth Burdick and Kira Dellinger Vol of
the NLRB and Beth Brinkmann of the Justice Department.

FLEETWOOD: Recalls 4 American Eagle and Tradition Motorhomes
Starting date:         May 28, 2013
Type of communication: Recall
Subcategory:           Motorhome
Notification type:     Safety Mfr
System:                Steering
Units affected:        4
Source of recall:      Transport Canada
Identification number: 2013181
TC ID number:          2013181

On certain motorhomes, the bracket which secures the power
steering gear to the chassis may develop cracks.  This could allow
the steering gear to partially detach from the chassis, which
could result in a loss of steering control and a crash causing
property damage and/or personal injury.  Correction: Dealers will
install reinforcement plates.

Affected products:

             Makes and models affected
                                     Model year
   Make         Model                affected
   ----         -----                --------

FLEETWOOD: Recalls 40 American Allegiance and Other Motorhomes
Starting date:         May 28, 2013
Type of communication: Recall
Subcategory:           Motorhome
Notification type:     Safety Mfr
System:                Steering
Units affected:        40
Source of recall:      Transport Canada
Identification number: 2013182
TC ID number:          2013182

On certain motorhomes, the bracket which secures the power
steering gear to the chassis may develop cracks.  This could allow
the steering gear to partially detach from the chassis, which
could result in a loss of steering control and a crash causing
property damage and/or personal injury.  Correction: Since
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc (the manufacturer of these vehicles) is
no longer in business, Spartan Motor Chassis, Inc. is supplying
vehicle owners with this courtesy notice.  Owners are advised to
contact Spartan at 800-393-8861, to locate an authorized repair
facility.  The remedy consists of installing reinforcement plates.

Affected products:

                 Makes and models affected
   Make        Model                 Model year(s) affected
   ----        -----                 ----------------------
   FLEETWOOD   AMERICAN EAGLE        2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
   FLEETWOOD   AMERICAN TRADITION    2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

GAF MATERIALS: Court Denies Bid to Issue Notice to Class Members
Jack Brooks and Ellen Brooks brought an action against GAF
Materials Corporation asserting claims for negligence, negligent
misrepresentation, breach of warranty, breach of implied
warranties, fraud, violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade
Practices Act, and unjust enrichment arising from GAF's sale of
allegedly defective roofing shingles.  The case originated as an
individual state court action commenced in Newberry County, South
Carolina in 2006 and, through various procedural and tactical
mechanisms, was again removed to the United States District Court,
D. South Carolina in 2011 in its present posture as a class action

The matter came before the court on the Plaintiffs' motion for an
order directing the issuance of notice to class members. GAF filed
a lengthy Response in opposition to the motion.

District Judge J. Michelle Childs denied the motion without
prejudice to the Plaintiffs re-filing the motion within 30 days of
the Order.  She said while the court agrees with the Plaintiffs
that a hearing on the class notice plan may be appropriate, in
order to facilitate such a hearing in a fair and efficient manner,
the court and the Defendant require additional information.

The court instructs the parties to attempt to reach agreement
about the wording and format of the notice.  However, to the
extent that is not possible, in its re-briefing, the court
instructs the Plaintiffs to respond to the Defendant's arguments
about the deficiencies of the notice so that the court may
adequately address those issues at a hearing.

The court hopes the parties may be able to limit the issues
necessary for presentation to the court, Judge Childs said.

The case is Jack Brooks, on behalf of himself and others similarly
situated; and Ellen Brooks, on behalf of herself and others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. GAF Materials Corporation,
Defendant, Civil Action No. 8:11-cv-00983-JMC, (D. S.C.).

A copy of the District Court's May 15, 2013 Order and Opinion is
available at http://is.gd/xJr4Asfrom Leagle.com.

GLAXOSMITHKLINE: WLF Urges Court to Protect Right to Federal Forum
Jessica M. Karmasek, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that the
Washington Legal Foundation urged a federal court on May 15 not to
allow Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to deprive an out-of-
state business defendant of its right to a federal forum by filing
a parens patriae suit in state court.

In a brief filed in Commonwealth of Kentucky ex rel. Conway v.
GlaxoSmithKline in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Kentucky, the foundation argues that out-of-state
defendants in interstate cases of national importance ought to be
permitted to remove those cases from state to federal court.

Congress adopted the Class Action Fairness Act in 2005 to ensure
that the right of removal is protected for most such defendants,
particularly in cases seeking significant damages and in which the
plaintiff is suing to collect for alleged injuries on behalf of
numerous individuals, as in the case at issue.

CAFA gives federal courts jurisdiction to certain class actions in
which the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, and in which
any of the members of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a
state different from any defendant, unless at least two-thirds or
more of the members of all proposed plaintiff classes in the
aggregate and the primary defendants are citizens of the state in
which the action was originally filed.

Business groups and tort reform supporters lobbied for the
legislation, arguing that it was needed to prevent class-action
lawsuit abuse.

In its brief, WLF said it is concerned that remanding such cases
to state court will only allow plaintiffs' lawyers to "game the
system and avoid removal" -- the very thing that Congress sought
to avoid when it adopted the federal statute, it says.

"Kentucky's remand motion seeks to frustrate the desire of
Congress that cases of this sort be removable to federal court as
a means of ensuring that out-of-state defendants can have their
cases heard in an impartial forum," WLF Senior Litigation Counsel
Cory Andrews said in a statement, after filing the foundation's

"Under these circumstances, an order remanding the case back to
state court would only serve as a road map for plaintiffs' lawyers
seeking to keep their lawsuits out of federal court."

The suit was filed in state court by Mr. Conway against
GlaxoSmithKline, a leading national pharmaceutical company.

The complaint alleges that GSK improperly promoted Avandia, a
Type-2 diabetes drug, by making misleading and deceptive claims
"in Kentucky and nationwide" about Avandia's efficacy and safety.

The attorney general's complaint further alleges that GSK's
allegedly improper promotion of Avandia "caused the Commonwealth
and its citizens to spend substantial sums for the purchase of
and/or reimbursement for Avandia."

The lawsuit asks that GSK be required to refund the substantial
costs borne by the state and its citizens in purchasing Avandia.

GSK invoked CAFA to remove the case from state court to federal
court, but the state promptly moved to remand the case back to
state court.

The suit is not considered a conventional "mass action," as that
term is commonly used: Mr. Conway, suing on behalf of the state,
is the only named plaintiff in the lawsuit.

But WLF argues that the suit is functionally equivalent to a
standard mass action in that the attorney general seeks to obtain
a recovery for hundreds of Kentucky consumers, identical to the
recovery that would be available in a standard mass action.

"The mere fact that the Commonwealth is suing in a parens patriae
capacity does not divest this court of jurisdiction under CAFA,"
the foundation wrote in its 21-page memorandum.

WLF emphasized that Congress intended CAFA to be interpreted
broadly and to be applied to cases of this sort so as to permit
removal to federal court.

In its brief, WLF also noted that the suit satisfies the
requirements under CAFA of a mass action for purposes of removal:
it is a civil action where the monetary claims of 100 or more
persons are proposed to be tried jointly on the grounds that the
claims involve common questions of law or fact; the aggregate
amount in controversy is at least $5 million; the claims arise
from more than 100 Kentucky citizens who are minimally diverse
from GSK.

Those claims, WLF also reminded the federal court, are being
brought by the state in a representative capacity on behalf of
those citizens who allegedly suffered the harm.

In its memorandum, filed in opposition to Mr. Conway's motion to
remand, the foundation pointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Fifth Circuit's ruling in Mississippi ex rel Hood v. AU
Optronics Corp.

The Fifth Circuit, in its Nov. 21 opinion, ruled that the removal
of a lawsuit involving liquid crystal display panels to a federal
district court was proper.

The court found that the suit qualified as a "mass action" under

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who sued several major
suppliers of the LCD panels in Hinds County Chancery Court in
March 2011, is now arguing that the suit should remain in a state
court.  The attorney general says he filed the suit under his
parens patriae powers -- to protect the physical and economic
well-being of the residents of his state.

According to its website, the Washington Legal Foundation works
with its allies in government and the legal system to maintain
balance in the courts and help the government strengthen America's
free enterprise system.  The foundation champions free market
principles, limited and accountable government, individual rights,
business civil liberties and legal ethics, it says.

The foundation notes that it devotes a "substantial" portion of
its resources to defending the right of class-action defendants to
have their disputes resolved in a federal forum.

GREAT PERFORMANCES/ARTISTS: Sued Over $3-Mil. in Employee Tips
Jamie Schram and Cynthia R. Fagen, writing for The New York Post,
report that a hand model stand-in for Edie Falco on the Showtime
hit "Nurse Jackie," on May 15 slapped an elite Manhattan catering
company with a class action lawsuit, charging it performed a five-
finger discount by cheating its employees out of $3 million in

Lisa-Marie Palmieri, 42, who has had movie roles in "The
Interpreter" with Sean Penn and Lindsay Lohan's "Chapter 27" is
suing her former employee, the SoHo-based Great
Performances/Artists as Waitresses catering company and its CEO
Lisbeth Neumark in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Ms. Palmieri claims the catering company bills clients a mandatory
"service charge" but doesn't inform them it's not a gratuity for
the waitstaff.

Instead the company "unlawfully" pockets the service charge.

Workers are also instructed to tell clients they are "taken care
of" if they are offered a tip at an event.

Matthew Blit and Amanda Gudis, high-powered lawyers for the
actress who waitresses and bartends between gigs, say the practice
is in violation of New York labor law.

In the opening sequence of Nurse Jackie, Ms. Palmieri slides on
and off a wedding ring on what appears to be Ms. Falco's hand.

Ms. Palmieri, who is also running for president of the New York
chapter of the Screen Actors Guild, recalls how her hands were
first discovered while working at the Kaufman-Astoria studios in
Brooklyn as an extra in the now cancelled 2008 "Life on Mars" with
Harvey Keitel.

When an actress called in sick, "They needed someone to fill in
and hand model," Ms. Palmieri told the Post.  That led to the next
gig on "Nurse Jackie."

"They loved my hands.  They were smooth and boxy and what the
writers of the show wanted.  "They put me in the same uniform that
she was in, which are blue scrubs."

Ms. Palmieri has no idea why her hands were used instead of the

"Edie Falco she is very nice woman.  She has very delicate hands."

But, she added, "That happens all the time.  Not everybody's
tuchus is their own.  It's common for actors and actresses to use
stands-ins for body parts for continuity and the character they're

HARMONY JUVENILE: Recalls 9,300 Convertible Child Car Seats
Starting date:         May 28, 2013
Type of communication: Recall
Subcategory:           Child Car Seat
Notification type:     Compliance TC
System:                Seats And Restraints
Units affected:        9300
Source of recall:      Transport Canada
Identification number: 2013180
TC ID number:          2013180

Certain child car seats may not comply with the dynamic testing
requirements of Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats
Safety Regulations.  During testing, bolts that secure the base of
the seat to the backrest were observed to tear through, or
partially through, the plastic shell, leaving exposed sharp edges
and protrusions.  These sharp edges could injure a child occupant,
or a parent/caregiver.  Correction: All registered owners will
receive the parts and installation instructions necessary to
reinforce their car seats.  Non-registered owners of affected car
seats, or owners who have moved, should contact Harmony Juvenile
Products' customer service department (1-877-306-1001) to receive
instructions regarding obtaining the reinforcement parts.  The
affected car seats should not be returned to the retailer.

Affected products:

             Makes and models affected
                                      Model year(s)
   Make                Model             affected
   ----                -----          -------------
   HARMONY JUVENILE    V7 3-IN-1      2011, 2012

HARMONY JUVENILE: Recalls 9,300 V7 3-IN-1 Convertible Car Seats
Starting date:         May 28, 2013
Type of communication: Recall
Subcategory:           Child Car Seat
Notification type:     Compliance TC
System:                Seats and Restraints
Units affected:        9300
Source of recall:      Transport Canada
Identification number: 2013179
TC ID number:          2013179

Certain child car seats may not comply with the requirements of
Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety
Regulations.  The lower universal anchorage connectors may be
wider than regulations permit.  As a result, users may have
difficulty installing the restraint in some vehicles when using
the lower connector system.  Incorrectly latched lower connectors
may not securely restrain the child seat during a vehicle crash,
possibly leading to serious injury.  Note: The lower connector
system can continue to be used if the connectors can be latched
securely.  If not, the car seat should instead be secured with the
vehicle seat belt, following the manufacturer's installation
instructions.  Correction: All registered owners will receive
instructions on how to obtain the new lower connector system, if
it is required.  Non-registered owners of affected car seats, or
owners who have moved, should contact Harmony Juvenile Products'
customer service department (1-877-306-1001) to receive
instructions.  The affected car seats should not be returned to
the retailer.

Affected products:

             Makes and models affected
                                      Model year(s)
   Make                Model             affected
   ----                -----          -------------
   HARMONY JUVENILE    V7 3-IN-1      2011, 2012

HEARST CORP: Critics of Unpaid Internships Balk at Baer's Ruling
Alan Farnham, writing for ABC News, reports that a group of unpaid
interns, suing for back pay they claim is owed them, have hit a
legal wall: A New York judge has dismissed their class-action suit
against Hearst Corp., saying they don't meet the definition of a
class.  If they want to sue, they will have to do so as

The setback comes at a time when tens of thousands of college
students are seeking summer internships -- many of them unpaid.

New York attorney Maurice Pianko, whose website Intern Justice,
acts as an aggregator of intern lawsuits and a disseminator of
legal information, says the ruling by District Judge Harold Baer
Jr. will make it much harder for this particular group of unpaid
interns to pursue its claim.

"It's not good," he told ABC News.  "If it can't be done by a
class action, then very few will sue, and very few lawyers will
take the cases."

Mr. Pianko said that while many attorneys might find class action
financially attractive, because the aggregate wages would
represent a lot of money, the individual cases are worth at most a
few thousand dollars each to an attorney -- hardly enough to pay
filing costs.

According to Judge Baer's ruling, the class action was brought by
intern Xuedan Wang and a group of her fellow interns, all of who
had worked unpaid for the magazine division of Hearst Corp.

Ms. Wang, starting in August 2011, worked five days a week for
Harper's Bazaar, serving as a contact between editors and public
relations representatives.  The other plaintiffs worked for
Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Redbook and other Hearst magazines.

The interns claimed they did the same work as full-time employees,
and that they were entitled to the same protections under state
and federal labor laws.

Hearst argued (and Judge Baer agreed) that the applicable law here
was a 1947 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that "trainees"
who work for free during a program of instruction are not
employees, for purposes of federal labor law.

Hearst, wrote the Judge, showed that the interns had indeed
received "some" training.

Judge Baer further found that the work done by the interns and the
benefits they received varied too much for the individuals to
constitute a class.

"Judge Baer reached exactly the right conclusion," said Hearst
general counsel Eve Burton, in response to a request for comment
from ABC News.

Ross Perlin, a critic of unpaid internships and author of the book
"Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave
New Economy," called Judge Baer's decision disappointing.  He told
ABC he agreed that the decision will make it harder for interns to
find legal representation as a class.  But, he said, the decision
doesn't mean that interns, working for other employers and doing
more uniform tasks, might not constitute a class.

Employers, says Mr. Perlin, have been chastened by the Hearst suit
and by a successful lawsuit brought by former interns who worked
for TV talk show host Charlie Rose.

"A lot of employers have quietly changed their policies," he tells
ABC News.  "Some have started paying.  There definitely is a
greater likelihood, now, that, if you're a student looking for a
summer internship, the one you find will be a paid one that might
have been unpaid a few years ago."

According to Forbes' Betty Graumlich, Cindy Schmitt Minniti and
Mark S. Goldstein, unpaid internships are a mutually beneficial
staple of the American business landscape.  They provide raw
workers, generally students, with a glimpse into a particular
industry at no cost to the company.  Especially in these uncertain
economic times, internships provide unemployed students with
crucial real-world experience.  But no good deed goes unpunished.
In the past few years, several high-profile companies have fallen
victim to lawsuits brought by former interns for alleged wage and
hour violations.  Recently, however, this wave of class action
litigation hit a major roadblock.  On May 8, 2013, federal
District Court Judge Harold Baer rejected a group of former
interns' bid for class action certification in their suit against
Hearst Corporation.  In another major blow to the interns, Judge
Baer also held that it was appropriate for a jury, rather than the
court, to decide whether the interns should have been classified
as "employees."

In February 2012, former Harper's Bazaar intern Xuedan Wang
slapped Hearst, Harper's parent, with a lawsuit.  She and other
interns claimed that Hearst improperly classified them as interns
because they performed the tasks and had responsibilities of
actual employees, and failed to pay them appropriately.  According
to Ms. Wang, "unpaid interns are becoming the modern-day
equivalent of entry-level employees, except that employers are not
paying them for the many hours they work."

However, Judge Baer denied Wang's bid to certify as a class "all
persons who worked as unpaid interns at Hearst Magazines" since
February 2006.  Judge Baer found that Hearst's policy of hiring
unpaid interns did not demonstrate enough commonality between the
proposed class members.  In the court's opinion, "[t]he evidence
of a corporate-wide policy of classifying the proposed class
members as unpaid interns is insufficient [for class
certification], as that policy alone cannot answer the liability
question, which turns on what the interns did and what benefits
they received during their internship."  Beyond this slight common
thread, the court noted a number of factual dissimilarities among
the proposed class members, including working for different
magazines and performing differing duties and tasks.  Class action
denial means that the interns may now proceed against Hearst only
on an individual basis.

On the interns' claim that Hearst needed to pay them as employees,
the court found issues of fact that required a jury trial.
Hearst's showing that the interns' work had met, at least in part,
some of the Department of Labor's criteria for intern
classification, made pre-trial judgment inappropriate.  The court
failed, however, to articulate a clear-cut standard for
determining whether interns may, in certain circumstances, be
deemed employees.

What is the Takeaway?

Lawsuits by former unpaid interns are exceedingly popular right
now.  By denying class certification, Judge Baer's ruling may make
these lawsuits less attractive.  Despite the small hope provided
by the Hearst decision, however, employers must still remain
vigilant in properly classifying interns.  Under United States
Department of Labor regulations, an intern must be classified as
an employee unless the employment relationship meets each of the
following six criteria: (1) the internship is similar to training
given in an educational environment; (2) the internship experience
is for the benefit of the intern; (3) the intern does not displace
regular employees; (4) the employer derives no immediate advantage
from the intern's activities; (5) the intern is not necessarily
entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and (6) the
employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled
to wages.  If the internship does not meet each of these criteria,
the intern must be paid in accordance with all applicable wage and
hour requirements.  Regardless of the Hearst ruling, employers
must decide whether using unpaid interns is worth the risk that it
now poses.

LEIGHTON HOLDINGS: Faces Class Action Over Profit Write-Downs
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a class action lawsuit
relating to more than $1 billion in profit write-downs will be
added to the list of Leighton Holdings shareholder concerns.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn served a legal letter notifying the
construction group of its proposal to begin a class action, which
has been about 18 months in the making.

"We are ready to file a class action against Leighton and confirm
that we have sent a draft statement of claim to Leighton," said
Rebecca Gilsenan, principal class action lawyer at Maurice

The claim will allege Leighton misled the market about its true
financial position from at least August 16, 2010, until the
disclosure on April 11, 2011.

As late as February 2011, Leighton had forecast a full-year net
profit of $480 million, before stunning investors with a projected
$427 million loss just two weeks later, driven by more than $1.1
billion in write-downs relating to cost blowouts on the Victorian
desalination plant and Brisbane Airport Link projects.

"The 11 April 2011 announcement signalled the worst annual loss in
the company's history," Ms. Gilsenan said.  "The participants in
the claim will allege that Leighton misled the market about its
true financial position."

A statement from Leighton to the stock exchange on May 17 denied
there was any "proper basis" for a claim and that the company
would "vigorously defend" a class action.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission launched a
separate investigation following the controversial write-downs and
fined the company $300,000 in March last year and told Leighton to
improve its corporate governance.

But corporate governance remains a chief concern among Leighton
investors, exacerbated by the mass show of dissent from then
chairman Stephen Johns and four independent directors.

Mr. Johns resigned as chairman, along with directors Wayne Osborn
and Ian Macfarlane in protest over what they saw as interference
in the board's independent operation by Leighton's German majority
shareholder Hochtief (which in turn had been taken over by Spanish
construction giant Grupo ACS).

Bob Humphris, who is now chairman, and Paula Dwyer, who is
chairing a committee to find three new directors, also expressed
concerns but decided to stay with the company.

LUZERNE COUNTY, PA: Judge Certifies Juvenile Center Class Action
Adrianne Walvoord, writing for The Legal Examiner, reports that
Senior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo recently ruled that
the lawsuits involving the Luzerne County juvenile detention
center scandal may proceed as a class action for the specific
purpose of determining liability of the remaining defendants.  The
Court's order is a huge victory for Class Plaintiffs.

In the Order, Judge Caputo wrote: "the litigation is premised on
claims by juveniles relating to the denial of their constitutional
rights during the course of their adjudication proceedings . . .
many class members harbor a distrust of the judicial system,
rendering it unlikely that they will seek redress individually.
Thus, allowing '[this case] to proceed as a class action would not
be removing claims from the hands of the class members, but would
instead afford them an opportunity to pursue them.'"

The certified classes, specifically defined in the Order, include
more than 2,400 juveniles and their parents or guardians.

The Order also appoints Anapol Schwartz as Class Counsel, along
with Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller and the Juvenile
Law Center, and applauds "their impressive qualifications" and
"considerable ability in prosecuting this case."  Class Counsel
"has pursued this action vigorously and with great dedication on
behalf of all Plaintiffs."  Anapol Schwartz partner Sol H. Weiss
has led the helm as Class Counsel for Anapol Schwartz.

The remaining defendants in the civil-rights lawsuit include
former judges Mark Ciavarella Jr. and Michael Conahan; PA Child
Care LLC, Western PA Child Care LLC and Mid-Atlantic Youth
Services Corp. (these three companies are referred to as "Provider
Defendants" in court documents); and Robert J. Powell and Vision
Holdings, the former co-owner of Provider Defendants.

Robert Mericle and Mericle Construction Co. are no longer
defendants in the lawsuits.  On December 14, 2012, the Court
approved a $17.75 million settlement between Settlement Class
Members and the Mericle parties.

MADISON COUNTY, IL: Motions to Dismiss Tax Class Action Filed
Sanford J. Schmidt, writing for The Telegraph, reports that
defendants have filed more motions to dismiss class action
lawsuits brought in Madison County Circuit Court over a scheme to
rig bids in the annual tax sales under former County Treasurer
Fred Bathon.

One of the motions seeks to dismiss a suit filed by Republican
lawyer John Barberis on the basis that it was filed too late.
Mr. Barberis, of Collinsville, ran unsuccessfully against Democrat
Mark Von Nida in November's race for Madison County circuit clerk.
Mr. Barberis was the first attorney to file a proposed class
action suit in connection with the fraud scheme.  Mr. Bathon is a

A defendant in that case, SI Securities, moved to dismiss the case
on the claim that the statute of limitations time limit was up
when the case was filed.

Mr. Barberis represents Scott Bueker, Dawn Bueker, Jason Moss, and
Christine and Guideon Richeson, who allegedly were forced to pay
the maximum 18 percent penalty when their tax debts were sold at
the annual auction conducted by the Madison County Treasurer's

SI Securities points out the original class action was filed
Feb. 21.  An amended complaint was filed on March 1.

The Barberis suit refers to a stipulation of facts as cited by the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in which
Mr. Bathon pleaded guilty.

The parties stipulated that from 2005 through 2008, Mr. Bathon
oversaw a "bid-rigging and price-fixing scheme."  Mr. Bathon
pleaded guilty to violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The motion to dismiss claims an action under the act must be filed
within four years of the alleged violation.  An action based on an
alleged conspiracy must be filed within five years, the motion

SI Securities claims that the class action suit fails to state any
alleged facts that would support a conspiracy between the
defendant and Mr. Bathon.

A similar motion to dismiss was filed by defendants John Vassen,
V.I. Retirement Plan and V.I. Inc.

The proposed class action suits name Mr. Bathon, Madison County
and a number of the tax buyers as defendants.

The auction allows the buyer to acquire the debt and collect it,
plus an interest penalty.  The low bidder gets the debts and pays
the county the amount of taxes owed.

The tax buyer can collect the debt, plus the penalty.  Under the
illegal scheme, the favored buyers could collect the statutory
maximum 18 percent interest, resulting in huge profits.  Even
greater returns were possible if the debtor were unable to pay,
including the chance to foreclose on the property.

The favored buyers allegedly had their bids of 18 percent in most
cases recognized without giving others a chance to bid lower.
Contributors to Mr. Bathon's campaign allegedly were given
preferential seating.  Most delinquent tax debtors then would be
stuck with an 18 percent debt.

In the most recent auction conducted by Treasurer Kurt Prenzler, a
Republican, the average interest rate was 3.7 percent.

Defendants also have filed motions to dismiss against a proposed
class action filed by attorney Brian E. McGovern of Chesterfield,
Mo.  The plaintiff in that case is Virgil Straeter.

Defendants Dennis Ballinger, Empire Tax Corp. and Vista Securities
are moving to dismiss on the basis that activities of local
government are exempt from anti-trust actions.

They claim that the original suit alleges no fact as to how much
of the market share the defendants controlled or any other fact
that would support a claim of an anti-trust action.

Mr. Bathon and Robert Luken also have filed motions to stay any
further action in the class actions until the criminal case is

When Mr. Bathon pleaded guilty, federal prosecutors announced that
the investigation is not completed.

MCGRAW-HILL COS: 2nd Cir. Affirms Royalties Class Action Dismissal
Ryan Davis, writing for Law360, reports that the Second Circuit on
May 16 upheld the dismissal of a proposed breach of contract class
action claiming The McGraw-Hill Cos. underpaid authors for
royalties on books sold outside the U.S., ruling that the payments
were in line with the authors' contracts.

U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. ruled in October that the
royalty payments the plaintiffs alleged were unfair were expressly
allowed by the contracts, and the Second Circuit said it was
affirming for "substantially the reasons stated by the district

MERVIN MANUFACTURING: Recalls 8K Pairs of GNU Snowboard Bindings
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in conjunction with
Health Canada and in cooperation with Mervin Manufacturing, of
Seattle, Washington, announced a voluntary recall of about 6,800
pairs of GNU Snowboard Bindings in the United States of America
and 1,200 pairs 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 ankle straps can break posing a fall hazard.

The firm has received 30 reports of the binding straps breaking.
No injuries were reported.

The recalled snowboard bindings include men's, youth, and women's
sizes.  The bindings attach to the snowboard with screws, and to
the snowboard boot with straps with buckles.  The brand name "GNU"
is imprinted on the front of the straps or on the baseplate.  The
SKU number can be found on the model sticker located on the
original packaging.  The following styles and SKU numbers are
included in the recall:

           Name             SKU #
           ----             -----
MEN'S     AGRO             213710 - 213720
           BACKDOOR         213105 - 213115
           CHOICE           213510 - 213540
           MUTANT/BIGFOOT   213610 - 213640
           PSYCH            213410 - 213460
           STREET           213205 - 213235
           WEIRD            213305 - 213355
YOUTH     GNUNIOR          213005
WOMEN'S   B-FAMOUS/YETI    214405 - 214435
           B-FREE COPPER    214305 - 214335
           B-HERE           214205 - 214230
           B-REAL           214105 - 214130
           B-TRUE           214005 - 214010

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

The recalled products were manufactured in Slovakia and sold at
Specialty Sports Inc., REI and other national, small chain and
independent sporting goods stores, and online at
http://www.backcountry.com/and http://www.mervin.com/from August
2012 to March 2013 for between $125 and $310.

Consumers should immediately stop using the bindings and contact
Mervin Manufacturing for instructions for receiving free
replacement straps.  Mervin Manufacturing may be reached at (800)
905-0551 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through
Friday or online at http://www.mervin.com/and click on Recall for
additional information.

