CAR_Public/140103.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, January 3, 2014, Vol. 16, No. 2

                             Headlines



ALLSTATE CORPORATION: Court Remanded Montana Case for Trial
ANZ BANK: Thousands of New Zealanders Join Fee Class Action
AUSTRALIA: CFS Settles Bushfire Class Action for AUD60 Million
BANK OF AMERICA: Settlement Notification Program Begins
BASIC RESEARCH: Snooki Helps Peddle Zantrex Diet Pills, Suit Says

COMMUNITY HEALTH: Faces Class Suits Over Breach of Fiduciary Duty
COMMUNITY HEALTH: Bid to Dismiss NYC Funds Suit Fully Briefed
CONSECO LIFE: Parties in "Burnett" Suit Must Engage in Discovery
CONSUMER PORTFOLIO: Court May Set Pardee Issue for Trial in 2014
CONSUMER PORTFOLIO: Facing Two Consumer Class Actions

DEWEY BEACH, DE: Judge Nixes Highway One Businesses' Tax Suit
DIGITALGLOBE INC: GeoEye Shareholder Litigation Now Closed
DOW CHEMICAL: Appeals Urethane Price Fixing Class Action
EURONET WORLDWIDE: Settled Lawsuit Alleging Wage & Hour Violations
EXECUTIVE FLIGHT: Responds to Class Action Over Lemon Creek Spill

FACEBOOK INC: Court Refused to Dismiss IPO-Related Litigation
FORD MOTOR: 6th Cir. Keeps Summary Judgment Ruling in "Kuns" Suit
GIUMARRA VINEARDS: Class Notice in "Munoz" Suit Gets Initial OK
GNC HOLDINGS: 73 Hydroxycut-Related Suits Pending at Sept. 30
HULU LLC: Opposes Bid to Certify Class in Privacy Litigation

INSYS THERAPEUTICS: Pomerantz Law Firm Files Class Action in Ariz.
J2 GLOBAL: Makes It Impossible to Cancel eFax Service, Class Says
KFORCE INC: Orange County Suit Removed to C.D. Calif. Court
KINDRED HEALTHCARE: Wins Final OK of $8.25-Mil. Class Settlement
MADISON COUNTY, IL: Tax Fraud Class Actions to Proceed as One Suit

MARRIOTT INT'L: Summary Judgment Bid in Md. Employee Suit Tossed
MB FINANCIAL: Amended Complaint Filed in Suit Over Taylor Merger
MERCHANT SERVICES: To Pay $923,000 to Credit Card Suit Attorneys
MOBILE MESSENGERS: Class Cert. Bid in "Fields" Suit Denied
MOODY'S CORP: Plaintiffs Appeal Summary Judgment Order

NCL CORP: Appeals Court Affirms Denial of Class Certification
NEW ENGLAND COMPOUNDING: $100+ Mil. Creditors Fund to Be Set Up
OCALA, FL: May Face Class Action Over Fire Service Fees
PHENIX TRANSPORTATION: Cheated Long-Haul Drivers of OT, Suit Says
PIEDMONT OFFICE: Had $1.3-Mil Insurance Recoveries as of Sept. 30

PIONEER NATURAL: Court Approved Settlement of Claims
PPL CORP: Louisville Residents File Class Action Over Coal Ash
PVR PARTNERS: Weisslaw LLP Files Class Action in Pennsylvania
QUESTCOR PHARMA: Court Partially Granted Bid to Dismiss Complaint
RIDDELL INC: Faces Suit Over Helmets' Concussion Reduction Tech

SCHLUMBERGER LTD: Seeks Dismissal of Overtime Class Action
SEQWATER: Ipswich Flood Victims Sign Up for Class Action
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES: Summary Judgment Bids to Be Briefed by Jan. 15
TEXAS: Petition to Appeal Class Cert. in Foster Kids' Suit Tossed
TIME WARNER CABLE: Court Approved Motion to Dismiss Two Lawsuits

TREX COMPANY: Wins Final Okay of Defective Deck Suit Settlement
UNITED STATES: Sen. Rand Paul Mulls NSA Surveillance Class Action
VANGUARD NATURAL: Del. Supreme Court Affirms Suit Dismissal
WILLIAMS COMPANIES: ADEC to Enter Compliance Order in 2014
XEROX CORP: Remains Defendant in Consolidated Securities Action

* Plaintiff Lawyers Attempt to Skirt CAFA in Texas, Report Shows


                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Thompson Bldg. Gets OSHA Citation for Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: WR Grace Inks Last Settlement Before Ch. 11 Exit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Metex Mfg. Files Plan with $190MM Fibro Trust
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bid to Dismiss "Berensmann" Suit Denied
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Nevada Court Dismisses Inmate's Civil Rights Suit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Allows Discovery in "Amick" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Denies Summary Judgment in "Carlucci" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Bid in "Herlihy" Suit Denied
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Libby Worker's Claim Deemed Time-Barred
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bid for Reconsideration in "Lefevre" Suit Denied

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Bids Granted in "Cabasug" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wis. Appeals Court Flips Ruling in "Viola" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tenn. Appeals Court Flips Ruling in "Payne" Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Victims in Firm Build Case Speak in Court
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Schools Containing Fibro Required to Place Signs

ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Dust All Over" Mudgee Mayor's Fibro Clean-Up
ASBESTOS UPDATE: India Urged to Ban Import and Usage of Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lower Exposure No Protection Against Mesothelioma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Group Sees Great Potential in Hotel Renovation
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Action Needed as Firefighter Cancer Rates Rise

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Court Upholds Fibro Convictions
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Deadly Dust Removed from Towneley Hall
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Victims Ask Yale to Revoke Honorary Degree
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Workers Exposed to Deadly Dust for Seven Years
ASBESTOS UPDATE: U.K. Revises Guidance on Managing Fibro

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Scott Depot Couple Names 55 Defendants in Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Residents Raise Concern Over Dumped Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lincoln County to Take Over EPA's ERS Program
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Teacher's Diagnosis Highlights Risk in Schools
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jury Awards $27.5MM to English Professor

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Naturally Occuring Deadly Fibers Found in Nevada
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Japan Government Liable for Fibro Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Barnstaple Man Died from Fibro Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Shrader Law Offers Consultations to Veterans
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wash. Court Flips Summary Judgment in Fibro Suit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ilfracombe Man Died from Deadly Dust Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Third Fibro Testing Takes Place at Fire Site
ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Trier Board OKs Winnetka Campus Fibro Removal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victims Stress Vitality of Lawyers' House Calls
ASBESTOS UPDATE: WHO Lists Toxic Agents in Environment

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Grant Sought for Fibro Removal on Isthmus
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wis. Court Says Fibro Case Wrongly Dismissed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Developers Claim Fibro Will Become Health Risk
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Principal Reports Fibro Hazards, Loses Protection
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Defendant Entitled to Info in Take-Home Case

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wash. Court Dismisses Shipyard Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Declares Mistrial in Hot Tops Case


                             *********


ALLSTATE CORPORATION: Court Remanded Montana Case for Trial
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Montana Supreme Court in August 2013 affirmed in part, and
reversed in part, the lower court's order granting plaintiff's
motion for class certification and remanded the case for trial,
according to The Allstate Corporation's Form 10-Q filed on October
30, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended September 30, 2013.

Allstate is vigorously defending a class action lawsuit in Montana
state court challenging aspects of its claim handling practices in
Montana. The plaintiff alleges that the Company adjusts claims
made by individuals who do not have attorneys in a manner that
unfairly resulted in lower payments compared to claimants who were
represented by attorneys. In January 2012, the court certified a
class of Montana claimants who were not represented by attorneys
with respect to the resolution of auto accident claims. The court
certified the class to cover an indefinite period that commences
in the mid-1990's. The certified claims include claims for
declaratory judgment, injunctive relief and punitive damages in an
unspecified amount. Injunctive relief may include a claim process
by which unrepresented claimants could request that their claims
be readjusted. No compensatory damages are sought on behalf of the
class. The Company appealed the order certifying the class.

In August 2013, the Montana Supreme Court affirmed in part, and
reversed in part, the lower court's order granting plaintiff's
motion for class certification and remanded the case for trial.
The Company petitioned for rehearing of the Montana Supreme
Court's decision, which the Court denied. To date no discovery has
occurred related to the potential value of the class members'
claims. The Company has asserted various defenses with respect to
the plaintiff's claims, which have not been finally resolved. In
the Company's judgment a loss is not probable.

The Allstate Corporation (Allstate) is a holding company for
Allstate Insurance Company. The Company's business is conducted
principally through Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Life
Insurance Company and their affiliates. It is engaged, principally
in the United States, in the property-liability insurance, life
insurance, retirement and investment product business. Allstate's
primary business is the sale of private passenger auto and
homeowners insurance. The Company also sells several other
personal property and casualty insurance products, select
commercial property and casualty coverages, life insurance,
annuities, voluntary accident and health insurance and funding
agreements. It conducts its business primarily in the United
States. Allstate has four business segments: Allstate Protection,
Allstate Financial, Discontinued Lines and Coverages and Corporate
and Other. In October 2011, the Company acquired Esurance and
Answer Financial from White Mountains Insurance Group.


ANZ BANK: Thousands of New Zealanders Join Fee Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Corazon Miller, writing for New Zealand News, reports that
thousands of New Zealanders are expressing their displeasure over
penalty fees charged by their banks.

At least 17,000 customers have joined the action by Fair Play on
Fees Group against the ANZ bank.

Lawyer Andrew Hooker, who is fronting the action, says the case
should be in court by early next year.

"Were very confident, the legal principle that we're arguing has
already been upheld in the high court of Australia, and we believe
that our case is very strong."

The Fair Play on Fees Group has also launched a similar case
against Kiwi Bank and is hoping to file against BNZ, ASB and
Westpac early next year.


AUSTRALIA: CFS Settles Bushfire Class Action for AUD60 Million
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sean Fewster, writing for The Advertiser, reports that a AUD60
million class action lawsuit over the deadly 2005 Eyre Peninsula
bushfires has settled out of court for AUD8 million in a
compromise deal.

Eyre Peninsula graziers are likely to receive only portions of
that figure, however, because the settlement must also cover eight
years' worth of lawyers' bills and court costs.

Approving the settlement between the graziers, CFS and ute-owner
Marco Visic on Dec. 17, Supreme Court Justice Tim Anderson said
the amount of money for legal expenses had caused him concern.

"My concern has been the relatively small return for the
plaintiffs, having regard to the total amount of the settlement,"
he said.

"The plaintiffs are at a point where they will need to contribute
substantial amounts of money to their solicitors for the work (of
the class action) to continue (to trial).

"There is substantial risk for them should it fail . . . very
significant amounts of money would have to be paid into court as
security against loss (which) the plaintiffs would have to borrow.

"I consider that, overall, approval of the settlement is
warranted."

In November last year, The Advertiser revealed the graziers, led
by Robert Proude, was suing the CFS and Mr. Visic for
compensation.

The 2005 fires -- known as Black Tuesday -- killed nine people,
burned 77,000ha and destroyed 93 homes .

Mr. Proude subsequently filed Supreme Court action against Mr.
Visic and the CFS, claiming the total value of his destroyed
property, including 2205 sheep, was AUD1,862,795.

In December, other graziers were granted permission to join the
lawsuit as a class action -- together, they claimed the CFS
mismanaged its response to the fires.

Mr. Visic, whose ute started the blaze, filed papers agreeing with
that assertion, saying any compensation should come out of CFS
coffers and not his wallet.

In June, the CFS asked the court to throw out the case, saying the
fires were beyond anyone's capacity to control.

It claimed it and its volunteers were therefore not liable for the
damage caused.

In July, Justice Malcolm Blue dismissed that application, saying
the question of whether the CFS owed a duty of care to bushfire
victims was too complex to be answered outside of a full trial.

Since then, the parties have repeatedly met behind closed doors in
unsuccessful attempts to settle the matter.

In November, Justice Malcolm Blue was told those negotiations had
finally borne fruit, and that a compromise had been reached.

All that remained was for another judge, Justice Anderson, to
approve the compromise deal.

On Dec. 16, Justice Anderson said he had met with Mr. Proude and
lawyers representing the graziers during closed-court hearings.
He said he was satisfied Mr. Proude and those who joined the class
action understood both the terms of the proposed settlement and
how the $8 million would be distributed amongst them.

Outside court, the parties released a joint statement.

Mr. Visic and the CFS continued to "strongly deny all
allegations", but said their insurers would pay a total of $8
million.

"All parties were concerned at the trauma and anxiety that would
be involved in them, witnesses to be called in the trial and all
others involved in the fire having to relive the tragic events of
January 2005," the statement read.

"They are relieved that this can now be avoided."


BANK OF AMERICA: Settlement Notification Program Begins
-------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on Dec. 17 disclosed that a notification program is
underway, as approved by the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, to alert cellular telephone users
that a $32,083,905 Settlement has been reached in a class action
lawsuit claiming that Bank of America unlawfully used an automatic
telephone dialing system and/or an artificial prerecorded voice to
call or text cell phones without the prior express consent of the
recipients.  Bank of America denies that it did anything wrong and
the Court has not decided who is right.  The case is known as Rose
v. Bank of Am. Corp., Case No. 11-cv-02390-EJD (N.D. Cal.).
The Settlement Class includes all individuals who:

1. received one or more non-emergency, default servicing telephone
calls from Bank of America regarding a Bank of America Residential
Mortgage Loan Account to a cellular telephone through the use of
an automatic telephone dialing system and/or an artificial or
prerecorded voice between August 30, 2007 and January 31, 2013
(Mortgage Calls);

or

2. received one or more non-emergency, default servicing telephone
calls from Bank of America regarding a Bank of America Credit Card
Account to a cellular telephone through the use of an automatic
telephone dialing system and/or an artificial or prerecorded voice
between May 16, 2007, and January 31, 2013 (Credit Card Calls);

or

3. received one or more non-emergency, default servicing text
messages from Bank of America regarding a Bank of America Credit
Card Account to a cellular telephone through the use of an
automatic telephone dialing system and/or an artificial or
prerecorded voice between February 22, 2009, and December 31, 2010
(Credit Card Texts).  Those persons who received a Credit Card
Text did not also receive a Credit Card Call.

A Settlement Fund of $32,083,905 has been established to pay valid
claims, attorney fees, service awards, costs, expenses and
settlement administration.  Additionally, Bank of America has
enhanced its business practices to ensure that a borrower has
provided consent before being called on a cell phone and that the
Bank's loan servicing record reflects the borrower's prior express
consent to call his/her cell phone.

Millions of notices will be emailed or mailed to known potential
Class Members and notices are scheduled to appear across the
United States in major consumer publications as well as in
hundreds of Sunday newspapers leading up to a hearing on April 4,
2014, when the Court will consider whether to approve the
settlement.

Those affected by this settlement can submit a claim requesting
benefits or they can ask to be excluded from, or object to, the
settlement and its terms.  The deadline for objections is
March 21, 2014.  The deadline for exclusions is March 21, 2014.
The deadline to submit a Claim Form is March 21, 2014.  Class
Members can submit claims online, by mail or by calling the toll-
free number.

The toll-free number, 1-877-919-9186, and the website,
www.BOATCPASettlement.com, are active and Class Members can access
the notice, claim form, settlement agreement and other documents.
Those affected may also write with questions to the Settlement
Administrator, PO BOX 3410, Portland, OR 97208-3410 or send an
e-mail to info@BOATCPASettlement.com


BASIC RESEARCH: Snooki Helps Peddle Zantrex Diet Pills, Suit Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"Jersey Shore" alum Snooki joined up with recidivist snake-oil
salesmen to peddle Zantrex diet pills that don't work, a class
action claims in Federal Court, according to Nick Divito, writing
for Courthouse News Service.

Lead plaintiff Ashley Brady sued Basic Research LLC, Zoller
Laboratories, three of their officers, and Nicole Polizzi aka
Snooki.  All three officers have been ordered to cease and desist
selling bogus weight-loss products, Brady claims in the lawsuit.

Brady says she bought a bottle of Zantrex-3 in 2010 after reading
the label's promises that the drug would provide "546% More Weight
Loss Than America's #1 Selling Ephedra-Based Diet Pill," and that
it would make her lose weight "without diet and exercise."

Brady claims that Zantrex combines caffeine with herbs that are
"unsafe and ineffective for weight control or appetite
suppression."  She claims that Snooki is the face of the Zantrex
brand, promoting it on her websites, on YouTube, Twitter and
Facebook, and in celebrity gossip magazines.

"Snooki represents . . . that Zantrex is safe and effective for
weight loss and fat loss," the lawsuit states.  "These
representations are false, misleading and deceptive because . . .
Zantrex is neither effective nor safe for weight loss nor fat
loss."

According to the lawsuit, Basic Research bills itself as "one of
the largest 'nutraceutical' companies in the United States, with
annual sales revenues in excess of $50 million."  Many of its
affiliates or associates are based in Utah, as is defendant Zoller
and all three individual defendants, according to the complaint.

Defendant Dennis W. Gay is a principal and director of both
companies; the FTC enjoined him in a similar weight-loss scam in
2006, according to the lawsuit.

Defendant Daniel B. Mowrey calls himself Basic Research's
"Director of Scientific Affairs," and also was enjoined from this
conduct by the FTC's 2006 injunction, Brady says.

Defendant Mitchell K. Friedlander, Basic Research's self-
proclaimed "marketing guru," was slapped with a cease-and-desist
order from the U.S. Postal Service in 1985, also involving weight-
loss snake oil, and a second USPS order involving bogus breast
enlargement products, according to the lawsuit.

Brady seeks class certification, an injunction and damages for
fraud, breach of warranty, unjust enrichment, negligent
misrepresentation, and violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty
Act.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Scott A. Bursor, Esq.
          Joseph Ignatius Marchese, Esq.
          Neal J. Deckant, Esq.
          Yitzchak Kopel, Esq.
          BURSOR & FISHER, P.A.
          888 Seventh Avenue
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (646) 837-7410
          Facsimile: (212) 989-9163
          E-mail: scott@bursor.com
                  jmarchese@bursor.com
                  ndeckant@bursor.com
                  ykopel@bursor.com

The case is Brady v. Basic Research, L.L.C. et al., Case No. 2:13-
cv-07169-SJF-ARL (E.D.N.Y., December 16, 2013).


COMMUNITY HEALTH: Faces Class Suits Over Breach of Fiduciary Duty
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Community Health Systems, Inc., is a defendant in three purported
class action cases alleging a breach of fiduciary duty.  Three
purported class action cases have been filed in the Circuit Court
of Collier County, Florida: namely, Aliaga vs. Health Management
Associates, Inc. et al., filed August 1, 2013; Lopriore vs. Health
Management Associates, et al., filed August 5, 2013; and Copeland
vs. Health Management Associates, et al., filed August 8, 2013.
All allege a breach of fiduciary duty by the board members of HMA
arising out of the approval of the proposed acquisition by the
Company.

Community Health Systems and FWCT-2 Acquisition Corporation are
also named as aiding and abetting the alleged breaches of
fiduciary duty.

A fourth case, Smilow vs. Health Management Associates, Inc. et
al., filed August 13, 2013 does not name Community Health Systems
or FWCT-2 Acquisition Corporation as a defendant.

Further, on August 5, 2013, a case styled Margolis & Horwitz vs.
Health Management Associates, Inc. et al., was filed in Delaware
Chancery Court also alleging a breach of fiduciary duty by the HMA
board members arising out of the approval of the proposed
acquisition by the Company.  In that case, the Company and FWCT-2
Acquisition Company were named as aiding and abetting the alleged
breaches of fiduciary duty.

Community Health Systems is vigorously defending these actions,
according to its Form 10-Q filed on October 31, 2013, with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended September 30, 2013.

Community Health Systems, Inc., is an operator of hospitals in the
United States. The Company provides healthcare services through
the hospitals that it owns and operates in non-urban and selected
urban markets throughout the United States. As of December 31,
2012, the Company owned or leased 135 hospitals, Consisting of 131
general acute care hospitals and four stand-alone rehabilitation
or psychiatric hospitals. These hospitals are geographically
diversified across 29 states, with an aggregate of 20,334 licensed
beds. The Company generates revenues by providing a range of
general and specialized hospital healthcare services and other
outpatient services to patients in the communities in which the
Company are located. On March 1, 2012, the Company acquired
MetroSouth Medical Center (330 licensed beds) in Blue Island,
Illinois. On July 1, 2012, the Company's subsidiaries acquired all
of the assets of Memorial Health Systems in York, Pennsylvania.


COMMUNITY HEALTH: Bid to Dismiss NYC Funds Suit Fully Briefed
-------------------------------------------------------------
Community Health Systems, Inc., is a defendant in three purported
class action cases seeking class certification on behalf of
purchasers of the Company's common stock between July 27, 2006 and
April 11, 2011 and alleging that misleading statements resulted in
artificially inflated prices for the Company's common stock,
according to the Company's Form 10-Q filed on October 31, 2013,
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2013.

Three purported class action cases have been filed in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee;
namely, Norfolk County Retirement System v. Community Health
Systems, Inc., et al., filed May 9, 2011; De Zheng v. Community
Health Systems, Inc., et al., filed May 12, 2011; and Minneapolis
Firefighters Relief Association v. Community Health Systems, Inc.,
et al., filed June 21, 2011. All three seek class certification on
behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock between July
27, 2006 and April 11, 2011 and allege that misleading statements
resulted in artificially inflated prices for the Company's common
stock. In December 2011, the cases were consolidated for pretrial
purposes and NYC Funds and its counsel were selected as lead
plaintiffs/lead plaintiffs' counsel. The Company's motion to
dismiss this case has been fully briefed and is pending before the
court. The Company believes this consolidated matter is without
merit and will vigorously defend this case.

Community Health Systems, Inc., is an operator of hospitals in the
United States. The Company provides healthcare services through
the hospitals that it owns and operates in non-urban and selected
urban markets throughout the United States. As of December 31,
2012, the Company owned or leased 135 hospitals, Consisting of 131
general acute care hospitals and four stand-alone rehabilitation
or psychiatric hospitals. These hospitals are geographically
diversified across 29 states, with an aggregate of 20,334 licensed
beds. The Company generates revenues by providing a range of
general and specialized hospital healthcare services and other
outpatient services to patients in the communities in which the
Company are located. On March 1, 2012, the Company acquired
MetroSouth Medical Center (330 licensed beds) in Blue Island,
Illinois. On July 1, 2012, the Company's subsidiaries acquired all
of the assets of Memorial Health Systems in York, Pennsylvania.


CONSECO LIFE: Parties in "Burnett" Suit Must Engage in Discovery
----------------------------------------------------------------
In IN RE CONSECO LIFE INSURANCE CO. LIFE TREND INSURANCE MARKETING
AND SALES PRACTICE LITIGATION, NO. C 10-MD-02124 SI,  Defendants
Conseco Life, CNO Financial Group, Inc., CDOC, Inc., and CNO
Services, LLC, moved to dismiss the individual complaint captioned
WILLLIAM JEFFREY BURNETT and JOE H. CAMP, Plaintiffs, v. CONSECO
LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, CNO FINANCIAL GROUP, INC., CDOC, INC. and
CNO SERVICES, LLC, Defendants, CASE NO. C 12-5906 SI, (N.D. Cal.)
for lack of personal jurisdiction and for failure to state a
claim.  Plaintiffs William Burnett and Joe Camp have filed an
opposition, to which Conseco has replied.

District Judge Susan Illston granted, in part, and denied, in
part, the motion to dismiss with leave to amend.

The Court granted the Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction and denied the defendants' motion to dismiss
for failure to state a claim.  The Court directed the parties to
engage in jurisdictional discovery.  Plaintiffs may amend their
complaint only as to the jurisdictional issues within 45 days of
the Order, ruled Judge Illston.

A copy of the District Court's Nov. 18, 2013 Order is available at
http://is.gd/grSCz8from Leagle.com.


CONSUMER PORTFOLIO: Court May Set Pardee Issue for Trial in 2014
----------------------------------------------------------------
Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc., expects a U.S. federal court to
set for trial in 2014 the issues regarding its obligation to
indemnify Jonathan Pardee.

According to the Company's Form 10-Q filed on October 30, 2013,
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2013: "We were for some time a
defendant in a class action (the "Stanwich Case") brought in the
California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. The original
plaintiffs in that case were persons entitled to receive regular
payments (the "Settlement Payments") pursuant to earlier
settlements of claims, generally personal injury claims, against
unrelated defendants. Stanwich Financial Services Corp.
("Stanwich"), an affiliate of the former chairman of our board of
directors, is the entity that was obligated to pay the Settlement
Payments. Stanwich defaulted on its payment obligations to the
plaintiffs and in June 2001 filed for reorganization under the
Bankruptcy Code, in the federal bankruptcy court in Connecticut.
By February 2005, we had settled all claims brought against us in
the Stanwich Case.

"In November 2001, one of the defendants in the Stanwich Case,
Jonathan Pardee, asserted claims for indemnity against us in a
separate action, which is now pending in federal district court in
Rhode Island. We have filed counterclaims in the Rhode Island
federal court against Mr. Pardee, and have filed a separate action
against Mr. Pardee's Rhode Island attorneys, in the same court.
The litigation between Mr. Pardee and us was stayed for several
years through September 2011, awaiting resolution of an adversary
action brought against Mr. Pardee in the bankruptcy court, which
is hearing the bankruptcy of Stanwich.

"Pursuant to an agreement with the representative of creditors in
the Stanwich bankruptcy, that adversary action has been dismissed.
Under that agreement, we paid the bankruptcy estate $800,000 and
abandoned our claims against the estate, while the estate has
abandoned its adversary action against Mr. Pardee. With the
dismissal of the adversary action, all known claims asserted
against Mr. Pardee have been resolved without his incurring any
liability. Accordingly, we believe that this resolution of the
adversary action will result in limitation of our exposure to Mr.
Pardee to no more than some portion of his attorneys fees
incurred. The stay in the action against us in Rhode Island has
been lifted, and both we and Mr. Pardee filed motions for summary
judgment. The court ruled on those motions in February 2013,
denying our motion, and granting Mr. Pardee's motion as to
liability. The issues remaining for trial are the extent of our
obligation to indemnify Mr. Pardee. There is no trial date set,
but our expectation is that the court may, not earlier than
December 2013, set the matter for trial in 2014."

Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc., was formed in California on
March 8, 1991. It specializes in purchasing and servicing retail
automobile installment sale contracts originated by licensed motor
vehicle dealers located throughout the United States ("dealers")
in the sale of new and used automobiles, light trucks and
passenger vans. Through its purchases, the Company provides
indirect financing to dealer customers for borrowers with limited
credit histories, low incomes or past credit problems ("sub-prime
customers"). The Company serves as an alternative source of
financing for dealers, allowing sales to customers who otherwise
might not be able to obtain financing.


CONSUMER PORTFOLIO: Facing Two Consumer Class Actions
-----------------------------------------------------
Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc., is currently defending two
class actions filed by consumers, according to the Company's Form
10-Q filed on October 30, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30,
2013.

The Company states: "We are routinely involved in various legal
proceedings resulting from our consumer finance activities and
practices, both continuing and discontinued. Consumers can and do
initiate lawsuits against us alleging violations of law applicable
to collection of receivables, and such lawsuits sometimes allege
that resolution as a class action is appropriate. We are currently
defending two such class actions. For the most part, we have legal
and factual defenses to such claims, which we routinely contest or
settle (for immaterial amounts) depending on the particular
circumstances of each case. We have recorded a liability as of
September 30, 2013 with respect to such matters, in the
aggregate."

Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc., was formed in California on
March 8, 1991. It specializes in purchasing and servicing retail
automobile installment sale contracts originated by licensed motor
vehicle dealers located throughout the United States ("dealers")
in the sale of new and used automobiles, light trucks and
passenger vans. Through its purchases, the Company provides
indirect financing to dealer customers for borrowers with limited
credit histories, low incomes or past credit problems ("sub-prime
customers"). The Company serves as an alternative source of
financing for dealers, allowing sales to customers who otherwise
might not be able to obtain financing.


DEWEY BEACH, DE: Judge Nixes Highway One Businesses' Tax Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kara Nuzback, writing for CapeGazette.com, reports Dewey Beach has
the power to levy a tax on businesses, a Chancery Court judge has
ruled.

In a Dec. 17 decision, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock wrote, "the
town of Dewey Beach has the authority to levy a business license
tax, and relief from exercise of that authority must come through
the ballot, not this bench."

Highway One businesses, including Rusty Rudder, Bottle and Cork,
and Northbeach, filed a class-action complaint Feb. 26  in
Delaware Chancery Court against the town of Dewey Beach, Mayor
Diane Hanson, commissioners Courtney Riordan, Anna Legates and
Gary Mauler, and former Commissioner Joy Howell.

In the complaint, Highway One attorney Stephen Spence argued
business license fees, which are imposed annually, are used to
fund town operations and thus should be deemed a tax.

"The town's charter, as enacted by the General Assembly, does not
authorize the imposition and collection of a tax on businesses,"
Mr. Spence wrote.

He also said the town's method for calculating business license
fees for restaurants -- $273 base fee plus $6 per person allowed
in the establishment by the Fire Marshal's Office -- qualifies the
fee as a property tax, which can only be imposed by referendum.

In a June 28 response, Wilmington attorney William Manning,
representing the town, said certain types of taxes, such as a
property tax, are specifically prohibited in the charter; a tax on
businesses is not specifically prohibited.

Mr. Manning said the All Powers Clause in the town charter gives
town council the power to tax, and he asked the court to dismiss
Highway One's complaint for failing to state a claim.

According to the charter, "All powers of the town of Dewey Beach,
whether expressed or implied, shall be exercised as prescribed by
this charter; or if not prescribed herein, by ordinance or
resolution of the commissioners."

Judge Glasscock ruled, "Such powers include the power to tax."

The judge also said no referendum was necessary to impose the
business license fees.  He wrote, ". . . The tax is not rendered
on personal or real property, or the value thereof, but on the
grant of a right to conduct business or pursue an occupation."

In his conclusion, Judge Glasscock said the charter clearly grants
the town broad taxing authority.

Highway One has 30 days to file an appeal of Judge Glasscock's
decision.

The initial lawsuit was filed amidst discussions of whether town
officials should impose a gross receipts tax on businesses in
town.  The proposal was spearheaded by the town budget and finance
committee, which argued town expenses surpassed revenues, and
commercial businesses contributed less money than other sectors in
town.

Town council tabled the proposal in July, opting instead to allow
businesses to work with the town manager to come up with a new
revenue source to help fund town operations.

So far, no alternative proposals to the gross receipts tax have
been presented to the public.

Town Manager Marc Appelbaum said he is pleased with Judge
Glasscock's decision to dismiss the lawsuit, and he plans to
discuss its implications with town officials.

Mr. Appelbaum said town finances are currently under control.
"The town beat its budget by $200,000 last year," he said.  "The
town is confident it will hit its budget this year."

Mr. Appelbaum said he would begin drafting the budget for next
fiscal year in January, and he would accept input from the
community.

