/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/110211.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, February 11, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 30


ALLCARE DENTAL: Law Firm Files Class Action Over Closures
AXA ROSENBERG: Sued in Calif. Over Coding Error in "Quant Funds"
BIRMINGHAM UNIVERSITY: Faces Class Action Over Tuition Rates
C&S WHOLESALE: Sued in Calif. Over Non-Payment of Overtime Wages
CALIFORNIA: Judge Strikes Down Furlough's Labor Class Action

ESCALADE SPORTS: Recalls 4,600 Outdoor Play Sets
HOUSING NSW: Residents Mull Action Over Chatham Housing Units
JOHANNESBURG, AFRICA: May Face Class Action Over Billing System
JOURNAL BROADCAST: Sued in Wisconsin Over Time Shaving Scheme
LASKO PRODUCTS: Recalls 107,500 Portable Electric Heaters

LIFE PARTNERS: April 4 Class Action Lead Plaintiff Deadline Set
LIFE PARTNERS: Hagens Berman's Investor Fraud Probe Advances
MATCH.COM: Law Firms File Consumer Fraud Class Action
MYLIFE.COM INC: Sued in California Over False Solicitations
NORTHEAST HEIGHTS: May Face Class Action Over Water Supply Loss

PD SIXTY: Recalls 3,000 Portable Space Heaters
PENNSYLVANIA: Public Welfare Department Loses Class Action
PFF BANCORP: Settlement Reached in Workers' Class Actions
PROCTER & GAMBLE: Faces Class Action Over Fixodent Denture Cream
QUICKEN LOANS: Overtime Class Action to Go on Trial This Week

ST. LOUIS, MO: MSD Mulls Appeal in Stormwater Class Action
TECH 4 KIDS: Recalls 2,100 OUTER EDGE Snow Bikes
TOYOTA MOTOR: Acceleration Class Actions Harder to Pursue
TYCO SAFETY: Recalls 540 Simplex Fire Alarm Control Panel
UNITED STATES: LEED Suit Against USGBC No Longer Class Action

WALT DISNEY: DOJ Opposes Segway Class Action Settlement

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS ALERT: Thermon Group Facing Six Pending Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 4.4T Lawsuits Pending v. Tyco Int'l. at Dec. 24
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Columbus McKinnon Has $10.6MM Dec. 31 Liability
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Honeywell Posts $1.556B Liabilities at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chubb Posts $631MM Net Reserves at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meridian Firm Fined $46T for Safety Violations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3 Pinellas Locals Charged for Safety Violations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kelley Law Firm Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup at Glan Clwyd Hospital to Cost GBP77MM
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jackson Dynamics to Conduct Testing for $3,000

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NSW Govt. Pledges AU$6.3M for Woodsreef Cleanup
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Peterborough Mechanic's Death Related to Hazard
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeal Court Grants Petition Bid in Albina Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGinnist's Bid OK'd in Case v. St. Louis Jail
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Defendants' Reconsideration Bid in Smith Denied

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Court Issues Split Ruling in Frawley Action
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Motions Denied in Larson Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Indy Court Affirms Board Ruling in Niegos Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeal Court Reverses Ruling in Macias Lawsuit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 14 Actions Ongoing v. Ameron Int'l. at Nov. 30

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mallinckrodt Facing 11.3T Cases at Dec. 24
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crown Holdings Records $31MM Charge at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pfizer Records $620MM Litigation Charge at 4Q10
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 79T Actions Ongoing v. Ashland Inc. at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 22T Claims Ongoing v. Hercules Inc. at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: GenCorp Facing 141 Open Claims at Nov. 30
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Briggs & Stratton Subject to Liability Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court OKs W.R. Grace's Plan of Reorganization
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Inquest Rules on Peterborough Engineer's Death
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposure Lawsuit v. Croydon Tax Office Pending

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Smokers Warned Not to Use Jin Ling Cigarettes
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Issues Various Rulings in Culver's Action
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court OKs ESMW Summary Judgment in Gill Action


ALLCARE DENTAL: Law Firm Files Class Action Over Closures
Thomas Gnau, writing for Dayton Daily News, reports a Cleveland
law firm is pursuing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of former
patients of a storefront dental care chain that abruptly closed in

Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP filed the suit in Ohio recently
and in Allcare Dental & Dentures' home state of New York on
Feb. 7, said Nicholas DiCello, an attorney with the firm.

"Our goal is to, in the most efficient matter possible, represent
patients across the country," Mr. DiCello said Tuesday.

No trial or hearing has been scheduled yet, he said.

Allcare closed about 40 locations in late December, in some cases
leaving patients with unfinished procedures for which they had
paid thousands of dollars.  The company had locations in Miami
Twp., Springfield and Cincinnati.

Dayton resident Gabriel Williams and a Mansfield resident are the
suit's two Ohio class representatives -- clients who represent the
interests of all those who fall in a class definition.

These are people who contend Allcare did not complete procedures
for which they had paid.  "Their claims are very typical of other
people's claims," Mr. DiCello said.

Mr. DiCello said that those who feel they have been wronged by
Allcare don't have to register with his firm to become a member of
the class.  A court will dictate how former patients are notified,
he said.

Meanwhile, the Ohio attorney general's office urged former Allcare
customers to check a Web site Allcare set up soon after the

On Feb. 8, the Allcare Web site http://www.allcareinfo.com/
promises updates "soon" to Dayton-area patients.  The site said it
was last updated on Feb. 6.

AXA ROSENBERG: Sued in Calif. Over Coding Error in "Quant Funds"
Maria Dinzeo at Courthouse News Service reports that a money
managing firm's coding error contributed to its losing $39 billion
over 3 years, and the subsequent cover-up left its clients
"'holding the bag,'" Guam's retirement fund claims in a federal
class action.  The pension fund sued AXA Rosenberg Group, a
"quant" investor whose assets have plummeted from $70 billion to
$31 billion, according to the complaint.

AXA Rosenberg uses a "quantitative investment process, which
attempts to generate profits by using computer algorithms to
identify large numbers of stock that may be underpriced,"
according to the complaint.

"Quants" were the latest, hottest thing on Wall Street before the
financial meltdown.  "AXA Rosenberg also managed clients' separate
accounts using its proprietary quantitative investment process,"
the complaint states.  "At its height, AXA Rosenberg managed over
$70 billion of assets.

"Like other 'quant funds,' AXA Rosenberg does not share its
computer algorithms with outsiders, or even its own investors.
For this reason, quantitative investing is often called the 'black
box' of investing.  As The New York Times reports, when investors
place assets with a quantitative investment firm, they 'are
trusting not only that the overall strategy is sound, but also
that its algorithms make sense, and, furthermore, that they have
been translated properly into computer code.'"

According to this 19-page complaint, that's where AXA slipped up.

"In early 2007, while attempting to make upgrades to AXA
Rosenberg's quantitative investment model, a computer programmer
improperly coded the model, causing it to understate common risks
in the firm's stock selection process.  This 'coding error' --
which effectively eliminated one of the key components in the
model for managing risk -- lay undetected for over two years and
affected many of AXA Rosenberg's investment strategies for nearly
three years.  While the error existed, AXA Rosenberg's investments
largely underperformed benchmarks, often by a significant degree."
The claims that AXA discovered the error "no later than June 2009.

Yet several of the AXA Rosenberg's high ranking executives --
including its founder and chairman, and a fellow member of the
board -- covered up the error.  For several months, these officers
and directors concealed the error from other departments in the
firm, from other senior executives in the firm, (including
uppermost management), and from the Board of Directors.  When the
full Board finally learned of the error and cover up, it launched
an internal investigation that resulted in Messrs. Rosenberg and
Mead being forces out of the firm, and major ownership and
structural changes to the firm.

"Significantly, AXA Rosenberg's breach of its professional and
fiduciary duties-both in allowing the error to occur, and in
failing to implement adequate controls, policies, and procedures
to detect, correct, and properly report flaws in the firm's
investment process-was the product of a hands-off managerial
style, compelled by an agreement among AXA Rosenberg's
shareholders, that dangerously left full control over the firm's
investment process in the hands of an AXA Rosenberg founder, Barr
Rosenberg.  Mr. Rosenberg was accorded an 'untouchable status' by
the firm's other owners, and he operated AXA Rosenberg's
investment process with little or no supervision.

"In the end, plaintiff and the class were left holding the bag
when AXA Rosenberg's investment process broke down and was allowed
to remain operating, for nearly three years, in a defective
condition, thereby causing material losses to client portfolios."
The class claims the SEC investigated AXA and found that AXA had
"'breached their fiduciary duties to clients' and 'willfully
violated' several provisions of the federal securities laws."

Though AXA agreed to pay a $25 million fine and pay its clients
$217 million, the class claims "this is wholly insufficient to
compensate investors for the full amount of their damages."

Guam claims it has more than $1.6 billion held in trust for
pension benefits, and hired AXA in September 2005 to manage "a
portion of Guam's investment portfolio."

It seeks damages to be determined at a jury trial.

Named as defendants are AXA Rosenberg Group LLC, AXA Rosenberg
Investment Management LLC, and Barr Rosenberg Research Center LLC.

A copy of the Complaint in The Government of Guam Retirement Fund
v. AXA Rosenberg Group LLC, et al., Case No. 11-cv-00536 (N.D.
Calif.), is available at:


The Government of Guam Retirement Fund is represented by:

          Blair A. Nicholas, Esq.
          David Kaplan, Esq.
          12481 High Bluff Drive, Suite 300
          San Diego, CA 92130
          Telephone: (858) 793-0070
          E-mail: blairn@blbglaw.com

BIRMINGHAM UNIVERSITY: Faces Class Action Over Tuition Rates
Debbie Swartz, writing for Press & Sun-Bulletin, reports a class
action lawsuit is taking aim at student tuition rates charged by
State University of New York schools, including Binghamton

Former BU students Raquel Balsam, Sara Strum and Laruen Beer filed
the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Broome County in January.
The civil action claims the three former students paid out-of-
state tuition rates to attend BU, but should have been charged in-
state rates.  The reason: while all three lived in New Jersey,
they commuted to and graduated from a high school in New York.

They cite a state law enacted in 2002 that allows students
graduating from high schools within the state -- regardless of
where they live -- to pay in-state tuition at all SUNY and City
University of New York schools.

In addition, the state law also allows those who graduated from
New York high schools to move out of state and still pay in-state
tuition rates as long as they attend a SUNY or CUNY school within
five years of graduating.

Filed as a class action lawsuit, it's likely more plaintiffs will
be added to the case when you consider the thousands of out-of-
state students who attend SUNY and CUNY schools, said plaintiff
attorney Andrew L. Lee, of ALL Counsel PC in Manhattan.

"We do think there's likely to be a not insignificant number that
falls into the category," he said.

First, the court needs to "certify the class," which means it
needs to approve the lawsuit as a class action case, Mr. Lee said.

BU spokeswomen Gail Glover issued a statement regarding the
lawsuit: "We are aware of this class action lawsuit and while we
recognize their right to file legal action, we will mount a
vigorous defense.  We followed both SUNY and campus policy and our
actions will be found to have been appropriate.  However, since
this is a pending legal matter, we cannot provide additional
information at this time."

SUNY spokesman David Belsky wouldn't comment.

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement for overpayment of tuition, plus
interest and payment of attorneys' fees, according to court
documents.  Current BU tuition rates are $6,881 for in-state
students and $14,781 for out-of-state, according to BU's Web site.

C&S WHOLESALE: Sued in Calif. Over Non-Payment of Overtime Wages
Courthouse News Service reports that a Superior Court class action
accuses C&S Wholesale Grocers of cheating workers of overtime pay,
and other labor violations.

A copy of the Complaint in Tompkins v. C & S Wholesale Grocers,
Inc., et al., Case No. 34-2011-00096371 (Calif. Super. Ct.,
Sacramento Cty.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          R. Rex Parris, Esq.
          Alexander R. Wheeler, Esq.
          Jason P. Fowler, Esq.
          Kitty Szeto, Esq.
          Douglas Han, Esq.
          42220 10th Street West, Suite 109
          Lancaster, CA 93534
          Telephone: (661) 949-2595

               - and -

          Edwin Aiwazian, Esq.
          Ghazaleh Hekmatjah, Esq.
          410 West Arden Avenue, Suite 203
          Glendale, CA 91203
          Telephone: (818) 265-1020

CALIFORNIA: Judge Strikes Down Furlough's Labor Class Action
Gordon Gibb, writing for LawyersandSettlements.com, reports the
California labor law ruling may have come down after the defendant
was no longer in office -- however, it took the presiding judge
just one day following the hearing of arguments to rule against
the plaintiffs in Newton v. Schwarzenegger.  The class-action
lawsuit launched over correctional officer furloughs was struck
down, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The lawsuit was launched on behalf of the California Correctional
Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), which had taken issue with
self-directed furloughs -- arguing that they violated the Fair
Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

In his California labor code ruling, it appeared that US District
Court Judge Vaughn Walker did not agree.

The State of California, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in office,
resorted to furloughs in an effort to improve the state's coffers.
In the midst of a financial crisis, the Office of the Governor
directed that employees of the state in every sector would be
required to take a certain number of unpaid days off in any given
year, which would translate to savings for the State or

Various groups took issue with the directive, citing alleged
violations of California labor employment law, federal laws and
FLSA.  Specifically, CCPOA took the position that cutting employee
pay but deferring the actual furlough time violated the law
because employees aren't paid in full for hours worked within a
given pay cycle.

The plaintiffs also held that time worked on an unpaid furlough
day should be calculated in figuring overtime and that the state
hadn't kept adequate payroll records.

The judge, in his ruling just one day after hearing arguments, did
not agree.

The furlough program, while perhaps convoluted in execution,
ensures that plaintiffs are compensated for all hours worked
during the pay period," Judge Walker wrote.  "Because plaintiffs
are compensated for all hours worked, and because that
compensation exceeds federal minimum standards, plaintiffs claim
of violation of FSLA fails."

As for violations with regard to record keeping under California
sate labor laws, the judge noted that the law allows for only the
secretary of labor to sue for alleged violations of record

The Bee noted that the California employment labor law case
applied only to the members of Bargaining Unit Six of the CCPOA.