MICHIGAN: Judge Allows Class Action Over Asset Seizures to Proceed
The Associated Press reports that a federal judge has cleared the
way for a class-action lawsuit challenging how the state of
Michigan seized assets without court approval to cover overdue

Judge Nancy Edmunds says a class will be certified only for the
purposes of determining whether the state is liable.  Any
financial award would be handled separately.  There could be more
than 150 parties in the case.

The lawsuit was filed by the owner of Copper Canyon, a brew pub in
Southfield.  In 2010, Michigan treasury agents changed locks and
temporarily seized liquor and cash with a warrant that was never
reviewed by a judge.

Copper Canyon says its rights were violated and its reputation
suffered.  The state says the seizure policy was changed later in

MOUNT OLIVET, KY: Sued Over Occupational Tax Ordinance
Wendy Mitchell, writing for The Ledger Independent, reports that
allegedly missing mapping related to a 2002 occupational tax
ordinance has prompted a lawsuit against the City of Mount Olivet,
filed by Robertson County School teacher Josh Underwood, ". . . on
behalf of himself and others similarly situated," making it a
class action suit.

The suit cites what it calls several facts, including the
annexation of school property at the site of Deming School by the
city in 2002.

"Prior to January 2002, the Deming School Property was situated
partially or entirely outside the city limits of the city of Mount
Olivet," the suit claims as a fact.

Mr. Underwood is represented by Attorney Jeffrey C. Shipp.

Following adoption of an ordinance in fall of 2001, in January
2002 the city began levying a 1 percent occupational tax on
Robertson County School District employees.

According to the suit, Mr. Shipp contends it was not until April
2002 when Mount Olivet adopted Ordinance 234 declaring its intent
to annex a larger portion of the school property.

The suit claims no accurate map or description of the area to be
annexed was recorded in the Robertson County Clerk's Office and
subsequently is not in the records of the Kentucky Secretary of
State, as required, causing the collection of occupational tax
from Underwood and others to be illegal.

Mapping versions of the city limits vary, including a contention
of the city, raised in 2001, that the actual city limit was
established in 1871 as 120 pole (.038 mile) from the city center.

A Kentucky map from 1999 lists the size at half a mile, city
officials said in 2001.

A current MapQuest image appears to be from the 1999 map, with
only a fraction of the school building and former school board
office included.  On a U.S. Geological Survey Mount Olivet map
image on TopoQuest the city limit appears to encompass most of the
Deming School property.

The suit asks for a jury trial, reasonable costs, attorney fees
and "such other relief as the court may deem just and proper."

In reply, the city, represented by Attorney W. Kelly Caudill,
replied to the compliant, claiming "The plaintiff's complaint
fails to state a cause of action against the defendant upon which
relief can be granted," while agreeing the Robertson County School
Board owned property on U.S. 62 known as Deming School Property
and that the city levied the tax beginning in 2002.

But, Ms. Caudill replied to the court, the city denied allegations
in 13 paragraphs of the complaint and claimed the city was
"without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as
to the truth of the allegations set forth in paragraphs
8,9,10,11,12 and 13 . . . and therefore denies each and every
allegation therein."

According to the complaint, the first 13 paragraphs relate to a
violation of KRS 81A.470, which addresses lack of appropriate
mapping for annexation, and paragraphs 1-18 which relate to the
act of conversion of misappropriated funds for the use and benefit
of the city.

Ms. Caudill asked for the case to be dismissed and the city be
awarded attorney fees and "all other relief to which it appears

According to published reports from 2001 and 2002, Mount Olivet
officials enacted the ordinance to generate revenue for its
general fund, which pays city operating expenses, general
administrative costs and the cost of the police department.

Allegedly anticipating the new Robertson County School District
opening well outside the Mount Olivet city limits, with revenue
from employees to be cut from the city coffers, in late fall 2012,
Mount Olivet Mayor Linda Reed confirmed, the police chief had been
terminated and the sole police cruiser was parked until other
revenue could be found to operate a police department.

The new Robertson County School opened in late February, moving
all educational operations to the new facility, with intentions of
demolishing the old Deming School.

On average, school officials said, the school district employs
about 65 people.  According to past estimates, more than $20,000
per year has been collected since 2002 in occupational taxes by
Mount Olivet, from school district employees, school officials

NEW YORK: Judge Tosses FLSA Overtime Class Action v. City Health
Megan Stride, writing for Law360, reports that a New York federal
judge on May 15 tossed a putative class action accusing New York
City Health and Hospitals Corp. of violating the Fair Labor
Standards Act by depriving hourly employees of overtime pay, but
left the plaintiff a chance to amend his complaint to add more
detailed allegations.

U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer found that plaintiff Jerome
Cromwell failed to allege precisely when, or at what point during
his more than two decades of employment with HHC, he worked more
than 40 hours per week.

NEW YORK: DOJ Eyes "Stop-and-Frisk" Constitutionality
Joseph Straw, writing for New York Daily News, reports that
Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers on May 15 that the
Justice Department is eyeing the constitutionality of the NYPD's
stop-and-frisk policy and weighing action.

A federal class action lawsuit challenging the practice -- in
which citizens are stopped, questioned and frisked on city streets
absent suspicion -- awaits a ruling from Manhattan Judge Shira

Plaintiffs claim the practice profiles young black and Hispanic
males, who constitute most subjects.  The city asserts that the
benefits to public safety justifies it.

During an oversight hearing House Judiciary Committee member
Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), raised a June 2012 meeting between
Mr. Holder, city lawmakers, and members of the Congressional Black
Caucus that addressed stop-and-frisk.

"We have not reached any final determinations but this is
something that is under review at the Justice Department,"
Mr. Holder said.  "I hope that we will be able to move this along.
I know there is a civil suit from which a lot of information is
coming out, but it is something that, -- as I think I said then --
that we were prepared to look at and something that in fact we are

Mr. Jeffries urged "an expedited conclusion" to the Justice
Department review but acknowledged its sensitivity.

PEMEX: Tabasco Residents File Class Action Over Oil Spills
Inter Press Service reports that fed up with oil spills from
facilities belonging to Mexico's state oil company Pemex,
residents of two communities in the southeastern state of Tabasco
are taking the country's largest company to court in a bid for
compensation for damage to the environment and agriculture.

The people of Cunduacan and Huimanguillo, which have a combined
population of 300,000, will present a class action lawsuit against
Pemex in June.

"There have been several harmful effects; we have carried out
tests on soils, sediments and water and we are about to receive
the results," Marisa Jacott, the head of Fronteras Comunes (Common
Borders), an environmental NGO, told IPS.

Fronteras Comunes and the Asociacion Ecologica Santo Tomas (Santo
Tomas Ecological Association) are providing legal advice to the
local population, mainly small farmers and fisherfolk, who have
incurred great losses due to oil spills and gas explosions.

Mexico's 2011 Class Action Law allows individuals and the federal
consumer protection agency to sue state and private companies.
However, the law does not provide for reparations.

The oil industry has been active in Tabasco since the early 1950s,
and expanded there from the 1970s onwards with the construction of
petrochemical plants, pipeline networks and storage facilities,
sparking an economic boom.

But the boom did not result in benefits for the local communities.
Instead, the oil industry displaced traditional activities like
banana farming and cattle ranching.

The oil industry is active in 13 of Tabasco's 17 municipalities,
producing 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) -- of a national total of
2.5 million bpd -- according to the Mexican Petroleum Institute

"There is environmental pollution and crop destruction, and there
are soils that have lost their fertility.  This means that
harvests are not as abundant as they were before," Lorena Sanchez,
head of the Tabasco Human Rights Committee (CODEHUTAB), an NGO
that has received complaints from local people about these
problems, told IPS.

"It has affected people's diets and caused respiratory health
problems as well as blood and skin diseases," she said.

Since 2011, CODEHUTAB has brought four lawsuits to the federal
environmental protection agency, PROFEPA, that have resulted in
fines for Pemex, but not in reparations for victims in local

The most recent case, this year, was related to seven gas flares
burning in the municipality of ParaĦso, where CODEHUTAB took blood
samples from 50 children between the ages of seven and 15.  Ten
percent of the samples had chromosome alterations, linked by the
epidemiologists to oil industry activity.

PROFEPA estimates there are an average of 20 crude spills a year
in Tabasco. Between 2008 and 2012, the environment ministry
recorded 102 sites contaminated by environmental emergencies in
the country caused by Pemex, including three in Tabasco.

In addition to Tabasco, the eastern and southeastern states of
Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Hidalgo and Puebla and the highways
connecting them to Mexico City are regarded as vulnerable to oil
industry activity.

The oil industry in this region produces pollution with heavy
metals, ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitric oxide, volatile aromatic
compounds like benzene, hydrogen sulphide, salts, ammonia, cadmium
and acids, all of which are harmful to the environment and human
health, the NGOs complain.

Manuel Pinkus-Rendon and Alicia Contreras, academic researchers at
the Autonomous University of Yucatan, concluded in a study
published last year that "the social and environmental fabric of
Tabasco reflects a regional development potential considerably
below that which existed over 60 years ago, as a result of
environmental degradation."

For their study "Impacto socioambiental de la industria petrolera
en Tabasco: el caso de Chontalpa" (Social and environmental impact
of the oil industry in Tabasco: The case of Chontalpa), the
authors interviewed 200 residents of four towns in the
municipality of Cardenas, 65 percent of whom expressed negative
views about oil industry activity, especially because of the
pollution and destruction it causes.

"It is a case that has not been addressed.  We want the judges to
have the fewest possible reasons to reject it," said Jacott, of
Fronteras Comunes.

In April, the local residents presented a complaint to the
National Commission on Human Rights. In 2004 they had filed a
legal complaint against Pemex in the attorney general's office,
but it went nowhere.

The environmental organizations and local residents have spent two
years building their case.  The next step will be legal action
over damage suffered in the adjacent state of Veracruz, another
major oil-producing region.

"We want them to take the required preventive measures.  All Pemex
does is supposedly carry out remediation of the damage, but it
does not invest in maintaining the pipelines and guarding the
area," CODEHUTAB's Sanchez complained.

The organizations are asking for an assessment of the state of
ecosystems in Tabasco, and the dissemination of Pemex's policies
and guidelines for preventing leaks, addressing environmental
contingencies and cleaning up polluted sites.

They are also calling for the gradual replacement of fossil fuels
with alternative energy sources, as well as regular measurements
of the main atmospheric pollutants in affected areas.

PILOT FLYING J: Freeh Group to Help in Rebate Scam Investigation
WBIR reports that a Georgia attorney who is representing several
trucking companies in a suit that is seeking class action status
against Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J said the case is getting
some high-profile help.

Mark Tate confirmed to 10News that former FBI director and former
federal judge Louis Freeh's firm, the Freeh Group, has agreed to
work with the trucking companies who believe they were cheated in
an alleged rebate scam.  Tate said the Freeh Group has a large
group of investigators and accountants who will help the trucking
companies make their case.  Tate said they face a big burden in
their lawsuit and they are thrilled to have help fighting what he
called C.E.O. Jimmy Haslam's "billionaire's antics."

When contacted about the Pilot Flying J investigation, a
spokesperson for the Freeh Group said, "We have no comment."

Duncan School of Law Asst. Professor, Matt Lyon, said the hire
takes the case to another level.

"Obviously it's going to raise the profile of lawsuit
significantly that you have someone of that stature involved, a
national name that everyone knows," Mr. Lyon said.  "I'm sure one
reason they've hired Mr. Freeh and his consulting firm is that
idea, 'let's do an investigation and see what we can find out
maybe that the government didn't find out."

Late last month, a judge in Knoxville denied Mr. Tate's request
for a temporary restraining order to keep Pilot Flying J from
contacting customers.

The attorney claimed that Jimmy Haslam was contacting the
companies, getting releases from them, and settling claims before
companies knew about the full extent of the allegations.

Pilot attorneys argued that the truck stop company was trying to
make things right and denied asking customers to sign a release.

Mr. Tate also claimed that a full-page newspaper ad placed on
May 11 in support of the Haslam family was "engineered" by Jimmy
Haslam.  "He ran that ad as a warning, as he's in the largest
fight of his professional career," Mr. Tate said.

But Randy Massey, who purchased the ad, said it was his idea.

"It's just a point of appreciation.  It's nothing more except
trying to say to the Haslam's, 'Thank you,' for everything you've
done for us," Mr. Massey said.

SEQUEL NATURALS: Recalls Vega(R) Sport Brand Protein Bars
Starting date:         May 25, 2013
Type of communication: Recall
Alert sub-type:        Allergy Alert
Subcategory:           Allergen - Milk
Hazard classification: Class 2
Source of recall:      Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Recalling firm:        Sequel Naturals Ltd.
Distribution:          National
Extent of the product
distribution:          Consumer
CFIA reference number: 8037

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Sequel Naturals
Ltd. are warning people with allergies to milk not to consume the
Company's Vega(R) Sport brand Protein Bar.  The affected product
contains milk which is not declared on the label.

This product has been distributed nationally.

There has been one reported allergic reaction.

Consumption of this product may cause a serious or life-
threatening reaction in persons with allergies to milk.

The distributor, Sequel Naturals Ltd., Burnaby, BC, is voluntarily
recalling the affected product from the marketplace.  The CFIA is
monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Affected products:

   Brand name      Common name            Size   on product
   ----------      -----------            ----   ----------
   Vega(R) Sport   Natural Plant-based    60 g   Lot Code 12296C
                   Protein Bar Chocolate

   UPC: 8 38766 10830 8
   Additional info: Best By Date 19-NOV-13

Picture of the recalled products' labels is available at:

SOVEREIGN GRACE: Judge Dismisses Most of Child Sex Abuse Suit
Greta Kreuz, writing for ABC7News, reports that a judge has
dismissed most of a lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse and
conspiracy to cover up at a large church in Maryland.

But the ruling by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Sharon V.
Burrell didn't address the allegations of abuse.  She ruled that
the plaintiffs had to sue within three years of turning 18 and
that date has passed for most of the alleged victims.

Two of the plaintiffs recently turned 18, but they live in

The pastors and churches charged in the lawsuit could still face
criminal charges because there is no statute of limitations on

Renee Palmer Gamby was just a toddler when she says she was
molested by a male babysitter from her church.  Covenant Life in
Gaithersburg was the flagship church of the Sovereign Grace
Ministries denomination until this past December, when it pulled

Renee's mother said that when she called their pastor about the
abuse, he told her not to call police.  Instead, Renee said she
was required to meet with her alleged perpetrator and forgive him.

Renee and her mother said they thought they were the only victims.
But years later, they found story after story on the "Sovereign
Grace Ministries Survivors" blog.  And now several are going
public in what they hope will be a class-action civil lawsuit.

"We are alleging that a group of men, pastors, conspired together
to cover up ongoing sexual abuse of children," said Susan Burke,
civil lawsuit attorney.

The suit alleges decades of brutal sexual and physical abuse of
young children --boys and girls -- from the 1980s on, at both
Covenant Life Church, and Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax.

The Covenant Life plaintiffs allege beatings, rapes, including a
gang rape, and molestations at the church-run elementary school
and at other church functions.  During the abuse, the school was
housed at the Frost Center in Aspen Hill, and Sunday services were
then held at Magruder High School.

One alleged abuser is Stephen Griney, a former Bible studies
teacher who also headed the children's ministry.  The suit details
a gang rape where adults wore masks and the victim was an 8-year-
old girl.

The lawsuit also names four current officials of the Fairfax
church, again, alleging an orchestrated cover-up of child sex
abuse incidents and failure to report them to police.

The accusations also say children were forced to meet and forgive
the accused, and pastors failed to notify other families -- so the
perpetrators went on to prey on other children.

One of those alleged perpetrators is Nathaniel Morales, a Covenant
Life member currently jailed on criminal child sex abuse charges
in Montgomery County.

"The pastors were on notice.  He had other victims," explained Ms.
Burke.  "They had been told by the victims that Morales had
molested them and they did nothing about it."

Another of the accused predators was then-Covenant Life pastor and
school principal John Loftness.  The suit claims he repeatedly
molested two young girls, one a 5-year-old.  Mr. Loftness is now
the pastor at Solid Rock Church in Riverdale, Maryland, which is
not named in the suit.

ABC7 went to Solid Rock Church, but were told Mr. Loftness was out
all week.  Mr.  Loftness did post a letter to church members,
denying ever abusing a child, or shielding any pedophile.

Dara Sutherland said in 1987, when her then 14-year-old sister
accused their father, David Adams, of having molested her for
three years, their mother went to police.  And she says the
pastors punished the family instead.

"Basically threw us out of the church, supported the pedophile and
provided him with an attorney," said Ms. Sutherland.

On May 16, Ms. Sutherland says David Adams, who did serve jail
time for child abuse, is still active at Covenant Life, and
manages a children's music band.

UNITED STATES: ACLJ Mulls Class Action Over IRS Targeting
The American Center for Law and Justice was expected to file suit
in federal court over the targeting of 14 of its clients by the
IRS soon.

Jay Sekulow, ACLJ chief counsel, told The Daily Caller on May 15
planned to file suit and has a team of lawyers working on the

ACLJ has not decided whether it will file one class action suit on
behalf their aggrieved clients or separate suits.

"We are looking at the issue of whether it could be certified as a
class or whether we would have to bring each claim as an
individual claim," he explained.  "Which would mean we would be
filing some in Cincinnati or the District Courts in Ohio, some in
the district courts in California, some in the District of
Columbia.  We are looking at all that."

According to Mr. Sekulow, it is too early in their review process
to know whether the conservative groups that the IRS targeted for
enhanced scrutiny would qualify as "a class certifiable action."

"You have a number of aggrieved parties coming out of the same
targeting, so we are looking at [a class action suit]," he
explained.  "The difference in our case is -- this is the
technical side -- some have been granted status and they still may
be filing suit because of the fact that they were targeted."

Of the 27 Tea Party groups ACLJ represents, 10 were still awaiting
responses on their tax exempt status and recently received another
letter of inquiry about one of their clients from the IRS.
Currently ACLJ has 14 plaintiffs.

"It would be much more judicially economical for the courts and
for everybody, to have it in one court, but we don't have the
answer to that yet," he added, noting that especially after the
release of the inspector general report on May 14 he cannot
imagine anything that would sway ACLJ against litigation.

UNITED STATES: Hennepin County's Judgment Bid in FCRA Suit Denied
District Judge Donovan W. Frank denied a motion for judgment on
the pleadings brought by Defendant Hennepin County in the lawsuit
captioned Kevin W. Rouse, Emily M. Rouse, and Brian L. Ranwick, on
behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs, v. Hennepin County, Defendant, United States of
America, Intervenor, Hennepin County, Third-Party Plaintiff, v.
Quadrant Systems, LLC, Third-Party Defendant, Civil No. 12-326
(DWF/SER), (D. Minn.).

The Plaintiffs had alleged that the Hennepin County violated
provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C.
Section 1681, et seq., and the Fair and Accurate Credit
Transactions Act (FACTA), which amended the FCRA, by issuing
receipts bearing full, unredacted credit card expiration dates.

After filing an Amended Complaint in February 2012, the Plaintiffs
served third-party subpoenas to credit card companies and
technology vendors. The Defendant filed a motion for judgment on
the pleadings on January 11, 2013, seeking dismissal of the
Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint.  On February 1, 2013, the parties
submitted a Stipulation to Amend Plaintiffs' Amended Class Action
Complaint.  Pursuant to the stipulation, the Plaintiffs were
permitted to file the Second Amended Class Action Complaint.
In the Second Amended Class Action Complaint, the Plaintiffs again
claimed that the Defendant's issuance of credit card receipts
containing expiration dates constitutes a willful violation of the
FCRA and FACTA.  The Plaintiffs also seek to represent a class of
similarly situated individuals.

The Defendant moved for judgment on the pleadings on three
separate grounds: (1) the Plaintiffs have failed to adequately
allege willfulness and, therefore, failed to state a claim for
relief; (2) the Defendant could not have acted willfully as a
matter of law; and (3) the Defendant is entitled to Eleventh
Amendment immunity as an arm of the State.

The Court held that the Plaintiffs have sufficiently stated a
claim for a willful violation.

According to Judge Frank, the relevant statutory text of the FCRA
reveals that a "person" under the statute includes any "government
or governmental subdivision or agency," and therefore that a
government can be liable under the statue.  "Thus, it appears that
Defendant's interpretation of the statute to mean that no
government can be subject to damages under its provisions is not
reasonable," he said.

"The record is not yet adequately developed so as to allow the
Court to determine whether this suit is actually a suit against
the state, and in particular, whether funds to pay any award in
this action will come from the state treasury. As such, the Court
declines to hold that Defendant is entitled to immunity on
Eleventh Amendment grounds," Judge Frank added.

The Court noted, however, that it appears that damages for
Plaintiffs in the case, should they ultimately prevail, will be

Thomas J. Lyons, Esq., of Lyons Law Firm, P.A., and Thomas J.
Lyons, Jr., Esq. -- tommycjc@aol.com -- of Consumer Justice Center
P.A., represent the Plaintiffs.

Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, and Rebecca Lee
Stark Holschuh, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, of the
Hennepin County Attorney's Office, represent Hennepin County.

Gerald C. Kell, Esq. -- gerald.kell@usdoj.gov -- of the U.S.
Department of Justice, represents Intervenor United States of

A copy of the District Court's May 13, 2013 Memorandum Opinion and
Order is available at http://is.gd/yLkGnffrom Leagle.com.

WELLS FARGO: Cites New Facts in Bid Against Investor Class Action
Margaret Cronin Fisk and Beth Hawkins, writing for Bloomberg News,
report that Wells Fargo & Co., citing "new facts," asked a judge
to revoke the class-action status he bestowed on a suit by
institutional investors who claimed the bank marketed a risky
securities-lending program as safe.

Wells Fargo on May 17 asked U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank
in St. Paul, Minnesota, to revisit his decision allowing the
plaintiffs to pursue their action together instead of
individually, giving them greater leverage to obtain a settlement.
The bank is also seeking dismissal of multiple investor claims.

Wells Fargo is asking Judge Frank to revisit his decision allowing
the plaintiffs to pursue their action together instead of
individually, giving them greater leverage to obtain a settlement.

Judge Frank certified the case as a group lawsuit last year,
finding that common questions predominated, including whether San
Francisco-based Wells Fargo "knew or should have known that the
investments it selected did not comport with investment mandates."

The case was filed in 2010 by the City of Farmington Hills
Employees Retirement System, a Michigan pension fund, on behalf of
more than 100 other institutional investors.  They claim breach of
fiduciary duty and fraud.

"There are significant new facts that have come to light and
significant new arguments that have come to light that could not
have been known at the time of certification," Dan Millea, a Wells
Fargo attorney, told the judge on May 17.

                           'Sold Out'

The lead plaintiff, Farmington Hills, differs from other investors
and there's no classwide method for calculating damages,
Mr. Millea said.  "Farmington Hills exited the program and sold
out completely.  Other members are either still in or paid to get

These differences don't mean that a class shouldn't be certified,
Peter Binkow, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said at the hearing.
Damages would be calculated by how much principal was lost, he
told the judge.  How investors got into or out of the program
doesn't matter, he said.

"There's really no issue on damages." he said.

The suit, set for trial Sept. 16, is one of at least five against
Wells Fargo over its securities lending.  A case brought by
nonprofit organizations led by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
goes to trial next month in federal court in St. Paul.  In
another, the Minnesota Life Insurance Co. claims $40 million in

Wells Fargo lost a $30 million jury verdict in 2010 in a claim
brought by the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Reinsurance
Association and three charitable foundations.  The verdict was
upheld on appeal.  The suits have been brought in Minnesota where
the Wells Fargo securities lending program was located.

                      'Investment Guidelines'

Investments made by Wells Fargo Securities Lending "were in
accordance with investment guidelines and were prudent and
suitable at the time of purchase," Laura Fay, a spokeswoman for
the bank, said in an e-mailed statement.  "We strongly deny the
allegations that were made in these lawsuits."

Securities lending is a practice whereby investors lend stock or
other investments to banks or brokers.  In return, the bank places
cash collateral on behalf of the investor into short-term
investments until the shares are returned.  It has been
traditionally viewed by pension funds and foundations as a low-
risk investment.

The pension fund and other class members participated in an
investment program in which Wells Fargo would hold its clients'
securities in custodial accounts and make temporary loans of these
securities to brokers.

The brokers would borrow the securities to support their trading
activities, such as short sales and option contracts, and would
post collateral worth at least 102 percent of the value of the
securities, the plaintiffs said in court papers.
'Highly Secure'

The Michigan pension plan claims Wells Fargo promoted its
securities-lending program "as a highly secure way for its
institutional clients to maximize portfolio returns."  Instead,
the pension fund said, "Wells Fargo invested a substantial portion
of the collateral in extremely risky securities."

Wells Fargo also invested in "highly illiquid securities,"
including structured investment vehicles, or SIVs, asset-backed
and mortgage-backed securities, the plaintiffs said in the
complaint.  The SIVs proved particularly risky during the mortgage
crisis, they said.

"We do not believe that Wells Fargo in any meaningful manner tried
to assess liquidity," plaintiffs' attorney Avi Wagner said at the
May 17 hearing.

                          Investor Claims

The investors claim Wells Fargo concealed investment performance
to keep them from exiting the lending program.  They allege breach
of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and violation of Minnesota's
Consumer Fraud Act.

The class includes participants in the Wells Fargo securities
lending program starting on Jan. 1, 2006, "who suffered losses to
the program's purchase and maintenance of high risk, long-term
securities," Judge Frank said in his order.

Wells Fargo blamed any losses on the financial crisis.

"Market conditions severely deteriorated and had a major impact on
the global financial markets and worldwide economies" from 2007 to
2009, said Ms. Fay, the bank spokeswoman.  "During that time, the
market for even the highest-rated debt instruments, such as those
invested in by WFSL, deteriorated substantially."

The Michigan pension fund and the class "suffered no recoverable
damages," lawyers for the bank said in court papers in November.
"Any losses sustained by plaintiff and the class were caused by
persons, entities or other factors for which Wells Fargo was not
and is not responsible."

                        Losses 'Offset'

Alleged losses were "offset, in whole or in part, by profits in
their accounts with Wells Fargo and profits arising from purchases
of other fixed-income instruments that would be considered
'unsuitable' according to the allegations of plaintiff and the
class," the bank's attorneys wrote.

Wells Fargo also asked the judge on May 17 to dismiss claims for
breach of fiduciary duty and the consumer law violation.

The plaintiffs haven't proven that "but for" Wells Fargo's
actions, investment losses wouldn't have occurred, Lindsey Davis,
an attorney for the bank, said at the hearing.

"The plaintiffs have not created a 'but for' world comprised of
appropriate investments," she said.

In approving a class action, the judge wrote that it is superior
to multiple individual suits in promoting "the interests of
judicial economy and efficiency."

"Class members who may not otherwise have the means to litigate
their claims will likely benefit greatly from a class action, and
a class action will ensure that class members who are otherwise
unaware that they possess a claim will have their rights
represented," he wrote.

                        'Illiquidity Risk'

The suit particularly targets Wells Fargo's investments in
structured investment vehicles.  The plaintiffs sought
"conservative, safe and liquid investments," their lawyers wrote.
"SIVs have a built-in illiquidity risk."

"SIVs borrow money by issuing short-term securities, usually
commercial paper, at lower interest rates," according to the
complaint.  "The SIVs then lend money by buying long-term assets
at higher interest rates," making a profit off the spread, the
lawyers said.

"To survive, SIVs need a constant infusion of new short-term
refinancing, at favorable rates," they said.  This financing fell
apart when the mortgage crisis caused a "liquidity crunch" in the
short-term commercial paper market, leading to defaults by two of
the SIVs in which Wells Fargo had heavily invested, Cheyne Finance
SIV and the Stanfield Victoria SIV, according to the complaint.
Both went into receivership, the plaintiffs' lawyers said.

Frank will first oversee a trial to start June 17 in a case
brought against Wells Fargo by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of
Minnesota and 10 other nonprofits, including the pension plans of
St. John's University, Meijer Inc. and El Paso County.