Neither Spence nor Highway One partner Alex Pires could be reached
at press time.


DIGITALGLOBE INC: GeoEye Shareholder Litigation Now Closed
----------------------------------------------------------
Notices have been sent to the affected class of GeoEye Inc.
shareholders and on September 6, 2013, a federal district court
approved the settlement of all securities class actions and the
matter is now closed, according DigitalGlobe, Inc.'s Form 10-Q
filed on October 31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2013.

In July 2012, GeoEye and the GeoEye board of directors,
DigitalGlobe, 20/20 Acquisition Sub, Inc. and WorldView, LLC were
named as defendants in three purported class action lawsuits filed
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Virginia. The lawsuits were brought on behalf of proposed classes
consisting of all public holders of GeoEye common stock, excluding
the defendants and, among others, their affiliates.

On September 7, 2012, the Court ordered the consolidation of the
three actions as In re GeoEye, Inc., Shareholder Litigation,
Consol. No. 1:12-cv-00826-CMH-TCB.

On September 24, 2012, plaintiffs filed an amended consolidated
complaint alleging the GeoEye board of directors breached their
fiduciary duties by allegedly, among other things, failing to
maximize stockholder value, agreeing to preclusive deal protection
measures and failing to disclose certain information necessary to
make an informed vote on whether to approve the proposed
acquisition. DigitalGlobe is alleged to have aided and abetted
these breaches of fiduciary duty.

In addition, the amended complaint contains allegations that the
GeoEye board of directors and DigitalGlobe violated Section 20(a)
and Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule
14a-9 promulgated thereunder, by the filing of a Registration
Statement allegedly omitting material facts and setting forth
materially misleading information.

On October 9, 2012, following arm's-length negotiations, the
parties to the consolidated action entered into a memorandum of
understanding ("MOU") to settle all claims asserted therein on a
class-wide basis.  GeoEye and the GeoEye board of directors,
DigitalGlobe, 20/20 Acquisition Sub, Inc. and WorldView, LLC
entered into the MOU solely to avoid the costs, risks and
uncertainties inherent in litigation, and without admitting any
liability or wrongdoing. In connection with the MOU, DigitalGlobe
agreed to make additional disclosures in Amendment No. 1 to the
Registration Statement. The settlement set forth in the MOU
includes a release of all claims against defendants alleged in the
corrected amended complaint.

In January 2013, the parties completed confirmatory discovery. On
April 24, 2013, the parties submitted the final settlement to the
Court for approval. Notices were sent to the affected class of
GeoEye shareholders and on September 6, 2013, the Court approved
the settlement of all securities class actions. Payments made in
connection with the settlement were not material. The matter is
now closed.

DigitalGlobe, Inc. (DigitalGlobe) is a global provider of
commercial earth imagery products and information services. The
Company's products support a range of uses, including defense and
intelligence, and civil agencies, location based services (LBS),
and other verticals, such as financial services, mining,
telecommunications, and oil and gas exploration. It also offers
analysis products and services to provide context and insight to
imagery. It operates in two segments: defense and intelligence,
and commercial. Defense and intelligence revenue is sourced from
domestic and international government defense and intelligence
customers, including the majority of those in its DAP. Revenue in
its commercial segment is sourced from customers in LBS,
international civil government and from customers in other
verticals. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it generated
77% of revenues from defense and intelligence customers, and 23%
of revenues from commercial customers.


DOW CHEMICAL: Appeals Urethane Price Fixing Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Jane Denny, writing for Urethanes Technology International,
reports that The Dow Chemical Co presented its appeal case in a
bid to overturn a $1 billion (EUR1.37 billion) urethane price
fixing judgment.

The company is the only one of a handful -- which included Bayer
AG, BASF SE and Huntsman International -- to continue to fight the
2004-consolidated class action price-fixing claim comprising
around 2,400 purchasers.

As part of its appeal against a jury-conviction for anti-trust
conspiracy heard in Denver on Dec. 6, Dow Chemical said prices
"during the alleged conspiracy were basically flat, and then rose
after the conspiracy allegedly ended."

According to testimony from Dr. Kenneth Elzinga on behalf of Dow
Chemical, the variations in prices during the period of alleged
price-fixing showed the "flip side of what you would normally see"
occur with a cartel.

Furthermore, Dow Chemical's arguments to the 10th Circuit Appeals
court claim that the class certification was unjustified as it
prevented Dow Chemical showing how some class members had
individually negotiated lower rates and were unaffected by the
allegations of price-fixing.

The company also raised concerns over the court's acceptance of
statistical models designed by Dr James McClave -- whose models
were rejected by the Supreme Court in another action.


EURONET WORLDWIDE: Settled Lawsuit Alleging Wage & Hour Violations
------------------------------------------------------------------
Euronet Worldwide, Inc. has reached an agreement to settle a class
action lawsuit filed by a former employee alleging wage and hour
violations relating to meal and rest period requirements,
according to the Company's Form 10-Q filed on October 31, 2013,
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2013.

During 2012, the Company was served with a class action lawsuit
filed by a former employee alleging wage and hour violations
relating to meal and rest period requirements. The Company has
reached an agreement to settle this lawsuit for an immaterial
amount and, together with the plaintiffs in the case, is following
court procedures to finalize the settlement. The Company expects
such procedures to be completed within the next twelve months.

Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (Euronet) is a global electronic payments
provider. The Company offer payment and transaction processing and
distribution solutions to financial institutions, retailers,
service providers and individual consumers. Its primary product
offerings include automated teller machine (ATM), point-of-sale
(POS) and card outsourcing services, electronic distribution of
prepaid mobile airtime and other electronic payment products, and
global consumer money transfer services. As of December 31, 2011,
the Company operates in three segments: the EFT Processing
Segment, the epay Segment and the Money Transfer Segment. In
November 2011, the Company acquired 535 ATMs and over 350 retailer
contracts from Diebold's cash4you Network. In November 2012, the
Company through its Ukrainian subsidiary, Euronet Ukraine LLC,
announced the acquisition of ATMs from UkrSibbank, a subsidiary of
BNP Paribas. In January 2013, the Company acquired Pure Commerce.


EXECUTIVE FLIGHT: Responds to Class Action Over Lemon Creek Spill
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Nelson Star reports that the company behind the truck that spilled
its load of jet fuel into Lemon Creek this summer says the driver
got bad directions.

Executive Flight Centre is responding to a class action lawsuit
filed by a Slocan Valley resident which names the Province, the
helicopter company requiring the fuel for forest fire fighting and
the transport company.

Executive Flight Centre says they were given incorrect directions
by the province who verbally communicated they should use Lemon
Creek Road.  They also say the helicopter company Transwest
provided no information on how to reach the staging area and
delegated directions to the province.

Before the tanker drove up Lemon Creek Road, another Executive
Flight Centre driver used the road to try access the fueling
station.  A maintenance worker, who happened to be on site, told
him Lemon Creek wasn't the proper way to access the staging area
and gave out new directions.

Executive Flight Centre says this driver informed the Province of
the mistaken directions but nothing was done to rectify the
situation.

"The Province knew, or should have know that, in the emergency
conditions created by the firefighting operation, motorists
involved in that operation, including Executive Fuel's drivers,
might mistakenly use Lemon Creek Road to access the staging area,"
reads the company's response to the lawsuit.

They go on to say the road, under management of the Province, was
dangerous and not properly maintained.

On July 26, 33,000 litres of jet fuel entered Lemon Creek and
downstream rivers resulting in an evacuation of people and a
massive cleanup.  Executive Flight Centre says they've spent $4
million on that cleanup and wants that bill paid as well as any
lawsuit payouts covered.

The Province says they abide by the "polluter-pay principle" which
keeps taxpayers from being on the hook for cleanups.

Slocan Valley resident John Wittmayer comments on the "blame game"
on Slocan Valley Emergency Response, a Facebook page that has
documented the spill and its outcomes.

"There will be this assessing blame game and positioning to reduce
the payout," he says.  "Industry should never be allowed to
monitor themselves, and they will need to be accountable for their
mishaps.  The provincial government has an opportunity here to
prove that they have the stewardship values to ensure this never
happens again.  If they ignore their responsibility in the matter,
they will confirm what many people already suspect -- that they
are pro industry at any cost."


FACEBOOK INC: Court Refused to Dismiss IPO-Related Litigation
-------------------------------------------------------------
Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, dozens of banks and the NASDAQ must
face class-action claims over the social media network's bungled
$16 billion initial public offering last May, reports Annie
Youderian at Courthouse News Service, citing a federal court
ruling.

In one class action, investors claimed that Facebook misled them
with its warning that higher mobile usage "may negatively affect"
the company's revenue when profits were already down.

"Facebook was aware of the material negative impact on Facebook's
revenues the company had suffered as a result of increasing mobile
usage and the company's product decisions 10 days before the IPO,"
U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan wrote in the first
of two rulings released this week.

"Plaintiffs have sufficiently pleaded material
misrepresentation(s) that could have and did mislead investors
regarding the company's future and current revenues," he later
concluded in the 83-page ruling, dated Dec. 11 but released
Dec. 18.

On Dec. 16, Sweet also refused to fully dismiss a $500 million
lawsuit accusing the NASDAQ of screwing up the IPO when its
technology failed in the early moments of the stock offering. As a
result, investors said their buy and sell orders were not properly
executed or confirmed on May 18, 2012, the day of Facebook's IPO.

Trading started at $38 per share, peaked at $45 on the first day
and ended at $31.

Investors said NASDAQ had touted the reliability and capability of
its technology despite pre-IPO testing that revealed serious
system limitations.

"Once this testing revealed inadequacies and flaws in light of the
upcoming largest IPO in NASDAQ history, NASDAQ had a duty to
correct its prior statements as to its capabilities," Sweet wrote.

Instead, NASDAQ "continued making untrue statements," according to
the 97-page ruling.

"Just as a misstatement a company's primary product affects an
investors decision to purchase that stock, NASDAQ's failure to
correct flawed information about its technology capabilities could
have impacted plaintiffs' decision to participate in Facebook's
offering and ability to trade during that offering," Sweet wrote.

He denied the NASDAQ's motion to dismiss claims stemming from
early testing, but said immunity for self-regulatory organizations
protects the exchange's decision not to halt trading.

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined NASDAQ $10 million
this May for its role in the IPO fiasco, though it attributed part
of the problem to the size of the IPO and the widespread interest
in it.

Sweet is presiding over nationwide litigation stemming from the
IPO.

The Plaintiffs and the Class are represented by:

          Max W. Berger, Esq.
          Steven B. Singer, Esq.
          John J. Rizio-Hamilton, Esq.
          Catherine E. McCaw, Esq.
          BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ BERGER & GROSSMAN LLP
          1285 Avenue of the Americas
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (212) 554-1400
          Facsimile: (212) 554-1444
          E-mail: mwb@blbglaw.com
                  steven@blbglaw.com
                  johnr@blbglaw.com
                  catherine.mccaw@blbglaw.com

               - and -

          Thomas A. Dubbs, Esq.
          James W. Johnson, Esq.
          Louis Gottlieb, Esq.
          Thomas G. Hoffman, Jr., Esq.
          LABATON SUCHAROW LLP
          140 Broadway
          New York, NY 10005
          Telephone: (212) 907-0700
          Facsimile: (212) 818-0477
          E-mail: tdubbs@labaton.com
                  jjohnson@labaton.com
                  lgottlieb@labaton.com
                  thoffman@labaton.com

               - and -

          David Kessler, Esq.
          Darren J. Check, Esq.
          KESSLER TOPAZ MELTZER & CHECK LLP
          280 King of Prussia Road
          Radnor, PA 19087
          Telephone: (610) 667-7706
          Facsimile: (610) 667-7056
          E-mail: dkessler@ktmc.com
                  dcheck@ktmc.com

               - and -

          Steven E. Fineman, Esq.
          Daniel P. Chiplock, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN
          250 Hudson Street, 8th Floor
          New York, NY 10013
          Telephone: (212) 355-9500
          Facsimile: (212) 355-9592
          E-mail: sfineman@lchb.com
                  dchiplock@lchb.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Andrew B. Clubok, Esq.
          Brant W. Bishop, Esq.
          KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP
          601 Lexington Avenue
          New York, NY 10022
          Telephone: (212) 446-4800
          Facsimile: (212) 446-4900
          E-mail: andrew.clubok@kirkland.com
                  brant.bishop@kirkland.com

               - and -

          Susan E. Engel, Esq.
          Kellen S. Dwyer, Esq.
          Bob Allen, Esq.
          KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP
          655 Fifteenth Street, N.W.
          Washington, D.C. 20005-5793
          Telephone: (202) 879-5000
          Facsimile: (202) 879-5200
          E-mail: susan.engel@kirkland.com
                  kellen.dwyer@kirkland.com
                  bob.allen@kirkland.com

               - and -

          Tariq Mundiya, Esq.
          Todd G. Cosenza, Esq.
          Sameer Advani, Esq.
          WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER LLP
          787 Seventh Avenue
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (212) 728-8000
          Facsimile: (212) 728-8111
          E-mail: tmundiya@willkie.com
                  tcosenza@willkie.com
                  sadvani@willkie.com

               - and -

          Richard D. Bernstein, Esq.
          Elizabeth J. Bower, Esq.
          WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER LLP
          1875 K Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20006
          Telephone: (202) 303-1000
          Facsimile: (202) 303-2000
          E-mail: rbernstein@willkie.com
                  ebower@willkie.com

               - and -

          James P. Rouhandeh, Esq.
          Charles S. Duggan, Esq.
          Andrew Ditchfield, Esq.
          DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL LLP
          450 Lexington Avenue
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 450-4000
          Facsimile: (212) 701-5800
          E-mail: rouhandeh@davispolk.com
                  joshua.dugan@davispolk.com
                  andrew.ditchfield@davispolk.com

The case is In Re Facebook, Inc., Ipo Securities And Derivative
Litigation, MDL No. 12-2389, in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York.


FORD MOTOR: 6th Cir. Keeps Summary Judgment Ruling in "Kuns" Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In NANCY L. KUNS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY,
Defendant-Appellee, NO. 13-3364, Ms. Kuns appealed a district
court order granting summary judgment in favor of Ford Motor
Company, on Ms. Kuns's claims that Ford violated the federal
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and breached its express warranty under
Ohio law.

The size of the class at the time of the original complaint was
more than 800,000 members -- encompassing all individuals nation-
wide who bought, leased, or otherwise acquired an affected
vehicle, and who either suffered a broken window or still retain
the vehicle in a defective state.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed
the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Ford,
saying it agrees with the district court's dismissal of Ms. Kuns'
claim, but for different reasons.  The Sixth Circuit pointed out
that Ford's warranty contains the following provision:

[I]f your Ford vehicle is properly operated and maintained, and
was taken to a Ford dealership for a warranted repair during the
warranty period, then authorized Ford Motor Company dealers,
will, without charge, repair, replace, or adjust all parts on
your vehicle that malfunction or fail during normal use during
the applicable coverage period due to a manufacturing defect in
factory-supplied materials or factory workmanship.

It further states that the warranty "does not cover any damage
caused by . . . the installation or use of a non-Ford Motor
Company part."

However, as Ms. Kuns pointed out, it was not the window itself
that was defective, but the design of the liftgate components, as
Ford itself acknowledged in its communications with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Therefore, it is a question of fact whether Ms. Kuns's second
breakage was "caused by . . . the installation or use" of a non-
Ford part, such that the warranty would not cover a second repair
of the glass, held the Sixth Circuit.

A copy of the Sixth Circuit's November 19, 2013 Opinion is
available at http://is.gd/XkOrbRfrom Leagle.com.


GIUMARRA VINEARDS: Class Notice in "Munoz" Suit Gets Initial OK
---------------------------------------------------------------
The proposed Class Notice in the case captioned RAFAEL MUNOZ, et
al., Plaintiffs, v. GIUMARRA VINEYARDS CORPORATION, Defendant,
CASE NO. 1:09-CV-00703-AWI-JLT, (E.D. Cal.) is preliminarily
approved.

Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston ordered the Plaintiffs to
file a finalized Class Notice with revisions in accordance with
the Order for the Court's approval.

Along with their request for final approval of the finalized
Notice, the Plaintiffs must file a declaration by the certified
court interpreter who translated the Notice into Spanish,
attesting that the translation is accurate.

The Defendant was required to provide updated contact information
of potential class members in electronic format to the Plaintiffs
and the Class Notice Administrator no later than Dec. 20, 2013.

The Class Notice Administrator is required to mail the approved
Class Notice no later than Jan. 10, 2014, and track returned or
undeliverable mail.

The Class Notice will be posted in English and Spanish in
locations used by Giumarra to post information directed to workers
no later than January 10, 2014.

Class members have 45 days to request exclusion, commencing on
Jan. 10, 2014.

To be valid, exclusions must contain the exact or substantially
similar language set forth in the "Election to be Excluded" form
provided in the Class Notice and will be postmarked no later than
Feb. 24, 2014.

The Class Notice Administrator will provide a report under penalty
of perjury to Plaintiffs' counsel detailing the mailing processes
no later than March 11, 2014.

The Defendants' counsel will provide a report under penalty of
perjury to Plaintiffs' counsel identifying all exclusion requests
received, as well as copies of any exclusion requests, no later
than March 11, 2014.

The Plaintiffs must also submit a report detailing the results of
the exclusion process to the Court no later than March 26, 2014.

A copy of the District Court's November 18, 2013 Order is
available at http://is.gd/Bl9SQZfrom Leagle.com.


GNC HOLDINGS: 73 Hydroxycut-Related Suits Pending at Sept. 30
-------------------------------------------------------------
GNC Holdings, Inc., disclosed in its Form 10-Q report filed on
October 31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2013, that as of
September 30, there were 73 pending lawsuits related to Hydroxycut
in which GNC has been named, including 67 individual, largely
personal injury claims and six putative class action cases,
generally inclusive of claims of consumer fraud,
misrepresentation, strict liability and breach of warranty.  GNC
said the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
consolidated pretrial proceedings of many of the pending actions
in the Southern District of California (In re: Hydroxycut
Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 2087)."

In 2009, the FDA issued a warning on several Hydroxycut-branded
products manufactured by Iovate Health Sciences U.S.A., Inc.
("Iovate") based on 23 reports of liver injuries from consumers
who claimed to have used the products between 2002 and 2009. As a
result, Iovate voluntarily recalled 14 Hydroxycut-branded
products.

Following the recall, GNC was named, among other defendants, in
approximately 93 lawsuits, including a number of putative class
action cases, related to Hydroxycut-branded products in 14 states.
Iovate accepted GNC's tender request for defense and
indemnification under the purchasing agreement in these matters.

The parties in the consolidated class actions reached a
settlement, which remains subject to final approval by the Court.
There is one remaining objector to the settlement, and the Court
scheduled a related evidentiary hearing for November 15, 2013. The
Company is not required to make any payments under the settlement
agreement.

GNC also disclosed that "In May 2013, the parties to the
individual personal injury cases signed a Master Settlement
Agreement, under which we are not required to make any payments.
After the Master Settlement Agreement was signed, a new case was
filed against Iovate and several other defendants, including us,
in Alabama state court. Iovate is working to include this case
into the master settlement. Assuming that this most recently filed
case is included in the Master Settlement Agreement, and following
final court approval of the Master Settlement Agreement pertaining
to the individual personal injury cases and the settlement of the
consolidated class action suits, all of the Hydroxycut claims
currently pending against us will be resolved without any
payment."

The Company also stated: "We are engaged in various legal actions,
claims and proceedings arising in the normal course of business,
including claims related to breach of contracts, products
liabilities, intellectual property matters and employment-related
matters resulting from our business activities."

The Company added: "As a manufacturer and retailer of nutritional
supplements and other consumer products that are ingested by
consumers or applied to their bodies, we have been and are
currently subjected to various product liability claims. Although
the effects of these claims to date have not been material to us,
it is possible that current and future product liability claims
could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial
condition, results of operations or cash flows. We currently
maintain product liability insurance with a deductible/retention
of $4.0 million per claim with an aggregate cap on retained loss
of $10.0 million. We typically seek and have obtained contractual
indemnification from most parties that supply raw materials for
our products or that manufacture or market products we sell. We
also typically seek to be added, and have been added, as an
additional insured under most of such parties' insurance policies.
We are also entitled to indemnification by Numico for certain
losses arising from claims related to products containing ephedra
or Kava Kava sold prior to December 5, 2003. However, any such
indemnification or insurance is limited by its terms and any such
indemnification, as a practical matter, is limited to the
creditworthiness of the indemnifying party and its insurer, and
the absence of significant defenses by the insurers. We may incur
material products liability claims, which could increase our costs
and adversely affect our reputation, revenue and operating
income."

GNC Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation ("Holdings," and
collectively with its subsidiaries and, unless the context
requires otherwise, its and their respective predecessors, the
"Company"), is a global specialty retailer of health and wellness
products, which include: vitamins, minerals and herbal
supplements, sports nutrition products, diet products and other
wellness products.


HULU LLC: Opposes Bid to Certify Class in Privacy Litigation
------------------------------------------------------------
Nick McCann, writing for Courthouse News Service, reports that
Hulu asked a federal judge to deny a class certification over
allegations it illegally discloses viewer data to Facebook and a
business-analytics service.

Joseph Garvey is the lead plaintiff in the February 2012 lawsuit
claiming that Hulu "repurposed" its browser cache so marketing-
analysis services could store users' private data.

While U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler gutted the case last
June, she deferred ruling on the alleged violation of the federal
Video Privacy Protection Act or VPPA, enacted in 1988 after a
Washington, D.C., newspaper published the video-rental history of
Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.

A summary judgment hearing is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2014.

Hulu had said the class could not prove injury to establish
standing, since that would require a recitation of watched videos
and how third parties received this information.

The VPPA permits disclosure to third parties as an "ordinary
course of business," according to Hulu's brief filed in November
by O'Melveny & Myers attorney Randall Edwards.

In that brief, Hulu disputed the class's claims that it used the
analytics service comScore and Facebook "like" buttons to store
user data.

In a new filing, Hulu's attorneys have opposed the plaintiffs'
motion for class certification.  Attorney Robert Schwartz argued
that each class member's claim would depend on individual issues
related to his or her use of Hulu, and that the court should rule
on pending summary judgment motions before deciding on class
certification.

"These issues cannot be resolved with common evidence," Schwartz
wrote.  "To preview just some of the individualized evidence on
these questions, a survey of hulu.com users shows that up to 60
percent engaged in one or more blocking and clearing practices
that would have prevented any disclosure of even the anonymous
user ID.  And Hulu does not know whether or when any user took
such steps."

The attorney also noted that many Hulu users do not use their
actual names.

"In fact, there are 753 Hulu users named 'Fake Name,' 644 named
'Homer Simpson,' and over 18,000 named 'John Doe,'" Schwartz
wrote.

Class certification is not appropriate because of the varying
circumstance in different Hulu users' claims, the attorney argued.

"Plaintiffs' motion must fail.  It applies the wrong certification
standard, relies on an unsupported legal theory, and makes no
attempt to demonstrate how common evidence could possibly be used
to prove liability on a class-wide basis," Schwartz wrote.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          David Christopher Parisi, Esq.
          Suzanne L. Havens Beckman, Esq.
          PARISI & HAVENS LLP
          15233 Valleyheart Drive
          Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
          Telephone: (818) 990-1299
          Facsimile: (818) 501-7852
          E-mail: dcparisi@parisihavens.com
                  shavens@parisihavens.com

               - and -

          David A. Stampley, Esq.
          Grace E. Tersigni, Esq.
          KAMBERLAW, LLC
          100 Wall Street, 23rd Floor
          New York, NY 10005
          Telephone: (212) 920-3072
          Facsimile: (212) 920-3081
          E-mail: dstampley@kamberlaw.com
                  gtersigni@kamberlaw.com

               - and -

          Scott A. Kamber, Esq.
          KAMBERLAW, LLC
          11 Broadway, 22nd Floor
          New York, NY 10004
          Telephone: (212) 920-3072
          Facsimile: (212) 920-3081
          E-mail: skamber@kamberlaw.com

               - and -

          Deborah Kravitz, Esq.
          KAMBERLAW LLP
          141 North Street
          Healdsburg, CA 95448
          Telephone: (202) 285-2560
          E-mail: dkravitz@kamberlaw.com

               - and -

          Gretchen Arlene Carpenter, Esq.
          Brian Russell Strange, Esq.
          STRANGE & CARPENTER
          12100 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1900
          Los Angeles, CA 90025
          Telephone: (310) 207-5055
          Facsimile: (310) 826-3210
          E-mail: gcarpenter@strangeandcarpenter.com
                  lacounsel@earthlink.net

               - and -

          Joseph H. Malley, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF JOSEPH H. MALLEY, PC
          1045 North Zang Boulevard
          Dallas, TX 75208
          Telephone: (214) 943-6100
          E-mail: malleylaw@gmail.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Randall W. Edwards, Esq.
          Katherine Robison, Esq.
          Matthew David Powers, Esq.
          O'MELVENY & MYERS LLP
          Two Embarcadero Center, 28th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 984-8700
          Facsimile: (415) 984-8701
          E-mail: REdwards@omm.com
                  krobison@omm.com
                  mpowers@omm.com

               - and -

          Robert Michael Schwartz, Esq.
          Brian J. Finkelstein, Esq.
          Steven Matthew Dunst, Esq.
          Victor Jih, Esq.
          O'MELVENY & MYERS LLP
          1999 Ave of the Stars Suite 700
          Los Angeles, CA 90067-6035
          Telephone: (310) 246-6835
          E-mail: rschwartz@omm.com
                  brianfinkelstein@omm.com
                  sdunst@omm.com
                  vjih@omm.com

The case is In Re Hulu Privacy Litigation, Case No. 3:11-cv-03764-
LB, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California (San Francisco).


INSYS THERAPEUTICS: Pomerantz Law Firm Files Class Action in Ariz.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz Grossman Hufford Dahlstrom & Gross LLP on Dec. 16
disclosed that it has filed a class action lawsuit against Insys
Therapeutics, Inc. and certain of its officers.  The class action,
filed in United States District Court, District of Arizona, is on
behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who
purchased or otherwise acquired securities of Insys between May 1,
2013 and December 12, 2013 both dates inclusive.  This class
action seeks to recover damages against the Company and certain of
its officers and directors as a result of alleged violations of
the federal securities laws pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Insys securities during the
Class Period, you have until February 14, 2014 to ask the Court to
appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the
Complaint can be obtained at http://www.pomerantzlaw.com
To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888-476-6529 (or 888-4-POMLAW), toll
free, x237.  Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include
their mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares
purchased.

Insys is a commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical company that
develops and commercializes innovative supportive care products,
primarily intended to assist cancer patients cope with the
symptoms of their disease and treatment or therapy.  The Company's
principal source of revenues is through sales of Subsys, a
sublingual spray for managing cancer pain.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants
made materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business and operations.  Specifically, Defendants made
false and/or misleading statements concerning, and/or failed to
disclose, among other things that: (i) the Company engaged in
illegal and/or unethical marketing of Subsys; (ii) the Company was
exposed to potential fines and other disciplinary actions as a
result of its Subsys marketing practices; and, (iii) as a result,
the Company's financial statements were materially false and
misleading at all relevant times.

On December 12, 2013, after the market close, the company
announced that, "it has received a subpoena from the Office of
Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services
("HHS") in connection with an investigation of potential
violations involving HHS programs.  The subpoena requests
documents regarding Subsys, including Insys' sales and marketing
practices relating to this product."  On this news, the company's
shares fell $7.73 per share, to close at $37.55 per share, a one
day drop of over 17%, on high volume.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida,
and San Diego, -- http://www.pomerantzlaw.com-- concentrates its
practice in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust
class litigation.


J2 GLOBAL: Makes It Impossible to Cancel eFax Service, Class Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Anthony Jenkins, individually, and on behalf of others similarly
situated v. j2 Global, Inc., Case No. 2:13-cv-09226-DSF-MRW (C.D.
Cal., December 16, 2013) is based on j2 Global's cancellation
practices relating to its eFax(R) facsimile transmission service.

Despite the apparent ease -- as falsely advertised -- of
cancelling eFax(R) accounts, j2 Global has engaged in practices
that make it difficult, if not impossible, for many subscribers to
cancel their accounts, Mr. Jenkins alleges.  He contends that as a
result of these practices, j2 Global charges improper and
unauthorized fees.

j2 Global is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Los Angeles,
California.  J2 Global is a NASDAQ listed company that operates in
49 countries and six continents.  The Company's EFax(R) service
permits a subscriber to send and receive faxes via e-mail, the
customer's web app or eFax(R)'s mobile app, thereby, eliminating
the necessity for fax machines and phone lines.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Sandra W. Cuneo, Esq.
          CUNEO GILBERT & LADUCA, LLP
          11620 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 900
          Los Angeles, CA 90025
          Telephone: (310) 582-5939
          Facsimile: (310) 582-5943
          E-mail: scuneo@cuneolaw.com

               - and -

          Charles J. LaDuca, Esq.
          CUNEO GILBERT & LADUCA, LLP
          8120 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 810
          Bethesda, MD 20814
          Telephone: (202) 789-3960
          Facsimile: (202) 780-1813
          E-mail: charles@cuneolaw.com

               - and -

          Erica C. Mirabella, Esq.
          MIRABELLA LAW
          132 Boylston Street, 5th Floor
          Boston, MA 02116
          Telephone: (617) 580-8270
          E-mail: emirabella@gnemlaw.com

               - and -

          Michael A. McShane, Esq.
          Dana M. Isaac, Esq.
          AUDET AND PARTNERS LLP
          221 Main Street Suite 1460
          San Francisco, CA 94105
          Telephone: (415) 568-2555
          Facsimile: (415) 568-2556
          E-mail: mmcshane@audetlaw.com
                  disaac@audetlaw.com

               - and -

          Robert K. Shelquist, Esq.
          LOCKRIDGE GRINDAL NAUEN P.L.L.P.
          100 Washington Ave., S., Suite 2200
          Minneapolis, MN 55401-2179
          Telephone: (612) 339-6900
          Facsimile: (612) 339-0981
          E-mail: rshelquist@locklaw.com

               - and -

          D. Michael Campbell, Esq.
          MICHAEL CAMPBELL, P.A.
          1861 N Crystal Lake Dr.
          Lakeland, FL 33801
          Telephone: (863) 292-9929
          E-mail: dmcampbell@campbelllaw.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          Kimberly Lorraine Buffington, Esq.
          PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP
          725 South Figueroa Street, Suite 2800
          Los Angeles, CA 90017-5406
          Telephone: (213) 488-7169
          Facsimile: (213) 629-1033
          E-mail: kbuffington@pillsburylaw.com


KFORCE INC: Orange County Suit Removed to C.D. Calif. Court
-----------------------------------------------------------
Kforce Inc., on August 30, 2013, removed the class action lawsuit
filed in the Orange County Superior Court of the State of
California to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California, Case No. 8:13cv1356, according to the Company's Form
10-Q filed on October 30, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30,
2013.