ESCALADE SPORTS: Recalls 4,600 Outdoor Play Sets
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Escalade Sports of Evansville, Ind., announced a voluntary recall
of about 4,600 Outdoor play sets.  Consumers should stop using
recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The swing seats on the playsets can crack and break in half,
causing the user to fall to the ground.

Escalade Sports has received 24 reports of the seats breaking, no
injuries have been reported.

This recall involves belt-style swing seats on four models of
Oasis Playsets: PG01W, PG02W, PG03W and PG04W. Model numbers are
located on a plate on the swing's horizontal beam.  The green
plastic seats are about 26 inches long and are hung from green,
plastic-coated chains.  The swing seats have rounded ends with
black grommets on each end.  Printed on one side of the seat is:


Printed on the other side of the seat is:


Pictures of the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
Oasis distributors and dealers nationwide from April 2008 to
December 2010 for between $1,500 and $2,200.

Consumers should immediately stop using these swing seats and
contact Escalade Sports for free replacement swing seats.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Escalade
Sports at (800) 742-6009 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Central
Time, Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.escaladesports.com/ Consumers can also e-mail the firm
at safetyinfo@escaladesports.com

HOUSING NSW: Residents Mull Action Over Chatham Housing Units
Helen Manusu, writing for Manning River Times, reports that
neighborhood residents was set to meet on Feb. 9 to consider
whether to take class action against Housing NSW, over its bungled
handling of the Chatham housing units affair.

Three hundred flyers have been hand-delivered to houses in the
Bruntnell Street-Cowper Street-Gill Avenue-Stokes Circuit area,
inviting concerned residents to pool their thoughts, ideas and
perhaps financial resources, to mount a compensation claim citing
a drop in their property values and other issues.

Organizers of tonight's meeting claim their property values have
dropped by as much as $60,000 since several medium density blocks
of Housing NSW units have opened in their streets.  Angry
residents claim some of the complexes, built last year under the
Federal government's Nation Building Economic Stimulus Package,
will become "ghettoes" filled with young people and their
children, with just a handful of car parking spaces and no
dedicated playgrounds for children.

Housing NSW was forced to issue a formal apology to long-time and
nearby residents a fortnight ago, after admitted its mishandling
of the situation in regard to the target age group of many of the
new tenants.

Long-time residents of Gill Avenue, Bruntnell Street and Oxley
Street, whose properties now adjoin 50 new units in two of the new
complexes, first raised their concerns to the Times in
January that young families were moving in to the units nearest
them, despite the fact they had been assured their new neighbors
would be seniors aged 55 and over.

Because the units had few parking spaces and no playgrounds, an
ever increasing number of tenants' vehicles were now being parked
on the street, and children were being forced onto the streets, or
into the nearby grounds of Taree Legacy War Widows' Village to
play, residents said.

Housing NSW replied to the existing residents' concerns by saying
the residents had mistakenly been "under the impression" the new
housing was designated for people over 55.

JOHANNESBURG, AFRICA: May Face Class Action Over Billing System
Kathryn McConnachie and Nicola Mawson, writing for ITWeb, report
that Johannesburg residents, fed up with the chaotic state of the
city's billing system, are taking matters into their own hands and
will head to court next month to force the city to sort itself

City residents have been plagued for months by grossly inflated
bills and unjustified disconnections.  Account-holders have hit
brick walls trying to get answers to the problem, and even the
ruling African National Congress and a national minister stepped
in to help resolve the debacle.

The root of the billing mess is post-implementation problems with
the city's migration to SAP.  The project, codenamed Phakama, cost
R580 million to implement, but now human error and systems issues
are causing hiccups in the billing process.

Despite the public outcry, Johannesburg executive mayor Amos
Masondo has repeatedly denied there is a crisis, although he has
admitted to challenges affecting a small number of ratepayers.
The opposition party has called for Mr. Masondo to step down.

Now, a Democratic Alliance ward councilor is putting his job on
the line by spearheading a class action suit against city manager
Mavela Dlamini.  David Dewes says the legal action seeks to force
the city to sort out the mess and, if that doesn't work, a claim
for damages will be lodged.

The legal action could set a vital precedent, paving the way for
citizens to hold local government accountable for service
delivery, or face the possibility of forking out for damages.
About 8% of the city's million ratepayers have queried their

Forced to act

"The suit will essentially be applying for a court order to act,
to compel the city manager to sort out the accounts.  We are,
however, fully expecting the city manager to fail to act, and in
so doing he will then be in contempt of the court order, which
will open the door for further action," says Mr. Dewes.

Set timelines are in place for the class action suit, and all
documents will be finalized by the end of the month.  "We also
hope to secure a court date for March and we hope to have settled
the case before April."

However, this time line could be problematic, concedes Mr. Dewes,
as some account issues may have been resolved before the matter
gets to the court.

Mr. Dewes says the suit will be filed against Mr. Dlamini as "it
would be a mammoth task to go after the City of Johannesburg".
This is why the suit will first single out Mr. Dlamini in his
personal capacity.

Keen interest

Mr. Dewes says there has been a rush of support in the past week,
with more than 30 people signing up as applicants in the legal
action.  People wanting to join the suit will still be able to do
so until the end of March.  "We wouldn't want to exclude anyone,
and obviously the more people involved, the better," notes
Mr. Dewes.

Legal costs will be funded by donations of between R500 and R1 000
from each citizen signing up and -- so far -- close to R40 000 has
been raised.  At least R60 000 needs to be raised to cover costs,
adds Mr. Dewes.

Mr. Dewes was compelled to seek legal action, after exhausting all
other avenues.  "As someone who has been voted into a position of
power, even I can't seem to do anything to help the people in my

The matter will be filed at the South Gauteng High Court, in
Johannesburg, although summons has yet to be served on the city as
the paperwork is still being finalized.  Once documentation has
been sorted out, Mr. Dewes will request a court date.

However, the councilor faces losing his job over the pending court
case.  "As a councilor, I may not bring action against the city,
so I am fully expecting repercussions for my actions," explains
Mr. Dewes.

"If I end up losing my job because of this, then so be it --
having tried every other means, there are no other democratic
mechanisms available and now I must do what I've got to do.  There
is an accountability of living in a democracy."

Necessary precedent

Mr. Dewes hopes the case will set a precedent for potential future
damages cases against state entities.  "If we can win this case,
it will set the precedent necessary for future cases suing for
damages to be successful."

The local ward councilor is "sick" of the disdain with which
politicians deal with their public.  "We need to demand from our
officials that they begin to act in a constructive manner to
resolve problems and that they treat their citizens with empathy.
Hopefully, if we can set a court precedent, officials will start
waking up."

Mr. Dewes hopes the judge will give the city 30 days to sort out
the issues, and at most 60 days.  Mr. Masondo previously indicated
it could take up to two years to sort out the mess.  If the city
does not comply with the court order, legal action for damages
will follow, although the amount has yet to be quantified,
Mr. Dewes says.

Mr. Dewes implores the public to resist apathy: "We as a public
are too gullible.  We are constantly fed garbage and we simply
take it, but the time has come to stand together as citizens and
take action and take them to court.  It's time for them to either
shape up or ship out."

More legal action?

The Johannesburg Attorneys Association (JAA) also previously
threatened legal action against the city, because rate clearance
certificates were delayed by the migration to Phakama, holding up
transfer of thousands of houses.

Acting chairman of the association's property committee Anton
Theron said, in the middle of last year, that the JAA may take the
city to court to resolve the matter.  However, the threatened
legal action is on hold while the association exhausts other
avenues to sort out the situation.

Mr. Theron says the JAA is in talks with the deeds office at the
moment.  "If there is a problem that a court order cannot solve,
what's the point of going to court?"

The Joburg Advocacy Group (JAG), which advocates for best-practice
governance from the City of Johannesburg, says the lawsuit could
set a very important precedent.  "In light of the fact that local
government appears to be unaccountable to the electorate and
untouchable in terms of the law, we feel that it would be an
important suit," says founding member Lee Cahill.

Cahill says the National Taxpayers' Union has previously been
successful in preventing local governments from cutting off
citizens when they have disputed their bills, but this is on a
much smaller scale.  About 22 residents' associations are
currently withholding rates and paying these into a trust account
to cover the cost of services that municipalities should be
delivering, she explains.

The pending billing legal action will be the first such class
action suit that Cahill is aware of, and could set a precedent in
holding government accountable.  JAG supports "any action that is
based on sound legal grounds," she says.

Local social networking and civil action site Mobilitate is being
used as the platform through which people can join the class
action suit and file their billing complaints.  "Mobilitate has
the organizational and structural support to easily collect and
sort the complaints of those wanting to join the class action
suit," says Mobilitate CEO Lionel Bisschoff.

A mass protest is planned for February 18 at Thuso House, the head
office of the city's billing department.  The protest will start
at 9:00 a.m.

The communications division for the City of Joburg says it is not
yet aware of the possible class action suit, and declines to
comment until it receives more information.

JOURNAL BROADCAST: Sued in Wisconsin Over Time Shaving Scheme
Courthouse News Service reports that workers accuse the Journal
Broadcast Group aka WGBA NBC 26 of time shaving, in a federal
class action.

A copy of the Complaint in Hadley, et al. v. Journal Broadcast
Group, Inc., Case No. 11-cv-00147 (E.D. Wis.) (Griesbach, J.), is
available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Noah Reinstein, Esq.
          Larry A. Johnson, Esq.
          Nola J. Hitchcock Cross, Esq.
          CROSS LAW FIRM, S.C.
          The Lawyers' Building
          845 N. 11th Street
          Milwaukee, WI 53233
          Telephone: (414) 224-0000
          E-mail: nreinstein@crosslawfirm.com

LASKO PRODUCTS: Recalls 107,500 Portable Electric Heaters
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Lasko Products Inc., of West Chester, Pa., announced a voluntary
recall of about 107,500 portable electric heaters.  Consumers
should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise

An electrical connection in the base of the unit can overheat,
causing it to melt and expose the electrical connection, posing a
fire hazard to consumers.

Lasko received a total of 36 reports of the electrical connection
overheating with no reports of injury.  There were 18 reports of
minor burn damage to floors or carpets.

The portable, electric, tower heaters are 20.5 inches tall x 8.25
inches wide x 9.25 inches deep.  They are dark grey with silver
front covers and black vent slats.  The brand names Lasko or Air
King are on the top, center of the front cover.  The Lasko Model
5540 and Air King Model 8540 subject to this recall were
manufactured in 2002 and have date codes that begin with a "2."
The date code is on the label located on the bottom of the unit.
The date code is a four-digit number on the bottom left area of
the label, above the voltage number. Heaters with date codes
beginning with "3," "4" or "5" are not subject to this recall.

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
the Lasko Model 5540 was sold at Sam's Club and other retailers
from September 2002 through early 2004 for $39 to $49.  The Air
King Model 8540 was sold primarily through the maintenance, repair
and operating products supply company, W.W. Grainger Inc. from
late 2002 to 2004 for approximately $80.00.

Consumers should stop using the heaters immediately and contact
Lasko to receive a free replacement heater.  For additional
information and pictures of affected models, visit Lasko's Web
site at http://www.Laskoproducts.com/, or call Lasko anytime,
toll-free at (800) 363-8044.

LIFE PARTNERS: April 4 Class Action Lead Plaintiff Deadline Set
Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check, LLP on February 2
disclosed that a class action lawsuit was filed in the United
States District Court for the Western District of Texas on behalf
of purchasers of the securities of Life Partners Holdings, Inc.,
who purchased or otherwise acquired Life Partners' securities
between May 29, 2007 and January 19, 2011, inclusive (the "Class

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions
concerning this notice or your rights or interests with respect to
these matters, please contact:

          Darren J. Check, Esq.
          D. Seamus Kaskela, Esq.
          280 King of Prussia Road
          Radnor, PA 19087
          Toll Free: 1-888-299-7706
          E-mail: info@btkmc.com

The Complaint charges Life Partners and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Life Partners is a specialty financial services company and
the parent company of Life Partners, Inc. ("LPI").  LPI is engaged
in the secondary market for life insurance known generally as
"life settlements."  More specifically, the Complaint alleges that
the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the following
material adverse facts which were known to defendants or
recklessly disregarded by them: (1) that the Company had routinely
used unrealistic life expectancy data that produced inaccurately
short life expectancy reports, which were subsequently used to
sell life settlement policies to investors; (2) that the Company
had purposely concealed the historical rate in which individuals
insured by life settlement policies sold by Life Partners had
lived past the life expectancy rates previously provided to
investors, such that the Company's investors were unable to assess
the accuracy or reliability of such data; (3) that by
underestimating the life expectancy data to investors, the Company
was able to charge substantially larger fees when brokering life
settlement policies; (4) that the Company's revenues had been
significantly increased through the employment of such business
practices; (5) that, as a result, the Company's financial
statements were false and misleading at all relevant times; (6)
that such business practices, when they were discovered, would
initiate an investigation by the federal authorities into the
Company's business practices; (7) that the Company lacked adequate
internal and financial controls; and (8) that, as a result of the
foregoing, the Company's statements about its financial well-being
and future business prospects were lacking in any reasonable basis
when made.

On December 21, 2010, The Wall Street Journal published an article
questioning the Company's life-expectancy estimates and business
practices.  The article followed a comprehensive investigation
into how the Company sold life settlement policies to investors.
In particular, the article stated that Life Partners "has made
large fees from its life-insurance transactions while often
significantly underestimating the life expectancies of people
whose policies its customers invest in."  Then on January 20,
2011, The Wall Street Journal reported, and the Company
subsequently confirmed, that the SEC was investigating Life
Partners.  The article reported that "As part of its probe, the
SEC's enforcement division has been seeking experts to analyze the
way Life Partners has estimated the life expectancies of the
insured individuals."  On this news, shares of the Company's stock
declined $2.58 per share, or over 17%, to close on January 20,
2011 at $12.46 per share, on unusually heavy trading volume.  The
Company's stock continued to decline as additional news about Life
Partners was subsequently reported.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of class members and
is represented by the law firm of Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer &
Check which prosecutes class actions in both state and federal
courts throughout the country.  Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer &
Check is a driving force behind corporate governance reform, and
has recovered billions of dollars on behalf of institutional and
individual investors from the United States and around the world.