The class action is City of Farmington Hills Employees Retirement
System v. Wells Fargo Bank NA, 10-cv-04372, U.S. District Court,
District of Minnesota (St. Paul).

WELLS FARGO: Settles Force-Placed Insurance Class Action
Brian Bandell, writing for South Florida Business Journal, reports
that Wells Fargo Bank and QBE Insurance have agreed to settle a
class action lawsuit filed by several Miami-Dade County law firms
on behalf of Florida homeowners given force-placed insurance for
$19.25 million.

The complaint, filed in 2011, alleged that Florida homeowners were
overcharged, then Wells Fargo assigned property insurance from QBE
on their homes.  The lawsuit alleged that Wells Fargo unfairly
took commissions that were included in the premiums for this

Lenders often order forced placed insurance when property owners
decline to buy coverage themselves, often when the loan is in

The class was certified in 2012, and more than 24,000 homeowners
were notified.  During the class period, from April 2006 to
February 2013, the class members were charged $77 million for
force-placed insurance, according to the settlement documents.

The trial was scheduled to start in July.  Instead, the parties
reached a settlement for a refund of the amount charged for
forced-placed insurance to the members of the class.

The borrowers who paid the premium will be refunded 25 percent in
cash.  Those who were charged the premium but didn't pay will get
a credit of 25 percent off their bill.

In addition, the defendants agreed to pay up to $5.48 million of
the plaintiffs' attorney's fees and costs.

The plaintiffs were represented by Aaron Podhurst, John Gravante
III, Peter Prieto and Matthew Weinshall, of Miami-based Podhurst
Orseck Josefberg; Lance Harke, Howard Bushman and Sarah Engel, of
Miami Shores-based Harke Clasby & Bushman; and Adam M. Moskowitz,
Thomas Tucker Ronzetti, Rachel Sullivan and Robert J. Neary, of
Coral Gables-based Kozyak, Tropin & Throckmorton P.A.

After the lawsuit was filed, Wells Fargo said it would no longer
purchase force-placed insurance from QBE in Florida.

Wells Fargo was represented by David Esau of Calton Fields in West
Palm Beach.  QBE was represented by Katherine Halliday of
BuckleySandler in Washington, D.C.

YOUTUBE INC: Class Cert. Bid in Copyright Infringement Suit Denied
District Judge Louis N. Stanton denied a motion for class
certification in the lawsuit captioned THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

Forty-five years ago Judge Lumbard of the United States Court of
Appeals for this Circuit called a case a "Frankenstein monster
posing as a class action."  The description fits the class aspects
of this case, Judge Stanton said.

The putative class consists of every person and entity in the
world who own infringed copyrighted works, who have or will
register them with the U.S. Copyright Office as required, whose
works fall into either of two categories: they were the subject of
prior infringement which was blocked by YouTube after notice, but
suffered additional infringement through subsequent uploads (the
repeat infringement class), or are musical compositions which
defendants tracked, monetized or identified and allowed to be used
without proper authorization (the music publisher class). The
Plaintiffs assert that there are "at least thousands of class
members" in the Repeat Infringement Class, and "hundreds" in the
Music Publisher Class.

Judge Stanton held that the Plaintiffs offer no explanation of how
the worldwide members of this proposed class are to be identified,
how they are to prove copyright ownership by themselves or by
their authorized agent, or how they will establish that the
defendants became aware of the specific video clips which
allegedly infringed each of the potentially tens of thousands of
musical compositions incorporated into specific videos. Unless an
exception applies, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 17 U.S.C.
Section 512(c) requires that YouTube have legal knowledge or
awareness of the specific infringement, to be liable for it.

"Defendant YouTube does not generate infringing material: it
offers a website on which others post video clips, some of which
infringe (e.g., by quoting or copying) material in copyrighted
works. Thus YouTube is mainly alleged to be secondarily liable for
its users' uploading an infringing clip onto the service," Judge
Stanton concluded.

BOURNE CO. (together with its Affiliate MURBO MUSIC PUBLISHING,
on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs, v. YOUTUBE, INC., YOUTUBE, LLC, and GOOGLE INC.,
Defendants, No. 07 Civ. 3582(LLS), (S.D. N.Y.).

A copy of the District Court's May 15, 2013 Opinion and Order is
available at http://is.gd/Hs7Tdgfrom Leagle.com.

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pittsburgh Corning Plan Up for 2nd Approval
Steven Church, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that Pittsburgh
Corning Corp.'s bankruptcy judge overruled final objections by
insurance companies trying to halt the reorganization of the
building-supply company.

According to the report, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald
in Pittsburgh refused on May 24 to reconsider her initial approval
of the reorganization plan, which relies partly on insurance
proceeds to pay victims of asbestos exposure.

Insurers led by Mt. McKinley Insurance Co., had asked Fitzgerald
to reconsider her decision, claiming she erred May 16 when she
tentatively approved a plan to create a $3.5 billion asbestos

The trust and the plan now go before a U.S. district court judge
for a second approval, which is required for all asbestos-related
bankruptcy cases that create a victim's trust fund.

Under the bankruptcy plan, Pittsburgh Corning's parents, Corning
Inc. and PPG Industries Inc., may shift their liability for
asbestos claims to the trust, which the companies and the insurers
would fund. Corning and PPG would give the trust the right to
collect on their insurance policies under the plan, which Mt.
McKinley claimed would unfairly alter the policies.

During a court hearing May 23, Judge Fitzgerald gave the insurers
a final chance to talk her out of her decision.  At the end of the
hearing, she said she was unlikely to change her mind and asked
the parties to submit any minor wording changes to her proposed
order before she made a final ruling.

                     About Pittsburgh Corning

Pittsburgh Corning Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection (Bankr. W.D. Pa. Case No. 00-22876) on April 16, 2000,
to address numerous claims alleging personal injury from exposure
to asbestos.  At the time of the bankruptcy filing, there were
about 11,800 claims pending against the Company in state court
lawsuits alleging various theories of liability based on exposure
to Pittsburgh Corning's asbestos products and typically requesting
monetary damages in excess of $1 million per claim.

The Hon. Judith K. Fitzgerald presides over the case.  Reed Smith
LLP serves as counsel and Deloitte & Touche LLP as accountants to
the Debtor.

The United States Trustee appointed a Committee of Unsecured Trade
Creditors on April 28, 2000.  The Bankruptcy Court authorized the
retention of Leech, Tishman, Fuscaldo & Lampl, LLC, as counsel to
the Committee of Unsecured Trade Creditors, and Pascarella &
Wiker, LLP, as financial advisor.

The U.S. Trustee also appointed a Committee of Asbestos Creditors
on April 28, 2000.  The Bankruptcy Court authorized the retention
of these professionals by the Committee of Asbestos Creditors: (i)
Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered as Committee Counsel; (ii) Campbell &
Levine as local counsel; (iii) Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C. as
special insurance counsel; (iv) Legal Analysis Systems, Inc., as
Asbestos-Related Bodily Injury Consultant; (v) defunct firm, L.
Tersigni Consulting, P.C. as financial advisor, and (vi) Professor
Elizabeth Warren, as a consultant to Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered.

On Feb. 16, 2001, the Court approved the appointment of Lawrence
Fitzpatrick as the Future Claimants' Representative.  The
Bankruptcy Court authorized the retention of Meyer, Unkovic &
Scott LLP as his counsel, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, as
his special counsel, and Analysis, Research and Planning
Corporation as his claims consultant.

In 2003, a plan of reorganization was agreed to by various
parties-in-interest, but, on Dec. 21, 2006, the Bankruptcy Court
issued an order denying the confirmation of that plan, citing that
the plan was too broad in addressing independent asbestos claims
that were not associated with Pittsburgh Corning.

On Jan. 29, 2009, an amended plan of reorganization (the Amended
PCC Plan) -- which addressed the issues raised by the Court when
it denied confirmation of the 2003 Plan -- was filed with the
Bankruptcy Court.

As reported by the TCR on April 25, 2012, Pittsburgh Corning
Corp., a joint venture between Corning Inc. and PPG Industries
Inc., filed another amendment to its reorganization plan designed
to wrap up a Chapter 11 begun 12 years ago.

The Company's balance sheet at Sept. 30, 2012, showed
$29.41 billion in total assets, $7.52 billion in total liabilities
and $21.88 billion in total equity.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Industries Had 260 Cases at March 31
Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., was a co-defendant in approximately
260 cases 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.

The Company states: "We were a co-defendant in approximately 260
cases asserting claims on behalf of approximately 600 plaintiffs
alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos.
These asbestos cases generally relate to production and sale of
asbestos-containing products and allege various theories of
liability, including negligence, gross negligence and strict
liability, and seek compensatory and, in some cases, punitive

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

There are only six asbestos cases, involving 23 plaintiffs, that
plead specified damages. In each of the six cases, the plaintiff
is seeking compensatory and punitive damages based on a variety of
potentially alternative causes of action. In three cases, the
plaintiff has alleged compensatory damages in the amount of $3.0
million for four separate causes of action and $1.0 million for
another cause of action and punitive damages in the amount of
$10.0 million. In the fourth case, the plaintiff has alleged
compensatory damages in the amount of $20.0 million for three
separate causes of action and $5.0 million for another cause of
action and punitive damages in the amount of $20.0 million. In the
remaining two cases, the plaintiffs have each alleged against each
named defendant, compensatory and punitive damages, each in the
amount of $50.0 million, for four separate causes of action.

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

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

ATM is the defendant in a lawsuit pending in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The plaintiff
is IPSCO Tubulars Inc. d/b/a TMK IPSCO. The complaint alleges
claims for breach of contract, gross negligence and constructive
fraud. TMK IPSCO is seeking approximately $6.0 million in direct
and $4.0 million in consequential damages as well as an
unspecified amount of punitive damages. ATM denies the allegations
against it, believes it has a number of meritorious defenses and
is vigorously defending the lawsuit. A motion for partial summary
judgment filed by ATM that, among other things, denied the
plaintiff's fraud claims was granted by the district court. A
bench trial is set to begin in May of 2013."

Park-Ohio Industries, Inc. engages in industrial supply chain
logistics and diversified manufacturing businesses.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: IntriCon Continues to Defend Exposure Suits
IntriCon Corporation continues to defend itself against lawsuits
alleging that plaintiffs have or may have contracted asbestos-
related diseases as a result of exposure to asbestos products or
equipment, 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 a defendant along with a number of other parties in
lawsuits alleging that plaintiffs have or may have contracted
asbestos-related diseases as a result of exposure to asbestos
products or equipment containing asbestos sold by one or more
named defendants. These lawsuits relate to the discontinued heat
technologies segment which was sold in March 2005. Due to the non-
informative nature of the complaints, the Company does not know
whether any of the complaints state valid claims against the
Company. Certain insurance carriers have informed the Company that
the primary policies for the period August 1, 1970-1978 have been
exhausted and that the carriers will no longer provide defense and
insurance coverage under those policies. However, the Company has
other primary and excess insurance policies that the Company
believes afford coverage for later years. Some of these other
primary insurers have accepted defense and insurance coverage for
these suits, and some of them have either ignored the Company's
tender of defense of these cases, or have denied coverage, or have
accepted the tenders but asserted a reservation of rights and/or
advised the Company that they need to investigate further. Because
settlement payments are applied to all years a litigant was deemed
to have been exposed to asbestos, the Company believes that it
will have funds available for defense and insurance coverage under
the non-exhausted primary and excess insurance policies. However,
unlike the older policies, the more recent policies have
deductible amounts for defense and settlements costs that the
Company will be required to pay; accordingly, the Company expects
that its litigation costs will increase in the future. Further,
many of the policies covering later years (approximately 1984 and
thereafter) have exclusions for any asbestos products or
operations, and thus do not provide insurance coverage for
asbestos-related lawsuits. The Company does not believe that the
asserted exhaustion of some of the primary insurance coverage for
the 1970-1978 period will have a material adverse effect on its
financial condition, liquidity, or results of operations.
Management believes that the number of insurance carriers involved
in the defense of the suits, and the significant number of policy
years and policy limits under which these insurance carriers are
insuring the Company, make the ultimate disposition of these
lawsuits not material to the Company's consolidated financial
position or results of operations.

IntriCon Corporation (IntriCon) is an international company
engaged in designing, developing, engineering and manufacturing
body-worn devices. IntriCon serves the body-worn device market by
designing, developing, engineering and manufacturing micro-
miniature products, microelectronics, micro-mechanical assemblies
and complete assemblies, primarily for bio-telemetry devices,
hearing instruments and professional audio communication devices.
The Company operates in one operating segment, the body-worn
device segment. The Company's core technologies is focused on
three main markets: medical, hearing health and professional audio
communications. In October 2012, it sold its 50% ownership
interest in Global Coils.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Le@P Technology Accrued $32,000 in Legal Fees
Le@P Technology, Inc., has accrued $32,000 in legal fees to settle
all outstanding litigation in relation to asbestos-related
disputes, 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 asbestos-related disputes arising out of
asbestos-related materials aboard certain maritime vessels
allegedly owned and operated by subsidiaries of the Company in the
1970s. The Company has accrued $32,000 in legal fees to settle all
outstanding litigation in relation to asbestos-related disputes.
As of March 31, 2013, the Company's management believed that none
of these actions, standing alone, or in the aggregate, was
material to the Company's operations or financial condition.

Le@P Technology, Inc. (Le@P) owns the property in Broward County,
Florida (the Real Property). As of December 31, 2011, the Company
had no revenue-producing activities. Parkson Property LLC
(Parkson), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, owns the Real
Property. The Real Property is zoned light industrial and consists
of approximately one and one-third acres. The Company leased the
Real Property to an unrelated third party tenant. The Company's
previous tenant lease on the Real Property has expired.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kaiser Ventures Has Insurance to Cover PI Claims
Kaiser Ventures, LLC, has insurance policy that provides
additional coverage for potential liabilities arising from, among
other things, potential 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 purchased an insurance policy effective June 30, 2001,
that is designed to provide broad prospective commercial general
liability, pollution legal liability, and contractual indemnity
coverage for the Company's ongoing and historical operations on a
claims mode basis through June 30, 2013. The policy has a twelve
(12) year term and limits of $50 million in the aggregate for
defense and indemnity, with no deductible or self-insured
retention. The policy is designed to provide coverage for future
claims in excess of the Company's existing and historic insurance
policies; however, to the extent that these other insurance
policies are not responsive to a claim, the policy will provide
first dollar coverage for a claim resulting from property damage,
personal injury, bodily injury, cleanup costs or violations of
environmental laws. The policy also provides for a broad defense
of claims that may be brought against the Company. The policy is
specifically intended to provide additional coverage for potential
liabilities arising from pollution conditions or known and/or
potential asbestos-related claims. The policy also provides
contractual indemnity coverage for scheduled indemnity obligations
of the Company arising from, e.g., prior corporate transactions
and real estate sales. The Company expects this policy will cover
substantially any and all environmental claims (up to the $50
million policy limit) relating to the historical operations of the
Company that are filed prior to June 30, 2013.

The aggregate cost for this policy was approximately $5.8 million,
of which, based upon discussions among the respective members of
the Boards of Directors, KSC Recovery paid $2 million and the
Company paid the balance of approximately $3.8 million. The
portion of the policy paid by KSC Recovery was expected to cover
known and/or potential asbestos claims; while the portion of the
policy paid by the Company was expected to cover future potential
claims arising from the Company's historical operations.

The Company's original $3.8 million premium for the prospective
insurance policy was capitalized as a long-term asset and is being
amortized on a straight-line basis over the 12 year term of the
policy. To the extent a pre-existing liability has not been
recorded, claims made for environmental matters are recorded as
litigation accruals in the Company's consolidated financial
statements pursuant to Section 450-10 of the ASC when it becomes
probable that a loss has been incurred and the amount of such loss
can be reasonably estimated. Claims accepted by the insurance
company pursuant to coverage under the policy are recorded as
insurance receivables when coverage is accepted and the amount to
be paid by the insurance company can be reasonably estimated.
Generally, unless previously accrued, the liability and the
receivable relating to claims covered by this policy should occur
in the same accounting period, thereby having no adverse or
beneficial impact on the Company's operating results for that
accounting period.

In addition to the foregoing policy, an additional insurance
policy with a term of ten years covering certain possible
contingent environmental and other related events that could arise
and impact the WVMRF, LLC and others was purchased by Kaiser
Recycling during the second quarter of 2012. The policy premium of
$113,621 was paid from the escrow account originally totaling
$363,000 that was established as a result of the sale of Kaiser
Recycling, LLC's ownership interest in WVMRF, LLC. The amount of
this escrow was charged against the Company's existing
environmental liability reserve.

Recycled from the former Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Ventures, LLC,
Kaiser Ventures oversees recycling and solid waste investments.
The company's holdings include an 83.1% stake in Mine Reclamation
Corporation (MRC) and a 50% stake in West Valley Materials
Recovery Facility and Transfer Station, which separates waste
materials for recycling or storage. Through MRC, the company has
turned Kaiser Steel's iron-ore mining pits into a rail-accessible
solid waste landfill at Eagle Mountain in the California desert;
it has agreed to sell the landfill to County District No. 2 of Los
Angeles County. However, lawsuits from local residents have
blocked the deal. Kaiser Ventures is owned mainly by former
creditors of Kaiser Steel.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Momentive Specialty Continues to Defend PI Suits
Momentive Specialty Chemicals continues to defend itself against
various legal proceedings including actions that allege personal
injury claims arising from asbestos-related products, 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 involved in various other product liability,
commercial and employment litigation, personal injury, property
damage and other legal proceedings, including actions that allege
harm caused by products the Company has allegedly made or used,
containing silica, vinyl chloride monomer and asbestos. The
Company believes it has adequate reserves and that it is not
reasonably possible that a loss exceeding amounts already reserved
would be material. Furthermore, the Company has insurance to cover
claims of these types.

Momentive Specialty Chemicals (formerly Hexion Specialty
Chemicals) is the world's largest thermosetting resins (or
thermosets) maker, ahead of competitor Georgia-Pacific. Thermosets
add a desired quality (heat resistance, gloss, adhesion, etc.) to
a number of different paints, coatings, and adhesives. They
include an array of resins: phenolic, epoxy, polyester, acrylic,
and urethane. The company also is a leading producer of adhesive
and structural resins and coatings. It serves several markets,
including paints, consumer products, and automotive coatings. It
was created after Hexion merged with Momentive Performance
Materials in 2010. Both companies are owned by Momentive
Performance Materials Holdings.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Independence Realty Properties Contain Asbestos
Independence Realty Trust, Inc., says limited quantities of
asbestos-containing materials are present in various building
materials such as floor coverings, ceiling texture material,
acoustical tiles and decorative treatment, according to the
Company's Form S-11 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on May 13, 2013.

The Company states, "All real property and the operations
conducted on real property are subject to federal, state and local
laws and regulations relating to environmental protection and
human health and safety. Examples of federal laws include: the
National Environmental Policy Act, the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Solid Waste
Disposal Act as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Federal Clean
Air Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Emergency Planning
and Community Right to Know Act and the Hazard Communication Act.
These laws and regulations generally govern wastewater discharges,
air emissions, the operation and removal of underground and above-
ground storage tanks, the use, storage, treatment, transportation
and disposal of solid and hazardous materials, and the remediation
of contamination associated with disposals. Some of these laws and
regulations may impose joint and several liability on residents,
owners or operators for the costs of investigation or remediation
of contaminated properties, regardless of fault or the legality of
the original disposal. In addition, the presence of these
substances, or the failure to properly remediate these substances,
may limit or eliminate affect our ability to sell or rent the
property or to use the property as collateral for future

There may also be potential liability associated with lead-based
paint arising from lawsuits alleging personal injury and related
claims. The existence of lead paint is especially a concern in
residential units. A structure built prior to 1978 may contain
lead-based paint and may present a potential for exposure to lead;
however, structures built after 1978 are not likely to contain
lead-based paint.

Properties' values may also be affected by their proximity to
electric transmission lines. Electric transmission lines are one
of many sources of electro-magnetic fields, or EMFs, to which
people may be exposed. Research completed regarding potential
health concerns associated with exposure to EMFs has produced
inconclusive results. Notwithstanding the lack of conclusive
scientific evidence, some states now regulate the strength of
electric and magnetic fields emanating from electric transmission
lines, and other states have required transmission facilities to
measure for levels of EMFs. On occasion, lawsuits have been filed
(primarily against electric utilities) that allege personal
injuries from exposure to transmission lines and EMFs, as well as
from fear of adverse health effects due to such exposure. This
fear of adverse health effects from transmission lines has been
considered both when property values have been determined to
obtain financing and in condemnation proceedings. We may not, in
certain circumstances, search for electric transmission lines near
our properties, but are aware of the potential exposure to damage
claims by persons exposed to EMFs.

Recently, indoor air quality issues, including mold, have been
highlighted in the media and the industry is seeing mold claims
from lessees rising. Due to recent increases in mold claims, and
since the law relating to mold is unsettled and subject to change,
we could incur losses from claims relating to the presence of, or
exposure to, mold or other microbial organisms, particularly if we
are unable to maintain adequate insurance to cover such losses. We
may also incur unexpected expenses relating to the abatement of
mold on properties that we may acquire.

Limited quantities of asbestos-containing materials are present in
various building materials such as floor coverings, ceiling
texture material, acoustical tiles and decorative treatment.
Environmental laws govern the presence, maintenance and removal of
asbestos. These laws could be used to impose liability for release
of, and exposure to, hazardous substances, including asbestos-
containing materials, into the air. Such laws require that owners
or operators of buildings containing asbestos (i) properly manage
and maintain the asbestos, (ii) notify and train those who may
come into contact with asbestos and (iii) undertake special
precautions, including removal or other abatement, if asbestos
would be disturbed during renovation or demolition of a building.
These laws may allow third parties to seek recovery from owners or
operators of real properties for personal injury associated with
exposure to asbestos fibers. As the owner of our properties, we
may be liable for any such costs.

Compliance with new or more stringent laws or regulations or
stricter interpretation of existing laws may require material
expenditures by us. We cannot assure you that future laws,
ordinances or regulations will not impose any material
environmental liability, or that the current environmental
condition of our properties will not be affected by the operations
of residents, existing conditions of the land, operations in the
vicinity of the properties, or the activities of unrelated third
parties. In addition, there are various local, state and federal
fire, health, life-safety and similar regulations that we may be
required to comply with. Failure to comply with applicable laws
and regulations could result in fines and/or damages, suspension
of personnel of our advisor and/or other sanctions."

Independence Realty Trust, Inc., owns well-located apartment
properties in geographic submarkets that support strong occupancy
and have the potential for growth in rental rates.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: CCOM Group Continues to Defend PI Lawsuits
CCOM Group, Inc., continues to defend itself against lawsuit
alleging personal injury claims arising from exposure to asbestos-
containing products manufactured by one of its 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.

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

The Company understands that the Universal Predecessor and many
other companies have been sued in the Superior Court of New Jersey
(Middlesex County) by plaintiffs filing lawsuits alleging injury
due to asbestos. As of March 31, 2013, there existed 7 plaintiffs
in these lawsuits relating to alleged sales of asbestos products,
or products containing asbestos, by the Universal Predecessor. The
Company never sold any asbestos related products.

Of the existing plaintiffs as of March 31, 2013, 1 filed an action
in 2013, 2 filed actions in 2012, 3 filed actions in 2011 and 1
filed an action in 2010. There are 212 other plaintiffs that have
had their actions dismissed and 17 other plaintiffs that have
settled as of March 31, 2013 for a total of $3,364,500 paid by
defendants other than Universal. There has been no judgment
against the Universal Predecessor.

The Company's Universal subsidiary was named by 38 plaintiffs; of
these, 1 filed an action in 2012, 1 filed an action in 2010, 11
filed actions in 2007, 6 filed actions in 2006, 11 filed actions
in 2005, 5 filed actions in 2001, 1 filed an action in 2000, and 2
filed actions in 1999. Thirty-five plaintiffs naming Universal
have had their actions dismissed and, of the total $3,364,500 of
settled actions, 3 plaintiffs naming Universal have settled for
$27,500. No money was paid by Universal in connection with any
settlement. Following these dismissed and settled actions no
plaintiffs named Universal as of March 31, 2013.

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

Based on advice of counsel, the Company believes that none of the
litigation that was brought against the Company's Universal
subsidiary through March 31, 2013 is material, and that the only
material litigation that was brought against the Universal
Predecessor through that date was Rhodes v. A.O. Smith
Corporation, filed on April 26, 2004 in the Superior Court of New
Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket Number MID-L-2979-
04AS. The Company was advised that the Rhodes case was settled for
$3,250,000 ("Settlement") under an agreement reached in connection
with a $10,000,000 jury verdict that was rendered on August 5,
2005. The Company was not a defendant in the Rhodes case.

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

John A. Hildebrandt, Paul H. Hildebrandt and the Universal
Predecessor have jointly and severally agreed to indemnify the
Company's Universal subsidiary from and against any and all
damages, liabilities and claims due to exposure to asbestos at any
time prior to the June 25, 1999 closing of the purchase agreement
referred to earlier. These agreements are set forth in the
purchase agreement. Paul H. Hildebrandt, one of the indemnitors,
was a Director of the Company from September 29, 2004 to January
28, 2005.

The indemnitors may use their own counsel to defend these claims.
The indemnitors are not liable for any settlement effected without
their consent. The indemnitors may settle and pay money claims
without the consent of the Company. There is no indemnification
unless claims aggregate $50,000; once this trigger point is
reached, indemnification is required for all claims, including the
first $50,000, but excluding claims of less than $10,000. The
indemnification requirement survives at least until 30 days after
the running of any relevant statutes of limitation.

The obligation of the indemnitors is joint and several, so that
the Company can have recourse against any one or more of these
indemnitors, whether or not any other indemnitor has previously
defaulted on its obligation to us. There are no other limitations
to the Company's rights to indemnification. The Company cannot be
certain that the indemnitors have the financial wherewithal to
meet their obligations to indemnify the Company.

The assets that the Universal Predecessor sold to the Company
included its insurance policies and other agreements and
contracts. The policies provide coverage for liability accruing
during the periods for which premiums were paid. The Universal
Predecessor was formed in 1940. Copies of policies are available
for each year beginning in 1970 and ending with the closing under
the purchase agreement in 1999. Copies of policies for the period
from 1940 to 1969 are not available.

Insurance companies acknowledge coverage for potential asbestos
claims under certain of these policies. Insurance companies under
additional policies have reserved their right to deny coverage but
have continued to defend and indemnify the Universal Predecessor
and the Company under the contested policies.

There are periods during the years from 1940 to 1999 in which the
Universal Predecessor did not have coverage for potential asbestos
claims. Subject to litigation, insurance companies may maintain
that the existence of these periods' results in coverage for only
a portion of a particular injury that varies with the period
during which there was asbestos coverage relating to the injury,
and that the balance of any settlement or judgment is to be paid
by the insured. As of March 31, 2013, no insurance company has
claimed any contribution for a gap in coverage except for a claim
for $160 made by one insurance company to the Universal
Predecessor in 1995. The Universal Predecessor asserted that it
had no obligation to pay this amount and did not make any payment.

Insurance companies have, as of March 31, 2013, defended the
Company and the Universal Predecessor, and have paid all
settlement amounts and defense costs. Except for the $160, the
insurance companies have not requested any payments from the
Company or from the Universal Predecessor.

The Company's Universal subsidiary has not engaged in the sale of
asbestos products since its formation in 1997. Its product
liability policies for all years since 1998 exclude asbestos

Regardless of indemnification and insurance coverage, management
does not in any event consider the Company to be liable for the
asbestos-based lawsuits that name the Company or for any other
claim that arises as a result of actions or omissions by the
Universal Predecessor. The Company expressly disclaimed the
assumption of any liabilities when the Company purchased the
assets of the Universal Predecessor. It is the opinion of
management that the existing asbestos litigation will not have a
material adverse effect on the Company. Nevertheless, the Company
could be materially and adversely affected if it is held liable
for substantial asbestos claims or if it incurs substantial legal
or settlement costs. This material and adverse effect would occur
if indemnitors fail to honor their indemnification agreements and
insurance is not available either because policy limits are
exceeded, or because insurance companies successfully deny
coverage or claim limitations on their liabilities by reason of
gaps in coverage or otherwise.