On June 18, 2013, Kforce, along with other staffing firms, was
named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed in the Orange
County Superior Court of the State of California. The Plaintiff
alleges that a class of current and former Kforce employees
working in California was denied compensation for the time they
spent interviewing with current and potential clients of Kforce,
over a period covering four years prior to the filing of the
complaint. The plaintiff seeks recovery in an unspecified amount
for this alleged unpaid compensation, the alleged failure of
Kforce to provide them with accurate wage statements, the alleged
improper use of debit cards as an employee payment mechanism in
certain circumstances, alleged unfair competition, and statutory
penalties, attorney's fees and other damages. On August 30, 2013,
Kforce removed the matter to the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California, Case No. 8:13cv1356. At this stage
of the litigation, it is not reasonable to estimate the outcome or
a range of loss, should a loss occur. Accordingly, no amounts have
been provided for in Kforce's Financial Statements. Kforce
believes it has meritorious defenses to the allegations and
intends to vigorously defend the matter.

The Company states: "We are not aware of any new legal proceedings
that are likely to have a material adverse impact on Kforce, or
other material developments with respect to existing legal
proceedings, that occurred during the nine months ended September
30, 2013."

Kforce Inc. (Kforce) is a provider of professional and technical
specialty staffing services and solutions. It operates in five
segments: Technology (Tech), Finance and Accounting (FA), Clinical
Research (KCR), Health Information Management (HIM) and Government
Solutions (GS). Kforce organizes and manages its Tech and FA
segments on a regional basis: Atlantic, North and West. Its Tech
segment includes Kforce Global Solutions, Inc. (Global), a wholly
owned subsidiary, which has two offices in the Philippines. Its
KCR, HIM and GS segments are organized and managed by specialty.
As of December 31, 2011, it operated 62 field offices, which are
located throughout the United States, and an office in Manila,
Philippines. In April 2012, it sold all of the issued and
outstanding shares of capital stock of Kforce Clinical Research,
Inc.


KINDRED HEALTHCARE: Wins Final OK of $8.25-Mil. Class Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Jeffrey S. White of the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California granted final approval of Kindred
Healthcare, Inc., et al.'s settlement of a class action lawsuit
commenced by Hazel Walsh, et al.

The case arises from the Plaintiffs' allegations that the
Defendants failed to comply with California statutory requirements
for staffing at skilled nursing facilities and failed to disclose
the understaffing.  Based on those allegations, the Plaintiffs
brought claims pursuant to California Health and Safety Code,
California Business and Professions Code and California Civil
Code.

The Settlement Class consists of all persons, who resided in, or
who are successors-in-interest and legal heirs of persons, who
resided in, any of the Defendant Facilities, including Kindred
Transitional Care and Rehabilitation-Bay View, formerly known as
Bay View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; and Kindred
Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Canyonwood, formerly known as
Canyonwood Nursing and Rehab Center, from November 23, 2006,
through and including April 15, 2013, except as to Kindred
Healthcare Center of Orange and Alta Vista Healthcare & Wellness
Centre, for which the Class Period is November 23, 2006, through
and including September 30, 2009.

Pursuant to the Settlement, the Defendants agreed to pay up to
$8.25 million, allocated according to a formula by which each
Settlement Class member receives an amount calculated by
multiplying the number of days that the class member resided in
any Defendant Facility times the Subject Day Percentage (8
percent) times $20, the agreed-upon Subject Day Amount.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Christopher J. Healey, Esq.
          Aaron Thomas Winn, Esq.
          MCKENNA LONG ALDRIDGE LLP
          600 W Broadway, Suite 2600
          San Diego, CA 92101-3391
          Telephone: (619) 236-1414
          Facsimile: (619) 645-5328
          E-mail: chealey@mckennalong.com
                  awinn@mckennalong.com

               - and -

          Daniel M. Hutchinson, Esq.
          Lexi Joy Hazam, Esq.
          Robert Jay Nelson, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
          Embarcadero Center West
          275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
          Telephone: (415) 956-1000
          Facsimile: (415) 956-1008
          E-mail: dhutchinson@lchb.com
                  lhazam@lchb.com
                  rnelson@lchb.com

               - and -

          Kathryn Ann Stebner, Esq.
          Sarah Colby, Esq.
          STEBNER & ASSOCIATES
          870 Market Street, Suite 1212
          San Francisco, CA 94105
          Telephone: (415) 362-9800
          Facsimile: (415) 362-9801
          E-mail: Kathryn@stebnerassociates.com
                  sarah@stebnerassociates.com

               - and -

          Michael D. Thamer, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL D. THAMER
          12444 South Highway 3
          Post Office Box 1568
          Callahan, CA 96014-1568
          Telephone: (530) 467-5307
          E-mail: michael@trinityinstitute.com

               - and -

          Robert Stephen Arns, Esq.
          THE ARNS LAW FIRM
          515 Folsom Street, Third Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94105
          Telephone: (415) 495-7800
          Facsimile: (415) 495-7888
          E-mail: ddl@arnslaw.com

               - and -

          William Timothy Needham, Esq.
          JANSSEN MALLOY NEEDHAM MORRISON REINHOLSTEN
          CROWLEY & GRIEGO
          730 Fifth Street
          P. O. Drawer 1288
          Eureka, CA 95501
          Telephone: (707) 445-2071
          Facsimile: (707) 445-8305
          E-mail: tneedham@janssenlaw.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Andrew Hardenbrook Struve, Esq.
          Barry Scott Landsberg, Esq.
          Brad W. Seiling, Esq.
          Jessica J. Slusser, Esq.
          MANATT PHELPS & PHILLIPS
          11355 West Olympic Boulevard
          Los Angeles, CA 90064
          Telephone: (310) 312-4000
          E-mail: astruve@manatt.com
                  blandsberg@manatt.com
                  bseiling@manatt.com
                  Jslusser@manatt.com

               - and -

          Christian Edward Baker, Esq.
          MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS, LLP
          One Embarcadero Center, 30th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 291-7400
          Facsimile: (415) 291-7474
          E-mail: cbaker@manatt.com

               - and -

          David Shapiro, Esq.
          1563 Mass. Avenue
          Cambridge, MA 02138
          Telephone: (617) 495-4618
          Facsimile: (617) 495-1950

The case is Walsh, et al. v. Kindred Healthcare, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 3:11-cv-00050-JSW, in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California (San Francisco).


MADISON COUNTY, IL: Tax Fraud Class Actions to Proceed as One Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
Sanford J. Schmidt, writing for The Telegraph, reports that
plaintiffs in three proposed class action lawsuits aimed at
recovering money from fraudulent tax deed sales have agreed to
proceed as one suit and are going forward, despite efforts by some
of the defendants to delay the proceedings.

In a related development, Chief Madison County Circuit Judge David
Hylla assigned the case to a judge from out of Madison County.  He
is Circuit Judge Dennis Middendorff of the Fourth Circuit.
Associate Judge Stephen Stobbs recused himself.

Among the delays requested were from tax buyers who faced criminal
charges in connection with the tax sales.  They asked for delays
based on the fact that they have been required to defend
themselves in criminal cases.

They are John Vassen of Belleville, Scott K. McClean, whose
company is based in East St. Louis; and Barrett Rochman of
Carbondale.  They have pleaded guilty in federal court and will be
sentenced in February.

Former judge Don Weber is representing one of the plaintiffs in
the three class action suits.  He said he and attorneys in the
other three cases recently discussed the proposal to consolidate
the cases.

Mr. Weber is of counsel for the firm Reinert, Weishaar and
Associates of St. Louis.  They represent the bonding companies
that may be held liable for some of the damages.  The cases have
not been certified as class actions.  Mr. Weber is taking the lead
in the class action for that firm.

One of the key elements required in class actions is that the
interests of the parties would be better served than if they all
filed separate legal actions.  There were thousands of people
whose tax debts were sold at the maximum 18 percent penalty as set
by state statute.

In a related action, Judge Middendorff has dismissed Madison
County as a defendant in the class actions.

The judge said the law requires that former Madison County
Treasurer Fred Bathon would have been acting within the scope of
his employment as treasurer for the plaintiffs to recover damages
from the county.

"This is certainly not conduct which the employee was employed to
perform," the judge wrote in his order.

Mr. Bathon, 58, pleaded guilty to a count of violating the Sherman
Antitrust Act because he rigged bids at the sales so his top
campaign contributors among tax deed buyers could receive the
maximum 18 percent penalty.  The scheme was spread out between
2005 and 2008.

U.S. District Judge David Herndon sentenced Mr. Bathon to 30
months in prison and fined him $20,000.

Mr. Bathon, however, will not have to pay restitution. U.S.
Attorney Stephen Wigginton told the judge Dec. 6 that the
government brought in experts to try to determine the amount of
restitution to be paid to each delinquent taxpayer, but the task
proved impossible.

He said differences among the various payers proved impossible to
determine.  Some delinquent taxpayers may have negligently failed
to pay the tax, and others, not.  Some may have been forced to pay
the maximum 18 percent in the absence of the scheme and others,
not, so it would be impossible to ascertain the difference, he
said.

Attorneys for the class action plaintiffs will seek to determine
the amount of damages, which would be similar to the restitution,
had the plea agreement provided for it.


MARRIOTT INT'L: Summary Judgment Bid in Md. Employee Suit Tossed
----------------------------------------------------------------
A U.S. federal court in Maryland on August 9, 2013, denied
Marriott International, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment on the
issue of statute of limitations and deferred its ruling on class
certification, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filed on
October 31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2013.

On January 19, 2010, several former Marriott employees (the
"plaintiffs") filed a putative class action complaint against
Marriott and the company's Stock Plan (the "defendants"), alleging
that certain equity awards of deferred bonus stock granted to the
plaintiffs and other current and former employees for fiscal years
1963 through 1989 are subject to vesting requirements under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended
("ERISA"), that are in certain circumstances more rapid than those
set forth in the awards. The plaintiffs seek damages, class
attorneys' fees and interest, with no amounts specified. The
action is proceeding in the United States District Court for the
District of Maryland (Greenbelt Division) and Dennis Walter Bond
Sr. and Michael P. Steigman are the current named plaintiffs. The
parties completed limited discovery concerning the issues of
statute of limitations and class certification.

Marriott opposed Plaintiffs' motion for class certification in
October 2012, and filed a motion for summary judgment on the issue
of statute of limitations in December 2012. A hearing on both
issues was held on June 7, 2013, after which Marriott submitted a
post-hearing supplemental brief and plaintiffs responded. On
August 9, 2013, the court denied Marriott's motion for summary
judgment on the issue of statute of limitations and deferred its
ruling on class certification.

Marriott moved to amend the court's judgment on its motion for
summary judgment in order to certify an interlocutory appeal,
which was denied.  Marriott and the Stock Plan have denied all
liability, and while Marriott intends to vigorously defend against
the claims being made by the plaintiffs, Marriott said it can give
no assurance about the outcome of this lawsuit.

"We currently cannot estimate the range of any possible loss to
the Company because an amount of damages is not claimed, there is
uncertainty as to whether a class will be certified and if so as
to the size of the class, and the possibility of our prevailing on
our statute of limitations defense on appeal may significantly
limit any claims for damages," Marriott said.

Marriott International, Inc. is a diversified hospitality company.
It is a lodging company with more than 3,700 properties in 73
countries and territories. It operates and franchises hotels,
including Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari,
EDITION, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott,
Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence
Inn, TownePlace Suites, ExecuStay, and Marriott Executive
Apartments brand names. It operates in four segments: North
American Full-Service Lodging, which includes the Marriott Hotels
& Resorts; North American Limited-Service Lodging, which includes
the Courtyard; International Lodging, which includes the Marriott
Hotels & Resorts, and Luxury Lodging, which includes The Ritz-
Carlton. In September 2012, its JW Marriott hotel brand opened JW
Marriott Essex House New York. In October 2012, Gaylord
Entertainment Company sold the Gaylord Hotels brand and the rights
to manage its four hotels to the Company.


MB FINANCIAL: Amended Complaint Filed in Suit Over Taylor Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
A consolidated amended class action complaint was filed against MB
Financial, Inc., on October 24, 2013, alleging, among other
things, that MB Financial aided and abetted the Taylor Capital
directors' breaches of fiduciary duties, according to MB
Financial's Form 10-Q filed on October 31, 2013, with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
September 30, 2013.

On July 26, 2013, a class action complaint, captioned James
Sullivan v. Taylor Capital Group, Inc., et al., was filed under
Case No. 2013-CH-17751 in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois, against Taylor Capital, its directors and MB Financial
challenging the pending MB Financial/Taylor Capital merger. On
August 8, 2013, a second class action complaint, captioned Dennis
Panozzo v Taylor Capital Group, Inc., et. al., was filed under
Case No. 2013-CH-18546 in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois, against these same defendants. Subsequently, the two
cases were consolidated pursuant to court order under the first-
filed Sullivan case number. A consolidated amended complaint was
filed on October 24, 2013. The lawsuits allege, among other
things, that the Taylor Capital directors breached their fiduciary
duties to Taylor Capital and its stockholders by agreeing to the
proposed merger at an unfair price pursuant to a flawed sales
process, by agreeing to terms with MB Financial that discouraged
other bidders and by not providing material information necessary
for Taylor Capital stockholders to make an informed vote on the
transaction. Plaintiffs further allege that certain Taylor Capital
directors and officers were not independent or disinterested with
respect to the merger. Plaintiffs also allege that MB Financial
aided and abetted the Taylor Capital directors' breaches of
fiduciary duties. The complaints seek, among other things, an
order enjoining the defendants from consummating the merger, as
well as attorneys' and experts' fees and certain other damages. MB
Financial believes that the actions against it are without merit
and intends to vigorously defend itself against such actions.

MB Financial, Inc., is a financial holding company. The Company's
primary market is the Chicago metropolitan area, in which MB
Financial operates approximately 87 banking offices through its
bank subsidiary, MB Financial Bank, N.A. (MB Financial Bank).
Through MB Financial Bank, the Company offers a range of financial
services primarily to small and middle market businesses and
individuals in the markets that it serves. Its primary lines of
business include commercial banking, retail banking and wealth
management. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had total assets
of $9.8 billion, deposits of $7.6 billion, stockholders' equity of
$1.4 billion, and $3.6 billion of client assets under
administration in its Wealth Management Group.


MERCHANT SERVICES: To Pay $923,000 to Credit Card Suit Attorneys
----------------------------------------------------------------
Angela Watkins at Courthouse News Service reports that Merchant
Services, Inc. will pay $923,000 in attorney fees incurred by
small businesses that claim the company inflated fees for card
terminals without notice under a settlement agreement approved by
a federal court.

The settlement stems from a class action that accused Merchant
Services, a card payment processing company, of adding new terms
and conditions to payment processing services without notice and
forcing small business to pay inflated fees for card terminals.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken approved the settlement last
week, which also awards a $7,500 incentive to each of the named
plaintiffs.

According to the Wilken, plaintiffs "remained involved for many
years, and incurred risks of liability for Merchant Services'
costs for the four year litigation. Further, the named plaintiffs
assumed responsibility for searching both personal and business
records, and provided several years of banking records and other
sensitive, private financial documents for inspection and
questioning.  They each responded to dozens of interrogatories and
more than a hundred document requests.  They participated in
mediation, appeared for lengthy depositions, and submitted
multiple declarations. They had little to personally gain from the
litigation."

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Adam Gutride, Esq.
          Kristen Gelinas Simplicio, Esq.
          Seth Adam Safier, Esq.
          Todd Michael Kennedy, Esq.
          GUTRIDE SAFIER LLP
          835 Douglass Street
          San Francisco, CA 94114
          Telephone: (415) 271-6469
          Facsimile: (415) 449-6469
          E-mail: adam@gutridesafier.com
                  Kristen@gutridesafier.com
                  seth@gutridesafier.com
                  todd@gutridesafier.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Cary Donahue Sullivan, Esq.
          Thomas Reed Malcolm, Esq.
          Travis Biffar, Esq.
          JONES DAY
          3161 Michelson Drive, Suite 800
          Irvine, CA 92612
          Telephone: (949) 553-7513
          Facsimile: (949) 553-7539
          E-mail: carysullivan@jonesday.com
                  tbiffar@jonesday.com

               - and -

          Brian D. Hershman, Esq.
          JONES DAY
          555 South Flower Street, 15th Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90071
          Telephone: (213) 243-2445
          Facsimile: (213) 243-2539
          E-mail: bhershman@jonesday.com

               - and -

          Kevin Hugh Logan, Esq.
          JONES DAY
          51 Louisiana Avenue NW
          Washington, DC 20001
          Telephone: (202) 879-3967
          Facsimile: (202) 626-1700
          E-mail: klogan@jonesday.com

               - and -

          James Cai, Esq.
          SCHEIN & CAI, LLP
          111 West St. John Street, Suite 1250
          San Jose, CA 95113
          Telephone: (408) 436-0789
          Facsimile: (408) 436-0758
          E-mail: jcai@sacattorneys.com

               - and -

          Seth Wesley Wiener, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF SETH W. WIENER
          609 Karina Court
          San Ramon, CA 94582
          Telephone: (925) 487-5607
          E-mail: sethwiener@yahoo.com

               - and -

          Rod Divelbiss, Esq.
          John Vincent Erickson, Esq.
          JRA LAW PARTNES LLP
          235 Pine Street, Suite 1300
          San Francisco, CA 94104
          Telephone: (415) 788-4646
          Facsimile: (415) 788-6929
          E-mail: rdivelbiss@collette.com
                  jerickson@collette.com

               - and -

          Abraham Y. Skoff, Esq.
          Jennifer Nigro, Esq.
          Robert Lillienstein, Esq.
          Scott E. Silberfein, Esq.
          MOSES & SINGER LLP
          The Chrysler Building
          405 Lexington Avenue
          New York, NY 10174
          Telephone: (212) 554-7800
          E-mail: askoff@mosessinger.com
                  jnigro@mosessinger.com
                  rlillienstein@mosessinger.com
                  ssilberfein@mosessinger.com

               - and -

          John Merrill Heaphy, III, Esq.
          Jeffrey James Halldin, Esq.
          HARRISON AND HELD, LLP
          333 W. Wacker, Ste 1700
          Chicago, IL 60606
          Telephone: (312) 753-6160
          E-mail: jheaphy@harrisonheld.com
                  jhalldin@harrisonheld.com

               - and -

          Joan Eve Trimble, Esq.
          Lee Alan Sherman, Esq.
          CALLAHAN, THOMPSON, SHERMAN & CAUDILL LLP
          2601 Main Street, Suite 800
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: (949) 261-2872
          Facsimile: (949) 261-6060
          E-mail: jtrimble@ctsclaw.com
                  lsherman@ctsclaw.com

               - and -

          K. Todd Phillips, Esq.
          Seema Tendolkar, Esq.
          WICK PHILLIPS GOULD & MARTIN, LLP
          2100 Ross Avenue, Suite 950
          Dallas, TX 75201
          Telephone: (214) 692-6200
          Facsimile: (214) 692-6255
          E-mail: tphillips@wickphillips.com
                  seema.tendolkar@wickphillips.com

               - and -

          Michael Thomas Tinan Carlson, Esq.
          GEARY SHEA O'DONNELL & GRATTAN, PC
          37 Old Courthouse Square, 4th Floor
          P.O. Box 429
          Santa Rosa, CA 95402-0429
          Telephone: (707) 545-1660
          Facsimile: (707) 545-1876
          E-mail: mcarlson@gsoglaw.com

               - and -

          James R. McGuire, Esq.
          MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP
          425 Market Street
          San Francisco, CA 94105-2482
          Telephone: (415) 268-7000
          Facsimile: (415) 268-7522
          E-mail: jmcguire@mofo.com

               - and -

          Stephen M. Colangelo, Esq.
          MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP
          2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 6000
          Washington, DC 20006
          Telephone: (202) 887-1500
          E-mail: SColangelo@mofo.com

               - and -

          Hayes F. Michel, Esq.
          KRAKOWSKY MICHEL LLP
          1925 Century Park East, Suite 2050
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 277-7342
          Facsimile: (310) 277-0298
          E-mail: hmichel@krakowskymichel.com

               - and -

          Robert N. Webner, Esq.
          VORYS SATER SEYMOUR & PEASE LLP
          52 East Gay Street
          Columbus, OH 43215
          Telephone: (614) 464-8243
          Facsimile: (614) 719-5083
          E-mail: rnwebner@vorys.com

               - and -

          Matthew Keenan Wegner, Esq.
          Matthew Allen Berliner, Esq.
          BROWN WEGNER & BERLINER, LLP
          2603 Main Street, Suite 1050
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: (949) 705-0080
          Facsimile: (949) 749-4099
          E-mail: mwegner@bwb-lawyers.com
                  mberliner@bwb-lawyers.com

               - and -

          Janet Suejean Park, Esq.
          MATRIX SERVICE COMPANY
          500 W Collins Avenue
          Orange, CA 92867
          Telephone: (714) 289-6638
          E-mail: jpark@matrixservicecompany.com

The lawsuit is Just Film, Inc., et al. v. Merchant Services, Inc.,
et al., Case No. 4:10-cv-01993-CW, in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of California (Oakland).


MOBILE MESSENGERS: Class Cert. Bid in "Fields" Suit Denied
----------------------------------------------------------
District Judge William Alsup denied approval of a motion for class
certification and appointment of class counsel in the case
captioned EDWARD FIELDS, et al. Plaintiffs, v. MOBILE MESSENGERS
AMERICA, INC., et al. Defendants, NO. C 12-05160 WHA, (N.D. Cal.)

In this putative class action involving an alleged text-message
scam, plaintiffs moved for certification of two classes and one
subclass.

According to the Court, the Plaintiffs have failed to prove
predominance under Rule 23(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and their motion to certify a nationwide text-receipt
class is denied.  The Plaintiffs' motion to certify a nationwide
"enrollment class" alleging California state law claims is also
denied.

"Because plaintiffs have not met their burden to show numerosity
under Rule 23(a)(1) as to their proposed California subclass,
plaintiffs' motion to certify a California subclass is denied,"
added Judge Alsup.

Although a class has not been certified, the action will proceed
as to plaintiffs' individual claims in accord with the deadlines
previously set in the case management order, ruled the Court.

A copy of the District Court's Nov. 18, 2013 Order is available at
http://is.gd/84HQ6wfrom Leagle.com.


MOODY'S CORP: Plaintiffs Appeal Summary Judgment Order
------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in securities lawsuits have filed a notice of appeal
from the summary judgment entered in Moody's Corporation's favor
on August 26, 2013, and from the March 2011 decision denying class
certification, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filed on
October 31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2013.

Two purported class action complaints have been filed by purported
purchasers of the Company's securities against the Company and
certain of its senior officers, asserting claims under the federal
securities laws. The first was filed by Raphael Nach in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on July 19,
2007. The second was filed by Teamsters Local 282 Pension Trust
Fund in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of New York on September 26, 2007. Both actions have been
consolidated into a single proceeding entitled In re Moody's
Corporation Securities Litigation in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York.

On June 27, 2008, a consolidated amended complaint was filed,
purportedly on behalf of all purchasers of the Company's
securities during the period February 3, 2006 through October 24,
2007. Plaintiffs allege that the defendants issued false and/or
misleading statements concerning the Company's business conduct,
business prospects, business conditions and financial results
relating primarily to MIS's ratings of structured finance products
including RMBS, CDO and constant-proportion debt obligations. The
plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of compensatory damages and
their reasonable costs and expenses incurred in connection with
the case. The Company moved for dismissal of the consolidated
amended complaint in September 2008. On February 23, 2009, the
court issued an opinion dismissing certain claims and sustaining
others. On January 22, 2010, plaintiffs moved to certify a class
of individuals who purchased Moody's Corporation common stock
between February 3, 2006 and October 24, 2007, which the Company
opposed. On March 31, 2011, the court issued an opinion denying
plaintiffs' motion to certify the proposed class.

On April 14, 2011, plaintiffs filed a petition in the United
States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit seeking
discretionary permission to appeal the decision. The Company filed
its response to the petition on April 25, 2011. On July 20, 2011,
the Second Circuit issued an order denying plaintiffs' petition
for leave to appeal. On September 14, 2012, the Company filed a
motion for summary judgment, which was fully briefed on December
21, 2012. On August 23, 2013, the court issued an opinion granting
defendants' motion for summary judgment. Judgment was entered in
Moody's favor on August 26, 2013. On September 23, 2013,
plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal from the judgment and from the
March 2011 decision denying class certification.

Moody's Corporation (Moody's) is a provider of credit ratings;
credit and economic related research, data and analytical tools;
software solutions and related risk management services;
quantitative credit risk measures, credit portfolio management
solutions, training and financial credentialing and certification
services, and outsourced research and analytical services to
institutional customers. The Company operates in two segments:
Moody's Investors Service (MIS) and Moody's Analytics (MA). The
MIS segment consists of all credit rating activity. All of Moody's
other non-rating commercial activities are included within the MA
segment. As of December 31, 2012, MIS had ratings relationships
with approximately 10,000 corporate issuers and approximately
22,000 public finance issuers. During the year ended December 31,
2012, the Company had rated and monitored ratings on approximately
82,000 structured finance obligations (representing approximately
13,000 transactions).


NCL CORP: Appeals Court Affirms Denial of Class Certification
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in
October 2013 affirmed the Court's rulings as to the denial of
class certification on a class action complaint alleging
inappropriate deductions of their wages against a subsidiary of
NCL Corporation Ltd., according to the Company's Form 10-Q filed
on October 31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2013.

In July 2009, a class action complaint was filed against NCL
(Bahamas) Ltd. in the United States District Court, Southern
District of Florida, on behalf of a purported class of crew
members alleging inappropriate deductions of their wages pursuant
to the Seaman's Wage Act and wrongful termination resulting in a
loss of retirement benefits. In December 2010, the Court denied
the plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification. In February 2011,
the plaintiffs filed a Motion for Reconsideration as to the
Court's Order on Class Certification which was denied. The Court
tried six individual plaintiffs' claims, and in September 2012
awarded wages aggregating approximately $100,000 to such
plaintiffs. In October 2013, the United States Court of Appeals
for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the Court's rulings as to the
denial of class certification and the trial verdict. The Company
intends to continue to vigorously defend this action and are not
able at this time to estimate the impact of these proceedings.

In May 2011, a class action complaint was filed against NCL
(Bahamas) Ltd. in the United States District Court, Southern
District of Florida, on behalf of a purported class of crew
members alleging inappropriate deductions of their wages pursuant
to the Seaman's Wage Act and breach of contract. In July 2012,
this action was stayed by the Court pending the outcome of the
litigation commenced with the class action complaint filed in July
2009.

"We are vigorously defending this action and are not able at this
time to estimate the impact of these proceedings," the Company
said.

NCL Corporation Ltd., is a global cruise line operator, offering
cruise experiences for travelers with a wide variety of
itineraries in North America (including Alaska and Hawaii), the
Mediterranean, the Baltic, Central America, Bermuda and the
Caribbean.


NEW ENGLAND COMPOUNDING: $100+ Mil. Creditors Fund to Be Set Up
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brown Rudnick LLP on Dec. 23 disclosed that owners of the bankrupt
New England Compounding Pharmacy ("NECC") and NECC's insurers have
reached agreements in principle concerning settlements with
Bankruptcy Trustee Paul D. Moore, the Official Unsecured
Creditor's Committee (the "Committee") and the Plaintiffs Steering
Committee (the "PSC") in multidistrict litigation involving NECC
pending in Federal Court in Boston (the "MDL") to contribute an
amount estimated to exceed $100 million to a compensation fund to
be distributed to NECC creditors, including victims who received
injections of tainted steroids traced to NECC.  The settlement
agreements are subject to final documentation and Bankruptcy Court
approval.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that well over 700 people
nation-wide have been diagnosed with fungal meningitis or other
serious fungal infections.  At least 64 deaths have been
confirmed.

Paul Moore, the Trustee of bankrupt NECC, commented, "We are
pleased that a significant amount of funds will become available
for distribution to victims and their families as compensation for
the deaths, injuries and suffering they endured as a result of
this tragic meningitis outbreak."

David Molton and William Baldiga, partners at Brown Rudnick and
counsel to the Committee, added that these settlements "are a
material step in expediting compensation to victims and should
bring momentum to the Trustee's and Committee's ongoing and
vigorous efforts to add to this victims' fund with settlements
from others, including medical care providers and pain clinics
that administered the tainted steroids to their patients."

"This preliminary settlement marks a critical milestone in our
efforts to maximize recovery for the victims and their families,"
added Anne Andrews and Harry Roth, co-chairs of the Committee.
"We are enormously pleased with what the Trustee and our Committee
have accomplished after prolonged negotiations."

Thomas Sobol, lead counsel for the PSC and the PSC's
representative with respect to the negotiations, stated that the
PSC is also supportive of the preliminary settlements.

NECC's owners commented that "while they deny any liability or
wrongdoing, nonetheless they strongly desire to play a major role
in establishing a fund for people who died or suffered as a result
of this tragic outbreak."

The victim compensation fund will be funded by cash contributions
by the owners of NECC as well as from proceeds from, among other
things, insurance, tax refunds and the sale of a related business.
Pursuant to the bankruptcy process, Judge Henry J. Boroff of the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Massachusetts
will be asked to confirm a plan containing the terms of the
settlement agreements creating and funding the victim's
compensation fund.

As a reminder to all victims and creditors, the Bankruptcy Court
established Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. EST as the
deadline for submitting their proofs of claim in the NECC
bankruptcy proceeding.  This Bar Date Order establishes procedures
for filing and submitting claims for injuries suffered due to
NECC's contaminated steroid injections.  The Trustee and the
Committee stress that it is extremely important that anyone who
believes he or she has a claim against NECC or involving an NECC
product timely file a proof of claim.  Failing to do so may have
an impact on a person's ability to obtain a distribution from the
compensation fund established to compensate NECC victims or
creditors.  Information regarding the filing date deadline and the
proof of claim process can be found at
http://www.donlinrecano.com/cases/proofofclaim/necp

                   Hagens Berman's Announcement

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP disclosed that the Court-
appointed Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC), charged with
speaking for hundreds of victims of tainted steroids produced by
the New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. (NECC), on Dec. 23
announced a preliminary settlement with the owners, operators and
insurers of the bankrupt NECC.

A conditional agreement has been reached between bankruptcy
trustee Paul D. Moore, the PSC and the Unsecured Creditors
Committee under which the Cadden and Conigliaro families, the
insurers of NECC and related company Ameridose, have promised to
pay to a compensation fund an amount that may exceed $100 million.
This fund will allow victims who received injections of tainted
steroids made by NECC to seek a measure of justice against those
wrongdoers.

The agreements are not final, require due diligence on the part of
the PSC to ensure the rights to victims are protected under these
agreements, and will be conditional upon approval by creditors and
a federal court for fairness and adequacy.