For more information about Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check,
or for additional information about participating in this action,
please visit http://www.btkmc.com/

If you are a member of the class described above, you may, not
later than April 4, 2011, move the Court to serve as lead
plaintiff of the class, if you so choose.  A lead plaintiff is a
representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in
directing the litigation.  In order to be appointed lead
plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member's claim
is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the
class member will adequately represent the class.  Your ability to
share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision
whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff.  Any member of the
purported 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.

LIFE PARTNERS: Hagens Berman's Investor Fraud Probe Advances
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP said it is successfully
progressing in its investigation involving Life Partners Holdings,
Inc. shares and insurance policies.  A class-action lawsuit
already has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Texas on behalf of purchasers of LPHI common stock.

Shareholders who purchased $100,000 worth of LPHI stock between
May 29, 2007 and January 20, 2011 (the "Class Period") are
encouraged to call Hagens Berman partner Reed R. Kathrein at 510-
725-3000 for a personal consultation, or contact the Hagens Berman
legal team at LPHI@hbsslaw.com

Eligible investors must file a motion with the Court to serve as
lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Life Partners
Holdings, Inc. by April 4, 2011.

"We have approached this case carefully, as we do with the
hundreds we have successfully prosecuted, and based on the
investigation conducted by our team, believe that Life Partners
Holdings practices warrant further scrutiny," said Mr. Kathrein.
"As our investigation advances, we look forward to speaking with
witnesses who can provide more details about these claims, and
investors who believe that they have been damaged by Life Partners
Holdings practices."

"Large investors who wish to move to be a lead plaintiff should
carefully consider the qualifications of counsel who they choose
to represent them," added Mr. Kathrein.  "Interview more than one
firm to determine their actual knowledge of the facts, the extent
of their investigation, their history of success, and reputation
in the legal community.  Fancy titles and press releases without
an actual investigation should be scrutinized."

Life Partners Holdings, Inc., a Waco, Texas company, is engaged in
the secondary market for life insurance, commonly called "life
settlements."  Life Partners Holdings, Inc. helps investors buy
life insurance policies of terminally ill patients and the elderly
at a discount of the policies' face value.

Hagens Berman seeks information regarding questions raised by The
Wall Street Journal surrounding the accuracy of the methodology
used by Life Partners Holdings, Inc. for its life-expectancy
projections.  The projections are important because the company
can charge investors more for policies that have shorter life
expectancies, and therefore faster payouts.  If the insured
individual's death comes later than estimated, the payout is
delayed and investors must continue paying premiums, reducing
their eventual returns.

According to our investigation, Life Partners Holdings, Inc. uses
a single physician based in Reno, Nev. to provide its life-
expectancy estimates.  The life-expectancy estimates made by this
individual have been called into question by many, some of whom
have approached Hagens Berman and the SEC with the results of
their findings.  Hagens Berman welcomes any additional information
by investors, agents or policyholders regarding actual experience
with the policies and their performance.

Shares of LPHI dipped by $2.61, or about 17%, to $12.43 after Life
Partners Holding, Inc. confirmed the SEC investigation and The
Wall Street Journal article.  On February 7, 2011, the stock
trades for less than $10 per share.  In December 2010, and prior
to news articles from The Wall Street Journal, the LPHI stock
traded as high as $18.34.

More details of the investigation can be found at

Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP --
http://www.hbsslaw.com/-- is a class-action law firm with offices
in Boston, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San
Francisco and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1993, the firm
represents plaintiffs in class actions and multi-state, large-
scale litigation that seek to protect the rights of investors,
consumers, workers and whistleblowers.

MATCH.COM: Law Firms File Consumer Fraud Class Action
Brenda Craig, writing for LawyersandSettlements.com, reports
Match.com and other dating Web sites have been sued for consumer
fraud before, but this time it is different, according to attorney
Jeffrey Norton.  His firm has done an intensive and unprecedented
investigation of Match.com and has spoken to dozens of former
employees, sub contractors and other witnesses, including
Match.com subscribers.

"We believe that no one who signed up in the last four years with
Match.com got what they were told they were getting," says
Mr. Norton.  "Many of them got lucky and actually found some to
date or had a good experience, but the overwhelming number we have
spoken to say that 85% of their emails fell on deaf ears, and
that's because there was no one there to answer them."

In other words, the profiles of possible romantic matches were
fake or belonged to inactive members.

The firms of Harwood Feffer and Lever & Stolzenberg have jointly
filed a national class action against IAC/Interactive Corporation
(Match.com) alleging that the site uses deceptive and unscrupulous
practices to entice people to subscribe or renew subscriptions to
the dating Web site.

Furthermore, the suit alleges that Match.com does little or
nothing to police the site and is content to allow thousands and
thousands of fake or inactive profiles to remain on the site as a
way to encourage more people to sign up.

"Well over half, or conservatively 60%, of the Match.com profiles
are fake, inactive or fraudulent," says Mr. Norton.  "People are
not getting the legitimate service they believed they were getting
when they signed up."

When subscribers grow frustrated with the lack of responses and
cancel their subscription, the site sends out e-mails and winks to
former subscribers that someone is looking for them, according to
the suit.

The cost of a monthly subscription to Match.com is $34.  The suit
asks that fees be refunded to thousands and thousands of American
users who subscribed to the site over the last four years.  The
suit was filed in Texas where plaintiffs are entitled to treble
damages under its deceptive practices statute.

The class action stops short of asking for pain and suffering

"It's a difficult thing to do on a class basis," says Mr. Norton.
"There is no way to quantify pain and suffering on a mass level,
but it certainly is a sympathetic class."

Jeffrey Norton is an attorney with Harwood Feffer in New York
City.  The firm focuses on class-action law related to consumer
fraud, product liability and foreclosures.

MYLIFE.COM INC: Sued in California Over False Solicitations
Glynis Farrell at Courthouse News Service reports that an Internet
scam formerly known as Classmates.com has been rebranded
MyLife.com and continues to defraud people who respond to its spam
solicitations, a class action claims in Federal Court.  Victims
who respond to a message that "someone is looking for you," are
offered a "trial subscription" for $5, but are billed $60 or more,
billed again monthly, billed again for canceling, and have their
computers' address books electronically pilfered for more victims,
according to the complaint.

The class claims CEO Jeffrey Tinsley, who calls himself a "serial
internet entrepreneur . . . has been running essentially the same
spam-and-scam operations since at least 2002, when he founded the
company under the name Reunion.com.  The company later operated
using the names Wink.com and Classmates.com, before taking on its
latest alias, MyLife.com, in February 2009.  False solicitations
that 'someone' is looks for you have been the core of the business
plan for these entities for some time."

Mr. Tinsley, of Los Angeles, and his mostly L.A.-based crew,
continued the scam under a new name after settling a lawsuit
against Classmates.com for $9.5 million last year, the class

"In October 2008, Classmates.com was sued by customers defrauded
by email messages falsely stating that individuals and or past
acquaintances were trying to contact them," according to the 26-
page complaint.  "In February 2009, the company was re-branded as
MyLife.com, which continued essentially the same business plan,
and the same false solicitations that 'someone' is trying to
contact you.  In March 2010, the Classmates.com was settled for
$9.5 million.  But that was just a drop in the bucket compared to
the revenue stream generated by the ongoing scam.  So with a fresh
new alias, Tinsley and his team of hucksters moved on to defraud a
new crop of victims, including plaintiffs John Clerkin and
Veronica Mendez, and millions of other similarly situated class

According to the complaint:

Mr. Tinsley, of the Los Angeles area, is founder, chairman and CEO
of MyLife;

Rachel Glaser, of the Los Angeles area, is CFO and COO.
"Ms. Glaser conspired with MyLife, Mr. Tinsley, and others to
perpetrate the scam described herein, including the re-branding of
the operation from Classmates.com as MyLife. Com, as well as the
false solicitations, fraudulent billings, and hacking described

W. Dwight Gorall, of West Palm Beach, Fla., is "vice president of
emerging business," and a co-conspirator;

Armen Avedissian, of the Los Angeles area, has worked in
technical, operational and organizational aspects of the alleged
conspiracy since December 2009;

Sharyn Eles, of the Los Angeles area, "has been with MyLife from
day one and is the vice president of marketing operations while
also overseeing general business operations.  Mr. Eles conspired
with MyLife, Mr. Tinsley, and others to perpetrate the scam
described herein;"

The final defendant, Oak Investment Partners, is a Delaware
partnership with offices in Palo Alto, Calif.  "Oak Investment
Partners is a venture capital firm that provided $25 million in
funding to bankroll the MyLife scam, and conspired with MyLife,
Mr. Tinsley, and others to perpetrate the scam described herein."

Named plaintiff John Clerkin says he signed up for MyLife's $21.95
a month membership in 2010.  After realizing that no one was
looking for him, he tried to cancel, and found that MyLife had
charged his credit card $155.40.  He demanded a refund and was
reimbursed $104.55, according to the complaint.

Veronica Mendez says she agreed to take a $5 trial membership, for
which MyLife charged her $60.  She too "discovered shortly after
signing up that no one she knew was actually searching for her."
She says MyLife refused her request for a refund.

The complaint states: "MyLife.com is a scam that begins with a
false solicitation telling potential victims that 'someone' is
searching for them, and they can find out who by paying a small
fee.  If this ruse succeeds in convincing the victim to provide
credit card or other payment information for a 'free trial period'
or a low-price-membership (e.g. ,$7.95 per month), MyLife then
overbills the victim's credit card for a much larger amount, often
more than $100.  In exchange for this payment, MyLife provides
access to a list of fake names of people supposedly 'searching for
you,' together with access to a worthless website that is of no
conceivable value to anyone.

"It gets worse.  Victims of the ruse then find that MyLife hacks
into their address books to target their friends, family and other
contacts with spam solicitations stating that 'someone' is looking
for them.  This starts the cycle anew by priming the pump with a
fresh crop of victims that MyLife tricks with false solicitations,
overbills and hacks.

"Credit card companies have fielded thousands of complaints about
MyLife and its fraudulent billing practices.  As a result, some,
including Visa and American Express, have designated MyLife as a
frequent offender whose charges are inherently suspect.  If a
customer calls to complain, Visa or American Express will
immediately notify MyLife as a frequent offender and issue a
credit for the disputed charge.  To them, the name MyLife.com is
synonymous with billing fraud."

MyLife claimed in November 2010 that it is registering more U.S.
users per month than LinkedIn and Twitter, according to the
complaint, which cites the MyLife web page's "press room."  MyLife
claimed it registered 2.4 million new members in October 2010,
nearly one per second, and claimed to have: more than 62 million
members" in January, according to the complaint.

"MyLife does not publicly report its revenues," the complaint
states.  "However, if MyLife scammed each one of its 62 million
members out of $90 apiece, the company would have generated more
than $5.5 billion in revenue."

The complaint cites more than 20 comments from alleged MyLife.com
victims, from a consumer complaints message board.

One person wrote: "I'm a web developer, and when I saw their
commercial, it just didn't add up.  I went to the site and put in
a fake name sfsf sdgfsdgf and a real age and zip code, and guess
what?! 7 people were searching for sfsf sdgfsdgf!"

The class seeks damages for violation of the Consumer Legal
Remedies Act, violation of the Unfair Competition Law, unlawful
business practices and unjust enrichment.

The class seeks disgorgement, restitution and an injunction and
damages for violations of consumer laws, unfair business
practices, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

A copy of the Complaint in Clerkin, et al. v. MyLife.com Inc., et
al., Case No. 11-cv-00527 (N.D. Calif.), is available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          L. Timothy Fisher, Esq.
          BURSOR & FISHER, P.A.
          2121 North California Boulevard, Suite 1010
          Walnut, Creek CA 94596
          Telephone: (925) 482-1515
          E-mail: ltfisher@bursor.com

               - and -

          Joseph I. Marchese, Esq.
          BURSOR & FISHER, P.A.
          369 Lexington Avenue, 10th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 989-9113
          E-mail: jmarchese@bursor.com

NORTHEAST HEIGHTS: May Face Class Action Over Water Supply Loss
Kayla Anderson, writing for KOB Eyewitness News 4, reports that
KOB has learned there's a movement building at a Northeast Heights
apartment complex to form a class action lawsuit after residents
there haven't had water or heat since Feb. 4.

"We haul water.  And then we uncover the toilet tank and then we
put water in there so that we can flush the toilet," said one
resident who didn't want to be identified.  She says it takes a
gallon of water for each flush on her toilet.  Gallon after
gallon, she and her husband are hauling water all on their own.

KOB has learned gas and water were shut off to the 250 unit
complex called Allegro at Tanoan near Tramway and Academy on
Feb. 4.

"It's just unfortunate that it happened -- that the pipes broke
and there was damage to some of the apartments," said another
tenant. She's one of many who fled to a hotel after the complex
posted a notice on her door on Feb. 4 saying water would be cut

"We have numerous vendors and contractors working around the clock
to assist us at this time of need," one resident read aloud from
the notice.

"Did you see them anywhere?" KOB asked.

"Not one.  We don't even see the maintenance men that are hired by
the property here," the resident replied.  She says she's been
brushing her teeth and washing her hands with bottled water.  As
for a shower, she hasn't had one since Feb. 3.

The resident behind the movement declined to speak on camera,
pending legal counsel, but said in an email the way her neighbors
are being treated is just plain wrong.

PD SIXTY: Recalls 3,000 Portable Space Heaters
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
PD Sixty Distributor Inc., of Norcross, Ga., announced a voluntary
recall of about 3,000 portable space heaters.  Consumers should
stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise

The space heater can overheat due to loose electrical connections,
posing a fire hazard to consumers.

The firm has received one report of the heater overheating,
resulting in the unit catching fire and causing minor property
damage.  No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves Creative Heating Solutions brand portable
space heaters with model number CH-750, CH-750FC, CH-1500 or CH-
1500FC.  The heater is wooden on three sides, with metal on the
fourth side.  The front of the heater includes a vent and a clear
plastic faceplate with six black buttons. Some units have
"Creative Heating Solutions" stamped into the rear metal panel and
the model number on a white label on the rear metal panel.