Since management regards as remote the potential payment of any
asbestos-based claim, no amounts have been accrued for any period
relating to asbestos claims, and no amounts have been recorded for
asbestos claims for any period in the condensed consolidated
financial statements.

CCOM Group, Inc., formerly Colonial Commercial Corp., operations
are conducted through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Universal
Supply Group, Inc. (Universal), The RAL Supply Group, Inc. (RAL),
and S&A Supply, Inc (S&A). The Company distributes heating,
ventilating and air conditioning equipment (HVAC), parts and
accessories, climate controls systems, appliances, and plumbing
and electrical fixtures and supplies, primarily in New Jersey, New
York, Massachusetts and portions of eastern Pennsylvania,
Connecticut and Vermont. The Company supplies the Amana air
conditioning and heating equipment line in New Jersey, of New York
State, and Western Massachusetts. It also supplies the Goodman
line of heating and air conditioning equipment, Fraser-Johnston
commercial air conditioning equipment, and Johnson Controls'
Source 1 HVAC Service Parts. The Company distributes these
products through seven sales locations in New Jersey, nine in New
York State, and two in Massachusetts.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: International Textile Facilities Contain Fibro
Certain of International Textile Group, Inc.'s facilities contain
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.

Asbestos materials are present at certain of the Company's
facilities, and applicable regulations would require the Company
to handle and dispose of these items in a special manner if these
facilities were to undergo certain major renovations or if they
were demolished. FASB ASC 410, "Asset Retirement and Environmental
Obligations," provides guidance on the recognition and/or
disclosure of liabilities related to legal obligations to perform
asset retirement activity. In accordance with FASB ASC 410, the
Company has not recognized a liability associated with these
obligations, because the fair value of such liabilities cannot be
reasonably estimated due to the absence of any plans to renovate,
demolish or otherwise change the use of these facilities. The
Company expects to maintain these facilities by repair and
maintenance activities that do not involve the removal of any of
these items and has not identified any need for major renovations
caused by technology changes, operational changes or other
factors. In accordance with FASB ASC 410, the Company will
recognize a liability in the period in which sufficient
information becomes available to reasonably estimate its fair
value. As of March 31, 2013, the Company did not have any
liabilities recorded for these obligations.

As of March 31, 2013, the Company had raw material and service
contract commitments totaling $36.4 million and capital
expenditure commitments of $0.5 million not reflected as
liabilities on the accompanying consolidated balance sheet. These
commitments were not reflected as liabilities on the accompanying
consolidated balance sheet because the Company had not received or
taken title to the related assets.

International Textile Group, Inc. (ITG) is a diversified textile
manufacturer. The Company has operations principally in the United
States, China, and Mexico. The Company's segments include bottom-
weight woven fabrics, commission finishing, narrow fabrics and all
other. The Company is a diversified producer of denim fabrics and
the better denim fabrics for products distributed through
department stores and specialty retailers. The Company is a wool
manufacturers and commission printers and finishers in North
America, and is a developer, marketer and manufacturer of other
fabrics and textile products. In September 2011, the Company
acquired the remaining 49% interest in Cone Denim (Jiaxing)
Limited. On March 31, 2011, the Company sold certain assets
related to its jacquard fabrics business. The Company's
manufacturing complex in Vietnam was idled in January 2012.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rexnord Has $254.2MM Insurance for PI Suits
Rexnord Corporation estimates that its available insurance to
cover its potential asbestos liability is approximately $254.2
million, according to the Company's Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended March
31, 2013.

Multiple lawsuits (with approximately 1,000 claimants) are pending
in state or federal court in numerous jurisdictions relating to
alleged personal injuries due to the alleged presence of asbestos
in certain brakes and clutches previously manufactured by the
Company's Stearns division and/or its predecessor owners. Invensys
and FMC, prior owners of the Stearns business, have paid 100% of
the costs to date related to the Stearns lawsuits. Similarly, the
Company's Prager subsidiary is a defendant in two pending multi-
defendant lawsuits relating to alleged personal injuries due to
the alleged presence of asbestos in a product allegedly
manufactured by Prager. Additionally, there are numerous
individuals who have filed asbestos related claims against Prager;
however, these claims are currently on the Texas Multi-district
Litigation inactive docket. The ultimate outcome of these asbestos
matters cannot presently be determined. To date, the Company's
insurance providers have paid 100% of the costs related to the
Prager asbestos matters. The Company believes that the combination
of its insurance coverage and the Invensys indemnity obligations
will cover any future costs of these matters.

In connection with the Falk Corporation ("Falk") acquisition,
Hamilton Sundstrand has provided the Company with indemnification
against certain products-related asbestos exposure liabilities.
The Company believes that, pursuant to such indemnity obligations,
Hamilton Sundstrand is obligated to defend and indemnify the
Company with respect to the asbestos claims, and that, with
respect to these claims, such indemnity obligations are not
subject to any time or dollar limitations.

Falk, through its successor entity, is a defendant in
approximately 250 lawsuits pending in state or federal court in
numerous jurisdictions relating to alleged personal injuries due
to the alleged presence of asbestos in certain clutches and drives
previously manufactured by Falk. There are approximately 600
claimants in these suits. The ultimate outcome of these lawsuits
cannot presently be determined. Hamilton Sundstrand is defending
the Company in these lawsuits pursuant to its indemnity
obligations and has paid 100% of the costs to date.
Certain Water Management subsidiaries are also subject to asbestos
litigation. As of March 31, 2013, Zurn and an average of
approximately 80 other unrelated companies were defendants in
approximately 7,000 asbestos related lawsuits representing
approximately 27,000 claims. Plaintiffs' claims allege personal
injuries caused by exposure to asbestos used primarily in
industrial boilers formerly manufactured by a segment of Zurn.
Zurn did not manufacture asbestos or asbestos components. Instead,
Zurn purchased them from suppliers. These claims are being handled
pursuant to a defense strategy funded by insurers.
As of March 31, 2013, the Company estimates the potential
liability for the asbestos-related claims as well as the claims
expected to be filed in the next ten years to be approximately
$35.0 million of which Zurn expects to pay approximately $27.0
million in the next ten years on such claims, with the balance of
the estimated liability being paid in subsequent years. The $35.0
million was developed based on an actuarial study and represents
the projected indemnity payout for claims filed in the next 10
years. However, there are inherent uncertainties involved in
estimating the number of future asbestos claims, future settlement
costs, and the effectiveness of defense strategies and settlement
initiatives. As a result, Zurn's actual liability could differ
from the estimate.  Further, while this current asbestos liability
is based on an estimate of claims through the next ten years, such
liability may continue beyond that time frame, and such liability
could be substantial.

Management estimates that its available insurance to cover this
potential asbestos liability as of March 31, 2013, is
approximately $254.2 million, and believes that all current claims
are covered by insurance. However, principally as a result of the
past insolvency of certain of the Company's insurance carriers,
certain coverage gaps will exist if and after the Company's other
carriers have paid the first $178.2 million of aggregate

As of March 31, 2013, the Company had a recorded receivable from
its insurance carriers of $35.0 million, which corresponds to the
amount of this potential asbestos liability that is covered by
available insurance and is currently determined to be probable of
recovery. However, there is no assurance that $254.2 million of
insurance coverage will ultimately be available or that this
asbestos liability will not ultimately exceed $254.2 million.
Factors that could cause a decrease in the amount of available
coverage include: changes in law governing the policies, potential
disputes with the carriers regarding the scope of coverage, and
insolvencies of one or more of the Company's carriers.

Rexnord Corporation (Rexnord), formerly Rexnord Holdings, Inc., is
a multi-platform industrial company. The Company comprises of two
platforms, Process & Motion Control and Water Management.
Rexnord's Process & Motion Control product portfolio includes
gears, couplings, industrial bearings, aerospace bearings and
seals, FlatTop chain, engineered chain and conveying equipment,
and are marketed and sold globally under brands, including
Rexnord, Rex, Falk and Link-Belt. Its Water Management platform
operates in the commercial construction market for water
management products and the municipal water and wastewater
treatment markets. Its Water Management product portfolio includes
drainage products, flush valves and faucet products, backflow
prevention pressure release valves, PEX piping and engineered
valves and gates for the water and wastewater treatment markets.
On October 10, 2011, Rexnord acquired VAG Holding GmbH. On April
2, 2011, it acquired Autogard Holdings Limited.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trial Court's Ruling in "Rendon" Suit Reversed
Francis Rendon filed a petition for damages against more than 30
defendants alleging liability as a result of contracting
mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos.  Mr. Rendon alleged that
his father brought asbestos fibers home on his work clothes from
working at Pendleton Shipyard, Inc., from 1943-1945.  Therefore,
Mr. Rendon asserted that Pendleton was partially liable for his
development of mesothelioma due to take-home exposure from his

Continental Insurance Company, the successor by merger to Fidelity
and Casualty Company of New York, which was the insurer of
Pendleton, filed a motion for summary judgment alleging that Mr.
Rendon could not carry his burden of proof that exposure allegedly
from his father working at Pendleton was a substantial
contributing factor to the development of mesothelioma.  The trial
court granted Continental's motion for summary judgment and
dismissed Mr. Rendon's claims with prejudice and ordered each
party to pay its own costs.

Mr. Rendon filed a notice of intent to file an application for
supervisory review, which was dismissed.  Mr. Rendon's appeal
followed.  Mr. Rendon subsequently filed a motion to file a
supplemental pleading into the record to include Continental's
amended memo in opposition to Mr. Rendon's motion to remand in
federal court, which was granted.  Mr. Rendon asserts that the
trial court erred in granting Continental's motion for summary
judgment because sufficient proof existed to create genuine issues
of material fact as to Mr. Rendon's alleged take-home exposure.

In a May 8, 2013 decision, the Court of Appeals of Louisiana,
Fourth Circuit, reversed and remanded for further proceedings
after finding that the trial court erred in granting the motion
for summary judgment because the record contains evidence that the
Plaintiff's father worked where asbestos was used and that the
Plaintiff was around his father's work clothes.  Therefore, the
Court of Appeals found that genuine issues of material fact exist.

ET AL., No. 2012-CA-1397 (La. App.).  A full-text copy of the
Decision is available at http://is.gd/4PBlPYfrom Leagle.com.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

         Mickey P. Landry, Esq.
         Frank J. Swarr, Esq.
         David R. Cannella, Esq.
         Philip C. Hoffman, Esq.
         1010 Common Street, Suite 2050
         New Orleans, LA 70112
         Email: mlandry@landryswarr.com

              - and -

         Nathaniel D. Mudd, Esq.
         211 N. Broadway, Suite 2940
         St. Louis, Missouri 63102
         Email: nmudd@mrhfmlaw.com

Continental is represented by:

         Gary M. Zwain, Esq.
         Paul J. Verlander, Esq.
         3838 North Causeway Boulevard, Three Lakeway
         Suite 2900
         Metairie, LA 70002
         Email: gzwain@duplass.com

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Bid Granted Due to "Boomer"
John M. Tyler died on July 28, 2010, from malignant pleural
mesothelioma -- a form of lung cancer, which was allegedly caused
by exposure to chrysotile asbestos fibers contained in automobile
brakes manufactured by Bendix Corporation.  The parties dispute
the precise extent to which the decedent was exposed to asbestos
fibers from Bendix brakes.  It was found that there are at least
three potential causes of the decedent's cancer: his exposure to
asbestos when he served in the Navy, his exposure to asbestos when
he worked as a trade helper at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax, Virginia,
and his exposure to Bendix brakes during his "shade tree mechanic"

The decedent and his wife originally filed a lawsuit against 36
separate defendants.  The case was transferred to the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation for coordinated pretrial proceedings.  After the
conclusion of all pretrial proceedings, the case was remanded to
the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for trial.
By that time, the only remaining viable defendants for trial were
John Crane, Inc. and Honeywell International, Inc.  While the case
was pending in the MDL Court, Honeywell moved for summary judgment
on the Plaintiff's claims.  In denying that motion, the MDL Court
cited the decedent's deposition testimony as well as the testimony
of the Plaintiff's experts "that [the decedent]'s exposure to
Bendix brakes [was] a substantial cause of his mesothelioma."
Specifically, the MDL Court cited the testimony of Dr. Steven
Markowitz, who opined that the decedent's exposure to Bendix
brakes "'was significant and contributed to his over-all exposure,
[and] that his mesothelioma was caused by his cumulative exposure
to asbestos.'"  In the end, the MDL Court denied summary judgment
to the defendant because "Plaintiff has raised a genuine issue of
fact as to whether Honeywell's products, specifically, were a
substantial contributing factor in causing Decedent's injuries."

On January 10, 2013, however, after the case was remanded to the
District Court, the Virginia Supreme Court decided Ford Motor Co.
v. Boomer, 736 S.E.2d 724 (Va. 2013).  That case was an appeal "of
a jury verdict against Honeywell International Incorporated and
Ford Motor Company for the wrongful death of James D. Lokey,
caused by mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos in dust
from Bendix brakes installed in Ford and other vehicles."  The
similarity between Boomer and the instant case is therefore self-

Less than three weeks after Boomer was decided, the Defendant
filed a motion to reconsider the denial of its motion for summary
judgment in light of Boomer.  In that motion, the Defendant argued
that summary judgment is appropriate in light of Boomer because
the Plaintiff "has failed to provide any specific evidence that
[the decedent]'s alleged exposure to Bendix brakes . . . was a
sufficient cause of his injury."  In opposition to the Defendant's
motion for reconsideration, the Plaintiff submitted a revised
expert report, which the Plaintiff argued creates a genuine issue
of material fact for trial on causation.  The Defendant
subsequently moved to strike that declaration on a number of

After extensive briefing and oral argument, the Judge Beryl A.
Howell of the District Court granted both motions after ruling
that (i) Boomer represents a significant change in the law that
applies to the instant case because, as the Virginia Supreme Court
noted in Boomer, it was breaking new ground because Boomber found
several problems with the substantial contributing factor, which
the MDL Court relied upon when it rendered its decision for the
Defendant in the instant case; (ii) the Markowitz Declaration was
filed untimely under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the
MDL Court's scheduling order pertaining to expert discovery; and
(iii) without the Markowitz Declaration, the Plaintiff has failed
to create a genuine issue of material fact regarding causation.

The case is STEPHEN A. WANNALL, as the personal representative of
the Estate of John M. Tyler, Plaintiff, v. HONEYWELL
INTERNATIONAL, INC., f/k/a Allied Signal, Inc., Defendant, Civil
Action No. 10-351 (BAH) (D.D.C.).  A full-text copy of Judge
Howell's May 14, 2013 Decision is available at http://is.gd/4Eo7w9
from Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Consolidated 4 Meso Cases for Trial
Judge Saliann Scarpulla of the Supreme Court, New York County,
ordered on May 13, 2013, the consolidation for trial purposes four
personal injury/wrongful death actions after determining that
certain commonalities exist, and certain issues that the
Defendants collectively claim predominate over the commonalities
will not defeat the Plaintiffs' application for a joint trial.

Specifically, the Court that that (1) the Plaintiffs are all
represented by the same law firm; (2) although three of the
Plaintiffs have died from mesothelioma, their deaths will not
prejudice the jury against the remaining living Plaintiff because
he is suffering from the same terminal illness; (3) there is not
such extensive discovery remaining to warrant denying the order to
show cause and any outstanding discovery can be resolved within a
short time frame and the court will make reasonable efforts to
resolve any outstanding discovery concerns; and (4) the factors
laid out in Malcolm v. National Gypsum Co., 995 F.2d 346, 351-352
(2nd Cir., 1993) do not require that plaintiffs share identical
occupations or time periods of exposure, rather, just that there
be similarities among the occupations and time periods of
exposure.  In this case, the Court found that there are sufficient
similarities in the manner in which the Plaintiffs performed their
respective tasks at various work sites during overlapping periods
of time, all starting in the 1950s and 1960s.

The case is In Re: NEW YORK CITY ASBESTOS LITIGATION pertaining to
Defendants, Docket No. 190421/11, Nos. 190399/11, 190321/11,
190143/11, Motion Seq. No. 1 (N.Y. Sup.).  A full-text copy of
Judge Scarpulla's Decision dated May 15, 2013, is available at
http://is.gd/izH9Dafrom Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Parties in NY PI Suit Fight Over Jurisdiction
Raymond Finerty was diagnosed with mesothelioma on December 30,
2009.  He and his wife Mary Finerty commenced an action in 2012 to
recover for personal injuries sustained in connection with his
alleged asbestos exposure.  The Plaintiffs allege, among other
things, that the asbestos-containing products of Henry Ford & Son,
Ltd., and Ford Motor Company, Ltd., caused or contributed to Mr.
Finerty's injuries.

According to the records, Mr. Finerty was born in Ireland.  He
testified that during the 1970's and early 1980's he worked as a
mechanic and was exposed to asbestos containing products from
cars, tractors and associated replacement parts.  Mr. Finerty
emigrated to the United States in 1985.  He has lived in Queens,
New York with his family for almost 30 years.

The Defendants each argue that they are entitled to dismissal for
lack of personal jurisdiction because neither conducts business or
has a presence in New York and the only place where Mr. Finerty's
alleged exposures to asbestos from their products occurred is
Ireland.  Thus, Defendants assert that there lacks any nexus to
New York sufficient for jurisdiction to attach.  In opposition,
the Plaintiffs contend that Ford England is or was present and
doing business in New York through a host of dealers and agents
and that their independent investigation reveals that both
Defendants are mere departments of Ford Motor Company and can be
sued in New York because Ford USA is present and doing business in
the city.  The Plaintiffs seek jurisdictional discovery.

In a May 17, 2013, decision and order, Judge Sherry Klein Heitler
of the Supreme Court, New York County, found that the Plaintiffs
have made a sufficient start to warrant jurisdictional discovery
concerning the relationship between the Defendant and Ford USA,
and the extent to which they may have done business in the United
States, either directly or through agents.  Accordingly, Judge
Heitler referred the issue of jurisdictional discovery to the
NYCAL Special Master and the motion by Ford Ireland and Ford
England to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction are marked
off the Court's motion calendar with leave to reinstate following
the completion of discovery overseen by the Special Master.

The case is RAYMOND FINERTY and MARY FINERTY, Plaintiffs, v. ABEX
CORPORATION, et al., Defendants, Docket No. 190187/10, Motion Seq.
007, 008, 009, 010 (N.Y. Sup.).  A full-text copy of Judge
Heitler's Decision is available at http://is.gd/ZNPOb5from

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Untimely Removal of Suit Warrants Remand
Ronald S. Scearce and Alicia J. Scearce filed a motion to remand
their asbestos-related personal injury action to the Superior
Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, contending that Defendant
Raytheon untimely removed the action 90 days after service.
Raytheon counters that its removal was timely because although the
company received the Plaintiffs' complaint on July 19, 2012, the
complaint did not provide sufficient factual orientation to notify
Raytheon that the action was removable.  Instead, Raytheon argues
that the company was not aware of federal jurisdiction until Mr.
Scearce's deposition in September 2012.  Raytheon argues that it
promptly filed the notice of removal on October 19, 2012, within
30 days of learning of the basis for federal jurisdiction.

Because Raytheon has not satisfactorily established the timeliness
of removal, Judge Robert B. Kugler of the U.S. District Court for
the District of New Jersey granted the Plaintiffs' motion to

The case is RONALD S. SCEARCE et al., Plaintiffs, v. 3M COMPANY,
et al., Defendants, Civil No. 12-6676 (RBK/JS)(D.N.J.).  A full-
text copy of Judge Kugler's Opinion dated May 16, 2013, is
available at http://is.gd/lcwC50from Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Santa Barbara Jury Returns Defense Verdict
Following a nine week trial, a Santa Barbara jury returned a 12-0
defense verdict in a closely-watched case involving complex claims
of bodily injuries and economic damages in a mold exposure and
asbestos.  Victoria Ersoff and Uyen Nguyen with Wood Smith Henning
& Berman LLP represented the defendants.

Plaintiffs Inger Budke, William Budke and their children sued the
Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, its Executive
Director/CEO; Deputy Executive Director/COO; and Director of
Property & Development for bodily injuries, emotional distress,
property damage, loss of consortium and economic losses allegedly
stemming from exposure to mold and asbestos in a senior housing

Inger Budke worked as the Resident Coordinator at the apartments
owned by Defendants.  Budke lived there with her family.
Plaintiffs accused Defendants of failing to remediate conditions
in the apartment which rendered it uninhabitable. Plaintiffs
alleged that Defendants did not properly train their maintenance
crew regarding the identification and remediation of mold and
asbestos, and violated asbestos regulations in their maintenance
and remediation work property-wide.  Plaintiffs alleged adverse
health conditions as a result of living in an uninhabitable
apartment. They claimed that their daughters developed asthma and
severe allergies, and that their youngest daughter was born with
severe neuro-cognitive and neuro-behavioral deficits as a result
of conditions in the apartment.

Strategically crafted motions in limine and a full week of 402
hearings resulted in all neurological, neurobehavioral and
psychological claims being dismissed by the Court.  All evidence
relating to mycotoxins and poisons was likewise dismissed.

Plaintiffs took seven weeks to present their case to the jury.
"We knew we had a smart jury and, with such a long trial, we made
the strategic decision to cut our witness list in half and present
our entire case in only eight days," said Wood, Smith, Henning &
Berman lead trial attorney Victoria Ersoff.  After deliberating
less than one day, the jury returned with a verdict for the
Defense.  They also found Plaintiff Inger Budke to be
contributorily negligent.

Prior to trial, Defendants served statutory offers to compromise
on each of the Plaintiffs totaling $54,000.  In voir dire,
Plaintiffs' counsel informed the panel she would be asking the
jury to award Plaintiffs millions in compensatory and punitive
damages.  Defendants are entitled to recover from Plaintiffs their
attorneys' fees & costs.

Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman offers world-class representation
for small to middle market firms across a comprehensive range of
practice areas. Through decades of experience and in-depth legal
knowledge, we can anticipate problems, seize opportunities and get
cases resolved.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Work at Pan Am Site to be Awarded
Levi Pascher, writing for The Leader Herald, reported that the
Common Council is expected to release the bid-opening results for
the asbestos abatement at the former Pan American Tannery, 312 W.
Fulton St., at its meeting.

According to the report, City Department of Public Works Director
Kevin Jones said the city had an environmental consultant come in
to do a survey. The consultant estimated the cost to have the
asbestos at the site removed would be $122,000.

The money for the work was set aside years ago, Finance
Commissioner Bruce Van Genderen told the news agency.

Jones said after the removal is finished, the city will be able to
complete the Pan Am project this year after it demolishes the
buildings and installs a soil cap. Jones said the soil cap only
will be necessary on the vegetated and exposed soil areas.

After the bid opening, the council will award the asbestos
abatement to the lowest bidder.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Young Laborers Exploited to Save Costs
Tom Zytaruk, writing for Surrey Now, reported that it's no secret
that asbestos is dangerous but it might come as a surprise how
some businessmen willfully put young labourers -- college and high
school students among them -- in serious harm's way, and just to
save a buck.

"I have been to many funerals over the years," one Surrey
consultant, with 25 years in the asbestos abatement business, told
the news agency.  "It's like putting a loaded gun to a worker's
head except the exposure doesn't show up for 20 to 25 to 30

For many years asbestos was considered to be a miracle building
material. It's heat resistant, fire resistant, absorbs sound,
resists electrical and chemical damage, and is relatively cheap.
The problem is, it's also poisonous.

Asbestos represents six types of fibrous silicate minerals. These
minerals had been used since the late 1800s in North America, in
building and construction materials, until their dangers were
discovered a few decades ago.

Any building constructed prior to 1990 is likely to contain some
asbestos and those built before 1984 will contain a lot. Once
inhaled, fine particles lodge themselves deep inside the lungs,
where their presence over time can lead to horrific diseases like
lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Workers in the residential demolition business can be protected
from exposure if the material is safely identified and removed.
Problem is, doing things the right way is more expensive and takes
more time than cutting corners, so some developers and owners seek
out labs or consultants who are willing to prepare bogus reports
that indicate a building contains no asbestos when it is indeed

One Surrey consultant, who spoke on condition of anonymity for
fear of what effect this report might have on his business, said
unscrupulous developers motivated by saving money and cutting time
have figured out that with a falsified report they can gut the
interior of a house before going to get a demolition permit.
"There's a lack of a reporting method for the regulatory board to
catch on to," the consultant said. "It's like the Wild West.

"I have been asked a handful of times every year for 25 years,
from different developers or major players, how much money it
would cost to change my report," he said.

"Surrey is a hot spot, obviously, because Surrey continues to grow
rapidly. Buildings coming down, new development."

Lorne Heslop, owner of a demolition and recycling outfit called
Heslop Enterprises Ltd., knows personally the damage inhaling
asbestos dust can do. He's undergone surgery to remove roughly 40
tumours from his lungs.

"The problem with asbestos is you don't see it, smell it or taste
it until you can't breathe any more," Heslop said.

Heslop has been in the building demolition business for more than
35 years and says he trusts only a handful of the more than 30
consultants in the Lower Mainland who provide laboratory analysis
of materials suspected of containing asbestos. Some consultants,
he said, will report whatever their client wants them to.

Mike Holloway, of Assertive Excavating & Demolition Ltd., echoed

"It's readily available for people to buy false results for Hazmat
reports," Holloway said. "Even if they're not buying false ones,
so-called consultants can just go out and write whatever they
want, and it's not enforced. They're not taking adequate samples
to protect the workers and the public. It's too easy for us to
still be exposed to asbestos."

Heslop advises homeowners to pay attention to some important
details when shopping for someone to tear their old house down.

Seeing as each city and municipality has its own particular bylaw
requirements governing building demolition, Heslop says clients
should consult with their local city hall before getting a
demolition permit.

"The lowest quote is not always the cheapest in the end," he
warns. "Always ask for a minimum of five references and visit at
least three of the completed job sites. Walk around and look into
any forest or bush area for demolition debris hidden by the

Because asbestos insurance is costly, and not all hazardous
material consultants and asbestos abatement contractors have it,
Heslop says, "you must ask if they have it." He strongly advises
people in the market for a contractor to make sure they chose one
with a proven track record of protecting their clients from any

Clients should also ask the hazardous material consultant and
asbestos abatement and demolition contractors to include them on
their asbestos-coverage insurance, as a co-rider. He does so as
standard practice, and is covered for $5 million. "That way my
clients know I'm protecting them," he said. "If I screw up,
they're covered. I would like to see consultants have to do the
same thing."

If a consultant won't back up his report, Heslop said, "I'd be
very leery of doing business with him."

Heslop added that a "good contractor" will give his clients
receipts indicating what material was dumped, and where.

"Ultimately, it all falls back on the homeowner, unless he's on
the contractor's insurance."

Don Whyte, executive director of the Hazardous Materials
Association, finds it "extremely frustrating" that there is no
certification-training program for test sampling consultants in
B.C., like there is in Alberta. His association represents 15
hazardous materials contractors, mostly in the Lower Mainland.
"We're the people who endeavour to do this properly," he said.
"Our contractors are out trying to perform to an industry standard
and they're continuously being undermined by contractors that are
not only circumventing the regulations but deliberately
circumventing, and sometimes quite sophisticatedly. They're
getting to be very good at it and sometimes they're smarter than
the regulatory agencies."

Whyte said WorkSafe BC doesn't recognize who's competent and who's
not when it comes to both contractors and consultants who analyze
test samples. "There's no bridge between WorkSafe BC and the
Ministry of the Environment, and there should be. Those two
agencies operate in isolation from one another on these issues.
There's a lot that could be done."

Al Johnson, vice president of Prevention Services, WorkSafe BC,
concedes there is a problem with regulating consultants. "You or I
could hang out a shingle tomorrow and start up in this business,"
he noted.

However, he added, certification is not a be-all and end-all
solution, either. "Just because you have a driver's licence,"
Johnson said, "it doesn't mean you are driving it correctly."