Thomas M. Sobol, lead counsel for the PSC in the national
litigation pending before a federal court in Boston, said, "The
PSC has worked hard over the last several months to evaluate the
liability of everyone involved in this tragedy and the tentative
agreements are a big step forward in getting justice for victims.
However, we must all be mindful that the agreements still require
much work in order to protect the rights of victims.  We also
recognize that any amount of money would be grossly inadequate to
compensate the families of those persons killed and others
grievously injured by the callous conduct of those in charge of
NECC."

Mr. Sobol said, "This is but one chapter in this saga; litigation
will continue against medical clinics, doctors, hospitals and
other companies who were hired by NECC that bear responsibility to
those who were badly injured or who died horrible and painful
deaths as a result of having the injection of the tainted product
into their bodies.  This case is not over until all the wrongdoers
have been brought to justice."

"The proposed settlement does not resolve families' claims against
the corporate-owned clinics that sold and injected these
contaminated medications, such as St. Thomas Outpatient
Neurosurgery Clinic in Nashville, Tenn., and other related St.
Thomas companies.  Numerous St. Thomas patients died or suffered
serious illnesses as a result of receiving contaminated
medications sold and administered at St. Thomas' Nashville
facility," said PSC Member Gerard Stranch.

"These corporate-owned companies chose to put profits over patient
safety, as detailed in the hundreds of lawsuits filed against
these companies, including St. Thomas, by families whose loved
ones died or suffered serious injuries," said PSC Member
Mark Chalos, who also represents a number of affected families.
"Any corporation that endangers our families by breaking patient
safety rules should be held accountable for their conduct -- no
matter how rich or powerful those corporations are," said
Mr. Chalos.

There is no deadline set for when details of the proposal will be
made public.

The next court hearing in connection with this case is scheduled
for January 10, 2014, at which point further due diligence will
have been undertaken and additional details can likely be
released.  Full and complete information will be released to the
public in due course and all victims who file a proof of claim in
the Bankruptcy Court will have the opportunity to support or
oppose the settlement.

All victims and their counsel are reminded that the Bankruptcy
Court has established a deadline of January 15th, 2014 at
4:00 p.m. EST to submit a claim in the NECC bankruptcy proceeding.
Further information regarding that can be found at
http://www.donlinrecano.com/cases/proofofclaim/necp


OCALA, FL: May Face Class Action Over Fire Service Fees
-------------------------------------------------------
Susan Latham Carr, writing for Ocala.com, reports that the city of
Ocala has been given notice of a pending class-action lawsuit
against it regarding fire service fees.

"There's a possibility we could be involved in a class-action suit
on fire fees," City Manager Matthew Brower said.  "We have gotten
notice that it's a possibility."

He said that, to his knowledge, the suit had not been filed as of
Dec. 16.

The city collects about $7.5 million in fire service fees each
year.

"In a period when we are still trying to dig out from the Great
Recession it could have a big impact on us budgetarily,"
Mr. Brower said, should the fees be found illegal.

He said he could not remember the name of the law firm that would
be filing the suit.

Mr. Brower said he does not know what such a suit could cost the
city.

"We don't know until a formal suit is filed and find out what they
are going to ask us," Mr. Brower said.

Mr. Brower said other Florida cities do charge fire fees.

In 2007, Burton & Associates prepared a fire service fee study for
the city of Ocala.  In that report, the law firm Lewis, Longman &
Walker P.A. provided a legal opinion that the fire service fee
complies with Florida statutes provided they are spent on fire
service infrastructure projects and that administrative charges to
collect the fees are restricted to actual costs.

"They issued an opinion that it was legal," Mr. Brower said.

Mr. Brower said it also was City Attorney Patrick Gilligan's
opinion that the fees were legal, but the fees have never been
challenged in court.  He said state statute dictates what kinds of
taxes and fees cities can levy, so opponents would be questioning
whether the fee is legal under the state's laws.

Asked if the city would have to refund fees, Mr. Brower said, "If
we lost the case, the judge would have to determine what the
implications are, but that's too far down the road for me to have
any meaningful conclusion."

He referred questions to Mr. Gilligan, who was unavailable to
answer questions on Dec. 16.

"We have not had any public meetings on it," Mr. Brower said.

City Council President John McLeod said he spoke to Mr. Gilligan
regarding the proposed suit but also did not remember the name of
the law firm involved.  He said Mr. Gilligan was expected to meet
with the other council members to advise them as well.

"I don't want to say anything yet," Mr. McLeod said.


PHENIX TRANSPORTATION: Cheated Long-Haul Drivers of OT, Suit Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tiffany Brown and Robert Collins, on behalf of themselves and
those similarly situated v. Phenix Transportation West, Inc.,
Rickey Wilkerson, Richard Wilkinson and Daphne Wilkinson, Case No.
3:13-cv-00781-TSL-JMR (S.D. Miss., December 16, 2013) seeks to
redress alleged violations by the Defendants of the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants intentionally failed to
compensate the Plaintiffs and the proposed class for wages earned
while in the employ of the Defendants.

Phenix Transportation West, Inc., is headquartered in Forest,
Mississippi.  The Company employed the Plaintiffs as over-the-road
commercial truck drivers.  The Individual Defendants are owners,
directors or officers of the Company.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Christopher William Espy, Esq.
          CHRISTOPHER W. ESPY, ATTORNEY AT LAW, PLLC
          P. O. Box 13722
          Jackson, MS 39236-3722
          Telephone: (601) 812-5300
          Facsimile: (601) 500-5719
          E-mail: chris.espy@espylawpllc.com


PIEDMONT OFFICE: Had $1.3-Mil Insurance Recoveries as of Sept. 30
-----------------------------------------------------------------
During the nine months ended September 30, 2013, Piedmont Office
Realty Trust, Inc., recognized approximately $1.3 million in
insurance recoveries related to settlement agreements of two class
action lawsuits, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filed on
October 31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2013.

According to the Company, "During the nine months ended September
30, 2013, we recognized approximately $1.3 million in insurance
recoveries associated with the $7.5 million of litigation
settlement expense we recorded in the prior period related to
settlement agreements of two class action lawsuits. We expect to
receive additional insurance recoveries related to the settlements
in future periods."

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (Piedmont) is a real estate
investment trust (REIT). Piedmont is engages in the acquisition
and ownership of commercial real estate properties throughout the
United States, including properties that are under construction,
newly constructed, or have operating histories. Company conducts
business primarily through Piedmont Operating Partnership, L.P.
(Piedmont OP), a limited partnership, as well as performing the
management of its buildings through two wholly owned subsidiaries,
Piedmont Government Services, LLC and Piedmont Office Management,
LLC. Piedmont is the sole general partner of Piedmont OP. Piedmont
OP owns properties directly, through wholly owned subsidiaries and
through both consolidated and unconsolidated joint ventures.
During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, the Company
disposed of seven properties, which allowed the Company to exit
two geographical markets as well as dispose of its last two
industrial assets.


PIONEER NATURAL: Court Approved Settlement of Claims
----------------------------------------------------
Pioneer Natural Resources Company stated in its Form 8-K dated
October 25, 2013, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on October 31, that the Dallas County, Texas District
Court has entered a final order and judgment approving the
settlement of claims and allegations made in lawsuits, which
relate to the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement.

On October 25, 2013, Pioneer Natural Resources Company, a Delaware
corporation ("Pioneer"), entered into Amendment No. 1 (the
"Amendment") to the Agreement and Plan of Merger (the "Merger
Agreement") dated as of August 9, 2013, along with the other
parties thereto, being Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc., a
Delaware corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Pioneer
("Pioneer USA"), PNR Acquisition Company, LLC, a Delaware limited
liability company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Pioneer
("MergerCo"), Pioneer Southwest Energy Partners L.P., a Delaware
limited partnership ("Pioneer Southwest"), and Pioneer Natural
Resources GP LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, a wholly-
owned subsidiary of Pioneer USA and the general partner of Pioneer
Southwest ("Pioneer Southwest GP").

The Amendment was entered into to provide for contractual
appraisal rights in favor of unitholders of Pioneer Southwest
pursuant to the terms of a memorandum of understanding (as defined
below) entered into on September 26, 2013 to settle certain claims
and allegations made in certain lawsuits that were brought against
the parties to the Merger Agreement and the members of the Pioneer
Southwest GP board of directors to challenge the Merger (as
defined below). Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, as amended by
the Amendment, MergerCo will merge with and into Pioneer Southwest
at the effective time of the merger (the "effective time"), with
Pioneer Southwest surviving the merger (the "Merger"), such that
following the Merger, Pioneer Southwest GP will remain a wholly-
owned subsidiary of Pioneer USA and the sole general partner of
Pioneer Southwest, and Pioneer USA will be the sole limited
partner of Pioneer Southwest; except for the common units
representing limited partner interests in Pioneer Southwest
("common units") owned by Pioneer USA, all of the common units
outstanding as of the effective time of the Merger will be
canceled and, except for the dissenting units (as defined below),
converted into the right to receive 0.2325 of a share of common
stock, par value $0.01 per share, of Pioneer per common unit.

Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Amendment, common
units that are owned by a unitholder (a) other than Pioneer
Southwest or its subsidiaries or Pioneer or its subsidiaries, (b)
who does not vote at the special meeting of Pioneer Southwest in
favor of the proposal to approve the Merger Agreement and the
transactions contemplated thereby, including the Merger, and (c)
who is entitled to demand and properly demands appraisal of such
common units (the "dissenting units") pursuant to, and who
complies in all respects with, the provisions of the Amendment
regarding appraisal rights (the "dissenting unitholders") will not
be converted into the right to receive the merger consideration
provided for in the Merger Agreement, but instead such dissenting
unitholder will be entitled to payment of the fair value of such
dissenting units pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions
of the Amendment (and at the effective time, such dissenting units
will no longer be outstanding and will automatically be canceled
and will cease to exist, and such dissenting unitholder will cease
to have any rights with respect thereto, except the right to
receive the fair value of such dissenting units pursuant to and in
accordance with the provisions of the Amendment), unless and until
such dissenting unitholder shall have failed to perfect or shall
have effectively withdrawn or lost the appraisal rights. If such
dissenting unitholder fails to perfect or effectively withdraws or
loses the appraisal rights, then, as of the occurrence of such
event or the effective time, whichever occurs later, each of such
dissenting unitholder's dissenting units will cease to be a
dissenting unit and will be converted into the right to receive,
as of such date, 0.2325 of a share of Pioneer common stock per
common unit.

The appraisal rights will, to the fullest extent provided by law,
be identical, except as described in the bullets below (which
corresponding clauses in the Amendment supersede and replace any
contradictory provisions in Section 262 of the Delaware General
Corporation Law), to the rights that a stockholder of a Delaware
corporation would have under Section 262 of the Delaware General
Corporation Law if Pioneer Southwest were a corporation and the
owners of common units were stockholders of such corporation who
are entitled to appraisal rights under Section 262 of the Delaware
General Corporation Law.

Only unitholders who beneficially own (within the meaning of Rule
13d-3 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) common units on
the record date for the special meeting of Pioneer Southwest
(currently October 30, 2013) and who continuously beneficially own
such common units through the effective time shall be entitled to
appraisal rights.

     * Interest on any cash payments payable in respect of
appraisal rights will accrue from and including the effective time
through and excluding the date of such payment calculated at a per
annum rate, using a 365-day year, equal to the 52-week treasury
bill rate in effect at the effective time.

     * The Delaware Chancery Court will not conduct the appraisal
proceeding until after final approval of the settlement.

     * Any record or beneficial owner of common units during the
period beginning on May 6, 2013, through and including the
effective time (a "class member"), who elects to opt out of the
class formed for settlement purposes pursuant to the memorandum of
understanding will not be entitled to appraisal rights.

     * Pioneer will have the right to terminate the appraisal
rights under the Amendment, and each dissenting unitholder will
automatically lose appraisal rights upon such termination, if the
memorandum of understanding and the settlement contemplated
thereby are terminated pursuant to the provisions of the
memorandum of understanding, whether or not the termination of the
memorandum of understanding and the settlement contemplated
thereby occurs before or after the effective time. The memorandum
of understanding and the settlement contemplated thereby will
terminate upon any of the following events:

     * the parties do not satisfactorily complete the confirmatory
discovery contemplated by the memorandum of understanding;

     * the plaintiffs notify the defendants within five days of
completion of confirmatory discovery that they no longer believe
that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate;

     * final approval of the settlement is not obtained for any
reason;

     * the Merger is not consummated for any reason;

     * the Dallas County, Texas District Court declines to
conditionally certify a class pursuant to the terms set forth in
the stipulation of settlement;

     * the defendants elect to terminate the settlement if class
members owning more than 1,274,437 common units during the period
beginning on May 6, 2013, through and including the effective date
elect to opt-out of the class certified for settlement purposes;

     * Pioneer elects, within 60 days after consummation of the
Merger, to terminate the settlement if owners of more than
2,500,000 common units demand appraisal; or

     * any of the following conditions are not satisfied or
otherwise waived prior to final approval of the settlement:

     * certification of the class for settlement purposes;

     * approval by the Dallas County, Texas District Court of a
complete release of certain persons as contemplated by the
memorandum of understanding;

     * the inclusion in the preliminary order of approval and in
the final judgment of a provision enjoining all class members from
asserting any of claims settled pursuant to the settlement;

     * dismissal with prejudice of the lawsuits covered by the
memorandum of understanding;

     * dismissal with prejudice of all similar lawsuits to the
Texas State Court Lawsuit or the Federal Lawsuits (whether filed
in state or federal court) that are filed before final approval of
the settlement; and

     * the production of reasonable confirmatory discovery as
contemplated by the memorandum of understanding.

The Delaware Chancery Court will have exclusive jurisdiction to
conduct appraisal proceedings.

"Memorandum of understanding" means the memorandum of
understanding entered into with the representatives of the
plaintiffs in the lawsuits described in the remainder of this
paragraph to settle the claims and allegations made in such
lawsuits, which relate to the transactions contemplated by the
Merger Agreement.

David Flecker, a purported unitholder of Pioneer Southwest, filed
a class action petition on May 15, 2013, on behalf of the holders
of common units and a derivative suit on behalf of Pioneer
Southwest against Pioneer, Pioneer USA, Pioneer Southwest GP and
the directors of Pioneer Southwest GP, in the 134th Judicial
District of Dallas County, Texas (the "Flecker Lawsuit").

A similar class action petition and derivative suit was filed
against the same defendants on May 20, 2013, in the 160th Judicial
District of Dallas County, Texas, by purported unitholder Vipul
Patel (the "Patel Lawsuit").

On September 3, 2013, the court consolidated the Patel Lawsuit
into the Flecker Lawsuit (as consolidated, the "Texas State Court
Lawsuit"), and the plaintiffs filed a consolidated derivative and
class action petition on September 5, 2013.

On August 21, 2013, Allan H. Beverly, a purported unitholder,
filed a class action complaint against Pioneer, Pioneer Southwest,
Pioneer USA, MergerCo and the directors of Pioneer Southwest GP in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas (the "Beverly Lawsuit").

On September 13, 2013, Douglas Shelton, another purported
unitholder, filed a class action complaint against the same
defendants in the Beverly Lawsuit (as well as Pioneer Southwest
GP) in the same court as the Beverly Lawsuit (such lawsuit and the
Beverly Lawsuit, together, the "Federal Lawsuits").

"Final approval of the settlement" means that the Dallas County,
Texas District Court has entered a final order and judgment
approving such settlement, dismissing the lawsuits covered by the
memorandum of understanding with prejudice on the merits and with
each party to bear its own costs (with certain exceptions set
forth in the Amendment and in the memorandum of understanding),
and providing for the releases contemplated by the memorandum of
understanding, and that such final order and judgment is final and
no longer subject to further appeal or review, whether by
affirmance on or exhaustion of any possible appeal or review,
lapse of time, or otherwise.

The contractual appraisal rights provided pursuant to the
Amendment will entitle a dissenting unitholder who properly makes
a demand for appraisal the right to receive the fair value for
such dissenting units as determined pursuant Section 262 of the
Delaware General Corporation Law and the Amendment. The result of
the determination of fair value for dissenting units cannot be
predicted. There can be no assurance that any dissenting
unitholder exercising appraisal rights will receive consideration
equal to or greater than the value of the merger consideration
such unitholder would have received if such unitholder did not
seek appraisal, and such fair value could be determined to be less
than the merger consideration.

The Conflicts Committee of the Pioneer Southwest GP board of
directors (the "Pioneer Southwest Conflicts Committee")
unanimously approved the Amendment and the transactions
contemplated thereby and determined that the Amendment and the
transactions contemplated thereby are fair and reasonable to and
in the best interests of the holders of common units unaffiliated
with Pioneer and Pioneer Southwest. This action taken by the
Pioneer Southwest Conflicts Committee constituted "Special
Approval" of the Amendment and the transactions contemplated
thereby under Pioneer Southwest's partnership agreement. The
Pioneer Southwest Conflicts Committee recommended that the Pioneer
Southwest GP board of directors make the same approval and
determination as the Pioneer Southwest Conflicts Committee. Based
in part on this approval and determination, Special Approval and
recommendation, the Pioneer Southwest GP board of directors
approved the Amendment and the transactions contemplated thereby
(such approval being unanimous among the independent directors,
with the non-independent directors of Pioneer Southwest GP
recusing themselves from the consideration and vote on such
approval) and determined that the Amendment and the transactions
contemplated thereby are fair and reasonable to and in the best
interests of the holders of common units unaffiliated with Pioneer
and Pioneer Southwest.

The Merger was expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013,
pending the satisfaction of certain conditions thereto.

Pioneer Natural Resources Company (Pioneer) is an independent oil
and gas exploration and production company with operations in the
United States and South Africa. Pioneer is a holding company whose
assets consist of direct and indirect ownership interests in, and
whose business is conducted substantially through, its
subsidiaries. It sells homogenous oil, natural gas liquid (NGL)
and gas units. The Company provides administrative, financial,
legal and management support to United States and South Africa
subsidiaries that explore for, develop and produce proved
reserves. The Company's continuing operations are principally
located in the United States in the states of Texas, Kansas,
Colorado and Alaska. In April 2012, it acquired Carmeuse
Industrial Sands (CIS). In August 2012, the Company sold its South
Africa business to The Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South
Africa (SOC) Ltd. (PetroSA).


PPL CORP: Louisville Residents File Class Action Over Coal Ash
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a group of Louisville residents
who say coal ash from a nearby power plant drifts into their lungs
and homes have filed a federal suit against the utility company.

The neighbors are seeking class action status against LG&E and its
parent company, PPL Corp., alleging violations of federal
environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act.  The suit was
filed on Dec. 16.

The residents around the Cane Run Generating Station in western
Louisville have complained for years about dust blowing from the
plant's massive coal ash pile.  The EPA is currently considering
whether to classify the ash, a byproduct of burning coal, as a
hazardous material.

A spokesperson for LG&E did not immediately respond to a request
for comment.  The utility has said it will stop burning coal at
the plant 2015.

According to the suit, LG&E and its Pennsylvania-based parent
company, PPL Corp., have "allowed dangerous coal dust and coal ash
to regularly escape the Cane Run Site and to continually coat its
neighbors' homes and lawns with an unsightly and dangerous film of
coal dust and coal ash."

The lawsuit includes photos, including the one attached to this
report, which purports to show how "a cloud of coal ash was
ejected from the Sludge Plant and travelled (sic) through the
surrounding neighborhoods."

The plaintiffs are Kathy Little, Greg Walker, Debra Walker,
Richard Evans, Phillip Whitaker and Faye Whitaker.


PVR PARTNERS: Weisslaw LLP Files Class Action in Pennsylvania
-------------------------------------------------------------
WeissLaw LLP on Dec. 16 announced that a class action has been
commenced in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all holders of PVR Partners
LP common units on October 9, 2013, in connection with the
proposed takeover of PVR by Regency Energy Partners LP.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than 60 days from December 16, 2013.  If you wish to discuss
this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your
rights or interests, please contact plaintiff's counsel,
Michael Rogovin or Kelly Keenan of WeissLaw at (888) 593-4771 or
via e-mail at stockinfo@weisslawllp.com

Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as
lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to
do nothing and remain an absent class member.

The complaint charges PVR and the Board of Directors of PVR's
general partner, PVR GP LLC, with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  PVR is a limited partnership that owns and
operates a network of natural gas midstream pipelines and
processing plants, and owns and manages coal and natural resource
properties.

The complaint alleges that PVR, the Board, Regency and its
affiliates breached their duties, and/or aided and abetted such
breaches, in connection with their attempt to consummate the
Proposed Transaction pursuant to an unfair process and for an
unfair price.  In addition, the complaint alleges PVR and the
Board disseminated a false and misleading Registration Statement
on Form S-4 in violation of ----14(a) and 20(a) of the 1934 Act
and Rule 14a-9 promulgated thereunder in connection with the
Proposed Transaction.

On October 9, 2013, PVR and Regency entered into a definitive
agreement whereby Regency would acquire all of PVR's outstanding
units.  Thereafter, on November 8, 2013, defendants caused the S-4
to be filed with the SEC and disseminated in connection with the
upcoming unitholder vote on the Proposed Transaction.  The
complaint alleges the S-4 contains a number of false and
misleading statements that are material to unitholders who are
expected to rely upon the S-4 to determine whether to approve the
Proposed Transaction.  The S-4 omits a number of material facts
necessary to make statements made therein not false and
misleading, including the events leading to the Merger Agreement,
the analyses conducted by the Board's financial advisor, and PVR's
prospective financial information.

Plaintiff seeks injunctive and equitable relief on behalf of all
PVR unitholders on October 9, 2013.  The plaintiff is represented
by WeissLaw -- http://www.weisslawllp.com/-- which has litigated
hundreds of stockholder class and derivative actions for
violations of corporate and fiduciary duties.  The firm has
recovered over a billion dollars for defrauded clients.


QUESTCOR PHARMA: Court Partially Granted Bid to Dismiss Complaint
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A U.S. district court on October 1, 2013, granted in part and
denied in part Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s motion to dismiss
a consolidated amended complaint, which alleges the Company made
false and/or misleading statements concerning Acthar, according to
the Company's Form 10-Q filed on October 30, 2013, with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
September 30, 2013.

On September 26, 2012, a putative class action lawsuit was filed
against Questcor and certain of its officers and directors in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California, captioned John K. Norton v. Questcor Pharmaceuticals,
et al., No. SACv12-1623 DMG (FMOx). The complaint purports to be
brought on behalf of shareholders who purchased Questcor common
stock between April 26, 2011 and September 21, 2012. The complaint
generally asserts that Questcor and certain of its officers and
directors violated sections 10(b) and/or 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, by making
allegedly false and/or misleading statements concerning the
clinical evidence to support the use of Acthar for indications
other than infantile spasms, the promotion of the sale and use of
Acthar in the treatment of MS and nephrotic syndrome,
reimbursement for Acthar from third-party insurers, and Questcor's
outlook and potential market growth for Acthar. The complaint
seeks damages in an unspecified amount and equitable relief
against the defendants. This lawsuit has been consolidated with
four subsequently-filed actions asserting similar claims under the
caption: In re Questcor Securities Litigation, No. CV 12-01623 DMG
(FMOx).

On October 1, 2013, the District Court granted in part and denied
in part Questcor's motion to dismiss the consolidated amended
complaint. On October 29, 2013, Questcor filed an answer to the
consolidated amended complaint.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Questcor) is a biopharmaceutical
company. The Company is focused on the treatment of patients with
serious, difficult-to-treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
Its primary product is H.P. Acthar Gel (repository corticotropin
injection), or Acthar, an injectable drug that is approved by the
United States food and drug administration (FDA), for the
treatment of 19 indications. Its research and development program
is focused on: the evaluation of the use of Acthar for certain on-
label indications; the investigation of other potential uses of
Acthar for indications not FDA approved; and the expansion of its
understanding of how Acthar works in the human body
(pharmacology), and ultimately, its mechanisms of action in the
disease states for which it is used, or may be used in the future.
The Company sells Doral to pharmaceutical wholesalers, which
resell Doral primarily to retail pharmacies and hospitals.


RIDDELL INC: Faces Suit Over Helmets' Concussion Reduction Tech
---------------------------------------------------------------
Riddell, Inc. All American Sports Corporation d/b/a Riddell/All
American; Riddell Sports Group; Easton-Bell Sports, Inc.; Easton-
Bell Sports, LLC; EB Sports Corporation; and RBG Holdings
Corporation, Case No. 1:13-cv-07585-JBS-JS (D.N.J., December 16,
2013) is a class action brought on behalf of New Jersey consumers,
who purchased Riddell Revolution brand football helmets based on
the Defendants' alleged false promise that the helmet would
prevent or substantially reduce the incidence of concussion
compared to traditional and lower-cost football helmets.

Each Defendant engaged in a scheme to mislead New Jersey consumers
about the benefits of their premium-priced helmet by falsely
advertising to New Jersey consumers that the Revolution helmet is
manufactured with "concussion reduction technology," which reduces
the incidence of concussion, and does so by up to 31%, Ms. Thiel
contends.  She adds that the Defendants' marketing of the
Revolution helmet was intended to and did create the perception
among football helmet purchasers that the Revolution helmet
reduces the chance of concussion better than a traditional lower-
priced football helmet.

Riddell, Inc., an Illinois corporation, is engaged in the business
of designing, manufacturing, selling and distributing football
equipment, including Revolution brand helmets.  Riddell, Inc.
operates as a subsidiary of Riddell Sports Group, Inc.  All
American Sports Corporation, doing business as Riddell/All
American, is a Delaware corporation and is engaged in the business
of designing, manufacturing, selling and distributing football
equipment, including Revolution brand helmets.  Riddell Sports
Group, Inc. is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Irving,
Texas.

Easton-Bell Sports, Inc. is a Delaware Corporation headquartered
in Van Nuys, California, and is a parent corporation of Riddell
Sports Group Inc.  Easton-Bell Sports, Inc. designs, develops, and
markets branded athletic equipment and accessories, including
marketing and licensing products under the Riddell brand.  Easton-
Bell Sports, LLC is the parent corporation of Easton-Bell Sports,
Inc. and is incorporated in Delaware, with a principal place of
business in New York.  EB Sports Corporation is a Delaware
corporation headquartered in Van Nuys, California.  RBG Holdings
Corporation is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Van Nuys,
California.  RBG operates as a holding company, which through its
subsidiaries designs, develops and markets sports equipment,
including the Revolution brand helmets.  RGB Holdings Corporation
is a subsidiary of Easton-Bell Sports, LLC.

The Defendants ship their products, including Revolution helmets,
to direct purchasers and distributors in New Jersey, maintain a
direct sales force in New Jersey, sell their products in retail
stores in New Jersey, and advertise their products in New Jersey.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Stephen A. Corr, Esq.
          STARK & STARK, P.C.
          777 Township Line Road, Suite 120
          Yardley, PA 19067
          Telephone: (267) 907-9600
          Facsimile: (267) 907-9659
          E-mail: scorr@stark-stark.com

               - and -

          Dennis G. Pantazis, Esq.
          Dennis G. Pantazis, Jr., Esq.
          WIGGINS CHILDS QUINN & PANTAZIS
          The Kress Building
          301 19th Street North
          Birmingham, AL 35203
          Telephone: (205) 314-0500
          Facsimile: (205) 254-1500
          E-mail: dpantazis@wcqp.com
                  dpantazisjr@wcqp.com


SCHLUMBERGER LTD: Seeks Dismissal of Overtime Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Dave Kolpack, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
attorneys for a major oil drilling business say a federal lawsuit
accusing the company of failing to pay overtime to workers in the
North Dakota oil patch should be thrown out, according to court
documents filed on Dec. 17.

Chris Elliott, who lives in Clearwater County, Idaho, is seeking
class-action status for his complaint against Schlumberger Ltd.,
which provides technology and other support services for the oil
and gas industry.  Mr. Elliott filed the lawsuit in September.

The complaint alleges the company is likely to owe at least $5
million once all the individual claims are submitted.  Mr. Elliott
said he worked many 16- to 20-hour days and the company used a
fluctuating work week to avoid paying overtime to him and other
employees.

"Consequently, they were paid at rates lower than what the law
requires," the lawsuit states.

Schlumberger said in a response filed on Dec. 17 that the
plaintiffs did not work more than 40 hours in any given work week
and are not entitled to overtime pay under state or federal laws.
The company said it made good-faith efforts to comply with the
Fair Labor Standards Act and any alleged violations of law "were
not willful."

The company said the lawsuit fails to state a valid claim and the
plaintiffs have not suffered any damages.

Attorneys for the two sides did not return phone messages left on
Dec. 17 by The Associated Press.

The complaint said employees did not have a "clear and mutual
understanding" that they would be paid using a fluctuating work
week and accuses Schlumberger of leaving out bonuses and other
compensation when calculating wages for overtime.  The plaintiffs
are seeking overtime for all time worked over 40 hours each week
at time-and-a-half the regular rate.

The lawsuit said there are hundreds potential class members, which
include current and former equipment operators and trainees, as
well as other employees performing similar duties in North Dakota.
Mr. Elliott has been joined in the lawsuit by three other workers.


SEQWATER: Ipswich Flood Victims Sign Up for Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Joel Gould, writing for Gatton Star, reports that hundreds of
Ipswich flood victims signed up for the class action against the
Queensland Government at a meeting on Dec. 16.

Flood class action litigators Maurice Blackburn Lawyers updated
residents on the AUD1 billion class action, while victims called
for justice to be done.

Bentham IMF, the litigation funders, has announced that they are
unconditionally funding the case.

Robert Peschke and his wife lost their two-storey house at Moores
Pocket in the 2011 floods. He was not insured and was out of
pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"I hope for some justice out of this (class action) because I
believe what happened was man-made and that the dam was
incorrectly run," he said.

"People should be held accountable."

Maurice Blackburn principal Damian Scattini said flood victims had
until February 28, 2014, to register for the class action.

Mr. Scattini rubbished claims by Premier Campbell Newman that the
class action was a cash grab by lawyers.

"There is no cash grab and the fact is that there is absolutely
nothing on offer from the State Government," he said.

"The people here need someone on their side . . . and we are those
people.  With the litigation funding in place, there is no
prospect of anyone being out of pocket as a result of this. So
they are covered."

In a statement Seqwater said, "the Queensland Floods Commission of
Inquiry in no way concluded there was any negligence in its
management of the January 2011 flood event".

"The independent expert retained by the commission concluded that,
in light of the information available at the time and the
requirements of the Wivenhoe manual, the flood engineers achieved
close to the best possible flood mitigation result for the January
event," the statement said.

"Furthermore, four other highly respected independent experts who
appeared at the Commission supported Seqwater's view that releases
actually made by the flood engineers were appropriate and
reasonable.

"An independent review of Seqwater's report into the January 2011
flood by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and United
States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) also strongly supported the
decisions made and actions undertaken by Seqwater."

But Mr Scattini said Seqwater's claims were incorrect

"The flood commission of inquiry found that the engineers didn't
follow the manual," he said.

"If they think that they can go to court and persuade them that is
a good defense . . . then good luck to them.

"But they are well behind the loop as usual.  We are not reliving
the flood commission of inquiry.  The inquiry only looked at the
period from the 6th of January forward.