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
Hancock Fabrics stores nationwide and by America's Sewing Machine
Company, of Augusta, Ga. through nationwide direct marketing from
October 2008 through March 2009 for between $380 and $480.

Consumers should immediately stop using this portable heater and
contact PD Sixty for a free replacement heater.  The firm has
contacted all known purchasers of this product.  For more
information, contact PD Sixty toll free at (866) 367-4538 anytime
or visit http://www.CHSrecall.com/

PENNSYLVANIA: Public Welfare Department Loses Class Action
Martha Brock, writing for NC Statehouse Examiner, reports that on
Feb. 7, a federal court in Pennsylvania ruled in favor of
claimants who filed a class action lawsuit against the PA state
Department of Public Welfare.

The litigants were represented by the Protection & Advocacy System
for Pennsylvania, and that class action was the latest in which a
state was found to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The big media story from the North Carolina General Assembly on
Feb. 8 is the final approval in the session of the Senate Bill
(S13), the "Balanced Budget Act of 2011," by a party-line 31-16
vote.  The bill will divert funds intended for the Golden Leaf
Foundation and other programs to the General Fund of the state

In a long and at times heated debate on Senate Bill 13 on Feb. 3,
some Democrats argued that it was wrong to move funds which were
to be received as the result of the tobacco settlement years ago.
They argued that it would "set a bad precedent."

These same Democrats were in control not only of the NC Senate but
the entire legislature for over a dozen years, as Sen. Bob Rucho,
Chair of the Senate Finance Committee pointed out on Feb. 3.
Senate Democrats seem to have forgotten the times when targeted
funds were previously moved around to fill "a budget hole" when
they were in control.

This article focuses on just one example: the raid on the Mental
Health Trust Fund in 2002.

The 2002 budget "raid" is still causing repercussions for those
with disabilities.  The continued lack of community mental health
services--together with a resulting US Department of Justice
Investigation and a possible lawsuit -- could also wreak further
havoc on the state's budget in 2011-12.

In a letter to the editor of the Raleigh News and Observer
published on Feb. 8, Vicki Smith, Director of the state's
federally funded protection and advocacy system, had this to say:

"Let us not forget that it is the lack of community-based services
that contributes to the need for the long ER waits for people with
mental illness.  More hospital beds are not the answer.  Our tax
dollars are misplaced, when we choose to spend them on expensive
inpatient hospitalization instead of appropriate community
services based on prevention and recovery principles."

Democratic Rep. Jennifer Weiss of Cary rightly says the General
Assembly needs to move ahead with finding solutions to low income
housing problems even in a difficult year.  "Indeed, let's not
have the budget knife cutting to the bone programs assisting those
least able to fight back," she said (according to a quote in the
News and Observer editorial, Feb. 2, 2011).

As the Raleigh News and Observer said in "The story so far,"
published November 25, 2010:

"In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Olmstead decision
that the Americans with Disabilities Act bars states from the
unnecessary institutionalization of people with mental illness,
mandating that they be treated in their home communities whenever

"The following year, North Carolina legislators approved an
ambitious reform plan aimed at bringing the state's mental health
system into compliance with Olmstead by downsizing state hospitals
and launching new community treatment programs through private

"In 2001, the Easley administration closed about half the beds in
state mental hospitals, although the planned community treatment
system was not in place.  The governor and legislators then raided
the trust fund set up to pay for mental health reform to close a
hole in the state budget . . ."

In the accompanying article published in the N&O on 11/25/2010,
Michael Biesecker wrote:

"Nearly a decade after the state Department of Health and Human
Services closed thousands of beds in government-run psychiatric
hospitals as part of a reform effort; more than 6,400 people with
severe mental illness are housed in adult care homes scattered
across the state, living in sometimes squalid and dangerous
conditions . . ."

Now, based on a report done after an investigation of conditions
at 15 adult care homes in North Carolina by staff from Disability
Rights North Carolina and student volunteers, the U. S. Department
of Justice (DOJ) is doing its own investigation.  DOJ is trying to
determine if the "warehousing" of mental health patients in adult
care homes violates provisions of the Americans with Disabilities

The DOJ sent a letter in November to the NC Department of Health
and Human Services announcing its investigation.  A recent
settlement between the state of Georgia and the US DOJ could
result in a huge outlay of "millions of dollars" to pay for
increased care for patients in Georgia.  There was no response
from NC DHHS other than to acknowledge the investigation.

The DOJ said it would announce the results of its investigation in
December, but no record of an announcement could be found at time
of publication.

PFF BANCORP: Settlement Reached in Workers' Class Actions
Bill Rochelle, the bankruptcy columnist for Bloomberg News,
reports that the provider of directors' and officers' insurance
for PFF Bancorp Inc. agreed to pay $3 million to settle employee
class-action lawsuits against the holding company for a failed
bank.  The settlement, set for approval in bankruptcy court on
March 1, also entails granting the class of former workers a
$400,000 unsecured claim.

Mr. Rochelle relates that the suits involved PFF's 401(k) plan and
the employees' stock ownership plan trust.  The settlement must be
approved by a U.S. district judge in California overseeing the
class-action suits.

                         About PFF Bancorp

PFF Bancorp Inc. -- http://www.pffbank.com/-- was a non-
diversified unitary savings and loan holding company within the
meaning of the Home Owners' Loan Act with headquarters formerly
located in Rancho Cucamonga, California.  Bancorp is the direct
parent of each of the remaining Debtors.

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, Bancorp was also the direct parent
of PFF Bank & Trust, a federally chartered savings institution,
and said bank's subsidiaries.  PFF Bank & Trust was taken over by
regulators in November 2008, with the deposits transferred by the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to U.S. Bank NA.

PFF Bancorp Inc. and its affiliates sought Chapter 11 protection
on December 5, 2008 (Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 08-13127 to
08-13131).  Chun I. Jang, Esq., and Paul N. Heath, Esq., at
Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., serve as the Debtors' bankruptcy
counsel.  Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC serves as the Debtors'
claims agent.  Jason W. Salib, Esq., at Blank Rome LLP, represents
the official committee of unsecured creditors as counsel.

According to the latest monthly operating report, PFF Bancorp had
total assets of $13.5 million, total liabilities of $117.4
million, and a stockholders' deficit of $103.9 million as of
Nov. 30, 2010.

PROCTER & GAMBLE: Faces Class Action Over Fixodent Denture Cream
Lauren Pearle, James Hill, Chris Vlasto and Cleopatra Andreadis,
writing for ABC News, report that Procter & Gamble is facing a
class action over Fixodent.

Mark Jacoby had no idea why his body was failing.  Symptoms
appeared gradually, said the 41-year-old former construction
worker from York, Pa.

"I started getting tingling in my fingertips. And then it started
happening in my toes," he told ABC News' 20/20 anchor Chris Cuomo,
who is the Chief of the Law & Justice Unit. "I started getting
weaker and, you know, I couldn't walk right, off balance and I'm
at this point now."

Mr. Jacoby, who now uses a wheelchair, said his doctors searched
for years for the cause of his debilitating neurological illness
that robbed him of his independence.

Doctors eventually tied his disorder to high levels of the mineral
zinc in his body.  Mr. Jacoby, who has worn dentures for 20 years,
said it came from his denture cream, Fixodent, which contains

"I can almost guarantee you it was the Fixodent," said Mr. Jacoby.
"It's soaked into your body and it messes with the nerves."

Similarly, 48-year-old Anne Coffman from Maine said she was a
heavy user of Fixodent because of ill-fitting dentures, and after
three years her body felt different.

"I started getting numbness in my toes.  I wasn't sure so I kind
of didn't do anything about it at first," Ms. Coffman told
Mr. Cuomo. "Then it started moving over to both feet and then ...
up to my knees."

After many painful tests, she was diagnosed with zinc poisoning, a
condition in which high zinc levels interfere with the body's
absorption of copper, which can lead to serious and irreversible
neurological problems.

"[Fixodent] is the only product that I've ever used that had zinc
in it," Ms. Coffman said.

Ms. Coffman is now in a wheelchair and struggles with everyday
tasks because of weakness in her hands and arms.

"I have trouble eating," said Ms. Coffman. "I drop the fork a lot,
so it gets frustrating."

Ms. Coffman and Mr. Jacoby are part of a class action lawsuit
against Procter & Gamble, makers of Fixodent, alleging that their
use of the product has caused their devastating problems.

"I don't know if you can put a dollar value on my health or
anybody else's, for that matter," Ms. Coffman told Mr. Cuomo.  "I
would prefer to see [the makers] take the zinc right out of the
product . . . or take the product right off the market."

Used by many of the 35 million Americans who wear dentures, the
cream is marketed with the catchy tag line, "Fixodent -- and
forget it."

But what the maker didn't tell consumers for years was that the
adhesive contains zinc, which when ingested or absorbed in large
amounts over time can lead to serious nerve damage.

The possible connection first was made five years ago by
researchers at the University of Texas, who studied four denture
users with neurological disease.

"They had high zinc levels that we could measure in the blood,"
said Dr. Sharon Nations, author of a study in the journal
Neurology.  "And all of them reported that they were using very
large amounts of denture cream."

That study was completed in 2006, but its publication in Neurology
was delayed for more than two years.

It was delayed, according to its authors, because of a peer review
by Dr. Kenneth Shay, a dentist, who lambasted the study and called
the link between excessive use of denture cream and neurological
disease "little more than speculation."  He said that the authors
"don't understand the nature of the material they are writing

But an ABC News investigation found that that Shay, at the time,
also was a paid consultant to Procter & Gamble, the maker of
Fixodent, when he reviewed the study.

"It is an outrage.  This was wrong," David Rothman, a professor at
Columbia University Medical School, told Mr. Cuomo.  "That is a
fundamental transgression of professional medical ethics and not
to be allowed."

In e-mails and documents obtained by ABC News, Mr. Shay not only
made recommendations that, according to the authors, led them to
water down the study's finding, but also sent draft reports of the
study to Procter & Gamble.

In one e-mail, he said, "Please be circumspect because, as a
reviewer, I'm not supposed to be passing an unpublished manuscript

It is unclear what, if anything, Procter & Gamble did with the
information Mr. Shay passed on to it.

It wasn't until 2009, after the study was published in the journal
Neurology, that Procter & Gamble added a "new label information"
warning to the side of Fixodent packages, and on the back,
cautioned that "prolonged zinc intake may be linked to adverse
health effects."

Mr. Shay declined to be interviewed, but in a phone call with ABC
News he defended his review of the study, saying that the research
report had "objective shortcomings."

Procter & Gamble sent a written statement to ABC News reading:

"Procter & Gamble is committed to providing safe and effective
products for all consumers.  That is who we are and what we stand
for.  We go to great lengths to ensure that our products safely
deliver best-in-class performance, so consumers can choose our
products with total confidence.  Fixodent is safe for use as
directed, as supported by the experience of millions of consumers
over many years.  Our Fixodent formula has undergone extensive
scientific testing, and we continuously monitor for its safe use.
. . . We know of no valid scientific evidence that using Fixodent
as directed causes any ill health effects."

But Mr. Jacoby and others like him said it all comes too late.  He
has stopped using Fixodent, but said the damage to his body has
been done.

"Fixodent and forget it?" said Mr. Jacoby.  "Well, apparently I
can't forget it 'cause it took a lot away from me."

QUICKEN LOANS: Overtime Class Action to Go on Trial This Week
Daniel Duggan, writing for Crain's Detroit Business, reports that
two described versions of the work environment at Quicken Loans
Inc. go on trial this week in a class-action lawsuit filed over
whether or not the mortgage bankers should receive overtime pay.

One version is of well-paid employees working flexible hours and
playing Nerf football, ping-pong and arcade games during work

The other is a high-pressure environment where employees are
forced to work 60 to 70 hours a week and cancel plans with their
families to order to sell more loans.

A jury is expected to hear testimony on the case for the next
four-to-six weeks on the case in front of Judge Stephen Murphy III
in U.S. District Court's Eastern District in Detroit.

The case was filed by a group of former Quicken mortgage bankers
in May 2004.  The number of plaintiffs grew to more than 300 and
was given class action status on the common allegation that
Quicken was legally obligated to pay overtime.

At issue is a portion of the labor law which spells out overtime.
Specifically, an exemption from overtime requirements is given for
financial services employees who have discretion to make decisions
and whose duties are primarily office-related and focused on
clients of the firm.

But that exemption is not available for sales-oriented positions,
said Paul Lukas an attorney with Minneapolis-based Nichols Kaster
Attorneys at Law.

"That exemption, flat out, does not apply in the financial
services industry when the primary duty is sales," he said during
his opening arguments on Feb. 8.

Mr. Lukas described an office environment at Quicken where
employees were required to make 80 calls per day and were
chastised for taking a lunch break or leaving at a normal hour.
He said 60-to-70-hour work weeks were common and expected.

"They were either selling, preparing to sell, following-up on
sales or sitting in sales meetings," Mr. Lukas said.  "It was a
high-pressure sales job."

And with demands to spend so much time in the office, he said, the
employees were owed overtime pay that they never received.

But Quicken's attorney, Mayer Morganroth of Morganroth and
Morganroth PLLC, said the case is more about a group of short-term
employees trying to cash in after the fact.

He said the salary structure was a base of $24,000 to $28,000 per
year with the chance to earn commissions of up to $100,000 to
$200,000 per year.

"One of the plaintiffs in this case made $300,000," he said during
his opening argument.  "Gee, maybe she should give back all that
money and accept some overtime money instead."

Mr. Morganroth said the company's compensation structure for the
mortgage bankers was designed under a salaried structure with
commissions so that it could be more lucrative than an hourly
structure with overtime.

"Each of the plaintiffs made more money than what they listed as
their expected salary on their employment application,"
Mr. Morganroth said.

Also included for the employees was a range of benefits such as
health and dental insurance, short-term and long-term disability,
tuition reimbursement and assistance with home Internet service.

Mr. Morganroth painted a picture of employees trained to handle
complex financial transactions and counsel clients on the right
mortgage package.

"If you use the word 'sales' in a multitude of situations, a
number of times, it still does not make their job a sales job," he
told the jury.