Certain financial considerations make it tempting for some
developers to cut corners. A safety officer with a hazardous
material abatement company who, like the consultant, spoke on
condition of anonymity, said developers find it cheaper to do
business with private labs in the United States, over which B.C.
officials have no oversight.

"People are getting 'clean' reports that are not necessarily
clean," the safety officer said. "Homeowners typically go for the
cheapest report. Anybody would. You get what you pay for."

Whyte agreed. "They call them sweatshop labs down there."

Moreover, as Holloway explained, the cost of doing things the
right way can be "astronomical" because drywall containing
asbestos must be shipped to Alberta. "We can't accept it in our
landfills here. When drywall decomposes it makes a gas, and their
water table in Alberta is lower, it doesn't leach. Scientifically,
it can't go here."

Because it's expensive to ship the drywall to Alberta, that's the
reason why you sometimes see it dumped in local parks, at the
sides of streets and in ditches.

Those consultants and contractors who insist on earning an honest
living sometimes feel like they're pushing a rock uphill, only to
have it roll down again.

"The good companies, if they don't like the report, they will do
samples themselves and pay for it out of their own pocket if they
have to, to keep the workers safe. The bad companies just demo it,
throw it in a box and take it to the dump," Heslop said.

Some operators providing asbestos abatement service do so without
any procedures in place or qualifications to assess the risk a
house might represent.

"I've had houses where I know there's been asbestos," Heslop said.
"I've given the owner a price; he's basically said f-you. And I
come back on the weekend, and school-age kids are in there ripping
drywall out that I know is contaminated. I phone up WCB, they come
out, shut them down, and decontaminate the kids. The kids go home,
and they'll find out in 20 plus years if they're alive or dead.
They've got no recourse. The homeowner might get a fine or he
might not."

"When they're 40 and they have a family, they're going to be on
their death bed. And it's not a pleasant death - it hurts," Heslop

"If your kid's going to work on the weekend removing drywall," he
advised, "pay him $50 to stay home, out of your own pocket."

Al Johnson, of WorkSafe, has 17 inspectors in the Lower Mainland,
working six days a week to ensure asbestos is being properly
identified and removed during residential building demolitions.

"We have had some success in putting some people out of work," he
said. "I think we've made some good solid headway."

He pointed out that not all infractions are the result of devious
conduct. "In some cases it's a lack of understanding."

Johnson said the fines for companies caught not properly handling
or removing material that contains asbestos range from $2,500 to
$500,000. A stop work order is usually the first step, with repeat
fines being multiplied by a percentage of the business operator's
payroll. "The larger the company, the larger the fine," Johnson

The safety officer, who requested anonymity, believes WorkSafe is
trying their best, but added, "It's like playing whack-a-mole
right now."

According to Whyte, roughly 100 houses are being demolished in the
Lower Mainland every month. "We just don't have the manpower to do
the enforcement," he said.

Some in the business consider the fines to be light.

"A lot of these guys are like 'that's just the price of doing
business,'" the safety officer said. "Unfortunately, they don't
calculate in the price of these kids' health or the neighbours'
health, or the people breathing it in as the truck goes down the

Whyte and other people in the business think jail time is
appropriate, in some cases. "It's criminal activity," Whyte said.
"These guys should be charged with assault."

He noted that between 1996 and 2005 there were 307 work-related
fatalities in B.C., and of those, 145 were asbestos related.
That's 15 victims each year.

Holloway agreed. "They should be able to make people do jail time
for this. They're poisoning people."

Heslop said it's up to the politicians "to sit down and give the
proper people authority to actually do something. Like jail time
would be nice."

"It would be great to have jail time, but that's unrealistic."
Imposing severe fines, he figures, is a more practical solution.
"If you hit them hard enough, they'll see it's cheaper to do it

Last year a Surrey businessman in the building demolition trade
was sentenced to 60 days in prison for civil contempt of court
after he ignored a court order telling him to stop exposing his
employees to carcinogenic asbestos.

Interestingly, Arthur Moore, who was then doing business as AM
Environmental, wasn't jailed for putting his workers at risk by
exposing them to asbestos fibres but rather, was jailed for
ignoring a court order that warned him not to put them at risk.

Back in August, 2010, a B.C. Supreme Court judge in Vancouver had
banned Moore from being in the asbestos abatement business and
demolition or drywall business after WorkSafe BC went after him.
Despite being served with the court order, Moore continued in the
business under various different names, working on as many as 15
sites. More court hearings followed, with the British Columbia
Court of Appeal eventually finding he had "grievously endangered
workers under his direction" by failing to provide them with
proper safety gear or training. Moore apologized to the court,
saying he wouldn't do it again.

Nevertheless, Justice Richard Goepel sentenced him to 60 days in
jail for having "deliberately flaunted for an extended time a
court order intended to protect worker safety."

He did so, Goepel noted, within a day of being told by the court
not to. "Such conduct cannot go unpunished," the judge said.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sunderland Buildings on Asbestos Risk List
Sunderland Echo reported that some of Wearside's biggest tourist
attractions are among 37 council-owned buildings on the Asbestos
Risk Register.

According to the report, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens,
Monkwearmouth Station Museum and Washington F Pit Museum are
listed as containing the potentially deadly material.

Other civic buildings on the register include the Civic Centre,
Jacky White's Market, Washington Arts Centre, Silksworth Ski
Slope, Silksworth Tennis Centre and the city's Central Library,
the report said.

Some of the affected buildings, built in the mid 20th century,
have exceeded their original life expectancy but are still being

Properly managed, asbestos is not deemed to be a risk. However,
the concern is that as the civic buildings deteriorate in
condition, so does the asbestos in them.

Earlier this year, the Echo revealed how 65 per cent of schools in
the city also contained the material. Hetton School has had to
shut off a section of its building after adverse weather
conditions disturbed the asbestos fibres.

When built, many of the civic buildings contained a large amount
of amosite, commonly referred to as "brown" asbestos and sometimes
"gray" asbestos -- one of the more hazardous forms of the

If asbestos is damaged then the fibres can be released and
breathed in. A large exposure can cause mesothelioma.

Visitors to some attractions did not seem overly concerned about
the presence of the material.

Helen Swain, 33, who was visiting the Museum and Winter Gardens
with daughter, Summer, three, said: "My brother-in-law works in
asbestos removal so I know how common it can be.

"Too many buildings have it in these days, but I would not be put
off going somewhere just because there was asbestos present."

Karen Devlin, 28, visiting the museum with niece Gemma, seven,
added: "I bet most buildings you go in have asbestos. I would like
to think everything is being done to get rid of it, though."

Councillor Mel Speding, cabinet secretary at Sunderland City
Council, said: "We take the issue of asbestos very seriously.

"Asbestos was a common building material in the 1960s and is
present in many buildings constructed during this time. However,
if asbestos is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed, it
is often safer to leave it in place.

"The council has an asbestos management policy, which complies
with current legislation and the safe management of asbestos in
council and other public building and is kept under constant

"It has an ongoing inspection programme in place of buildings
where asbestos is present."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rwanda Gov't. to Eradicate Asbestos Roofing
Jean de la Croix Tabaro, writing for AllAfrica.com, reported that
more than one million square metres of asbestos roofing have to be
cleared and disposed of by 2016, an exercise that will cost both
government and the private sector an estimated Rwf23b.

According to the report, eradicating the material not only
requires logistical support, but also specialised experts to
ensure that the toxic substance is handled in a way that will not
harm human life.

Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA), which is spearheading the
exercise, says several people from construction enterprises, civil
society, Police and inmates have been trained to do the work, the
report said.

"Those are the only people who have the mandate to remove,
transport and bury asbestos in designated areas," said Eric
Kananga, the in charge of asbestos eradication in RHA.

Kananga was addressing technicians at the 5th training on asbestos
eradication in Kigali at the weekend. About 2,000 personnel have
been trained. The government has so far disposed of 13 per cent of
asbestos since 2011.

Budget constraints:

Efforts to eradicate asbestos started in October 2009, when
Cabinet gave a six-month period within which people or
institutions with asbestos on their roofs should have got rid of

However, this deadline was not met. RHA is decrying budgetary

"The budget is still a challenge, given that individuals say they
do not have enough money to replace the asbestos," Kananga said.

As far as public structures, which include public hospitals,
schools and government buildings are concerned, institutions and
districts are looking at the government treasury.

"Technicians are now available; all we are waiting for is money to
pay them. Since most of the houses are public buildings, we are
expecting State budget to cater for the exerciser," said Solange
Mukasonga, the mayor of Nyarugenge District.

She said they are sensitising the private sector on the dangers of
asbestos so that they appreciate the urgency of the exercise.

Bishop Smaragde Mbonyintege, the spokesperson for the Catholic
Church, which has a biggest number of asbestos roofs after the
public sector, told The New Times that government has a big role
to play in the activity because those who used asbestos did it

"We asked for incentives for the exercise. We recognise it is in
good faith that we have to get rid of asbestos but we asked
government for help," he said.

Only public institutions are certain to receive government

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Nottingham Plumber Fined for Asbestos Work
A Nottinghamshire-based plumber has been prosecuted and fined
after carrying out unlicensed asbestos work that placed a young
family in danger.

Dean Fisk attended a hearing at Nottingham Magistrates' Court on
May 13, at which he pleaded guilty to breaches of both Regulations
10(1)(a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) revealed
the plumbing professional had installed a new galvanised water
tank in the loft space of a house in Gardendale Avenue, Clifton in
January last year.

During the installation process, an asbestos box was removed from
around the old tank, but an examination of the substance was not
carried out prior to its removal, leaving a potential risk that
the homeowners may now have been exposed to dangerous asbestos

HSE inspector Kevin Wilson commented: "This family home would not
have been contaminated if the asbestos had been identified by Dean
Fisk before the work was started. Work could then have been
undertaken without disturbing the asbestos or have been carried
out by a suitably trained person."

In total, he was fined GBP5,000 and ordered to pay prosecution
costs of GBP4,000. He was also ordered to pay compensation to the
family of GBP2,870.

The news follows the recent case of two contractors from G Evans
(Services) in Staffordshire, with the pair prosecuted by the HSE
after carrying out unlicensed asbestos removal at Glenthorne
Community Primary School in 2009.

Staffordshire County Council was fined GBP10,000 over the incident
after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and
Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Over the last three decades, Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors in
London has earned its unique reputation in the legal profession by
representing ordinary people caught up in the most extraordinary

ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Money for Mesothelioma Research Would Help
Letters sent to The Wall Street Journal said more money for
mesothelioma research would help.

Anthony R. Palmer, M.D., of Durango, Colorado, stated, "So I can't
get a free six-inch Subway sandwich with chips and soda from a
pharmaceutical company during a brief lunch break between patients
to be detailed on a drug, but "some asbestos lawyers send
elaborate gift baskets to doctors at holidays, offer free tickets
to professional sports events or offer paid work as expert
witnesses" ("The Long Trial: Doctors, Lawyers Ally Over Deadly
Cancer," page one, May 6).  Asbestos mesothelioma plaintiffs
lawyers and their medical collaborators are a disgrace to both
professions and responsible in part for the unaffordable cost of
health care in the U.S."

Lee M. Krug, M.D., David S. Ettinger, M.D., and Mary Hesdorffer,
of Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, in Alexandria,
Virginia, stated, "Mesothelioma is a horrible cancer. Those of us
who have cared for these patients have witnessed the devastating
effects this disease has on patients and their families. There is
a desperate need to find better treatments that will improve the
lives of asbestos victims.

From our point of view as care providers and researchers, the
minuscule fraction of money allocated to funding research for this
rare disease is disheartening. Some law firms have acknowledged
this funding gap and have supported research in the field.
However, this philanthropy must be provided with no strings
attached, without the expectation of getting legal referrals in
return. While the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation would
never have been able to provide the $8.4 million in grants without
that support, it doesn't make referrals to specific law firms.

Instead of criticizing the donations by attorneys to research, the
focus should instead be placed on creating an appropriate system
to increase research funding. Imagine if even 1% of the $18
billion in trust funds used for asbestos litigation could go to
research. This should be analogous to research support received by
pharmaceutical companies for which there are clear-cut guidelines
regarding the disclosures investigators must make about financial
conflicts of interest. Furthermore, the process for distributing
the money needs to be equitable and directed at funding the most
promising research, where all grant applications are reviewed by
physician-scientists who specialize in the field, much like what
is done at the NIH and many foundations.

While patients and their families are certainly entitled to
compensation for their suffering, we believe they would rather
have longer and healthier lives with better therapies for this
dreadful disease."

Robert Miller, of Plantation, Florida, stated, "I am overwhelmed
by the altruism of the plaintiffs bar. Certainly these charitable
instincts will continue long after the passing of the last
mesothelioma client. Anybody taking bets on that?"

Linda Reinstein, Co-founder and President of Asbestos Disease
Awareness Organization, in Redondo Beach, California, stated, "As
a mesothelioma widow, I am appalled by the four-part series
concluding with "Doctors, Lawyers Ally Over Deadly Cancer."

The article makes no mention of the culpability of the companies
that have knowingly exposed workers to asbestos or of key facts
related to asbestos use in the U.S. Although asbestos has been
known to cause disease since 1906, the U.S. imported 1,160 tons
last year to "meet manufacturing needs." An estimated 35 million
buildings across the nation contain asbestos-contaminated
materials. Several U.S. financial institutions and mutual funds
currently hold shares in foreign asbestos mining and manufacturing

Since the first article in the series was published on March 11,
approximately 1,500 Americans have died from asbestos-related
disease. American families, like my own, will continue to suffer
until the U.S. exits the toxic asbestos trade."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Councilor Lends Support to Asbestos Walk
Busselton-Dunsborough Mail reported that when Cr John McCallum
farewelled 35 walkers with a $300 donation from Busselton city on
Monday morning it was with a lot of emotion.

According to the report, the walkers started in Dunsborough on the
2013 Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia walk for research and
awareness and are due to finish at Parliament House.

Cr McCallum's "best mate" passed away from the disease
mesothelioma early this month, the report related.

Among the walkers was former MP Larry Graham.

"I chaired the parliamentary committee into the town of Wittenoom,
which gave me an enormous insight into the asbestos diseases," he
said of the former asbestos mining town.

"I've been working with them for years and was in the previous
walk, from Kalgoorlie."

The number of walkers is expected to multiply quite significantly
by the time they reach Perth.

Supporters are Walking from Dunsborough to Perth to fund
lifesaving medical research and to raise awareness of the killer
asbestos fibres being released from the decaying asbestos products
that are still in homes and commercial and public buildings.

The face of this year's walk is Bev Bertocchi, who lost both her
husband and her mother-in-law to the deadly asbestos cancer,

"Bev's strength is an inspiration to us all," Asbestos Diseases
Society of Australia president Robert Vojakovic said.

Donations to the walk can be made by visiting their website at
www.asbestosdiseases.org.au, by telephone on 9344 4077 or by
posting to Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia, PO Box 1394,
Osborne Park 6916, with cheques or money orders made out to
'Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia Walk 2013'.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Registers Being Checked in S. Australian Schools
ABC News reported that the South Australian Government is looking
at whether other schools have asbestos issues, after children were
potentially exposed to the dangerous material at Littlehampton
Primary School.

According to the report, it revealed 47 students and four teachers
might have been affected in 2009 when interactive white boards
were being installed on the walls of two classrooms where asbestos
was present.

The school's asbestos register was updated in 2010 to show there
was asbestos in the walls.  But the whiteboard renovation work was
drawn to the principal's attention only last month.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the Government was checking to make
sure asbestos registries were accurate and up-to-date for all

"It shouldn't have happened, I'm sure parents are very anxious and
we're affording them all the support about medical advice and
attention that they request," he said.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Indian Environment Minister Denies Fibro Hazards
The Telegraph reported that India's environment ministry has
ignored domestic laws and reneged on its own pledge by telling a
global convention there is not enough evidence to show that
asbestos is hazardous to health, a non-government group said.

The group, called Toxics Watch Alliance, has complained to the
Centre that the ministry delegation's position at the UN's
Rotterdam Convention in Geneva earlier this month was contrary to
Indian laws and the ministry's own earlier decision.

Toxics Watch Alliance said the ministry delegation had told the
convention that studies by Ahmedabad's National Institute of
Occupational Health (NIOH) had shown no hazards from white
chrysotile asbestos, widely used in the construction industry to
make asbestos-cement material.

The convention was debating the need to include chrysotile
asbestos into a special list of hazardous substances that would
make it obligatory for exporting countries to alert importing
countries about shipments.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Toxics Watch
Alliance has said it appears (asbestos) industry representatives
have "overwhelmed government representatives who were made to take
a position against human health and the environment".

The group has cited several domestic laws that classify asbestos
as a hazardous substance. The ministry's own vision statement
says: "Alternatives to asbestos may be used to the extent possible
and use of asbestos may be phased out."

Toxics Watch Alliance also cited a concept paper by the Union
labour ministry circulated at an India-European Union conference
on occupational health that said the Indian government was
"considering a ban on the use of chrysotile asbestos in India to
protect the workers and general population against primary and
secondary exposure to chrysotile form of asbestos".

It said the ministry stand this year was a "volte-face" over its
support for the listing of asbestos as a hazardous substance
indicated by the environment ministry's own delegation at the
previous Rotterdam Convention meeting in 2011.

"In 2011, India received a standing ovation for its support, we
are saddened by what happened this year," said Gopal Krishna, a
representative of Toxics Watch Alliance in New Delhi.

The Union environment secretary and the head of the environment
ministry delegation to the convention this year were not available
for comment. Another member of the delegation declined to provide
any response.

Toxics Watch Alliance has said documents it obtained through the
Right to Information Act have shown that the chrysotile asbestos
industry had provided Rs 16 lakh to the NIOH study that cost about
Rs 60 lakh.

The non-government group said the documents also reveal that a
review committee of the NIOH study had said that the report of the
findings would be "finalised after due discussions with the
asbestos industry".

The International Agency for Research on Cancer had said in 2009
that "there is sufficient evidence in humans for the
carcinogenicity of all forms of asbestos".

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Head Teachers "Childish" Over Cwmcarn Fibro Row
South Wales Argus reported that a Caerphilly councillor accused a
group of headteachers of playground behaviour after they said the
authority showed Cwmcarn High School "favourable treatment."

According to the report, the teachers made the claim after the
council agreed to pay GBP1 million to remove asbestos from the
Cwmcarn site.

An open letter, signed by 12 of the county's 14 head teachers and
sent to pupils and councillors last week, blasted the plan as "an
inappropriate use of public funds" and called on the council to
withhold the money in light of the 21st Century Schools programme,
which will eventually see three county secondary schools close.

Risca West councillor David Rees said: "I would have expected to
see such behaviour in the playground, not by leaders of our most
important assets for children. The school is going through a
difficult time already, this should have been managed a lot

Pupils from Cwmcarn are currently being taught at the Learning
Zone in Ebbw Vale.

Kelly East, a Cwmcarn parent who campaigned to save the school
earlier this year, said pupils have taken the letter to heart.

"The council unanimously approved us having a grant, which means
it is not a complete handout of money to the school," she said.

"It's saddening that people in high stations haven't taken into
consideration the pupils, some of whom have exams and have been
upset on Facebook."

The letter also accused Cwmcarn's head teacher Jacqui Peplinski of
suggesting the school's future would be guaranteed following the
asbestos repairs.

A council spokeswoman said the decision taken by members stands
and the school is responsible for any overspend. The funding will
be released on a staged basis once the council is satisfied works
are compliant along the way.

Mrs Peplinski responded on the school's website, stating that the
purpose of the grant is the removal of the asbestos, not school

Head teachers who signed the letter

THE letter was signed by John Kendall, head teacher at Risca
Comprehensive, on behalf of Peter Ward at Bedwas High School; Ravi
Pawar at Blackwood Comprehensive; Owain ap Dafydd at Ysgol Gymraeg
Cwm Rhymni; Heather Duncan at Lewis Girls' School; Chris Parry at
Lewis Pengam; Lesley Perry at Newbridge School; Chris David at
Oakdale Comprehensive; Tim Williams at Pontllanffraith
Comprehensive; Robert Davies at Rhymney Comprehensive; Ian
Kilcoyne at St Cenydd Comprehensive; and Kerry Davies at St
Martin's School.

The deputy head teacher of Heolddu Comprehensive in Bargoed, which
was the only Caerphilly secondary school apart from Cwmcarn not to
sign, said he had no comment.

Last week Mr Kendall, who is also chairman of the Caerphilly
Secondary Heads Association, refused to discuss the letter
"pending discussion with the council".

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Co. Boss Given Six Months for Factory Demolition
Belfast Telegraph reported that a company owner who demolished a
disused factory in a built up residential area despite knowing
there was more than 250 tonnes of asbestos has been handed a six
month jail term.

However John Lewis, trading as John Lewis Plant Hire and
Contracts, walked free from Belfast Crown Court after His Honour
Judge Kinney suspended the jail term for two years, the report

He told Lewis, whose company address was given as the Lany Road in
Moira, it was his view that "this was a deliberate breach by the
defendant of his obligations" to ensure the health and safety of
not just employees but also the wider public, the report related.

"The dangers of asbestos are obvious and well recognised," said
Judge Kinney who revealed that reports from the Health and Safety
Executive showed there was an "imminent risk to health" because of
the way the asbestos had been handled.

He had earlier heard how Lewis' company had demolished two other
factories in the Broadway Industrial Estate, just off Rodden
Street in the Village area of south Belfast and had employed a
specialist disposal firm to deal with asbestos in 2008.

However despite having a survey which proved there was the
potentially lethal material in the third building, they went back
to demolish it in February 2011 and were only stopped when
officials from the Health and Safety Executive intervened.

Prosecuting lawyer Peter Magill had recounted how there was a
total of 1,300 square metres of asbestos insulating board and
cement on the site, amounting to some 250 tonnes.

The proper disposal of the material, he told the court, had left
Belfast City Council with a bill for GBP290,000 (pounds).

The former owner of the company, Mr John Lewis, had pleaded guilty
to five offences relating to the management of asbestos under the
Health and Safety at Work act on February 8, 2011.

With the court having heard how Lewis agreed to demolish the
factory in exchange for the "scrap value" of metal at the site, Mr
Magill said that whatever had happened, "it was clear that he was
carrying out his work in an unsafe fashion".

"Unsafe to his workers and unsafe to the surrounding area which
was in the heart of the city and where there would be a large
number of members of the public and indeed, a primary school not
far distant," said the lawyer.

Defence lawyer Joe Lindsay told the court that as a result of this
case and other matters Lewis, who had been in the trade in excess
of 40 years, was now bankrupt.

Revealing how employees of John Lewis were found on site hand
picking pieces of asbestos out of the contaminated rubble without
appropriate protection, Louis Burns, Principal Inspector for
HSENI's Major Investigation Team said: "The dangers of asbestos
are well known. It is vital that buildings are properly surveyed
for asbestos and that asbestos is removed by a licensed asbestos
contractor prior to demolition. If these vital steps are not
followed there is the potential for asbestos to be released and
spread in an uncontrolled manner. This potentially gives rise to
serious health concerns."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: ADEM Issues Statement on Asbestos Removal
Lance Griffin, writing for Dothan Eagle, reported that the Alabama
Department of Environmental Management issued a written statement
regarding an exterior asbestos abatement that occurred last month
at the Saints Apartments, a building recently purchased by the
Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority.

The Historic Preservation Commission declined to award an "after
the fact" certificate of appropriateness for the abatement last
week after some members raised questions about the abatement
process. Commission members asked for documentation that the
company performing the abatement followed proper procedure.

Ron Gore, Air Division Chief for the Alabama Department of
Environmental Management, provided the following statement to the

"The asbestos work that was done at the abandoned house on that
street corner was in compliance with all asbestos regulations.

1. An inspection was made for the presence of asbestos-containing
materials (ACM) by a licensed inspector. The only ACM present was
the siding on the exterior of the building.

2. A proper written notification was submitted to ADEM prior to
ACM removal by Alabama Environmental, Inc.

3. Alabama Environmental, a company certified as an asbestos
removal company by ADEM, removed the siding, although any trained
or untrained company was authorized to remove it. The use of a
certified company ensured that the exposure of the public to
asbestos fibers was minimized.

4. The ACM siding was taken to the Dothan landfill which is
authorized by ADEM to receive them.

The above procedures satisfy all requirements of the asbestos
regulations, whether this was a renovation or demolition, or
whether or not it was a building subject to the regulations."

HPC members Ed Vaughn, Sam Newton and Mark Pepe said they needed
substantial documentation to show that all proper environmental
procedures had been followed in the abatement. It is not yet known
if the DDRA will make another request for an after-the-fact
certificate of appropriateness for the asbestos removal. The HPC
meets again June 13.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lung Cancer Widow Claims Asbestos Damages
Tony Green, writing for Get Surrey, reported that a widow stricken
by terminal lung cancer due to years spent washing her husband's
asbestos-contaminated overalls is now battling for record
GBP500,000 compensation -- following his death from the same

According to the report, Monica Haxton, 66, watched her husband
Ronald succumb to mesothelioma -- an incurable cancer of the
lining of the lungs associated with asbestos exposure and caused
by his years spent working as an electrician for Philips
Electronics UK Ltd in Guildford.

She nursed him through his final illness after Mr Haxton's
symptoms surfaced in June 2008, and witnessed the 'terrific
suffering' he went through until his death in July 2009, her
barrister, Harry Steinberg, told London's High Court, the report

Barely two years later, Mrs Haxton began experiencing the same
symptoms of breathlessness as her husband, said the barrister, and
a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma was confirmed in January
last year.

Her life expectancy would have been another 23 years but for the
disease, but has now been 'drastically curtailed', said Mr
Steinberg, who added: "This is a devastating illness...the
prognosis is bleak."

Mr Haxton worked for Guildford-based Philips Electronics for 42
years, the court heard, and was 'exposed to a very large quantity
of asbestos dust on a daily basis' during the early part of his

The exposure occurred as he worked alongside teams of laggers
stripping away asbestos and applying new layers of lagging, said
Mr Steinberg, adding that the company has admitted liability,
although it is disputing the value of the widow's claim.

The Haxtons wed in 1964 and she was exposed to asbestos in the
early years of their marriage while 'washing his contaminated
overalls by hand', the court heard.

The material was routinely used in the workplace until the 1980s
and 90s when its risks became well-known. Asbestos dust and fibres
are notorious for staying dormant in the body for decades before
the extent of damage becomes clear.

Mrs Haxton, from Sutton, worked as a ward clerk at St Anthony's
Hospital, Cheam, before her illness forced her to stop work. She
is suing Philips Electronics for exposing her to injury through
her husband's work. The court heard Philips has offered Mrs Haxton
GBP310,000 to settle her case, but is disputing her claim to
another GBP221,000 to reflect her 'loss of dependency' on her

The company argues that figure should be reduced to take account
of Mrs Haxton's own much reduced life expectancy.

Partly because she is claiming damages for her own injuries, as
well as for her husband's death, Mrs Haxton's claim is believed to
be the largest ever made in a mesothelioma case.

The High Court will give its ruling on her case at a later date.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Blackpool Man Succumbs to Mesothelioma
Rebecca Draper, writing for Blackpool Gazette, reported that a man
died of a tumour brought about by his long-term exposure to
asbestos, and inquest heard.

John Woolhouse worked at Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) for
many years since joining as a youth trainee in 1960, and for a
long time he worked as a forklift truck driver.

Blackpool Coroner, Anne Hind, heard every couple of years, the
company would shut down and the asbestos lagging was removed from
the pipes and vessels for maintenance and inspection.

In a statement before his death, Mr Woolhouse, 69, of Elms Avenue,
Lytham, said: "It was not a clean process, and no tenting was put
up or protective equipment that I could see.

"I have been exposed to all manner of chemicals with ICI;
something which has caused my wife and myself some considerable
concern, although this now pales into insignificance now I have
been diagnosed with mesothelioma."

Mrs Hind said: "It has to be acknowledged that this exposure was
over a very long period of time in one form or another."