"We are looking at the event of the flood period and that goes
back to December."

Seqwater said it remained "confident that its position will be
justified if the matter ever comes before a court".


SOUTHWEST AIRLINES: Summary Judgment Bids to Be Briefed by Jan. 15
------------------------------------------------------------------
The motions for summary judgment filed by Delta Air Lines Inc. and
AirTran Holdings Inc. in an antitrust suit as well as the
antitrust plaintiffs' class certification are to be fully briefed
by January 15, 2014, according to Southwest Airlines Co.'s Form
10-Q filed on October 30, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30,
2013.

A complaint alleging violations of federal antitrust laws and
seeking certification as a class action was filed against Delta
and AirTran in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia in Atlanta on May 22, 2009. The complaint
alleged, among other things, that AirTran attempted to monopolize
air travel in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, and
conspired with Delta in imposing $15-per-bag fees for the first
item of checked luggage in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman
Act. The initial complaint sought treble damages on behalf of a
putative class of persons or entities in the United States who
directly paid Delta and/or AirTran such fees on domestic flights
beginning December 5, 2008. After the filing of the May 2009
complaint, various other nearly identical complaints also seeking
certification as class actions were filed in federal district
courts in Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; and Las Vegas,
Nevada. All of the cases were consolidated before a single federal
district court judge in Atlanta. A Consolidated Amended Complaint
was filed in the consolidated action on February 1, 2010, which
broadened the allegations to add claims that Delta and AirTran
conspired to reduce capacity on competitive routes and to raise
prices in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  In addition
to treble damages for the amount of first baggage fees paid to
AirTran and to Delta, the Consolidated Amended Complaint seeks
injunctive relief against a broad range of alleged anticompetitive
activities, as well as attorneys' fees.

On August 2, 2010, the Court dismissed plaintiffs' claims that
AirTran and Delta had violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act; the
Court let stand the claims of a conspiracy with respect to the
imposition of a first bag fee and the airlines' capacity and
pricing decisions. On June 30, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a motion
to certify a class, which AirTran and Delta have opposed. The
Court has not yet ruled on the class certification motion, and
further briefing has been scheduled.

The parties engaged in extensive discovery, which was extended due
to discovery disputes between plaintiffs and Delta, but discovery
has now closed. On June 18, 2012, the parties filed a Stipulation
and Order that plaintiffs have abandoned their claim that AirTran
and Delta conspired to reduce capacity. On August 31, 2012,
AirTran and Delta moved for summary judgment on all of plaintiffs'
remaining claims, and on the same day the plaintiffs filed a
supplemental brief on class certification. Thereafter, plaintiffs
raised additional electronic discovery disputes with Delta, and
the Court suspended the summary judgment briefing while an expert
examined Delta's discovery.

On September 25, 2013, the Court entered an order which ended the
expert's work and resumed briefing on summary judgment and class
certification. Under the current schedule, the motions for summary
judgment and for class certification are to be fully briefed by
January 15, 2014. AirTran denies all allegations of wrongdoing,
including those in the Consolidated Amended Complaint, and intends
to defend vigorously any and all such allegations.

The Company is from time to time subject to various legal
proceedings and claims arising in the ordinary course of business,
including, but not limited to, examinations by the Internal
Revenue Service.

The Company's management does not expect that the outcome in any
of its currently ongoing legal proceedings or the outcome of any
proposed adjustments presented to date by the Internal Revenue
Service, individually or collectively, will have a material
adverse effect on the Company's financial condition, results of
operations, or cash flow.

Southwest Airlines Co. operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger
airline, which provides scheduled air transportation in the United
States. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was serving 72 cities
in 37 states throughout the United States. During the year ended
December 31, 2011, the Company added addition services in two new
states and three new cities: Charleston, South Carolina;
Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Newark, New Jersey.
Southwest provides point-to-point. On May 2, 2011, the Company
acquired AirTran Holdings, Inc.


TEXAS: Petition to Appeal Class Cert. in Foster Kids' Suit Tossed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The district court in Texas on August 27, 2013, certified a class
of 12,000 children in the Texas foster care system in a suit
alleging systemic violations of the children's rights and seeking
broad, affirmative injunctive relief.  On September 11, 2013,
Defendants-Petitioners, the State of Texas, filed a petition for
permission to appeal the class certification order under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f). Plaintiffs-Respondents moved to
dismiss the petition as untimely, arguing the petition was filed
one day late.  The State then filed a motion to suspend Federal
Rule of Appellate Procedure 25(a)(2)(A) and Fifth Circuit Rule
26.1, which pertain to the circumstances under which a filing is
considered timely.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed
the petition as untimely saying the State missed its narrow window
to seek review.  Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23(f), says the Fifth Circuit, the State had 14 days from the
issuance of the certification order on August 27 in which to file.
Under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 25(a)(2)(A) and Fifth
Circuit Rule 26.1, the Court must actually receive the petition in
order for the filing to be timely.  Thus, the Court had to
actually receive the filing by September 10, which it did not.
The Court did not receive the filing until September 11.

Therefore, the Fifth Circuit denied the Petitioners' opposed
motion to suspend Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 25(a)(2)(A)
and 5th Circuit Rule 26.1; granted the Respondents' opposed motion
to dismiss; and dismissed the petition for permission to appeal
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f).

The case is M.D., by next of friend Sarah R. Stukenberg; Z.H., by
next of friend Carla B. Morrison; S.A., by next of friend Javier
E. Solis; A.M., by next of friend Jennifer Talley; J.S., by next
of friend Anna J. Ricker; K.E., by next of friend John W. Cliff,
Jr.; H.V., by next of friend Anna J. Ricker; P.O., by next of
friend Anna J. Ricker; L.H., by next of friend Estela C. Vasquez;
C.H., by next of friend Estela C. Vasquez; S.S., by next of friend
Estela C. Vasquez; A.R., by next of friend Tom McKenzie,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs-Respondents, v. GOVERNOR RICK PERRY, in his official
capacity as Governor of the State of Texas; KYLE JANEK, in his
official capacity as Executive Commissioner of the Health and
Human Services Commission of the State of Texas; JOHN J. SPECIA,
JR., in his official capacity as Commissioner of the Department of
Family and Protective Services of the State of Texas, Defendants-
Petitioners, NO. 13-90045.

A copy of the Fifth Circuit's November 19, 2013 Opinion is
available at http://is.gd/WGrUJPfrom Leagle.com.


TIME WARNER CABLE: Court Approved Motion to Dismiss Two Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina on
September 30, 2013, granted Time Warner Cable Inc.'s motions to
dismiss and compel arbitration in two purported class action
lawsuits alleging breach of contract and violation of various
state consumer protection statutes, according to the Company's
Form 10-Q filed on October 31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30,
2013.

The Company is the defendant in three purported class action
lawsuits alleging breach of contract and violation of various
state consumer protection statutes in connection with the
Company's high-speed data modem fee. On November 30, 2012, the
plaintiffs in Fred W. Elmore v. Time Warner Cable Inc. (the
"Elmore lawsuit") filed a complaint in a purported class action in
the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
alleging that the Company breached its contract with customers and
violated South Carolina state consumer protection statutes by
charging a fee for the provision of a high-speed data modem. On
February 4, 2013, the plaintiffs in Mark Cox v. Time Warner Cable
Inc. (the "Cox lawsuit") filed an amended complaint in a purported
class action in the U.S. District Court for the District of South
Carolina alleging that the Company breached its contract with
customers whose high-speed data service is provided as part of a
promotional package by charging a fee for the provision of a high-
speed data modem. On February 26, 2013, the plaintiffs in Lorraine
Damato, et al. v. Time Warner Cable Inc. (the "Damato lawsuit")
filed a complaint in a purported class action in the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of New York alleging that the
Company breached its contract with customers and violated New
York, New Jersey and California state consumer protection statutes
by charging a fee for the provision of a high-speed data modem. In
each case, the plaintiffs are seeking, among other things,
unspecified monetary damages and an injunction to prevent the
Company from charging a fee for the provision of a high-speed data
modem. On July 30, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York stayed the action and granted the Company's
motion to compel arbitration in the Damato lawsuit and, on
September 30, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of
South Carolina granted the Company's motions to dismiss and compel
arbitration in each of the Elmore and Cox lawsuits.

Each of the arbitrations is limited to the named plaintiffs. The
Company intends to defend against these lawsuits vigorously, but
is unable to predict the outcome of the lawsuits or reasonably
estimate a range of possible loss.

Time Warner Cable Inc.,  is among the largest providers of video,
high-speed data and voice services in the U.S., with
technologically advanced, well-clustered cable systems located
mainly in five geographic areas - New York State (including New
York City), the Carolinas, the Midwest (including Ohio, Kentucky
and Wisconsin), Southern California (including Los Angeles) and
Texas. As of September 30, 2013, TWC served approximately 15.1
million customers (approximately 14.5 million residential services
customers and 606,000 business services customers) who subscribed
to one or more of its video, high-speed data and voice services.


TREX COMPANY: Wins Final Okay of Defective Deck Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Jeffrey S. White of the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California granted final approval of Trex
Company's settlement of a class action lawsuit initiated by Eric
Ross, et al.

The Settlement Class consists of thousands of persons, who own
decks or other structures composed of any and all Trex non-shelled
wood-plastic composite decking, railing, or fencing material sold
under various trademarks.  The Class alleges that the Trex
Products manufactured during the relevant time period are
defective by design or manufacture.

The Settlement Agreement also provides for attorneys' fees and
reimbursement of their expenses in the amount of $1,475,000, and
$7,500 stipends to each of the Class Representatives.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Robert F. Lopez, Esq.
          Steve W. Berman, Esq.
          Tyler S. Weaver, Esq.
          HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
          1918 8th Avenue, Suite 3300
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: (206) 623-7292
          Facsimile: (206) 623-0594
          E-mail: robl@hbsslaw.com
                  steve@hbsslaw.com
                  tyler@hbsslaw.com

               - and -

          Jeff D. Friedman, Esq.
          HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
          715 Hearst Avenue, Suite 202
          Berkeley, CA 94710
          Telephone: (510) 725-3000
          Facsimile: (510) 725-3001
          E-mail: jefff@hbsslaw.com

               - and -

          Elizabeth A. Alexander, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
          150 4th Avenue North, Suite 1650
          Nashville, TN 37219-2423
          Telephone: (615) 313-9000
          Facsimile: (615) 313-9965
          E-mail: ealexander@lchb.com

               - and -

          Jonathan David Selbin, Esq.
          Nimish Ramesh Desai, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN LLP
          275 Battery Street, 30th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111-3336
          Telephone: (415) 956-1000
          Facsimile: (415) 956-1008
          E-mail: jselbin@lchb.com
                  ndesai@lchb.com

               - and -

          James J. Pizzirusso, Esq.
          Richard S. Lewis, Esq.
          HAUSFELD LLP
          1700 K St., NW, Suite 650
          Washington, DC 20006
          Telephone: (202) 540-7200
          Facsimile: (202) 540-7201
          E-mail: jpizzirusso@hausfeldllp.com
                  rlewis@hausfeldllp.com

               - and -

          Jori Naegele, Esq.
          Robert D. Gary, Esq.
          GARY, NAEGELE & THEADO, LLC
          446 Broadway
          Lorain, OH 44052-1797
          Telephone: (440) 244-4809
          Facsimile: (440) 244-3462
          E-mail: jbnaegele@gmail.com
                  rdgary@gmail.com

               - and -

          Kim D. Stephens, Esq.
          TOUSLEY, BRAIN STEPHENS PLLC
          1700 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2200
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: (206) 682-5600
          Facsimile: (206) 682-2992
          E-mail: kstephens@tousley.com

               - and -

          Michael Andrew McShane, Esq.
          AUDET & PARTNERS LLP
          221 Main Street, Suite 1460
          San Francisco, CA 94105
          Telephone: (415) 982-1776
          Facsimile: (415) 568-2556
          E-mail: mmcshane@audetlaw.com

               - and -

          Lawrence Edward Skidmore, Esq.
          ARONOWITZ & SKIDMORE, INC.
          200 Auburn Folsom Road, Suite 305
          Auburn, CA 95603
          Telephone: (530) 823-9736
          Facsimile: (530) 823-5241
          E-mail: lskidmore@asilaw.org

The Defendant is represented by:

          Matthew G. Ball, Esq.
          Rachel Chatman, Esq.
          K&L GATES LLP
          Four Embaracadero Center, Suite 1200
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 882-8200
          Facsimile: (415) 882-8220
          E-mail: Matthew.Ball@klgates.com
                  rachel.chatman@klgates.com

               - and -

          Patrick J. Perrone, Esq.
          K&L GATES LLP
          One Newark Center, 10th Floor
          Newark, NJ 07102
          Telephone: (973) 848-4000
          Facsimile: (973) 848-4001
          E-mail: patrick.perrone@klgates.com

               - and -

          Todd Lawrence Nunn, Esq.
          K AND L GATES LLP
          925 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2900
          Seattle, WA 98104
          Telephone: (206) 370-7616
          Facsimile: (206) 370-6144
          E-mail: todd.nunn@klgates.com

Respondent William Clark is represented by:

          William Frederick Clark, Esq.
          CLARK & ASSOCIATES
          14182 Ten Acres Ct
          Saratoga, CA 95070
          Telephone: (408) 867-7827
          Facsimile: (408) 867-7827
          E-mail: billclark700@gmail.com

The case is Ross, et al. v. Trex Company, Inc., Case No. 3:09-cv-
00670-JSW, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California.


UNITED STATES: Sen. Rand Paul Mulls NSA Surveillance Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Steven Nelson, writing for US News and World Report, reports that
after months of consideration, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is moving
closer to filing a lawsuit in federal court against National
Security Agency surveillance programs.

A senior Paul staffer says U.S. District Court Judge Richard
Leon's Dec. 16 decision that NSA opponents have standing to sue
over the bulk collection of phone records makes Mr. Paul "much
more likely" to file his own lawsuit.

The senior staffer, who spoke with U.S. News on background, says
hundreds of thousands of people volunteered online as possible
plaintiffs after Paul first floated the idea of a class-action
lawsuit in June.

The senator has not firmly decided to file suit and it's still
possible Mr. Paul will choose to instead assist with three
already-filed lawsuits against the NSA.

If Mr. Paul does file a lawsuit it would be the fourth major legal
attack against the NSA's bulk collection and five-year storage of
American phone records.

Lawsuits against the phone-record collection are already filed in
federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union in New York,
by conservative legal activist Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch in
Washington, D.C., and by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San
Francisco.

Mr. Klayman won a major victory against the NSA on Dec. 16, with
Leon ruling the phone record program is likely a violation of the
Fourth Amendment.  Judge Leon granted a preliminary injunction
barring the collection, but stayed implementation pending appeal.

Unlike the possible Paul lawsuit, Mr. Klayman only sought a
handful of original plaintiffs.  He is seeking for the "class" he
represents to be defined by Judge Leon to include all Americans
affected by the program, which purportedly helps scuttle terrorist
plots -- an accomplishment Judge Leon disputed.

The senior Paul staffer stressed that Paul is currently evaluating
strategy options.  If a lawsuit is filed, it would likely be in
either D.C. or Kentucky.  It's unclear which Paul-affiliated
entity would file the challenge.

"As of now the senator is in the process of finding the best
lawyer to file the [possible] suit [and] is still accepting more
plaintiffs for the case," Paul spokeswoman Eleanor May said.

The website of Mr. Paul's political action committee, RANDPAC,
currently has a pop-up advertisement that asks prospective
plaintiffs to provide their name, email address and ZIP code.  The
ad says it seeks 10 million plaintiffs and asks for "a generous
donation to help rally up to ten million Americans to support my
lawsuit to stop Big Brother."

Regardless of the legal approach selected, the senior staffer said
Mr. Paul's footwork to seek plaintiffs should help with possible
standing issues, which have historically -- although not in the
initial Klayman case decision -- derailed anti-surveillance
lawsuits.

The pending EFF and ACLU lawsuits also do not have a large number
of individuals named as plaintiffs.  The EFF lawsuit is brought by
a coalition of advocacy groups and the ACLU's challenge is brought
by the organization itself, as a customer of Verizon Business
Network Services, the entity specified in an officially recognized
court order leaked by Edward Snowden.

Although Judge Leon took a preliminary sledgehammer to the Justice
Department's legal argument and U.S. District Court Judge William
Pauley of New York is also considering an injunction request from
the ACLU, the Paul staffer stressed the legal fight may take a
while to resolve and said the senator wouldn't be too late to have
a meaningful impact.

In the sweeping Dec. 16 victory for NSA critics, Judge Leon ruled
Mr. Klayman had standing to challenge the phone record collection,
that his court had the authority to review Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court actions, that the landmark 1979 case Smith v.
Maryland was ill-suited to justify the surveillance and that the
program likely violates the Fourth Amendment.

Judge Leon described the collection as "almost-Orwellian" and said
"the government does not cite a single instance in which analysis
of the NSA's bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent
attack, or otherwise aided the government in achieving any
objective that was time-sensitive."

Mr. Paul, who has introduced legislation to ease standing issues
and also to forbid indiscriminate collection of Americans'
records, applauded Judge Leon's decision on Dec. 16.

"I will continue to fight against the violations of Americans'
constitutional rights through illegal phone surveillance until it
is stopped once and for all," he said in a release.

In addition to considering a lawsuit against the phone record
collection, Mr. Paul is also looking at legal options against NSA
Internet programs.  Mr. Klayman is currently suing to halt the
PRISM Internet program, but Judge Leon did not grant an injunction
in that case.


VANGUARD NATURAL: Del. Supreme Court Affirms Suit Dismissal
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed on July 22, 2013, the order
granting Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC's motion to dismiss a
putative class action complaint, according to the Company's Form
10-Q filed on October 31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended September 30,
2013.

On April 5, 2011, Stephen Bushansky, a purported unitholder of
ENP, filed a putative class action complaint in the Delaware Court
of Chancery on behalf of the unitholders of ENP. Another purported
unitholder of ENP, William Allen, filed a similar action in the
same court on April 14, 2011. The Bushansky and Allen actions have
been consolidated under the caption In re: Encore Energy Partners
LP Unitholder Litigation, C.A. No. 6347-VCP (the "Delaware State
Court Action").

On December 28, 2011, those plaintiffs jointly filed their second
amended consolidated class action complaint naming as defendants
ENP, Scott W. Smith, Richard A. Robert, Douglas Pence, W. Timothy
Hauss, John E. Jackson, David C. Baggett, Martin G. White, and
Vanguard. That putative class action complaint alleged, among
other things, that defendants breached the partnership agreement
by recommending a transaction that was not fair and reasonable.
Plaintiffs sought compensatory damages. Vanguard filed a motion to
dismiss this lawsuit. On August 31, 2012, the Chancery Court
entered an order granting Vanguard's motion to dismiss the
complaint for failure to state a claim and dismissing the Delaware
State Court Action with prejudice. On September 27, 2012, Mr.
Allen filed a notice of appeal of the dismissal of his lawsuit. On
July 22, 2013, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal
of the lawsuit.

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC is a publicly traded limited
liability company focused on the acquisition and development of
mature, long-lived oil and natural gas properties in the United
States.


WILLIAMS COMPANIES: ADEC to Enter Compliance Order in 2014
----------------------------------------------------------
The Williams Companies, Inc., disclosed in its Form 10-Q filed on
October 31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2013, that during the
first quarter of 2013, the Alaska Department of Environmental
Conservation informed Flint Hills Resources Alaska, LLC, and the
Company that it intends to enter a compliance order to address the
environmental remediation of sulfolane and other possible
contaminants including cleanup work outside the refinery's
boundaries to be performed in 2014.

The Company states: "In January 2010, James West filed a class
action lawsuit in state court in Fairbanks, Alaska on behalf of
individual property owners whose water contained sulfolane
contamination allegedly emanating from the Flint Hills Oil
Refinery in North Pole, Alaska. The suit named our subsidiary,
Williams Alaska Petroleum Inc. (WAPI), and Flint Hills Resources
Alaska, LLC (FHRA), a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., as
defendants. We owned and operated the refinery until 2004 when we
sold it to FHRA. We and FHRA have made claims under the pollution
liability insurance policy issued in connection with the sale of
the North Pole refinery to FHRA. We and FHRA also filed claims
against each other seeking, among other things, contractual
indemnification alleging that the other party caused the sulfolane
contamination.

"In 2011, we and FHRA settled the James West claim. Our claims
against FHRA and their claims against us remain outstanding. We
and FHRA filed motions for summary judgment on the other's claims,
but the motions are unlikely to resolve all the outstanding
claims.

"We currently estimate that our reasonably possible loss exposure
in this matter could range from an insignificant amount up to $32
million, although uncertainties inherent in the litigation
process, expert evaluations, and jury dynamics might cause our
exposure to exceed that amount."

The Company also disclosed that, "Independent of the litigation
matter described in the preceding paragraphs, the Alaska
Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) indicated that it
views FHRA and us as responsible parties. During the first quarter
2013, ADEC informed FHRA and us that it intends to enter a
compliance order to address the environmental remediation of
sulfolane and other possible contaminants including cleanup work
outside the refinery's boundaries to be performed in 2014. In
addition, ADEC will seek from each of FHRA and us an adequate
financial performance guarantee for the benefit of ADEC. As such,
we will likely be required to contribute some amount, whether to
reimburse the State, to reimburse FHRA, or to comply with an ADEC
order. Due to the ongoing assessment of the level and extent of
sulfolane contamination and the ultimate cost of remediation and
division of costs between the named responsible parties, we are
unable to estimate a range of liability at this time."

The Williams Companies, Inc. (Williams) is an energy
infrastructure company focused on connecting North America's
hydrocarbon resource plays to markets for natural gas, natural gas
liquids (NGLs), and olefins. Its operations span from the
deepwater Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian oil sands. It operates in
three segments: Williams Partners, Midstream Canada & Olefins and
Other. Its interstate gas pipeline and domestic midstream
interests are held through its investment in Williams Partners
L.P. (WPZ). It owns the general-partner interest and a 70%
limited-partner interest in WPZ. Williams also owns a Canadian
midstream and domestic olefins production business, which
processes oil sands off-gas and produces olefins for petrochemical
feedstocks. In November 2012, Williams Partners LP acquired
Williams Companies Inc's approximately 83% interest in the Geismar
olefins production facility In December 2012, it acquired Access
Midstream Partners GP, L.L.C. and Access Midstream Partners LP.


XEROX CORP: Remains Defendant in Consolidated Securities Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Xerox Corporation remains a defendant in a pending consolidated
securities law action (consisting of 17 cases) on behalf of all
persons and entities who purchased Xerox Corporation common stock
during the period October 22, 1998 through October 7, 1999
inclusive, according to the Company's Form 10-Q filed on October
31, 2013, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended September 30, 2013.

A consolidated securities law action (consisting of 17 cases) is
pending in the United States District Court for the District of
Connecticut. Defendants are the Company, Barry Romeril, Paul
Allaire and G. Richard Thoman. The consolidated action is a class
action on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased Xerox
Corporation common stock during the period October 22, 1998
through October 7, 1999 inclusive (Class Period) and who suffered
a loss as a result of misrepresentations or omissions by
Defendants as alleged by Plaintiffs (the "Class"). The Class
alleges that in violation of Section 10(b) and/or 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (1934 Act), and SEC
Rule 10b-5 thereunder, each of the defendants is liable as a
participant in a fraudulent scheme and course of business that
operated as a fraud or deceit on purchasers of the Company's
common stock during the Class Period by disseminating materially
false and misleading statements and/or concealing material facts
relating to the defendants' alleged failure to disclose the
material negative impact that the April 1998 restructuring had on
the Company's operations and revenues.

The complaint further alleges that the alleged scheme: (i)
deceived the investing public regarding the economic capabilities,
sales proficiencies, growth, operations and the intrinsic value of
the Company's common stock; (ii) allowed several corporate
insiders, such as the named individual defendants, to sell shares
of privately held common stock of the Company while in possession
of materially adverse, non-public information; and (iii) caused
the individual plaintiffs and the other members of the purported
class to purchase common stock of the Company at inflated prices.
The complaint seeks unspecified compensatory damages in favor of
the plaintiffs and the other members of the purported class
against all defendants, jointly and severally, for all damages
sustained as a result of defendants' alleged wrongdoing, including
interest thereon, together with reasonable costs and expenses
incurred in the action, including counsel fees and expert fees. In
2001, the Court denied the defendants' motion for dismissal of the
complaint. The plaintiffs' motion for class certification was
denied by the Court in 2006, without prejudice to refiling.

In February 2007, the Court granted the motion of the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Welfare Fund of
Local Union No. 164, Robert W. Roten, Robert Agius (Agius) and
Georgia Stanley to appoint them as additional lead plaintiffs. In
July 2007, the Court denied plaintiffs' renewed motion for class
certification, without prejudice to renewal after the Court holds
a pre-filing conference to identify factual disputes the Court
will be required to resolve in ruling on the motion.

After that conference and Agius's withdrawal as lead plaintiff and
proposed class representative, in February 2008 plaintiffs filed a
second renewed motion for class certification. In April 2008,
defendants filed their response and motion to disqualify Milberg
LLP as a lead counsel. On September 30, 2008, the Court entered an
order certifying the class and denying the appointment of Milberg
LLP as class counsel. Subsequently, on April 9, 2009, the Court
denied defendants' motion to disqualify Milberg LLP. On November
6, 2008, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. On
March 29, 2013, the Court granted defendants' motion for summary
judgment in its entirety.

On April 26, 2013, plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The appeal
process is ongoing.

According to the Company, "The individual defendants and we deny
any wrongdoing and are vigorously defending the action. At this
time, we do not believe it is reasonably possible that we will
incur additional material losses in excess of the amount we have
already accrued for this matter. In the course of litigation, we
periodically engage in discussions with plaintiffs' counsel for
possible resolution of this matter. Should developments cause a
change in our determination as to an unfavorable outcome, or
result in a final adverse judgment or a settlement for a
significant amount, there could be a material adverse effect on
our results of operations, cash flows and financial position in
the period in which such change in determination, judgment or
settlement occurs."

Xerox Corporation provides a portfolio of business process and
information technology (IT) outsourcing support, document
technology and solutions. Through the Company's business process
and IT outsourcing it offers global services from claims
reimbursement and electronic toll transactions to the management
of human resource (HR) benefits and customer care centers to the
operation of a company's technology infrastructure. The Company
operates in three business segments: Services, which includes
business process outsourcing (BPO), information technology
outsourcing (ITO) and document outsourcing (DO); Technology, which
includes the sale of products and supplies, as well as the
associated technical service and financing of those products, and
other. In June 2013, Domtar Corp acquired Xerox Corp paper and
print media products business in the United States and Canada. In
June 2013, Xerox Corp acquired LearnSomething Inc. Effective
August 13, 2013, Xerox Corp acquired CPAS Systems Inc.


* Plaintiff Lawyers Attempt to Skirt CAFA in Texas, Report Shows
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marilyn Tennissen, writing for Southeast Texas Record, reports
that for the first time since it has been published, Texas, does
not appear on the list of "Judicial Hellholes" in an annual
report.

Since 2002, the American Tort Reform Foundation report ranks
places where judges in civil cases systematically apply laws and
court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally
against defendants.

Over the past few years, Texas has moved from one of the top spots
on the list to the watch list and is now off the list completely.

In 2013, the dubious honor of No. 1 Hellhole is the state of
California.  The report states the food industry is the "latest
target" of plaintiffs' lawyers who seek to take advantage of the
state's plaintiff-friendly consumer protection laws.  In addition,
asbestos litigation continues to migrate from reform states into
California's "permissive courts."

Texas' neighbor to the east, Louisiana, has the No. 2 spot on the
Hellhole list.

"Louisiana rockets up the Judicial Hellholes list after the
state's high court gave new life to abusive 'legacy lawsuits' that
threaten the state's onshore oil and gas production," the report
states.

Rounding out the top six spots on the list are New York City, West
Virginia, Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois and South
Florida.

While not on the Hellhole list for 2013, Texas is still part of
the compilation.  For the past several years, the report has
mentioned patent troll litigation in East Texas, calling out the
high number of patent lawsuits suits filed in the area.

"The Eastern District of Texas is the most popular venue for
patent trolls because the court moves cases to trial quickly and
its juries are perceived to be plaintiff-friendly," this year's
report noted.

Diane Davis, executive director with East Texans Against Lawsuit
Abuse (ETALA), responded to the report.

"While it might be a positive that our courts are known for moving
these cases quickly, we have to be concerned when any area is
viewed as being overly friendly to plaintiffs or defendants, as
perceptions of unfairness invite abuse," she said in a statement.

Previous Judicial Hellholes reports have called the area the
"center of the patent litigation universe" noting that between
2002 and 2010, the district saw nearly a ten-fold increase in
patent filings.

"It's never a positive for a community to be a hot-bed of
litigation," Ms. Davis added.  "We are pleased to see ATRA
continue to focus on this area and also that our state and federal
leaders are taking this issue seriously."

Ms. Davis commended Lt. Governor David Dewhurst asking the Senate
to study the issue during the state legislative interim and U.S.
Senator John Cornyn for his work to pass federal laws to rein in
abusive patent lawsuits.

"The Texas Legislature and Texas elected officials are working
tirelessly on behalf of Texas innovators and entrepreneurs to
combat patent trolls," Ms. Davis said.  "While Texas has continued
to be the national leader in reigning in frivolous lawsuits,
clearly there is still work to be done, and we appreciate ATRA for
their focus on this issue and our state leaders for working to
ensure our courts are used for justice, not greed."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which has
jurisdiction for Texas federal cases, was given "Point of Light"
status for upholding Mississippi's $1 million limit on noneconomic
damages in general personal injury cases.

Texas is also mentioned in the Point of Light section as one of 14
states that "enacted significant, positive civil justice reforms."

"Texas provided an automatic mechanism (HB 1325) for state courts
to dismiss long dormant asbestos and silica claims, while
preserving a claimant's ability to refile a dismissed case should
the claimant develop an impairing condition," the report states.

In a section of the report regarding class actions, ATRF points
out Nueces and Hidalgo counties in Texas.  Mass actions there
demonstrate plaintiff lawyers' attempts to skirt the Class Action
Fairness Act, the report states.

"Congress enacted the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) in
response to a handful of jurisdictions, such as Madison County,
Illinois, becoming magnets for massive lawsuits against out-of-
state businesses.  CAFA, which gained bipartisan support, moved
many of these multi-state class actions into neutral federal
courts," the report states.  "Plaintiffs' lawyers, however, have
developed strategies to exploit exceptions in the law to dodge
federal jurisdiction and keep their cases in state courts, which
are often those considered Judicial Hellholes."

The American Tort Reform Foundation is a District of Columbia
nonprofit organization, founded in 1997.  The primary purpose of
the Foundation is to educate the general public about how the
American civil justice system operates, the role of tort law in
the civil justice system and the impact of tort law on the public
and private sectors.