ST. LOUIS, MO: MSD Mulls Appeal in Stormwater Class Action
Megan Lynch, writing for KMOX News, reports that when the
Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District implemented a stormwater
user charge based on run-off ratepayers were outraged and launched
legal action.  Last summer a judge threw out the fee.

Now MSD is making a case about how much the judge has just awarded
the class action attorneys.

"Really what is an issue about money rather than public good,"
says MSD's Lance LeComb.

And in a news release, MSD calls the $4.8 million dollars just
awarded to ratepayers' attorneys Greensfelder, Hemker and Gale
"excessive" and "a windfall".

KMOX asked Mr. LeComb whether it's really MSD that failed to prove
its case.  "We unequivocally disagree with a judge's ruling about
the validity of the rate.  It was a very well-founded rate that we
developed.  We were very meticulous about it."

Mr. LeComb says customers will likely have to bear the cost of the
judgment.  MSD is planning an appeal.

KMOX News left a message with Greensfelder for comment.  The judge
in the case was not available.

TECH 4 KIDS: Recalls 2,100 OUTER EDGE Snow Bikes
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Tech 4 Kids Inc., of Canada, announced a voluntary recall of about
2,100 OUTER EDGE Snow Bikes.  Consumers should stop using recalled
products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The front ski can crack or break, causing the snow bike to stop
suddenly and posing a fall hazard to consumers.

Tech 4 Kids has received three reports of consumers falling off
the recalled snow bikes and sustaining injuries as a result of the
defective front ski cracking or breaking.  Injuries included a cut
requiring stitches and a dislocated shoulder.

The recall includes OUTER EDGE brand Snow MX-Ski-Doo(R) and the
Snow MX-X Games (TM) snow bikes.  The Snow MX-Ski-Doo snow bike is
yellow and black with "Ski-Doo" printed on the steel frame and on
the front ski.  The Snow MX-X Games snow bike is blue and black
with "Snow MX," a skull and swords printed on the steel frame and
on the front ski. "OUTER EDGE" is printed on the snow bikes'

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
Costco, sporting goods stores and other retailers nationwide and
online at Amazon.com and Walmart.com from September 2010 through
January 2011 for about $150.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled snow bikes
and return them to the store where purchased for a full refund.
For additional information, contact Tech 4 Kids toll-free at (866)
287-4761 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or visit the firm's
Web site at http://www.outeredgeindustries.com/safetynotice/

TOYOTA MOTOR: Acceleration Class Actions Harder to Pursue
Daniel Fisher, writing for Reuters' Full Disclosure, the
Transportation Department's report exonerating Toyota of hiding
electrical flaws in its throttle mechanisms won't end the sudden-
acceleration lawsuits against it but will make class actions much
harder to pursue, a product-liability expert said.

Individuals can still push a case in front of a jury to decide why
their car surged inexplicably out of control, said Aaron Twerski
of Brooklyn Law School.  But maintaining a lawsuit on behalf of
millions of consumers, most of whom have never had a problem with
their cars, has become much tougher.

"It's going to be much harder on the class-action side," said
Mr. Twerski, a co-author of the products-liability section of the
American Law Institute's most recent Restatement of Torts.
Plaintiff lawyers had argued there was some kind of electronic
gremlin hiding in the throttle mechanisms of Toyota vehicles that
diminished their safety and value, "and now you have a report from
very reputable agency saying that it wasn't there."

Plaintiff lawyers seem to have anticipated this result and
switched their strategy recently to focus not on unintended
acceleration but the lack of a brake-override device to prevent it
from happening for whatever cause.  The one sure cause of
unintended acceleration is drivers stomping on the gas pedal
instead of the brake, a not unknown phenomenon.

That argument might fly in front of the right jury in an
individual case, Mr. Twerski said, but not necessarily for a class

"I can see it an individual personal injury case," he said.  "My
accelerator pedal stuck, I don't have any idea why the heck it did
but it did.  That's something a jury can decide."

The class must argue that Toyota vehicles were all defective
because they lacked the cutoff device and that argument hinges on
the idea there is something wrong with the throttle mechanism that
the cutoff would cure.

"It's a less appealing case, but not crazy.  Safety devices are
very often to protect the fool from himself, so the lawyers argue
Toyota should have known out of every 1 million customers there
were 1,000 fools."

But, Mr. Twerski continued, "in an individual case someone can be
a damned fool and still recover.  It's much more tricky on a class
basis.  You have to say the car is worth less because of the
possibility of some idiot doing something.  It's much a harder

Toyota previously issued recalls on two specific problems it
acknowledged, a mechanism that might lead to a sticky gas pedal
and floor mats that might interfere with its action.  Those
recalls don't eliminate the possibility of lawsuits over those
defects, Mr. Twerski said, but they do help reduce any punitive
damages.  The company also paid a $16.4 million fine.

Toyota, not surprisingly, hailed the government's latest
intervention in its affairs.  In a news release, the automaker
said it "welcomes the findings of NASA" and "appreciates the
thoroughness of their review."  Toyota shares rose 3.74% on the

TYCO SAFETY: Recalls 540 Simplex Fire Alarm Control Panel
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Tyco Safety Products Westminster of Westminster, Mass., announced
a voluntary recall of about 540 Simplex Fire Alarm Control Panel.
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
otherwise instructed.

The recalled fire alarm control panels can fail to send a signal
to alert monitoring centers in the event of a fire.

The firm has received 2 reports of alarms failing to alert
monitoring centers.  No injuries have been reported.

The recalled fire alarm panel is the Simplex 4100U-NXP panel
configured for third party monitoring and running software
revision 14.01.  The words "Simplex," "4100U" and "Fire Control"
appear on the fire alarm's front panel.  The software revision
number can be identified by pressing the "Menu" key on the panel
keypad, selecting "Show Software Revision Level" and pressing
"Enter."  Pictures of the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in the United States and
distributed by SimplexGrinnell from May 2010 to September 2010 for
between $10,000 and $20,000.

Building managers should contact SimplexGrinnell for a free
software upgrade.  SimplexGrinnell is contacting its customers
directly.  For more information, contact SimplexGrinnell toll-free
at (866) 565-6322 or at the firm's Web site at

UNITED STATES: LEED Suit Against USGBC No Longer Class Action
Stephen T. Del Percio, writing for Citybizlist Baltimore, reports
that on Feb. 7, the group of plaintiffs led by Henry Gifford filed
an amended complaint against the U.S. Green Building Council in
the Southern District of New York.  Mr. Gifford commenced the
action last October in the form of a class action, alleging
violations of the Sherman and Lanham Acts for "deceiving users" of
the LEED system about "whether LEED buildings use less energy than
conventionally-built buildings."

The amended complaint -- which also features two engineers (Andrew
Ask and Elisa Larkin) and an architect (Matthew Arnold) as
plaintiffs -- is notable because it is no longer structured as a
class action, and essentially asserts false advertising claims
directly against USGBC under federal, state, and common law.
However, the plaintiffs continue to seek injunctive relief against
USGBC, enjoining it from promoting the energy efficiency of LEED
buildings and/or "benefits of the LEED system" and compelling it
to "disclose the actual energy use of LEED properties," as well as
money damages.  Also of interest is that Rick Fedrizzi, Rob
Watson, and the other individuals named as defendants in the class
action are no longer parties.

The Southern District's docket number is 1:10 CV-7747, and the
USGBC -- which is being defended by Proskauer Rose -- has until
April 7 to respond to the complaint, presumably by way of a motion
to dismiss.

A copy of the First Amended Complaint is available at:


WALT DISNEY: DOJ Opposes Segway Class Action Settlement
According to an article at The DIS Unplugged Disney Blog posted by
Jack Burgin, the Justice Department says Disney must permit
Segways in their theme parks.  Disney, in turn, tells the Justice
Department its revised ADA regulations are invalid.

Ostensibly settled two years ago, the Segway lawsuit against Walt
Disney World Co. is far from over.  In November 2007, three
individuals filed a lawsuit saying WDW violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act by refusing to let them use Segways in WDW's
theme parks.  The settlement terms would have let WDW develop its
own four-wheeled electrically powered vehicle which can be used
standing.  The ESV would be rented to guests on the same terms
that WDW rents ECVs, currently $50 a day.

Ordinarily, settling a civil suit gathers no objections.  This
settlement, however, was a class action settlement.  If approved,
the terms of the settlement would prevent any other person who had
a mobility impairment from bringing a future lawsuit alleging WDW
(or Disneyland) violated the ADA by prohibiting the use of Segways
(and other two-wheeled vehicles) in any Disney resort.  The rules
governing class settlements permit class members (a term that
typically means the members of the class action who are not taking
part in the lawsuit) to object that the settlement is inadequate
or unfair.  It may seem surprising that settlements will prevent
lawsuits from class members who have not sued but this is not
uncommon and ordinarily meets with no objection.

Here however, the proposed settlement drew strong objections from
certain disability advocacy groups and the Justice Department.

The federal court in Orlando held a hearing but instead of
deciding whether to approve the settlement, the court dismissed
the lawsuit, saying the people suing could not show that requiring
WDW to modify the rules prohibiting Segways in theme parks was
"necessary" for them to visit WDW.  The court defined "necessary"
as "at least arguably indispensable or essential."

In December 2010, a federal court of appeals disagreed but failed
to explain why, other than to say the federal court in Orlando
should consider whether the people who brought the lawsuit (and
now want to settle it) are in the best position to represent the
class members.  For all its opposition to the class settlement the
DOJ did not participate in the appeal.  Instead, while appeal was
pending, the DOJ issued revised ADA regulations which address
(among other things) the use of Segways in amusement parks.

With the case back in the district court, WDW and two of the
original plaintiffs (one passed away while the case was on appeal)
still want to settle the case on the terms proposed in 2008.  The
DOJ and Disability Rights Advocates for Technology -- DRAFT --
still oppose the class settlement.  What makes the DOJ's
opposition interesting is that it goes farther than making
procedural objections to the class settlement.

Emboldened by its revised ADA regulations -- which it calls a
"game changer -- the DOJ's position is that the settlement is
unfair to the class members because the revised ADA regulations
"expressly provides legal recognition of, and protection for, use
of Segways [at theme parks] subject to legitimate safety
considerations."  The regulations, DOJ said, do not permit places
like WDW "to flatly refuse" to permit Segways "based on its belief
that such devices are not 'necessary' for individuals with
disabilities." Saying the court was wrong to dismiss the lawsuit,
Justice says "necessary" in the ADA should not mean the desired
policy modification is "essential."  Instead, necessary merely
means there is "a disability-based need" for a modification of
WDW's policies.  Stated in somewhat plainer English, DOJ's
position is that an individual with a mobility impairment needs
only to show that they need some physical assistance because of
their impairment.  They do not need to show that the physical
assistance they want (i.e. a Segway) is "necessary." (The DOJ gets
to stack the deck in some ways.  It not only gets to write the
regulations, courts are required to defer to them, within
reasonable limits, even if, as here, the regulations were
finalized during litigation.)

The DOJ recognizes that Segways need not be permitted if there are
"legitimate safety considerations" but, it says, WDW cannot adhere
to its "blanket ban on Segways at all Disney properties" based on
WDW's "bland and unsupported" safety concerns.  While some of the
DOJ's attacks on WDW's safety-based Segway ban border on the
frivolous (that WDW does Segway tours and there hasn't yet been a
Segway accident at WDW), its strongest point is that WDW's blanket
ban is too broad.  In a prior brief, the DOJ explained, "even if
Disney believed that some Segway users (whether disabled or not)
may have posed significant safety risks, that brush could not be
used to paint all of Segways users."  It suggested WDW adopt a
"permit program for disabled Segway users" similar to that adopted
by the Washington D.C. Metro system.  The D.C. Metro permits
Segways to be used "as a mobility device" if the user is "an ID
card holder in one of Metro's disability related programs" and if
a physician certifies "that the Segway is used as a mobility
device."  (Without this, Segway users must walk their Segways
through the Metro.)

While WDW cannot inquire as to the nature of a guest's disability,
DOJ's endorsement of the Metro Segway program seemingly concedes
that WDW could require any guest wanting to use a Segway provide a
certification from a physician.  That, however, would be
inconsistent with the DOJ's revised ADA regulations, which would
require WDW to "accept as a credible assurance a verbal
representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the
[Segway] is being used for a mobility disability."  Unfortunately,
the DOJ never resolves this inconsistency.

WDW's response to the DOJ was to mount the "best defense,"
choosing to go on the offensive and argue that the DOJ's revised
regulations are an unreasonable interpretation of the ADA.  Under
WDW's interpretation, "because persons with disabilities currently
have access to the Disney Resorts by using wheelchairs, scooters
or other allowed devices, modification of [WDW's] policies is not
necessary."  WDW also explained that its ban on Segways was
adopted because the safety risks posed to other guests in the
unique environment of the resorts were simply too great.  This
review included specific consideration of the Segway's technology,
including its speed, failure modes, inherent technological
characteristics (such as its means of self-balancing and reaction
to obstacles) and the nature of the Disney Resorts, including
unique architectural elements as well as guest population, age and

WDW also cited a recent study of Segway injuries in the D.C. area
which concluded that emergency room "admission rates for Segway
injuries" was "higher than pedestrians struck by a car."  (The
study, it should be noted, only examined injuries to Segway

Mr. Burgin said, "In some strange way it is interesting to watch
two legal behemoths battle it out.  I can't help but feel for the
federal judge, however.  What would ordinarily be a routine
hearing on the fairness of the class settlement has turned into a
full blown war over whether or not Segways must be permitted in
crowded theme parks.  The judge could rightly think the DOJ out of
its mind in thinking that WDW must permit Segways in the parks
even during the Christmas holidays while also wondering why WDW
insists on a complete ban on Segways at all times.  The competing
interests (all four of them) have adopted such polarized positions
(and on more issues than I can explain here) that the court is not
being given much help in resolving the difficult and novel issues
in the lawsuit.

One of the individuals objecting to the class settlement has her
own Segway lawsuit pending against Disneyland.  A federal judge in
California dismissed the Disneyland Segway lawsuit in a way that
rejects the DOJ's interpretation of the ADA.  That ruling has been
appealed.  The appeals court's records show briefs have not yet
been filed.  Mr. Burgin said, "I'm suspicious, given the DOJ's
tone in the WDW lawsuit, that it might take up the cause against
Disneyland in the appeal.  So even if the judge in Orlando
approves the class action settlement, litigation over Segway use
in Disney theme parks is unlikely to end soon."