Mr Woolhouse, who died on December 26 last year at Trinity
Hospice, had a tumour in the lining of his left lung which had
spread to other parts of his body, caused by the mesothelioma
which is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Recording a verdict of death by industrial disease, Mrs Hind said:
"The thing that is most frightening is that it was all so long ago
when the exposure took place.

"It's like a ticking time bomb."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Australian Gov't. to Invest $10.5MM for Safety
The OHS News reported that Australian Government will invest more
than $10.5 million to establish a national approach in protecting
the people from asbestos-related diseases.

This was revealed by the Minister for Employment and Workplace
Relations, Bill Shorten, the report said.

"Asbestos is a cruel, indiscriminate killer, and because of its
widespread use over much of the 20th century, it remains a
persistent threat to Australians," said Mr Shorten.

"In 2010, 642 Australians died from mesothelioma, and for every
death attributed to mesothelioma, it's estimated two further
people die from lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

"Over the next 20 years, up to 40,000 Australians are expected to
be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. There are children
not yet born who'll die of an asbestos-related disease."

Just this year, Mr Shorten introduced legislation into Parliament
to establish the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

"This is an example of this Government's commitment to protect
Australians by leading the first nationally coordinated approach
to handling asbestos beyond our workplaces."

One of the agency's missions is to implement a plan to address
illegal dumping, to encourage safe disposal across the country,
and to establish a strategy for the staged removal of asbestos-
containing materials from government and commercial structures.

The Bill to establish the agency is now before the House of
Representatives. It is the Government's objective that the agency
will start operations from July 1, 2013.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Queen Elizabeth II Stadium Fibro Cleanup Underway
Asleigh Stewart, writing for The Press, reported that the cleanup
of asbestos unearthed at Queen Elizabeth II Stadium is under way,
but it is not known when it will be finished.

According to the report, a small amount of asbestos piping was
found buried at the site during the demolition of the earthquake-
damaged complex.

Some areas near where the piping was unearthed are now closed to
allow environmental testing as a precaution, the report said.

Results from the tests will be known and will determine when the
cleanup can be completed.

The closure includes a public walking track, despite it not being
close to where the piping was found.

The Christchurch School of Gymnastics, which borders the stadium,
will remain open during the cleanup.

Chief executive Avril Enslow said the school had been "fully
informed" by the Christchurch City Council and the Canterbury
Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) and was "perfectly happy" to
stay open.

"Cera are very cautious, so if there was any danger to us or
members of the public they would let us know," she said.

"If they say it's safe for us to be there we are quite happy to do

A Cera spokeswoman said there was minimal risk to surrounding

"Only the areas that need to be closed to assess for risk have
been closed as there is no wish  to create unnecessary
disruption," she said.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: S. Australia Gov't Fails to Check Schools
Lauren Novak, writing for Herald Sun, reported that the State
Opposition has accused the Government of failing to properly
inspect asbestos in schools or keeping inaccurate records.

According to the report, Opposition education spokesman David
Pisoni said documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws
showed there were 29,102 school sites in SA were asbestos was

He told the news agency the documents showed many had "not been
inspected for up to nine years".

This meant the Education Department had "failed to annually
inspect schools registered as having asbestos or has failed to
keep accurate records", he said.

Education Minister Jennifer Rankine said the government had spent
nearly $11 million removing asbestos in schools since 2010.

Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis said he had "no evidence"
that annual checks were not undertaken.

He said less than one per cent of school sites contained asbestos
materials that were recommended for immediate removal.

The 2011-12 Asbestos Risk Reduction Report showed 78 per cent of
sites were asbestos-free or contained asbestos materials "that do
not pose an immediate exposure risk and can be scheduled for
removal at suitable times in conjunction with other building
work", he said.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Surrey Company Fined for Poole Asbestos Breaches
BBC News Dorset reported a decorating company has been fined
GBP45,000 after it exposed staff and members of the public to
potentially fatal asbestos material in Dorset.

According to the report, Surrey-based MJC Decorating and
Refurbishing Ltd failed to check for asbestos and use protective
clothing when refurbishing offices in Poole.

At Bournemouth Crown Court, the company pleaded guilty to three
breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it was "a very serious

HSE inspectors found the company had removed ceilings at the two-
storey Sentinel House block at the Nuffield Industrial Estate
without carrying out a survey for asbestos.

                        'Totally needless'

The agency said four employees and 14 agency staff working under
the control of MJC were exposed to asbestos dust and fibres that
can cause respiratory problems and even incurable lung diseases.

It said MJC workers wore normal work clothes that became
contaminated with asbestos fibres. This may have led to the
exposure of many more members of the public during their journey
to and from the site over a two-week period in 2009.

HSE inspector Helena Tinton said: "Regulations on dealing safely
with asbestos have been in place for many years and are widely
known in the industry.

"This totally needless incident would not have happened if MJC had
carried out proper assessments and had trained staff on site."

The company, based at London Road, North Cheam, in Sutton, Surrey
was fined a total of GBP45,000 and ordered to pay GBP36,943 in

ASBESTOS UPDATE: ART Pays Out RMB250MM to 3,600 Claimants
Samantha Moolman, writing for Creamer Media's Mining Weekly,
reported that the Asbestos Relief Trust (ART) marks its tenth year
of existence in July, having provided compensatory relief for
mineworkers suffering from asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) since
July 2003.

According to the report, the ART has, to date, paid more than
R250-million in claims to 3 639 qualifying asbestos workers and
their dependants, as well as to claimants who lived near certain
mines and suffered from environmental exposure to asbestos.

The trust has processed about 14 500 applications so far, 30% of
which represented claimants suffering from compensable ARDs, the
report said.

ART manager Tina da Cruz tells Mining Weekly that the trust will
observe the ten-year milestone by hosting a series of lectures and
panel discussions focused on the medical aspect of ARDs in
Johannesburg, Cape Town and Kuruman -- where most of the trust's
claimants and potential claimants reside.

Details of the events are still being finalised, but Da Cruz can
confirm that the lecture series will tap into the minds of experts
who have been working with the ART since its inception. She adds
that, while the events will seek to inform the general public, it
will also target former mineworkers who could be potential

"This marks an important time in the business cycle of the mining
sector to assess the work done by the Asbestos Relief Trust,"
comments ART chairperson Piet van Zyl.

He adds that, while the trust has faced challenges in the last
decade, it has been able to provide compensation in addition to
that provided by the Compensation Commissioner in terms of the
Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act (Odimwa).

"This is an important medium in terms of how to deal with legacy
issues in our mining industry," Van Zyl avers.

The trust, unprecedented in South Africa, was established as a
result of an out-of-court settlement in 2003 with former asbestos-
mining companies Griqualand Exploration & Finance Company, or
Gefco, and African Chrysotile Asbestos (ACA), which fell under
mine holding company Gencor.

The settlement stipulated that the companies compensate former
employees, their dependents and communities living in close
proximity to their mines who contracted ARDs as a result of the
mines' operations.

"The ART is an effective, efficient and well-run organisation,
bringing tangible benefits to communities affected by asbestos
mining," says human rights lawyer Richard Spoor, who represented
the mineworkers during the 2003 asbestos litigation case.

Spoor is currently representing more than 17 000 current and
former mineworkers affected by silicosis in a class-action lawsuit
launched against South African gold mines in December. He
highlights the Asbestos Relief Trust as a model for precedence,
which might pave the way for the ongoing fight to compensate
silicotic mineworkers.

Meanwhile, Da Cruz says the establishment of the ART has been a
significant learning curve for the trustees, who have continuously
developed the ART's policies and procedures to give effect to the
primary objective of the trust deed -- to disperse compensation
fully, fairly and as effectively as possible.

One of the biggest challenges faced by the trustees in the last
decade has been to ensure the availability of funds for the 25
years the trust has been in existence.

The ART is, nevertheless, actuarially solvent, with a further
R306-million -- inclusive of investment income -- available to
provide for future claims likely to be lodged over the next 15

Further, should claims continue to be filed when the life of the
trust reaches completion, the trustees will have the power to
extend the life of the ART by another five years, provided it
still has funds.

Da Cruz tells Mining Weekly, however, that there has been a marked
decrease in the number of claims received in each month. She says
incoming claims peaked in 2005 and 2006, when the ART received an
average of 300 applications a month.

However, the number of claims began to decrease in 2007 and 2008.
As a result, the trustees embarked on a claimant outreach
programme to find potential claimants.

"Owing to the migrant labour system, we know many workers hailed
from neighbouring States, such as Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana,
and, because of this fairly aggressive campaign, we found other
potential claimants, particularly in Lesotho," says Da Cruz.

Currently, the ART is receiving between 10 and 12 new applications
a month, some of which are filed by claimants who applied in
earlier years but did not have a compensable asbestos- related
disease at the time.

Over the years, however, these claimants developed an ARD and are
now eligible for compensation.

Moreover, some claimants, who have already received compensation
for an ARD, may have since developed cancer. Da Cruz says the
trust makes provision for this and will accept an additional claim
in such cases.

She adds that most of the claims currently filtering in are for
asbestos-related mesothelioma -- a rare but aggressive type of
cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen.
Unfortunately, owing to the nature of this disease, most of these
claimants will pass away within 12 to 18 months of diagnosis.

While the ART has been able to provide compensatory relief for
many victims of ARD, Da Cruz says working for the trust has been
an emotionally draining job, as many claimants have died in the
past ten years.

"There are also many impoverished people in the community who the
trust cannot help, as it is beyond our mandate," she adds.

Da Cruz highlights several asbestos-related issues that need to be
managed by government, including the establishment of a dedicated
compensation fund for individuals who have developed ARDs as a
result of environmental exposure to asbestos, but who do not
qualify to claim from existing trusts, which cover only certain
former asbestos mines.

"These individuals currently have nowhere to turn to, unless the
mining company responsible for the pollution can be brought to
book," she says.

Other issues include the need to rehabilitate primary and
secondary sources of asbestos pollution and increase and improve
medical surveillance for former asbestos miners and communities
living in the vicinity of asbestos mines.

Da Cruz also highlights the need for the State to improve
education and disseminate more information about the dangers of

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sarnia Park Partly Closed Due to Toxic Dusts
CTV London reported that the City of Sarnia is closing a portion
of Centennial Park to the public after soil samples taken in late
April were found to contain asbestos.

According to the report, in a statement, city manager Lloyd
Fennell said "This process may take a while and the public's
cooperation in staying out of the park is greatly appreciated."

Until further tests can be done to determine the risks to the
public, the city has decided to follow the recommendations of a
consultant to close the park, the report related.

According to the consultant areas where people can come into
direct contact with soil, (areas with no vegetation) and where
ground cover could be disturbed by activity are considered to be
most 'at risk.'

More samples have been sent to a lab specializing in soil
containing asbestos to ensure there were no errors in the original
results. Previous samples from other areas of the park are also
being re-tested.

The city says it is working with the organizers of affected events
to find alternate venues.

The Dow People Place remains open and the city says it will try to
keep the waterfront walkway open where possible.

An area of the park had already been closed earlier in May after
high levels of lead were found in the soil.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 7 Countries Block Moves to Limit Fibro Shipping
Tim Povtak, writing for Asbestos.com, reported that the Canadian
government finally stopped defending the chrysotile asbestos
industry, but seven other countries took its place at the United
Nations' Rotterdam Convention Conference, blocking all attempts to
put the toxic mineral on a hazardous substances list.

According to the report, it was the fourth time the effort to
tighten the worldwide shipping regulations of asbestos failed, but
the first when Canada was not stopping the move.

Russia, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and
Ukraine all opposed the listing, while Canada remained neutral for
the first time, the report noted.  Canada was the last Western
power to stop endorsing the use of asbestos worldwide, prompted by
public pressure and the closing of its last asbestos mine in 2012.

Although an overwhelming majority of the 143 countries attending
the conference favored adding chrysotile asbestos to the hazardous
substances list, protocol requires unanimous agreement.

The convention, according to the report, does not ban the trading
of hazardous substances, but it makes the exportation more
difficult by requiring Prior Informed Consent (PIC) before they
are shipped. The PIC  allows still-developing countries the right
to refuse the shipment, or at least be better prepared for the
danger it presents.

               Russia Leads in Asbestos Production

Chrysotile has been the most prevalent of the six types of
asbestos, but is the only one not on the PIC list. Its extensive
use has continued in many still-developing countries, which covet
its cost effectiveness, despite its well-known dangers. It also is
financially rewarding for the major producers and exporters.

Russia produced approximately 1 million tons of asbestos in 2012,
which was more than double the amount produced in China, the
second largest producer. This was the first time Russia has been
represented at the Rotterdam Convention Conference. It also was
the first appearance for Zimbabwe, which is expected to reopen its
asbestos mines later this year.

At the last conference in 2011, the Canadian delegation worked
behind the scenes to block the hazardous substance listing, which
sparked a public outcry within the country and a change in policy.

Asbestos is the naturally occurring mineral that was used so
extensively through much of the 20th century for its ability to
insulate, fireproof and strengthen most everything. It also has
been proven to cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and a
variety of other respiratory diseases. Every year, an estimated
10,000 people in the United States die from an asbestos-related
disease and more than 100,000 die around the world.

Neither the United States nor Canada has banned the use of
asbestos, but both countries strictly regulate its use internally.
Asbestos use in the United States peaked in the mid-'70s and has
fallen dramatically in the past four decades.

                  Mesothelioma Not Declining

Because there is such a long latency period (10-50 years) between
exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma development, an estimated
3,000 Americans each year still are diagnosed with the disease,
which has no cure.

"I'm upset that countries that continue to produce chrysotile, or
are considering reopening mines like Zimbabwe, can block action on
chrysotile," said Ken Rosenman, M.D., chief of the Division of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Michigan State
University. "This will prolong the hazards of asbestos, and cause
health risks again in the future. It will continue to lead to a
double standard for health because the more developed countries
are not using asbestos now."

The news produced outrage among the asbestos awareness groups
around the world, many of which had believed Canada's switch had
weakened the defense of the asbestos industry. And, like Rosenman
told Asbestos.com, the still-developing countries using asbestos
will face bigger problems in the future.

"Tyrannical forces have [] seized control of the Rotterdam
Convention; the United Nations protocol which was born in hope,
has today been buried in ignominy," wrote Laurie Kazan-Allen,
coordinator of International Ban Asbestos Secretariat. "The
Convention's impotence allows the status quo to continue. The
global trade in deadly asbestos will remain unregulated."

Kazan-Allen now refers to the countries that blocked the listing
as "The Dirty Seven."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Planned Lordswood Depot "Too Close" to Houses
BBC News Kent reported that residents opposed to plans to turn
part of a waste site in Medway into a depot which would handle
asbestos waste have voiced their anger at a public meeting.

According to the report, Asbestos First wants to turn part of its
land in Lordswood into a waste transfer station with asbestos
being temporarily stored in locked skips.  The asbestos removal
company said the skips would be sealed and kept under 24-hour

Opponents claim "a hazardous operation" should not be in a
residential area, the report related.

                         'Fibrous asbestos'

The proposed site off North Dane Way is close to a housing estate
and is adjacent to the Lordswood sports and leisure centre.

Local resident Ian McKeand, whose father died of mesothelioma --
the cancer associated with asbestos, was at the public meeting at
the Bridgewood Manor Hotel, in Chatham, the report said.

"We don't know what state the asbestos is going to be in," he

"If the bags are ripped before they get there, there could be
fibrous asbestos coming from these vehicles before it's actually
bagged correctly and taken off site."

                            Safety record

Deputy leader of Medway Council, Alan Jarratt, whose ward includes
the site, added: "If it becomes a transfer station it will become
a focal point for every cowboy builder in the area potentially,
and that's one of the big worries."

Asbestos First said it had been handling asbestos safely for 25

It withdrew an earlier planning application to allow for a public
consultation, but said it now planned to resubmit it to the

Managing director Debbie Hales said: "We are planning on adding a
waste transfer station to our current site in Lordswood so that we
can simply transfer waste from our vans, and the waste containers
within them, into sealed lockable skips.

"I don't want the vans having to travel up and down to the
landfill site on a daily basis. Environmentally it's not the most
sensible thing to do."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ugandans At Risk of Cancer Due to Roofing
Flavia Lanyero, writing for Daily Monitor, reported that in
Kampala and several parts of the country, you will not miss to
find a building with asbestos roofs. A quick survey will see
fingers pointed at schools such as Makerere College School, Kibuli
Secondary School, Kololo SS, Kyambogo College School, Nabisunsa
Girls School and Mengo SS.

In the countryside, you will meet the roofs in schools such as
Kigezi High and Ndejje SS and a number of technical colleges,
police and army barracks' among others.

Most of such buildings were constructed between the 1950s and
1960s and efforts by the Ministry of Health calling on such
schools and police authorities to change the roofs, have often
fallen on deaf ears, the report said.

According to experts, materials containing asbestos are hazardous
to humans and pose a public health risk.

Dr Gerald Mutungi, the in-charge of non-communicable diseases at
the Ministry of Health, says all forms of asbestos are
carcinogenic to humans -- meaning that they can cause different
cancers.  Among the cancers Dr Mutungi mentions, include cancers
of the ovary, lung, mesothelioma and cancer of the larynx. He adds
that exposure to asbestos also causes breathing complications and
respiratory tract infections.

Medical reports indicate that a person who is exposed to broken
asbestos faces a higher risk of developing such ailments.

                         Impact on children

According to Dr Mutungi, effects of exposure to asbestos may not
show in the short term but could take 10-20 years and at which
point, the disease may become untreatable.

"Students have no danger by just sitting in class but once the
asbestos is disturbed and broken, inhalable fibres are released
and this is dangerous," Dr Mutungi says.

"Anything can happen to a school or any building so we have over
the years been giving the Ministry of Education guidance to
replace the asbestos with iron sheets."

School authorities say they have often expressed worry about the
wellbeing of their students and inefficiency of the Ministry of
Education to remove the asbestos roofs.

An administrator at Kololo SSS, who preferred to speak on
condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter,
said the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, visited the
school early last year to see if the asbestos roofs were removed
but despite confirming that the roofs were still there, no further
action was since taken.

Although the roofs were still intact, the administrator wondered
whether the ministry first wanted to see a catastrophic incident
before taking action.

In many barracks, police officers are housed in asbestos-roofed
houses, although they are condemned by the International Labour
Organisation (ILO) convention 162, 1986, which provides for the
replacement of asbestos or certain types of asbestos or products
containing asbestos with other materials or products evaluated as
less harmful.

In 2003, former Police Boss Katumba Wamala launched a process to
rid all police houses of asbestos roofed-houses. The project was,
however, only implemented in a few barracks around Kampala.
Deputy Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango says the police are
constrained by finances and only those in Arua Police Barracks
have been replaced.

The commissioner in-charge of planning at the Ministry of
Education, Mr Godfrey Dhatemwa, says currently there is no plan to
un-roof asbestos from schools because it would take a while for
the asbestos to be removed yet there is no money for the exercise.

This means that schools will have to endure asbestos roofs for a
while longer.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that countries take
public health actions, including replacing asbestos with safer
substitutes to prevent diseases.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Top French Politician Cleared Over Fibro
Sky News reported that a leading French politician has been
cleared on appeal of a manslaughter charge connected with
thousands of deaths caused by exposure to asbestos.

The court's decision on Martine Aubry, who led the ruling
Socialist party before the court proceedings, clears the way for
her to return to top-level politics.

The politician -- who had stood against Francois Holland  in the
primary to become the party's presidential candidate last year on
a slightly more left-wing platform -- is now free to bid for a
seat in his government.

"The courts today recognised that no fault or negligence could be
attributed to me," Ms Aubry, who is currently the mayor of the
northern city of Lille, said in a statement.

"Everybody knows that I have always acted as an official and as a
minister to defend and reinforce the rights of workers and protect
them from occupational hazards."

The case against Ms Aubry relates to her time as a senior official
in the ministry of social affairs, before she became a major
figure in French politics.

As the ministry's director of industrial relations from 1984-87,
Ms Aubry is accused of having helped to delay the implementation
in France of a 1983 EU directive designed to strengthen the
protection of workers dealing with asbestos.

The examining judge in the case said Ms Aubry had bowed to
pressure from industrialists lobbying against a complete ban on
the use of the material and that she ignored warnings from French
health authorities of a mushrooming epidemic of cancers and
terminal lung diseases.

Ms Aubry, the daughter of former European Commission President
Jacques Delors, was one of many figures caught up in a far-
reaching probe into how the French authorities handled the
emerging evidence of the dangers posed by asbestos between 1970
and 1997, when the material was finally banned.

The specific charges against her related to the case of workers
employed at the Fereo-Valeo auto-components factory in Normandy.
Asbestos was once widely used for car brake pads.

An estimated 3,000 people die prematurely every year in France as
a result of asbestos poisoning and there have been predictions
that the death rate could nearly treble over the next decade
because of exposure in the 70s and 80s.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bassetlaw Residents Angered Over Fibro Dump
Worksop Guardian reported that residents and council officers were
left appalled after asbestos was left dumped by the side of the

According to the report, just one week after Bassetlaw Council
announced that it would actively seek to prosecute fly-tippers, a
Worksop Guardian reader contacted the newspaper to report a waste
dump on Red Lane in Carlton Forest.

A specialist team were sent by the council to the site, where they
discovered a number of broken asbestos sheets amongst bags of
household rubbish, the report said.  The environmental health team
were able to find address details to trace some of the waste, and
will issue a fixed penalty notice shortly.

Julie Leigh, portfolio holder for environment and leisure, said:
"Fly-tipping is unacceptable and in this latest case, very
dangerous. I am appalled that people think they can get away with
leaving asbestos at the side of the road and feel they can dump
waste with impunity."

"We all have a responsibility to keep Bassetlaw clean and tidy and
I would urge anybody who spots fly-tippers to call the council's
hotline. Fly-tipping is a problem and we need your help to gather
evidence which can lead to a prosecution or serve fixed penalty

In the last year Bassetlaw Council spent around GBP60,000 cleaning
up almost 900 fly-tipping incidents, 35 involving asbestos.

Fly-tipping carries a fine of up to GBP50,000 and 12 months'
imprisonment if convicted in magistrates' court, and an unlimited
fine and up to five years' imprisonment if in crown court.

To report fly-tipping, call the hotline on 01909 534501

ASBESTOS UPDATE: MP's Fury at Insurers Over Asbestos
The Shields Gazette reported that insurance industry "leeches" are
avoiding paying millions of pounds to victims of a deadly dust,
Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn claimed.

According to the report, speaking during Prime Minister's
Questions in Parliament, Mr Hepburn accused the Government of
pandering to the insurers, rather than helping those suffering
from terminal condition mesothelioma, caused by exposure to
asbestos fibres.

The disease is rife in former heavy industrial areas, such as
South Tyneside, the report said.

His comments follow details of the new Mesothelioma Bill,
announced in the Queen's Speech.

Under the legislation, asbestos victims can submit claims, even if
their former insurer or employer has gone out of business.  But
only those diagnosed with the killer disease after July 25 last
year can make a claim, and Mr Hepburn says this means many victims
will get "nothing."

In reply, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the date is the
only way victims could have a "reasonable expectation" of being

But Mr Hepburn said: "Does the Deputy Prime Minister agree with me
that it's wrong and unfair that those leeches in the insurance
industry who are bankrolling the Tory party are getting away with
millions and millions, when working-class people who have been
negligently poisoned by their employers are getting away with

In reply, Mr Clegg said he was "hugely sympathetic" to those
victims unable to trace their former insurer or employer, but
added: "We did announce our intention to introduce the scheme on
July 25, 2012, and it is from that date people have a reasonable
expectation, if they are diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer
and meet the eligibility criteria, to receive a payment.

"But because we have also decided to pay dependants of people who
have died with that cancer, the scheme will not be able to pay
dependants of every person who has died and that is the reason we
have taken the approach that we have."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Canberra Family Exposed to Deadly Asbestos
Tom McIlroy, writing for The Canberra Times, reported that
WorkSafe ACT will refer a Canberra builder to the Director of
Public Prosecutions after workers put a Kambah family at risk of
asbestos-related illnesses.

According to the report, parents Justin and Erin Thompson were
forced to leave their home for more than three weeks after
builders used angle grinders to cut through asbestos sheeting
during bathroom renovations, contaminating the family's home.

"Our neighbour came over and told us he thought there was asbestos
being placed out the front of our house," Mr Thompson told the
news agency.

"He confronted the builder and the guy told him he didn't know
what he was talking about, so our neighbour called WorkSafe and
they tested it and confirmed it was very dangerous."

Along with their five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter,
the couple lived in the home during renovations, with Ms Thompson
cleaning toxic fibres from surfaces in the kitchen and living
area. Despite assurances from the builder that the asbestos "was
not the dangerous kind", the family will require ongoing annual
medical tests for life-threatening illnesses, including

Mr Thompson said a $6000 deposit paid to the builder had not been
returned, and the work he had completed on site was "shoddy,
dangerous and appalling".

With their bathroom still incomplete, the family has been forced
to use a makeshift outdoor bathroom until their replacement
builders can complete the renovation. More than 120 personal
items, including dozens of contaminated children's toys, had to be
destroyed by authorities to prevent further risk to the family.
Fairfax Media sought comment from the builder on Friday night but
did not receive a response.

The company website says it has a reputation for success and has
achieved commercial recognition and membership in the Housing
Industry Association of Australia.

WorkSafe ACT Commissioner Mark McCabe said three prohibition
notices, two improvement notices and two infringements had been
issued to the company.

"There is no such thing as asbestos which is not dangerous so this
is very concerning, especially coming from an established company
who members of the public would assume they can trust," he said.

"We are treating this case very seriously and my advice for anyone
worried about what work is being undertaken at their home is to
immediately contact ACT Planning and Land Authority or WorkSafe
and we will investigate."

NSW Electrical Trades Union assistant secretary Neville Betts said
the case was one of the most extreme he had seen. "The poor
buggers sat through three days of asbestos risk because of the
dodgy builder," he said. "I have had a quick chat to some other
union members and we have asked the family to give us a list of
the children's toys so we can replace them."

The couple said they were touched by offers of assistance but did
not wish to receive donations.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exhibit of Asbestos History in McLean County
Mary Ann Ford, writing for Pantagraph, reported that Ron Thacker
only worked at Bloomington's UNARCO plant for a couple of years as
a young man in the early 1950s, but it left an indelible imprint
on his life -- and his lungs.

According to the report, Thacker, now 77, is among more than 100
workers who contracted asbestosis, an incurable lung disease, from
the asbestos used at the factory to make insulation for such
things as pipes and boilers.

"I used to grind this stuff with a grinder," he told the news
agency, adding the company knew asbestos was deadly, but that fact
was never revealed to workers. "Every year we had to go in for a
chest X-ray," he said. "I thought they had our good in mind."

Instead, the company used the X-rays to determine whether workers
had the beginning stages of asbestosis. If the X-ray revealed a
spot on the lungs, the company "would find a reason to let you
go," said Thacker, who is working with others on a new exhibit at
the McLean County Museum of History detailing UNARCO's history in
Bloomington, and the long-reaching effects of asbestos.

The company, first known as the Union Asbestos & Rubber Co,
relocated from Cicero to Bloomington in 1951. UNARCO was purchased
by Owens-Corning in 1970, and the plant closed two years later.
UNARCO filed for bankruptcy in 1982 and the plant, at 1111 W.
Perry St., was razed in 1991.

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed over the years by victims and
survivors of workers exposed when they worked at the plant; in
almost every case, juries sided with the victims, finding that
workers were not warned of the dangers of asbestos when they
worked at the factory. Jury awards totaled in the tens of millions
of dollars.

While Thacker didn't see any effects of the disease until 2007,
when he was hospitalized for what was thought to be pneumonia but
actually was asbestosis, his brother, Leslie, who worked at the
plant for eight years, died from an advanced form of the disease
in 1981 at age 49. Their father, Charles Thacker, who also worked
at the plant for several years, died of the disease at 71 in 1977,
said Ron Thacker.

"Do I sound angry? You bet. I can't stand somebody doing something
shady," said Thacker, who became a minister, most recently at
Danvers Baptist Church.