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Thompson Bldg. Gets OSHA Citation for Exposure
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health
Administration has cited Thompson Building Wrecking Co. Inc.,
based in Augusta, for four violations after exposing workers to
asbestos during demolition at the Grovetown Elementary School in
Grovetown.  OSHA initiated the July inspection after receiving a
complaint.  Proposed penalties are $63,700.

"Although the employer was aware of the presence of asbestos-
containing material and familiar with its hazards, no preventive
action was taken to protect employees," said Bill Fulcher,
director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office.  "It is the
employer's responsibility to provide a safe and healthful
workplace."

One willful citation, with a $49,000 penalty, was issued for
knowingly exposing workers to asbestos-containing material by a
skid steer loader with a grapple attachment to remove debris from
scrap metal.  The debris contained asbestos material and was
allowed to accumulate on the ground.  A willful violation is one
committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the
law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety
and health.

Three serious violations were also cited, with $14,700 in
penalties, for the employer's failure to conduct asbestos work,
and its removal, within a regulated area to minimize exposure; not
monitoring exposure levels during removal of asbestos-containing
material; and exposing workers to inhalation hazards from unbagged
asbestos-containing material.  A serious violation occurs when
there is substantial probability that death or serious physical
harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or
should have known.

Thompson Building Wrecking specializes in demolition, asbestos
removal and large container services.  The company has 15 business
days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to
comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest
the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health
Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint,
or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations
posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's
toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Atlanta-
East Area Office at 770-493-6644.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers
are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for
their employees.  OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for
America's working men and women by setting and enforcing
standards, and providing training, education and assistance.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: WR Grace Inks Last Settlement Before Ch. 11 Exit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co. and its debtor affiliates ask Judge Kevin J.
Carey of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware
to approve a settlement agreement negotiated with certain holders
of claims under their Prepetition Credit Facilities.

After operating in Chapter 11 for nearly 13 years and litigating
numerous appeals, the Debtors, by the settlement with the Bank
Lender Group, have resolved the only remaining issue standing in
the way of their emergence from Chapter 11 as healthy companies
free of their massive prepetition asbestos liabilities.

Certain parties appealed the order confirming the Debtors' Joint
Plan of Reorganization, which was co-proposed by the Official
Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants, the Asbestos PI
Future Claimants' Representative, and the Official Committee of
Equity Security Holders.  The appeal was raised to the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  The Bank Lender Group's appeal
concerns the rate of postpetition interest to be paid to the
holders of claims under the Prepetition Credit Facilities.

The Plan provides for the Bank Lender Group to be paid, on the
Effective Date, the principal amount of their claims, plus
outstanding and undisputed prepetition interest, plus
postpetition interest calculated at the rate prescribed by the
Plan.  The Bank Lender Group contends that holders of claims
under the Prepetition Credit Facilities are entitled to
postpetition interest at a higher rate, namely the contract
default rate provided under the Prepetition Credit Facilities, as
opposed to postpetition interest arising from the Prepetition
Credit Facilities at the Plan Rate.

The principal terms of the settlement are as follows:

   (a) On the Effective Date, the Debtors will transfer the
       following amounts in cash to the administrative agent for
       the Bank Lender Group:

          (i) $971 million of principal/undisputed interest
              through Dec. 31, 2013;

         (ii) $129 million; and

        (iii) interest on the Plan Payment and the Settlement
              Payment for the period from Jan. 1, 2014, to the
              Plan Effective Date.

   (b) Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, and continuing until the
       earlier of Feb. 1, 2014, or the Effective Date, simple
       interest will accrue on the Plan Payment and the
       Settlement Payment at the rate of 3.25% per annum.  If the
       Effective Date has not occurred by Jan. 31, 2014, then
       beginning on Feb. 1, 2014, and continuing until the
       Effective Date, simple interest will accrue on the Plan
       Payment and the Settlement Payment at the rate of 5.0% per
       annum.  To the extent the interest paid exceeds the Plan
       Rate, the supplemental interest is paid by the Debtors in
       settlement of the Debtors' objection to the proofs of
       claim and appeal filed by the Bank Lender Group.

   (c) The Lender Payment will be in full and final satisfaction
       of all amounts due and owing under the Prepetition Credit
       Facilities, the Proofs of Claim, the Plan, or otherwise.

By fully and finally resolving the Settled Claims, the Debtors,
with the support of the Equity Committee, believe the Settlement
Agreement is a fair and reasonable settlement, is in the best
interest of the Debtors and their estates, and should be
approved.  The Settlement Agreement clears the path to the
Debtors' successful emergence from the Chapter 11 cases.  The
Debtors' emergence from Chapter 11 will benefit all of the
Debtors' stakeholders, many of whom have been waiting over a
decade to receive distributions.

Bill Rochelle, the bankruptcy columnist for Bloomberg News,
reported that the company already defeated four appeals from
approval of the reorganization plan dealing with asbestos
liability.  Emerging from reorganization remained blocked by the
fifth and final appeal by secured bank lenders claiming the right
to $185 million of interest at the contractual default rate.

Banks filing the appeals include Bank of America NA, Barclays
Bank Plc, and JPMorgan Chase Bank NA.

Grace shares, on Dec. 23, rose more than 4 per cent to $98.68,
giving the company a market capitalisation of nearly $7.6 billion,
Neil Munshi, writing for The Financial Times, reported.  The
shares are trading close to their 52-week high of $101.72, the
Financial Times added.  The Financial Times also noted that Grace
spent $12.4 million in legal and financial advisory fees in the
first nine months of 2013, compared to $13.2 million during the
same period last year.

In a statement, John Bader, head of Halcyon Asset Management, the
company's largest single creditor, said: "We are extremely
pleased to have helped make this final settlement possible, and
we recognise that the ability of WR Grace to emerge from
bankruptcy benefits everyone with a stake in the company's
future," the Financial Times related.

Grace stated in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission that, " The effectiveness of the Joint Plan is
subject to the satisfaction or waiver of a number of conditions
precedent, including the condition that the order confirming the
Joint Plan become final and non-appealable.  Upon approval of the
Settlement Agreement by the Bankruptcy Court, the Bank Lenders
are required to withdraw their appeal, which will result in the
satisfaction of such condition. Grace continues to target
January 31, 2014 for emergence from Chapter 11."

Judge Carey will convene a hearing on Jan. 29, 2014, at 10:00
a.m., to consider approval of the settlement.  Objections are due
Jan. 13.

A full-text copy of the Settlement, dated Dec. 23, 2013, is
available at http://bankrupt.com/misc/GRACEplandeal1223.pdf

The Debtors are represented by Adam Paul, Esq., and John Donley,
P.C., Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, in Chicago, Illinois; Roger
Higgins, Esq., at The Law Offices of Roger Higgins, in Chicago,
Illinois; and Laura Davis Jones, Esq., James E. O'Neill, Esq.,
and Timothy P. Cairns, Esq., at Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones,
LLP, in Wilmington, Delaware.

                         About W.R. Grace

Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA)
-- http://www.grace.com/-- supplies catalysts and silica
products, especially construction chemicals and building
materials, and container products globally.  Grace employs
approximately 6,500 people in over 40 countries and had 2012 net
sales of $3.2 billion.

The company and its debtor-affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on April 2, 2001 (Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 01-01139).
David M. Bernick, P.C., Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, and Laura
Davis Jones, Esq., at Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones, LLP,
represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  The Debtors
hired Blackstone Group, L.P., for financial advice.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is the Debtors' accountant.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP, and Duane Morris, LLP, represent
the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  The Creditors
Committee tapped Capstone Corporate Recovery LLC for financial
advice.

Roger Frankel serves as legal representative for victims of
asbestos exposure who may file claims against W.R. Grace.  Mr.
Frankel, a partner at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, replaces
David Austern, who was appointed to that role in 2004.  Mr.
Frankel has served as legal counsel for Mr. Austern who passed
away in May 2013.  The FCR is represented by Orrick Herrington &
Sutcliffe LLP as counsel; Phillips Goldman & Spence, P.A., as
Delaware co-counsel; and Lincoln Partners Advisors LLC as
financial adviser.

Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Phillips Goldman & Spence, PA.
Elihu Inselbuch, Esq., at Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, and Marla
R. Eskin, Esq., at Campbell & Levine, LLC, represent the Official
Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants.  The Asbestos
Committee of Property Damage Claimants tapped Scott Baena, Esq.,
and Jay M. Sakalo, Esq., at Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod,
LLP, to represent it.  Thomas Moers Mayer, Esq., at Kramer Levin
Naftalis & Frankel, LLP, represents the Official Committee of
Equity Security Holders.

W.R. Grace obtained confirmation of a plan co-proposed with the
Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants, the
Official Committee of Equity Security Holders, and the Asbestos
Future Claimants Representative.   The Chapter 11 plan is built
around an April 2008 settlement for all present and future
asbestos personal injury claims, and a subsequent settlement for
asbestos property damage claims.  Implementation of the Plan has
been held up by appeals in District Court from various parties,
including a group of prepetition bank lenders and the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

District Judge Ronald Buckwalter on Jan. 31, 2012, entered an
order affirming the bankruptcy court's confirmation of the Plan.
Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald had approved the Plan on
Jan. 31, 2011.

The plan can't be implemented because pre-bankruptcy secured bank
lenders filed an appeal currently pending in the U.S. Court of
Appeals in Philadelphia.

Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., publishes W.R. Grace
Bankruptcy News.  The newsletter tracks the Chapter 11 proceeding
undertaken by W.R. Grace, W.R. Grace Co. - Conn. and their
affiliates. (http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Metex Mfg. Files Plan with $190MM Fibro Trust
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Rochelle, the bankruptcy columnist for Bloomberg News,
reports that Metex Manufacturing Corp., known as Kentile Floors
Inc. during its first bankruptcy reorganization, filed another
Chapter 11 plan this week to address asbestos claims arising after
the first bankruptcy was completed.

According to the report, into the 1980s, Kentile made tile using
asbestos.  From 1992 to 1998, Kentile's first bankruptcy dealt
with claims filed up to that time.  That bankruptcy proved
insufficient for dealing with later-filed claims.

Kentile said its insurance companies paid out $154 million after
the first bankruptcy to settle 10,000 claims. Renamed Metex on
filing for Chapter 11 protection again in November 2012, the
company had 26,000 active or inactive personal injury or wrongful
death claims.

Before the new bankruptcy, Great Neck, New York-based Metex put
together a prepackaged Chapter 11 plan supported by eight
insurance companies and several law firms representing thousands
of asbestos claimants. The plan didn't work as a prepack because
only about 66 percent of asbestos claims, by amount, voted for it,
shy of the 75 percent required.

In the prepackaged plan that failed, insurance companies would
have contributed $165 million to a trust.

The company and representatives of current and future asbestos
claimants cobbled together a new Chapter 11 plan substantially
similar to the one that failed. The major difference is that the
new plan is funded with $182.1 million to $189.75 million from
nine insurance companies, and it's richer by $15 million to $20
million, according to a court filing.

The plan takes advantage of a provision in bankruptcy law allowing
the insurance companies to obtain immunity from further liability
on their Kentile policies in return for the settlements, which are
to be approved along with the plan.

There will be a hearing on Feb. 20 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
Manhattan for approval of the disclosure statement explaining the
plan. Voting on the plan is to end May 2, followed by a
confirmation hearing on May 22.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. has been paying most of the claims in
recent years, Metex said in a court filing.

                            About Metex

Great Neck, New York-based Metex Mfg. Corporation, formerly known
as Kentile Floors, Inc., started business in the late 1800's as a
manufacturer of cork tile, and thereafter progressed to making
composite tile for commercial and residential use.

Metex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.
Case No. 12-14554) on Nov. 9, 2012.  The petition was signed by
Anthony J. Miceli, president.  The Debtor estimated its assets and
debts at $100 million to $500 million.  Judge Burton R. Lifland
presides over the case.

Paul M. Singer, Esq., and Gregory L. Taddonio, Esq., at Reed Smith
LLP, in Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Paul E. Breene, Esq., and Michael J.
Venditto, Esq., at Reed Smith LLP, in New York, N.Y., represent
the Debtor as counsel.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bid to Dismiss "Berensmann" Suit Denied
--------------------------------------------------------
In an asbestos personal injury action, defendant Georgia-Pacific,
LLC, moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and all
other claims asserted against it on the ground that plaintiff
William Berensmann testified that the GP product he may have been
exposed to did not contain asbestos.

Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of the Supreme Court, New York County,
denied the motion, holding that GP has not submitted anything to
show exactly when its asbestos-free product was first made
available, and specifically whether it was available in Manhattan
in 1974 and 1975.  Judge Heitler, therefore, ruled that it is
questionable whether Mr. Berensmann could have even worked with an
asbestos-free GP joint compound product during his exposure
period.

The case is WILLIAM BERENSMANN and MADELYN BERENSMANN, Plaintiffs,
v. 3M COMPANY, et al., Defendants, DOCKET NO. 190472/12, MOTION
SEQ. NO. 003 (N.Y. Sup.).  A full-text copy of Judge Heitler's
Dec. 13, 2013 Decision is available at http://is.gd/EDxLHIfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Nevada Court Dismisses Inmate's Civil Rights Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Kent J. Dawson of the United States District Court for the
District of Nevada dismissed with leave to file an amended
complaint a pro se civil rights action filed by Jose Granados
Dominguez, an inmate at the Clark County Detention Center.

The Plaintiff filed an action against Clark County, Nevada, and
the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, alleging that he was
subjected to the use of excessive force and that asbestos was
pumped into the air cooling system at the Clark County Detention
Center.

The case is JOSE GRANADOS DOMINGUEZ, Plaintiff, v. CLARK COUNTY
DETENTION CENTER, et al., Defendants, NO. 2:13-CV-01169-KJD-PAL
(D. Nev.).  A full-text copy of Judge Dawson's Decision dated Dec.
16, 2013, is available at http://is.gd/9yeNekfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Allows Discovery in "Amick" Suit
-------------------------------------------------------
Magistrate Cheryl A. Eifert of the United States District Court
for the Southern District of West Virginia, Charleston Division,
granted Defendant Ohio Power Company's discovery requests in the
action arising from the asbestos-related death of Barbara Amick.

The magistrate judge ruled that the information sought by OPC is
relevant and is not privileged.  The magistrate judge added that
OPC is entitled to know which entities have settled and which have
been dismissed without payment, as this information may alter the
defense offered by OPC and clarify its rights, if any, to
contribution, implied indemnity, or contractual indemnity.

The case is BARBARA E. AMICK, and ELDON AMICK, her husband,
Plaintiffs, v. OHIO POWER COMPANY, et al., Defendants, CASE NO.
2:13-CV-06593 (S.D. W.Va.).  A full-text copy of the memorandum
opinion and order dated Dec. 18, 2013, is available at
http://is.gd/s1EvSEfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Denies Summary Judgment in "Carlucci" Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs Daniel Carlucci and his wife Barbara Carlucci commenced
an action to recover damages for personal injuries allegedly
caused by Mr. Carlucci's occupational exposure to asbestos.
Defendant Union Carbide Corporation moved for summary judgment
dismissing the complaint against it on the ground that Mr.
Carlucci could not have been exposed to asbestos from a UCC
product.

Judge Sherry Klein Heitler of the Supreme Court, New York County,
denied UCC's motion.  Judge Heitler pointed out that without
giving credence to Mr. Carlucci's testimony that he is color
blind, UCC claimed that the white powdery product identified by
Mr. Carlucci could not have been a phenolic molding compound
because UCC's phenolic molding compounds were inherently dark
colored.  Therefore, UCC argued that it is entitled to summary
judgment because Mr. Carlucci's description of the product he
encountered is incorrect.  Judge Heitler, however, found that this
argument merely goes to the weight to be afforded to Mr.
Carlucci's testimony by the trier of fact, which should not be
determined by the court on a summary judgment motion.

The case is DANIEL T. CARLUCCI and BARBARA CARLUCCI, Plaintiffs,
v. A.W. CHESTERTON CO., INC., et al., Defendants, NO. 190486/11,
MOTION SEQ. NO. 011 (N.Y. Sup.).  A full-text copy of Judge
Heitler's Dec. 13, 2013 decision and order is available at
http://is.gd/Cbk46efrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Bid in "Herlihy" Suit Denied
--------------------------------------------------------------
In a decision and order dated Dec. 13, 2013, Judge Sherry Klein
Heitler of the Supreme Court, New York County, denied defendant
A.F. Supply Corporation's motion for summary judgment dismissing
the asbestos-related personal injury complaint and all cross-
claims asserted against it on the ground that there is no evidence
to show that plaintiff Arthur Herlihy was exposed to asbestos from
a product distributed by A.F. Supply.

According to Judge Heitler, the testimony of three deponents,
combined with the fact that the Defendant does not deny that it
regularly supplied and distributed asbestos-containing products to
Brooklyn Boiler Repair where the Plaintiff worked during the
relevant time period, constitute facts and circumstances from
which the defendant's liability may be reasonably inferred.  Mr.
Herlihy testified that AF Supply was one of Brooklyn Boiler's
major suppliers, and his two co-workers, Dominic Pane and Alfred
Sikorski testified that the asbestos-containing products Mr.
Herlihy worked with were purchased from AF Supply.  Any perceived
inconsistencies in their testimonies goes only to the weight to be
accorded thereto by the trier of fact, and does not entitle the
defendant to summary judgment, Judge Heitler concluded.

The case is ARTHUR HERLIHY and GAIL HERLIHY, Plaintiffs, v. A.F.
SUPPLY CORPORATION, et al., Defendant(s), DOCKET NO. 190149/11,
MOTION SEQ NO. 006 (N.Y. Sup.).  A full-text copy of Judge
Heitler's Decision is available at http://is.gd/ICQjaefrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Libby Worker's Claim Deemed Time-Barred
--------------------------------------------------------
On June 25, 2010, Steve Peterson signed a First Report of Injury
and Occupational Disease, alleging lung disease caused by years of
exposure to asbestos dust while employed with the "Stimson Lumber
Facility" in Libby, Montana.  The report reflects a date of injury
of "76-02."  Mr. Peterson also signed a similar claim on the same
day for the same date of injury against "Champion Lumber
Facility".

Champion denied the claim by letter dated July 6, 2010, from its
third-party administrator, Brentwood Services Administrators, Inc.
Liberty denied the claim on behalf of Stimson by letter dated July
27, 2010.  Liberty issued a second denial letter on September 27,
2012, following an occupational disease (OD) panel evaluation.

Judge James Jeremiah Shea of the Workers' Compensation Court of
Montana ruled that the Petitioner's claim for OD benefits is time-
barred.  Judge Shea said that Mr. Peterson knew or should have
known that his condition was related to an occupational disease
within one year following his diagnosis for asbestos-related
disease (ARD).  He was diagnosed with ARD in October 2005, and he
had one year from that date to file his claim.  He filed his claim
only in 2010.

The case is STEVE PETERSON, Petitioner, v. LIBERTY NW INS. CORP.
Respondent/Insurer, WCC NO. 2012-3022 (MTWCC).  A full-text copy
of Judge Shea's Dec. 31, 2013, findings of fact, conclusions of
law, and judgment is available at http://is.gd/VIKaxWfrom
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bid for Reconsideration in "Lefevre" Suit Denied
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case ROY J. LEFEVRE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. CBS
CORPORATION, et al., Defendants, CASE NO. C13-5058 RBL (W.D.
Wash.), Judge Ronald B. Leighton of the United States District
Court for the Western District of Washington, Tacoma, denied
Defendant Owens-Illinois' and Defendant Crown Cork's motions for
reconsideration, holding that there is no evidence that the danger
of "take home" asbestos exposure was foreseeable to them by 1958.

A full-text copy of Judge Leighton's Dec. 30, 2013 order is
available at http://is.gd/KagSLMfrom Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Bids Granted in "Cabasug" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
On June 1, 2012, Plaintiffs Robert and Joyce Cabasug filed an
action asserting claims for negligence, strict liability, breach
of warranty, loss of consortium, and punitive damages based on a
failure to warn theory against 25 Defendants that allegedly
manufactured, sold, and/or supplied various products containing
asbestos to the United States Navy.

As alleged in the Third Amended Complaint, Robert Cabasug was
exposed to asbestos contained in the Defendants' products while
working as a pipefitter and nuclear engineer at the Pearl Harbor
Naval Shipyard from 1973 through 2006, causing him to develop
mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

The Plaintiffs have named Defendants Maxim Evaporators, LLC, and
Viad Corp., as successors in interest to companies that allegedly
included asbestos components in their products to which Mr.
Cabasug was exposed -- Maxim's alleged predecessor is Emhart
Manufacturing Company, and the Plaintiffs assert that Viad's
alleged predecessors include Griscom-Russell Company, and
"Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton."

Maxim and Viad both argue that the Plaintiffs have failed to
establish that Cabasug was exposed to any asbestos components
supplied or manufactured by Emhart, GRC, or any BLH entity (there
are several BLH-related entities), and in any event Maxim and Viad
are not the legal corporate successors to these companies.

Applying the causation principles outlined in the court's
November 26, 2013 Order, Judge J. Michael Seabright of the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, in an order
dated Dec. 27, 2013 -- a copy of which is available at
http://is.gd/bQpwqtfrom Leagle.com -- found that the Plaintiffs
have failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact that
Cabasug was exposed to any asbestos manufactured or supplied by
any predecessor companies to Maxim or Viad and therefore granted
Maxim's and Viad's Motions for Summary Judgment.

Separately, the Plaintiffs and Defendant Aurora Pump Company raise
the issue of whether a defendant may assert the affirmative
defenses of the sophisticated purchaser and/or the sophisticated
user under maritime law.  These defenses, if recognized in
maritime law, would allow the Defendants to argue that they are
not liable because the Navy and/or Cabasug was aware of the
dangers of asbestos.

Judge Seabright, in another order dated Dec. 27 -- a copy of which
is available at http://is.gd/JyYfiRfrom Leagle.com -- found that
only the sophisticated user defense is cognizable under the facts
presented, and therefore granted in part and denied in part the
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, and denied Aurora's
Motion for Summary Judgment.

The case is ROBERT A. CABASUG and JOYCE C. CABASUG, Plaintiffs, v.
CRANE COMPANY, et al., Defendants, CIVIL NO. 12-00313 JMS/BMK
(S.D. Ga.).


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wis. Appeals Court Flips Ruling in "Viola" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Anthony Viola, individually and as special administrator of the
estate of his father, Robert Viola, and Christopher Viola appeal
the trial court's grant of summary judgment on the claim asserted
against Wisconsin Electric Power Company for violation of the Safe
Place statute.  Viola sued Wisconsin Electric under the Safe Place
statute, alleging that the presence of asbestos in the air during
and following routine repairs to Wisconsin Electric's buildings
constituted an unsafe condition associated with the premises.
Viola also alleged that Wisconsin Electric had actual and/or
constructive notice of the condition, but failed to take any steps
to remedy it.

On appeal, Viola contends that the trial court erred in concluding
that the presence of asbestos in Wisconsin Electric's premises as
alleged in Viola's amended complaint was not an "unsafe
condition," but rather, a negligent "act of operation" barring
recovery.

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District
I, in an opinion dated Dec. 27, 2013, agreed with Viola, and
therefore reversed and remanded the case for trial.

The case is ANTHONY VIOLA, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS SPECIAL
ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF ROBERT VIOLA AND CHRISTOPHER VIOLA,
INDIVIDUALLY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. WISCONSIN ELECTRIC POWER
CO., DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT, ALLIED INSULATION SUPPLY CO., INC.,
FOSTER WHEELER ENERGY CORPORATION, GENERAL ELECTRIC, METROPOLITAN
LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, OAKFABCO, INC., OWENS ILLINOIS, INC.,
RAPID AMERICAN CORPORATION AND TRANE US, INC., DEFENDANTS, APPEAL
NO. 2013AP22 (Wis. App.).  A full-text copy of the Court of
Appeals' Decision is available at http://is.gd/XnObO5from
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tenn. Appeals Court Flips Ruling in "Payne" Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Winston Payne brought an action against his former employer, CSX
Transportation, Inc., under the Federal Employers' Liability Act,
alleging that CSX negligently exposed him to asbestos, diesel
fumes, and radioactive materials in the workplace causing his
injuries.

The jury returned a verdict finding (1) that CSX negligently
caused Payne's injuries; (2) that CSX violated the Locomotive
Inspection Act or safety regulations regarding exposure to
asbestos, diesel fumes, and radioactive materials; and (3) that
Payne's contributory negligence caused 62% of the harm he
suffered.  The jury found that "adequate compensation" for Payne's
injuries was $8.6 million.

After the jury returned its verdict, the trial court, sua sponte,
instructed the jury, for the first time, that, under FELA, its
finding that CSX violated a statute or regulation enacted for the
safety of its employees meant that the Plaintiff would recover
100% of the damages found by the jury.  The court sent the jury
back for further deliberations.

It shortly returned with an amended verdict of "$3.2 million @
100%."  Six months after the court entered judgment on the $3.2
million verdict, it granted CSX's motion for a new trial, citing
"instructional and evidentiary errors."  The case was then
assigned to another trial judge, who thereafter granted CSX's
motion for summary judgment as to the entirety of the Plaintiff's
complaint.  The second judge ruled that the causation testimony of
all of plaintiff's expert witnesses was inadmissible.

The Court of Appeals of Tennessee, at Knoxville, in an opinion
dated Dec. 27, 2013, held that the trial court erred in
instructing the jury, sua sponte, on a purely legal issue, i.e.,
that the jury's finding of negligence per se under FELA precluded
apportionment of any fault to the Plaintiff based upon
contributory negligence, an instruction given after the jury had
returned a verdict that was complete, consistent, and based on the
instructions earlier provided to it by the trial court.

The Court of Appeals further held that, contrary to the trial
court's statements, the court did not make any prejudicial
evidentiary rulings in conducting the trial, and that its jury
instructions, read as a whole, were clear, correct, and complete.
Consequently, the trial court erred in granting a new trial.  The
Court of Appeals remanded to the trial court.  The Court of
Appeals directed the first trial judge to review the evidence as
thirteenth juror and determine whether the jury verdict in the
amount of $8.6 million is against the clear weight of the
evidence.  If it is not, the Court of Appeals directed the trial
judge to enter judgment on that verdict.

If, on the other hand, the trial judge finds that the larger
verdict is against the clear weight of the evidence, the Court of
Appeals directed the court to enter a final judgment on the jury's
verdict of $3.2 million.  The Court of Appeals stated that the
trial court's grant of summary judgment is rendered moot by its
judgment.  However, in the event the Supreme Court determines that
our judgment is in error, the Court of Appeals held that the grant
of summary judgment was not appropriate.

The case is ANNE PAYNE, v. CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC., NO. E2012-
02392-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. App.).  A full-text copy of the Court of
Appeal's Decision dated Dec. 27, 2013, is available at
http://is.gd/MTDIIYfrom Leagle.com.

Richard N. Shapiro, Esq., in Virginia Beach, Virginia; Sidney W.
Gilreath, Esq., and Cary L. Bauer, Esq., in Knoxville, Tennessee,
for the appellant, Anne Payne.

Randall A. Jordan, Esq., Karen Jenkins Young, Esq., and
Christopher R. Jordan, Esq., in St. Simons Island, Georgia; Evan
M. Tager, Esq., and Carl J. Summers, Esq., in Washington, D.C.;
John W. Baker, Jr., Esq., and Emily L. Herman-Thompson, Esq., in
Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, CSX Transportation, Inc.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Victims in Firm Build Case Speak in Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Victor Patton, writing for Merced Sunstar, reported that several
former Merced County high school students who were exposed to
asbestos confronted three men, federal prosecutors say are
responsible for putting their health at risk.

The group spoke in Fresno federal court during a sentencing and
restitution hearing in the Firm Build case. Three former
executives of Firm Build, Rudy Buendia III, Patrick Bowman and
Joseph Cuellar, pleaded no contest in March to federal charges of
violating federal asbestos laws. As part of their plea agreements,
the defendants are each scheduled to spend about two years in
federal prison.

Federal prosecutors say the men used the high school students to
remove the cancer-causing substance from a renovation project at
Castle Commerce Center, called the Automotive Training Center,
from September 2005 to March 2006.

The Merced County Office of Education had contracted with Firm
Build to provide job training to high school students. Prosecutors
say Bowman, Buendia and Cuellar cut corners on the renovation
project by knowingly using the students to remove asbestos from
the 2245 Jetstream Drive building, under the guise of involving
them in work experience and job training programs.

An investigator with the Environmental Protection Agency testified
that about 68 people may have been exposed to asbestos at the
Castle site.

State and federal laws explicitly limit asbestos removal to
personnel who have been adequately trained and properly equipped
with special safety gear and clothing. The students at the
Automotive Training Center were said to have demolished tiles,
pipe insulation and other items containing asbestos with only
hammers and other basic tools.

All of the former students who spoke in court are now in their
mid-20s. Many testified to U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill
that their street clothes were covered in dust while removing the
asbestos materials from the building.

Some said the debris from breaking up the material caused a fog-
like cloud inside the building. "When we left the building, it
looked like we had white hair because there was so much dust in
it," said former student Daisy Ambriz.

Some of the former students said the dust entered their noses and
mouths.

Roberto Torres said the building was so dusty, he and his fellow
students would need to take breaks, hoping the building would air
out. Torres said he now suffers from frequent nose bleeds and
chest pains. He wonders whether he'll live long enough to raise
children and see them grow into adulthood.

"I am concerned for my health and safety," Torres told Judge
O'Neill. "If I don't make it to see kids, at least let justice
happen to us, as students."

Former student Vanessa Farias said she has thought the Firm Build
program would be a good opportunity to get work experience. "I
wasn't told the insulation contained asbestos. All I was told was
it would make me itch for a couple of days," Farias said. "It's
really scary to think I could develop cancer and have all these
problems."

Others worried that they may have exposed their family members to
asbestos upon coming home. "I could have contaminated my family,"
said Daniel Avalos.

He and many other former students believe the three men deserve
time in prison for their crimes. "They knew what they were doing,
and I strongly believe these men should not be let off at all,"
Avalos said.

The courtroom was packed with supporters on both sides of the
aisle. Several supporters of the defendants also spoke during the
hearing, citing them as men who play an active role in the
community.

Kevin Cuellar, son of defendant Joesph Cuellar, described his
father as someone who taught him to be "honest and truthful."
Kevin Cuellar said he started his own company, thanks to the
positive influence of his father. "I couldn't ask for a better
father," he said.

In August, Judge O'Neill told prosecutors he thought the prison
sentences in the plea agreements were excessive. He recommended
attorneys to possibly negotiate a different deal.

But federal prosecutors maintained the plea agreements were
appropriate, given the statements by the victims about how they've
been affected by the asbestos exposure and compared to similar
asbestos cases nationwide, according to court documents.

Despite the plea agreements, Buendia, Bowman and Cuellar probably
won't be formally sentenced for nearly two months.

Buendia's attorney Jeremy Kroger indicated in court that his
client has requested an independent review of the plea agreement.
Kroger said Buendia may also file a motion to withdraw his plea
deal. O'Neill set a Jan. 6 court date to discuss that issue. If
Buendia doesn't file a motion to withdraw his plea, O'Neill said
the three men will be sentenced Feb. 3.