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS ALERT: Thermon Group Facing Six Pending Exposure Claims
Thermon Group Holdings, Inc. is party to six currently pending
asbestos-related claims, according to a Company report, on Form
S-1, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 2,

Since 1999, the Company has been named as one of many defendants
in 16 personal injury suits alleging exposure to asbestos from its
products.  None of the cases alleges premises liability.

Insurers are defending the Company in three of the six lawsuits,
and the Company expects that an insurer will defend it in the
remaining three matters.

Of the concluded suits, there were five cost of defense
settlements and the remainder were dismissed without payment.  All
amounts paid in connection with such settlements were immaterial.

There are no claims unrelated to asbestos exposure for which
coverage has been sought under the policies that are providing

Thermon Group Holdings, Inc.
100 Thermon Drive
San Marcos, Tex. 78666
Phone No.: (512) 396-5801

Thermon Group Holdings, Inc. provides highly engineered thermal
solutions for process industries.  The Company is a global leader
and one of the few thermal solutions providers with a global
footprint and a full suite of products (heating cables, tubing
bundles and control systems) and services (design optimization,
engineering, installation and maintenance services) required to
deliver comprehensive solutions to complex projects.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 4.4T Lawsuits Pending v. Tyco Int'l. at Dec. 24
There were about 4,400 asbestos lawsuits pending against Tyco
International Ltd. and its subsidiaries or entities, for which the
Company has assumed responsibility as of Dec. 24, 2010, according
to the Company's quarterly report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on Jan. 27, 2011.

The Company and certain of its subsidiaries along with numerous
other companies are named as defendants in personal injury
lawsuits based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing

These cases typically involve product liability claims based
primarily on allegations of manufacture, sale or distribution of
industrial products that either contained asbestos or were
attached to or used with asbestos-containing components
manufactured by third-parties.  Each case typically names between
dozens to hundreds of corporate defendants.

Each lawsuit typically includes several claims, and the Company
has determined that there were about 5,100 claims outstanding as
of Dec. 24, 2010, which amount reflects the Company's current
estimate of the number of viable claims made against it, its
affiliates or entities for which it has assumed responsibility in
connection with acquisitions or divestitures.

Tyco International Ltd. comprises five divisions devoted to
security, fire protection, safety, valves, and tubing.  The
Company is based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Columbus McKinnon Has $10.6MM Dec. 31 Liability
Columbus McKinnon Corporation recorded an asbestos-related
liability of US$10.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2010, according to the
Company's quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Jan. 28, 2011.

The Company has estimated its asbestos-related aggregate liability
including related legal costs to range between US$7.3 million and
US$17 million using actuarial parameters of continued claims for a
period of 18 to 30 years from the end of the current fiscal year.

Of the US$10.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2010, management expects to
incur asbestos liability payments of about US$500,000 over the
next 12 months.

Columbus McKinnon Corporation is a designer, marketer and
manufacturer of material handling products, systems and services,
which efficiently and ergonomically move, lift, position and
secure material.  Key products include hoists, cranes, rigging
tools including chain and forged attachments, and actuators.  The
Company is based in Amherst, N.Y.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Honeywell Posts $1.556B Liabilities at Dec. 31
Honeywell International Ltd.'s long-term asbestos-related
liabilities were US$1.556 billion as of Dec. 31, 2010, compared
with US$1.040 billion as of Dec. 31, 2009, according to a Company
press release dated Jan. 28, 2011.

Honeywell International Ltd. is a manufacturer that serves
customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control
technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; automotive
products; turbochargers; and specialty materials.  The Company is
based in Morris Township, N.J.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Chubb Posts $631MM Net Reserves at Dec. 31
Chubb Corporation's net asbestos reserves amounted to US$631
million as of Dec. 31, 2010, according to a Company report, on
Form 8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on
Jan. 27, 2011.

Net asbestos liabilities in 2010 were US$58 million and reserves
at Dec. 31, 2010, calculate to a three-year survival ratio of

Chubb Corporation offers commercial property/casualty insurance
including multiple peril, property and marine, and workers'
compensation.  Its specialty insurance arm offers professional
liability policies for executives across a spectrum of industries
and also provides construction and commercial surety bonds.  The
Company is based in Warren, N.J.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meridian Firm Fined $46T for Safety Violations
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health
Administration has cited Roytex Inc. in Meridian, Miss., with 18
serious safety and health violations for exposing workers to
electrical hazards, flaking lead paint, asbestos and other
hazards, according to an OSHA press release dated Jan. 27, 2011.

Proposed fines total US$46,340.  Following a safety inspection,
OSHA has cited Roytex for 14 serious violations with a proposed
penalty of US$33,740.

The hazards include failing to provide fixed stairs and railings
where required; lack of a back-up alarm for a powered industrial
truck; failing to block the wheels of trailers being loaded and
unloaded; several electrical deficiencies; and failing to provide
machine guarding at pinch points between the belt and pulley on
the conveyor.

A separate health inspection revealed four serious violations with
US$12,600 in proposed penalties.  These include failing to treat
and label insulation-containing asbestos; monitoring for employee
exposure to asbestos; failing to keep surfaces free from
accumulation of lead from flaking and pealing wall paint; and
failing to provide a written hazard communication program
addressing how to work safely with hazardous chemicals.

Clyde Payne, OSHA's area director in Jackson, Miss. said, "OSHA
will not allow companies to endanger the safety and health of its
workers as a means to reduce business expenses."

The textile 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.

The site was inspected by OSHA's Jackson Area Office, 3780
Interstate 55 N., Suite 210, Jackson, Miss. 39211; telephone 601-

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 3 Pinellas Locals Charged for Safety Violations
U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury on
Jan. 28, 2011 found Stephen J. Spencer (49, Clearwater), Guy
Gannaway (54, Safety Harbor), and Keith McConnell (55, Largo)
guilty of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act and various
Clean Air Act charges related to the mishandling of asbestos,
according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release dated
Jan. 28, 2011.

Mr. Gannaway was also convicted of making a false statement.  The
defendants each face a maximum penalty of five years in federal
prison on each count.  A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

The jury acquitted John Loder (44 years old, Redington Beach) on
five counts and could not reach a verdict on two remaining counts.
The individuals were indicted on Feb. 3, 2010.  The Indictment
alleged numerous violations of the work practice standards for
asbestos, developed as part of the National Emission Standards for
Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs).

According to evidence presented during the 11-day trial, from
around November 2004 through September 2005, the defendants
participated in the renovation of a large condominium conversion
project in Indian Shores called Barefoot Beach Resort.

Mr. Gannaway was the owner of Gannaway Builders, Inc., the general
contractor on the project.  Mr. McConnell was the Gannaway
Builders superintendent for renovation operations at Barefoot
Beach.  Mr. Spencer was a partner in Sun Vista Indian Pass, LLC,
which is the developer of the project and was also the architect
for the project.

The evidence showed that asbestos containing materials located
throughout the property were not handled properly by the
defendants, despite repeated warnings from the Pinellas County Air
Quality Division and various asbestos consultants and contractors.

During the course of the renovations of Barefoot Beach Resort, the
defendants caused asbestos containing material to be disturbed
without following the work practice standards for asbestos, which
are specifically designed to prevent people and the environment
from being exposed to hazardous asbestos fibers.

Photographs admitted during trial showed wide-ranging disturbances
of asbestos containing material as well as improper disposal of
those materials in general construction debris dumpsters.
Photographs also showed Gannaway Builders, Inc. employees dry
sweeping debris, resulting in clouds of dust in the areas where
asbestos disturbances were found.

Additionally, Mr. Gannaway was convicted of making a false
statement in a Dec. 14, 2005, response letter to a notice of
violation for work at Barefoot Beach Resort, issued by the
Pinellas County Air Quality Division.

U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill said, "These types of crimes have
both an immediate and future negative impact on the environment
and its citizens.  Where found, they must be investigated and
prosecuted without hesitation."

This case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency,
Criminal Investigation Division with assistance from the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement.  It was prosecuted by Assistant
U.S. Attorney Cherie Krigsman and Trial Attorney Lana Pettus from
the Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural
Resources Division of the Department of Justice.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kelley Law Firm Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Kelley & Ferraro LLP, a Florida-based asbestos law firm faced with
a US$4.2 million claim by a deceased partner's widow, filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy seeking respite, the ABA Journal reports.

Kelley & Ferraro recently filed in Miami, as Lynn Kelley was
pursuing a Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas case against the
firm in Ohio concerning the amount she is allegedly owed by the
firm after her husband's death five years ago, reports Crain's
Cleveland Business.

Although James Ferraro prevailed at trial on all counts and the
firm prevailed on all counts but one, Mr. Kelley won a US$4.2
million judgment on that one count.

A state appeals court has since ordered the firm to dissolve and
ordered a new trial on damages, the article explains.  Mrs.
Kelley's lawyer contends she is actually entitled to US$35
million, according to dissolution provisions of the law firm's
partnership agreement.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cleanup at Glan Clwyd Hospital to Cost GBP77MM
The redesign of the Glan Clwyd Hospital in Denbigshire, Wales,
would follow the GBP77 million removal of asbestos from the
ceilings above the hospital's operating theaters and corridors,
BBC News reports.

Betsi Cadwaladr health board is looking at a possible revamp of
the hospital.  A proposed five-year strategy includes a "reduced
reliance" on hospital beds but ministers would have the last word.

The health board's director of planning, Neil Bradshaw, will argue
the case for reducing beds at the general hospital in Bodelwyddan.
No decision has been taken on how many beds will be removed and
any decision made at the meeting will need to be referred to the
Welsh Assembly Government for approval.

The board meeting will hear the outline case that "stripping much
of the building back to the steel frame" during the asbestos works
will create a "major opportunity to redesign and relocate"
services and departments.

The board's five-year strategy places an emphasis on "a reduced
reliance on hospital beds" as care and rehabilitation is provided
in patients' homes or in the community via other health providers
and some acute services are redistributed to Wrexham Maelor and
Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jackson Dynamics to Conduct Testing for $3,000
Commissioners in Wood County, W.Va., have chosen Jackson Dynamics
of Fairmont, W.Va., to conduct asbestos testing for US$3,000 on
six Happy Valley properties, NewsandSentinel.com reports.

The properties were recently bought by the County as part of a
federal flood mitigation program.  Tim Meeks with the Mid-Ohio
Valley Regional Council told commissioners, "We advertised for the
asbestos inspection services in a request for proposal.  We had
eight firms submit proposals, some from as far away as
Pennsylvania and Virginia."  He said the highest price quote was

Mr. Meeks said the proposal from Jackson was for a set amount,
US$3,000 for as many tests as were needed, while the other firms
wanted to charge per sample if additional tests were needed, and
in some cases did not list the charge per sample for additional

The other two firms whose cost proposals were close to the
US$3,000 figures were from another firm in Fairmont and a
Pennsylvania company.

Officials said the six homeowners who sold their properties to the
county have another 60 days left to vacate their homes.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NSW Govt. Pledges AU$6.3M for Woodsreef Cleanup
New South Wales' government has pledged AU$6.3 million for
remediation work at the Woodsreef asbestos mine, in northwest NSW,
ABC News reports.

The promise comes three months after the state's Ombudsman
released a scathing report highlighting the threat the site posed
to the nearby township of Barraba.

The report outlined the dangers of 75-meter tall silo towers of
asbestos tailings, open cut pits filled with water and an eight-
story building still full of asbestos.

The promised funds would pay to remove the silos, demolish the
building and establish air monitoring.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Peterborough Mechanic's Death Related to Hazard
An inquest heard that the death of Robert Rate, a mechanic from
Blandford Gardens, Paston, Peterborough, England, was related to
workplace exposure to asbestos, the Evening Telegraph reports.

Mr. Rate died on Nov. 11, 2010 at the age of 63.  At the inquest,
Coroner Gordon Ryall read a statement prepared by Mr. Rate with
his solicitors in May 2010.  It said Mr. Rate began working at
Whiteley and Creasey, in Werrington, Peterborough, where he
completed an apprenticeship.  He then went to work for the firm at
their base in Market Deeping.

In his statement, Mr. Rate said, "I remember the walls were
covered by asbestos which was four inches thick.  If you brushed
against the wall, it would come off on your clothes.  Because it
was so soft, the walls would get damaged very easily.  If it got
damaged, we would just pick it up and put it in the bin.  We would
disturb the walls three to four times a week."

Elizabeth Astall, consultant pathologist at Peterborough City
Hospital, completed the post mortem examination.  She said an
internal examination found a tumor on his right lung.

Mrs. Astall found the cause of Mr. Rate's death was mesothelioma.
The second cause of death was blocked or narrow arteries.

Mr. Ryall recorded a verdict of death from industrial disease.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeal Court Grants Petition Bid in Albina Case
The U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, granted Albina Engine
& Machine's petition for review, in an asbestos-related action
involving Karen McAllister, the widow of James R. McAllister.

The case is styled Albina Engine & Machine; Fireman's Fund
Insurance Co., Petitioners v. Director, Office of Workers'
Compensation Programs; Benefits BRB Review Board; Karen
McAllister, Widow of James R. McAllister; Lockheed Shipbuilding
and Wausau Insurance Company; Willamette Iron & Steel Co.; Saif
Corporation, Respondents.

Judges A. Wallace Tashima, Richard A. Paez, and Richard R. Clifton
entered judgment in Case No. 09-70592 on Dec. 10, 2010.

Albina petitioned for review of a decision of the Benefits Review
Board upholding the Administrative Law Judge's ruling that Albina
was liable for payment of death benefits to Mrs. McAllister under
the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Mr. McAllister died of mesothelioma as a result of exposure to
asbestos during his work as a carpenter for three shipyard
employers, one of which was Albina.

Albina argued that the Board misconstrued existing law on the
burden of proof in LHWCA proceedings against multiple employers,
misapplied the "last employer" rule, and upheld the ALJ's decision
that was not supported by substantial evidence.