Mike Matejka, director of government affairs for Great Plains
Laborers District Council, is guest curator for the exhibit, A
Deadly Deception: The Asbestos Tragedy in McLean County, scheduled
to open in 2015. He's been working on the project for three years.

One component of the exhibit will be a memorial to people who died
after exposure to the asbestos used at the plant -- either those
who worked there, family members exposed when plant workers came
home with the asbestos fibers on their clothing, or workers who
used products made at the plant, said Susan Hartzold, the museum's

"We don't want just a list of names," said Hartzold. "These are
people. They died because the company thought of the bottom line."

Hartzold wants to make 8-by-10 collages of each person and create
collage books to include in the exhibit.  "We have 104 people on
the list," she said. "But I'm sure there are hundreds more."

The exhibit also will include a history of asbestos; information
about the extensive list of products that contained the material;
a history of UNARCO; information about the lawsuits filed by
victims and/or their families; and a look at the process to remove

"It's a catastrophe that didn't happen just one day; there have
been multiple slow deaths over decades of intensive suffering,"
said Matejka. "This exhibit is important to remind ourselves . . .
to honor the workers and families; to look at the larger social
questions . . . to ask what's still going on out there now with
the emerging technology . . ."

Thacker believes his strong faith in God is why he's still around,
saying, "He had another plan for me."

Thacker was in and out of the hospital several times in 2007 and
saw his condition worsen -- much like what happened to his
brother. On the 12th day of his last hospital stay that year, he
said a prayer: "I said, 'Lord, I'm not scared of dying but if you
stop this, I'll tell everyone who did it.'"

Thacker was not hospitalized again until recently, but he's back
on his feet again.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fixing Hakea Prison's Asbestos to Cost $2.5MM
Beatrice Thomas, writing for The West Australian, reported that
fixing asbestos contamination at Hakea Prison will cost taxpayers
$2.5 million after a damning report found it posed high health
risks to staff, prisoners and the public.

According to the report, the hazardous materials assessment
report, obtained by the State Opposition, found materials
containing asbestos in the ceiling spaces of all seven blocks
inspected by consultant SW19 over two weeks in March.

It said the risk of disturbance in all areas was medium to high,
with the risk of exposure also medium to high in all but one
ceiling space, the report related.

Medium risk was described as asbestos materials that posed "an
increased risk to personnel or the general public".

The report found in blocks 1,2,3,4,6,7 and the administration
block a "friable" asbestos, which over time becomes a powder form.
It recommended in all cases that it be eliminated.

The Department of Corrective Services said it was evaluating
tenders and expected the work to cost about $2.5 million and be
carried out "as soon and as safely as practicable".  However,
Asbestos Diseases Society president Robert Vojakovic said normal
building vibrations could disturb and distribute friable asbestos
and called on the affected blocks to be immediately closed.

"This material must be removed as soon as possible," he said. "If
there is a risk, this area must be immediately barricaded."

Prison officers union secretary John Welch said that he had asked
the department to analyse the asbestos.

"Generally our members are very worried about the recognition of
friable asbestos," he said.

Shadow corrective services minister Paul Papalia said a register
should be established of prison officers and prisoners exposed or
potentially exposed to asbestos, and baseline health checks done.

He said Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis' "off-hand"
response last month -- when it emerged WorkSafe had issued his
department with orders to fix the hazards -- was inappropriate.

Mr Francis said at the time it was not "rocket science" and works
would be done when juveniles being housed at Hakea after a January
riot at Banksia Hill detention centre were moved back.

He said this week WorkSafe had assessed the asbestos as being
stable enough to grant the department an extension to rectify the

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos, A Killer 40 Years Later
Heidi Turner, writing for Lawyers and Settlements, reported that
anyone who has lived with someone with mesothelioma or asbestosis
will tell you that such diseases, caused by asbestos exposure, are
horrific and painful for their victims. Unfortunately for victims,
exposure to asbestos fibers 40 years ago can result in such fatal
conditions today. And it is not just the people who worked
directly with asbestos that are at risk.

According to the report, a lawsuit filed in New Orleans, and
reported by The Louisiana Record, alleges that a woman was exposed
to asbestos and developed mesothelioma because her husband worked
with the material and brought it home on his clothing. The lawsuit
(case no. 2013-02388) claims the defendants knew about the hazards
associated with asbestos but did not warn employees of the danger
to them or the danger to their family members because the asbestos
can be carried on clothing.

Family members who were exposed to asbestos because their loved
ones worked with the material have an increased risk of developing
serious, life-threatening conditions as a result, the report said.
They had no idea they were being exposed to such a serious toxin,
or that the toxin could cause devastating illness decades after
the exposure.

Lawsuits against companies accused of not properly protecting
their employees are prevalent in the courts, with new lawsuits
frequently being filed. Many such lawsuits involve long lists of
defendants, as some employees worked for a variety of companies
during their asbestos exposure. Unfortunately for some employees,
some employers may have allowed their workers to be exposed to
asbestos simply to save some money, and such activities may still
be occurring today.

An article in Surrey Now in British Columbia claims that many
business owners put employees, especially young employees, at risk
of asbestos exposure to save money. Although the article is from
Canada, it is reasonable to assume that business owners in the US
would do the same, especially with some receiving penalties for
doing exactly that.

According to the article, buildings constructed before 1984 could
contain a lot of asbestos. Employees responsible for the
demolition of those buildings can be protected from asbestos
exposure if they are given proper safety gear and procedures for
handling and disposing of the material, but doing so costs
developers more money. The cheaper solution is to pretend there is
no asbestos in the building and not provide safety gear and
training for employees.

That puts employees at risk of facing a horrific disease, decades
after they were exposed to the toxin.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Takes 2 Years to Decide in Dumping Case
Natalie O'Brien, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reported
that a Sydney judge has taken more than two years to make a
decision in a case against the founder of the Clean Up Israel
environmental campaign, who has been accused of causing land and
water pollution by allegedly dumping asbestos-contaminated waste
on his property in Wollondilly.

According to the report, Justice Rachel Pepper from the Land and
Environment Court has acknowledged the delay in the case against
Phillip Foxman and his company Foxman Environmental Development
Services was "unacceptable and regrettable".  But it has also been
revealed that the delay has affected other prosecutions relating
to the incident and stalled any development or clean-up on the
site since the alleged dumping in 2010.

The Land and Environment Court said it aimed to deliver most
reserved judgments within three months, the report said.

"However, competing demands, complex cases and judicial leave can
sometimes make this deadline unattainable," it said.

Justice Pepper reserved her decision in the matter after eight
days of hearings in February and March 2011.

Inspired by the Clean Up Australia campaign, Mr Foxman gained
international recognition when he founded Clean Up Israel in the
wake of the collapse of the bridge over the polluted Yarkon River
during the Maccabiah Games in 1997. Four Australian athletes died
and more than 70 others were injured.  But Mr Foxman and his
company were then accused of dumping up to 35,000 tonnes of soil
contaminated with pieces of asbestos on a property at Wollondilly
where he was constructing several buildings.

Mr Foxman defended the action and said last week the delay had had
an enormous effect on him and his business and it was
"extraordinary and unjust to have to wait so long".

"I have had no way of clearing my name and that has had a
devastating effect," he said. "It is a horrible situation ? I have
not been able to put a shovel in the ground for three years."

Mr Foxman denied illegally dumping waste on the site, saying he
had development approval to build on the site on Evelyns Range
Road and had transported soil to be used that had been through a
recycled screening process.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Firm Build Execs Plead No Contest in Fibro Case
Victor A. Patton, writing for Merced Sun-Star, reported that the
state criminal case against three former executives of the defunct
nonprofit Firm Build culminated with the trio pleading no contest
to felony charges of exposing high school students to cancer-
causing asbestos.

According to the report, the plea agreement was reached with Rudy
Buendia III, 50, Patrick Bowman, 46, and Joseph Cuellar, 73.

They pleaded no contest to felony treating, handling or disposing
of asbestos in a manner which caused an unreasonable risk of
serious injury to the nine students, with knowing or reckless
disregard for the risk, the report said.

All three also pleaded no contest to illegally diverting
construction funds. In addition, Cuellar pleaded no contest to
felony failure to pay payroll taxes, while Buendia entered a plea
of no contest to felony worker's compensation violations.

They're scheduled to be sentenced by Merced County Superior Court
Judge John Kirihara on July 12 to three years and eight months in
prison. With sentencing credits, they're eligible to serve about
half of that time in prison.

In March, the defendants were convicted on federal charges of
violating asbestos laws. They're due to be sentenced on the
federal charges by Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on June 3. They each
face between 24 and 27 months in federal prison.

Under the terms of the plea agreement with Merced County
prosecutors, the trio will serve the state and federal sentences
at the same time, which means they will spend about two years in
prison, authorities said.

Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II said he was pleased
with the outcome. Morse praised his staff's work on the Firm Build
investigation, launched by his office six years ago.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Walter Wall
and Deputy Attorney General Brett Morris.

"We feel very vindicated by the nature of these pleas," Morse
said. "We believe it validates everything we've said and done for
the last several years."

Morse said his thoughts are with the students who were exposed to
asbestos in the case, saying that he hopes they will be adequately
cared for, should they develop health problems because of the

"Because these were 'at-risk' kids, they were not deemed as worthy
of the protection that should have been afforded them in a school
program," Morse said.

Defense attorneys Kirk McAllister, Ralph Temple and Douglas
Foster, who represent Buendia, Bowman and Cuellar respectively,
all declined comment after the hearing.

The defendants were in key oversight positions with Firm Build.
They were accused of cutting corners on a renovation project by
using at least nine high school vocational students to remove
asbestos from the Automotive Training Center at Castle Commerce
Center from September 2005 to March 2006.

According to court documents, the students and others removed and
disposed of about 1,000 linear feet of pipe insulation and
additional tank insulation at the 2245 Jetstream Drive building in
Atwater -- which the defendants knew contained asbestos.

The students, according to the documents, removed the cancer-
causing substance without proper protective equipment or taking
proper safety measures.

When the incident occurred, Bowman was Firm Build's board
president and coordinator of the Workplace Learning Academy, which
was created at the Valley Community School to teach trade skills
to at-risk students.

Buendia was Firm Build's project manager, and scouted and
determined the nonprofit's projects.

Cuellar was an administrative manager who had the contractor
license that Firm Build used to find grant funding, procure
contracts and pull permits for projects, according to

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fraud Makes Asbestos Illness Situation Worse
A letter to The Wall Street Journal from Joan Claybrook, president
of Public Citizen 1982-2009 and head of the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration 1977-1981, said fraud makes asbestos
illness situation worse.

Ms. Claybrook wrote, "Your extensive coverage of asbestos
highlighting fraud in the trusts created by Congress to limit the
liability of asbestos companies after they exposed millions of
workers to the deadly toxin, misses the point. Neither the Journal
nor independent studies have documented significant fraud.

The trusts were created to compensate victims while enabling
companies to use the bankruptcy law to shed total liability in
exchange for partial payment to victims and to continue as viable

But hundreds of thousands of their victims weren't so lucky. They
are dead. Many more are sick and suffering. Ten thousand more will
die this year. They were never told asbestos was deadly.

Although the asbestos companies concealed the deadly nature of
their products for decades, they also have a history of trying to
limit or eliminate payments for the deaths they caused. The latest
attempt is the so-called FACT Act (Furthering Asbestos Claim
Transparency, H.R. 982). It requires the trusts to publicly reveal
extensive personal information about the victims and allows
asbestos defendants to demand any additional information from the
trusts back to any claim ever filed and paid. This could delay
medical bill payments until the victims die (mesothelioma victims
usually die within four to 18 months of diagnosis), saving
hundreds of millions of dollars for the companies but victimizing
the asbestos victims once again. What's wrong with this picture?

There is no evidence to support assertions of significant fraud in
claims by asbestos victims. Human error in data entry is not
fraud. Out of millions of claims filed at the company asbestos
trusts, the Journal's extensive investigation identified an error
and anomaly rate of only 0.35%, much of that due to mistakes by
the trusts, not the victims.

The GAO conducted studies of fraud in the handling of asbestos
claims to the trusts and found none.

Asbestos victims who suffer horrible deaths are often grossly
undercompensated, receiving only a small percentage of what the
companies owe them. According to the RAND Institute, the median
payment is 25%, but some are paid as little as 1.1%, placing huge
burdens on their families.

Asbestos victims have not been allowed to publicly testify during
the recent House Judiciary Subcommittee hearings on H. R. 982
after the industry urged the committee to require so-called
transparency in claims to the trusts. Some transparency!

Americans continue to be exposed to asbestos. The U.S. is one of
only two industrialized countries that have not banned asbestos
imports, assuring more claims.

The bottom line is that compared with the huge coverup by cruel
asbestos companies indifferent to so many tragic deaths, a rare
example of fraud in asbestos claims is an anthill versus a nuclear
explosion. The pending industry legislation would invite invasions
of privacy and exposure of claimants to potential identity theft
and other criminal mischief. It is just another ploy by the
companies to avoid paying their debt to those they harmed."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plea for Info After Sheffield Man's Death
Richard Blackledge, writing for The Star, reported that the
partner of a Sheffield man who died from asbestos-related cancer
is appealing for help about how he breathed in the deadly dust.

According to the report, Keith Furniss, from Walkley, died nearly
two years ago aged 72, just a month after his diagnosis.

He told his partner Glenis he remembered working with asbestos
during his career at steelworks Jessop-Saville and at Sheffield
Corporation, the report related.

Glenis, 57, has now instructed specialist lawyers at legal firm
Irwin Mitchell, who are seeking information about the working
conditions at the two sites, the report said.

She said: "We were absolutely devastated when doctors said Keith
was suffering from mesothelioma and that he had just a few weeks

"I don't think I'll ever get over his life being cut short so
suddenly in such a terrible way.

"I've lost my soul mate to this illness and that's why I'm
determined to find out more about how he came to be exposed to
asbestos and why."

Simone Hardy, from Irwin Mitchell's Sheffield office, said:
"Unfortunately, we know very little about the roles Keith did.

"However, we hope that his former colleagues can help shed some
light on the working conditions he endured and the asbestos
exposure that ultimately led to his death.

"Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer and causes so
much distress to victims like Keith and their families.

"Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of
asbestos exposure despite knowing how dangerous it is.

"People have the right to work in a safe environment without the
risk of illness.

"We hope that our investigations can finally help Glenis obtain
the justice that she deserves in Keith's memory."

Keith first showed the effects of mesothelioma around Christmas
2010, complaining of flu-like symptoms.

He twice needed to have fluid drained from his lungs, and was
diagnosed in summer 2011, dying just one day after being admitted
to St Luke's Hospice in Whirlow.

An inquest last year found he was a victim of asbestos exposure.

Anyone with information about how Keith came into contact with
asbestos is asked to email simone.hardy@irwinmitchell.com or call
0114 2744420.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Australian Gov't.'s $10.5MM Safety Plan Welcomed
Jessica Chambers, writing for Latrobe Valley Express, reported
that a national plan to protect Australians from asbestos-related
diseases has been cautiously welcomed by Gippsland's asbestos
support group as the Federal Government announces funding.

According to the report, the Federal Government's recently
announced budget showed $10.5 million would be allocated over the
next four years to establish an Asbestos Safety and Eradication
Agency, which should be running in July.

Gippsland Asbestos Related Disease Support chief executive Vicki
Hamilton said while she was glad the much-needed agency would be
established, she thought there should be more money put into it,
the report related.

"Good on them for taking the initiative, but we need to see a lot
more money allocated to it, now and into the future," Ms Hamilton

"If you're going to be fair dinkum about this and address this
problem in a serious way there's got to be some serious money put
into it."

Ms Hamilton said her joy at the establishment of the agency had
been tempered by uncertainty at how much money a Coalition
Government would allocate to it, if it was elected in September,
despite the bill receiving bi-partisan support, and is expected to
pass later this year.

"I'm hoping that if the opposition get into power after September
that they will remember that they were supporting the asbestos
eradication agency," Ms Hamilton said.

A spokesperson for Employment and Workplace Relations Shadow
Minister Senator Eric Abetz said the opposition was "most
supportive" of the agency.

"(Opposition leader) Tony (Abbott) made it very clear . . . that
we are happy to commit to the same funding that Labor has agreed
to in the budget and that's what we'll be doing," the spokesperson

According to a statement from Workplace Relations Minister Bill
Shorten, one of the first tasks for the ASEA would be tackling
illegal dumping and encouraging safe disposal of asbestos and
planning the removal of asbestos containing material from
government and commercial buildings.

The establishment of an independent national agency was a key
recommendation of the Asbestos Management Review of 2010.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sunshine Coast Fibro Disposal Rules Coming
John Gleeson, writing for Coast Reporter, reported that the
Sunshine Coast Regional District is developing new rules for the
screening and handling of asbestos in landfills.

According to the news agency, a staff report presented earlier
this month to the infrastructure services committee recommended
adding six new material types to the list for asbestos screening
-- vinyl floor tile, sheet vinyl flooring with paper backing,
ceiling tiles, stucco, roofing and cement panels (used in
fireproofing).  Asbestos screening procedures currently exist only
for drywall and vermiculite.

On May 9, the SCRD board adopted the proposed changes, setting an
implementation date of Jan. 1, 2014, the report related.

The added materials will mean changing landfill acceptance
procedures, environmental technician Beth Brooks reported to the

"The identified materials will require sampling documentation for
disposal," Brooks said. "If the material contains asbestos,
customers will be able to bring the material to the Sechelt
landfill provided they follow the asbestos disposal and acceptance
procedures (double bagged using 6 mil plastic, 24-hour notice) and
pay the associated tipping fee."

Asbestos-contaminated drywall, she noted, is not accepted at SCRD
landfill sites.

Also under the new system, due to airspace requirements the Pender
Harbour landfill will no longer accept asbestos waste effective
Jan. 1, 2014.

Procedural changes earmarked for the Sechelt landfill include
installing a new camera at the weigh scale and creating an
asbestos waste cell to receive the materials. The landfill will
also establish set times and days for asbestos disposal.

SCRD staff is collaborating on changes to the building permit
process that will identify renovation and demolition projects that
have asbestos-containing materials.

An education campaign will also be undertaken.

Given the new acceptance requirements and the increase in tipping
fees for residential waste, more illegal dumping should be
expected, Brooks said.

The board agreed to amend the landfill site bylaw to include an
offence for the undisclosed disposal of controlled or asbestos
waste at landfill sites.

However, a staff recommendation to include penalties under the
adjudicator-based bylaw enforcement notification (BEN) system was
put on hold until the BC Civil Liberties Association responds to
the board's request for an opinion on the BEN system.

Staff was also asked to report back on how the existing BEN system
pilot program has been working for the SCRD -- specifically on how
complaints of disputed tickets are dealt with -- and to include
statistics from the District of Sechelt and Town of Gibsons in the

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Fights for Justice Over Fibro Exposure
Samantha Lewis, writing for The Herts Advertiser, reported that
Charles Baker, 72, died in January from a cancer of the lining of
the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos dust allegedly while working
at TA King and Son, in Sandridge Road, St Albans.

According to the report, he passed away just nine months after
being diagnosed with the disease and now his wife Shirley Baker is
appealing to his former work mates to confirm he was exposed to
the dangerous fibre between 1955 and 1966.

She said: "His job meant he came into contact with asbestos every
day and it was dirty and dusty work. He said he was never warned
about how dangerous asbestos could be to his health or given any
protective clothing or a mask to wear to protect him from the
worst of it.

"He worked with so many different people and in such a variety of
well known buildings in St Albans and Hertfordshire that I'm sure
there are people out there who can help me honour his memory."

Mr Baker was a grandfather of two and was living in Lowestoft in
Suffolk when he fell ill in 2011 complaining of chest pains, the
report related. Initial tests failed to flag up any problems but
following further investigations he was diagnosed with
mesothelioma in May last year.

After his death Mrs Baker, who was married to her husband for 47
years, contacted lawyers at Irwin Mitchell's to help her find out
whether TA King and Son could have done more to protect him from
asbestos exposure, the report said.

According to the devastated widow he told her during his 10-year
career at the firm he regularly came into contact with asbestos
and would either have to chip off old asbestos lagging with a
hammer or chisel or mix new asbestos paste to lag boilers and

She added he particularly recalled working at St Michael's Manor,
Hill End Psychiatric Hospital, St Albans Abbey and St Albans City

Mrs Baker went on: "It's been really hard to come to terms with
losing Charles to such an awful illness and so soon after he was
diagnosed. Just a year earlier he had been given the all-clear
after suffering from prostate cancer, so it was a terrible blow to
learn he was so sick again and he was unlikely to have long left.

"His illness meant he was in pain and discomfort all the time; he
was tired and short of breath and the chemotherapy really knocked
him for six.

"He was also upset that he wasn't well enough to do the gardening
and help me round the house as he used to."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Simone Hardy at Irwin
Mitchell's on 0114 2744420 or email simone.hardy@irwinmitchell.com

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Family of Asbestos Victim Pleas for Justice
Thurrock Gazette reported that the devastated family of a
carpenter who died of an asbestos-related disease have launched an
emotional appeal for justice.

According to the report, grandfather-of-two John Hammond was
allegedly exposed to the deadly dust when working for West
Thurrock-based Tunnel Portland Cement Company from 1962 to 1966
and 1969 to 1975, by which time it was called Tunnel Cement

There was a Tunnel Asbestos factory on the site which manufactured
asbestos products, the report related. A railroad went through the
site and locomotives pulled trucks of asbestos powder along it.
His job involved working by the side of the railway.

John, 73, battled with breathing problems for many years. He
suffered from pleural thickening and asbestosis, a lung disease
caused by exposure to lethal asbestos fibres, which took his life
on February 17 last year.

His death left his wife of 49 years, Sylvia, three daughters and
two grandsons distraught and desperate for justice.

They are now asking his former colleagues to come forward with
vital information.

Daughter Nicola Bishop said: "Sadly, all those years he had spent
working hard and looking forward to retirement were marred by
constant visits to the doctors when his breathing became worse and
his health deteriorated.

"It was only following the post mortem we discovered his death was
due to asbestosis."

The family want workers from Tunnel Portland Cement Company Ltd,
Tunnel Cement Limited or Tunnel Asbestos, to get in touch,
particularly anyone who worked there between 1962 and 1975.

Contact Alice Humphreys, at Irwin Mitchell, on 0870 1500100 or e-
mail alice.humphreys@irwinmitchell.com

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Stowey Quarry Fibro Dump Plans Go to Appeal
BBC News Bristol reported that the firm behind plans for a
hazardous waste dump at a quarry in Chew Valley near Bristol will
appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission.

According to the report, Bath and North East Somerset Council
planners had recommended refusal of the proposal to dispose of
materials including asbestos at Stowey Quarry.

They said it had not been shown the quarry was an "appropriate

Applicant Oaktree Environmental has lodged an appeal to be
overseen by the Planning Inspectorate.

The application is to use the site to bury 150,000 tonnes of waste
a year over a 10-year period, but a petition against the plans
received more than 4,000 signatures.

The appeal will be heard in public in the autumn.

                          Noise and dust

The Stowey Quarry Action Group has been permitted to speak against
the proposal at the appeal.

It fears asbestos could leach via springs into the Chew Valley
reservoir about 1.2 miles (2km) from the site.

The impact of lorries travelling through villages carrying waste
to the site, and noise and dust pollution, have also been raised
as concerns.

The group's Sally Monkhouse said it would be "co-ordinating a
vigorous campaign on behalf of the community, along with the
council, to fight this appeal".

Conservative councillor Vic Pritchard, who represents Chew Valley
South, said he is hoping to make a representation at the inquiry.

He said: "From the outset I have been opposed to the intentions of
that application, and I hope we can be successful."

A spokesman for Oaktree Environmental said it did not wish to
comment at this stage.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sunderland Hospitals in Asbestos Registry List
Sunderland Echo reported that asbestos is present in 28 hospital
buildings across Sunderland.

According to the report, 28 buildings are currently on the city's
Asbestos Risk Register including theatre blocks and children's
centres.  But bosses at Sunderland Royal Hospital say the material
presents no danger to patients and is properly managed.

Information obtained by the Echo reveals Sunderland Royal
Hospital's main building contains asbestos, along with the city's
Eye Infirmary, the Niall Quinn Centre, the Genitourinary Medicine
centre, the former neonatal unit and a number of others, the
report said.

Since January 2011, City Hospitals Sunderland has spent GBP153,667
on the maintenance and removal of asbestos from its buildings.

A spokesman for the Trust said: "Asbestos was widely used in
building and engineering up to the late 1980s and like other
healthcare premises, it was installed in City Hospitals
Sunderland's properties constructed prior to this time.

"The trust has always placed a high priority on the health and
safety of its staff, its contractors, its patients and other
members of the public.

"It recognises its duties and legal responsibilities under the
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Asbestos
Regulations 2012 and has developed comprehensive procedures to
manage the asbestos present in its buildings.

"It has a dynamic asbestos management plan which sets out the
trust strategy for compliance with all relevant health and safety
legislation regarding asbestos management."

Many of the hospital buildings were erected during the peak of
asbestos use in the industry. These buildings often contained
large amounts of amosite, commonly referred to as "brown" asbestos
and sometimes "gray" asbestos -- one of the more hazardous forms
of the material. As long as it is properly managed, the material
presents no danger.

Last month, the Echo revealed how 65 per cent of schools in the
city contained the potentially deadly material. If the asbestos is
damaged or disturbed then fibres can be released and breathed in.
A large amount of exposure can cause mesothelioma.

Asbestos campaigners have called for a national strategy to
address the issue of the material still present in buildings which
have often passed their original life expectancy.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: House Committee Breaks Promise to Fibro Victims
Genevieve Bosilevac was diagnosed with mesothelioma just a few
days before her 48th birthday in 2009.  The cause was exposure to
asbestos from products used in her family's business and home
renovations.  Since the diagnosis, she has devoted her energy and
strength to fighting this disease and ensuring that her six-year-
old twin sons have as much time with their mom as possible.  Now,
she is also turning her focus to Congress and H.R. 982, the so-
called Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act (FACT Act).  But
the Judiciary Committee announced that it will break a promise to
hold a public asbestos victims' hearing and instead send the bill
straight to a full committee markup scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday.
There was no Subcommittee vote on the bill, but instead the full
Committee will vote on it. Genevieve, along with two asbestos
victims' widows, are urging the Committee to stop fast tracking
the FACT Act and first follow through with their promise.

"I traveled to Washington and attended a hearing in a wheelchair
because I think this bill is so destructive to asbestos cancer
victims and their families," said Bosilevac.  "I just don't
understand how Congress could enact such mean-spirited

Other asbestos family survivors such as Judy Van Ness who lost her
husband to asbestos-caused disease expressed outrage that Congress
is moving to require asbestos victims and their families to make
their personal information public.

"The FACT Act forces the asbestos trust funds who administer
claims to reveal on a public website personally identifiable
information about us and our families including the last four
digits of our social security number, private work history and
personal information of children exposed at an early age. This
information could be used to deny employment, credit and health,
life and disability insurance. It could also make us more
vulnerable to identity thieves, con men and other types of
predators," said Van Ness.

Asbestos victims and survivors are opposed to the FACT Act because
it would obstruct their access to justice, delay compensation for
the astronomical medical bills they face and strip them of
privacy.  On March 20, House Judiciary Subcommittee Chair Spencer
Bachus (R-AL) said "we are here today to do what is right for the
victims." He then promised the victims an opportunity to publicly
testify before his Subcommittee. Instead, they were invited to
submit written comments and come to Washington to talk to Hill
staff in a closed door "conversation" that would not be recorded
or become part of the official record of the legislation.

"We oppose the so-called FACT Act because it does not do a single
thing to help us, our families, and countless other victims cope
with the terrible effects of asbestos disease and death," said
Susan Vento, widow of Rep. Bruce Vento (D-MN), who died of
mesothelioma. "It's astonishing that, of all the issues Congress
could be addressing relating to asbestos, they have chosen one
that does nothing for victims, but rather one that gives
additional tools to the asbestos industry to drag out these cases
and escape accountability."