In addition to the federal case, the trio pleaded no contest in
Merced County Superior Court in May to state felony charges of
treating, handling or disposing of asbestos in a manner that
caused an unreasonable risk of serious injury to students, with
reckless disregard for their safety. Under the terms of their plea
deals, the time they spend in federal prison will cover the
convictions in both state and federal court.

Restitution amounts are still being discussed in the case,
although experts for the prosecution have stated medical
monitoring costs for the victims over the next 50 years could be
millions of dollars.

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, who
scouted and determined the nonprofit's projects. Cuellar was an
administrative manager who had the contractor's license that Firm
Build used to find grant funding, procure contracts and obtain
permits for projects, according to investigators.

Several of the former students have filed a civil case in Merced
County Superior Court that seeks undisclosed damages from Buendia,
Bowman and Cuellar. The case, which seeks damages due to possible
injuries and emotional suffering, also names the Merced County
Office of Education as a defendant, in addition to Lee Andersen,
Merced County superintendent of schools at the time.

The Merced County Office of Education signed a lease for the
Jetstream Drive building in June 2005, with the intent to use
vocational students to remodel it as an automotive teaching
center. The lease was signed by Andersen and Jerry O'Banion, then
chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

The documents disclosed asbestos, lead-based paint, black mold and
groundwater contamination at the site. The asbestos was referenced
in the lease and also in a sublease agreement.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Schools Containing Fibro Required to Place Signs
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Farrah Tomazin, writing for The Age, reported that schools in
Victoria, Australia, containing asbestos will be required to place
warning signs at their front gate after the Education Department
was taken to court and ordered to lift its game following a series
of safety breaches.

WorkSafe documents reveal that legal action was recently taken
against the department for putting several schools at risk --
despite the government previously insisting it had a
"comprehensive system" to manage asbestos and keep students safe.

Under a binding agreement with the workplace authority, schools
that have asbestos will now be required to erect warning signs on
gates and buildings; hundreds of audits will be conducted over the
next 18 months; and principals will be properly trained in
asbestos safety procedures.

The breaches were recorded at three schools: Newlands Primary
School, Clayton South Primary School, and Timboon P-12 College,
all of which were found to have insufficient labelling or auditing
practices.

Timboon, which is located in Transport Minister Terry Mulder
electorate, was forced to shut down temporarily in July, when a
WorkSafe inspector issued two prohibition notices after finding
asbestos and peeling lead paint on site.

The department has since acknowledged wrongdoing and signed an
"enforceable undertaking" with the state's workplace authority
promising to improve. But the revelations are an embarrassing blow
for the government, which has repeatedly insisted that "all
schools are safe" and that it already had appropriate measures to
deal with asbestos.

Alarm bells sounded in June, when previously unreleased audits
revealed that two-thirds of Victoria's 1531 public schools
contained asbestos, and that many faced "substantial risk" unless
the material was removed, sealed or labelled.

At the time, Education Minister Martin Dixon told Fairfax Media:
"We have a comprehensive system in place that includes expert
training, detailed asbestos management plans and a hotline that
schools can call to get an immediate site inspection and, where
appropriate, have the asbestos removed."

Former Labor policy adviser Andrew Herington, who obtained the
audit documents under freedom-of-information laws, welcomed the
latest improvements, but said the department should have acted
sooner, before being taken to court.

Opposition education spokesman James Merlino agreed, accusing the
government of "direct and disgraceful cuts" to the education
budget, which he claimed had delayed the removal of asbestos in
schools.

However, Mr. Dixon hit back, warning Labor not to "cynically
politicise how seriously the government and [the department] take
the safety of students and staff".

As part of its agreement with WorkSafe, the department must now
establish a new taskforce to monitor how schools are managing
asbestos.

About 400 audits must be completed by June 30 next year, and 180
must take place in each subsequent year so the government can
track which schools contain the potentially hazardous material.
Following each audit, schools that carry asbestos will be required
to have a sign at the front gate directing visitors to reception,
a sign at reception alerting visitors to the school's asbestos
register and management plan, and a sign on the door of any
building that contains asbestos.

Asbestos was popularly used in buildings between the 1950s and
'70s, before the health risks were widely known. While it is
relatively safe when undisturbed, fibres that become airborne can
lead to diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Australian Education Union spokeswoman Carolyn Clancy said a
crackdown was long overdue. "It's not just about auditing, it's
also about keeping a central register to show where the asbestos
is," she said.

Education Department spokesman Simon Craig said in most cases,
schools managed their asbestos appropriately. "However, when risks
emerge at schools, or if schools require additional support, we
intervene immediately," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Dust All Over" Mudgee Mayor's Fibro Clean-Up
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Barlass, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reported that
concerns have been raised about the demolition of two properties
owned by the mayor of Mudgee, in New South Wales, Australia, that
allegedly left the site contaminated with asbestos.

After the demolition, Des Kennedy, the mayor of the Mid-Western
Regional Council, sold the land in March 2012 to community housing
charity Housing Plus. When the charity sought development approval
to build 20 affordable housing units, he joined those voting to
grant approval.

But when the charity asked for a grant of $150,000, council
records show the mayor declared an interest as the former owner of
the land and absented himself from the vote.

The request for the grant towards the development was refused.
When it emerged that contamination on the site was extensive, the
council allowed the toxic waste to be buried at an authorised
council tip at ratepayers' expense, waiving a $103,688 charge.

Housing Plus chief executive Karen Andrew said: "What I can
confirm is that we purchased the land from the mayor as a private
individual. The site was heavily contaminated with asbestos and we
asked the council to waive the tipping fee, which they did."

Documents provided to the Environmental Protection Agency
concerning the demolition process include a petition from seven
neighbours who have claimed it was done without asbestos safety
equipment, waste was buried in channels and they were concerned
they may in the future contract asbestosis.

Terry Tattersall, who lives two doors away from the site, told
Fairfax Media: "They never told us the buildings were going to be
pulled down and they didn't have any overalls on. There was dust
all over the place."

The council officers' report in February recommending approval of
the development said some asbestos sheeting was observed in a
preliminary contamination investigation by the charity and
recommended as a condition of approval that the top 50 millimetres
of the site be removed to a licensed waste facility.

In a letter to the council's general manager, Warwick Bennett, in
July, Ms Andrew wrote: "Housing Plus purchased the site in 2012,
unaware of the contamination, and is now in the unfortunate
situation of being left to remediate the site."

She addressed the council that month and said they had paid
$885,000 for the land, which was sold as "usable development land
but that was not the case".

She said contamination that necessitated removal of 700 tonnes of
soil was not declared in the contract and she was trying to obtain
details relating to the demolition and burial of materials.
WorkCover had also been informed, she said.

The following month the council, having previously refused the
charity's application for a $150,000 grant because it had
completed its 2013-14 budget and "does not have the funds", agreed
to a $100,000 grant. Councillor Percy Thompson, himself a former
mayor, said: "The council has waived the tipping fees, which
should have been paid by the previous owner. The mayor . . .
should have to pay for it."

Cr Thompson put forward a motion calling for the council to
recover the tipping fee of $103,688 from the mayor but it was not
accepted on the council agenda and was considered "unlawful" by
the council's general manager.

Emails to Cr Kennedy went unanswered, as did requests to the
council media contact for a response.

The EPA said any issues associated with misconduct should be
directed to authorities such as the NSW Ombudsman or the Division
of Local Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: India Urged to Ban Import and Usage of Fibro
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brayton Purcell LLP announced on Dec. 21, 2013, that a letter has
been sent to three of India's government officials, urging them to
ban the import and usage of asbestos in their country. The letter
is addressed to India's ministers of Health & Family Welfare,
Labour & Employment, and Forests & Environment. It is signed by
100 labor and health organizations and more than 200 scientists,
representing 36 countries.

The letter states that India has increased its asbestos
importation by 186 percent between 2006 and 2012. Furthermore,
India has been targeted by the asbestos industry as part of a
campaign aimed at Asian countries, which constitute 70 percent of
asbestos market buyers. As part of the effort to build India's
consumption and use of asbestos, the International Chrysotile
Association is holding a conference in New Delhi, presenting
asbestos as a safe product.

However, all types of asbestos have been shown to be the cause of
several illnesses, including asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung
cancer, and other cancers. Hundreds of cases have already been
reported in India, and that number is expected to climb. While the
United States no longer uses asbestos in the majority of its
products, many thousands of people still suffer each year from the
long-latency effects of exposure, and many families have lost
loved ones from asbestos-related diseases.

                       About Brayton Purcell LLP

With offices in California, Oregon, and Utah, counsel in
Washington, and co-counsel in Oklahoma, Brayton Purcell LLP
represents workers and their families all throughout the U.S. The
law firm focuses its practice on mesothelioma and other asbestos-
related litigation, other toxic-torts, defective medical devices,
catastrophic accident, medical malpractice, estate planning, , any
type of personal injury, elder law and elder abuse, payday loan
litigation, medical drug injuries, mortuary malpractice, beryllium
exposure, and real estate law.

Clients are treated with compassion and understanding and receive
quality legal representation. Brayton Purcell LLP offers an in-
house investigation team, over 220 experienced staff members and
50 qualified and knowledgeable attorneys. The law firm has
successfully won numerous multimillion-dollar settlements and
verdicts on behalf of its clients.

When you have been injured through the negligent acts of a company
or an individual, you have the legal right to pursue appropriate
compensation. Contact Brayton Purcell LLP at 415-895-2669 or 800-
598-0314 to set up a free consultation with an attorney, or visit
www.braytonlaw.com for more information.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lower Exposure No Protection Against Mesothelioma
------------------------------------------------------------------
Surviving Mesothelioma is reporting on new research that suggests
that industrial workers at the lowest levels of the asbestos
exposure spectrum may still be at risk for deadly mesothelioma,
lung cancer, and laryngeal cancer.

The study, published recently in the Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine, used data from the long-running
Netherlands Cohort Study of 58,279 Norwegian men between 55 and 69
years old. To determine the association between asbestos risk and
cancer, researchers compared each man's job history to asbestos-
exposure matrices of various occupations. They then compared
likely levels of asbestos exposure to the incidence of
mesothelioma and several other cancers.

After 17.3 years of follow-up, there were 132 cases of
mesothelioma, 2,324 cases of lung cancer, and 166 cases of
laryngeal cancer. Although it is very rare, mesothelioma is
considered the most deadly of the asbestos-linked cancers because
of its fast progression and resistance to standard treatments. Of
the three types of cancer studied, only two subtypes -- lung
adenocarcinoma (a form of non-small cell lung cancer) and glottis
cancer (a subtype of laryngeal cancer affecting the vocal chords)
-- were associated with higher levels of prolonged asbestos
exposure.

For mesothelioma and all other categories of lung and laryngeal
cancer, even lower levels of asbestos exposure were enough to
trigger disease. "Asbestos levels encountered at the lower end of
the exposure distribution may be associated with an increased risk
of pleural mesothelioma, lung cancer, and laryngeal cancer," the
researchers conclude.

The U.S. EPA has stated that all levels of asbestos exposure are
potentially risky. They have strict guidelines governing the
handling and disposal of asbestos and recommend that do-it-
yourself home renovators hire asbestos abatement professionals in
order to minimize their mesothelioma risk.

The original study appears in the Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine, the journal of the American College of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (Offermans, NS, et al,
"Occupational Asbestos Exposure and Risk of Pleural Mesothelioma,
Lung Cancer, and Laryngeal Cancer in the Prospective Netherlands
Cohort Study", December 17, 2013, Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine, Epub ahead of print.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24351898)

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers
the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes,
diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving
Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-
reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved
ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more
informed decisions.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Group Sees Great Potential in Hotel Renovation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Martin Kidston, writing for The Missoulian, reported that Hotel
Deer Lodge, in Montana, sat sealed on the corner of Main Street
and Missouri Avenue for nearly 40 years, collecting dust and
accommodating pigeons.

The inside crumbled with neglect, water penetrated the roof and
the Hotel Deer Lodge held it secrets close.

"It's a time capsule of the 1970s," said Tim Roberts, standing
amid the hotel's crumbling plaster and aging woodwork. "This is a
pretty touching place. It's a nice piece of history."

With a deep chill hanging over the Deer Lodge Valley, a generator
hummed outside the four-level hotel, a few cords snaked under a
forgotten door hidden off a seemingly forgotten alley.

To an outsider unable to see past the hotel's boarded-up windows,
the generator's buzz marked the only sign of life within, where
crews with Abatement Contractors of Montana worked to assess the
building's potential hazards ahead of plans for restoration.

"We're doing a comprehensive asbestos and lead inspection to
figure out where asbestos might be present, where it's located,
and what condition it's in," said Roberts. "We'll see what needs
to be removed or encapsulated to make it safe during construction
and reoccupation."

While Roberts wouldn't share the crew's early findings, he said
the Hotel Deer Lodge remains structurally sound, even if its
appearance indicates otherwise. The results of the assessment -
funded by a Brownfields grant through the Environmental Protection
Agency - are expected in six to eight weeks.

"Given the age and what the building has gone through, it's in
pretty remarkable condition," said Roberts. "Visually, it's kind
of a wreck right now, but you'd expect that with a place that's
been locked up for nearly 40 years."

Roberts and his crew are subcontracted by Weston Solutions of
Lakewood, Colo. Their work marks the latest chapter in the hotel's
102-year history, which saw it rise to prominence along the
Northern Pacific and Milwaukee Road rail lines before falling into
disrepair.

                                   ***

The results of the assessment will dictate what happens next to
the old hotel. Until then, the property might be compared to an
elephant in the room, its massive presence dominating one of Deer
Lodge's most prominent corners.

"I used to play in there when I was this high," said Scott
Malcolm, whose grandfather Andrew Malcolm bought the hotel in
1939. "I'd run up and down the halls in my diaper and ride the
elevator."

Malcolm, who still keeps a brass key fob from the old hotel,
remembers the glory days and how a local resident once rode his
horse through Wally's Bar into the hotel lobby before the sheriff
ran him off.

Malcolm's father kept an office on the hotel's main floor, where
he worked as an accountant and helped on the desk. The family
owned the building until 1984 or 1985 -- Malcolm isn't sure which.

Records suggest the hotel was empty long before that.

"After the Milwaukee Railroad shut down, we weren't getting any
customers here," said Malcolm. "I think it's fantastic they're
trying to do this. I hope they restore it and get it going again."

There may be growing support to see that happen, as the
structure's full potential becomes clearer to those who have
passed the building for nearly 40 years, sometimes forgetting it
was even there.

If Deer Lodge wants to reinvent itself and jump-start is
struggling economy, supporters of the project believe, it must
preserve its history and return the town's once prominent hotel to
public use, just as it did with the Rialto Theater after a fire
razed that historic property in 2006.

No one believes that more than Sherrill Kraakmo, executive
director of the Deer Lodge Development Group, who said the hotel
might be one of the first -- if not the first -- steel structures
built in Montana.

Once a long shot for rejuvenation, Kraakmo said, Deer Lodge is
awash with fresh enthusiasm. While the naysayers are still
present, she said a new sense of optimism has filled the city's
streets, and the hotel plays prominently in the picture.

"They're seeing the possibilities -- the potential for Deer
Lodge," Kraakmo said. "I think that's critical if we're going to
move forward and accomplish our goals."

Getting to this point has been a long time coming -- and a
lifelong vision for Kraakmo. As a girl, she saw the potential for
Deer Lodge, and she dreamed of revitalizing its downtown.

Two years ago, Kraakmo left her job selling real estate in Seattle
to join family in the Deer Lodge Valley. She also came to help the
community breathe new life into its economy, focusing in part on
its historic charm.

"Deer lodge has been on my radar since I was 15 -- that's 33
years," she said. "We moved to Deer Lodge to surprise my
grandparents for Christmas. I had visions of revitalization in my
head."

                                 ***

With the blessing of Mayor Mary Ann Fraley, the Deer Lodge
Development Group formed behind Kraakmo and five board members in
June 2012. It set out to revitalize the community, launch a buy-
local campaign, and promote local history and tourism.

But two short months after forming, the owners of the Hotel Deer
Lodge approached the group with an offer to sell the structure.
The owners had held the building for nearly 20 years, and each day
it sat empty, falling further into disrepair.

"Our concern was letting the building go to a different owner, who
might buy it with good intentions but let it sit there for another
20 years," Kraakmo said. "The hotel is such a prominent part of
Main Street. It's too important to let it go, so we decided to buy
it."

The development group had hoped to tackle some smaller goals
first, but the hotel's $45,000 asking price was reasonable, even
if the timing was poor. The group set out to raise the funds but
fell short of its goal, bringing in just $12,000.

Yet luck was on their side.

"We had someone here in town who believed in the project and they
became an anonymous benefactor who provided us with a low-interest
loan," Kraakmo said. "We closed on the property in April."

With local residents looking for progress, Kraakmo admits the
upstart group has something to prove.

To maintain forward momentum, it has taken small steps to patch
the hotel's roof and enhance its curbside appeal.

"We painted the main floor storefronts to give it a facelift,"
Kraakmo said. "The Montana State Prison fire crew came out and did
the painting for us. They're eager to help us do things with the
hotel, and they've been a pleasure to work with."

Fresh black and green paint warm the building's facade while a
cowboy mural boarded over the front windows depicts the likes of
Johnny Grant and Granville Stuart -- both Deer Lodge Valley
pioneers.

Yet the needs of the hotel extend beyond patches and paint, and
they could ring in as high as $5.4 million. The group has a steep
hill to climb, but Kraakmo said it's making progress with the help
of the EPA and its Brownfields assessment grant.

"They work with community nonprofits to identify and put together
a cleanup plan for these vacant properties that have great
potential, but come with development issues," Kraakmo said. "It's
a huge savings for us, and once we get the report back, we can
develop a plan for our next step."

That will include working with an architect on a feasibility study
to explore the hotel's future possibilities. One year from now,
Deer Lodge Development Group will apply for an EPA cleanup grant
to help cover the cost of abatement, if the current assessment
reveals that need.

"It's a long process, but it has to be done methodically and in
the right order, so it can keep moving forward," Kraakmo said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Action Needed as Firefighter Cancer Rates Rise
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fire Engineering reported that an analysis of the health records
of nearly 30,000 firefighters in three major American cities
reaffirmed the conclusions of numerous smaller studies --
professional firefighters have higher incidences of many cancers
than the general population, reports seacoastonline.com

At this point the evidence seems incontrovertible.

"Compared with the U.S. population, we found small to moderate
increases in risk for several cancer sites and for all cancers
combined, stemming mostly from excess malignancies of the
respiratory, digestive and urinary systems in otherwise healthy
individuals," reports the Center for Disease Control's National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, in a study released
in October. "Our findings are consistent with previous studies and
strengthen evidence of a relation between firefighters'
occupational exposure and cancer."

The study also found a strong link between firefighter exposure to
asbestos and malignant mesothelioma.

"Given that asbestos is the only known causal agent for malignant
mesothelioma, and firefighter exposures are probable, the excess
is likely to be a causal association."

"Since we accept the scientific findings linking firefighting to
increased cancer risk, and since we highly value the service
firefighters provide our communities, we accept that society has a
responsibility to help firefighters mitigate the risk and, when
cancer is diagnosed, to help firefighters and their families deal
with it in the best way possible.

"Mitigation, we expect, will prove less complicated than
remediation."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeals Court Upholds Fibro Convictions
--------------------------------------------------------
Lucas L. Johnson II, writing for The Associated Press, reported
that a federal appeals court upheld the convictions of two men
found guilty of violating federal environmental laws during the
demolition of a Chattanooga textile mill that contained large
amounts of asbestos.

James Mathis and Donald Fillers were convicted in 2012 of
conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act in demolishing a textile
mill without properly removing asbestos. Prosecutors said the
demolition allowed asbestos, which can cause cancer and other
fatal diseases, to become airborne.

Fillers was given a four-year prison sentence and fined $20,000,
while Mathis was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

In challenging their convictions, both men claimed there was
insufficient evidence in their case.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that
there was plenty of sufficient evidence to convict the men, and
affirmed a district court's ruling.

Particularly in the case of Fillers, the court said "ample
evidence exists . . . that Fillers knowingly acted with others to
unlawfully remove asbestos from the site."

During the three-week trial, witnesses testified that asbestos
littered the demolition site. An employee of a nearby daycare
facility testified that the air in the area was so contaminated
that children at the daycare were unable to play outside,
according to court documents.

Fillers' violations include failure to wet the material containing
asbestos during removal and failure to containerize and timely
dispose of the material.

Owners and operators of demolition activities must give a notice -
- including a description of the location and amount of asbestos -
- to the Environmental Protection Agency 10 days before
demolition.

Prosecutors said Mathis acted fraudulently by agreeing with
Fillers to file a false 10-day notice, which vastly understated
the amount of asbestos at the site.

"The jury . . . had ample evidence to conclude that Mathis
knowingly violated the removal requirement," the appeals court
said.

Mathis' attorney did not immediately return a call to The
Associated Press. However, Fillers' attorney, Leslie Cory, said
she's disappointed with the ruling and planned to discuss options
with her client.

"Mr. Fillers has several options," said Cory, who declined to
elaborate. "I'm going to go over them with him and he'll make the
final decision of what he wants to do next."

David Wood, another defendant in the case, was found guilty on
similar charges and given a 20-month prison sentence. Fillers'
company, Watkins Street Project LLC, also was found guilty and
ordered to pay a $30,000 fine.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Deadly Dust Removed from Towneley Hall
-------------------------------------------------------
Lancashire Telegraph reported that asbestos is to be removed from
Towneley Hall while it is closed to the public in January 2014.

A survey of the historic hall identified small amounts of asbestos
left from previous removals.

That will now be cleared while the hall is closed in January, with
improvements being made to the National History Gallery.

Mick Cartledge, director of community services at Burnley Council,
said: "A routine management survey at Towneley ahead of the new
developments on the Natural History Gallery identified some
residue from previous asbestos removals.

"This is in the non-public areas of the Hall, namely the cellars
and boiler room. This will be removed in the form of an
environmental clean.

"This clean will be carried at the same time as the planned
closure of the Hall for the major revamp the Hall's National
History Gallery. The clean will be complete for the Hall reopening
to the public on February 1."

During January, Towneley staff will be working hard to install a
new Natural History gallery and display, and to create a new
exhibition gallery. Arts Council funding as part of the Pennine
Lancashire Museum partnership, will see new family friendly
displays and activity areas installed. Visitors to the hall from
February will also be able to view new interpretation panels and
displays.

Coun John Harbour, Burnley Council's executive member for leisure
and culture, said: "The new year is going to see some great
changes made to Towneley Hall."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fibro Victims Ask Yale to Revoke Honorary Degree
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Diane Orson, writing for WNPR News, reported that an Italian
organization representing victims of asbestos exposure has asked
Yale University to rescind an honorary degree awarded to the owner
of the company they once worked for.

In the mid-1970s, Swiss billionaire Stefan Schmidheiny took over
his family's business. The Eternit company had plants around the
world that produced asbestos cement products. The largest was in
Casale Monferrato, Italy.

Connecticut lawyer Christopher Meisenkothen represents shipyard
workers and boiler makers who worked with asbestos here in the
U.S., and later developed diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer,
and mesothelioma. He is handling the Italian request to Yale, pro
bono.

Meisenkothen described notes from an Eternit company meeting in
the 1970s. "Clearly," he said, "they were acknowledging in 1976
that the workers were at risk. The plant continued to use asbestos
for many years after that. They could have given the workers
respiratory protection, [or] installed exhaust fans. And the
worker testimony from workers at the time consistently indicates
that there were no serious precautions taken in the plant."

Two years later, Schmidheiny began to dismantle the company's
asbestos processing concern. He went on to use his wealth to
support eco-friendly sustainable development in other parts of the
world.

In 2012, Schmidheiny was tried in absentia in Italy. He was found
guilty of causing the deaths of thousands of people in Casale
Monferrato, and has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Victims
and their families said Yale should reconsider whether he still
deserves an honorary degree.

Thomas Pogge, a professor in the philosophy department at Yale
University, said the accusations deserve careful inquiry. "This is
very important new information," he said, "that I think, at the
very least, should be looked at very carefully by the authorities
at Yale. Yale has a very distinguished record, actually, in
asbestos research. And we have the requisite expertise to convene
an excellent faculty committee that could look into this case in
more depth."

Yale authorities declined WNPR's request for comment, but in a
statement, said the 1996 honorary degree was based on
Schmidheiny's advocacy for sustainable economic development. Yale
has never revoked an honorary degree.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Workers Exposed to Deadly Dust for Seven Years
---------------------------------------------------------------
Safety Signs Supplies reported that a health board has been fined
after multiple workers were exposed to asbestos over a seven-year
period, despite being warned on three occasions that the area was
"high risk".

The asbestos was located in Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.
Three surveys determined that there were high levels of asbestos
in the ceiling of a plant and switch room that required "removal
and environmental cleaning".

However, Greater Glasgow Health Board had taken no such action
over seven years. Many workers had become exposed to the asbestos,
as without warning signs they were unaware of the material.

Greater Glasgow Health Board pleaded guilty to one breach of
Regulation 4(10)(b) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006,
and was fined GBP10,000 as a result.

Aileen Jardine, an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive,
said:  "It is important that exposure to asbestos fibres is kept
to an absolute minimum. Glasgow Health Board failed in its duty to
properly manage the risks of asbestos in its premises."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: U.K. Revises Guidance on Managing Fibro
--------------------------------------------------------
The Health & Safety Executive in the United Kingdom has revised
its guidance for helping businesses understand how to work safely
with asbestos.

The Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs) L127 (The management of
asbestos in non-domestic premises) and L143 (Work with materials
containing asbestos) have been consolidated into one single
revised ACOP -- L143 Managing and working with asbestos.

L143 has been revised to make it easier for businesses and
employers to understand and meet their legal obligations. It also
reflects the changes introduced in The Control of Asbestos
Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) on the notification of non-licensed
work with asbestos, and consequent arrangements for employee
medical examinations and record keeping.

Legal responsibilities to protect workers' health and safety are
not altered by any changes to ACOPs.

K„ren Clayton, Director of HSE's Long Latency Health Risks
Division, said: "The two ACOPs have been updated and brought
together to help employers find the information they need quickly
and easily and understand how to protect their workers from
dangers of working with asbestos. The revised ACOP also provides
better clarity on identifying  dutyholders for non-domestic
premises and the things they must do to comply with the duty to
manage' asbestos."

The revised ACOP is available on the HSE website at:
www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l143.htm


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Scott Depot Couple Names 55 Defendants in Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kyla Asbury, writing for The West Virginia Record, reported that a
couple in Scott Depot, West Virginia, are suing 55 companies they
claim are responsible for an asbestos-related lung injury
diagnosis.

James L. Prince was diagnosed with lung cancer on Nov. 10, 2011,
according to a complaint filed Dec. 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Prince claims he was exposed to asbestos and/or asbestos-
containing products during his employment as a carpenter from 1947
until 1975.

The defendants are being sued based on theories of negligence,
contaminated buildings, breach of expressed/implied warranty,
strict liability, intentional tort, conspiracy, misrepresentations
and post-sale duty to warn, according to the suit.

Prince and his wife, Julia Fay Prince, are seeking a jury trial to
resolve all issues involved. They are being represented by John H.
Skaggs of the Calwell Practice LC and Victoria Antion of Motley
Rice LLC.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

A.W. Chesterton Company; Air & Liquid Systems Corporation;
American Electric Power Company; American Electric Power Service
Corporation; Appalachian Power Company; Aristech Chemical
Corporation; Brand Insulations; Certainteed Corporation; Cleaver-
Brooks; and Copes-Vulcan are some of the 55 defendants named in
the suit.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-2242


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Residents Raise Concern Over Dumped Fibro
----------------------------------------------------------
Banbury Guardian reported that residents on The Fairway in
Banbury, in Oxon, United Kingdom, have expressed their concern
over what they claim is a pile of asbestos left discarded behind
garages where children often play.

A resident who did not wish to be named contacted the Banbury
Guardian expressing his frustration that the material which can
release deadly fibres when disturbed, has not been cleared from
the garages owned by the Sanctuary Housing group.

He said: "They haven't cleaned it up and they're doing absolutely
nothing about it."

"It's right in the middle of a housing estate and people just dump
stuff. There are sheets of asbestos about two feet high and they
are broken up and kids have spread them all over the place. It's
right there in the open for the kids to get to. We all know it's
deadly."

Ward district councillor Sean Woodcock said he is appalled no
action has been taken to remove the dangerous material.

He said: "This particular area has been a target for people's
complaints for a long time. I've asked the housing association to
remove it. The asbestos has been there for two or three months. We
all know the risks it can cause ."

Martin Elsmore, owner of The Fairway Fish Bar, added: "An
electricity company was doing work up here recently and they told
me they thought it was asbestos and put yellow tape around it. The
kids go round there and start treading on it so it obviously is a
hazard."

Sanctuary spokesman Amy Weiser said an assessment has been done to
determine the material was asbestos and it was due to be removed
this week. She said: "The site is subject to frequent fly tipping,
and Sanctuary needs to arrange for rubbish to be removed on a
regular basis. Most recently asbestos was tipped on the site and
we are arranging for specialists to safely remove the material."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lincoln County to Take Over EPA's ERS Program
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Western News reported that Lincoln County, Montana, was to
assume responsibility beginning Jan. 1 for the Environmental
Resource Specialists program that the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency initiated in 2006 to support local property
owners with management of Libby amphibole asbestos before and
after removal activities.

These services will be provided in addition to others that the
county took over last year when it launched the Asbestos Resource
Program.

The Asbestos Resource Program is a public-health program that was
established last year with the mission of reducing exposure to
asbestos that is found within the Superfund site and the
surrounding areas of Lincoln County.

A key goal is to minimize burden on the community members
themselves. The program was developed under the guidance of the
City-County Board of Health for Lincoln County and is currently
funded through a cooperative agreement/grant from the EPA.

Starting Jan. 1, property owners who are planning remodeling,
demolition or excavation activities are advised to call the
Asbestos Resource Program Hotline at 291-5335. The agency will
assist home and business owners with a plan to take care of known
sources of Libby amphibole asbestos. The office is in the County
Annex.

The Asbestos Resource Program may recommend removal activities to
be completed by the EPA and serve as a liaison during those
activities. Property owners are also advised to contact the
hotline if they encounter vermiculite once they have begun
remodeling, demolition or excavation activities. This is because
vermiculite may be an indicator of Libby amphibole asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Teacher's Diagnosis Highlights Risk in Schools
---------------------------------------------------------------
Surviving Mesothelioma reported that a recent mesothelioma
diagnosis in the United Kingdom once again dramatically highlights
the fact that even a small amount of asbestos can be deadly.

Sixty-three-year-old school teacher Marion Potts of Brockenhurst,
in England, died of mesothelioma in a Southampton hospital in
June. According to an article in The Mirror, the Coroner recorded
a verdict of "death from an industrial disease" after hearing
evidence last week that Potts actually saw asbestos dust being
released when she pinned work on the classroom walls. Most
recently, Potts was head of the English department at Romsey
School in Hampshire until her retirement two years ago.