Albina further contended that liability for payment of benefits
should have been assigned instead to Lockheed Shipbuilding,
another of Mr. McAllister's former employers.

The Court granted Albina's petition for review and the judgment of
the Board was reversed.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGinnist's Bid OK'd in Case v. St. Louis Jail
The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern
Division, granted Dennis McGinnist's motion in a case involving
asbestos styled Dennis McGinnist, Plaintiff v. Frances Slay, et
al., Defendants.

District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. entered judgment in Case
No. 4:10-CV-1985-DDN on Dec. 3, 2010.

This matter was before the Court upon the motion of Dennis
McGinnist for leave to commence this action without payment of the
required filing fee.

Mr. McGinnist, an inmate at the St. Louis City Justice Center,
sought monetary relief in this action against defendants Frances
Slay, Jerome Fielos, Reggie Moore, Charles Bryson, James A.
Chrans, Russell Brown, Eugene Stubblefield, Melvin Diggs, James
Perry, Sidney Turner, and Maryland Irving.

Mr. McGinnist alleged that, for five days, he was forced to live
in a cell at the St. Louis City MSI that had human feces on the
walls.  He also claimed that the jail has no sprinkler system,
working fire hoses, or a disaster plan, and that there is possible
asbestos contamination.

It was hereby ordered that Mr. McGinnist's motion to proceed in
forma pauperis was granted.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Defendants' Reconsideration Bid in Smith Denied
The U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, denied Defendants'
motion for reconsideration, in a case involving asbestos styled
Byron Smith, Plaintiff v. Gallegos, et al., Defendants.

District Judge J. Thomas Marten entered judgment in Case No.
06-3061-JTM on Dec. 3, 2010.

Byron Smith filed the present action on Feb. 28, 2006, bringing
claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).  He claimed he
was exposed to asbestos in 2003 while he was an inmate at the
Leavenworth Penitentiary.  The specific facts of Mr. Smith's claim
were contained in this court's Order granting defendants' motion
to dismiss and the Tenth Circuit's Mandate in Mr. Smith's appeal
and were adopted for purposes of this Order.

This court dismissed both of Mr. Smith's claims and the Tenth
Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the FTCA claims but reversed
dismissal of Mr. Smith's Bivens claim.  Defendants then filed a
Motion to Dismiss Mr. Smith's Second Amended Complaint, Or In the
Alternative, For Summary Judgment.

Before ruling on this motion, Mr. Smith filed a Motion for Order
to Defer Pursuant to FRCP 56(f) on April 7, 2010.  On April 9,
2010, this court granted Mr. Smith's motion.  Subsequently, the
defendants filed the present Motion for Reconsideration.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Court Issues Split Ruling in Frawley Action
The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, issued
split rulings in a case involving asbestos styled Joan Frawley v.
Exxon Mobil Corp., et al.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth T. Hey entered judgment in EDPA
Civil Action No. 07-69124 on Oct. 6, 2010.

Joan Frawley, on behalf of her now deceased husband, sought
recovery against Exxon Mobil, based on Mr. Frawley's injuries
resulting from alleged asbestos exposure while working for Mobil.

Presently before the court is a motion filed by Mobil, seeking
dismissal of Mrs. Frawley's state law claims and also her Jones
Act claims for damages other than pecuniary damages of Mr. Frawley

Mobil's Motion to Dismiss was granted in part and denied in part.
To the extent Mobil sought dismissal of punitive damages under the
Jones Act, the Motion should be denied without prejudice.  It was
further recommended that the Motion to Preclude be remanded with
the case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Motions Denied in Larson Case
The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, denied
summary judgment motions in a case involving asbestos styled
Dianna K. Larson, et al. v. Bondex International, et al.

Magistrate Judge Angell entered judgment in Civil Action No.
09-69123 on Dec. 10, 2010.

Dianna Larson was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006.  Plaintiffs
alleged that the mesothelioma is the result of exposure to
asbestos in joint compound products which Dianna Larson used in
the 1970s when she and her first husband built two homes in Utah.
Named Defendants were alleged to have manufactured, sold or
distributed chrysotile-containing joint compound products.

Plaintiffs alleged that Dianna Larson and her first husband
constructed the two homes from the ground up with virtually no
outside assistance.

It was ordered that Bondex International, Inc., RPM, Inc., and RPM
International, Inc.'s Motion For Summary Judgment was dismissed
without prejudice.  Georgia-Pacific LLC's Motion for Summary
Judgment on Causation was denied.

Georgia-Pacific LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment on Product
Identification was denied.  Union Carbide Corporation's Motion for
Summary Judgment was denied.  Georgia-Pacific LLC's Amended
Memorandum in Support of Its Amended Motion for Summary Judgment
on Production Identification was stricken as untimely.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Indy Court Affirms Board Ruling in Niegos Case
The Court of Appeals of Indiana affirmed the ruling of the Full
Indiana Worker's Compensation Board, which dismissed Kathy Niegos'
claim on the basis that she had failed to notify ArcelorMittal
Burns Harbor LLC prior to obtaining third-party settlements.

The case is styled Kathy Niegos, Appellant/Petitioner v.
ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor LLC, f/k/a ISG Burns Harbor LLC,

Judges Bradford, Kirsch, and Crone entered judgment in Case No.
93A02-1007-EX-762 on Dec. 14, 2010.

Mrs. Niegos appealed from the Indiana Worker's Compensation
Board's dismissal of her claim, under the Occupational Disease Act
(ODA), against ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor LLC, her late husband's
former employer.

Mrs. Niegos contended that the Board erroneously concluded that
the "absolute bar" provision of ODA should apply when she has
resolved some, but not all, claims against third-party defendants.

ArcelorMittal countered that receipt of any third-party settlement
relieves it of any liability under the ODA and that Mrs. Niegos's
failure to notify it before accepting third-party settlements
forfeits her rights under ODA.

Daniel Niegos died of lung cancer on July 18, 2004, allegedly
contracted as a result of asbestos exposure while employed by
ArcelorMittal.  On Nov. 15, 2005, Mrs. Niegos filed an ODA claim
on behalf of her deceased husband.  In addition, she filed a civil
action against 36 third-party defendants who manufactured, sold,
or used the asbestos products that allegedly caused Mr. Niegos'
lung cancer.

As of Dec. 10, 2009, Mrs. Niegos had settled with several of the
third-party defendants, receiving a total of US$122,327.92.  She
did not notify ArcelorMittal before entering into any of the
third-party settlements.

On Dec. 10, 2009, Board member A. James Sarkisian dismissed Mrs.
Niegos' claim.  On June 18, 2010, the full Board adopted Mr.
Sarkisian's decision.  The Appeals Court affirmed the judgment of
the Board.

W. Russell Sipes, Esq., Todd Barnes, Esq., of George & Sipes, LLP
in Indianapolis, Ind., represented the Appellant.

Tina M. Bengs, Esq., of Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP, in
Merrillville, Ind., represented the Appellee.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Appeal Court Reverses Ruling in Macias Lawsuit
The Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 2, reversed the
ruling of the Pierce County Superior Court, which denied summary
judgment to American Optical Corporation, Mine Safety Appliances
Company, and North Safety Products USA, in an asbestos case styled
Leo Macias and Patricia Macias, Respondents v. Mine Safety
Appliances Co. et al., Appellants.

The case was remanded for entry of an order granting summary
judgment to the respirator manufacturers.

Judges Worswick, Brosey and Penoyar entered judgment in Case No.
No. 39171-6-II on Dec. 14, 2010.

American Optical Corporation, Mine Safety Appliances Company, and
North Safety Products USA (collectively, respirator manufacturers)
appealed the denial of their summary judgment motion, arguing that
they had no duty to warn Leo Macias, a retired tool worker, that
he could be exposed to harmful asbestos dust while cleaning their
respirators at a Seattle shipyard.

Mr. Macias worked as a tool keeper at Todd Shipyards in Seattle
from 1978 to 2004.  As a tool keeper, he supplied shipyard workers
with tools and equipment, including respirators manufactured by
the respirator manufacturers.  These respirators were manufactured
to protect against a variety of contaminants.  Different filter
cartridges could be inserted into the respirators to protect the
workers against specific contaminants, including welding fumes,
paint fumes, asbestos particles, and dust.

In May 2008, a physician diagnosed Mr. Macias with mesothelioma.
The following month, Mr. Macias filed a complaint for personal
injuries against several defendants, including the respirator
manufacturers.  He asserted, in part, that the respirator
manufacturers were negligent and strictly liable for failing to
warn him of the dangers of asbestos exposure.

In January 2009, the respirator manufacturers moved for summary
judgment.  The trial court denied the motion.

Benjamin Robert Couture, Esq., David S. Frockt, Esq., Matthew
Phineas Bergman, Esq., of Bergman & Frockt PLLC, John Wentworth
Phillips, Esq., John Matthew Geyman, Esq., of Phillips Law Group
PLLC in Seattle represented the Respondents.

Paul Joseph Kundtz, Esq., Wendy E. Lyon, Esq., of Riddell Williams
PS in Seattle, Timothy Lee Ashcraft, Esq., of Williams Kastner &
Gibbs, Robert Joseph Sexton, Esq., Attorney at Law in Tacoma,
Wash., Kamela J. James, Esq., of Law Offices of Kamela J. James in
Olympia, Wash., represented the Appellants.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 14 Actions Ongoing v. Ameron Int'l. at Nov. 30
Ameron International Corporation was a defendant in 14 asbestos-
related cases as of Nov. 30, 2010, compared with 20 cases as of
Nov. 30, 2009, according to the Company's annual report for the
fiscal year ended Nov. 30, 2010.

The Company faced 15 asbestos-related cases as of Aug. 29, 2010,
compared with 17 cases as of Aug. 29, 2010.  (Class Action
Reporter, Oct. 1, 2010)

The Company is a defendant in a number of asbestos-related
personal injury lawsuits.  These cases generally seek unspecified
damages for asbestos-related diseases based on alleged exposure to
products previously manufactured by the Company and others.

During the year ended Nov. 30, 2010, there were 10 new asbestos-
related cases, 11 dismissed cases, five settled cases and no

The Company incurred net expenses of US$100,000 during the year
ended Nov. 30, 2010, compared with US$300,000 during the year
ended Nov. 30, 2009, and US$200,000 during the year ended Nov. 30,

The Company recovered less than US$100,000 during the years ended
Nov. 30, 2010 and Nov. 30, 2009, compared with US$200,000 during
the year ended Nov. 30, 2008.

Ameron International Corporation manufactures highly-engineered
products and materials for the chemical, industrial, energy,
transportation and infrastructure markets.  The Company produces
water transmission lines; fiberglass-composite pipe for
transporting oil, chemicals and corrosive fluids and specialized
materials; and products used in infrastructure projects.  The
Company is based in Pasadena, Calif.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mallinckrodt Facing 11.3T Cases at Dec. 24
Covidien Public Limited Company says that, as of Dec. 24, 2010,
there were about 11,300 asbestos liability cases pending against
subsidiary Mallinckrodt Inc., according to the Company's quarterly
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on
Feb. 1, 2011.

As of Sept. 24, 2010, there were about 11,300 asbestos liability
cases pending against Mallinckrodt.  (Class Action Reporter,
Dec. 3, 2010)

Mallinckrodt is named as a defendant in personal injury lawsuits
based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing materials.  A
majority of the cases involve product liability claims, based
principally on allegations of past distribution of products
incorporating asbestos.  A limited number of the cases allege
premises liability, based on claims that individuals were exposed
to asbestos while on Mallinckrodt's property.

Each case typically names dozens of corporate defendants in
addition to Mallinckrodt.  The complaints generally seek monetary
damages for personal injury or bodily injury resulting from
alleged exposure to products containing asbestos.

The Company's involvement in asbestos cases has been limited
because Mallinckrodt did not mine or produce asbestos.
Furthermore, in the Company's experience, a large percentage of
these claims have never been substantiated and have been dismissed
by the courts.  The Company has not suffered an adverse verdict in
a trial court proceeding related to asbestos claims.

The Company estimates pending asbestos claims and claims that were
incurred but not reported, as well as related insurance
recoveries.  The Company's estimate of its liability for pending
and future claims is based on claim experience over the past five
years and covers claims either currently filed or expected to be
filed over the next seven years.

Covidien Public Limited Company develops, manufactures and sells
healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings.  The
Company manages and operates its business through three segments:
Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals, and Medical Supplies.  The
Company is based in Dublin, Ireland.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crown Holdings Records $31MM Charge at Dec. 31
Crown Holdings, Inc. recorded a charge in the fourth quarter of
2010 of US$31 million ($21 million, net of tax, or US$0.13 per
diluted share) to increase its asbestos litigation reserve,
according to a Company press release dated Feb. 1, 2011.

In the 2009 fourth quarter, the Company recorded a charge of US$55
million (US$36 million, net of tax, or US$0.22 per diluted share)
to increase its asbestos reserve.

Asbestos-related payments totaled US$27 million in 2010 compared
to US$26 million in 2009, and the Company expects 2011 payments to
be similar to prior years' levels.

Provision for asbestos was US$46 million during the 12 months
ended Dec. 31, 2010, compared with US$55 million during the 12
months ended Dec. 31, 2009.

Crown Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading
supplier of packaging products to consumer marketing companies
around the world.  The Company is based in Philadelphia, Pa.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pfizer Records $620MM Litigation Charge at 4Q10
Pfizer Inc.'s recorded US$620 million during the fourth-quarter of
2010 and US$1.3 billion during the full year of 2010 for asbestos
litigation related to its wholly owned subsidiary, Quigley
Company, Inc., according to a Company press release dated Feb. 1,

Pfizer Inc. is a research-based pharmaceuticals firm.  Products
include cholesterol-lowering Lipitor, pain management drugs
Celebrex and Lyrica, pneumonia vaccine Prevnar, high-blood-
pressure therapy Norvasc, and erectile dysfunction treatment
Viagra.  The Company is based in New York.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 79T Actions Ongoing v. Ashland Inc. at Dec. 31
Ashland Inc. faced 79,000 open asbestos-related claims during the
three months ended Dec. 31, 2010, compared with 92,000 open claims
during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2009, according to the
Company's quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 2, 2011.