Van Ness is a life-long Republican, so she appealed to the
majority of members on the House Judiciary Committee as well as to
the Democrats to consider the harm to victims of this legislation.
She emphasized that this is not a political issue, it is a
victim's rights issue.

"My husband served in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Charles Ware
destroyer and the U.S. government did the honorable thing and
compensated him fully. I expect the U.S. Congress to do right by
these victims," she said.

"I know you must be hearing from the asbestos companies that are
fighting among themselves to avoid compensating the people they
have injured and killed, but why in the world would you support
that? I ask you to please think again about the harm you are doing
to victims and their families with this one-sided bill," said Van

Genevieve, Susan and Judy are part of a growing campaign of people
across America who are suffering because of asbestos exposure.
Many of them can't travel because of their illnesses.  Others
don't have the resources or the time to come all the way to
Washington.  But each and every one of them opposes any
legislation that places the interests of the asbestos industry
above the rights of innocent victims.  For more information on the
campaign, visit www.cancervictimsrights.org.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Levy Phillips Defeat LIRR's Summary Judgment Plea
On May 17, 2013, Justice Sherry Klein Heitler, the presiding judge
for the New York City Asbestos Litigation, denied a motion for
Summary Judgment brought by the Long Island Railroad ("LIRR")
against personal injury claims1 brought by a Queens, NY, resident
diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by
asbestos exposure.

The injured party, Morton Frieder, was diagnosed with mesothelioma
despite having never worked hands-on with asbestos-containing
materials. However, Mr. Frieder spent seven years working in a
diner located within the gated premises of the LIRR's Morris Park
train repair yard, where asbestos-containing materials were used
"routinely" by the LIRR. Lori Benavides, one of the plaintiffs'
New York mesothelioma lawyers from the NYC-headquartered national
asbestos law firm Levy Phillips & Konigsberg LLP ("LPK"), briefed
and argued Plaintiffs' opposition to LIRR's motion. "The decision2
is an important victory for people like Mr. Frieder and many
others who did not work directly with asbestos products and yet
were diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is an asbestos-caused
cancer," commented Ms. Benavides.

In its motion, the LIRR argued that, (1) the LIRR did not employ
Mr. Frieder nor own the trailer out of which the diner operated,
and thus it owed no duty of care to Mr. Frieder to warn about the
dangers associated with its use of asbestos at the yard, and (2)
the plaintiffs did not establish that Mr. Frieder was exposed to
asbestos from the LIRR workers' clothing. In her decision, Justice
Heitler disagreed on both counts.

The decision further reveals that, while Mr. Frieder never worked
hands-on with asbestos, he testified that a "couple hundred" LIRR
workers would dine at the diner during breakfast, coffee breaks
and lunch daily. These LIRR workers never changed out of their
work clothes before eating at the diner. When they came into the
diner "they would bang off their boots, take their gloves off and
throw them on the counter. If they had a coat or jacket on, they
would just shake it off" causing "dust all over the place" that
required Mr. Frieder and other diner workers to perform "really
heavy sweeping and cleanup of the diner." Plaintiffs also
submitted the testimony of two former employees of the LIRR ?
George Muckian, a former LIRR boilermaker, and LPK's client Norman
McCollum, a former LIRR electrician in the roundhouse at the
Morris Park yard. Mr. Muckian testified regarding the asbestos
cement and other asbestos materials he used while maintaining
LIRR's powerhouse and equipment on trains that came into the yard.
He explained that the work he did with the asbestos materials
caused a lot of dust to be released into the air around him,
landing on his clothes, his hair, and his hands. He then explained
that workers, including himself, would then go into the diner,
where he specifically recalled seeing Mr. Frieder daily, without
first washing or changing out of their dusty clothes. Mr.
McCollum's testimony provided further elaboration on the asbestos
materials electricians and other workers at the yard used
"routinely." Justice Heitler found that Mr. McCollum's testimony,
in conjunction with Mr. Frieder's and Mr. Muckian's testimony,
created a question of fact for a jury as to "whether LIRR workers
with contaminated clothes entered the Diner and exposed Mr.
Frieder to asbestos."

With regard to LIRR's duty of care, Justice Heitler held that
because, "it is evident that the LIRR controlled the circumstances
of the Diner and was in the best position to identify and remedy
the dangerous condition that allegedly gave rise to Mr. Frieder's
injury," LIRR had a duty to prevent that harm. Because the LIRR
owned the Morris Park facility, maintained a fence and front gate
which prohibited entry to the yard by the general public, had
exclusive control over the working conditions within the repair
yard, its employees made up all of the Diner's patrons, it
supplied power and heat to the diner, and had some say over the
operating hours, the fact simply did not matter that Mr. Frieder's
employer owned the trailer out of which the diner operated.
Rather, "it was the LIRR, and not the Diner, that was in the best
position to know about the use of asbestos on the premises and to
take reasonable care to prevent Mr. Frieder's exposure thereto."
Justice Heitler also rejected LIRR's reliance on Holdampf v. A.C.
& S., Inc., 5 N.Y.3d 486 (2005), as "Holdampf is fundamentally
distinguishable from the case at bar. Here, the LIRR had control
of both the work site where the alleged exposure occurred and its
employees. Unlike the husband in Holdampf who wore his asbestos-
covered clothes home, the workers here never left the Morris Park
facility and thus never left the LIRR's sphere of influence."
Hence, "in such circumstances," a premise owner, such as LIRR,
owes a duty of care to invitees, such as Mr. Frieder.

The legal ruling, on behalf of Mr. Frieder, is an important one to
people who develop mesothelioma, lung cancer or other asbestos-
related diseases as the result of exposure to asbestos products
used by others. "Unfortunately, asbestos is a powerful carcinogen
that has a tendency to remain on the clothing of workers and
remain in the environment long after it becomes airborne. This
decision will help protect the legal rights of those that were
innocently exposed to asbestos, even though they were not the ones
directly working with products," explained Ms. Benavides, a
mesothelioma attorney licensed to practice law in the states of
New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that occurs most
commonly in the pleura or peritoneum that line the lungs and
abdominal cavities, respectively. The disease occurs after a
"latency period" of many decades, which explains why many people
exposed to asbestos are diagnosed with mesothelioma many decades
after the exposure itself occurs.

For over a quarter of a century, mesothelioma lawyers at LPK have
been among the pioneers of asbestos litigation in America. The
firm's asbestos attorneys have been recognized as nationwide
leaders in representing the rights of mesothelioma victims and
their families. U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers have
recently named the firm the 2013 Law Firm of the Year in
plaintiff's product liability category.

For more information about this or other mesothelioma lawsuits,
please contact LPK's New York mesothelioma lawyers at 1-800-
MESOLAW (1-800-637-6529) or submit an online inquiry on this
website, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Levy Phillips Opens Office in White Plains, NY
Headquartered in New York City, the national asbestos law firm of
Levy Phillips & Konigsberg LLP ("LPK") has recently opened new
offices at 50 Main Street in White Plains, New York. LPK will
better serve people suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, and
asbestosis in the Hudson Valley, including Westchester, Putnam,
Rockland, Orange, and Dutchess counties. Mesothelioma lawyers at
LPK have been helping families affected by asbestos-related
diseases throughout New York, New Jersey, and around the country
for nearly 30 years.

Westchester mesothelioma lawyers from LPK reside in the county and
have represented members of the local community in personal injury
and wrongful death lawsuits for decades. Law firm partners Robert
I. Komitor and Audrey Perlman Raphael, both honored as "Best
Lawyers in America" in mass tort litigation, have long and
successful track records working with asbestos victims and their
families in Westchester County. Mesothelioma attorney Brendan
Tully was raised in Yorktown Heights and has represented families
in Westchester County for many years.

According to LPK partner Audrey Perlman Raphael, many Westchester
County residents were exposed to asbestos and other toxic
carcinogens while working in the automotive, electrical, sheet
metal, manufacturing, plumbing, railroad, and construction
industries. "There are numerous worksites throughout the Hudson
Valley where our friends and neighbors were exposed to asbestos
and other carcinogens. It is very important to have a local office
to better serve victims of asbestos exposure in this area," said
Audrey Perlman Raphael. Many workers have been diagnosed with
mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure at worksites, including
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Buchanan, Tarrytown Chevrolet
Manufacturing Plant, Refined Sugar and Syrup Factory in Yonkers,
New York Central Railroad Terminal in Yonkers, Bowline Powerhouse
in Haverstraw, Orange and Rockland Powerhouse in Tompkins Cove,
Lovett Power Station in Tompkins Cove, Peekskill Powerhouse,
Fleischmann Manufacturing in Peekskill, Danskammer Powerhouse in
Newburgh, and Kay-Fries Chemical in Stony Point. Workers in the
Hudson Valley were also exposed to asbestos-containing materials
in many automotive repair shops and automobile dealerships. Sadly,
some workers could have carried asbestos dust home on their
clothing, exposing family members to the carcinogen. Many women
and young children are also exposed to asbestos during home
renovations and from common household products and equipment.

LPK brings decades of experience and expertise to the Hudson
Valley. U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers have recently
named LPK the 2013 Law Firm of The Year in the field of
plaintiff's product liability litigation. The firm's mesothelioma
lawyers have won numerous landmark jury verdicts across the
country, including in Westchester and Schenectady Counties.

Law firm partner Audrey Perlman Raphael's work in Westchester
began in 1993 when she achieved an important victory in the United
States Bankruptcy Court in White Plains. The case, Konefel v.
Kaperonis1, culminated in an important decision holding that
liability for intentional torts was not discharged in bankruptcy.
LPK partner Jerome H. Block recently won a historic victory in the
Southern District of New York2, White Plains Federal Court. Mr.
Block's client, the widow of a former smoker who died of lung
cancer, was awarded over a million dollars in damages against RJ
Reynolds/American Tobacco.

Westchester mesothelioma lawyers at LPK are proud to have
represented residents of the Hudson Valley, and LPK is eager to
help others who suffer from asbestos-related diseases. For more
information about the law firm, please contact Audrey Perlman
Raphael at 1.914.937.3690 or at araphael@lpklaw.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: May Whitney Fibro Removal to Continue
Dan Waters, writing for Chicago Tribune, reported that asbestos
abatement at May Whitney Elementary will continue this summer,
with Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 officials
hoping to eventually rid the entire building of the potentially
hazardous mineral.

According to the report, officials plan to remove floor tiles in
four of the school's classrooms, a project that Lyle Erstad,
director of facilities and grounds, said will close out abatement
of the tiles on the first floor of May Whitney, located at 100
Church St. in Lake Zurich.

But this summer's work -- slated to start in July -- won't
entirely rid the building of asbestos, Erstad told the news
agency.  To do so, he said, the district will have to complete the
project in stages. Crews removed some of the floor tiles last
summer, and will continue to work their way through the school.

"The goal would be to do a little bit every summer," he said. "We
just have to be wise in what we do."

The district was fined last year for violations in its asbestos
management plan, including failure to notify the Illinois
Department of Public Health before removing tile in another part
of the building in 2011, according to department spokesperson
Melaney Arnold.

New board member Eileen Maloney, who campaigned on getting all
district buildings up to code, said the district should focus on
pipe fittings instead of floor tiles.

"The floor tile is essentially encapsulated and has a lower rating
in terms of hazard than pipe insulation," Maloney said. "Pipe
insulation is among the highest."

But the work that would need to be done to change the pipes would
far exceed the labor to replace the floor tiles, Erstad said. He
said many of the pipes are behind double ceilings and would
require the classrooms to be cleared out, as well as necessitate
ceilings and drywall being torn down.

"Our goal would be to see that building asbestos-free," Erstad
said. "We looked at the low-hanging fruit, in many respects."

District 95 board members also expressed concern about the
asbestos in the gym, but Erstad said because that project would
take a significant amount of time to complete, such a project
could not be done this summer.

Erstad said the district picked an area that was easier to get to
due to the fact that asbestos must get into the air to present a
possible health risk.

He said the asbestos is currently in "good condition," meaning the
likelihood of it becoming airborne is low, according to a
consulting firm that handles asbestos management for the district.

"Even last summer, what we've tried to do in May Whitney is choose
some areas that were easily accessible," Erstad said.

Teachers will still have to box up everything in their classrooms,
and cabinets will have to be taken out to remove all the tiles,
Erstad told the board. Crews will then tent off the section of the
school with the four classrooms, clear out the asbestos and ensure
the area is clean before opening it back up.

The project is out to bid, with results expected to be presented
at the district's next board meeting. Erstad would not give early
estimates of the project's cost, even in a general way.

The district also will ask for an alternate bid on pipe fittings
in a closet adjacent to the four classrooms. Erstad said that,
like the floor tiles, the pipes in that closet are relatively easy
to access.

Asbestos problems are not unique to May Whitney, Erstad said. Part
of the building was built in the 1920s, he said, and asbestos is
often found in building materials from that time.

He said other schools in the district also have asbestos, but the
highest amount of the mineral can be found at May Whitney, making
it a district priority. Erstad said he couldn't estimate when the
abatement might be complete at May Whitney, though the four
classrooms are expected to be done in time for next school year.

"In considering the projects, we looked at a number of different
factors," he said. "Based upon the determination of the condition
of the materials themselves, we thought this was a viable option."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bans Influenced by Mesothelioma "Visibility"
Surviving Mesothelioma and Cancer Monthly reported that a team of
Korean researchers studying the question on why some countries
have banned asbestos while others have not says it is likely
influenced by perception of mesothelioma risk as well as what
neighboring countries are doing.

According to the report, medical authorities around the world
agree that the mineral asbestos is directly linked to development
of mesothelioma, a virulent cancer of the linings around organs.
Most often found in the pleura encasing the lungs, mesothelioma is
usually the result of on-the-job exposure to asbestos dust.
Asbestos was once widely used in a variety of construction
materials, including wallboard, paint, floor and ceiling tiles and
cement blocks. Even in countries where asbestos is now banned, the
presence of the material in existing buildings can pose a
mesothelioma risk to demolition or renovation crews, as well as
building inhabitants.

According to researchers at the School of Public Health in Seoul,
South Korea, of the 143 countries that used asbestos between 2003
and 2007, only 44 have now banned the substance. The team found a
clear link between the tracking and visibility of mesothelioma in
a country and whether or not that country had an asbestos ban in
place. Countries with "more clearly-defined health-related
infrastructures" kept better track of mesothelioma mortality,
making the problem more visible to the public. Countries without
mesothelioma databases were much less likely to have banned

The Korean team found that another big influence on a country's
asbestos policy was the policy in surrounding countries. "Asbestos
ban policy from adjacent countries might have facilitated the
adoption of alternative solutions," observe the researchers. In
Europe, asbestos bans tended to "spread" from Nordic countries
toward the West.

Meanwhile, the countries that make up the United Nations'
Rotterdam Convention Conference failed to put asbestos on a global
list of hazardous substances. Seven countries including Russia,
Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and Ukraine
opposed adding asbestos to the list which would have made it more
difficult to ship.  Most surprising of all, the U.S. still does
not have a comprehensive asbestos ban in place.

The World Health Organization estimates that 90,000 annual
mesothelioma deaths are directly attributable to asbestos

The journal source is Bahk, J et al, "Why some, but not all,
countries have banned asbestos", 2013, International Journal of
Occupational and Environmental Health, pp. 127-135.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: House Committee Passes Asbestos Transparency Bill
Chris Dickerson, writing for Legal Newsline, reported that the
House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday passed legislation requiring
more transparency from asbestos trusts.

According to the report, the measure -- The Furthering Asbestos
Claim Transparency (FACT) Act -- passed without proposed
amendments from House Democrats who feared the bill would be a
threat to privacy of asbestos victims. The committee voted 17-14 -
- along party lines -- to pass HR 982.

The report said the legislation would require asbestos personal
injury settlement trusts authorized by federal bankruptcy law to
disclose information on their claims on a quarterly basis and
respond to information requests from parties to asbestos
litigation. The bill also would require the trusts to file public
reports providing information with each claim for compensation
they receive and would require the trusts to provide information
about claims to parties in an asbestos suit upon request.

The measure is co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and
Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).

Democrats proposed amendments mostly meant to limit what
information about claimants could be made public.

"What this bill does is allow asbestos victims to be re-victimized
by exposing their health information to the public," Rep. John
Conyers (D-Michigan) said during hearings Tuesday.

The House panel passed a similar bill last year, but it never went
to a full House vote.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform praised
Tuesday's action.

"The asbestos compensation system should not allow fraud and abuse
to drain the funds available to deserving claimants," ILR
Executive Vice President Harold Kim said in a statement late
Tuesday. "Exploitation of the system also saddles solvent
companies, their shareholders, and employees with paying unjust

"Asbestos bankruptcy trusts have operated without adequate
oversight for too long. Courts around the country have uncovered
examples in which plaintiffs' lawyers have filed inconsistent or
fraudulent claims with multiple trusts and in the court system.
The bipartisan FACT Act would discourage such wrongdoing."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Contributes to Failing Grades of NJ SDs
Kristen Griffin, writing for Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance,
reported that a damning report rocked a community in New Jersey
this week after the results revealed that virtually every school
in the school district is facing considerable -- and oftentimes,
dangerous -- problems. The architectural firm of Fraytak Veisz
Hopkins Duthie explored each school in the Hamilton, New Jersey
area and found that nearly half of the schools were contaminated
with the lethal toxin asbestos and other schools failed to meet
federal accessibility standards.

However, the litany of issues now facing the Hamilton school
district is far more comprehensive than just asbestos and
accessibility concerns. Out of the twenty four schools, the
architectural firm granted three Hamilton schools grades of "A,"
the report said.

Unfortunately for school administrators and school board members,
the failing conditions of the buildings did not come as a shock,
the report said. In 2010, the school district was forced to cut
$16 million from its overall budget in order to meet new
regulations issued by the state. Reducing routine maintenance of
school facilities was one of the tough budgetary decisions school
district officials had to make.

According to Jeff Hewitson, school board president, this "rob
Peter to pay Paul" mentality left the school district in disarray.

Among the faults found by the architectural firms include spacing
issues, not enough bathroom facilities to meet the students and
faculty needs, not enough emergency exits and electrical system
problems. The ages of the school buildings range from over one
hundred years old to facilities considered "newer," clocking in at
just under a half of a century. Even the schools that received
passing grades -- B's and C's -- have a number of structural

Hewitson pointed out that the grades given reflected how well and
thoroughly the buildings have been maintained, and how maintenance
was reflected in the school district's budget.

Possibly the most dangerous issues uncovered by the investigation
was the discovery of asbestos and black mold. Though asbestos is a
highly toxic carcinogen, it can be found in a variety of building
materials including plumbing and electrical systems, floor and
ceiling tiles and roofing. Exposure to asbestos can cause lung
cancer and mesothelioma, a rare, yet deadly form of cancer that
attacks the delicate lining of the lungs, heart or stomach.

Now, the school board must decide what is more economically
prudent: investing in the necessary repairs in existing schools or
building entirely new structures.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Victims in Line for GBP100,000 Bonus
Rob Smyth, writing for Burton Mail, reported that a forgotten
generation of asbestos victims in Burton and South Derbyshire are
to get GBP100,000 payouts.

According to the report, up to 3,500 sufferers of the fatal lung
disease mesothelioma will share in a GBP355 million pot from a new
insurance levy.

Although they inhaled asbestos fibres as long as 50 years ago the
disease does not strike until later life.

Half of the patients diagnosed die within a year because of the
time delay victims are often unable to sue.

They will now be able to claim six-figure sums if diagnosed after
July 25, 2012.

Benefits minister Lord Freud said: "The package will mean victims
of this terrible disease and families receive a higher level of
support and quickly."

Mesothelioma UK have decided to back the campaign but said it
could be extended.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposure to Toxic Dust Causes Grandfather's Death
The West Sussex Gazzette reported that a man who was hoping to
move to Australia to be with his grandchildren died of a disease
linked with asbestos exposure.

According to the report, Dennis Grainger, 83, moved to Upper
Beeding last year to live with his son, an inquest heard.  He was
planning to emigrate but he fell ill and was taken to Worthing
Hospital in March.

The report said Mr Grainger had malignant mesothelioma, a
cancerous disease linked with asbestos exposure and his health
rapidly deteriorated. He died at a nursing home on May 6, and an
inquest into his death heard his exposure to asbestos may have
been the cause of the tumour.

Coroner Martin Milward recorded a death of mesothelioma, but not
of industrial death as he could not be sure it was a direct result
of his work. "I cannot infer he died of an industrial disease, so
I will infer he died of mesothelioma," he said.

Mr Grainger had worked as a painter and decorator for most of his
life, where he lived in Harrogate, Yorkshire. He may have come
into contact with the chemical through his work and once used
asbestos when building his own shed.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NBN Work Contaminates Penrith Street with Fibro
Kevin Cheng, writing for Penrith Press, reported that two Penrith
families have been forced to evacuate their homes, a staggering 18
days after being exposed to asbestos due to unsafe work on the
National Broadband Network (NBN).

According to the report, Matthew O'Farrell and Troy Lancaster are
neighbours on the corner of Hornseywood Ave and Evan St and they
said they -- along with their families -- were exposed to asbestos
on May 7.

According to a Penrith Council report, Telstra had contracted
communications construction company Service Stream to do
remediation work on several pits in Penrith to ensure the area was
NBN-ready -- including five pits in Hornseywood Ave and nearby
Evan St.

This work, conducted by a subcontractor of Service Stream,
involved checking and replacing existing Telstra pits in
footpaths, with some up to 50 years old and containing asbestos

Mr O'Farrell said he arrived home on May 8 to find workers -- who
were not wearing safety equipment -- breaking up asbestos near his
front yard. He saw the dust spray all over his house and front

"My life changed forever that day," he told the news agency.

"My family and friends were exposed to the deadly material known
as asbestos. I became nervous, on edge and unsure of my family's

"There was asbestos on the footpath, in my driveway in my
neighbour's yard and on my shoes. The same shoes I go to the gym
and the ones I walk inside my house where my baby and six-year-old
daughter play."

After the incident was reported to WorkCover, the subcontractor
responsible was suspended. It is believe the subcontractor had
worked on 20 other sites in the Penrith region.

A report from an independent hygienist confirmed three of the pits
tested positive for asbestos.

"They lied and back-pedalled on every occasion," Mr O'Farrell

"The more I looked the more asbestos I found. Then you think, 'Is
it in my wife's lungs, my children's lungs and my baby's lungs?'."

Mr Lancaster said he was scared for his own family.

"Who will remediate our children's lungs? No one can. Will this
cut their lives short and by how much?" he said.

The two families are now staying at the Chifley Hotel in Penrith,
with the asbestos still not removed from their homes - three weeks
after contamination.

A Telstra spokesman said the company was committed to cleaning up
the site, despite three weeks already passing since contamination.

"We've tried on a number of occasions to have an expert team clean
up the sites but to date have not been able to get agreement from
the residents to proceed," he said.

"We have an obligation to the wider community to clean up these
public sites as quickly as possible. We also have a directive from
Comcare and a request from the council to clean up the sites and
we want to get crews on-site as soon as possible.

"Service Stream put a detailed remediation plan to residents
yesterday and at this stage this will see the public sites cleaned
tomorrow and, with the residents' approval, comprehensive cleaning
of their properties will take place as well."

Service Stream did not return calls made by the Penrith Press.

Call 1800 067 225 if you have any concerns about asbestos
contamination relating to NBN work near your home.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow of Mesothelioma Victim Appeals for Help
This is Lancashire reports that the wife of a grandfather-of-four
who died from an asbestos-related illness is appealing for his ex-
colleagues to help lawyers investigate how he was exposed to the
deadly dust.

According to the report, Wilfrid Cuerden, from Clayton-le-Woods,
was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2012 and believed the
condition was caused by exposure to asbestos while working for Fox
Brothers Plant Hire in Blackpool, in the 60s and 70s. He died in
February, aged 71.

His wife Dorothea, who has instructed specialist industrial
disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in a bid to establish how and
when he was exposed to the dust, is appealing for her husband's
former co-workers at the Flyde Water Board to provide information
about the working conditions he endured, the report said.

At Fox Brothers, Wilfrid was a heavy plant machinery driver
between 1968 and 1970 and was responsible for digging trenches
before employees from the water board, who he worked with on major
housing projects in Lytham St Annes, laid the pipes made from
asbestos cement, the report related. Before his death, Wilfrid
recalled the water board staff cutting the pipes to size with a
hacksaw and he said he couldn't help but breathe in the asbestos
fibres and dust.

Katrina London, from Irwin Mitchell's Manchester office, is
representing Dorothea. She said: "We hope that Wilfrid's former
co-workers will come forward to help answer the many questions
Dorothea has about her husband's asbestos exposure as well as what
measures, if any, were in place to protect employees like him."

Anyone with information about how staff at the Flyde Water Board
were exposed to asbestos, contact Katrina London at Irwin
Mitchell's Manchester office on 0161 838 7262 or email

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ulverston Widow Awarded Six-Figure Settlement
Will Metcalfe, writing for North West Evening Mail, reported that
a grief stricken widow has been awarded a six-figure settlement in
an asbestos law suit.

According to the report, Marian Wilson's husband, Peter, began
suffering symptoms of mesothelioma in 2005 aged 55 but he died on
August 31 2011 of the disease.

Mr Wilson worked at Oxley Developments Company Ltd in Ulverston in
the 1970s, helped build and maintain machinery insulated with
asbestos rope and he cut lengths of the rope using a band saw, the
report said.

In 2006 the couple turned to law firm Irwin Mitchell for help in
their battle for answers and an investigation into whether more
could have been done to protect him at the Priory Park factory in
Cumbria was launched on their behalf.

Today expert industrial disease and asbestos lawyer Roger
Maddocks, from Irwin Mitchell, confirmed Mrs Wilson has received a
six-figure out-of-court settlement -- negotiated a day before the
case was due to be heard in court.

He said the funds would give her peace of mind and the future
financial security that Peter would have provided had he not
suffered from the illness.

Mr Maddocks said: "This has been an extremely difficult time for
Marian who has fought determinedly and tirelessly to get justice
for her husband.

"During the course of his employment at Oxley Developments Company
Ltd, Peter was exposed to asbestos as he built and maintained the
machinery and, sadly, he paid the ultimate price."

At first Mr Wilson was told his condition might be asbestos
related, but was then told by the specialists treating him that
his condition was not malignant or related to his exposure to
asbestos dust.

As his condition developed expert medical evidence confirmed that
he was now suffering from malignant mesothelioma caused by his
exposure to asbestos dust.

On 26 July 2011 Irwin Mitchell began High Court proceedings
against Oxley Developments on Mr Wilson's behalf but he died weeks
later in August 2011 but his widow continued the court battle on
his behalf.

Mr Maddocks added: "We were forced to issue proceedings in a bid
to get justice for our client, but just a day before we were
scheduled to go to court ? and five months after a judge found
them to be responsible - Oxley Developments finally started
negotiating a settlement, offering a six-figure sum.

"Sadly, because of delays in his full diagnosis and the conduct of
the defendants in refusing to take responsibility and then
delaying their negotiations in terms of settlement, Peter died
never knowing that justice had been done.

"At least his loved ones now have financial security following his
tragic death. It's only right that those people affected by
exposure to asbestos through no fault of their own, or their
families, are entitled to justice from their former employers."

Mrs Wilson, 66, of Ulverston, says she is 'hugely relived' to have
won her battle for justice in her husband's name.

She said: "The past few years have been absolutely devastating,
seeing Peter's health taken away by the mesothelioma. By the time
he died two years ago he was incredibly ill, he had trouble
breathing and he lost a lot of weight.

"No amount of money will ever replace what I have lost, and since
his death I have been determined to honour his name and get him
the justice he deserves so I am hugely relieved his former
employers have finally settled the case so I can start to move on
with my life.

"However, the way the company's insurers dealt with the claim has
been appalling. They delayed making any firm proposal until the
day before the case was due to go to court in London." ensure that
victims of asbestos are given a fair route to justice."


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

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