Mesothelioma is a growing threat among school teachers,
administrators, maintenance workers, and even students in British
schools. A government report released last year indicated that 75%
of the country's schools - many of them built when asbestos use
was at its peak in the 1950s and 60s - contain the potentially
deadly material. Before the link between asbestos and mesothelioma
was well known, asbestos was a popular component in building
materials, including floor and ceiling tiles and insulation in
walls and ceilings.

The asbestos contained in the walls of schools and other buildings
is not considered a threat when it is intact and enclosed behind
walls. But as school buildings age and brittle asbestos is
inadvertently exposed, many are concerned that mesothelioma could
become an even greater risk for lifetime teachers like Potts.

In the UK, as in other countries, mesothelioma is most common
among industrial workers, particularly those who worked in
construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing. Area news
organizations say the Potts case is thought to be the first case
of mesothelioma in a teacher in Southwest Hampshire. Officials
from both of the schools where she worked most recently say their
buildings are safe and do not present a mesothelioma risk. The UK
has the world's highest per capita rate of mesothelioma.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jury Awards $27.5MM to English Professor
---------------------------------------------------------
HarrisMartin Publishing reported that an Ohio jury has awarded an
English professor and his wife more than $27.5 million in a take-
home exposure case, assessing 60 percent liability to the
successor of National Friction Products Corp., sources told
HarrisMartin.

The Ohio Court of Commons Pleas for Cuyahoga County jury reached
the verdict on Dec. 18 after four-and-a-half hours of
deliberations. Judge Harry A. Hanna presided over the 11-day
trial.

The plaintiffs contended that John Panza Jr.'s take-home exposure
occurred when his father - an employee of the brake company Eaton
Airflex - took home asbestos fibers on his work clothing.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Naturally Occuring Deadly Fibers Found in Nevada
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Henry Brean, writing for The Las Vegas Review-Journal, reported
that removing asbestos from an old building can be hazardous and
expensive. So what happens if the ground outside is covered with
the stuff for miles around?

That's what a team of UNLV geologists is trying to figure out
after the surprise discovery of potentially toxic, asbestos-type
minerals in rocks and dust from Boulder City to the southeastern
edge of the Las Vegas Valley.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas geology professor Brenda Buck said
this marks the first discovery of naturally occurring asbestos
fibers in Southern Nevada.

A peer-reviewed study detailing the find was published last month
in the journal of the Soil Science Society of America.

So how worried should everyone be?

"At this point we know enough to know there is a hazard. We don't
know what the risk is," Buck said. "There's a lot of work that
needs to be done. Until we know more, it would be a good idea to
avoid dust from those areas."

That could be a tall order.

The study area takes in all of Boulder City and a wide swath of
the Eldorado Valley, with tendrils that reach to the shore of Lake
Mead and into the oldest parts of Henderson.

"It's not everywhere, but I think you're going to have a hard time
not finding it," Buck said. "In every sample we looked at we found
it. We found it pretty easily, too. I didn't have to look very
hard."

For one test, Buck spent about three hours walking her horse along
a dirt road in Boulder City. When she was done, she found asbestos
fibers on her pants and her shoes.

"The last thing we want to do is upset people or cause a panic.
But on the other side, we don't want to give people assurances we
can't give," said UNLV geologist Rodney Metcalf, who partnered
with Buck on the study. "We can't in good conscience say there's
no problem."

The long, thin minerals were forged roughly 13 million years ago
in the roots of volcanoes, also known as plutons. "Boulder City
sits on top of one of these plutons," Metcalf said.

The fibers have been weathering from the ground for the past 12
million years or so, giving them plenty of time to spread out,
Buck said.

She specializes in something called medical geology, basically the
study of the health impacts of minerals. She was in the midst of
sampling arsenic in the dust blowing from Nellis Dunes when she
came across a fibrous mineral in one of her samples. She later
started talking to Metcalf about the asbestos-like fibers he was
studying in northwestern Arizona, and the two decided to go
looking for trouble in similar rock deposits in Southern Nevada.

What they mostly found was a mineral called actinolite, one of six
types of asbestos regulated as a toxic substance by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.

Buck said she notified "several people" at the EPA about her
discovery.

Asbestos fibers can't be absorbed through the skin, but if inhaled
or swallowed they can spawn a range of deadly diseases that might
not develop for a decade or decades.

The real "pathway to humans" is in the air, Metcalf said. The
fibers are too tiny to be seen with the naked eye and so light
that they can stay aloft indefinitely once they've been stirred up
by the wind or the tires on a vehicle.

Asbestos exposure is linked to mesothelioma, cancer of the lungs,
larynx and ovaries, depressed immune function, and other
disorders.

"There's no known safe amount," Buck said. "The good news is not
everyone who is exposed gets sick."

Buck, Metcalf and company plan to continue their research and
expand their study area under a three-year grant from the Bureau
of Land Management.

That work will include taking a closer look at other potential
trouble spots in Clark County, most of it contained within the
roughly 1,200 square miles of desert between U.S. Highway 95 and
the Colorado River from Boulder City to the southern tip of the
state.

Buck said the bureau wants to know more about where such deposits
are and what kind of risks they pose. "They're worried about their
workers," she said.

Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Hawaii are in the
early stages of tests to determine how carcinogenic the fibers in
Southern Nevada might be. They also plan to conduct a health
assessment to see if any documented cases of mesothelioma, a rare
cancer closely associated with asbestos, could be the result of
"environmental exposure" in or around Boulder City, Buck said.

Metcalf said asbestos is actually a loaded term, with varying
definitions used by doctors, geologists and environmental
regulators. For example, he said, the fibers he has found in
Mohave County, Ariz., do not meet the regulatory definition of
asbestos. But that doesn't mean they're safe. In fact, they are
similar to those found in Libby, Mont., where so much toxic soil
was spread around by a nearby mine that the entire small town has
been declared a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection
Agency.

"You get this debate about is this asbestos or is it not," Metcalf
said. "It's really not the issue. The issue is, is it toxic."

Buck grew up in Montana and has cousins who got sick and died in
Libby.

She said she started taking special precautions in the field after
the first fibers were found around Boulder City. "As soon as I
knew they were there, I sure as hell did. I wear a mask."

The discovery also forced her to revamp her lab at UNLV to make it
safer. "The whole point is don't let it get into the air. You
can't just drag it in and expose everyone to it."

For the same reason, Buck has decided not to take college students
into the field with her to help collect samples as she normally
would. She doesn't want to expose them to something with the
potential to shorten their lives. "They're just so young."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Japan Government Liable for Fibro Exposure
-----------------------------------------------------------
Bangkok Post reported that the Osaka High Court became Japan's
first high court to hold the government responsible for failing to
prevent workers from being exposed to harmful asbestos.

In a suit seeking 700 million yen in damages filed by 58
plaintiffs including former asbestos spinning mill workers in
southern Osaka Prefecture, the court also awarded more in damages
than the Osaka District Court had in an earlier ruling.

The Osaka High Court ordered the government to pay 340 million yen
in damages, nearly twice the 180 million yen awarded by the
district court in March 2012.

Among the plaintiffs were 33 who worked at asbestos spinning mills
or other places between 1947 and 1999, and who suffered from
diseases including asbestosis and lung cancer. Some of them are
now deceased.

The plaintiffs claimed that the government delayed implementing
anti-asbestos measures, thus contributing to the former workers
developing asbestos-caused diseases.

In another asbestos exposure case involving southern Osaka
factories, the Osaka High Court in August 2011 reversed a district
court ruling that had held the government responsible for a
similar failure. That case is still pending in the Supreme Court.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Barnstaple Man Died from Fibro Exposure
--------------------------------------------------------
North Devon Journal reported that a builder died from a disease
after being exposed to asbestos, an inquest has heard.

Anthony Langmead was 67 when he died at North Devon Hospice in
Barnstaple, in England, on September 2.

Mr Langmead had worked on various sites as a builder often using
asbestos sheets and being exposed to dust.

Coroner John Tomalin said in his summing up: "I am satisfied Mr
Langmead during his working life on building sites as a general
builder was subject to exposure to asbestos from various
contractors working near or around him.

"I accept Dr Friend's conclusion that he died from malignant
mesothelioma and that is commonly associated with exposure to
asbestos."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Shrader Law Offers Consultations to Veterans
-------------------------------------------------------------
Naval service members suffer from a preternaturally high rate of
mesothelioma, largely due to the greater risk of exposure. Shrader
Law and Associates, LLP recently announced that they are now
offering in-home consultations for former navy service members who
have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. The intent of
these in-home consultations is the make the legal process as easy
as possible for those suffering from the illness.

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the
mesothelium, the protective cells that line several organs of the
body. It most commonly occurs in the chest cavity, but may also be
present in the abdominal cavity or the cardiac cavity. Though
often aggressive, treatment options do exist. These include
surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

The vast majority of mesothelioma cases can be directly linked to
exposure to asbestos in the workplace. Asbestos is a group of
dangerous minerals once used commercially in the construction of
all sorts of things, including houses, buildings, barracks, and
submarines. While asbestos that remains intact presents no danger,
when fibers become airborne (as they would during maintenance or
remodeling procedures), they can be inhaled. This presents a much
more significant risk. Mesothelioma can have a long latency
period: some people may be diagnosed thirty or forty years after
asbestos exposure. In some cases, the latency period may be even
longer.

Former and present members of the navy experience a strikingly
high rate of mesothelioma. This is likely due to the fact that
naval ships built in previous decades were filled with thousands
of pounds of asbestos. It was used to insulate pipes and walls.
This drastically increased the risk and occurence of asbestos
exposure to members who served.

During the newly offered in-home consultations for veterans
diagnosed with mesothelioma, attorneys will advise clients of
their rights to compensation and their rights to file a claim in a
court of law. They will discuss mesothelioma as it relates to the
exposure sustained during naval service.

Shrader Law and Associates, LLP is a law firm focused solely on
representing victims of mesothelioma and their families. They aim
to seek justice by holding negligent parties responsible for their
actions. With a long and proven record of success, Shrader Law and
Associates has successfully recovered more than 100 million in
compensation for their clients. For more information, Shrader Law
and Associates can be contacted at (713) 782-0000.

Media Contact: Ross Stomel, Shrader Law, (713) 782-0000,
ross@shraderlaw.com


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wash. Court Flips Summary Judgment in Fibro Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
HarrisMartin Publishing reported that a Washington appellate court
has reversed a summary judgment award entered in favor of an
asbestos defendant, ruling that the plaintiffs had presented
enough evidence to establish a prima facie case.

In the Dec. 23 opinion, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division
1, further opined that any contradictory testimony should be
assessed by a trier of fact.

The plaintiffs contend that Thomas Montaney developed mesothelioma
after he was exposed to asbestos concrete pipe during his
employment with the Cedar River Water and Sewer District.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ilfracombe Man Died from Deadly Dust Exposure
--------------------------------------------------------------
North Devon Journal reported that an 86-year-old man died from a
form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure during his work as a
carpenter.

Thomas Greenaway, from Ilfracombe, in England, worked with
asbestos as a building material and did not wear protective
clothing, an inquest heard.

He became a carpenter at the age of 23 having previously been a
Royal Marine and a bus conductor.

Coroner John Tomalin recorded Mr Greenaway died from malignant
mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Third Fibro Testing Takes Place at Fire Site
-------------------------------------------------------------
Scott Harper, writing for Georgetown Times, reported that a third
round of asbestos testing took place on the debris pile created by
the Sept. 25 fire that destroyed a large part of the waterfront
portion of the 700 block of Front Street.

The testing, mandated by the S.C. Department of Health and
Environmental Control, must take place before the debris can be
removed from the site.

Traces of asbestos were found in late October.

Myra Reece, chief of the S.C. Department of Health and
Environmental Control's (DHEC) Bureau of Air Quality, said it was
at first thought the asbestos was confined to the roofing and
flooring materials but early testing showed it may be in other
areas.

Jeanette Ard, owner of Colonial Floral Fascinations which was
leveled by the fire, said the testing is being done to isolate
where any asbestos may be located. The areas that are determined
to be asbestos free can be cleaned up, she said.

Ard said once the all clear is given, she plans to have the debris
on her property loaded onto trucks and moved to another location
where she can sort through it to save the good bricks and any
other valuables that may be buried in the rubble.

The testing is being conducted by Carolina Asbestos Abatement Inc.
of Florence.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Trier Board OKs Winnetka Campus Fibro Removal
------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Schering, writing for Winnetka Sun Times, reported that in
advance of their Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades to the
Gaffney Auditorium, the New Trier High School Board has approved
the removal of asbestos to prepare the area for the work.

The facilities upgrades, to take place at the Winnetka campus in
summer 2014, will include two new ADA-compliant restrooms being
constructed in the south lobby of the Gaffney Auditorium. To
facilitate the work it is necessary to remove asbestos pipe
insulation in the basement below the lobby.

According to board documents, New Trier received three bids for
the project. Bay Remediation submitted the lowest bid at $41,000.
EHC Industries bid $62,350 while Colfax Corp. put in a $63,100
bid.

The bid caught the attention of Local 225 Labor Union, who
appeared before the board Dec. 16 to ask if the amount followed
the Prevailing Wage Act in Illinois.

"This is a clear red flag that this contractor is more than likely
not going to pay a prevailing wage," said Tony Cantone of Local
225. "I talked to two bidders on this contractor who said (it
would take) about 60-80 man days. Bay's bid surpassed that at
about 40 man days."

The varying amounts of the bids caught New Trier's attention as
well and Facilities Manager Steve Linke said the school district
did their homework after receiving the bids.

"The contractor assured us his number was sound," Linke said. "He
was the only contractor to come back out to the site after our
mandatory pre-bid meeting with his foreman and spent about an hour
down in the area looking at everything. He feels he can do his
work in less shifts than the others can and his overhead is lower.
When we sat down with him he had everything covered. We couldn't
find anything in his bid that said otherwise."

New Trier officials said the company would be required to pay a
prevailing wage per their contract and that school administrators
will review all records related to the asbestos removal.

"In all of our bid documents we have a requirement they pay
prevailing wage," said Assistant Superintendent of Finance and
Operations Cheryl Witham. "They sign an affidavit that they do and
then we actually check payroll records and verify that they are
paying a prevailing wage."

Under terms of the deal, if the company were found to not be
paying a prevailing wage they would be required to do so at no
additional cost to the district. The work is being completed over
winter break and will have no impact on students or staff.

"We want to do it now," Linke said. "The idea is to have
everything complete by the time summer gets here so we're not
holding up the contractors."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victims Stress Vitality of Lawyers' House Calls
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Mesothelioma Victims Center is incredibly passionate about
making certain all diagnosed victims of mesothelioma in the United
States get the best possible financial compensation for this
extremely rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to
asbestos. The mesothelioma attorneys suggested by the Center
consistently get the best compensation results for their clients,
and these incredibly skilled professionals set themselves apart by
making that a trip to the victim's house for a face to face
conversation about asbestos excposure. For more information about
these remarkable services for diagnosed victims of mesothelioma,
all diagnosed victims, or their family members, are encouraged to
call the group anytime at 866-714-6466.

So why is a face-to-face house call, and conversation so vital
when it comes to mesothelioma compensation?

The attorneys suggested by the Mesothelioma Victims Center know
how to ask the right questions in order to determine where the
victim may have come in contact with asbestos. These attorneys are
some of the most experienced mesothelioma compensation experts in
the nation, who ask all of the right questions. The asbestos
exposure details only the diagnosed victim would know about add
enormous value to a mesothelioma compensation claim.

The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, "The quality of the
mesothelioma attorney has a direct bearing on the amount of
compensation the diagnosed victim will receive. Mesothelioma
compensation claims can range from hundreds of thousands to
millions of dollars. The face to face conversation in the victim's
home makes obtaining vital information about asbestos exposure
much easier for the victim, and the skilled mesothelioma
attorneys."

All to often, the victim is too weak or too sick to travel on
their own. The Victims Center prides itself on the mesothelioma
attorneys they suggest are in the diagnosed victim's home within
48 hours because time is of the essence.

According to the CDC, the states with the highest incidence of
mesothelioma per capita include Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Washington, Wyoming, West Virginia. However, a diagnosed victim of
mesothelioma could be in any state such as: Ohio, Virginia,
Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Louisiana, Indiana, Illinois, North
Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Rhode Island,
Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Maryland. States
with the most victims of mesothelioma include California, New
York, Florida, and Texas. http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

Mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer. According to the
US CDC approximately 2,500 to 3,000 US citizens are diagnosed with
mesothelioma each year. Mesothelioma cancer is a result of
exposure to asbestos. One-third of all US mesothelioma victims
served in the US Navy. Other high-risk groups for mesothelioma
include shipyard, power plant, chemical plant, oil refinery
workers, plumbers, county or city municipal water district
workers, miners, airplane mechanics, electricians, demolition
construction workers, railroad repair yard workers, or auto
mechanics.

The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, "Typically the average US
mesothelioma victim is in their late 60's, 70's, or even 80's.
More often than not mesothelioma is diagnosed three, four, or even
five decades after the exposure to asbestos in. For a son,
daughter, or wife trying to get the most honest information after
a mesothelioma diagnosis, including the names of the most skilled
mesothelioma law firms in the nation when it comes to financial
compensation, the Mesothelioma Victims Center has no equal, and a
victim, or their family members can call us anytime at 866-714-
6466."http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

For more information about mesothelioma please visit the US
Centers for Disease Control's web site about this asbestos
exposure rare form of cancer.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: WHO Lists Toxic Agents in Environment
------------------------------------------------------
Natalya Kovalenko, writing for Voice of Russia, reported that the
World Health Organization has drawn up a list of chemical
substances that are the greatest health hazards, including
asbestos, benzol, cadmium, arsenic, too little or too much
phosphorus, quicksilver, lead and some others. The WHO also points
out the ongoing air pollution buildup.

The WHO admits that it is impossible to fully give up the use of
harmful chemicals at the given stage of industrial development.
But contact with toxic substances may well be ratcheted down.
People are actually killed by the environment, for plastic
products, chipboard furniture, cosmetics, water and even food
products are all stuffed with chemicals, most of which are
horrible toxins that kill millions of people across the world
every year.

Asbestos, for example, is a set of silicate minerals, superior to
some grades of steel in terms of tensile strength; it is non-water
soluble, chemically inactive, and immune to solar radiation
effects, ozone and oxygen. Asbestos is used in mechanical
engineering, road building, in making tubes and wall tiles.
However, if its fibres are breathed in from the air, they remain
inside one's body for good, causing lung or throat cancer, and
also ovarian cancer or malignant mesothelioma.

A campaign for banning the use of asbestos was launched across the
world in the late 20th century. Asbestos has since been banned in
the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the European
Union. Other countries allow the use of long-fibre asbestos, which
is less carcinogenic. However, old road surfaces and buildings are
still in place, so short-fibre asbestos continues poisoning one
and all.

Yet another example is heavy metals, also added to the WHO list.
They have long been known for their adverse health effects, yet
they continue to be used extensively in everyday life, an expert
of the commission on updating the national health care system and
demography of the Russian Public Chamber, Irina Ilchenko, says and
elaborates.

"Heavy metals are seen as super toxicants because they will not
emerge from the body for a long time. Kidneys and other urinary
organs are most sensitive to cadmium. Lead is a neuro-toxicant
that's responsible for neurodevelopmental delay even in minor
concentrations. It negatively affects pregnancies, delivery and
infants. But adults also suffer from the bad effects of lead".
Any concentration of lead is a health hazard. It is breathed in or
penetrates one's body through skin. Yet, we continue using things
made of lead, such as soldering alloys and weight leads, printer's
types and ovenware frit glaze.

Even the walls of old buildings pose a threat, since they were
painted by lead paints, currently banned by law. Even if you make
home in a recently repaired old building, you may rest assured
that the deepest layers of lead paint continue releasing toxic
air-pollutants that will steadily kill you.

Cadmium is known to be used in car batteries. Many people will
also know of yellowish self-attack screws, of which the cover
contains cadmium. Quicksilver is used in thermometers and energy-
saving lamps that may cause a lot of problems if you accidentally
break them.

Reports have been increasingly frequent about the negative
influence of chemical substances that were earlier believed to be
man's best friends. Fluorine is a case in point. A small amount of
fluorine is good for one's organism, it lowers caries incidence.
Once that was proved, fluoridized tooth pastes, drinking water and
even milk became available for acquisition. But the move backfired
by destroying adamantine substance of teeth and the skeletal
system. The difference between the safe and hazardous amounts of
fluorine is insignificant.

Chlorine is known to be a strong poison. It was used as a war
chemical during the First World War. But it can also kill numerous
microbes, so it began to be used to decontaminate water. Cholera
and enteric disorder epidemics were quickly reduced to naught. But
chlorine will, just as any chemical agent, interact with other
substances, and with bad consequences, says the director of the
Centre for Human Ecology, Doctor of Medicine, Yuri Rakhmanin, and
elaborates.

"The agents that get composed during the decontamination of water
using chlorine dioxide are indeed a big problem to deal with. If
there is aniline in water and the water is chlorinated, you may
get up to 11 newly formed compounds, including 6 carcinogens.
According to the US data of the 1980s, the byproducts of water
chlorination account for a 5% to 15% contribution to cancer
growth".

But as the WHO makes public its list of most harmful chemical
agents, it offers no solution. Many of these chemicals have long
been used in everyday life and cannot be given up until replaced
by other effective products. But we should maximally reduce
contact with toxins in everyday life. We could, for instance,
carefully read what's written on cosmetics and household chemistry
product labels and give up all harmful, albeit effective,
substances.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Grant Sought for Fibro Removal on Isthmus
----------------------------------------------------------
Andy Hobbs, writing for The Olympian, reported that Olympia,
Washington, will pursue a $200,000 grant from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency to put toward asbestos removal at
two abandoned buildings on the downtown isthmus.

Located at 505 and 529 Fourth Ave. W., the city-owned properties
are part of a future park envisioned for the strip of land between
Capitol Lake and West Bay. Olympia purchased the properties in
June for about $3.3 million.

Before moving forward with the Brownfields Cleanup Grant
application, the city will seek public feedback beginning Jan. 1.
A public meeting will run from 6-7 p.m. Jan. 9 at The Olympia
Center, 222 Columbia St. NW. The grant application will then go
before the Olympia City Council for approval on Jan. 14. More
information is available at olympiawa.gov/isthmus.

The total asbestos abatement is expected to cost about $550,000,
said project engineer Kip Summers. The cost will be supplemented
by a $200,000 grant from the state Recreation and Conservation
Office, a recent $100,000 donation from the Olympia Capitol Park
Foundation, and a Community Development Block Grant worth $50,000.

Grant funding is still needed for demolition and soil cleanup at
the site. No timetable has been established for site preparation
and park construction. Jerry Reilly of the Olympia Capitol Park
Foundation estimated the isthmus park could cost between $15
million and $18 million.

The park proposal has been a divisive issue. In August, the
Olympia Master Builders objected to the City Council's decision to
purchase the two isthmus properties, and filed a petition with the
state's Growth Management Hearings Board to declare the sale
invalid. The city's purchase had resulted in the defunding of 11
parks projects. Olympia Master Builders argued that the deal
created a "de facto amendment" to the city's comprehensive plan
without public participation.

The city and OMB reached a settlement Nov. 6. Under the
settlement's terms, Olympia agreed to provide OMB and the public
with clear information about all expenditures and costs related to
the isthmus park project.

"This case was never about whether or not there should be a park
on the isthmus," OMB President Jon McKinlay said in a news
release. "Instead, what the case was about was the complete lack
of transparency and public participation in the city's decision to
divert funds from other parks projects to purchase this property."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wis. Court Says Fibro Case Wrongly Dismissed
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reported that a Wisconsin appeals court says
a case brought on behalf of a worker who died as a result of
asbestos exposure was wrongly dismissed.

The 1st District Court of Appeals ordered a trial in the case,
saying the lawsuit properly alleges a negligence claim against
Wisconsin Electric Power Company, which now does business as We
Energies.

Robert Viola worked as an insulator or "pipe coverer" from the
mid-1950s through the early 1980s. Some of the projects where he
worked were at properties owned by Wisconsin Electric.

During that work he was exposed to asbestos dust. Viola died from
cancer in 2009.

The power company argued because Viola performed some of the work
releasing the asbestos dust, he can't collect damages. The appeals
court disagreed and ordered a trial.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Developers Claim Fibro Will Become Health Risk
---------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Strudwick, writing for Get Surrey, reported that asbestos
found on a former brickworks and chemical works site in Cranleigh,
in England, is a human health risk and has hastened the need for
houses to be built there, according to developers.

Director of Kember Loudon Williams Mr Martin Hull is proposing to
build 13 houses and 15 tourist lodges at Cranleigh Bricks and Tile
Works on behalf of landowners Rural Arisings and Steward Transport
Ltd.

In 2008 American multi-national clean-up specialist Cherokee had
plans rejected by Waverley Borough Council to build 170 homes on
the heavily contaminated Knowle Lane site with the borough
claiming there was "no exceptional urgency" for cleaning the site
given the success of measures controlling the release of polluted
water.

But in July this year a new survey by engineering consultants Buro
Happold found asbestos in 26% of 50 soil samples taken at the
site.

"This is a human health risk especially during summer when warm
temperatures and wind can blow them about," said Mr Hull.

"The water lagoons on site are subject to ad-hoc management and
some of the infrastructure is in poor condition, the middle lagoon
has over topped before, with climate change and increasing
rainfall the storage system will continue to deteriorate if left
and so it is important.

"The Water Framework Directive (EU legislation) has tightened up
considerably and under EU law we have to comply with this.

"The net effect is the zinc and dieldrin contamination of the
water from the site does exceed these minimum standards. This was
not the case several years ago. In addition, at the time of the
Cherokee application no asbestos was apparent."

If accepted developers say they will first need to cap the land
with clay and subsoils, involving 35 HGVs accessing the site six
days a week for five-and-a-half years using Wildwood Lane.

Mr Matthew Amell, 38, lives near the site and says scaremongering
tactics are being used in order to push through the proposals and
has questioned the timing of the application.

He said: "Residents haven't been given much time to look at the
plans and express their views with the application being put in
over Christmas.

"I received a letter on December 3 or 4 and need to reply by
January 3. They did put the plans up in the village hall but they
were only small and it makes you think they are trying to sneak it
through."

Waverley Borough Council say it is committed to engaging with
people and businesses to ensure they take part in the planning
process and have written to 46 neighbours. The application is
expected to go to the planning committee in March.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Principal Reports Fibro Hazards, Loses Protection
------------------------------------------------------------------
Edward Garris, writing for Burnt Orange Report, reported that the
Texas Supreme Court continued its line of cases narrowing
protections for whistleblowers.  Earlier in December, the court
handed down an opinion deciding whether a whistleblower's report
of alleged violations of law by a school district would receive
protection under the Whistleblower Act if the reports were made
only to other officials within the school district.  Existing --
but recent -- precedent from only a few months prior indicated
that internal complaints were insufficient to fall within the
ambit of the Whistleblower Act.

The problem goes to the language of the statute itself and the
interpretation of "law-enforcement authority" status under the
Act. The Court held that such reports -- made internally -- were
not contemplated by the Act and did not give such internal
compliance officers such authority.

A principal at a pre-K school in the Ysleta Independent School
District (YISD) reported asbestos hazards at the school to the
chief academic officer.  The academic chief dismissed the report;
the principal responded with a copy of a work order showing that
floor tiles in the school had been replaced as part of asbestos
abatement.  With his reports, the school principal claimed that
the asbestos violations were a breach of employment contract and
requested a transfer to another school.  The YISD suspended the
principal; the principal filed a lawsuit under the Whistleblower
Act.

In his whistleblower claim, the principal claimed that the school
district violated federal law concerning asbestos when it didn't
respond to his reports. He then argued that his reports to school
officials were sufficient to invoke the Whistleblower Act because
the school district is a government entity, and a government
entity is a law enforcement authority under the Act.
The trial court and appeals court agreed with the principal.  The
Texas Supreme Court disagreed.

The Texas Supreme Court held in this case -- and in a new line of
cases including University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v.
Gentilello, 398 S.W.3d 680, 686 (Tex. 2013), and Canutillo
Independent School District v. Farran, 409 S.W.3d 653, 655 (Tex.
2013) -- that in order to invoke the Whistleblower Act, a person
making a claim must make a report to someone other than a person
charged only with internal compliance.  A person charged with
internal compliance is one who cannot enforce rules or laws
outside of their organization -- in this case, the school
district.

To invoke the Act, a person making a claim -- a whistleblower --
must submit evidence that the political body to which they are
making the report has authority to enforce laws beyond that
particular political body itself.  If a putative whistleblower
cannot do this, then he or she cannot show that the political body
has "law enforcement authority" under the Act.

Because the school district officials to whom the principal
reported the asbestos law violations could not enforce,
investigate or prosecute violations of law by -- or promulgate
laws governing -- other third parties, they did not have this
authority. As a result, the principal could not be considered a
whistleblower and invoke the protections of the Act, despite any
allegations of asbestos abatement going on at the school or any
other related hazards to public health.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Defendant Entitled to Info in Take-Home Case
-------------------------------------------------------------
HarrisMartin Publishing reported that a West Virginia federal
court has granted a motion to compel, ruling that asbestos
defendant Ohio Power Co. is entitled to know what parties have
reached settlement agreements with the plaintiffs, as it may alter
its defenses.

In a Dec. 18 order, the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of West Virginia further ruled that the defendant was
entitled to information regarding the identities of manufacturers
and suppliers of asbestos-containing products or contractors using
those products in the relevant time frame.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wash. Court Dismisses Shipyard Exposure Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
HarrisMartin Publishing reported that a Washington federal court
has dismissed the remaining asbestos claims asserted against the
United States in a shipyard exposure case, finding that the
evidence used to support the post-1970 exposure claims was
speculative.

The Dec. 20 decision from the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Washington comes four months after the District Court
dismissed the pre-1970 claims on grounds that they were precluded
by the discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims
Act. In that decision, the District Court called the post-1970
claims "questionable," and only denied the United States' motion
to dismiss the post-1970 claims.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Judge Declares Mistrial in Hot Tops Case
---------------------------------------------------------
HarrisMartin Publishing reported that a Seattle federal judge has
declared a mistrial in a case involving asbestos-containing hot
tops after a jury failed to reach a unanimous decision after two
days of deliberations.

According to a Dec. 16 minute entry on the U.S. District Court for
the Western District of Washington's online docket, the court
declared a mistrial after questioning each of the jurors
individually. The plaintiffs have since moved to amend their
complaint and requested a Spring 2014 trial date for the retrial.



                             *********

S U B S C R I P T I O N  I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C., USA.  Noemi Irene
A. Adala, Joy A. Agravante, Valerie Udtuhan, Julie Anne L. Toledo,
Christopher Patalinghug and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2014.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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