During the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010, the Company recorded
4,000 claims dismissed.  During the three months ended Dec. 31,
2009, the Company recorded 1,000 new claims filed, 1,000 claims
settled, and 8,000 claims dismissed.

The claims that allege personal injury caused by exposure to
asbestos asserted against the Company are from indemnification
obligations undertaken in 1990 in connection with the sale of
Riley Stoker Corporation, a former subsidiary.

Asbestos reserve was US$526 million during the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2010, compared with US$531 million during the three
months ended Dec. 31, 2009.

At Dec. 31, 2010, the Company's receivable for recoveries of
litigation defense and claim settlement costs from insurers
amounted to US$414 million (excluding the Hercules receivable for
asbestos claims), of which US$59 million relates to costs
previously paid.  Receivables from insurers amounted to US$421
million at Sept. 30, 2010.

Ashland Inc. provides specialty chemicals and technologies.  Its
products are used in markets and applications, including
architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, personal
care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment.  The
Company is based in Covington, Ky.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 22T Claims Ongoing v. Hercules Inc. at Dec. 31
Ashland Inc.'s Hercules subsidiary faced 22,000 open asbestos-
related claims during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010,
compared with 21,000 claims during the three months ended Dec. 31,

Hercules has liabilities from claims alleging personal injury
caused by exposure to asbestos.  Such claims typically arise from
alleged exposure to asbestos fibers from resin encapsulated pipe
and tank products which were sold by one of Hercules' former
subsidiaries to a limited industrial market.

During the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010, Hercules recorded
2,000 new claims filed.  Asbestos reserve was US$370 million
during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010, compared with US$447
million during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2009.

As of Dec. 31, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2010, the receivables from
insurers amounted to US$68 million.

Ashland Inc. provides specialty chemicals and technologies.  Its
products are used in markets and applications, including
architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, personal
care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment.  The
Company is based in Covington, Ky.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: GenCorp Facing 141 Open Claims at Nov. 30
GenCorp Inc. faced 141 asbestos-related claims during the year
ended Nov. 30, 2010, compared with 134 claims during the year
ended Nov. 30, 2009, according to the Company's annual report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 2, 2011.

The Company has been, and continues to be, named as a defendant in
lawsuits alleging personal injury or death due to exposure to
asbestos in building materials, products, or in manufacturing
operations.  The majority of cases are pending in Texas and

During the year ended Nov. 30, 2010, the Company recorded 27
claims filed, 15 claims dismissed, and five claims settled.
During the year ended Nov. 30, 2009, the Company recorded 27
claims filed, 23 claims consolidated, 25 claims dismissed, and two
claims settled.

Aggregate settlement costs were US$105,000 during the year ended
Nov. 30, 2010, compared with US$35,000 during the year ended
Nov. 30, 2009.

Average settlement costs were US$21,000 during the year ended
Nov. 30, 2010, compared with US$17,000 during the year ended
Nov. 30, 2009.

Legal and administrative fees for the asbestos cases were
US$400,000 for fiscal years 2010 and 2009.

GenCorp Inc. is a manufacturer of aerospace and defense products
and systems with a real estate segment that includes activities
related to the re-zoning, entitlement, sale, and leasing of the
Company's excess real estate assets.  The Company is based in
Rancho Cordova, Calif.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Briggs & Stratton Subject to Liability Lawsuits
Briggs & Stratton Corporation is subject to various unresolved
legal actions that typically relate to product liability
(including asbestos-related liability), patent and trademark
matters, and disputes with customers, suppliers, distributors and
dealers, competitors and employees.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the Company's
quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on Feb. 2, 2011.

Briggs & Stratton Corporation manufactures air-cooled gas engines.
Its engine customers are lawn and garden OEMs Husqvarna Consumer
Outdoor Products, MTD, and Deere, and, to a lesser degree,
generator, pressure washer, and pump makers.  The Company is based
in Wauwatosa, Wis.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court OKs W.R. Grace's Plan of Reorganization
W. R. Grace & Co. announced on Jan. 31, 2011, that its Joint Plan
of Reorganization has been confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
for the District of Delaware.

In her opinion, Judge Judith Fitzgerald resolved all outstanding
objections to the Joint Plan in favor of the Company and its
co-proponents.  The Joint Plan next will be considered for
confirmation by the U.S. District Court for the District of
Delaware, a necessary step before Grace may exit Chapter 11.  The
Company filed for Chapter 11 protection on April 2, 2001.

Fred Festa, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said,
"This is a major step in the process of emerging from Chapter 11.
I am delighted that our Joint Plan has been confirmed by the
Bankruptcy Court. It is fair to all the parties and once and for
all removes the uncertainty that has been clouding our future."

The Joint Plan establishes two asbestos trusts to compensate
personal injury claimants and property owners.  Funds for the
trusts will come from a variety of sources including cash,
warrants to purchase Grace common stock, deferred payment
obligations, insurance proceeds and payments from successor
companies.  The trusts' assets and operations are designed to
cover all current and future asbestos claims.

Mr. Festa added, "We recognize that there are a few more steps in
the legal process, which we hope will move forward expeditiously.
I look forward to Grace emerging from Chapter 11 as a vibrant,
growing company with a great future."

W. R. Grace & Co. supplies catalysts and other products to
petroleum refiners; catalysts for the manufacture of plastics;
silica-based engineered and specialty materials for a wide range
of industrial applications; sealants and coatings for food and
beverage packaging, and specialty chemicals, additives and
building materials for commercial and residential construction.
The Company is based in Columbia, Md.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Inquest Rules on Peterborough Engineer's Death
An inquest at Peterborough Coroner's Court heard that that death
of 60-year-old John Ptolomey, an engineer from Welland,
Peterborough, England, was related to workplace exposure to
asbestos, the Peterborough Evening Telegraph reports.

Mr. Ptolomey died on Dec. 4, 2010 after suffering from lung
disease.  The court heard on Feb. 2, 2011 how he had worked at a
SodaStream factory as an engineer between 1980 and 1991, where he
was exposed to asbestos.

As part of his job, Mr. Ptolomey would handle boxes that were
given an asbestos lining for resistance as part of his work on the
production line, but he was never given a mask while handling

Coroner Gordon Ryall said, "He died as a consequence to his
exposure to asbestos.  He died from the industrial disease of
diffuse pulmonary fibrosis, which it is not unusual to suffer from
years after exposure to asbestos."

The inquest heard that Mr. Ptolomey was promoted in 1991, leaving
his job as an engineer on the production line for SodaStream.  In
2003, the SodaStream factory in Woodston, Peterborough, was closed
and operations were moved to Germany.

Mr. Ptolomey first started suffering from lung disease in March
2009, when he was admitted to a respiratory clinic because he had
a dry cough.  He underwent a biopsy at Papworth Hospital in June
2009 that showed asbestosis was the most likely cause for the lung
problems from which he was suffering.

For the next year and a half, Mr. Ptolomey underwent a number of
treatments, including receiving antibiotics, steroids and being
put under consideration for a lung transplant.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposure Lawsuit v. Croydon Tax Office Pending
Helen Wickings of Wallington, London, a retired civil servant, who
was suing the Inland Revenue offices in Croydon and Epsom she
believes gave her asbestos poisoning, has died, the Sutton
Guardian reports.

Mrs. Wickings spent the last months of her life fighting for
compensation to make sure her disabled 86-year-old husband, Ernie
Wickings, is looked after for the rest of his days.  Her case
stalled before she passed away as her solicitors needed more
evidence to take it to court.

The 65-year-old Ms. Wickings believes she was exposed to asbestos
during her 40-year career at the Inland Revenue offices in Croydon
and Epsom.  She went from swimming six miles a week to barely
being able to walk after being struck down with mesothelioma,
which was diagnosed in April 2010.

Croydon Coroners Court heard Mrs. Wickings believed she was first
exposed to asbestos in the dusty archives at IR's Croydon office
in the 1970s.  She said the alleged exposure continued in Epsom in
the 1980s when her job was to read fuel meters in the building's
boiler room among old and exposed pipes.

Mrs. Wickings also wrote about a flood in the room which led to
outside contractors being called in to remove asbestos, which they
did using protective suits and masks.  In September 2010, she
spoke to the Croydon Guardian about her appeal for anyone else
affected to come forward.

Mrs. Wickings called on other former employees to come forward
with information about asbestos at the Croydon and Epsom branches
between 1961 and 1996.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Smokers Warned Not to Use Jin Ling Cigarettes
Smokers have been warned not to buy or smoke, Jin Ling, a bootleg
brand of cigarettes from Russia, after it was found to contain
asbestos, Mail Online reports.

The warning came from trading standard chiefs after a batch of Jin
Ling cigarettes was reportedly offered around British pubs and

The cigarettes, which come in yellow packs with the words Jin Ling
and USA emblazoned across the front, are thought to be twice as
strong as ordinary cigarettes.  Many of those tested have been
revealed to contain toxins like industrial chemicals and asbestos-
lined Chinese drywall.

It is believed the cigarettes are created specifically for the
black market, as the brand on offer is not available over the

In 2010, the World Health Organization issued a warning after the
emergence of Jin Ling cigarettes in other European countries.  A
WHO spokesman said, "Jin Ling is the most disturbing new
development anywhere in the world in the illegal tobacco trade.
They are flooding into Europe."

A trading standards and licensing officer for Hartlepool Council,
Ian Harrison, said, "I am fully aware of this brand, as is
probably ever other trading standards officer across Europe.  This
particular brand is made to be smuggled; it is not a brand which
can be bought in shops.

"Because of that, there is no quality control and the people who
are selling them have no interest in what they are selling or who
they are selling it to.  There is no doubt they are dangerous, and
I am aware that there has been asbestos found in this brand."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Issues Various Rulings in Culver's Action
The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, issues
various rulings in an asbestos case styled Timothy Culver, et al.,
Plaintiffs v. Asbestos Defendants (BP), et al., Defendants.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston entered judgment in Case No. C
10-03484 SI on Dec. 8, 2010.

Timothy Culver, heir and successor-in-interest to decedent Robert
Culver, brought this suit for wrongful death as a result of Robert
Culver's exposure to asbestos.  Timothy Culver's first amended
complaint named 36 defendants and lists over 25 alleged
occurrences of exposure to asbestos.

Timothy Culver claimed that some of these exposures occurred when
Robert Culver served aboard the Sea Blenny in 1947, and when he
served aboard the Sailor's Splice in 1951.  It was undisputed that
the Sea Blenny was built by Western Pipe & Steel in 1945, and the
Sailor's Splice was built by Consolidated Steel Corporation in

According to U.S. Steel, both Sea Blenny, a C-3 model ship, and
Sailor's Splice, a C-1 model ship, were built for military use.
During World War II, the Maritime Commission designed and
developed such C-1 and C-3 ships as part of the government's
effort to construct numerous military ships in a short period of

The Commission allegedly wrote the specifications for these ships,
which included the use of materials that contained asbestos.  The
Commission also allegedly put inspectors in the shipyards to
ensure that the ships were constructed under their plans and

On July 15, 2008, Robert Culver filed an action for personal
injury and loss of consortium caused by exposure to asbestos in
the San Francisco County Superior Court, to which U.S. Steel was
not a party.  Robert Culver passed away on Sept. 7, 2009, while
that action was pending.

Timothy Culver was substituted as the plaintiff, and on Jan. 8,
2010, the complaint was amended to state a claim for wrongful
death.  U.S. Steel was served with the first amended complaint on
Jan. 14, 2010.  U.S. Steel filed its notice of removal on Aug. 9,
2010, claiming that this Court has "federal officer" removal

Before the court was Timothy Culver's motion to remand to the
superior court due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The Court hereby denied Timothy Culver's motion to remand.  The
Court also severed the claims against U.S. Steel from the rest of
the case, and the balance of the case was remanded to San
Francisco County Superior Court.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court OKs ESMW Summary Judgment in Gill Action
The Court of Appeals of Indiana affirmed the ruling of the Marion
Superior Court, which granted summary judgment in favor of
Evansville Sheet Metal Works, Inc. (ESMW) in an asbestos case
filed by Sharon Gill.

The case is styled Sharon Gill, on her own behalf and on behalf of
the Estate of Gale Gill, Deceased, Appellant-Plaintiff v.
Evansville Sheet Metal Works, Inc., Appellee-Defendant.

Judges Riley, Kirsch and Bailey entered judgment in Case No.
49A05-0912-CV-699 on Dec. 15, 2010.

Sharon Gill's decedent, Gale Gill, was employed with Aluminum
Company of America (ALCO) in Newburgh, Ind., until 1986.  While
working there, his responsibilities included operating, repairing,
and maintaining smelting pots.  During Mr. Gill's employment with
ALCO, ESMW worked as a contractor for ALCO "at a common work site
with Gale where materials containing asbestos were present and/or
used."  Mr. Gill passed away from lung cancer on May 4, 2005.

On May 4, 2007, Mrs. Gill filed a Master Complaint against ESMW on
her own behalf and on behalf of Mr. Gill's Estate, alleging that
Mr. Gill had been exposed to asbestos and subsequently died from
an asbestos related disease.  On April 7, 2009, ESMW filed an
initial motion for summary judgment, claiming that the
Construction Statute of Repose (CSOR), enacted at Indiana Code
section 32-30-1-5(d), barred Mrs. Gill's complaint.

Mrs. Gill responded on June 18, 2009, stating that ESMW failed to
meet its prima facie burden to demonstrate that the CSOR applied
to bar her claims.  On June 30, 2009, the trial court granted in
part and denied in part ESMW's initial motion for summary

On Aug. 3, 2009, ESMW filed a renewed initial motion for summary
judgment on the same grounds as the first motion.  Mrs. Gill
responded on Aug. 18, 2009.  On Nov. 20, 2009, the trial court
entered an Order in favor of ESMW, granting its initial motion for
summary judgment.  Mrs. Gill appealed.

Linda George, Esq., W. Russell Sipes, Esq., of George & Sipes, LLP
in Indianapolis, Ind., represented Mrs. Gill.

Ross E. Rudolph, Esq., James B. Godbold, Esq., Joseph H. Langerak
IV, Esq., of Rudolph, Fine, Porter & Johnson, LLP in Evansville,
Ind., represented ESMW.


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

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